As winter sets in what we eat during the day becomes even more important than in the summer. Those of us who eat at work might find that a sandwich or salad just doesn’t give us what we need – we need something warm, something filling, something that isn’t chips from the local pub! And without proper fitted kitchens in the office we rely on the kettle as our only source of heating up our food.
The Food Doctor have just released these new “Wholesome Pots”. Much like the Pot Noodle “instant hot food” idea, these pots are full of dehydrated food that you simply add boiling water to before tucking in.
The pots contain all natural dehydrated pulses, grains, herbs, spices and vegetables meaning they are a healthy and nutritious snack. They are full of fibre and protein, and provide slow-release energy to keep you going.
But if the thought of “bulgar wheat” doesn’t inspire you, The Food Doctor sent me one of each of the three pots to try on your behalf. And I have to admit I was a little apprehensive. I mean, I have been known to enjoy the odd Pot Noodle, but not for years now. These just seem like a posh version of that – but would they be any good?
There are three flavours which I tried last week on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:
Wednesday: Couscous and Lentil Pot with Tomatoes, Red Peppers and Cumin
This cous cous based pot took just five minutes to rehydrate, and smelt really good. As you can see below this was a cous cous dish with bits of veg in. It was – well – ok. I didn’t dislike it but it wasn’t anything special – it lacked a bit of oomph or something, needed to have a stronger flavour. I didn’t finish the pot, but what I did eat filled me up nicely until tea time - I didn’t need to snack in the afternoon to keep me going (although it was also the day my bike was stolen, so I don’t know how hungry I’d have been anyway).
Thursday: Bulgar Wheat and Quinoa Pot with Tomato, Black Olive and Basil
What is bulgar wheat? Absolutely no idea. I should probably find out.
I wasn’t sure about this pot – I was worried that it would lack flavour like the couscous one. But I was wrong – this was really tasty. The tomato and basil is nice and strong, and the bulgar wheat and quonia (despite not knowing what they actually are), were filling and gave the dish some texture. For the second day in a row I had no hunger during the afternoon (this really isn’t like me!), and this time I had enjoyed my lunch more too.
Friday: Bulgar Wheat and Quinoa Pot with Asparagus, Leek and Mint
Still unsure what bulgar wheat is, I was less concerned about what this might taste like. Of the three this was the one I was looking forward to trying the most anyway (they say “save the best til last”) – I liked the idea of this one with mint and leek and asparagus.
And it was indeed the nicest one of the three. There were lots of veges alongside the bulk and carbohydrate of the bulgar wheat/quinoa (I’m assuming it’s carbs!). As soon as I put the water in I could smell mint, and the herb really came through in the taste. This one is absolutely the best in my opinion, and is the one I will choose in future.
A couple of things in general about these. The fill line is on the outside of the pot (as you would expect!) but as it’s a thick card cup it’s impossible to see the line through to the inside – so one day my food was slightly wetter than another. Also, the two bulgar wheat pots take 10 minutes once you’ve put the boiling water in, still fast for what is essentially a hot meal in a pot, but not totally instant like cuppa soup – make sure you bear this in mind when you’re working out what time to eat!
I’ll definitely be keeping a couple of these in my desk drawer for days when I really need some hot food at lunch time. But these aren’t just good for lunch at your desk, they are great when you’re away from home (you always have a kettle in a hotel room) or if you just fancy something quick and easy in the evening.
Each pot costs £1.39 or £4.99 for four from The Food Doctor website, or for the same price (singles only) from Tesco.