(Pre Flex Points)
I love cooking from scratch and turning a fridge/cupboard full of ingredients into a new, healthy and delicious tasting meal but like most people, I am often a bit pushed for time when it comes to mid-week dinners.
Always keen to pack my meals with as many zero hero veggies as possible I also love having the option of buying pre prepared veggie ingredients when I’m stuck for time. From pre spiralized boodles to frozen spinach and peas, it’s so handy sometimes being able to pick up ingredients that will take minimal preparation but still help to create a healthy and filling meal.
That’s why, when Goodlife approached me to give some of their new range frozen vegetarian range a try, I thought it would be worth giving a go. Now as a major meat eater, my meals are never usually veggie friendly but recently the hubbie and I have been trying to get involved with Meatless Mondays so I thought these products, if I liked them, would also be perfect for whipping something together on a Monday evening.
So what is Good Life?
Based in Warrington, Goodlife’s aim is to seek out the best vegetables from top British farmers and use them to create delicious vegetarian meal options. Rather than their products being a meat substitute, the folks at Goodlife want their veggies front and centre – making them the ‘star of the show’. I am also not a fan of meat substitutes (I just can’t get my head around the Quorn situation) so we are off to a good start there! From vegetarian sausages to burgers and Kiev’s, their products contain no artificial additives, preservatives or colourings.
The three products that the folks at Goodlife asked me to review* were from their new range and included Falafels with Chickpea, Cumin and Coriander, French Bean and Spinach Sausages with Wensleydale Cheese and their Mushroom and Spinach Kiev with a Creamy Garlic and Cheese Sauce (my falafel box got a little damaged in transit but the products inside were unaffected).
Falafel with Chickpea, Cumin and Coriander
Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
A box of 14 is £1.99 – one falafel is 1sp,two is 2sp, 3 is 4sp and four is 5sp.
I am a BIG fan of falafel and any sort of Middle Eastern cuisine. My recipe for Butternut Squash falafels in incredibly popular and so having a product like this in the freezer and ready to eat in under 15 minutes really appeals to me.
I decided to cook up 3 of these falafels and pop them in a salad with mixed leaves, carrot, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, houmous, mint yoghurt and a little pomegranate molasses (full recipe coming up later this month) however you could also include them in a wrap or even crumbled on top of a tagine. The consensus? Very nice indeed. For a product so low in points, these are a lovely addition to any lunch or dinner. Nice and crispy on the outside and soft in the centre, these little balls have a lovely light flavour and texture – they could have been a little more spicy but that is my love of chilli coming into play right there. I added a little houmous to them for a bit of extra moisture (I find most falafels need it!) and they made my salad lovely and filling. I would definitely invest in a box of these and keep in the freezer for a rainy day.
Mushroom and Spinach Kiev with a Creamy Garlic and Cheese Sauce
Box of 2 is £2.65 = 1 Kiev is 10sp
Unless we make it from scratch, Kiev is not something the hubbie and I really have any more as the prepared ones are usually so high in points (at least 11 usually) and they are also quite small. That said, I liked the sound of this Kiev as I love the sound of anything that ooses with cheese.
Each Kiev is 10sp so to keep the overall meal low in points I decided to serve it with Butternut Squash Chips, 0sp homemade slaw and salad.
Of the three products we tried this was my hubbies least favourite as he is firmly of the opinion that a Kiev should be made of chicken. I however, quite enjoyed it. The Kiev it self was crunchy on the outside and the flavour lovely and garlicky. The cheese didn’t ooze quite as much as I hoped but there was a lovely cheesy flavour to the whole thing. The major downside of this one for me was the amount of smart points for the size. At 10sp for a medium sized Kiev, I think its rather high for what you actually get (I could have easily eaten two!) That said, these Kievs would be a handy addition to any freezer for a quick and easy dinner if made with other 0sp accompaniments.
French Bean and Spinach Sausages with Wensleydale Cheese
Box of 6 is £2.49 –2sp per sausage
I always have a few packs of low fat sausages in the freezer as I know when I have them in that I will always be able to throw together some form of evening meal. Now the hubby likes his sausages very meaty so I was a bit apprehensive at how these sausages would go down but I have to say, these went down an absolute storm. Whilst not huge, the sausages are the most vivid green colour and are packed full of vegetables. The veggies haven’t been pureed so they have a lovely chunky texture too. Best of all, they can be cooked from frozen in 15 minutes and end up with a lovely crisp skin. I would never have normally tried a vegetable sausage but I have to say, this may have changed my mind a little and I’m not tempted to try some of their other veggie sausage flavours!
In the picture below I served 3 sausages (6sp) with 2sp worth of mash, 0sp spring greens tossed in 1sp lighter lurpack and 2sp caramelised red onions for a total of 11sp. Whilst probably more of a wintery dinner, we thoroughly enjoyed it – especially as it took barely any time to prepare.
Overall I really enjoyed trying these three products and the sausages and falafels are certainly things I would like to keep in my freezer for Meatless Mondays or just a rainy day. The products are packed with flavour and high quality ingredients so whilst they are meat free, you don’t feel like you are missing out on anything if you replace them for meat in a meal. They are also great value at between £1.99 and £2.65 per box.
If you fancy trying any of Goodlife’s products yourself, you can pick them up in Booths, Waitrose, Ocado, Iceland and Goodness Direct.
*Please note this is a sponsored post however this in no way affects my opinion of the products or the content of my review.