Sometimes, life gets in the way and we don’t have time to cook. It happens! Rather than ordering takeaway, reach for a ready-made meal that has the healthy tick of approval. While they still have a long way to go, Aussie supermarkets have been stepping up their game. They’re listening to their consumers – you! – and stocking more and more healthy options, including ready-to-eat meals.
When you’re shopping, look for products with natural ingredients and no GMOs, trans fats, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. Ideally, they should contain veggies, fibre, and a source of lean protein.
Here are 5 ready-to-eat meals that we keep handy (and as you know, we’re pretty picky!).
If you’re a fan of Indian food, you’ll know how delicious dhal is. Hart & Soul has put a healthy twist on the traditional dish. This meal pot has one of the cleanest ingredients lists we’ve ever seen! We’re talking no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, and it’s GMO-free. The dahl is made with coconut milk, lentils, carrot and a little chilli, and served on a bed of gluten-free grains, including jasmine rice, red rice and quinoa. It’s bursting with fragrant flavour, and will keep you feeling full until your next meal. Just pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds and voila! That’s your lunch, sorted.
Take your tastebuds on a trip to Bali with Hart & Soul’s all-natural nasi goreng. Unlike a lot of the fried rice products lining supermarket shelves, this one is packed with ingredients you’ll have no problem pronouncing! Think chickpeas, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, chilli, onion, garlic. Just like the dahl, the supergrains are already cooked, so all you have to do is put it in the microwave. The heat brings out the sweet and spicy flavours beautifully.
Sometimes, you just need a burger. If you’re running short on time, pick up these plant-based patties from the supermarket. They’re incredibly nutrient-dense thanks to black beans, beetroot, pumpkin seeds, and buckwheat – so much so, they earned a Health Star Rating of 5. The pack includes 4 vegan patties, which is perfect for a family (or leftovers for lunch the next day). They’re already cooked, so you can store them in the fridge until you’re ready to heat them up. Our tip? While you’re at the shops, buy some lettuce leaves and veggies to make bunless burgers!
Mmm, minestrone. When you’re in the mood for a big bowl of soup but don’t have time to make it from scratch, stop at the supermarket to grab this minestrone. The Australian Organic Food Co is a true homegrown hero. It grows 100% organic veggies and harvests them while they’re in season so that they’re full of flavour – and free from artificial ingredients, preservatives, GMOs and added sugar. In other words, this soup is good for your health and the environment. As the name suggests, it contains 8 veggies: onion, carrot, celery, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, leek and kale, plus split peas and chickpeas for a hearty hit of nutrition.
Craving comfort food? Now that the weather’s starting to cool down, we’ve been warming up with this panang curry. Hailing from Thailand, this curry is foodie-famous for its creamy texture and slightly spicy taste. Hart & Soul’s version is just as fragrant, but it doesn’t rely on heavy creams – instead, the vegan curry has a coconut milk base, and is brimming with veggies like carrots, chickpeas, peas, and shallots. The kaffir lime leaves complete the dish, and the gluten-free grains will give you a boost of slow and steady energy.