Let’s talk convenience food…
It’s not exactly the healthiest meal option and although some steps have been taken by brands to provide us with healthy choices, let’s be honest when you can feel those hanger vibes coming on you need something quick and filling – a massive bowl of salad, no matter what you bung on it, well it just isn’t gonna cut it.
The options for a convenient lunch might include items such as pre-made sandwiches, wraps or the aforementioned salad bowls, but it all gets a bit samey samey after a while doesn’t it? And with the fresh chill of Autumn creeping upon us, I don’t know about you lot but I’m feeling as if I need something warm and comforting to fill my belly come midday.
Cue the new snack pots from Reggae musician and celebrity chef Levi Roots, which claim to spice up your lunchtime and ‘put some music in your food’. Well we like the sound of that, so let’s give these bad boys a try!
With a range of four different flavours and available for the bargainous price of just £1.29 per pot it seems a flippin’ good deal if you ask me. But the big question is what do they taste like?
Reggae Reggae Noodles
Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Sauce is their best selling sauce flavour and so it makes complete sense for this to be their flagship pot. Combining scotch bonnet chillies, allspice and herbs for that recognisably tangy Caribbean style bbq flavour, the Reggae Reggae Noodles pot is all kinds of spicy. Labelled as medium heat, it also suggests adding a teaspoon of chilli powder should you wish to make it hotter. I really like spicy food and after a few mouthfuls the heat really began to kick in, so personally I’d have said it was more than medium heat….
Usually instant snack pots, such as these, can have a sort of powdery after taste that isn’t particularly nice, and although the intense flavour of the Reggae Reggae Noodles is really yummy, I’m afraid to say that the powderiness was still there. On the plus side, the sauce thickens up to a lovely consistency and it did the job of filling me up. Eating out of a pot did make feel a little like a student again, hey some might argue that us bloggers share similarities, and there’s no doubt it’s an easy meal choice. In an ideal world, yes we’d all be meal prepping like a boss, but jeez we’re not always so flippin’ Girl Guide prepared are we!?!?
At 324 calories a pot it’s not so bad really, especially if you think of the amount you’d consume from a sandwich and a cheeky chocolate bar for pudding. It’s not natural whole foods, it’s certainly not clean eating and all that malarkey, but if you’re after a meal that only needs a kettle and 5 minutes of your time, then heck you could do far worse.
Caribbean Coconut Rice
Again described as medium heat, this low fat pot of Caribbean Coconut Rice is just 271 calories. However, even though I followed the instructions when making it up (basically boil the kettle, fill to the line and leave for a few minutes) it didn’t go all nice and thick like the noodles. The colour was all a bit fleshy grey pink and with the runny consistency it just kind of looked like dirty dishwater – not appetizing in the slightest.
But hey you should never judge a book by its cover…
In theory it should be delish – coconut milk, herbs, chilli, rice – sounds lush right. But it was just all a bit meh really. Sure there was a bit of heat to it, but other than that there was no wow flavour and I ended up having a couple of spoonful’s and then chucking the rest in the bin.
I felt it lacked substance, it needed more bite to it, more lumps of protein and well I was left feeling really disappointed by it. And, as with most low fat products, the sugar levels are a little high for my liking – 6.9g of it in fact! Combine that with the taste and I can safely say this one’s really not for me.
The best thing about this one is unfortunately… the name. Again, like the rice, I found the sauce way too watery even though I followed the instructions to a tee. I’m really not keen on bits of pasta floating in soup and that’s what it was like. Low fat at 260 calories per pot, but this one has even more sugar – 8.2 g!
Described as spicy tomato and herb pasta with a Caribbean twist, the twirly fusilli pasta did have a spicy kick to it even though it’s labelled as mild. It was OK, but nothing to shout home about unfortunately, and like the noodles there was that same powdery aftertaste.
Levi’s Curry Noodles
So it’s back to noodles, and as far as I’m concerned this is what Levi Roots should stick with, because they just work so much better in a pot than rice and pasta. They thicken up better, they create more volume in the pot and it feels like a much more hearty and satisfying meal. This mild Caribbean curry has a more respectable 2g of sugar and 308 calories – worth the few extra calories to avoid the high sugar content in my opinion. And it smells lovely when you make it up, really creamy, spicy and droolworthy. Without a doubt my favourite of the lot, with hints of turmeric, cumin and fennel creeping through, it’s on the right side of stodgy and perfect for a quick grab and go autumnal lunch.
There you have it.
I’ll be honest I’m a bit on the fence with these. On the one hand I’m really not keen on these fast, convenient foods, but I also get that life throws us curveballs and we cannot be totally on our healthy meal prep best ALL of the time. Just like everything, it boils down to personal taste and you really would need to try these yourself to see if you like them. Hopefully, however, my review will help you decide whether these snack pots are likely to feature on those days you just can’t be bothered to make a packed lunch!
For more information about the range of products available head on over to the Levi Roots website.
*products gifted for review.