“ Brand: Marks & Spencer / Type: Chicken „
* Prices may differ from that shown
I am not normally the sort of person who does her food shopping in Marks and Spencer's mainly because I just can't afford it! I decided to take a look round because I had received a gift voucher for my birthday which still had a bit of cash left on it.
As you must know by now Dave and I are following the Slimming World diet plan and finding it really good so I looked in the book giving the lists of branded 'free' and low 'syn' foods and found that M & S Count On Us Chicken Tikka Masala was on the list. It counts as 4 syns on the days when we are eating mainly meat although it counts as 14.5 syns on the days when we are eating mainly vegetables! Ooer!
Another reason for looking for ready meals that we could have on our diet was that sometimes, when it comes to the evening, neither of us really feel like preparing a meal so ready meals are ideal.
We found that the Count On Us meals were 3 for the price of 2 so we bought 2 of the Chicken Tikka Masala and a Vegetable Curry. The Chicken Tikka Masala cost £2.99 as an individual meal.
The Tikka comes in a black plastic tray sealed with a clear plastic top and all encased in a cardboard sleeve so you can see the meal inside before you buy by just sliding back the cardboard sleeve. It certainly looked nice although there wasn't that much of it.
The meal should be kept chilled until you are read to cook it or it can be frozen if you so wish.
The cardboard sleeve has a picture of the meal made up and served in a bowl on the front and it does look very appetising! It is described as 'Chicken Tikka Masala with fluffy basmati rice succulent pieces of marinated chicken in a rich Masala sauce (what a delicious way to diet!)'.
Along the bottom of the sleeve is the nutritional information which includes the fact that the meal contains less than 3% fat and is 'mild' in taste. We are also told that it contains no artificial additives, preservatives or colouring.
The plastic tray is split into two sections one containing the Tikka Masala and the other containing the rice.
The meal can be either cooked in the microwave or in a conventional oven but we are told on the sleeve that the best results will be obtained by using the microwave.
To do this you just have to remove the cardboard sleeve, pierce the film covering and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Once the meal is cooked it must be thoroughly stirred and checked to make sure that it is completely cooked.
If you do want to cook it in a conventional oven you must remove the cardboard sleeve, pierce the film lid and place on a baking tray in a pre heated oven for 25 minutes. The temperature should be 180 degrees C, 160 degrees C if it is a fan oven, 350 degrees F or Gas Mark 4. Incidentally that is the first time that I have seen a separate temperature for a fan assisted oven listed. It usually just tells you to adjust the temperature if you are using a fan assisted oven.
Anyway once the meal is completely cooked it is time to serve and this is pretty obvious but you peel of the film lid and empty the rice onto a plate or bowl and put the Masala on top.
So let's get onto the important bit - the taste!
The meal was very nice - the rice was fluffy as described on the pack front and the Tikka Masala was tasty with plenty of chicken and it had just enough 'bite' to make it a good Indian style meal. There was enough to make it a satisfying meal for me but maybe for a man's meal it would need to be a bit larger.
The price is a bit high but maybe when it is on special offer I may go a buy a few of them to keep as a backup for when we haven't got the time or the energy to cook.
The nutrition value of a complete meal at 400g is;
Of which sugars 7.2g
Of which saturates 1.2g
In conclusion it isn't a meal I would have regularly as we are trying to eat fresh food and meals made from scratch as much as possible but as a stand by it's great!