Thursday, 30 May 2013

ilumi - Gluten, Nut And Milk Free Foods

ilumi foods
Two Of The Vast Range
Ilumi have been around for nearly a decade in County Durham but now they're launching nationwide and they've kindly sent me some of their products to try. I had no idea what I would be receiving I just knew that it was gluten free food of some description, on opening the box I was presented with six pouches of ready meals, rice and sauces and two trays of Tagine and Casserole.

As these are samples most of the packaging isn't the finished version so I had to go to the website to check on ingredients. 

ilumi foods
Choices, Choices
Guess what? Pepper. Pepper is in five of the eight products. I fully expected it when I saw the kind of food they were but it still sucks.

This is what illumi sent me:

Yellow Basmati Rice
Tom Kha Gai Soup
Sweet Chilli Stir Fry Sauce
Slow Cooked Chicken Casserole
Vegetable Tagine
Chicken Cacciatora
Beef Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
Shallot and Peppercorn Sauce

They do lots of other meals too.

Of those I can have the Rice, Soup and Stir Fry Sauce.

I just sampled the Tom Kha Gai Soup, I'm a big fan of Thai food so this appeals greatly and I was ravenous having missed lunch. I'll be totally honest (as always) and say that I wasn't expecting much. The last time I had a gluten free ready meal was three years ago and there's a reason for that, it wasn't very good in my opinion, not the quality I expect.

I was more than pleasantly surprised by the soup. A big test for me is always the quality of the Chicken used, this is where most companies fail for me. The Chicken in the ilumi Tom Kha Gai was white, tender and without any skin or grisly bits, definitely not the norm that I've experienced.

tom kha gai
Tom Kha Gai
The sauce was lovely, creamy and full of flavour, the rice was the ideal texture, soft but not mushy, really good quality.

Because I make 99% of my meals from scratch I'm a tough customer when it comes to pre-packed gluten free foods, but I have to say, that soup really surprised me, I'd have it again as a quick lunch while I'm working, it was the perfect serving size for me too. 

Something that initially put me off was that these foods aren't refrigerated which usually means lots of additives and preservatives, but that isn't the case with ilumi, they pressure cook their foods in the sealed pouches and trays to preserve flavours and goodness which also means they don't need refrigeration, it's all 100% natural. Definitely worth visiting the website to read about the brand.

I'm yet to try the Basmati Rice and Stir Fry Sauce but when I do I'll report back. If the soup is anything to go by ilumi foods will be a big hit with those in the gluten free community who don't have the time or inclination to cook from scratch. Or maybe just want a night off.

Wasn't expecting it from a pre-packed meal but, yum.

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