“ Brand: Innocent / Type: Other Ready Meals „
At GBP3.75, these don't come cheap; i bought this having completed a tough (cold!) workout, where i was then craving something warm for a meal. The product description of large cous-cous, and the array from vegetables caught my eye; also for the fact that it is surprisingly low-calorie (~300 calories), providing a decent dose of protein too. PACKAGING: Simple instructions, all printed on a "fun" packaging which appeals to the young-at-heart, and clearly to the environmental conscious when it tells you how to recycle the microwaveable pots. My only complaint is that these get kinda soft after microwaving; so i would be careful about leaving them in the microwave past the advised 3.5minutes. TASTE: The couscous had a pleasant bite to it;which was impressive - far better than the usual couscous salads you would get from supermarkets. Vegetables tasted fresh - crunchy & juicy (although root vegetables were slightly soggy). Oddly enough; i didn't find this very "Moroccan" - no doubt the idea of a tagine fits the bill; but there was a lack of flavoursome "oomph", possibly due to a lack of spices. SATIETY: Not very filling; suppose that can be expected given it's only 300 calories. This means a full meal would likely go above the 3.75 you spent.
I came across the innocent range of veg pots at the end of the aisle in my local tesco. They were half price at £1.74. I'm not sure I would have even put them in the trolly at full price. I intially picked up a couple of the morrocan tagine as I didnt fancy the thai curry (the only two choices left, a popular choice obviously!). As a vegetarian I have found it hard to find tasty, quick, easy meals to take to work with me. In the past I have usually resorted to macoroni cheese type dishes, not great for the waistline! Being on maternity leave at the moment finding something to take to work is certainly not as important as finding something delicious and quick that can be prepared with one hand in between feeding/changing/playing with an ever demnding baby. And the morrocan tagine veg pot is certainly that. Remove the cardboard casing, place the lid lightly on top, in the microwave for 2 minutes, stir, in for another two and voila, one great healthy meal in less than 5 minutes. Can also be emptied into a saucepan and warmed through on the hob. Taste wise, absolutely lovely. I've had a few tagines in my time (a popular vegi choice in restaurants) and this little gem rivals any of them. Full of spice and flavour, the veg tastes fresh and the sauce is nice and thick. Personally the veg pot is enough for me for a meal, but I dont eat alot. My partner on the other hand has a larger appetitie and is allergic to eating anything without meat in and so if we have them together I usually grill some chicken or king prawns to add to his. Great little meal and so easy and quick. Downsides being that unless on offer a bit too expensive for what it is and where I live the pots themselves cannot be recycled which is a shame.
How much... I went to Tesco today and was over the moon to see the Veg Pots half price! So i got 4 lovely Veg pots at £1.74 each. They usually retail at about £3.50 in Tesco, and about £3.90 in Waitrose. Where to buy... This totally varies. They have them in my local Tesco and Waitrose. However, they don't seem to sell them in all of their stores. The Veg... This delicious pot contains Butternut Squash, giant cous cous and Corriander. There are no colours or flavours. The veg is mixed with a tomato sauce. It is a little spicy. They are low in fat and high in fibre. This one also tastes delicious. Also three of the goverment's '5 a day' They need to be kept fresh in the fridge, and because of the lack of additives, have a relatively short shelf life - about 5 days. This pot is about 300 calories - they're healthy, tasty and low in calories - what more could you ask for? The Name... Innocent is generally known for its smoothies. I discovered Veg Pots about 9 months ago, and fell in love with them. They are expensive, but you are paying for quality food, ethically resourced and very lovingly put tpogether. I grow my own fruit and veg, and i can taste the difference - this is naturally sourced. The packaging is minimal, it is sustainably sourced and recycling is actively encouraged on the pack. There are also little quirks on the packaging - like a little note saying "no vegetables were harmed in the making of this product (apart from a little light chopping!)" Cooking... Loosen the lid, stick in the microwave for 4 minutes, stir and eat - the instuructions on the packet are a little more detailed, but that's the basics. You can also cook it in a saucepan. My opinion... These are the best lunches i have. I pop it in my bag, pop it in the microwave, give it a stir and pop it in my mouth - filling and yummy. This one is one of my favourites. There are curries, summer specials, stoganoff and all sorts of tasty options. I usually take them for lunch, but will occassionaly have them as a side dish with dinner. Expensive but worth it. No meat versions, which is a disappointment, but understandable and actually OK. They don't always look great - this one isn't too bad, but i had a mushroom one that tasted gorgeous, but looked a bit bad! Try one.
