Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Kirsty's Ready Meals - Review

I won't lie, DH and I are no strangers to the more than occasional ready meal.

Sometimes tea time comes and I'm so exhausted what with all the school runs and cleaning up and other stuff that goes on here during the day that I find myself reaching into the fridge or freezer for something ovenable and easy to feed ourselves with, rather than cook yet another a meal from scratch.

Everyone does this sometimes don't they?

So, when Kirsty's ready meals got in touch and asked me if I'd like to review two of their new products I was keen to give them a go and see if they were as good as some of the products that we regularly buy.

What makes Kirsty's meals slightly different from standard ready made meals is that they are suitable for everyone to eat.

Kirsty’s range of ready meals has been developed by Kirsty Henshaw who appeared on Dragon’s Den and subsequently won over Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne. They are based on Kirsty’s beliefs to inspire and motivate others to leads a happy healthier life through their diet and lifestyle.

We were sent two different meals from the range try, Lasagne and a Thai Chicken Noodle meal.

Kirsty's meals

The Lasagne we were sent is made from an authentic recipe including a Bolognese sauce using 100% British Beef, Italian pasta topped with a B├ęchamel sauce, and is free from wheat, gluten, dairy and nuts making it the first lasagne on the UK market that is both gluten and dairy free.

The Thai Chicken Noodle meal we tried includes a hot and spicy Tom Yum sauce, marinated chicken, soya beans, carrot, bean sprouts and red peppers with rice noodles (and again it is dairy, wheat and gluten free too).

Both dishes have the added bonus of being one of your five a day and low in saturated fat, and sugar.

With this in mind I was very happy to let my children eat these, which pleased my teen no end because I'm apparently the only mother who won't feed him ready meals every day of the week, like his mates get at home (although I seriously doubt that's true).

Predictably when Friday night came last week I found myself at a bit of a "what can I feed them" loose end and so we decided to give the Kirsty’s meals a whirl. My two older children both plumped for the lasagne and my noodle mad middle child decided he'd like the Thai noodles. This was no problem because the meals all cooked at the same temperature in the oven and for around the same time.

Me? Well I just sat back and had a cup of tea while the whole lot cooked, which made a nice change from slaving over a hot stove...

One of the first things that I noticed was that the meals really smelt like home cooked food rather than a ready meal (the noodles in particular smelt delicious). When they were served up I liked that they looked good too. I could see plenty of different vegetables in the noodle dish and also peppers in the lasagne.


The teen and the preteen said that the lasagne tasted really good and I had to point out that there was in fact no cheese on the top of it - they couldn't tell and therefore didn't miss it!  Unfortunately DS2 decided the noodles were a bit on the spicy side for him. I tasted them myself and while I would agree that they are very spicy, I did think that the flavour was good and there was plenty of chicken in the dish which you don't usually see in ready made meals. The teen also tried the noodles too and cleared the plate!

Thai Chicken Noodles

On the whole I can really see a place for Kirsty's meals at the supermarket.

Would I buy them myself? Not as a regular purchase, no, but when a guest or family member with food intolerances was dining with us, I could see myself buying them so that nobody felt left out or deprived.

At around 300 calories per meal they would be good for dieters too (hello January!) and although that isn't a lot of calories, they must be filling because my teen, who has the hollowest legs ever, did not complain once about being hungry after eating his meal.

Kirsty's ready meals are available from Waitrose, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Ocado and are priced at £3.00 which I think is very reasonable value.

To find out more about Kirsty’s you can visit the website at www.kirstys.co.uk or find them on Facebook here.

We were sent a selection of Kirsty’s ready meals for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are our own.

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