Just before Christmas we were sent some Gluten free and Dairy free meals from ‘Kirsty’s’ to test and review. Now don’t go thinking this is Kirsty from Kirsty’s Homemade home as I did (craft on the brain, me!) nooooo! This is a different one. She is a young single Mum and entrepreneur from Yorkshire who appeared on Dragon’s Den. She went down the route of making chilled deserts and later meals because her son Jacob suffers with allergies. Before they were sent to us I explained that they were not suitable for me to eat at the moment because I breastfeed Oona and she has an allergy to nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, chilli, aubergine and the rest of that family of veg) so it has taken my hubby a little while to get through them since generally we eat as a family or we eat alone together.
One great thing about these meals is that there doesn’t appear to be any junk in them, they say you shouldn’t eat it if you can’t pronounce it and there are no unpronounceables on these packs! I recognize all the ingredients, there doesn’t seem to be any numbers or chemicals listed and that is bloody fantastic! It is unusual to find a ready meal that is both gf and df, it is usually one or the other and when I am no longer breastfeeding Oona we will definitely buy these to keep in the fridge for a lazy tea for me and Paul when the kids have gone to bed.
We were sent four meals, I will tell you what Paul said underneath each picture:
He says he has had ‘ready meal’ lasagne before (with gluten and dairy in his bachelor days) and always found that it lacked flavour. This meal however, he said was so tasty he ate the other one immediately afterwards!
This one was full of flavour, nice and spicy and a meal he would happily go and buy again when as he says I can eat normal food instead of the weird diet I am currently on! he he
He liked the chicken tikka masala, which traditionally contains milk or cream or both and he was amazed that it matched the restaurant/takeaway flavour without containing any dairy. The chicken was tender and there was lots of it, it was substantial enough for him to eat on its own too!
This one was Paul’s least favourite. It didn’t pack as much flavour as the others (and Paul likes his meat) having said that once he had added extra seasoning (salt and pepper) he still enjoyed it.
He says the first three meals he would give 10/10 but the Moroccan vegetables he would give 7/10.
He also says that I absolutely have to have to mention the fact that the cellophane peels nicely off the plastic boxes. This is something he thinks is really annoying about ready meals: you cook them, then they come out piping hot and you need to peel the lid back and it tears so you end up almost burning yourself whilst trying to peel off enough of the film to be able to tip out the meal. Kirsty’s meals just peel off easily and this pleased him immensely!
From my point of view (since I was cooking them) a really good thing about Kirsty’s meals is that although they can be microwaved, they will also go in the oven: I gave our microwave away when I was on my health kick when pregnant with Oona (research suggests they aren’t so healthy) in addition to this they have quite a long date on them due to being vacuum packed so they make for great emergency meals!
All in all, whilst we wouldn’t eat ready meals every night, preferring to make large meals for the whole family, Paul and I will buy these meals for an easy ‘take-out’ style meal to eat with a bottle of plonk on a Friday night. We often find that ‘real’ takeaways make us ill because the staff on the telephones don’t know what the ingredients are in their products and mistakenly say their meals are milk or wheat free without being sure. Having Kirsty’s products as an option means that we can treat ourselves to a hassle free meal when the kids are in bed without worry.
We were sent these meals to try free of charge from the company in exchange for our honest review.