Whether you have a food intolerance or are simply trying to maintain a healthy diet, meal times can be a bit of a pickle. Only last night, I left the Husbter in charge of dinner, which rarely happens and after only one trip to the supermarket and three frantic phone calls later, he decided that there is absolutely NOTHING I can eat and that EVERYTHING contains gluten. So I haven't eaten a single meal in the last seven years Hubster? I think my butt would disagree with you. He then went on to say that we seem to rotate the same meals and that we need to try something new, (he's walking on thin ice...I know) but I can sort of understand where he's coming from.
Deciding what to have for lunch or dinner can be a real chore and with our busy lives it is so easy to stick to our staple meals that we know we like and that are simple to make. It can also be hard finding nutritious meals that are tasty, inexpensive and that don't require a lot of effort to create. On the rare occasions when I do cook something new, the whole process stresses me out big time. I'm not sure whether its the mess of cooking that bothers me, or if it's the -that's-not-what-its-meant-to-look-like-and-now-I'm-sweating-and-have-got-the-hump-part that gets to me. Either way, it's not something I particularly enjoy doing. It's easy to see why people stick to the same meals or reach for the frozen foods all too often. But the one good thing that does come from having Coeliac Disease is that you tend to stick to a relatively healthier diet than others (not when the Millionaire Blondies are in sight!) So I'm always on the look out for something new in the healthy living world and stumbling across ilumi foods has to be one of the best food finds I've had since finding a loaf of bread that doesn't require a knife and fork to eat. Yay ilumi...!
'ilumi' have been creating nut, gluten and milk free foods for nearly a decade, cooking up a huge range of tasty dishes that are made from 100% safe ingredients. Lead by a team of expert chefs and nutritionists, an extensive amount of work has gone into making their dishes colourful, full of flavour and most importantly safe to eat for anyone with a food intolerance.
The packaging is cool and considerate. Instead of hiding all the nutritional blurb on the back in small writing like most products, ilumi have clearly arranged every detail of the products ingredients on the front of the package. As a company, they are clearly proud of what they have produced and there are no fake food ingredients to be hidden from the consumer. They use 100% natural ingredients in their meals that are naturally free from allergens.
What also struck me as brilliant about ilumi foods is the convenience. Their products are designed to be stored at room temperature and to cook you simply heat in the microwave. No mess, no fuss, just quick yummy meals. Some might think that the taste is compromised due to the storage and cooking methods, but surprisingly, it is quite the opposite. With every dish I tried and tested, I was pleasantly surprised by the flavoursome textures. I instantly knew that I was eating good ingredients, most of which I wouldn't have the time to find, let alone cook myself. The individual dishes are the perfect meal for one. The Hubster works shifts, so often it is just moi for dinner and seeing as I'm not a fan of the whole cooking faff for two, then I'm even less likely to make a huge effort for one, which is why ilumi foods have been a lifesaver and a real treat on those lonesome nights. Not only do I get a healthy meal for one, with no effort or fuss, but it's a really delicious one too.
|Beef Meatballs in Tomato Sauce...delicious!|
The Beef Meatballs in Tomato Sauce were an absolute treat and complimented with some gluten free spaghetti and a side salad, it was the perfect meal for one. The meatballs were delicious and the sauce was tangy and tasty.
The Za'atar Chicken was bursting with Moroccan style flavours combined with brown rice, raisins and apricots. Delicious. Unfortunately I didn't read the packet before cooking up this dish and I added rice with it, so it was a little carb overloaded, but nevertheless, I ate every last bit!
|Tom Kha Gai Soup|
The Tom Kha Gai Soup has to be the best soup I've ever tasted. It made a perfect, refueling warming dish when I was poorly recently, a little spicy, but creamy and I enjoyed every last drop.
|Kerala Chicken Curry with White Long Grain Rice|
To prove that ilmui products aren't solely for people with dietary requirements, I asked my sister Emily (who luckily doesn't have a food intolerance) to try out one of their dishes, the Award Winning Kerala Chicken Curry with white long grain rice. She was a little dubious about the fact that it only took two minutes to cook in the microwave, but was pleasantly surprised by how soft and "yummy" the chicken was and that she would definitely eat it and other dishes in the range again.
The products range from £1-£3.75, which I feel are fantastic value for homemade-style meals that are not only healthy, but nutritional. If you were looking to recreate similar meals at home, then it could work out a little pricey. Even herbs and spices aren't cheap, unless you've got a collection sprouting on your window sills, then you're looking at a couple of pounds for a few lousy sprigs of thyme alone. If you're like me, then it's unlikely you'll use the rest of the bunch before they go soggy and so these meals are definitely excellent value for money in my experience.
I would recommend their range of foods, not only to people with food intolerance's, but these quick and accessible foods are perfect for anyone who leads a busy lifestyle and requires healthy, good tasting, effortless food. Their products are also perfect for families travelling and I'll even be purchasing some of the dishes to take away on holiday this year. It's hardly surprising that ilumi were double winners at this years Free From Food Awards 2014.
Have you tried any ilumi products?
What are your quick-go-to meals if cooking for one?
Until next time,
With Love & New Food Finds,
Disclosure: I was kindly sent a range of ilumi products to review. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced in anyway.