26 January 2011

Ready, steady, go!

Those of you who follow me on twitter might remember that I got rather excited a couple of weeks ago when a cool bag of food arrived from Little Dish for M to try out.

I'm really not one for ready meals, it has to be said. I prefer making my family's food from scratch, day in, day out - that way I know *exactly* what's going in to them. We make our own bread, cakes, biscuits, yoghurt - yeah, I know, muesli-knitting stereotype here we come...

But there are occasions when you just don't have access to your own kitchen - when you're camping, for instance - so I thought it would be interesting to try a ready meal on M, especially as she's never really eaten them. So we tested the Little Dish Beef and Spinach cannelloni (£2.29).

Firstly, the pros: she ate the lot (we had to fight her for a couple of mouthfuls to taste) and said that it tasted pretty good (we also liked the fact that it didn't shy away from using spices like cinnamon). There's no added salt or sugar - and the ingredients are pretty much what you'd use at home. It was quick-ish to heat up (if you use the microwave, much longer in the oven), and more than enough for a 5-6 year-old, with a little bit of salad on the side.

The cons: the plastic film on the packet is very awkward to tear off - I can imagine it being supremely annoying if you don't have scissors or a very sharp knife handy. But I think the main con for us is that we all eat together - so I'd be unlikely to buy a single, child-sized portion of anything (especially at £2.29). Maybe Little Dish should branch out into family-sized meals?

The verdict: as an emergency food to stash in the freezer, or to take away on a camping trip, pretty good. But I don't think I've been converted to ready meals on a regular basis...

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