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Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara in it's packaging

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara in it’s packaging

Here’s something I wouldn’t normally eat, it’s Spaghetti, I’m not a lover of the long strands of pasta, they don’t go well with my fear of choking 😀 . But I bought this to try and overcome that fear…. How brave am I lol

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, nutritional information

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, nutritional information

The nutritional information is clear, the whole packaging was clear and easy to read, although it was black and white some people with certain medical conditions may have difficulty reading it. Personally I feel the calorie content of 762Kcal, 37.8g Fat and 19.4g Saturated Fat is high. I decided to look in to the recommended levels of these ingredients. According to the NHS.UK website…

  • the average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day

  • the average woman should eat no more than 20g of saturated fat a day

The website also went on to say about the different levels, this dish would be considered high because it had more than 5g of Saturated fat per 100g. There was a red marker on the front of the package, all the key figures of this dish were high, now I feel like I probably shouldn’t have eaten this lol. I’m going to look into this more and maybe see if I can make it myself and hopefully reduce the bad elements.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, ingredients

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, ingredients

The packet described the product as:

Spaghetti and beech smoked bacon in a creamy cheese sauce.

The ingredients list is straight forward enough, things you’d expect to find in a Carbonara. I don’t quite know what the purpose of the Pork Gelatine in the ingredients were, so I asked Tesco? I sent them a tweet eight days ago…. no reply as yet 😡 will let you know when I do get one though.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, cooking instructions

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara, cooking instructions

The cooking instructions were great, they were clear to understand and although not displaying times for my microwave it was easy to work out the correct time.

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

Time-Saving Tuesday – Tesco Italian Spaghetti Carbonara

This wasn’t a bad ready meal in all fairness, it wasn’t my favourite but itI don’t have any doubt that some people would really enjoy it. The pasta was ok, it was a little chewy but I’m not daft that was probably the way I cooked it. The sauce was creamy but slightly claggy, the pasta was stuck together too, I did stir it but it didn’t seem to make a difference. The sauce didn’t really have the smoky flavour to it that I was expecting and the bacon was pointless, they weren’t really big enough to taste.5 stars

I’d award this five stars, the packaging was clear, the instructions were straightforward and the taste wasn’t too bad. It’s not the best meal I’ve had from Tesco but it’s not the worst. Maybe some more garlic and a bigger hit of smokiness and we’d have been ok.Wheelie Good Meals Social Networking

As always you can get in touch using the social networks above, I’d love to hear from you. How are your Christmas preparations going, are you all ready? I’ve done all my shopping and they’re all wrapped so just bring on the festivities. On the weekend I’ll be sharing with you my take on Rachel Khoo’s Cauliflower Cheese Burgers, they’re totally veggie and great as a starter or main course… or even as a snack!wheelie-good-meals-christmas-door-web-

I’d like to thank Greg (for his company, on our trips away and his photography and not to mention his driving), my mother Mags (for being my sous chef and chief taster, and for putting up with me), Chris (for his technical help), Melanie (Melanie’s Food Adventures for listening to me moan and for her guest posts, which have been some of the most popular posts to date), Alice and Heather (for their ideas), Dave (for his fantastic artwork), Kirsty (for her photography) and Sharon (for the glass). Thanks also to everyone who hosts the linkies I’ve linked up with over the past year, and I’d especially like to thank you all for your support and for stopping by week after week to read the posts.

I doubt I’ll be posting anything until after the new year, so just in case I don’t I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto

Time-Saving Tuesdays – 2 Ready Meals From Annabel Karmel

Time-Saving Tuesdays – 2 Ready Meals From Annabel Karmel

You may remember that some time ago… as a plonker…. I bought two children’s ready meals made by Annabel Karmel. The first one I’ve reviewed was the “Delicious Beef Cottage Pie” on 9th June 2015. When reviewing that I gave it a 3 when looking at it as an adult meal and 6 when looking at it from a child’s persepective.

