Tesco has very recently launched an all-Vegan ready-meal range through Wicked Kitchen
. It’s the brain-child of chef Derek Sarno , to ‘celebrate everything that’s wicked and tasty about plants’ and is a collection of 20 dishes that range from ready-made pizzas, curries, noodles and pasta dishes, salads, wraps and sandwiches that are 100% plant-based. As soon as I found out about the range I was so excited to get my hands on some of the meals to try and I couldn’t wait to share my experience of the range with you;
The first that I tried was the Wicked Kitchen
Caponata Sourdough Pizza – A wood-fired sourdough pizza topped with a caper and basil tomato sauce, caramelised shredded red onion, marinated aubergine, chargrilled red peppers and olives with a sachet of Minty-herby salsa to drizzle.
As someone who is plant-based and not 100% Vegan can I just say that I didn’t miss cheese on this pizza at all – The mix of flavours present was more than enough for my taste buds and the pizza base came out perfectly crisp on the bottom but beautifully moist in the middle ( Which can be hard to get from a ready-made, supermarket pizza!).
There were a few things I particularly liked about this pizza :
I love the caramelised onion ‘sweetness’ to compliment the saltiness of the olives and the slight sweetness fo the base sauce in comparison to the mint herb salsa. in general the flavours have been balanced really well and that’s something that definitely impressed me.
The marinated aubergine tasted Devine. For me personally I’ve found that aubergine has a tendency to be leathery when not cooked properly, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this pizza didn’t have that problem at all ( and , if I’m being completely honest, I originally thought that they were mushrooms before I read the ingredients. Whoops!).
The second item that I tried was the Wicked Kitchen Rainbow Curry Bowl – Curried lentils and chickpeas with tandoori style sweet potato chunks, onion haji’s, red onion, mixed vegetables with diced mango, coriander and a small tub of mint ‘raita’ style dressing. A Few thoughts:
I love the mix of the cooked vegetables with the raw carrot, coriander and mango chunks.
I was initially a bit worried as it described the sweet potatoes as ‘fiery’ but it was subtle enough not to blow my head off – for that I’m thankful!
What I was most surprised about though was not only how ‘creamy’ the curried lentils and chickpeas were but also the mint ‘raita’ ( similar to tzatziki ) dressing. They both seemed very ‘decadent’ in a way I hadn’t anticipated.
The final product I tried was some trusty Vegan comfort food, their BBQ beans & mash – A three bean and mushroom combo ( butter beans, black beans and red kidney beans) in a ‘Mesquite-style’ chilli barbecue sauce, on a butternut squash mash with sweet potato chunks and a carrot and cabbage ‘slaw.
I was really excited for this dish because I love pretty much every single ingredient in the dish! In particular:
I loved the BBQ sauce with-a-kick! – definitely made the beans an indulgence, especially when mixed with the subtlety of the barely-there sweetness from the creamy butternut squash mash.
The sweet potato chunks had a slight kick to them, without being overpowering – yumm!
I wasn’t sure what I’d think of the ‘slaw minus any sort of additional ‘cream/mayo’ type ingredient, vegan or otherwise. But the carrots and cabbage had been bathed in an acidic vinegar type dressing without being too bitter for a tangy, sweet ‘pickled’ taste.
Overall all the products I tried were extremely fresh and the ingredients felt high-quality, especially for supermarket ready-meals. Wicked Kitchen
are masters at flavour balancing, that’s for sure!
I’ve already made plans to pick up more of the range in the future to try. As a plant-based eater who’s constantly on-the-go it’s amazing to have these options available in supermarkets for when I want a treat without having to cook for myself ( Yes, even food creators and stylists want he occasional kitchen break!). I’m also happy that the range isn’t completely focused on ‘healthy healthy healthy’ Vegan food but also as an indulgence.
This post is sponsored by Tesco. The views expressed in this article are completely mine though and made with love as always.
#wickedkitchen @tescofood @DerekSarno