I want to start off by saying that I’m really not a ready-meal type of girl.
To me, nothing beats a home-cooked meal, and growing up I was lucky to be able to count on one hand the number of times I had a ready-meal. My mom especially is such an avid and talented foodie, that we usually either ate one of her creations or went out on one of our various food missions (we went through the New York Times‘ Top 10 Steak Tartar restaurant list in a month, one summer).
That, and the fact that for the most part, they’re ridiculously overpriced, and never quite taste as good.
Having said that though, I totally understand the appeal of it. After a long day at work, especially in the winter, the thought of cooking is utterly exhausting in itself.
So when the lovely people behind Kirsty’s contacted me to see whether I wanted to try their range of gluten-free and free-from ready meals, I was intrigued to say the least.
Kirsty’s has a range of gluten, dairy and wheat-free ready meals ideal for coeliacs and people with food intolerances. For those of us that love a good Dragons Den success story, Kirsty successfully pitched her business to Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne (who are usually the sceptical grumpy ones, aren’t they?) Kirsty’s meals are also aimed towards those doing the 5:2, which I (very occasionally) dabble in.
The first meal I tried, the Thai Chilli Chicken Noodles were my least favourite of the lot. I did enjoy the flavours of lemongrass, and the hint of fish sauce, but I wasn’t overly keen on the texture. This was the ‘lightest’ of the meal choices, and while it was perfectly pleasant I think if I’m opting for a ready meal then pretending to be healthy probably isn’t what I’m feeling. However, I also cook with this kind of rice noodle on a regular basis, and the texture is never going to be quite the same as when it’s made fresh. However, I did like the flavours and I did appreciate how much veg they packed in (which is quite unusual for a ready meal).
A sweet potato and carrot mash topped beef mince with carrots and peas in a gluten-free gravy sauce. My boyfriend really enjoyed this one – I did enjoy the mash, but I always have mixed feelings about minced meat unless I’ve prepared it myself, so I can’t say this was my personal favourite, but it was surprisingly tasty and perfect comfort food (but without all of the guilt)
The third meal was my personal favourite – gluten-free bangers and mash. The mash was, again, carrot and sweet potato, but the sausages crisped well in the oven and the onion gravy was simple but tasty.
While I don’t think I’ll be making a regular thing out of ordering ready-meals, now I know this range is out there I can definitely see myself popping one in my Ocado order in December when work gets a bit more hectic before the holidays! It’s tasty comfort food, without feeling to guilty or unhealthy, and at only £3 it’s definitely an option I’ll be considering.
To find out more about Kirsty’s you should check out their YouTube channel which just launched recently here.