Was I harsh, well a little it probably could have had a higher score as a child’s ready meal but it’s how I felt at the time. Anyway onwards to the second ready meal I bought from Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto in it's box

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto in it’s box

Like the Cottage Pie, I think the package is great, it was clean and eye catching, it was concise but yet engaging for children. It had a clear description of what the product was and also a nice message from Annabel herself

As a mum I understand how important it is to give our children the best, even on those days. That’s why I’ve created a range of easy meals inspired by my trusty homemade recipes. They are full of flavour and fun to eat – just like my cookbook favourites. Toddlers and children will love them.

The box describes it as “Just like you’d make it at home” – I’m not sure if that’s strictly true because I’ve never made a risotto at home 🙄 . I know Mel has over at Melanie’s Food Adventures so maybe we should ask her what a homemade Risotto is like 😆 .

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto nutritional information

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto nutritional information

You may remember I asked Melanie for her advice on the nutritional information as I don’t have a clue. I noticed that the quantities of Salt and Sugars are much higher in this ready meal, I’m wondering why this is, below is a table of the breakdown of Salt, Sugar and Protein in both the Cottage Pie and the Risotto.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto ingredients list

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto ingredients list

I really liked the ingredient list, like the rest of the packaging it was clear and well laid out, there was very little to confuse me other than anti-oxidant which I have no clue about. I looked it up on Wikipedia (my sister Heather Googles everything I Wikipedia everything…. it works for me 😀 )! Wikipedia says:

An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction involving the loss of electrons or an increase in oxidation state. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions.

Now the sciency people would understand this, people like Ben Way who have a handle of maths and science but for me it sounds like the start of one of my friend Graham’s music quizzes. The Free Radicals are a group based in America and well Chain Reaction…. (sings to himself) “And I was there and not dancing with anyone, You took a little, then you took me over, You set your mark on stealing my heart away, Crying, trying, anything for you….” I digress 😳 !

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto cooking instructions

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto cooking instructions

The microwave cooking instructions were really clear, however, it didn’t give the right time for my microwave. It did however, tell you how to cook it from chilled which you don’t see often, this I think is a really good idea. The cooking instructions for using an oven were also very clear and equally as informative.

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto served up and ready to eat

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto served up and ready to eat

The packaging described this ready meal as being

Chicken breast cooked with Arborio rice and vegetables.

I think this was a really simplistic way at looking at something which had a great deal of flavour, for a child’s ready meal. It was quite tomatoey with the sun-dried tomatoes and the tomato paste, I also felt the presence of two types of cheese worked well and held all the ingredients together. The rice was soft, it didn’t offer a great deal of textural difference to the dish, but there was chicken!!

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto, look at that chunk of chicken

Time-Saving Tuesdays – Annabel Karmel Chicken, Tomato and Veggie Risotto, look at that chunk of chicken

Yes there was chicken lol! This was something I was so impressed with, the dish was quite soft, I understand that it was a child’s ready meal and that’s why but the presence of the nice sized pieces of chicken made it feel a bit more real, like it was a smaller portion of an adult’s ready meal.

What would I score this, well the last ready meal by Annabel Karmel I reviewed I gave two scores one for children (6) and one for adults (3). I’m not going to do that for this one, I’m going to give it one score, 5 out of 10. I enjoyed it, it was tasty, light and had plenty of chicken. Both these ready meals were a happy accident for me and I’d happily eat them again, I’m no expert on what children eat I’d certainly recommend these ready meals to my parent friends.5 starsCome back Thursday for my Sausage Meatballs in a Spicy Tomato Sauce. Don’t forget you can visit us on social media, please feel free to like and share the reviews and recipes on this site, get involved on my social media pages to tell me what you think, or give me some ideas for Time-Saving Tuesdays or recipes I can make.

Strictly Suppers 2014 Banner

Strictly Suppers 2014 Banner

Also if you’re a fan of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing you’ll know it’s coming back on soon. To mark that I’ll be re-launching my #StrictlySuppers feature again, so any ideas you have on that will be greatly appreciated. If anyone’s interested my money’s on Ainsley…. who else would it be on lol!

See you Thursday

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