Ready Meals get a bad rap.
Sometimes deserved, sometimes not.
It all depends on what is in them, where they are sourced from, and if you trust the source.
Eating them everyday or relying on them for every meal, is not a good idea if you want to be strong and healthy, or connected with your food.
Connectedness with food comes from cooking.
But then, there are days like today -
When I am just to bushwhacked to do anything in the kitchen, in fact, not eating is as good a choice a eating, for me when I feel like this. As I just don't have the energy to stand up, let alone chop, cook etc.
But I also know when I feel this drained, eating, something good and nourishing is exactly what I need.
As it is food that will feed my body, and and restore my cells. Denying my body because I haven't the energy to cook is unhealthy.
So at times like this, I look to ready meals. A purtian part of my psyche barates my choice, stirs guilt, and shame in my food choice, in my inability to cook.
I shake it away because I know that my choice today, will enable my choice tomorrow to cook.
But what to choose and where to chose a ready meal from?
My answer lies in one of my favourite shops - Marks and Spencer Food Department, because here I know I can chose a dish, that is not only healthy, but that will taste good, and provide me with the nourishment I need. With Marks and Spencer, I feel confident I can rely on how their food is sourced, the research and development that goes into the dishes, and the fact that their food is not filled with needless chemicals.
Tonight I chose a dish from their new Asian Range. The Peanut Chicken, which was served with mangetout, carrot, pak choi, rice noodles, chilli, lime, ginger, garlic and other crunchy veg.
It was good. Very good.
The chicken was moist, and it held the layered flavours of the aromatic herbs and spices. They in turn brought a zingy freshness that tingled on the palate, with some heat that wasn't overpowering but showed a balance of chilli and ginger. The peanuts brought a dry creaminess but didn't overwhelm the other flavours.
This layering of flavour is difficult to achieve and I feel Marks and Spencer have done it well. There was a lightness to this dish, that made my tummy happy. A combination of flavours, that weren't too salty, filled with preservatives, or MSG, the bandit of many a Chinese takeaway - but instead were light, and easy to eat.
To me this dish, that needed little more than three minutes in my wok, was a far better option, than telephoning a takeaway, and it comes in at around 600 calories, compared to a takeaways average of 2000 calories per person. This is a dish I know I will buy again, and again, when I have days like today.
That's it for now ...
Salt and Sparkle = Life Remarkable