“ Brand: Asda / Type: Other Ready Meals „
During the recent (and now thankfully finished) exam period, I had real trouble eating and it was basically a case of if I fancied it then I would eat it, purely to get some food inside me. I have tried a few of these Mini Classics meals from Asda before as they are generally delicious, convenient and not too unhealthy. Today I will be reviewing the Moussaka meal. These meals cost £1.38 and are only available from Asda as they are an own branded product.
The meals come in a small, black, oval plastic container topped with a film lid and in a cardboard sleeve identical to the one pictured above. Underneath "Moussaka" it gives you a small description of the meal; Minced lamb in a rich tomato sauce with tender sautéed potatoes and aubergines. Topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg.
The meal itself does not look too appetising when you remove it from the cardboard sleeve; it looks like potatoes and aubergines in an extremely pale sauce with dark powder sprinkled across the top, aka the cinnamon and nutmeg. There are 2 cooking options; around 25 minutes in the oven or 5 minutes in the microwave with a 1 minute cooling interval after 3 minutes. I chose the microwave option this time.
It wasn't long before I could actually smell the Moussaka from my room; I could smell the lamb and I could smell the wonderful mixture of spices that were on the top. I sometimes feel a bit let down when something allegedly is seasoned and then I can't taste anything, but the fact that I could already smell it was a good sign. I took the meal from the microwave and popped the container on a plate. It definitely looked more appetising now than when it went in, although I feel that putting it in the oven would have browned it off a bit more and made it look more like the picture above.
The aubergines were nice and juicy and the cinnamon and nutmeg really did set the dish off perfectly. The creamy béchamel sauce had a slight flavour to it but was not overpowering and it allowed the flavours of the minced lamb to make an impact. The sauce was delicious too, although I would say it was a bit of an exaggeration to call it a "rich tomato sauce".In terms of flavour and texture the meal was perfection and even though it filled me up, it definitely left me wanting more.
Nutritionally, the meal was not quite so sound. Below is the nutritional value for one meal, as displayed in the nutritional info bar on the front of the box:
Calories - 359, 18% of your RDA
Sugar - 4.6g, 5% of your RDA
Fat - 19.1g, 27% of your RDA
Saturated fat - 12.7g, 64% of your RDA (shocking!)
Salt - 1.7g, 28% of your RDA
I can honestly say that the saturated fat content of this meal shocked me; you would not expect such a small meal to contain such a large saturated fat content. I suspect that the majority of this was in the béchamel sauce; the lamb mince probably contributed to it a little bit too. Regardless of the saturated fat content, it was a delicious and nutritious meal; it even contained 1 of your 5 a day! If you eat pretty healthily anyway, the occasional naughty meal is not going to do you any harm and I would wholeheartedly recommend this one now and again. It filled me up on its own but no doubt you could add extra vegetables or side dishes to it if you so wish.