11 Healthy Ready-Made Meal Options For The Time-Poor
Welcome to 2020 – where fast food meals that are convenient and wholesome really do exist! We hope this roundup of our favourite ready-to-eat meals helps to make your life easier, giving you more time for downtime.
1. Upbeat Curried Lentils & Flavoured Porridges
Image via @eat.upbeat
Boasting 25g of plant-based protein per serve, keep your eyes peeled for these gluten-free meal pots in the supermarket health food aisle. No microwave needed; simply add boiling water to the line marked in the pot, pop the lid back on, and your breakfast or lunch will be ready to eat in five minutes.
2. Hart & Soul Ready Meals
Image via @thehartandsoul
If you’re after a wholefood, MSG-free substitute for 2 Minute Noodles, a Hart & Soul is it. Made with 100% natural ingredients and a gluten-free wholegrain base (a medley of brown rice, quinoa, red rice and chia), these ready-made meals are available in four varieties, including plant-based Dahl and Panang Curry.
3. Tilda Coconut Chilli & Lemongrass Microwave Rice
Image via @tildarice
This ready-made rice is one of the few out there that’s preservative free, and works a treat for a fast and flavour-packed fried rice. Simply pour the rice into a greased, heated pan for a couple of minutes with a cup of your fave chopped veggies before throwing in 2-3 whisked eggs; continue to stir-fry until the eggs are cooked through. Top with a dash of tamari and chopped shallots, and lunch/dinner for two is served. If chilli isn’t your thing, try Tilda’s Coconut microwave rice for this recipe.
4. IPastai Fresh Pasta & Vegan Sauces
Image via @ipastai
Artisanal and handmade with premium and locally-sourced ingredients (and free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives), this innovative range recently landed in the fridge at selective Woolies and IGAs – offering everything from Tortellone Wagyu Beef to 100% legume pasta and Vegan Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli. To make your life even easier, their fresh sauces will turn whichever pasta you pick into a meal; choose from Ratatouille Sauce, Vegan Bolognese Sauce or Vegan Basil Pesto.
5. Pitango Soups
Image via @pitangosoups
From Free-Range Chicken and Vegetable to Organic Pumpkin and Ginger, and with dairy-free and gluten-free options, Pitango has a classic soup for every taste and dietary requirement. Made entirely with real food ingredients you’d keep in your fridge and pantry, these taste close to homemade but without you having to sweat it out in the kitchen.
6. Syndian Wholegrain Burgers & Curries
Image via @syndiannaturalfoods
This gem of a brand uses only natural ingredients in their meals – and know how to bring out the natural flavours in wholefood, plant-based ingredients. We’ve been big fans of their Brown Rice & Veggie Burgers for years (delicious heated in the sandwich press until crispy), and their curries (like the Pumpkin & Cashew Masala and Dal Makhani) make a quicker, cleaner and cheaper alternative to Uber Eats.
7. Golden Pig & Co Gourmet Dumplings
Filled with local veggies and sustainably farmed meats, these wholesome dumplings are also gluten-free – so no one has to miss out. Available in four varieties (including Beef & Ginger and FODMAP-friendly Tofu & Shiitake), these can be pan-fried or steamed straight from the freezer and ready to eat in 10 minutes. Add them to bone broth or serve with steamed greens for an easy weeknight meal.
8. Amy’s Kitchen Ready Meals
Image via @amyskitchen
Unlike many other ready meals in the freezer aisle, Amy’s vegetarian meals are made with wholefood ingredients (think; cooked and mashed potatoes rather than dehydrated potato flakes), and are free from additives, preservatives, and GMOs. From gluten-free Pad Thai to Burritos (including gluten-free and dairy-free varieties), Amy’s has created something for everyone. Keep a couple of these handy in the freezer for one of those nights when you’re too wiped to cook but want something cleaner (and more portion-controlled) than takeaway.
9. Healthy Everyday Ready-Made Meals
Image via @healthyeveryday
Designed by paleo chef, Pete Evans, you’ll find these allergy-friendly meals (they’re dairy and gluten-free) in the fridge at some health food stores and Woolies. Offering everything from Green Chicken Curry with Broccoli & Cauliflower Rice to Cottage Pie with Sweet Potato Mash, we like the generous 400g serving size, that the meals stay fresh in the fridge for 28 days and that they’re made entirely with wholefood ingredients.
10. Bite Me Vegetarian Falafel
Image via @bitemefinefoods
Made with activated chickpeas, these plant-based bites are fibre and protein-rich - not to mention Australian Certified Organic and Australian-made with 100% Aussie ingredients. Perfect for pimping up a salad, or served with wholemeal pita, hummus, tahini and salad. Enjoy these hot or cold.
11. The Chia Co Chia Pod
Image via @thechiaco
One of the few wholefood, ready to eat breakfast options on the market, a Chia Pod is perfect when you need something from the supermarket or servo to grab and go. Filling too, thanks to fibre and protein-rich chia seeds. Every flavour boasts a short and sweet list of ingredients you’ll recognise, but our favourite is the Vanilla Bean (topped with unsweetened Greek yoghurt to bump up the protein).