As a busy mum I’m always looking for quick, easy and healthy meal ideas that the whole family will enjoy. Some days I’ve got dinner covered, and other days, well not so much.
When Marathon Foods offered me a chance to review their newest ready-meal range by Chef Direct, I jumped at the opportunity.
Most of you will know by now, that I’m all about finding shortcuts when it comes to cooking. So I was curious to try this new range of shelf stable meals that you can just keep in your panty. Perfect for those days where you need to throw dinner together in a hurry.
We were sent the whole range which included Beef Meatballs, Beef Con Carne and two varieties of Slow Cooked Lamb shanks.
I was a bit dubious at the thought of keeping meat products on a shelf without refrigeration. But the team at Marathon explained that the meals are made fresh and kept that way by use of clever technology and packaging without the need for refrigeration or freezing.
Shelf stable is super handy if you are camping, have limited space in your fridge/freezer, or always forget to defrost meat (like I do). The meals are pre-cooked so you just heat and serve.
They have a shelf life of 12 months so you’ll always have something to put on the table even if you haven’t been to the market for ages.
But how do they taste?
I was actually pleasantly surprised with how good all the meals tasted, and the quality of ingredients.
We had the Meatballs with pasta last night and Emma loved them! They really tasted home-made. Actual quote – “These meatballs are delicious!”
The Con Carne was great topped on homemade nachos, and Mr Man was pretty pleased with the quality of the Lamb shanks.
The Lamb Shanks are tender with meat that just falls off the bone. Microwave for 6 minutes, serve with couscous or mash and steamed veg and you have yourself a fancy meal.
I would definitely purchase these products again, especially the meatballs and lamb shanks.
Not just for dinner – Here’s an easy lunch idea!
Now that the weather is warming up I though I’d try making a lighter meal with the Lamb Shanks that is perfect for a quick summer time lunch. Greek Style Slow Cooked Lamb Wraps, with the best part being all the slow cooking is done for you!
One pack is enough to make 2-3 wraps and you can whip them together in only 10 minutes.
I used the Red wine and Rosemary Sauce variety, but the Mint Gravy variety would be good too. You don’t really need the gravy (save it to pour over some hot chips – drool!)
Of course if you’ve gone to the effort of slow cooking lamb and have any left over, go ahead and use that. I’m not organised enough most of the time to slow cook anything so these pre-cooked lamb shanks are really convenient.
As I mentioned before, the meat just falls off the bone, so just go ahead and flake it off with a fork.
Add whatever salad ingredients take your fancy, I’ve included a suggested recipe for my slow cooked lamb wraps below.
Add a good amount of tzatziki if you want and authentic lamb souvlaki flavour.
This lamb and salad wrap really is a very easy and healthy meal idea. Get the kids to build their own – I’m all about outsourcing!
I polished off both of these and made another batch for dinner which the family really enjoyed. Another added bonus is minimal washing up, so many wins!
- 1 pk Chef Direct Ready Cooked Lamb Shanks (one shank)
- 2 Greek style pita flat breads
- 1 tomato sliced
- 1 cup mixed salad leaves
- 4 tbsp tzatziki dip
- 4-6 strips roasted capsicum (optional)
- Heat lamb shank in microwave for 6 min or as per packet instructions.
- Remove from packet into a bowl and with 2 forks gently pull meat from bone.
- Onto each wrap, spread 2 tbsp of tzatziki dip, 2-3 tomato slices, 2-3 capsicum strips and 1/2 cup salad leaves.
- Add half of the lamb shank meat to each wrap.
- Roll up and enjoy!
Any salad filling or condiment can be substituted. I've used very soft and fresh pita bread wraps that required no heating. Feel free to warm your pita bread if it's not very pliable.
A great recipe to use with leftover slow roasted lamb or lamb shanks.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 509Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 691mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 27g
More about the Chef Direct Range:
- Marathon Chef Direct creations are shelf stable meals for busy kitchens
- Meals are made fresh and kept that way by use of clever technology and packaging without the need for refrigeration or freezing.
- Free from artificial flavours, colours or preservatives and there is no added MSG.
- The Chef Direct range includes: Meatballs, con Carne, Lamb Shanks with Mint Gravy, Lamb Shank Red Wine & Rosemary.
- Stockist: Available at IGA
More easy meal ideas:
My Poppet received the featured products for the purposes of this unpaid review post. All thought and opinion are my own.