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!
A classic French casserole. Tender chicken breast pieces cooked with chunky vegetables in a tasty herb gravy. A real crowd pleaser.
Unfortunately, I learned early on in my life that I first taste my food with my sight... yes, that's the foodie version of judging a book by it's cover, but if the food doesn't look appealing, or reminds me of something else that's unpleasant, I find it hard to get past that and enjoy the food... also, having tasted authentic Coq au Vin I had high expectations.
For a start, Coq au Vin is made with red wine, so the pallor of this meal really didn't impress me at all. It also adds a dimension of flavour that I found important in the real deal, and lacking in this version. Still, when one is aiming to be allergy-safe sometime ingredients must be replaced with less-than-ideal substitutes.
To be clear, this meal was still more than just barely edible... it had a good taste profile, a nice texture, and a surprising amount of flavour... but it just wasn't one for me. Call me picky, a snob, or just plain unrealistic... but this was, for me, more of a "Chicken Casserole" than a "Coq au Vin"... so it was a clear selection for "the least favourite for me." That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it - I did - but nowhere near as much as I was hoping to, and for me that was a let-down.
Overall, still a great, tasty, natural, allergy-safe food that many will enjoy if for no other reason than it tastes far superior to the bland pap they have been forced to eat to date... but it's one I will reach past in favour of other flavours from the range.
Luckily for me I am not allergic to anything, although most people do know about my great dislike of Celery. But moving along, this meal is gluten, dairy, soy free which sounds great for people that can't or don't want any of these things.
I have to admit I don't know what a Chicken Coq au Vin should taste like, so I have nothing to compare it to the real deal. But I did read it had chicken in it, so that was a good start. I also know a lot of people say that anything gluten free usually tastes pretty bad, and the last time I had a meal given to me in a plastic type tray it wasn't the best.
But my oh my how times have changed. Gem Escape Meals has managed to make a quite tasty meal, it also had bacon in it which mean no one can go wrong with that. I must admit it wasn't the most appealing looking thing when I took it out of the oven, but it was tasty and I think gluten free, dairy free, and soy free people will be pleased with it as an easy meal option.
At first, I was slightly hesitant about this meal, but after trying it, this was quite a nice meal! The texture was interesting, there were solids, like carrot and chicken, but it was all suspended in a soup-like sauce. I found that this meal went really nice with buttered bread, but wasn't AS nice without it. I think that this is the most exotic of the lot, even the name is foreign, in fact I think that this is the first true french dish that I've had.
In terms of taste, I think that I'll give this meal a 9 out of 10, as this was very nice, but a bit of an acquired taste, so it wasn't good enough for me to give it a full 10. There was a good portion of food, it made a good, reasonably filling meal. The meal was easy to cook, the package showed instructions for cooking in both the microwave and the oven. The only problem was that in order to cook it properly, the meal has to be cooked, then left to stand, about twice before it has been cooked and it cool enough to eat.
This on-and-off cooking method was annoying, but not intolerable. To sum up my overall opinion, I think that this is a very efficient meal, in fact, I think the 4 heat-and-eat meals I've tried were very good, so I'd be interested to try any others of this brand!
This product is pictured served in a bowl and that is probably the best way to serve it accompanied by a lovely sour dough bread or a crusty French loaf. (unless of course you are gluten free and then you might be having a slice or two of your chosen "real bread" substitute). It is a very nice meal with all natural ingredients aside from the thickener 1422. The pieces of chicken, potato and carrot were a perfect size. I liked the silver beet which was slivered so finely it was perfect. I didn't even notice the mushrooms until I looked at the ingredient list so they were obviously finely cut into the sauce with the bacon.
The first thing hubby said was that a coq au vin should be red wine and this appeared to be a white wine sauce. The ingredient list states a wine stock concentrate whatever that is! Regardless we both really liked this as did the little misses. I would happily serve this up to guests with food intolerance's/allergies and will definitely be buying a few to have on hand for hubby when I haven't lovingly slaved over a hot stove to prepare a decent meal and he is faced with scrambled eggs for dinner. These meals are really a very guilt free way of having a quick and easy ready made meal without all the nasty additives that usually accompany such meals.
If you want a good gluten, dairy or soy free option to serve your family, yourself or guests this is a great product to try.
I was really hungry yesterday, and I couldn't stop munching on food. I decided that this heat n eat meal was probably not going to quite cut it. So I cooked it up and added some corn chips to the top. If I had been anywhere near a supermarket I would have gotten a crusty French loaf or something.
The gravy itself was nice and like a roast herb chicken flavour. The chicken used seemed to be good quality, though a little dry. The vegetables were not crisp, but as this meal is a casserole style, the texture of the vegetables were as expected.
Someone did say to me that Coq au vin should be made with a red wine. I googled it and that is true. Coq au vin, literally translates to rooster in wine, and is traditionally made with red wine. I guess from that point of view, it doesn't quite hit the mark. But as far as what was on the box is concerned and the presentation, the meal inside the packet is what was promised.
I did notice what appeared to be strings from celery, but I'm not sure how because there didn't seem to be celery in the mix. Ignoring the red wine issue, the flavour was good and tasty and it left me feeling satisfied. Not sure if I would buy this one again though, as there were others in the range that appealed more.
Today for lunch I had GEM French-style chicken coq au vin. I followed the instructions for heating in the microwave and my lunch was ready in less time than it took to unload the clothes dryer and throw the next lot in. When it first came out of the microwave it looked quite runny and I thought I would need some bread to mop up all the sauce. It was an illusion. It was just the right consistency to eat with a fork.
The sauce was very similar to that of the chicken and leek pie but milder. There was lots of potato cubes that were cooked enough to be soft but still held their shape. The chicken was very tender and their was much more bacon than I expected from reading the packet. A great bonus. There was a lovely mix of other vegetables, although I could have sworn there were celery pieces in their but I was mistaken as the only vegetables listed are carrot, mushrooms and silver beet.
I really enjoyed the meal not only for its taste but also for the convenience. It is great for people with food allergies but that doesn't mean the rest of us can't enjoy it.
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"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970)