At some point or another, we’ve all had a frozen meal, whether you’ve been in a rush and needed something quick or simply can’t be bothered.
To me, frozen meals always leave you wanting something more, they’re lacking in taste, often quite small and either really salty or too sweet. But if you’re in a really desperate situation you can always rely on a frozen meal to fill a hole.
Supermarkets now are trying their hardest to make frozen meals that are healthier, from Iceland’s Slimming World range to Aldi’s Slimwell and the calorie counted meals in Asda. But by making these meals healthy are they actually any good?
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We decided to put it to the test and try a meal from each of these ranges to see if they were tasty and filling and one left a lot to be desired. As I was out shopping in Carlisle at the weekend it gave me the perfect opportunity to pop into the different stores to get the meals I needed.
First I nipped into Aldi, as I scanned the Slimwell range nothing really jumped out at me as if to say ‘I proper fancy this’. After standing there for a few minutes I decided on the chicken chow mein for £ 1.99.
Have you tried any of these? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Next, I popped into Iceland and after trekking up and down every aisle looking for the Slimming World section I finally found it. Here, my problem was I couldn’t decide what to have, all of it sounded quite appealing – but decided to go with the salt and pepper chicken chow mein for £ 4 because I thought this would give me a good comparison.
When I was in Asda, I tried to get something similar but there wasn’t so after debating between lasagne, another pasta dish and piri piri chicken, I decided to go with the latter costing £ 1.60. I’d done it, I’d bought all three now it was time to try them all.
Asda’s Calorie Counted Piri Piri Chicken
Out of all three dishes, this was the healthiest in terms of calories at 275 for 350g. It was a decent sized portion and at lunchtime was definitely enough to fill you.
If this was something you were eating for tea I’d definitely recommend adding some extra vegetables or salad with it to bulk it up. When it came to the flavor it had lots of it.
I must admit I was a bit dubious with this one it being calorie counted I automatically assumed they’d scrimp on flavor but I was wrong. The rice was lovely and fluffy and the chicken tender and tasty.
It had a nice bit of sauce in the bottom too that was just enough to give the rice a coating – all in all I’d buy this again and you can get three of these meals in Asda for £ 4, so a bargain really.
Nutritional value per pack
- 3.2g fat
- 0.6g saturates
- 8.4g sugars
- 1.4g salt
Taste – 4/5
Slimming World’s Salt and Pepper Chicken Chow Mein
At £ 4 this was the most expensive out of the bunch, but I don’t think that would put me off buying it again considering how tasty it was. This was a huge bowl full and definitely more than plenty for lunchtime.
It says it’s a free food so for anyone who follows Slimming World it’s an easy win for them. It definitely packed a punch with flavor.
What surprised me the most with this was the chicken tasted like actual chicken – I know that sounds ridiculous but I always find meat in frozen meals tastes synthetic, however, this tasted like the real thing. It came in a bowl packed with lots of vegetables and noodles and a lot of sauce too.
I couldn’t complain at all, it even had a little bit of a kick to it. For me, this tasted more like something you’d get from the takeaway and less like a frozen meal. If I’ve been out walking or had a busy Saturday I’d definitely be happy pulling one of these out of the freezer and popping it into the microwave.
Nutritional value per 100g (this was a 550g portion)
- 0.5g fat
- 0.1g saturates
- 3.5g sugars
- 0.5g salt
Taste – 4/5
Aldi’s SlimWell Chicken Chow Mein
Of all three this was my least favorite. As I cooked it, it was very pale in color and this seemed to be reflected in the flavor too.
It was extremely lackluster, although it was packed with veg and noodles, there wasn’t a must taste to it. The veg was very crunchy, almost like it was undercooked and I’d have been tempted to add sauce to it to give it more flavor but that would have counteracted how healthy it was.
However, it was a decent-sized portion and if I was hungry and didn’t have anything else in the house and Aldi was the nearest store it would definitely fill a hole, especially for £ 1.99.
But I won’t be rushing back to buy it again.
Nutritional value per 550g pack
- 1g saturates
- 0.5 sugars
- 1.96g salt
Taste – 2.5 / 5