By Francesca Londoño-Richards
Long gone are the days when we equate healthy eating with food deprivation and avid calorie counting, now it’s all about the quality and nutritional content of food to make us feel our best. We can enjoy delicious food, quickly and easily even when there’s no time to cook thanks to healthy ready meals on offer.
We have tried and tested healthy ready meals to suit food loving couples – zero prep required!
This is gourmet cuisine in a box. Originally a successful London restaurant forced to close during the pandemic, founder Catherine Sharman had the brilliant idea to overhaul their business and make the restaurant dishes available for online delivery. And there’s been no looking back; the restaurant has been permanently closed and they’re now a fully-fledged home delivery service.
Their food is top-notch, restaurant quality. As both a chef and nutritionist, Catherine’s focus is all about making healthy food delicious. They only use high quality, organic ingredients, all meat and fish is both ethically and sustainably sourced with no additives in sight. A mere glance at the menu will make your taste buds salivate (organic roast butternut squash with blistered cherry tomato and mozzarella crumble anyone?).
We tried the Cornish Fish Stew and the Organic Chicken Satay with Pickles and Jewelled Vegetable Rice and were blown away. And of course we squeezed in their Dorset Apple Cake which was polished off within minutes. Nationwide Delivery www.apresfood.com
Founded by health writer and entrepreneur Jennifer Irvine, Balance Box provides the easiest way to be healthy. With breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks all delivered in one box to your door, there’s no excuse. All their boxes are designed by nutritionists and created by chefs using fresh, ethical produce to rejuvenate and rebalance your body. And their ingredients are natural with no refined carbs or refined sugars. Simply choose your box type (classic, pescatarian, vegetarian or free-from) and then sit back and enjoy the freedom from kitchen demands.
We tried the classic box, market plan and it didn’t disappoint. (For weight loss, you can choose their lighter plan.) Everything arrived neatly labelled for each day which made it so easy. The portions were generous with plenty of snacks including fruit, nuts, seeds and trail bars which kept us going and meant we were never hungry or tempted to veer off. Lots of delicious food such as Rose Harissa Crust Salmon with broccoli, new potatoes and green beans, Lebanese Chicken & Quinoa salad and Wild Mushroom Stroganoff. Everything we needed was in the fridge, it was a sheer joy not to think about shopping, prepping or cooking!
Boxes are available on either a 3- or 4-day basis. Highly worthy of being on our list of the best healthy ready meals for the food loving bride! Nationwide Delivery www.balancebox.com
The Detox Kitchen
A popular haunt amongst the healthiest of Londoners, The Detox Kitchen now offers meal plans, fridge fills and 3 day reset packages to enjoy at home. All the dishes are designed by nutritionist Phoebe Liebling and created by chefs. You’ll find only the most nutrient dense of ingredients in their dishes to nourish and fuel your body such as Black Dhal and Salmon to Buckwheat Tabbouleh or a Rainbow Poke Bowl.
We tried the Protein 3-day Reset box, an intermittent fasting meal plan devised to reset your gut. Don’t panic, it’s not a complete fast! The box includes breakfast (a juice), a snack, lunch, dinner and booster shots. The meals are 80% plant based filled with beans, chickpeas and lentils alongside lean, white meat (chicken or turkey). Packed full of virtuous sounding food with only a juice and booster shot for breakfast, initially we worried we’d be hungry. The morning fast was a challenge (it’s recommended not to eat before 11am) yet we were pleasantly surprised to find the generous lunch and dinner portions kept us going and were in fact delicious. We were particular fans of Day 2’s Burrito Bowl and Chicken and Coconut Dhal. Despite some early caffeine withdrawal symptoms, the plan made us feel great and definitely worked to banish the bloat.
The beauty in these packages is how easy they make everything, you don’t have to plan, shop or think about a thing for 3 days!
We’re also excited that The Detox Kitchen have teamed up with Anna Jones, one of our favourite vegetarian chefs to offer five truly delicious sounding dishes like Green Pepper and Pistachio Risotto…yum! We’ll certainly be ordering these next. Nationwide Delivery www.detoxkitchen.co.uk
When a food brand is founded by a dietician and a Michelin-trained chef, you know their food is going to be good. Health is their main focus but taste is never compromised. All their ready-meals are designed by dietician, Sasha Watkins who ensures every meal is supercharged with natural nutrients, gut-friendly ingredients and a diverse range of plants. All produce is locally and seasonably sourced and the meals are flash frozen to lock in the freshness. What’s more, every diet is catered for and they are the only company in the UK to offer a low fodmap range for IBS.
