When it comes to ready meals, the words ‘high sugar’, ‘high salt’, ‘processed’, ‘refined’ and ‘junk’ can spring to mind; but that’s something Goodlife are aiming to change with the launch of their new healthy, fresh and delicious options on the market. Say hello to their two vegetarian-friendly meals – Vegetable Masala and 3 Bean Chilli, both served with the ever-so-trendy cauliflower rice.
Both meals contain 3 of your 5 a day, are low in saturated fat, gluten-free and contain no additives or preservatives – definitely a change to the standard ready meal. You may have seen my previous post featuring Goodlife’s healthy and vegetable-packed take on foods like sausages, burgers, grills and even kievs; their focus is very much on making veg the star of the show and these ready meals continue this mission statement.
Although I’m not vegetarian (I do like to lead a mostly plant-based diet) and mainly cook from scratch, I was intrigued to try both dishes, especially the cauliflower rice which is something I’m still trying to work out if I like or not to be honest!
I’d been out in the afternoon and coming home with a baby to feed, housework to do, deliveries to unpack and hungry as I’d walked 5 miles, this was actually an ideal option for dinner. We don’t have a microwave (it can cook in just 8 minutes) so I whacked it in the oven to cook for 18 minutes while I was able to crack on before eating.
It was so nice to dish out a fairly generous portion that looked like something I’d made myself, the aromas of coconut, coriander and ginger wafting through the kitchen. I’m a fan of chunky vegetables so I was pleased to find red pepper and sweet potato adding texture to the sauce along with chickpeas and lentils, making it quite a high protein meal. I’m not the biggest curry fan but I really enjoyed the sweet, warming flavours of the non-oily sauce and the cauli rice was a great (and low carb) accompaniment to mop up the juices. One of the nicer varieties I’ve tried, I prefered the larger chunks of cauliflower as this added more taste and meant it didn’t go soggy (nobody wants that!).
3 BEAN CHILLI
I must say, I didn’t expect a ready meal chilli to be one of the best I’ve ever tasted – and I love my chilli. A rich tomato sauce with punchy tones of coriander, cumin and chipotle with a kick of chilli was perfectly matched with kidney beans, white kidney beans and pinto beans plus the cauliflower rice to soak up all the sauce. Also suitable for vegans, I certainly didn’t miss the meat and it filled me up thanks to being high in protein and fibre. I’d eat this again when I fancy something warming, comforting but healthy when I’m super busy so will be looking out for it again. Winner!
Just as I was in my previous review, I’m really impressed with the latest additions to the Goodlife range. Both meals tasted fresh and natural, just like they were home-cooked. These would be great for busy people who want a nutritious, vegetable-packed and plant-based meal that is ready in less than 20 minutes. I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys bring out next to the health-focused convenience shelves!
Find the ready meals online or in Morrisons.