Discover new healthy vegan ready meal service The Brook, plus be in with a chance of winning a food delivery worth £48.
Reviewed by Top Santé editor Katy Sunnassee.
I love eating healthily. As editor of a women’s health magazine I feel it’s not only my duty to eat well (at least for the majority of the time!) as this is what Top Santé promotes to thousands of readers, but that I ought to be a whiz at cooking, too.
But I have a confession to make… I hate cooking! I love eating healthy food but I’d rather someone else make it for me. A personal chef would be my ultimate luxury item (must add that to my manifesting board…).
The vast majority of Top Santé readers enjoy cooking from scratch, hence why we cover healthy recipes in each issue. But, to me, cooking has always felt like a bit of a chore. I think it’s because I’m not that great at planning – you’d think I would be, considering my job entails having to plan out entire issues months ahead, and usually be working on three simultaneously. But, it’s perhaps because my job uses up so much of my brainpower that I’m quite happy to relinquish decision making/planning in other areas of my life, which is where ready meals come in…
New vegan ready meals delivered to your door
Ready meals? Surely they are unhealthy and packed with sugar and salt, you cry? While I’d not normally recommend eating out of boxes, now it IS possible to do so, and in a healthy way, thanks to a slew of new healthy ready meal services coming onto the market, which are perfect for time-poor working women like myself – and anyone who doesn’t have the inclination to cook (again, like myself!).
And with such a surge in people trying veganism, it was only a matter of time before a dedicated vegan home-delivery service launched. The Brook, which started up as a pop-up restaurant of the same name in London in 2013 by Thea Brook, a self-confessed foodie who had developed an intolerance to dairy.
Not prepared to sacrifice great flavours, Thea set to work creating amazing tasting meals many of which represent a play on traditional flavours widely associated with non-planted-based foods.
From vegan pop-up shop to home delivery service
Now, The Brook is available to anyone looking for vegan ready-meal options. Featuring premium ingredients, The Brook’s menu will appeal to committed vegans and flexitarians alike.
Each plant-based dish is frozen to seal in the flavour, texture and nourishment, ensuring you get fresh meals ready to eat on the spot or freeze for later, all in compostable packaging for added vegan, eco brownie points.
The menu rotates regularly and has popular mains and desserts, with traditional English faves such as sausage casserole, to curries and Asian noodle-inspired meals.
The best thing for me is that The Brook delivers across the UK, not only in London, which is the case with many healthy home delivery services. What’s more, the packaging is also compostable – no plastic in sight, just paper and wood.
Lots to like about new vegan ready meals
I’m not actually vegan but I’m happy to eat vegan or vegetarian meals, and could probably do so a lot more often, or permanently, but I live with a complete caveman carnivore, so it’s probably not going to happen! But these box meals were a Godsend for a busy few weeks working from home.
The meals I liked best were the potato curry, which was delish. I could easily have eaten two of these in one go! It was so tasty and rich I could happily eat this for lunch every day. The spice level was just right, not too hot for my sensitive palate.
The Seafood Stew was also super-tasty and I would have sworn it did contain seafood, thanks to the inclusion of seaweed, giving it the scent of the ocean. It was also really creamy, despite being vegan.
My mum liked the Mac & Cheese with Caramelised Onions & Kale, although said there wasn’t much kale, mostly pasta. And I was less keen on the Bolognese, which for me was way too tomatoey (though my 14-month-old enjoyed it, mixed with quinoa!).
Overall I preferred their Indian-inspired dishes – the Lime & Coconut Daal and the potato curry were my favourites.
They’re not designed to be complete dishes though: you do need to cook a side of rice, quinoa or some other grain to accompany them and create bulk, although I did eat the potato-based on on its own.
I’m sure these meals are going to be a hit with busy vegans everywhere as it means they can stay healthy – a problem in the past for vegans, many of whom relied on cheese pasta as a staple – and eat a range of delicious meals that normally include meat or fish.