I am ecstatic to be able to review the new gluten free delivery service provided by The Gluten Free Meal Co. If you haven’t heard about the Gluten Free Meal Co. before, they provide an Australia Wide delivery service for gluten free meals endorsed by Coeliac Australia. Now you can see why I’m so excited. The meals available include not only main meals but finger food options and desserts as well. Additionally, they offer meals that cater for other food restrictions such as vegetarian and dairy free requirements.
However, before I get into the food review, I’ll give you a run down of the price, ordering and delivery. Each meal pack costs $9.90; that is under ten dollars for a single-serve dinner when ordering main meals. For the finger foods, most packs consist of 9 pieces if serving as a meal, Brody and I comfortably enjoyed three each with a side salad. Therefore they provided me at least two separate meals. Finally, for the desserts, you receive 3 pieces for $9.90. At face value, I thought these were less of a good deal that the meals and canapé options. However, when ordering a profiterole or tart from a café you are expected to pay anywhere upwards of $3 for one serve, so in that respect, they are well priced.
Orders can be taken over the phone or via their website. If ordering via the website, the meals are separated into clear categories. All you need to do is add them to your cart and create your account. You must order 7 meals at a time to be eligible for delivery which is free of charge. Delivery is set for specific days depending on where you are located. For me, I could choose between Wednesday or Friday. Don’t worry if you aren’t home when they are delivered either because they come in an Esky-styled foam box with an ice pack on the top and on the bottom. The ice packs managed to keep my order cold during the long drive home and were even still partially frozen when I unloaded them.
Now that I have those specifics out of the way, I think it’s time to talk about the food. My order of 7 items consisted of:
- Mildly Spiced Vegetable Samosas
- Thai Green Chicken Curry Puffs
- Grandma’s Butter Chicken Balls
- Grilled Chicken with Pesto Risoni
- Crumbed Fish and Wedges
- Chicken Parma and Wedges
- Chicken and Mushroom Pie
We’ll start the review off with the fun options. I had never eaten a Samosa or curry puff before so undoubtedly this was the first thing I wanted to try. The heating instructions are clear, put them on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 180. For extra crunch, I quickly pan fried mine and it is definitely worth doing. The pastry was quite delicious, I didn’t find it chewy and there were no weird flavours. Before I pan fried it, I did think it was a bit powdery but it wasn’t off-putting.
The flavour is in the filling though. The Mildly spiced vegetable samosas are filled with pumpkin and other vegetables, with a beautiful hint of mild spice. The flavour builds the more of them you eat and it lingers wonderfully in the mouth. One bite and I had already told Brody I was making another order with these in it.
Allergens: The Mildly Spiced Samosas contain Soy.
Thai Green Chicken Curry Puffs
Thankfully the puffs utilise the same cooking method, so I was able to do them both at the same time. The used the same pastry. Again it was simple and nice. The filling for these had a bit more punch.
The sauce and chicken filling were creamy with a note of coconut cream. Brody enjoyed them but isn’t a massive fan of coconut cream so he preferred the Samosas. These also had a bit of a powdery texture before pan frying. These are another product that I can definitely see myself purchasing in the future.
Allergens: Milk, Soy, Crustacea and Fish
Char Grilled Chicken with Pesto Risoni
Despite microwaving this meal, the chicken was still extremely moist and the pesto was full of flavour. There was enough on the plate to fill me twice over so If you don’t eat a lot then consider this two meals. The broccoli itself was a tad plain but most vegetables are, I added a touch of salt to liven them up. I’ve never had risoni before but I thought it was well cooked, no hard chunks and easy to bite through. The pesto was strong in flavour which paired well with the plainer chicken.
This is realistically a dish I’d probably cook for myself a lot. Baked chicken with some vegetables. When thinking about it in terms of value, you’d have to buy gluten free pasta, the chicken and all of the ingredients to make the pesto. I feel that for this meal it is worth $9.90 for the convenience.
Allergens: Milk, Soy and Tree Nuts.
Crumbed fish, vegetables and wedges.
With the Crumbed Fish and Wedges, their choice of the Southern Blue Whiting is perfect. The soft and flaky white fish has a subtle seafood note, unlike Salmon or Tuna. I didn’t pan fry mine so it wasn’t overly crispy but the rice and maize flour coating wasn’t gritty and melted in my mouth. For a crispy coating, I would definitely suggest pan frying it. The vegetables were simple, to me they definitely needed some seasoning but they did complete the meal well. The wedges cooked through fine and had no undercooked spots. Again like the Chicken Risoni this felt like a complete meal you could eat with the family.
Allergens: Contains Fish, Egg and Milk.
Chicken Parma with Roasted Potato Wedges
When it came to the Parma, Brody and I had to share. He is the Parma connoisseur after all. Served with broccoli and roasted wedges, it is a complete meal and on days when you aren’t hungry, it can even pass for two. As with the Char-grilled chicken, the broccoli was nice with a touch of salt. The wedges cooked through well with no undercooked parts. The Parma itself was a little lost in the sauce, the ham to chicken ratio was spot on though. It would have been nice if we could have gotten a bit of crisp on the Parma coating. However as it does come pre-assembled, it’s not really possible to do. One rule that Brody lives by is to bake or fry the chicken before topping with sauce to avoid it going soggy. Other than being a little soggy it was a decent meal.
Allergens: Contains Soy, Milk and Egg
Grandma’s Butter Chicken Bites
To prepare these bites I only pan fried them. It seems that you don’t have to bake them first to make sure they heat all the way. Do watch them closely if pan frying though, as they can burn easily. The filling is packed full of flavour. It resembles almost like a butter chicken chutney, with a medium amount of heat. These would be absolutely perfect for a small party as snacks.
Allergens: The Grandma Chicken Bites contain Milk and Soy for anyone who has an intolerance.
Country Chicken and Mushroom Pie
The Country Chicken and Mushroom pie I had for lunch at work. It has a creamy layer of mash and cheese on top of the chicken and mushroom base. A quick microwave as per package instructions was perfect. It definitely was the messiest of the seven meals I had. The flavour combinations were wonderful together and the texture was decent. A common meal from my childhood was pies without pastry, so this warming dish quickly became a favourite.
Allergens: Contains Milk and Soy.
For storage of the meals, make sure you keep them in a fridge for up to a week. Alternatively, you can freeze them for a month, for shelf life see the stickers on your order. I am not associated with the company in any way and paid for these meals out of my own pocket. If you have any questions regarding their service please head over to their website.
My final thoughts are simply this: Thank you Gluten Free Meal Co. for filling this gaping hole in the gluten free market. Allowing those who need 100% gluten free meals to have them delivered to their home anywhere in Australia. Where they can safely dine on them with ease and convenience, it is crucial in making living gluten free in Australia easier. For people who are time poor or under the weather, these meals may thwart off the desire to possibly indulge in an unsafe takeaway option. I look forward to seeing the range expand in the future, but for now, I’m going to indulge in these meals every so often.
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Until Next Time;
Ashlee; The Aussie Coeliac.