I’m finished with this, but I’m not too full for pizza – JD, 5
It’s been a busy month in the A Mummy Too household. With my health taking a bit of a nosedive, Miss J catching a virus that saw her temp soar to 104.2, and JD getting a nice egg on his forehead from headbutting a shelf (not intentionally), it’s fair to say we’ve been well occupied.
Nevertheless, food remains a big passion for us, so here’s a round up of some of the best eats and treats we’ve enjoyed this month.
The Ilumi range is pre-packed food with a difference: everything in the range is free from nuts, gluten and milk. Genius. No more reading through ingredients under a microscope while cursing under my breath – hurrah!
From Thai sauces to rices to full meals, there’s a huge range of veggie and meat options to choose from, and they’re all vacuum sealed, so they last a long time without needing to be refrigerated. It’s good value for money, too. A 175g pouch of microwave Yellow Basmati Rice is just £1.00.
I’ve tried a fair few pieces from the range, and although I’ll never find pre-packed meals as nice as their freshly prepared counterparts, I can can say it’s of a good quality for what it is, and definitely worth having in the cupboard if you suffer from allergies or food intolerances.
Chicago Town Deep Dish Hot Dog and Chicken Melt pizzas
Mark and JD had the honour of testing out Chicago Town‘s new Deep Dish Hot Dog and Chicken Melt pizzas this month, and both inform me that they’re generously filled and very flavourful.
If you choose to prepare them from frozen in the microwave, they’re ready in about 4 minutes, or around 10 minutes if done in the oven. Microwaved, the base is soft and bready, baked, the base is biscuity and crisp.
At £2 for a pack of two, this is quick, cheap convenience food with the added bonus of being free from artificial colours, flavours and hydrogenated fat.
The Saucy Fish Co
I am not awfully keen on preparing fish, but the kids love it, so The Saucy Fish Co is something of a revelation.
Each portion comes prepared and vacuum sealed, along with a little sachet of what ever flavours go best with that type of fish. The smoked haddock fillet, for example, comes with mustard and dill vinaigrette, while the salmon fillet comes with sunblush tomato dressing. There are loads of other options too.
At £3-4 for 2 fillets, it takes the guesswork (and yuckiness) out of cooking fish. I’m impressed.
GreenVale Farm Fresh potatoes
I’ve really enjoyed cooking with GreenVale Farm Fresh potatoes this month – they make a beautifully fluffy mash and, if par boiled first, make the some of the most wonderfully crispy roast potatoes I’ve ever had.
Look out for them in the supermarket. Grab a 2kg bag from your local supermarket for around £2.50.
Grey’s Fine Food Boxes
We were delighted this month to receive a gourmet food hamper from Grey’s Fine Food.
Packed with Spanish gourmet food, carefully sourced from around the region, it’s fair to say that most of what was contained in our sample box was off the menu for myself as a vegetarian, but it’s clearly of an excellent quality and was duly relished by the rest of my clan.
At £50, the hamper option probably isn’t something you’d order often, but it would make a great gift or monthly family treat.
Geeta’s Lime and Chilli Chutney
I’ve been hearing good things about Geeta’s range for a while now, so am rather pleased to have a jar of extremely tasty chutney to tuck in to.
It’s an authentic Indian chutney made from Kagzi limes, green chillies and aromatic spices, which means it’s hot and tangy while remaining free from artificial flavourings, colourings and preservatives, as well as being gluten-free and suitable for vegetarians and vegans. If you’ve not tried a chutney like this before, imagine a sweet, spicy pickle and you’re kind of there.
Get it for around £2.09 from Ocado and eat with popadoms, or spread over a burger for a lime-laced chilli kick.
Weetabix On the Go Biscuits
So Weetabix are the latest to jump on the ‘biscuits for breakfast’ bandwagon, and they’ve done a pretty good job.
They smell, oddly, a little of homemade playdough to me (yes, really) but they taste just fine. They’re not diet biscuits (219 calories, 8g of fat), because they’re essentially an attempt to put a whole breakfast into a dry slab of biscuit, but they do seem to release energy at a reasonable rate. Personally, I can’t eat them without a cuppa, but they’re handy to have in the cupboard for the days when there just isn’t time for breakfast.
Grab them for £1-£2.29 for 5x50g packs.
Crosse & Blackwell 4Kids Fruit Pots
4Kids Fruit Pots has teamed up with Disney’s Toy Story films to launch a range of fruit in jelly in a wide variety of flavours.
They contain lots of fruit and are one of your five-a-day, made with real fruit juice and with no artificial colours or preservatives. At 65p each, they’re affordable and seem ideal to keep in the cupboard to pop in lunchboxes or to eat as a snack on the go.
Some weeks, I hardly need to snack at all and then suddenly, out of nowhere, hunger leaps at me and I have to snack on everything in sight. Sadly, on those unexpected occasions there’s nearly always nothing in my desk drawer or kitchen cupboards and I end up snacking on cornflakes or chocolate. Oops.
Nutribox deliver a letter-box friendly box of healthy snack boxes to your work or home every month. My sample contained Nakd bars, raw chocolate mulberries, trail mix and other such goodies.
Starting from £10.95 / month, they’re reasonably affordable, always gluten-free and there’s even a vegan option – pretty cool, I’d say.
Before those Truvia ads with the Disney-esque song and the girl with the strawberry graced our TV screens, I’d never heard of Stevia. As it turns out, it’s a plant with a leaf that is capable of producing a sweetness that is calorie free. Nifty.
Truvia is a rather more processed form of Stevia than the green powdered stuff you can get from health food shops, and it has a really quite odd taste if eaten on its own, but stirred into hot drinks or sprinkled into pastry, it does lend a sweetness that is not unlike sugar, but without the risk to diabetics (or my waistline).
If you want to give it a go, a 270g pot is £4.99 from the supermarket, which sounds expensive but is less so when you consider that you only need about quarter the equivalent weight in sugar to achieve the same sweetness.
The Happy Orca
I love this cute range of tableware and stationery from The Happy Orca.
The Happy Orca sells a range of items (including mugs, side plates, posters, notepad and pencil set and kids t-shirts) and each item focuses on various animal welfare issues. What’s more 10% of all profits are donated to a selection of animal charities.
I think the messaging on this range really works and is a great way to bring early discussions of animal welfare to the family table in a friendly, approachable way.
Made By Ellis
While creating recipes with the kids, I’ve been scribbling notes in my gorgeous personalised notebook from madebyellis.com. (Mine says “Emily’s Kitchen Notes”, obviously)
The high-quality, highly strokable notebooks come in two sizes (A5 and A6), with two lines to personalise and 12 exclusive illustrations to choose from (the full range includes 51 illustrations). And at under £10 with free p&p, they make for a really affordable, beautiful and original gift.
That’s it for now. What cool things have graced your kitchen this month?
Disclosure: all of the items featured in this post were sent for review. No payment was received. All posts are 100% honest.