When it comes to convince food I am split. On one hand I like the idea of quick and easy meals for those lazy days. But on the other hand I love cooking and I know how to cook and like to use the kitchen as my space to de-stress after a long day at work.
Is a packet sauce classed as a convenience food? Or does it help make the cooking process a little simpler? I think it is a mixture of both and having tried some gluten free recipe mixes from Thornelys I will be keeping a couple of these is my kitchen cupboards because they are not only quick and easy to use, but they are packed full of flavour.
A couple of months ago I was contacted by Thonleys – a small family run business in the North West who asked if I would like to try their sauces. They have developed five sauces – chilli con carne, spaghetti carbonara, tune pasta bake, parsley sauce and creamy chicken and herb. This product has been approved by Coeliac UK.
Having never really used packet sauces even in my wheat eating days I did not know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised and have enjoyed making meals with each of the recipe mixes.
They are easy to use and all the direction are on the back. You don’t need a long list of ingredients as all of the herbs and flavourings are within the sauce it’s self. Most of the sauces are about adding either water, tomatoes or milk – perfect for anyone who is not confident at cooking chilli con carne or spaghetti carbonara.
These sauces are also ideal for people who have recently discovered that they have had to go gluten free and need inspiration for some tasty dinners.
My favourite sauce was the tune pasta bake, but as I don’t really like tinned tuna I used chicken breast instead. I got a great feedback from my friends who came round for dinner that night. They never knew that it was made from a packet and really enjoyed the flavour. What impressed me with this sauce is that it is versatile and worked well with chicken and I expect that it will taste just as good with tuna.
This is not like a conventional pasta sauce where you put all the sauce and uncooked pasta with water straight into an oven dish and bake for an hour.
You pre-cook the pasta and make the sauce and then mix all the ingredients together and then top with cheese and bake. The recipe suggested that you mix cheese and plain salted gluten free crisps and then bake.
I would recommend that the next pasta bake you make you top with both cheese and crisps. It give the topping a lovely gooey and crunchy top and the soft pasta and creamy sauce is underneath.
These sauces are not available in supermarkets, but there are available at selected suppliers all over the country and they are now available at the Berry Farm Shop in Lincolnshire. You can order online here.
Happy gluten free cooking 🙂