I’ve been working hard to eat healthily this year. I’m fortunate enough to be supported by The Athlete’s Palate, but it’s still hard for me. Whilst marathon training, I expected to have an increased appetite (especially as a breastfeeding mum), but I’d forgotten that that hunger sometimes lingers after the race. I’ve also been struggling with my appetite because I’m so tired. My baby looks like my husband, but she definitely has some of my personality traits. I’m sure I’ll be glad that she is extremely determined at some stage, but right now, I’d love it if M would sleep. She just wants to run around all the time. She might only be 7 months old, but she can already walk a bit (and can run when she holds my fingers!)
To make my life as easy as possible, I always make sure that I plan my meals in advance. This ensures that I have the necessary ingredients at home and that I don’t have to make meal decisions when I’m hungry. I also prepare my breakfast the night before, so that when I get up it’s easy for me to finish making it. In the evening, Stuart usually looks after M whilst I make our dinner. This gives them a chance to play and gives me a break as I enjoy being in the kitchen.
I find lunch the most challenging meal as M needs lots of attention. Sometimes I choose to have a salad that I can prepare the night before. At other times, I just need something quick, easy and filling. I try not to resort to ready meals as most of them are bland and unhealthy. Lots of supermarkets have ‘healthy’ ranges, but they are often uninspiring or there aren’t many vegetarian options.
Trying meals by MYHK
I was given the chance to try three new ready meals by MYHK (my healthy kitchen), which sounded like a perfect solution to my problem. The meals are all under 500 calories with no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. They include fresh ingredients and have other (specified) nutritional benefits.
The three meals that I was sent to try were:
- Chicken Paella
- Prawn Katsu
- Pea, Mint and Rocket Risotto
I’ve been a vegetarian virtually all of my life, so I recruited my husband to try two of the dishes. (The other flavours that are available are: Moroccan Prawn, Roasted Mediterranean Vegetable Risotto and Oriental Chicken).
MYHK Chicken Paella
The special advantage of this meal is that it’s low in fat and high in protein and fibre.
Stuart says: “Paella wouldn’t usually be something I’d choose but I enjoyed this one. The chicken was a step up from the majority of ready meals and was good solid pieces and nicely flavoured. The chorizo was less oily than some and was a nice addition. I would have preferred a slightly stronger flavour but the meal wasn’t bland. It did feel like the meal was balanced and the ingredients went well together. The portion size is broadly equivalent to most common supermarket ready meals. I would have preferred a slightly larger size (particularly if I were undertaking a higher training load).”
MYHK Prawn Katsu
The special advantage of this meal is that it’s high in protein and low in saturated fat and sugar.
Stuart says: “This was my favourite out of the two. I enjoy a curry and this includes katsu which I’ve eaten in Japan. The split of sauce to the ingredients worked really well with this meal as the rice didn’t get soggy when being microwaved but was easy to eat and mix together. The prawns were reasonable quality and a bit more generous than seen in some other meals. The sauce was really nice albeit the pickled carrot packs a punch and it was spicier than I expected. I don’t mind relatively hot food but I know Tamsyn would have really struggled with a vegetarian version. The lighter jasmine rice helped balance the heat but I could see some people getting put off. As with the paella I would have preferred a slightly larger size although this would be filling compared to the usual ready meals seen.”
MYHK Pea, mint and rocket risotto (vegetarian)
The special advantage of this meal is that it’s 1 of your 5 a day, and it’s also low in sugar and saturated fat.
Risotto is one of my favourite meals, but I’ve never made it at home. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, my favourite risotto is mushroom risotto and Stu hates mushrooms. Secondly, I believe that risotto can be time-consuming to make as you need to stir it continuously.
This risotto isn’t just made with Arborio rice, but also with quinoa. I liked this as it gave it a slightly different flavour as well as increasing its nutritional value.
As soon as I opened the packaging, I could smell the peas and mint. They were really aromatic and got my taste buds watering.
The risotto was topped with rocket (arugula). This is quite a bitter leaf, but paired with the creamy onion sauce, I thought it balanced nicely. Another interesting touch to cut through the creaminess was the addition of some pickled red cabbage. I adore red cabbage and would never have thought of pairing it with risotto before.
Overall, I really liked this meal. It was a reasonable size for a ready meal (although I’d have preferred a slightly larger portion with a few more calories). It looked appetising as well as tasting good. The price is more than a lot of ready meals but comparable with the types of things I like, such as Bol ready meals.
These MYHK meals are currently available from Waitrose and Ocado with an RRP of £3.95.