Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Deliciously Ella Yellow Thai Curry Review

As someone who’s always advocated the benefit of eating loads of vegetables as a way of losing weight or maintaining weight, it's been fantastic how many new and exciting vegetable dishes are out there.

This vegetable interest is partly down to the growing popularity in plant-based meals and possibly the many thousands of beautifully photographed veggie dishes on Instagram.

One of the well known vegan recipe creators is Ella Mills, a.k.a. Deliciously Ella. I have most of her recipe books and love the variety of recipes. But, even though it’s great if you have time to cook from scratch, for many of us, that’s not possible every day.

For busy days it’s helpful to have the odd ready meal on standby in the freezer. And its good to know they’re not all unhealthy. So I was really excited to see that Deliciously Ella had brought out a range of frozen ready meals. I couldn’t wait to try them out.

The first one I tried is the Yellow Thai curry.

The pack size is 400g and serves two people. As Ella is a vegan, this meal is of course meat free and dairy free (although there is a note on the back of the sleeve stating it was produced in a kitchen that handles nuts and milk).

The yellow curry is made with peppers, butternut squash and mushrooms, with spinach, lemongrass and cooked in coconut milk.

Deliciously Ella Yellow Thai Curry frozen ready meal
Deliciously Ella Yellow Thai Curry Frozen
The pack is environmentally friendly with a recyclable cardboard outer sleeve and cardboard tray.

The cooking instructions say to put it in the oven for 45 minutes, so this isn't one to cook if you're in a hurry.

When I first took it out of the freezer I hadn’t realised it took 45 minutes to cook. Everyone was hungry so I sped up the process a bit and half defrosted it in the microwave and finished it off in the oven for 20 minutes.
Deliciously Ella Yellow Thai Curry frozen ready meal cooked
After cooking
As I do with any ready meal I eat, I always prepare extra vegetables. So while it was cooking I popped some extra green beans, cauliflower, chopped carrots and broccoli in to steam so they’d be ready at the same time as the curry.

It is suggested on the pack to serve with coconut rice but I did a sweet potato instead.

It needs to be stirred half way through by which time the fragrant smell has started reaching other rooms in the house.

Taking it out of the oven, I could see a layer of dark yellow oil which wasn’t too pleasing. I scooped that off. But the smell was amazing.

Deliciously Ella Yellow Thai Curry frozen ready meal cooked
After cooking
In its cooked state, once I started dishing it doesn't seem like a huge amount. There was a lot of sauce and not as many veggies as I would have liked, considering that they were the main part of the dish. I I would be more inclined to call this dish a sauce rather than a curry.

Serving it up for 3 people there weren’t enough of each piece of vegetable for everyone to get the same amount. I’m glad I did extra veggies as there wasn’t really enough to count as a filling meal.

But what made it for meal was the taste. Absolutely gorgeous. Creamy coconut with easily recognisable flavours of lemon grass and lime leaves coming through. The spiciness was perfect, not strong at all. My youngest daughter, who is a fussy eater and junk food addict, loved the flavour and ate the lot.

I’ve since purchased this one again and the second time it didn’t have as much oil floating on top. But you definitely need to have extra veg or rice for a more substantial meal.

Per portion (half the pack) it has only 4.2g of protein so if you are a vegan you could add some chickpeas or cashew nuts or flaked almonds or maybe tofu for extra protein or some cooked chicken if you’re not vegetarian.

Half the pack has 232 calories so just adding extra vegetables makes it a lower calorie option for weight loss.

Available at Ocado online and Whole Foods.

Nutrition per 100g: 116 Calories, 9.5g fat, 7.8g saturated fat, 4.7g carbs, 3.1g sugars, 1.9g fibre, 2.1g protein, 0.46g salt.

Ingredients: Coconut Milk (36%) (Coconut Water), Red Pepper (15%), Onion, Yellow Pepper (9%), Butternut Squash (9%), Water, Mushrooms (5%), Coconut Oil, Spinach (2%), Ginger, Tamari Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Salt, Spirit Vinegar), Lemongrass, Garlic, Rapeseed Oil, Red Chilli, Salt, Lime Leaves, Cumin, Turmeric, Coriander.

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