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The week where I tried Mindful Chef ready meals

Week 42: Monday 25th October - Sunday 31st October 2021

I've been getting a bit bored of my lunches just recently. It's nearly always eggs - poached eggs on toast with spinach, scrambled eggs on toast with spinach, or boiled eggs with dipping bread and spinach.

That's pretty much all I seem to have at lunch times.

I mean, I do like eggs. And it does keep my PT happy because I'm getting plenty of protein. It's also quick and easy - I really don't want to spend more than 5 minutes cooking at lunch times, as I'm busy with other stuff during the day...

I did brighten things up a couple of weeks ago, by adding Mindful Chef smoothies to my lunches - I'm just craving a change from all of the eggs though!

The week where I tried Mindful Chef smoothies
I’ve never made a smoothie before, so on my first attempt I spent a few minutes staring blankly at my new NUTRiBULLET blender and my Mindful Chef smoothie portion, wondering what on earth to do next.

Trying out Mindful Chef ready meals

So this week, instead of all of the eggs at lunch times, I've decided I'm going to give Mindful Chef ready meals a try.

Mindful Chef ready meals are a bit different from most ready meals. Normally, when I think of ready meals I think of added salt, sugars, sweeteners, preservatives, and generally low quality, mass-produced ingredients.

Mindful Chef ready meals are not like that though.

In keeping with the underlying ethos of the brand, these ready meals are super-healthy, and here are a few of the reasons why...

  • The meals are cooked by hand in small batches, then immediately frozen to lock in the nutrients.
  • Each ready meal contains only fresh ingredients - no added sugars, sweeteners or preservatives.
  • These ready meals use only the highest quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients.
  • Each meal contains at least 15g of protein (helping with muscle repair after exercise, as well as helping to keep you feeling full for longer).
  • Each ready meal is gluten free, dairy free and free from sugary, refined carbs.

Choosing my Mindful Chef ready meals

Mindful Chef currently have a selection of 17 nutritious ready meals to choose from. Twelve of these are meat-based meals and five are vegetarian.

I'm trying to keep my meat intake to a minimum at the moment so I decide to go for mostly vegetarian options. This does limit my choice quite a bit - it would be good to see a few more vegetarian options.

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My final choice of meals for this week are, the chickpea tikka masala with red rice, the Moroccan chickpea tagine with tricolour quinoa, the aubergine moussaka with lentils, the veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash, and finally just one meat meal - the smoky chipotle chicken.

Screenshot of my Mindful Chef ready meal choices for this week's order.

The cost of Mindful Chef ready meal lunches

Each Mindful Chef ready meal is priced between £4.50 and £5.50 for a one-person portion.

As this is my lunch time food, not an evening meal, I'm thinking I will split each ready meal in half to create a small portion. This brings the average cost of the ready meal part of my lunch down to around £2.50 instead of £5. I'll also be adding a Mindful Chef smoothie to each lunch, which adds around £2.40 to the cost. Finally, I'll probably add some buttered bread, or perhaps a poached egg for a protein boost, to some of the meals, adding perhaps another 50p per meal.

So in total, it looks like I'll be spending somewhere around £5 per lunch, which is not bad at all, especially considering how healthy and quick to prepare the food is.

Mindful Chef ready meal delivery

Mindful Chef offer free next day delivery on shop orders over £24 placed before 2pm. Well, I placed my order at around 10pm in the evening, and was shocked to find that I still got next day delivery - my meals arrived around 12pm lunch time, the next day.

That's ridiculously speedy - I'm not even sure how they managed that!

Cooking Mindful Chef ready meals

The Mindful Chef ready meals can all be cooked from frozen. Simply throw one in the microwave for up to 10 minutes, or chuck it in the oven for around 45 minutes. Personally, I'll be going for the oven option, as I think things always taste better when cooked in the oven.

As I'm only having half a portion per lunch, I'll be allowing the meal to defrost just enough so that I can break it into two portions. One portion will be going straight in the oven (with a slightly reduced cooking time given the smaller portion size), and the leftover portion will be going in the fridge, ready to be cooked the next day.

Mindful Chef ready meal nutrition

Here's a sortable table, to make it easier to compare the nutritional information of each ready meal. The table below shows the calories, fat, carbs, sugar, fibre, protein and salt content per 100g (each ready meal is between 400g - 450g per serving). Just click on the table headers to sort the table:

Mindful Chef ready meal nutritional information (per 100g)

