Choosing meals can be a challenge.
It’s always easy to fall into a rut of cooking the same four or five dishes each week, at least for me anyway.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been speaking to people across the county who have had their lives transformed through Slimming World.
Throughout last week I had been working 11am-7pm shifts each day. It’s not the most inconvenient shift in the world, but the last thing I want to do at the end of it is cook some elaborate meal.
I thought I’d capitalise on this and try an experiment. I went down to Iceland in search of its exclusive range of Slimming World ready meals.
Subscribe to our free daily HertsLive newsletter below to get the latest news straight to your inbox.
Sign up to the HertsLive newsletter
If you’re looking for a way to stay up to date with the latest breaking news from around Hertfordshire, the HertsLive newsletter is a good place to start.
The twice-daily update will deliver the top news and features straight to your inbox.
We choose the most important stories of the day to include in the newsletter, including crime, court news, long reads, traffic and travel, food and drink articles and more.
Signing up to the newsletter is simple. All you have to do is to click here and type in your email address.
It’s one of the many ways that you can read the news that matters to you from HertsLive.
I picked up a nice mix and had one a night, Monday to Friday, to see what they tasted like.
I’m under no illusion that it won’t make me healthier in a week – and eating these meals in isolation won’t make much difference, as it’s all about a balanced diet – but I thought I’d give it a whirl anyhow.
Are there any listed below that you’ve tried or fancy? Let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this article.
Diet Cola Chicken
Description: A Slimming World classic of chicken pieces, roasted peppers and sugar snap peas in a diet cola-flavoured sauce.
Cooking time: 12 minutes in the microwave (recommended) or 45 minutes in the oven at 180C.
This was a tasty surprise. I love either gammon or chicken cooked in cola, so I was enticed before we’d even started.
Surprisingly filling, the roasted peppers and sugar snap pieces added an extra bit of oomph.
The chicken was succulent and there was more of it than I expected.
Plus, just 12 minutes in the microwave made this super quick and easy.
It’s not something I would normally cook myself so it’s nice to have something different and out of the ordinary.
Healthy and quick? It’s a winner for me.
Chilli Con Carne & Rice
Description: A warm and smoky beef chilli served with turmeric and coriander flavoured rice.
Cooking time: 12 minutes and 30 seconds in the microwave (recommended) or 45 minutes in the oven at 180C.
For me, a chilli con carne is the perfect winter warmer. There’s something undeniably comforting about it and it’s a staple part of my diet.
After a long day at work that saw me out and about on a couple of jobs, so the fact this just took 12 minutes in the microwave was very welcome indeed.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of coriander (it’s the devil food, isn’t it?) and therefore approached this meal with an ounce of trepidation.
After one bite, however, my worries evaporated as I tucked into this tasty meal.
The chilli wasn’t too hot and over-bearing and was well-flavoured. A true hit in my books.
I’ve had one or two microwave chilli dishes in my time – it helps students get through university, after all – and I must say, this is the best one I’ve ever had.
Description: A classic beef ragu layered lasagne between pasta sheets and topped with a velvety white sauce.
Cooking time: 50 minutes in the oven at 180C (recommended) or 16 minutes in the microwave.
Ready meal lasagnes are hard to get right and trust me, I’ve had a few.
This, though, was very impressive.
It’s not quite as convenient as the previous two should you be in a rush as the recommended cooking time is 50 minutes in the oven, but it’s well worth it.
The beef is tender, the ragu sauce a delight and it’s well seasoned with a tasty tomato crumb.
My one critique, which has affected the score somewhat, is that it tasted a little too salty for my liking.
Overall though, a great option.
Sweet Chilli Salmon
Description: Two succulent salmon fillets topped with sweet chilli sauce and garnished with spring onions.
Cooking time: 45 minutes in the oven at 160C.
Unlike the other ready meals above, you’ll likely need something else to accompany it as, on its own, the two salmon fillets won’t be enough to fill you up.
Unless I really am that greedy, but I think you’ll probably see what I mean.
I chose to cook a jacket potato to go with it (as well as some peas because, you know, health and all that) and it worked really.
But onto the salmon fillets, which were melt-in-the-mouth – a really enjoyable treat.
It has a fair bit of spice and kick to it so, if that’s up your street, I’m sure you’ll love this dish.
Follow HertsLive reporter Adam May on social media below.
Follow Senior Multimedia Journalist Adam May on social media
Description: Two chicken breasts topped with mildly spiced tomato sauce, chunks of veg and pepperoni-style sausage slices.
Cooking time: One hour in the oven at 160C.
It appears I’ve saved the best to last.
I fully recommend this one. If you’ve ever had a small, microwavable Chicago Town pizza then this tastes pretty much the same (albeit far healthier, I hope).
The chicken was succulent and the spicy tomato worked really well.
I had my suspicions about whether or not it would taste like pizza – but it does!
It probably needed something else with it, maybe some veg or potato, to make it a little more filling.
A really nice meal though and a fine way to end a week. The picture above doesn’t do it justice – but it gets a solid 9/10 from me.
To find out more information about your local Slimming World group, press here.
Want the latest Herts news direct to your inbox? Sign up here.