Recently, life has been pretty chaotic and for the first time in years, I ate food from Burger King for convenience (because it was the only hot food available in an NHS hospital, ironically) and was horrified/surprised at how much I enjoyed it (flame-grilled whopper, no mayo, FYI). So much so, that I had two in the space of a week. And now I'm craving another. But to be honest, as illustrated by the fact I hadn't had a BK for a couple of years, not to mention any other takeaway-style dish, I'm not a fan of fast food. So when ilumi contacted me to try some of their 'ready meals' I was dubious.
In fact, dubious is an understatement. I was pretty uninterested, and dead against the idea at first, given my strong hatred of ready meals. I love homemade meals and I like to eat clean, natural, healthy foods. So when I learned that ilumi foods are all completely junk-free (as well as gluten-, nut-and milk-free), all that I thought I knew about pre-prepared meals was wrong, I really couldn't get my head around it. Honestly, I struggled to process the fact that ilumi went against everything I thought to be true of ready meals, and that it actually seemed a great idea to put them to the test!
First of all, I loved the packaging. All of the information, including the no-nonsense ingredients list, is super clear, and the sachets are easy to store (no need for a fridge), heat (just tear off the top and pop in a microwave), and plate the food from (they're easy to hold when hot). Top marks for convenience.
I tried a few different dishes including Za'atar Chicken* and Tender Pork with Cider and Wholegrain Mustard*. There was a really good variety of meals to choose from and all of those that I tried were cooked really well (the rice was perfect and the meat was so tender!). However, I did find some of the meals a little over-flavoured for my liking.
Overall, while I would always advocate eating fresh food and enjoying the experience of shopping for, prepping, and cooking food to nourish your body, if you often find yourself in need of a quick bite, I urge you to check out ilumi's brilliant selection rather than heading to your local takeout!
I'd love to hear your opinions on ready meals, so leave me a comment below or tweet me at @_nataliejohanna.