Meal Calories (kcal) Fat (g) Carbs (g) Sugar (g) Fibre (g) Protein (g) Salt (g)
Mexican Beef Barbacoa with Brown Rice and Beans 107 2.2 11 1.9 1.9 9.9 0.45
Panang Chicken Curry with Black Rice 115 5.1 10.1 1.9 1.7 6.9 0.86
Fish Pie with Sweet Potato Mash 115 4.5 14.1 1.9 2.0 3.6 0.54
Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice 120 5.0 10.2 2.0 1.2 7.4 0.55
Veggie Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Mash 83 1.8 12.8 5.5 2.9 2.8 0.74
Aubergine Moussaka with Lentils 90 4.2 8.9 3.4 3.6 3.8 0.56
Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Tricolour Quinoa 108 3.4 10.8 3.6 2.2 8.4 0.41
Rustic chicken cacciatore 91 2.2 6.5 2.4 1.6 10.4 0.78
Smoky chipotle chicken 96 1.2 11.0 5.2 1.1 9.8 0.85
Chili Con Carne with Brown Rice 100 3.9 10.8 2.3 1.6 5.0 0.58
Moroccan Chickpea Tagine with Tricolour Quinoa 79 2.2 11.1 3.2 2.8 3.1 0.36
Butter Bean and Mushroom Bake 107 5.9 8.4 3.6 3.0 4.0 0.48
Cashew and Chickpea Korma with Black Rice 121 5.6 12.6 1.9 2.7 3.7 0.65
Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash 93 3.7 9.6 4.8 1.6 4.7 0.46
Keralan Cod Curry with Black Rice 127 6.6 9.7 1.3 2.0 6.1 0.65
Pesto Salmon with Provençal Veg and Tricolour Quinoa 103 5.2 4.7 2.1 2.4 8.1 0.78
Chickpea Tikka Masala with Red Rice 122 4.9 14.3 1.9 2.6 3.4 0.50
Cashew satay chicken 133 5.5 12.8 2.2 1.3 7.8 0.49
Warming coconut dahl with roasted squash 105 3.9 13.3 2.4 1.9 3.3 0.5

Dry ice fun

One cool thing about ordering from the Mindful Chef shop is that products come packaged with dry ice, to keep everything really cold. It's lots of fun putting all of the ice into the kitchen sink, adding some water to it, and then watching all of the steam swirling off the dry ice!

The verdict on Mindful Chef ready meals

They're amazing. The meals taste just as good as the main recipe boxes - they taste like 'real' food, rather than a typical ready meal. The meals are healthy, nutritious, easy and effortless to prepare, with the added bonus of minimal washing-up, due to no food prep.

To be honest, I'm even tempted to occasionally replace some of my evening meals with these ready meals. I feel like they would be so useful to have on hand, for those occasional evenings where I just feel too tired and exhausted to want to cook.

Purchasing your Mindful Chef ready meals

Simply head over to the Mindful Chef shop, fill your shopping cart with your chosen healthy ready meals (and perhaps also some nutritious smoothies or soups and broths), then head over to the checkout to pay for your goods. You won't have long to wait - for orders over £24 placed by 2pm there is free next day delivery.

Thank you for reading this post!

If you're enjoying following my weight loss journey and would like to keep up to date, you can follow me on Instagram, or subscribe to my email newsletter, or leave me a comment below.

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This week I have been eating...

Breakfast: One Weetabix with oat milk. One piece of brown buttered toast with marmite. One cup of black coffee.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: A Mindful Chef ready meal: veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash (half a portion), with one piece of buttered, brown bread. A Mindful Chef passion fruit breakfast smoothie.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's red Thai salmon, coconut and lime rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Muesli with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: A Mindful Chef ready meal: veggie shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash (half a portion), with one piece of buttered, brown bread. A Mindful Chef orange energiser smoothie.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's red Thai salmon, coconut and lime rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Two Weetabix with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: None today.

Lunch: A Mindful Chef ready meal: smoky chipotle chicken (half a portion). A Mindful Chef lean green smoothie.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's smoky baked bean chicken traybake.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Two Weetabix with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: A cherry and almond slice from My Loaf bakery.

Lunch: A Mindful Chef ready meal: smoky chipotle chicken (half a portion). A Mindful Chef passion fruit breakfast smoothie.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's smoky baked bean chicken traybake.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Two Weetabix with oat milk. One cup of black coffee.

Snack: Two pieces of brown, buttered toast with Marmite. One cup of black coffee.

Lunch: A Mindful Chef ready meal: aubergine moussaka with lentils (half a portion), with one piece of buttered brown bread and one poached egg. A Mindful Chef orange energiser smoothie.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's baharat chickpeas and parsley rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Two Weetabix with oat milk. Two or three cups of black coffee throughout the morning.

Snack: One piece of brown, buttered toast with Marmite.

Lunch: A Mindful Chef ready meal: aubergine moussaka with lentils (half a portion), with one piece of buttered brown bread and one poached egg. A Mindful Chef lean green smoothie.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's baharat chickpeas and parsley rice.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

Breakfast: Two Weetabix with oat milk. One cup of black coffee.

Snack: A caramel, almond and sea salt snack bar from Kind Snacks.

Lunch: A Mindful Chef ready meal: chickpea tikka masala with red rice (half a portion), with one poached egg.

Snack: Two cups of tea, each with a dash of oat milk.

Dinner: Mindful Chef's purple sweet potato and aubergine mezze dip.

Snack: A small bowl of muesli with oat milk.

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