Let’s be clear: there are a lot of ready meals available, enough so that you could argue that we are beyond spoilt for choice. There is something for the needs of everyone - such as if you are trying to lose weight or have a busy day job.
Field Doctor is a relatively new brand with one goal: to create health-boosting food while leaving the planet in a better place. An ambitious goal to live up to, we had a look at four meals by Field Doctor for the purposes of an honest review.
Compared to most other brands, Field Doctor is somewhat unique when it comes to packaging. Most brands go for the bland colours and somewhat blend into one. Field Doctor has a unique, pleasing and ascetically pleasing colour to the exterior packaging - a kind of calming, turquoise green light hue.
The instructions are also straightforward to follow, making this ultimately accessible to everyone; you can use a microwave or an oven. (Always a bonus if you are hindered by a lack of some facilities.) The health information is clearly spelt out, with direct and to-the-point labels as well.
As to initial impressions? Compared to other mainstream brands, the four reviewed meals were easy to freeze - and the size was also easy to stack up in a fridge freezer as well. The use of the packaging also made this consumer smile - simply because it is just out of the ordinary.
Some of the meals look really good, tasty - even when not cooked! The Beef Ragu Penne, in particular, looked especially tasty, as did the potato chicken pie/ That being said, the Goan Fish Curry did look a little bit off-putting.
What makes a consumer a convert? The relatively cheap price tag, too.
As someone who does not own a microwave, it took a degree of planning to cook a Field Doctor meal. Using an oven is obviously going to take a lot longer - and the sound of a rumbling stomach will soon begin, especially with the delicious smells emanating in the kitchen! The beef ragu penne was so utterly tasty - and a re-order will promptly be filed, too.
If you have particular access needs, the design of the overall package works incredibly well, too. It can be fiddly to remove a plastic film while cooking, be it after ten, fifteen, twenty minutes. It can also be difficult to navigate moving the physical bowl that holds your meal - but Field Doctor is somewhat unique, in having a slightly different design than most mainstream brands. Accessibility for everyone is important, and it is great that there is a brand that has exactly that!
And now, for the most important part - the taste test! Each dish was, of course, different, as well as being entirely unique. We tried a beef ragu penne dish, as well a potato topped chicken pie, Goan fish curry, and a chicken jalfrezi. All of the dishes were incredibly filling - and no extras are needed.
The meat side of some of the dishes was a little bit sparse at times, such as when it came to the Goan fish curry; there was too much extra potato on top, with the meat being at the bottom. However, the different ingredients were also interesting from an analytical point of view - the different flavour combinations are unlike anything else you will find on most food shelves.
If you need somewhere for a quick and easy meal, you have found the right place! The beef ragu penne was especially delicious - and Field Doctor has something for all, too.
Products can be purchased directly from www.fielddoctor.co.uk
Chatting Food Contributor: Lydia Wilkins
Lydia Wilkins is an NCTJ qualified journalist with bylines in The Independent, Refinery 29, The Metro and other publications. She covers disability, social affairs and the intersection of both with lifestyle. She is also a bi-monthly columnist for ShoutOutUK, where she also contributes features. She is also working on her debut book, The Autism Friendly Cookbook, due for release in 2022.