​Annabel Karmel Ready Meals

Busy Mums always feel guilty about the food they give their little ones. Are they having enough fruit? Is there an equal amount of vegetables to carbohydrates? Should I introduce a more varied diet? How much sugar are they actually consuming? Guilt guilt and more guilt. You can check out our Recipe section if you want, it’s a guilt-free version of quick, easy meals for all the family…

As a busy working Mum I know the stresses and strains of ensuring that my family eat a healthy, balanced and varied diet and when I have meetings back-to-back in London with Beard working late, I can guarantee if there are no other plans, the option is take away. Of course, this is fine in moderation, but it’s not fine for a healthy balanced diet or your bank balance.

As a back up plan I decided to invest some time in reaching out to ready meals. I am not a ready meal lover however I do opt for the odd pack every now and then, although usually from Cook when in an emergency. Yet, on this occasion, I was shopping to stock up the fridge/freezer, you know for those “Shit! I forgot *he/she* was coming round after school” kind of scenarios.
After long consideration of some of the supermarket favourites I was pleased to be offered Annabel Karmels older child range as my boys are 9 and 7 years old. The only place I found an extensive choice of this range is Waitrose however I am told the selection changes weekly as do prices and special offers within the range.

We tried the Mild Chicken Curry with white rice.

Judging from the photograph – I will let you make your own decision on its aesthetic values 🙁
The things I looked at were:

Price; really good value – 2 for £5.
Portion size; looked good to me although I would need to add a naan bread and probably poppadoms as my two are bottomless pits!
Nutritional Value; 1 of your 5 a day cannot be bad.

I have based my review on the aesthetics of the meal and the dietry information provided. Due to the nature of this review, its over to the boys:

Josh, age 9
“I do not like things that have a plastic bowl you cook food in. I can taste the plastic. You can microwave this one but I wanted it in the oven. Even though it was in plastic, it did not taste of plastic. Sometimes when Nana cooks us rice in the oven it is dry and not nice but this rice is nice and fluffy but not like take away rice or the rice Daddy does in the pan, they’re the best.
I do not like the colour of this curry and there is not enough chicken. I had two tiny pieces in my dinner. I left the vegetables because they are hard and I like soft vegetables. I made a pizza when I finished my dinner because I was still hungry. I do not really want to eat this again unless I have to.”

Finn, age 7
“This curry looks like poo. Why is it that colour? It smells funny too. i don’t want it…”
After persuasion.
“The rice is ok but there isn’t much there. Is that chicken? It doesn’t look like chicken.”
After more persuasion.
“Ok, well I will eat a little bit because the sauce tastes good. Actually the sauce is yummy, so I can dip my naan in that. But that stuff there is not real chicken, and I am not eating that yellow and green stuff. And I am still going to be hungry and I do not want this again.”

Results: In my opinion, its easier to make your own curry and on tasting this dish myself…. I think I would rather have bread and butter.

Come on Anna, surely you can do better than this love. Your recipe books are fabulous!

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