If someone says ‘ready meal’, what do you think of? The cardboard-encased, plastic-boxed portions of chemicals and ingredients that resemble food but are devoid of most of its nutritional content and replaced with high levels of salt and sugar and all sorts of preservatives? Yeah, me too. Eat Evolve isn’t anything like that.
Oh, Eat Evolve is what I’d call a ‘ready meal’, don’t get me wrong. After all, it takes a significantly smaller amount of time to cook than if you were making it from scratch and actually, it’s all already cooked, all you’re doing is heating it up. But it’s not a ready meal like you’ve seen before.
For a start, it comes in a bag. I know, weird and new and novel, right? And no, Uncle Ben’s boil in a bag rice isn’t the same. Secondly, you can either boil the packets of food or microwave them. And thirdly, they’re all paleo and cooked by Michelin-trained chefs. And they taste delicious, without any need to be suspicious.
As I do with most things I try, I share the experience with my other half. I also make him try things first just in case it’s dubious on the tastebuds (oh, the smoothies of mine he’s chewed and sobbed his way through). The first meal we put together from our selection box was the Thai Fishcakes coated in black sesame seeds, the green beans and sweet potato and the chicken stew. The other half sampled the chicken whilst I looked on with bated breath. “I’m regretting giving you the bigger portion,” he said sadly. Whilst the Fishcake looked a little scary due to its coating, it was probably my favourite out of the dishes that night – Asian-spiced and not too heavy. The chicken was fragrant and wholesome and the veg was great with the sweet potatoes just the right side of mushy. The other half locked his plate – a sign that a) makes me think we don’t need a dog to clean our dishes after all and b) that the meal pleased him greatly.
Over the next few days we sampled the grain-free granola (as a nut-lover this was right up my street) which adds a delicate crunch to a pot of CoYo or Total Greek yoghurt, paleo sausages cooked with chard, a heavy mix of aubergine and other veg which advised us to serve it cold (we made the mistake of having it just out the fridge – not so delicious), kale and carrots (yum) and chicken xx. The only thing I didn’t try was the bolognese and pea and carrot mix as my other half couldn’t resist. He failed on keeping it paleo by adding pasta. Pfft. Men.
Eat Evolve also pride themselves on the quality of their meat and ingredients too. The animals they use for meat are free-range or grass-fed and British, eggs are free-range and they don’t contain any additives, preservatives or colourings. Fish, is sustainably sourced and where they can, they promise to use fair-trade or organic products. All of their ingredients are free of gluten, dairy, corn, soy and peanuts. Furthermore, they argue that eating a paleo diet can help improve your body and mind in several ways, including reduced body fat, increased energy, lower stress levels, weight loss, better sleep and even clearer skin.
So what’s the catch? Prices can be high – almost the same were you to eat out – if you invest in these meals. There are 3 categories of shopper: On the Go for casual dining including mains and sides, The Health Kick which includes their infamous grain-free granola and snacks, and the Warrior Pack which includes the same foundations as the Health Kick but with extra frittatas.
My other half’s claims of “this is so good, can we get some more?!” was affirmation of my thoughts – this stuff is bloody good. It’s great for busy Londoners as the packs keep for a week and can be frozen, easy and simple to put together and deliciously healthy. I like the portion sizes also – a packet of veg and meat is adequate without leaving you stuffed although for those who like big portions, you may still feel peckish after. The only downside is that it’s not 100% fresh but that’s the only compromise.
Buy from: Their website eatevolve.com
How much: Meals (main and side) can cost from £9
Who’s it for? Busy people who want high quality food without having to make it themselves.