Tesco has unveiled its newest range of ready meals, perfectly timed for Veganuary and those looking to cut down on their meat and dairy consumption as part of their New Year’s Resolutions. The exclusive vegan range of dishes from Wicked Kitchen landed in stores and online earlier last week. It was incredible how quickly the items were flying off the shelves of my local supermarket considering the price tag.
The range features 20 different ready meals which I’ve listed below and cost between £3 and £4 respectively. Sandwiches and wraps cost £3.00, salads £3.50 while pizzas and the ready meals are £4.
Spicy Frijoles Wrap, 250g
Carrot Pastrami-Spiced Wrap, 270g
Smashin’ Pumpkin Falafel Sandwich, 243g
Hoi Sin Mushroom Wrap, 270g
Sweet Potato Pakora Wrap, 270g
Fiery Tofu & Slaw Sandwich
Muay Thai Curry, 400g
Nana’s Mushroom Bolognese, 400g
Wicked Teriyaki Noodles, 236g
Naked Burrito, 400g
Veggie Pasta and Amazeballs, 400g
BBQ Beans & Mash, 300g
Gunpowder Potato Chana Masala
BBQ Butternut Mac, 461g
Curried Cauli, Onion Bhaji & Coconut Rice, 335g
Rainbow Curry Bowl
Kung Fu Bowl, 262g
Moroccan-Inspired Bowl, 173g
Caponata Sourdough Pizza, 280g
BBQ Mushroom Sourdough Pizza, 300g
While the supermarkets have been providing some ‘accidentally vegan’ ready meals for a while, this is the first time a UK supermarket has offered a specifically vegan range featuring so many different dishes. The brainchild of American chef Derek Sarno, Wicked Kitchen seems to be intent on showing that plant-based meals aren’t all about salad.
With the popularity of veganism on the rise, Tesco reported demand for vegan-friendly ready meals and substitutes had risen by 25 per cent, so it was only a matter of time before the supermarket capitalised on growing demand. Judging by the chatter on social media, the range has been incredibly popular. We’ve picked up some from our local stores to give our opinion on the lines.
While it isn’t difficult to knock up a pasta dish for yourself, we were quite impressed by the depth of flavour in Nana’s Mushroom Bolognese.
We felt the Teriyaki Noodles could have used a bit more sauce as they were quite dry, and there was a lot of chilli used. We’ve heard that many of the dishes pack a punch, so it might be worth bearing this in mind if you struggle with heat. The Hoi Sin Mushroom Wrap made a nice change from the falafel and hummus sarnies we are usually sold in supermarkets, although the base of the wrap was a bit soggy.
The Curried Cauliflower was my favourite thus far, especially with the onion bhaji bites. The Amazeballs were more like falafel, which made the combination of tomato sauce and pasta a strange combination.
The price tag of £4 for a ready meal may put many off trying the range, which is understandable to be honest. Many vegans such as myself are vocal about how following a plant-based diet is cheaper than the alternative, but some may argue that isn’t the case when they see how much these alternatives cost.
The pizzas were a bit of a letdown, and I personally think they aren’t worth the £4 price tag. The toppings were stingy and the size meant it was more of a snack than meal.Preparing meals from scratch, not using processed meat and cheese substitutes and batch cooking are the ways I try to keep costs low in my household. There’s also the issue of packaging with the line, although some of the containers can be re-purposed once clean. I understand how difficult it is to juggle a busy lifestyle with the need to come up with exciting vegan meals at home too. There will be those who live at home alone, and those who struggle to prepare vegetables and meals for themselves and Wicked Kitchen will be a saviour for many. I’m thrilled that Tesco are paving the way by offering these products and bringing veganism into the mainstream, and hopefully demand will drive down the price.
Thanks for reading,