We are slap bang in the middle of a heatwave and I’m trying my best not to complain about the weather, but it does mean the very last thing I want to do is stand in my kitchen and slave over a hot stove. This is the weather for effort free cooking, so when I opened up my delivery from new premium frozen food brand, Gourmade I was delighted.
I’m generally a cook from scratch girl. I enjoy cooking, but sometimes I just need a night off. We don’t often eat ready-made meals, but when we do I view them as a bit of a treat, so I usually try to choose something from the premium end of the ready meal aisle.
Gourmade have recently launched in the UK. They have a great range of crowd pleasing classics including Mac n’ Cheese with bacon, Lamb Tagine, Butternut Squash Lasagne and some amazing sounding desserts for those with a sweet tooth.
Gourmade’s motto is to ‘Live More, Cook Less’. All of their meals are hand finished and frozen from fresh to lock in the nutrients. They don’t add any preservative or anything which shouldn’t be in there, it’s just good, wholesome food.
We tried a selection of their meals. The butternut squash lasagne for two, macaroni cheese with bacon for two, cauliflower cheese, posh peas, raspberry cheesecakes and rhubarb and strawberry crumbles.
The Gourmade meals are delivered frozen and well packed in insulated bags. They go straight in the freezer and can sit there for up to three months. The larger meals for two take around 40 minutes in the oven; but they can be microwaved if you’re in a hurry. The meals for two are generous, when you’re serving them with sides they can easily stretch to three portions, which suits our family of three.
The lasagne and macaroni cheese were delicious. The lasagne was packed with butternut squash and it had a really tasty sauce. The mac cheese came with bacon and tomato and it was a real hit with my son. My only criticism would be that it was made with rigatoni not macaroni, but I’m an irritating pasta purist. It would also be nice to have this available without bacon to make it veggie friendly.
The sides we tried were excellent. The cauliflower cheese was hands down the best I’ve ever had. It had a really good cheese sauce; the cauliflower pieces were perfectly sizes and I enjoyed the cheesy, breadcrumby crispy topping. The posh peas were a combination of garden peas and edamame beans; tossed in a light sauce of crème fraiche and garden mint, then topped with streaky bacon. Again the boys loved these, and it can be tricky to get them to eat their greens, but they gobbled these all up!
The puddings, oh the puddings were so good. The raspberry cheesecakes needed to be taken out of their foil cases and left to defrost for 40 minutes, but they were as good a cheesecake as I’ve ever had. I kind of wish they did bigger family sized ones.
I wasn’t sure as first glance about the rhubarb and strawberry crumbles. I’ve never had a crumble with a pastry base, a more accurate description would be a rhubarb and strawberry crumble pie. The pastry was short and crumbly and the filling was just the right balance of tart and sweet. Again this is crying out to be served as a family sized pie.
The other puddings in the range look really good too. Desserts are often a bit of an afterthought, but I think Gourmade have really pulled out all the stops with their puddings.
Price wise, the two portion main courses cost around £7.50. The smaller portions are £4.50 and the sides cost £3.50; with puddings for two at £4.50.
Whilst I probably couldn’t afford to eat Gourmade meals every day of the week; they are for us at least the kind of thing we would order as a treat. Maybe an alternative to the Friday night takeaway, or just to have in the freezer for those nights when you need to throw a good meal together with virtually no effort. We did really enjoy our meals and I’m going to order some more to have as emergency good family meals.
For more information about Gourmade and to see their full range, visit their website.
Disclosure: We were sent a selection of Gourmade meals to try in return for this write up. All of our opinions and images are our own.