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Good quality ready meals?(11 Posts)
I'm recovering from a bad illness and have found that rest is key to me being well. I'm a single mum.
As rest will be long term ie several months, I'm hoping to make life easier by getting ready meals. Don't like the thought of chicken nuggets and chips /beans on toast / processed food all the time.
Friend suggested gusto (?) but I'd still have to cook. I'd rather heat up something good.
Any suggestions for wholesome food ready made?
I tried to embrace ready meals when I had a newborn but truth is most of them aren't very nice when you're used to spending time cooking your own food. Lots taste artificial or bland.
Have found that the Charlie Bighams ones can be nice esp the moussaka. Had a Waitrose fish pie that was quite nice too. I think it's mainly a case of finding what you like.
Also try www.cookfood.net/ not had any myself but come highly recommended and got a load for friends when they had their babies. Going to give them a try when I have my next one!
Lots of M&S /Waitrose type 'just cook' things too - prepared chicken breasts etc.
Obviously none of these suggestions are cheap. If you have time to prepare I'd bulk-cook and freeze stuff like soup, lasagne etc. I also (for the first time) bought stuff like pre-cooked rice in packets, pre-prepped potatoes (had some nice herby buttery new potatoes from Sainsburys last week - just microwave), pre-made mash.
Good luck, ignore anyone who says you need to be cooking from scratch - I like doing it and it's economical but know from experience that buying and chopping all the ingredients can be exhausting and there is absolutely nothing wrong with shortcuts where you can.
Cook are great for frozen ready meals.
Reallyorange, some great suggestions there. I'm writing stuff down and off to waitrose in a bit...
I like the BOL ones that come in tubs
Something else to consider is getting some precooked chicken/salmon/prawns, some of the bags of precooked rice,quinoa etc and then some veg (frozen is fine) and then you just mix and match depending on what you fancy. Tinned salmon,tuna and beans are also great to have on hand
Defo Cook! Their meals are delicious and decent sized portions too
I have a chronic illness which fluctuates. So I'm ok for a few weeks, then really struggle for a while, up & down constantly. We don't have a microwave. My healthy shortcuts are:
- sit at the kitchen table /get a folding bar stool for the kitchen, so you can sit while doing food prep, if you get tired easily.
- all in one traybakes. So, meat (boneless chicken pieces, sausages, perhaps a fish fillet). Your choice of vegetables & carbs - new potatoes are good for this. Some liquid, flavouring agents (herbs, stock, packet of whatever marinade you fancy), fat such as olive oil, butter etc to stop it sticking to the tray. Spread evenly, with large meat pieces on top, skin side up if applicable. Bake until done at an appropriate temperature.
- we have an Instant Pot, so plan to use that a lot over winter (it's a replacement for the old slow cooker). Bung everything in & start it...
- vegetable soup can be very quick, and cheap. Accompany with some nice fresh bread (do you have a breadmaker? I see them a lot on freecycle & in charity shops).
MYHK (My Healthy Kitchen) are really good. Know you can get them in Waitrose not sure about else where. The roasted veg risotto is lovely. Also the Waitrose easy cook range is very good, especially the ras el hanout chicken, and Cajun chicken breasts and cod fillets with crumble.
I don't like Cook.
The ready prepared stuff is better than a full on ready meal imo e.g. Waitrose hunters chicken and then a prepped pot and veg. Fresh filled pasta and salad etc.
Thanks again everyone, and legocaltrops thanks for the tips on how to make life easier and your instructions for traybakes - really good idea
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