Our lives are getting busier, but that doesn't mean having to compromise on the food we eat. Gem Escape Meals have been created as a range of healthy, delicious meals to appeal to a range of appetites.
Created with your body in mind, Gem Escape Meals use only safe ingredients to create top quality meals. Whether you are gluten free, dairy free, soy free or just enjoy good, healthy food, there is a delicious, convenient meal to suit you. Food should taste great no matter your diet, intolerance or food preference!
Country Chicken and Leek Pie is a commonwealth classic. Braised chicken and leeks, cooked with sweet corn and mustard seeds and topped with a fluffy agria potato mash.
I have never been a huge fan of leeks - one of those vegetables that I was forced to eat as a child and thus never really learned to enjoy, thanks to bad memories of nights sitting at the dinner table staring at a plate of Evil Greenies while everyone else was enjoying fruit salad and ice-cream. Still, as an adult, I was willing to overlook my horrific past and give this a go... and though I must say it's not a dish I would be in a hurry to go and buy, and far from my first choice out of just this range even, it was a meal I wouldn't turn my nose up at if I was offered it again.
I was hoping for a lot more chicken in the dish, but I can appreciate that to keep the meal affordable it couldn't be my ideal chicken pie... which is basically a slab of chicken, a thin coating of sauce, and some creamy mashed spud slathered on top. Heck, even I don't get the chance to make it that way either! But, considering the price point, the gluten-free nature of it, and the almost total lack of anything artificial or processed, this was a success by any standards.
Overall, if you like leeks, you'll enjoy this pie. The leek flavour was clear and dominant, which caused me to take a point off the 'Taste' rating, and another because the mash was a little watery and saltier than I prefer... but that's my preference, and this is bound to appeal to a wide enough market to be a viable seller. Healthy, tasty, recyclable packaging and NZ-made... what a brilliant combo!
Here we are with another gluten, dairy, soy free meal from the good people at Gem escape meals, I liked the look of the picture on the packet and then realised I can't visualise the taste of anything before eating it really, probably why I eat almost anything.
It did suggest on the packet that if you wanted to add some cheese to the top of it, you could. This voids the dairy free aspect of the meal but it was open season for me with a block of cheese and a cheese grater. As for taste, it was good like the other meals I have tasted, and I didn't feel the leek was overpowering in this dish.
The biggest thing I find is that there is a great option for people that can't tolerate certain foods, now I can;t imagine anyone buying a weeks supply of these meals, but for a quick easy meal that you don't need to worry about, then check it out. I think Gem Escape Meals have the recipe just right.
When I first saw this one, the first thing that popped into my head was: "this looks and sounds a bit like cottage pie!", this was the driving force behind my willingness to try this meal. I found out that leeks are some sort of green vegetable, similar to spring onions and chives. While I have never tried this vegetable before, as far as I know, it still tasted quite well in this dish.
The chicken in the meal was good, it added a nice flavour and seemed to go well with the leek, so I have to say that one of the main ingredients in this dish turned out well! There were some spices in this meal that went deliciously well with the other ingredients, they added a bit of tang, or maybe that was the Dijon Mustard that was mixed in as well.
I loved the topping the most, the potato was just right, not too dry, not too soggy. The cooking method was good, it requires a bit of cooking and then leaving to stand, but while the constant on-and-off method might be a bit on the annoying side, it all pays off, because the result is a delicious-tasting meal for one! The box shows a tasty-looking image of the meal, and while it is shown on a plate instead to the black tray that you cook this in, it appeals to the eye, and that is usually what most people look for first.
I am impressed that this meal is gluten-free, it didn't affect the taste as far as I know, but this means that those who have gluten allergies or who are on special diets can breathe easy while eating this, as the flavour is still good, and is still very appetizing. I have to agree that this meal IS deliciously convenient, as you can freeze this thing for about a year, and then heat it whenever you want it. GENIUS!!!! Overall, I have to say that this tasty dish is delicious, slightly exotic, and is VERY impressive, I highly recommend that you give it a try!
Interestingly this was the one meal of the four that I served my family that I thought the little misses would be guaranteed to eat. The picture on the cardboard packaging made it look so appealing I couldn't wait to try it either. I loved that the only "artificial" ingredient on this was the thickener 1422. It is refreshing to see a product that strives to be all natural.
I followed the instructions re use in the microwave but as I was cooking all four of the meals it took a while to cook all four. They were easy to cook though putting into the microwave, heating for 5 minutes with a minute to stand whilst cooking and after before removing the film. The sauce/filling was a little runnier and not as substantial as I expected so didn't look anything like the packet!
Hubby enjoyed the taste more than I did, though for both of us this was our least favourite of the four meals we tried. I didn't like the corn in it (which is weird because I love corn) but I loved the taste of the chicken and the leeks. No-one really liked the potato that much but then we are all used to having lots of butter in our mash whereas this tasted a bit salty. In comparison to other ready made meals I have had in the past though this was probably a nicer mash...
The little misses didn't like this at all though to be fair even if I had cooked it I am not sure they would have eaten it as leeks aren't quite the vege of choice for them yet!
If you want a healthy ready made meal option then this is definitely a much better option than the majority of ready made meals I have eaten in the past and well worth trying if you have any sort of dietary intolerances or allergies.
GEM's country chicken and leek pie was the first of their products I had tried because it appealed to me the most. I choose to have it on its own for lunch. It is a simple heat and eat meal. All I had to do was remove the tray from the box, stab some holes in the top and after four minutes in the microwave it was ready.
Like most microwave meals it was very hot on the outside and just right in the middle so it is best to eat from the inside out. Although it is called a pie it isn't a pie in the traditional sense. There is no pastry. It has a base of chicken, leeks and corn topped with mashed spuds. It was so light and creamy it was hard to believe that it was dairy free.
I enjoyed the taste. There was a slight mustard kick to it and I usually avoid mustard but this was nice. The chicken was very tender and the texture of the leeks was evident. This is definitely a meal I will buy not only for its taste but also for the convenience and nutrition.
I am pleased I don't have food allergies but I have several friends and family members that do. It is pleasing to see that it is not only gluten free but dairy, egg and soy free too. This will mean that most people can eat it.
I took this heat and eat meal to work with me today for lunch. The meal came in a cardboard box. I found the branding and presentation to be fun and definitely eye catching. I liked the white background and the yellow and blue font reminded me of my ideal kitchen colour combo. The almost hand-drawn look of the logo was a nice touch.
This meal promises to be almost entirely allergen free. This would be great for anyone who needs to be gluten free amongst other things. I was interested to see what this would taste like. I followed the instructions on the box. So firstly I microwaved for 4 minutes, rested it and then gave it an extra minute.
The instructions were really clear, including the warning about steam. I managed not to burn myself. I sat down with the meal and it was piping hot. The gravy from the chicken and leek mixture had bubbled a little up the sides. I slowly ate this in the lunchroom. My lunch mate said it looked nice, but he wasn't a fan of leek so he didn't want to try it. I personally have no issues with leek, but I guess it could be a polarising flavour for some.
The heat from the mustard was evident, but it wasn't too overpowering. So you could still taste all the other flavours, but the mustard featured well. The potato for me wasn't creamy enough. But without dairy in the mix, it was as expected. Since I usually make my own with butter, milk and cheese I was unlikely to enjoy a dairy free version. Still, it wasn't awful by any means.
I enjoyed the meal and it was nicely filling for me. I think this range would be great for if you were newly gluten free and you weren't sure what was safe to eat. Or if you were just looking for something a bit different for your lunches or dinners and you wanted to make a healthier choice. You don't have to have those intolerances to enjoy the product at all.
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