“ Manufacturer: Quorn / Type: Rice „
I am currently trying to lose some weight and am following the Slimming World eating plan which advocates the use of Quorn instead of meat in order to reduce the amount of fat in the diet,
I have used both Quorn pieces and Quorn mince but today I decided to try a Quorn ready meal for a change. I chose the Quorn Tikka Masala and Rice which cost £2.50 for a pack containing 400g which is a single adult meal.
As this item formed part of an online order from Tesco's I hadn't had the chance to look at the packet before purchasing. I realise that I could have checked the ingredients online but sadly I didn't.
The meal comes in a black plastic tray divided into two compartments one containing the rice and the other containing the Tikka Masala. This is then covered in clear plastic and the whole thing slides inside a cardboard sleeve.
The outer sleeve has a tempting picture of the meal together with the ingredients and cooking instructions. The other information on the sleeve is the now familiar boxes showing the amounts of fat, salt etc. both in grams and also expressed as a percentage of an adult's daily intake. I will come back to this later.
Whilst I was unpacking the rest of my order I decided to pop this meal in the microwave for a quick and hopefully tasty lunch. This meal can either be cooked in the microwave or in a conventional oven for 25 minutes.
To microwave I just had to slip the tray out of the cardboard sleeve, pierce the plastic film a couple of times and pop in into the microwave for two and a half minutes. I then had to remove it from the microwave, carefully peel back the film, stir each section and return to the microwave for a further two and a half minutes. It should then be left to stand for one minute and is then ready to eat.
I followed the instructions and then removed the film from the tray. The rice looked nice and fluffy and was the distinctive yellow colour of pilau rice. The Tikka Masala was made up of an orange sauce with pieces of Quorn although nowhere near as many as the picture on the front of the packet, but I suppose that it only to be expected.
I served the rice and then poured the Tikka Masala on top of it. It smelt very appetising and tasted nice although the rice seemed to taste wet if that makes sense. It was spicy without being too strong which suited me as I don't like food to be too spicy. I found the meal to be large enough to satisfy my hunger.
I will now return to the nutritional information which I only read after eating the meal. Each pack contains 412 calories and 14g of protein which isn't too bad, but then it gets a bit less healthy.
The meal contains 14g of fat - 7.2g of which is saturated. This represents 20% of an adult daily intake of fat and 36% of the recommended intake of saturated fat. I suppose this isn't too bad if this is your main meal of the day but it still sounds a little bit high to me.
There is also 8.8g of sugar which is 10% of the recommended intake and 3.2g of salt which is a whopping 53% of the daily intake! The meal that I had purchased as a healthy ready meal maybe wasn't as healthy as it might have been then!
In conclusion I would say that whilst the meal was palatable enough and served to fill me up it wasn't as good for my diet as I had hoped and, for this reason, I won't be buying it again.
I will give it three stars for the taste and filling qualities!
The Quorn Tikka Masala comes in a sleeve box, in which there is a smaller container that contains the meal which has Clingfilm covering the contents. The sleeve box has a picture of the meal in the centre of the box and on the left hand side of the box is an orange vertical stripe that has white text which contrasts well with the bright orange background.
The white text says "Quorn, Tikka Masala and Rice", below the white text is yellow text which says "Succulent Quorn Chicken Style Pieces in an aromatic Tikka Masala Sauce, Served with Pilau Rice". At the very top of the orange stripe is a small yellow portion with the words "NEW" printed in a darker, almost pinkish, orange.
The sleeve box features the nutritional information at the bottom right of the box and in the far right of the bottom of the box is the use by date.
The backside of the box features a clear and well-presented ingredients list on the right hand side of the box, as well as clearly presented cooking instructions on the left hand side of the box. In fact I am highly impressed with the presentation and legibility of the nutritional, cooking and ingredients information which is a hell of a lot easier to read than other packaging I have come across.
For the microwave the box tells us to remove the sleeve, pierce the film lid in several places and then cook for 2 minutes 30 seconds for an 800W microwave. Then the user should take the product out of the microwave, stir the masala and put back in the microwave for a further 2 and a half minutes before finally allowing the product to stand for a further minute, after which the product can be consumed.
If the user decides to go down the oven road then that is catered for too, the instructions tell the user to pre-heat the oven and backing tray to 190oC. Once again the film lid should be pierced in several places prior to cooking. The Tikka Masala should then be put on a backing tray, popped into the oven on the middle shelf and cooked for 25 minutes. For fan assisted ovens the cooking time should be reduced by 2 minutes.
Taste, appearance, Texture
The curry is a medium orange colour and has a pleasant, slightly sweet smell which however is not particularly easy to describe or discern from the scent of many other cooked meals. When you bite into the first Quorn piece the first thing that hits you is the spices which are strong and slightly sweet tasting. The spices are more Mediterranean in taste than Mexican which is a good thing from my perspective as I far prefer the sweet, clean, sassy tasting Mediterranean spices to the dirty, slightly smoky taste of Mexican spices. The curry is quite sweet and I can taste the ginger in the meal most prominently as well as the Cumin and Onion which are nice notes in the taste.
Overall it's a sweet, gingery tasting meal that is also rather spicy. In fact from a spice perspective I would say it's very hot indeed, which I like, however it would not want to be any hotter than it is as then all the flavours would be lost and it would become discomforting rather than pleasurable and invigorating to eat.
The texture of the rice is pretty typical of any generic rice and it isn't too hard which is also nice. The Quorn pieces have a very soft texture which is very easy to eat and goes well with the sauce; it also makes the Quorn pieces blend well into the overall Quorn Tikka Masala product.
~~~Health, Nutritional Information~~~
Each "New Quorn Tikka Masala and Rice" contains 15.2g of protein per pack, 53.6g of carbs and 14g of fat, of which 7.2g are saturated fats. The protein content of a single meal is very good and helpful for dieters as it will keep them full for longer. The carbohydrate content is reasonable for a 400g meal however the fat content is quite high; especially the saturated fats content which is half of the 14 g of total fat. This is a rather large amount which could really do with being less. Overall it's not a particularly unhealthy meal, nor, however is it a particularly healthy meal.
I paid £2.50 for it at my local Tesco though it is available from Asda online for £2.25 for a 400g product that represents the bulk of your main meal this is good value as you could feed yourself, at dinner time, on little more than £20 pounds a week after accompaniments are taken into consideration.
~~~Would I recommend?~~~
Yes, I absolutely would; indeed these little soft spicy snacks are not only great tasting for those who do not eat meat - which includes pescetarians, vegetarians and vegans - but also for those carnivores who love spicy, sweet gingery food. Not only does this snack taste great but for those of us who don't eat meat its high protein content helps to replace what they are missing from not eating meat.
However its high saturated fat content means it has to be eaten as part of a balanced, varied diet. The high protein content is even useful for meat eaters, who just want to bulk up, yet don't fancy eating a steak every day, which would be more fattening than this product. It's five Dooyoo Stars from me.
This review appears on Ciao under my "newprideexperiadj2" user name.