The microwave pings, you take the meal out of its plastic packaging, place a fork full of nosh to your lips and say, ‘BLECH’.
We’ve all come to expect a little less from a ready meal, buying them for convenience rather than taste or nutrition. They’re for the businessperson on the go, the busy nurse or the terminally lazy, but not the health fanatic or gourmet.
However, a few of these micro treats are an exception to the rule and combine uncommon taste, nuanced ingredients and crafted quality. As we gaze across the convenience food horizon, these products are the delicious rays of light in an otherwise dire environment.
The idea of microwaveable risotto is probably anathema to most foodies – but those snobs probably haven’t tried Riso Gallo, one of the most formidable producers of risotto on the planet.
Stemming from the Northern Po Valley in Italy, this brand guarantees the unique texture and burst of flavour you’d expect from a risotto. The big difference between this and its homemade variation is the time it’ll take you to prepare it – a pouch can be cooked in under 10 minutes.
These aren’t the only products under the Gallo banner, with rice pouches also available for a low price. These are a cut above a usual risotto and you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of Rome after one bite.
The MyProtein brand is a keyword for anyone who needs additional protein after a lengthy workout, and it can provide excellent taste as well as high nutritional value.
Our favourite of these meals is the Lemon Chicken and Sweet Potato Mash, which maintains a bitter lemony twang and, with its thick layer of potato, is guaranteed to fill you up.
These gourmet dishes aren’t cheap, but they’re perfect if you want to build muscle while maintaining a busy lifestyle.
Amy’s foods are the crème de la crème of microwaveable meal produce, and they cater to almost all diet types. A glance at Amy’s website will show you a breadth of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, all of which are packed with vegetables and high in protein.
So we know that they’re nutritious, but do they taste any good? The answer to that is a resounding yes. These are full meals that don’t need to be smothered in tomato ketchup to flatter your taste buds.
You’ll find Amy’s products in most good supermarkets. Give them a go.
If you’re a Yank, then one of the most satisfying comfort foods in the world is probably nestled in your nearest convenience store – it’s a Hot Pocket and my word is it tasty.
These dense burrito-style pockets are brimming with meat, vegetable and cheese and, while not healthy in any way, are the perfect snack if you’re low on carbs and in need of a pick-me-up.
That’s our list! We hope we’ve got your mouth watering. Can you think of any microwave meals that brighten your day? Then give them a shout out in our comments section!