Guest Reviewer, Mellow Mummy shares her experiences of Ilumi, a range of gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free ready-to-eat foods.
As an avid cook, one of the ways that I maintain my 'Mellow' status is through keeping a few emergency meals in my store cupboard. The range of foods available from Ilumi on www.ilumiworld.com are all made from organic ingredients with no additives or preservatives and they are all made in the North of England.
All of the recipes in the ilumi range appealled to me - they are all adveturous home-cooked style dishes that I have been known to cook myself and, because they are sealed and cooked at high pressure, they don't need any preservatives so the lists of ingredients are all ones I recognise (no nasty surprises here). Interestingly, of all of the products I tried, none of them would 'normally' have contained gluten, dairy or nuts (at least, not if I had been cooking them). The fact that ilumi can certify the foods free-from status does put people's minds at rest though.
I tried Chicken Cacciatora in a sealed pouch which was re-heatable in the microwave within 2 minutes. It had large, succulent pieces of chicken in it and was extremely tasty. I also tried Spanish Style Rice and Vegetables which is very similar to a dish I cook at home... I would say that the vegetables had suffered a little from having to be steamed or cooked in a way such as to preserve it - they were more soft than I would have preferred but the overall dish was great. Many of the ilumi meals are designed to be a full meal in one dish - they are a bit smaller than I would normally cook, but then that is probably a good thing!!!
The sachet of food that I most enjoyed from the ilumi range was a sweet chilli stir fry sauce, which at £1.50 for a large pouch, was very competitively priced. The sauce wasn't as thick as some of the high-street brands but once again... to me that is a good thing, it makes it that more natural. I enjoyed the sauce.
I found the ilumi foods to be a tasty convenient indulgence at the end of a working day. They can cater for vegetarian or vegan diets as well as certifying that all of their foods are free from dairy, nuts and gluten so they do open up the convenience food market to a range of diets.
The soups cost around £1.90, side dishes from £1 and main courses cost £3.50 and all can be ordered online. They don't need to be kept in the fridge or freezer so they store well.