We’ve tried the entire low fodmap range and we can guarantee there’s no compromise on taste! Plus, portions are really generous so there’s no need for sides. We particularly loved the Goan Fish Curry and the Smokey Chipotle Meatballs. Now you’ll just need to make some space in that freezer! Definitely one of the best healthy ready-meals for the food-loving bride. Nationwide Delivery www.fielddoctor.co.uk
The Good Prep
Whether you’re an athlete, looking to lose weight or simply too busy to cook, The Good Prep ensures you’ll eat healthily and achieve your goals in the easiest way. Just select your plan, Trim & Slim if you’re looking to shift those Christmas lbs or Maintain & Sustain if you’re happy as you are (there are further options such as Grow and Gain, Balanced or Power & Plants too) and then choose your meals. They provide breakfast, lunch and dinner plus snacks so there’s no need to set foot in your kitchen except to open your fridge!
All the food is fresh, using high quality ingredients. We tried the 5 day Maintain & Sustain plan, the food was all delicious; healthy and wholesome and not your usual ‘diet’ food. We delighted in wolfing down egg muffins and waffles for breakfast and then steak and wedges for lunch rounding off with a lighter sea bass and greens for dinner. And make sure to order the sweet potato brownies as a snack as they are truly delicious!
We really like the fact you can choose your meals with The Good Prep, there’s no set menu so you can guarantee you’ll enjoy them and you can mix them up each week. And if any of the outlined plans don’t suit you, there’s the option to create a tailor-made, bespoke plan. We’d definitely recommend! Nationwide Delivery www.thegoodprep.com
Stock up your freezer with Potage’s beautifully balanced and seasonal home-made frozen meals. All made in small batches with the finest, locally and ethically sourced ingredients. Founder Georgia, originally created Potage from her mum’s kitchen whilst caring for her mum who’d broken her ankle. The concept of home cooking is therefore born into Potage and we love it. This is simple, homemade food cooked to perfection. Warming and hearty, there is something for every taste bud. And not only does the food taste good, Georgia ensures there is zero waste; all the packaging is either recyclable, reusable or compostable.
We could happily live on Potage meals but our favourites were the Salmon Massaman Curry and Fish Pie. And if you’re after a sweet treat we’d highly recommend the chocolate brownies, be warned, they’ll go quickly! Nationwide Delivery www.potage.co.uk
A gut-health focused food delivery company, Kurami’s mantra is ‘Beauty From Within’ and they have a unique Self-Love & Sustainable Habit Box this January. Miles away from a juice cleanse, Kurami’s on a mission to improve and support mental health and wellbeing. They help encourage sustainable healthy habits such as eating 30 different plant foods a week to help feed and restore the gut. Not only does their menu sound beautiful with; ‘Golden Chai Moon Mylk’ and ‘Golden Smoothie bowl’, it will make you feel beautiful by nourishing your body, boosting your mood and energy levels. Crafted by chefs and designed by their nutritionist, their meals are freshly prepared and will ensure you feel at your best.
The January package is available either as a 10 day plan or 14 day plan and includes all meals, drinks and snacks full of top quality, nutritionally dense food. And it’ll include some gorgeous gifts such as a calming Kurami candle (which smells divine!), a handy wellness notebook and positive affirmation cards. We love their uplifting and positive attitude towards health and wellbeing! London Delivery Only www.kurami.co.uk
Famed for their healthy recipe boxes, Mindful Chef have branched out their offering to include frozen ready-meals, soups, bone broths, smoothies and gut-loving breakfast cereals too. Containing no gluten, dairy or refined sugar these meals certainly hit the healthy note. And not only that, they are truly delicious. We love their Green Breakfast smoothie with plenty of green veg, oats and flaxseed which definitely helped kick start our day! And all the curries are so tasty, the Cashew Chickpea Korma was a surprising delight and they’ve turned the classic Chicken Tikka Masala into a much healthier but still hugely flavoursome dish.
Mindful eating is not their only focus, this B Corps company also ensure they only use ethically sourced, 100% British meat and sustainably sourced fish. They put the planet and people first so they’re definitely worthy of our support and deserving of being one of the best healthy ready meals for the food-loving bride! Nationwide Delivery www.mindfulchef.com/
Healthy meals that heat to eat in 3 minutes? Yes please! Tastily have certainly got the busy bride covered and they have a huge range of meals on offer. Each dish is created by Michelin-trained chefs, using high quality and as many British ingredients as possible. And fantastically, you only need fridge space as their meals aren’t frozen but sealed using their special brand packing technology which keeps all dishes fresh for 7 days, no preservatives necessary. It removes all the extra packaging and waste (and hassle of unpacking!) making their business more sustainable and they ensure all their deliveries are carbon neutral too.
We enjoyed all the dishes we tried, in particular the Miso Glazed Salmon and Satay Prawn Noodles plus the Pumpkin Curry & Rajma had a good spicy kick. We’d definitely recommend ordering to make your life easier. You’ll also be pleased to know that by ordering a box you’ll be helping the younger generation enjoy better food too. Tastily partner up with Chefs in Schools, a brilliant scheme which sees chefs being placed in schools (currently across London) to train up staff to provide nutritious and delicious food for children. A win-win in our book! Nationwide Delivery www.tastily.co.uk
Related article: www.theweddingedition.co.uk/10-of-the-best-online-workouts/