We don’t really do frozen food in this house.
Correction – we didn’t really do frozen food in this house until my BFF introduced me to the lifesaving genius that is Waitrose’s frozen mashed potato (IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE). And now Everdine.
Also, I’ll chuck a couple of sausages in my freezer every so often if they’re about to go out of date and will often make up an extra child-sized lasagne to freeze for a backup meal, but other than that we’re a fresh food family. We certainly wouldn’t eat frozen ready meals: to me they represent stodginess, saltiness and unhealthy food that leaves you feeling, well, a bit gross.
So when I was approached to try some frozen ready meals recently my instinct was to say “thanks, no thanks”. But then I looked a little deeper into the company, Everdine, and I was intrigued.
Everdine proclaim their meals are ‘clean eating made simple’. They count mindful sourcing, skilful cooking and natural preservation (i.e. freezing) as three of the most important pillars to their process, and after a good dig around on their website I couldn’t see there wasn’t much difference to other gourmet meal services in terms of the food they were offering, other than that they were a few degrees colder and covered in ice.
(My apologies: stirred meals are not the most naturally beautiful thing to photograph)
I was given a date for my meals to be delivered and they came all insulated, ready to be transferred to my freezer. I was excited to fire up the microwave and try the first one the following Monday for my working lunch.
First things first: what did I like about Everdine?
They are so easy, SO easy. Historically I can never be arsed with cooking myself a proper lunch when I’m mid-work and, because I work from home, I’d rather not go out to pick stuff up daily. So I often end up chomping on toast or last night’s leftovers (which were prawn crackers today. Healthy).
So to have fresh meals waiting in the freezer was a right treat. With the exception of one, all meals were heated in the microwave in ten minutes or less which was wonderful: I’d go from hunger pangs to eating lunch in a really short space of time. Success!
All meals were delicious and tasted fresh and healthy. None of the stodge usually associated with frozen meals and stacks upon stacks of veg. I always returned to work after my Everdine meals feeling full but not uncomfortably or sleepily so.
My favourites out of all of them were the Sea Bream Thai Green Curry, the Pulled Beef Bolognese with spiralised veg, the Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Open Ravioli. I also loved the Lamb Kofta with Roast Onion Bulgar Wheat and the Cherry Hoi Sin Duck with Steamed Greens. Basically most of them, then!
Was there anything I didn’t like about Everdine?
Well, you have to have a microwave, obviously. The one oven meal I did have took 40 minutes to cook and even then I had to stick it back in the oven for 20 minutes as it was still a bit cold in the middle. When you’re used to waiting a maximum of 10 minutes for your lunches to be ready, an hour is FOREVER.
There was also the odd soggy bit of veg, only to be expected as you’re re-heating from frozen, and easy enough to circumnavigate when you’re serving your food out of the (recyclable) packaging. Truly, negative points for this way of eating were a minimum.
All in all I was thoroughly impressed. I felt like I was eating well, eating fresh and saving time: perfect for those like me who are short on time but want to get their five a day in. I imagine these would suit a new mum perfectly… at a time where it’s almost impossible to cook but you need all the nutrients you can squeeze in these meals would be a lifesaver.
I’ll order from Everdine again (already have, actually!), taking the hassle out of lunchtime has made me more productive, less stroppy and most importantly, not as hungry! Do you fancy giving them a go?
Meals start at £7.50 each and you can get £30 off your first order by clicking here. Let me know which are your favourites!
Everdine sent me these meals to review but as always, views are my own.