Ready meals tend to be a distant memory for people with allergies or intolerances, especially those that cannot have gluten or dairy. So when I found a free-from lasagne in a local wholefoods store in Southampton I could not wait to try it.
I waited to try it until I was too lazy to cook (it is handy to have a ‘ready meal’ in the freeze for those sort of days). I was a bit skeptical of the grated ‘cheese’ on top on the dish as I mostly find dairy-free cheese to be a let-down with its overwhelming cheese taste… in my view, it is usually trying too hard to be cheese.
So I popped the lasagne in the oven. There was an option to microwave it but the thought of microwaving pasta made me feel funny. It needed to cook for around 40 minutes so I went and watched some TV, a bit of come dine with me always makes sure I am hungry for my dinner.
By the time my programme had ended the lasagne was almost cooked so I prepared some salad to go on the side.
Bing! The (invisible) timer indicated my food was ready. I took it out of the oven, but left it in the paper tray is was cooked in… Before I was not too worry about the size of the lasagne, if anything I felt it looked slightly on the small side. But now, I feared my eyes were bigger than my stomach, this size lasagne would easily feed me for two days, which is good, if you know you are able to store and reheat the leftovers safely.
I sat down to enjoy my meal on my lap, (it was on a plate on my lap, not just my lap, that would have been silly and hot.)
Me being the skeptical ‘cheese’ person I am, I caught some of the melted grated topping on to my fork and tried it. First impression was wow, this is not bad ‘cheese’.
Then I tucked into the rest of the lasagne. It was tomato-y to say the least. I was hoping there to be a few more obvious vegetables in it, seeing as the packaging did say ‘vegetable lasagne’, but all I seemed to get was tomato and lasagne sheets. A bit disappointing to say the least.
I ate most of the meal before I had to stop… my body takes a while to tell me I’m full so usually, by the time I find out, I have eaten too much.
Overall, if I was to rate this ready-meal I would probably give it a six and a half or seven out of 10. Whilst the ‘cheese’ was better than I was expecting, there should have been a bit more grated on top. The potion-size was great, if not a bit too much for my tiny stomach, but there was just too much tomato in the flavour, and not enough variety of vegetables coming through in the flavour.
Would I buy it again? Possibly, I generally cook a lot from scratch myself and I know how complicated it can be to cook lasagne. So, I could probably benefit from having one of these lasagnes in the freeze for those lazy days, but I think I would need to find out if I can keep the left overs some how, I hate wasting food.
What products would you recommend? Is there any you would like me to try out and review? Tell me your favorite free-from ready meals in the comments below.