To celebrate National Vegetarian Week this week, Amy's Kitchen sent us through a selection of their lovely veggie-friendly ready meals. I was vegetarian for a while in my teens and there definitely wasn't this much choice available when it came to ready meals so I was really keen to see what we'd think, even if we're now meat-eaters. I still like to serve meat-free meals at least a couple of times a week because it's usually cheaper and is also a great way of packing in your five-a-day. We had lots to choose from in the selection from Amy's Kitchen : Chinese Noodles & Veggies in a Cashew Cream Sauce; Thai Red Curry & Jasmine Rice with Vegetables; Rice Mac & Cheese; Vegetable Lasagne; Broccoli & Cheddar Bake; Mexican Burrito (Cheddar, Rice, Beans in a Gluten Free Tortilla); and Breakfast Sandwich.
Ooh where to begin? I decided to opt for a dish I'm familiar with, the Rice Mac & Cheese. This can be cooked in the oven straight from the freezer so you can't get easier than that. It didn't look that great in the dish to be honest.
But once it's spooned out and served, it looks much better ! It's made using gluten-free rice pasta in a cheese sauce made with gluten-free rice four, butter, milk and mature Cheddar. I found it a bit bland but perfectly acceptable once I'd sprinkled some garlic salt, black pepper and smoked paprika over the top.
Next we tried the Broccoli & Cheddar Bake, which can again be cooked from frozen in the oven or microwave.
I think I've finetuned my tastebuds with all my globecooking because I found this one slightly bland too, but I sprinkled some chilli flakes and garlic pepper on top which perked it up nicely. I love the fact that the broccoli retains some crunch and the flavour is lovely. The serving size would be ideal on its own as a ready meal for one or can be shared between two people as a side serving.
The final dish that we have tried so far is the Vegetable Lasagne. My immediate thought on taking it out of the pack was that it could have done with a bit (or a lot !) more cheese. Once again, you couldn't make it easier - you can cook from frozen for 5 minutes in the microwave or an hour in a conventional oven.
I used the conventional oven which probably explains why it came out a bit dry on top but it was really tasty. It's a mixture of spinach, courgettes, carrots and tomato sauce layered between rice pasta with mozzarella and Italian-style hard cheese, cottage cheese and ricotta. It's well seasoned and you can really taste the basil coming through, which gives it a slight topnote of pesto. Very nice indeed - this has been my favourite so far. That might change when I've tried some of the spicier options though !
Whether you're vegetarian or just want to have a few meatless meals every now and then, Amy's Kitchen offer some very tasty and really convenient options that are perfect for keeping in the freezer to cook up at a moment's notice. I would like to see some larger family-sized meals too though.
Disclosure : We received the products in order to write an honest review.