Ready meals conjure up images of tasteless, bland food; the traditional TV dinner served in foil trays and often left, congealing and discarded on the coffee table. These days however, the ready meal has come into its own. With societies increasingly hectic schedules, longer working hours and increasing commuting times, getting in from a long day at work to a home cooked meal is often not a reality for most people. Recent market research found that the UK currently spends £4.7 billion on ready to eat convenience food each year and an increase in consumer demands for good quality food means that the humble ready meal has never been better – the rise of the gourmet ready meal is happening. An emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, expertly cooked and free from the traditional additives and preservatives means that they can be as good in quality as genuine home cooked meals.
Lodge Farm Kitchen are producers of gourmet ready meals based in beautiful Ross-on-Wye. A family business established in 2009 on their own farm they used home grown vegetables and beef from their own herd of Dexter cattle. With the expansion of the business and relocation to new premises, they now rely on produce sourced from the surrounding area and are proud to support local farmers. The meals themselves are prepared by expert, creative chefs who are passionate about creating great quality meals. Once cooked the meals are blast frozen to lock in the flavour and nutrients, meaning there is no need to add the artificial preservatives often found in ready meals. There is lots of variety to choose from so you’re not stuck for choice! Their luxury fishpie is made with poached haddock and salmon in a creamy parsley sauce and topped with mashed potato, the Thai green chicken curry is made using free range British chicken and homemade Thai sauce with chillies, lemongrass, cumin and coriander and their roasted vegetable lasagne made with slow cooked tomato concasse, courgettes, aubergines, peppers and mushrooms layered with pasta and bechamel sauce and topped with mature Cheddar cheese is absolutely delicious! None of those take your fancy? The full range is available to view here: http://www.iscafoods.co.uk/lodge-farm-kitchen/.
Ready meals are continuing to evolve with the times with many companies now cottoning on to the big business of gourmet frozen meals made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients and perfectly cooked. Many companies are now reducing the amount of plastic used in the production of their frozen meals including Lodge Farm Kitchen who ensure that all of their packaging can be re-used. This evolutionary business means that there is now a tasty, viable alternative to traditional TV dinners.