Product Type: Innocent Ready Meals
Newest Review: ... although the word 'organic' isn't mentioned anywhere, which surprised me as I had associated it with Innocent products but it seems I was w... more
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Innocent Tuscan Bean Stew
Member Name: noodlesandwich
Innocent Tuscan Bean Stew
Advantages: all natural ingredients, tasty, filling
'Innocent', the well known smoothie makers, have branched out into doing stuff with vegetables and recently launched these veg pots - not soup - apparently they have 'more edge' and 'more bite', or perhaps that's just marketing and they are basically pots of soup with extra chunky veg in. That's what I would say. In fact something in the taste of their tuscan bean stew reminds me of a tin of Heinz vegetable soup.
It comes in a 400 gram round plastic pot with a strip of cardboard around the outside. When you open it it is well presented, with a bunch of kale arranged prettily on the top, although I don't find that sort of thing important, especially when all you're going to do is bundle the lot into a pan and stir it up. (You can also microwave it.)
The vegetables are chunky and tasty and there are plenty of them, although I did find the odd bit of chewy Kale stalk in there, which wasn't to my taste. It's quite filling and I think it suits being eaten with a nice chunk of bread. They couldn't really have packed many more vegetables in there. I liked the texture of this, thick and with farro which is very much like barley and made me think of old homecooked broths from the seventies. It's good, but it's not amazingly good. I do love my beans and I've recently perfected a home made three bean pasta which I wondered how this would compare with - I have to say I much prefer mine although obviously I do make that to my own taste and throw a few spices in.
The ingredients list looks fab, there are no artificial ingredients, although the word 'organic' isn't mentioned anywhere, which surprised me as I had associated it with Innocent products but it seems I was wrong. Shows how good they are at marketing.
Ingredients: tomato,water, onion, carrot, kidney beans, borlotti beans, cannellini beans, farro, potato, red pepper, kale, vegetable oil, butternut squash, crème fraiche, leek, parsley, tomato puree, garlic, honey, corn flour, basil, sea salt, rosemary, oregano, black pepper.
The packaging has been filled with lots of info including suggestions from 101 things to do with the empty plastic tub - fill it with lentils for instant maracas or use two empty pots and some string to make a telephone, were the examples on mine. Am not sure whether this is humorous or patronising. The blurb also says that one of these pots contains three portions of veg of your five a day, so you can feel quite virtuous while you tuck in.
The usual price for this is a whopping £3.49 which I think is a bit of a cheek. I bought mine for 20p at Sunday afternoon closing time in Sainsburys. They are available from Sainsburys, Waitrose and Tesco.
I do like the Innocent brand and I thought this might be something special, but it's certainly not for the likes of me, especially given my income! This is a meal for the affluent and hurried. I may be the latter but unfortunately am not the former. I looked on the Innocent website where you can post reviews and found this one for one of the veg pots - "it genuinely has changed my life! I work 11 hour days plus my journey to work-the life of a londoner! I love to cook but it's impossible to fit that and my job and the gym into my life-not anymore!!" Exactly the kind of person I would have thought. Certainly not for anyone on a sensible budget, unless it's on the reduced shelf.
Summary: great - if you're well off and in a hurry
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