It's been a few weeks now since Slimming World released their ready meals into Iceland, everyone went a bit mental for them and it was proving pretty difficult to get hold of them in some stores (who knew a ready meal could cause such a stir?!) but I finally got hold of two of them the other day so I thought I'd share my thoughts on them. They do 8 different ready meals: Chicken Pizzaiola, Hot Smoked Salmon Farfalle, Chicken Tikka Masala, Sweet Potato Curry, Singapore Noodles, Beef and Veg Crush, Meatballs with Pasta in a Spicy Tomato sauce and Roasted Vegetable Pasta as well as bags of syn free meatballs and sausages. I came away with Chicken Tikka Masala and Meatballs and Pasta in a spicy tomato sauce simply because the were the ones I fancied at the time (and they didn't have any of the beef and veg crush, otherwise I'd have got that too).
The most important thing, I think, is that these are all completely Syn free and absolutely perfect for anyone with a busy life and who really struggles after work to choose something Slimming World friendly when they just can't be bothered to cook. I love them because I can just heat one up when I've finished work at daft o'clock and I can enjoy it without the guilt and without messing around with any meal preparation. I would imagine that a consultant would say you need to have your 1/3 speed foods as well but I'll let you into a little secret... I don't bother most of the time because these are meals for when I can't be bothered to mess around with stuff so to me preparing and adding speed foods would defeat the object.
I'll start with the Meatballs and Pasta: out of the two I would say that this is the most pleasing to the eye when its on the plate (or in the posh pasta bowl as I chose to put it in). It takes 12 minutes in the microwave from frozen (6 mins, stir then 6 mins again) and it's a good plate/bowl full of pasta. I was pleasantly surprised at how many meatballs were in mine; I counted 6 and they are proper meaty meatballs, so much so that I would say they taste a little bit odd to start with because it's just pure meat (beef and pork). When you look at the meal frozen, it looks as if there's not going to be much sauce but there's more than enough and the cooked cherry tomatoes and spinach are a nice little additive. The sauce is quite spicy so if you're not into spicy foods then this would be one to avoid; I like spicy foods and for me this is a bit of a mouth tingler. Overall I think it's quite nice and would probably give it a 7/10
Next up is the Chicken Tikka Masala and I'll start by saying that although this might not look as nice on the plate I can tell you that looks definitely deceive with this one. It is absolutely amazing, honestly probably the best Tikka Masala ready meal I've ever eaten. You don't get rice with it which is a bit of a downfall but it's absolutely jam packed with chicken and it actually tastes like proper chicken, not the reformed stuff that you usually get in ready meals. It is a little spicier than most chicken tikkas i've had from takeaways but not mouth burningly spicy and you get plenty of sauce as well. I would say that even though these ready meals are made for one you could easily split this one into two if you added some speed foods and obviously your rice (if you wanted to be really clever you could do cauliflower rice to get even more speed foods on there). One tip I have for this one is that you need to let it stand for 5 minutes or so once it's cooked otherwise it does appear quite watery, trust me the wait pays off because the sauce thickens up beautifully. I'd give this a 9/10 (would have had a 10 if it came with rice)
Overall I'm absolutely loving the fact that Slimming World have teamed up with Iceland to do some ready meals and I can say with absolute certainty that they are in a different league to the Weight Watchers ones in taste, portion size and the fact that they're totally Syn free! The only slight down side is that they retail at £3 each which is on the pricey side for a ready meal but at the moment they're on offer at 2 for £5 which makes them a little cheaper. To be honest, I personally don't mind paying the £3 because I know that the ingredients are the best, the meat is the leanest you'll get in a ready meal and overall they're just superior to other microwave meals.
Have you tried these yet? I'd love to know your thoughts
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