One of my great passions is cooking. Especially now I have a family if my own, I can recreate my own favourites, creating new recipies or serving up classic traditional meals for my loved ones as for me there is nothing better than seeing someone enjoying a meal you have cooked. In reality though, days get busier and more hectic, some days it a triumph to muster up a poached egg on toast when the pre bedtime rush is on the horizon. I was contacted by Gourmade meals to try their frozen ready meals – not your typical ready meal either, they are homemade and cooked with love, then frozen quickly, no real difference from when I have a marathon batch cooking session and freeze for the week ahead (when I can be organised) except someone else has done the hard work.
Ok, so I can hear some of you tutting and scoffing at a ready meal, but honestly, aren’t there days (as parents or not) that we all do what we can to get through, if that means a ready meal then why not, im certainly no stranger to them. We are all busy these days and far too hard on ourselselves sometimes to take a shortcut. In this case though, its knowing there are no nasties going in and I don’t have to feel like im serving up a steaming bowl of preservatives. Plus, they are flippin’ delicious so I feel thats point enough!
The ethos of Gourmade is “Live more, Cook less” makes sense to me. No faffing preparing the meal and minimal washing up. The whole range is hand finished and frozen within an hour of making so there are no aritificial nasties and nurtrients are preserved.
Our meals arrived, wrapped perfectly in eco packaging and lots of frozen gel packs followed by more insulation. I actually missed the delivery and didnt get it from my neighbours till about four hours later, it was a hot day and everything was still frozen; the gel packs not even defrosted. Another aspect of our busy lives – missing deliveries but not having to worry that they will spoil! We were sent two mains, sides and desserts.
- Fish Pie – really luxurious with the addition of salmon as well as prawns to smoked haddock. Thick creamy sauce and the potato tastes (and feels!!) compeltely homemade. A real comfort dish with no “filler fish” to cop out on quality.
- Macaroni cheese & bacon – great flavour as it’s topped off with mature cheddar, no meak and mild flavour here. The cherry tomatoes and bacon make this dish superb – i’m not one for pasta dishes really but I throughly enjoyed this. Freddie loved eating our share of the crunchy topping!
- Posh peas – I wouldnt choose the posh peas again as they just really were a bit too OTT for me. However the boys went wild for them and loved the addition of bacon. Super easy side to bung in the microwave
- Potato Dauphinoise – Mind blowing. I loved this and would defintely have this again, with garlic bead to scoop up all the cheesy, creamy sauce. It really is a meal in itself, the potatoes are cooked to perfection and we cooked in the oven for a nice bubbling top.
- Belgian chocolate Roulade – delicious. So light in texture but so rich in flavour, you can tell it’s made with quality chocolate. The fresh cream sets it off a treat.
- Raspberry cheesecake – mine and freddies favoruite. The creamy cheesecake and sharp raspberry is one thing but the winner for me? the biuscuit base. I was blown away – you could see the sheen on it from the butter that was used to make it with. It was wonderful
Serves two, or one hungry one was on the front of the mains and sides, initially I took this as an appetitie challenge to be beaten by yours truly, but I decided it would be best to try as a family meal. Myself, Hubby and Freddie tasted the above as an evening meal (Dexter is dairy free so didnt have any this time) but the portion sizes are so generous. My usual bug bear with ready meals is that they are a but skimpy on size but these were so ample. The meals can be oven or microwave cooked and we did a combination of these, with the deserts being left to defrost for about an hour to be perfct eating – this fits in great with cooking and eating your mains.
What I liked also was the clear, concise packaging that had easy to read nutritional and allergen information this is also available on the website for refence when odering online. If you were doing Weight Watchers for instance you could easily work out what points the meals were.
We have thoroughly enjoyed trying these Gourmade meals and are definitely going to try some more – the mousakka and potatoe wedges look DIVINE. Head over to the Gourmade website and see for yourself
This post is in collaboration with Gourmade, all images and opinions are my own.