I'm one of those people who likes to cook from scratch rather than eat ready meals as then at least I know what the ingredients are. I had seen the innocent veg pots in the fridge before but the high price of £3.50 for a small pot put me off. These pots are on special offer right now so I decided to take advantage of this and bought myself a Moroccan squash tagine which describes itself a Moroccan giant cous cous with roasted butternut squash and fresh coriander. The innocent veg pot provides you with three of your five a day and if you read the list of ingredients you find things like beans, fresh herbs and vegetables and not an E number in sight which is reassuring. The pot contains just 308 calories which is nice and low for a ready meal and is low in fat and high in fibre so you can eat this without feeling guilty. The tagine looks really strange before you cook it, it has a thick layer of fresh coriander on the top and underneath you can see a chunky orange stew. After microwaving the meal and stirring it through it was a far more uniform colour and I was met with a warm and spicy smell as I spooned it onto my plate. The first thing that struck me when I poured my dinner out was how small the portion was, Innocent suggest serving these pots as lunch instead of dinner and even with garlic bread on the side I was hungry again a couple of hours later. The meal itself was delicious, the mix of grains was provided from giant cous cous, cannellini beans and chick peas which provided a nice range of textures. The butternut squash was cut into small chunks and was nice and sweet and I could also detect the carrots and onion. The sauce was nice and thick, the delicate blend of spices was just right providing a nice mix of sweetness and spiciness although I personally would have liked a little bit more spice. Although I really enjoyed my meal because of the tiny portion size and high cost I doubt it is a meal I will be buying very often, if they knocked it down to £2.50 instead of £3.50 I would probably buy it more often. I like the idea of a ready meal which is tasty and healthy but it is just too expensive for me to buy them regularly.
An easy way to your three a day! Innocent have been making smoothies since the late 1990's. It was founded by three Cambridge graduates. They now have a 71% share of the UK smoothie market and sells two million smoothies per week!! Apparently in each of the last four years Innocent has more than doubled its revenue!! I love their smoothies and the whole philosophy surrounding their company so when I saw their new Veg pots I was very interested to try them. Veg Pots are just like they sound, lots of tasty vegetables all mixed together in a big plastic pot that you just heat up to eat, perfect for lunch or dinner. They came up with the veg pots idea as they say that they have been making their smoothies for nine years that it was about time to try something new. On the bottom of their pot label they say, "seeing as fruit has worked pretty well, we thought we'd stick with Nature and try making something good out of veg." One of my favourites has to be the moroccan squash tagine with giant couscous and fresh coriander. Innocent call this one a hearty warming stew with a generous handful of really big couscous. Firstly it has such a lovely mix of vegetables and a really great look to it, really thick and chunky with lots of colour. Innocent guarantee that there will be 3 portions of vegetables in every pot so it's a great way to stay healthy and get all your vegetables in one easy step. The couscous is definitely nice and big and chewy, There are also great big chunks of squash that have a lovely flavour. There is a red sauce that covers all of the vegetables which has a bit of a spice taste to it with a bit of a zing. There are also big chick peas in it too which give it some texture. These pots are really easy to prepare. You basically pour the contents into a saucepan and heat on the hob for 6-8 minutes and voila. Alternatively you can heat them in the microwave too in the pot so no need for extra washing up which is always a bonus. What I love about these pots is that they definitely fill you up. I think when you first look at them you think that maybe they won't completely fill you up but because they are so hearty and have so many ingredients they really do fill you up! Innocent attest to this too, they say that initially they toyed with the idea of soups but they said soups didn't fill them up so they went for these pots instead, a great idea. The other thing I love about them too is that they are really healthy too. A pot of the moroccan squash version only has 296 calories, perfect for a hearty, tasty meal! They are a bit expensive at approximately £3.85 for a pot but then they are enough for a meal so not too bad.