May’s Degustabox* was sent in time for the bank holiday, full of delicious bits and bobs to eat at a barbecue. Being devoid of a garden, I took the goodies to my parents’ house so we could try everything out the way it was intended: outside, in the cold, pretending summer was on its way.
Maggi So Stir Fry: Despite loving noodles when I eat out, they’re something I just don’t cook very often at home. I have one foolproof recipe for Singapore Noodles, so seeing a packet that would make that meal even easier was a step in right direction immediately. They were super easy to use and surprisingly flavoursome. I added a little chilli powder and soy sauce to suit my taste and it fed two of us nicely.
Slim Pasta Lasagne: I’ve actually tried these before, having bought a load at the Good Food Show during a no-carbs kick. At only 21 calories a serving, it seemed like a no-brainer, but don’t be fooled into thinking it tastes like pasta. It is completely flavourless and I smothered mine in sauce and salt to get it down. Perfect for weight loss or carb/gluten cutting but maybe don’t serve it up at dinner parties!
Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce: For our barbecue, we marinaded ribs a while before cooking and then brushed more of this sauce on once it was on the heat. I often find barbecue sauce too bitter (I’m more of a ketchup girl), but the honey in this tickled my sweet tooth and made it really moreish.
Sarson’s Balsamic Vinegar: I have three bottles of balsamic vinegar in my kitchen cupboard for some reason, but I’ve actually only very recently started to like it. My mum made a number of salads for our barbecue but I always think balsamic is best on a simple green salad. This was tart but not too bitter, if a little more watery than I was expecting. A big step up from the stuff you put on your fish and chips anyway.
Schwartz Honey and Soy Marinade in a Bag: Now, this is nifty. The bag is unwrapped, unsealed and meat put straight in. We add chicken, shook the bag and left it in the fridge until ready to barbecue. It was absolutely delicious; sweet and sticky with a hint of sour saltiness. My mum loved it and said she’ll definitely be buying them again.
9 Bar Fruity: I’m forever on the search for healthy snacks to keep in the office but cereal bars and the like never really do it for me. I don’t normally like dried fruit bars however these were apricots and dates rather than god awful sultanas, so I was surprisingly taken by the,. Even the carob topping was better than I expected – lacking the creaminess of chocolate but still slightly sweet. Much preferred over a Go Ahead.
Daelmans Stroopwafels: Thank goodness there was only eight in a box or I may have eaten them all in one go. These were such a great afternoon treat on a crappy day; balanced over a cup of tea an left to melt inside. They are gooey in the centre, with crunch on the outside and massive in size so they would last for the whole cup. Unlike the four bourbon biscuits I can polish off with each brew.
Fuel 10k Protibrick: The box for this is terrifying. It’s like some Orwellian future breakfast, and a tad too serious for my first meal of the day. That aside, these aren’t too bad. They look and taste very similar to Weetabix and do the same sort of job. With less sugar than other cereals of preference it definitely ensures I don’t have an 11am energy crash.
Fentimans Ginger Beer: I love ginger in savoury foods but as the primary flavour, especially in anything sweet, I’m not a fan. So instead, I gave this to my mum to try and she really loved it. She’s already eyeing up big bottles in Morrisons for a later date.
Green Coco Coconut and Banana Juice: These are cute little cartons for kiddies. I put coconut water into smoothies but I don’t like it too much on its own. If this was maybe mixed with mango or something sweeter, I think I’d probably like it more, but banana flavoured things generally don’t rate highly with me. I can however, imagine this being a popular lunchbox inclusion.
(I was sent the April Degusta Box for complimentary review and all opinions are honest and unbiased)