We first reviewed the Plant Kitchen range from M&S way back in January of last year. We were impressed then by most of the items on offer, they seemed like a good alternative for when you're short on time and can't prepare something from scratch. I guess that's exactly the market ready meals are trying to fill, so good job there M&S. Since we last reviewed the range, the vegan market has grown massively and there are so many more vegan ready-made dinners available. For a ready-meal to be interesting in today's market, producers need to make sure what you're selling stands out. It has to be something a little special to pass the grade! With that in mind, we decided to take another look at the Plant Kitchen range
M&S is probably one of the few places where I've seen vegan churros available. So we can give them points here for originality. The only other place that comes to mind is Tesco, they do the frozen chocolate-filled churros. With the Plant Kitchen range, you get 10 churros, a decent amount of cinnamon sugar, and a pot of dipping chocolate. The chocolate provided it surprisingly nice, it's almost got a taste of dark chocolate to it, you can taste the cocoa. The cinnamon sugar is cinnamon sugar, so it's delicious! The churros themselves are quite short, but they do go nice and crisp in the oven. They aren't as crispy as you'd expect from the real deep-fried deal, but they are pretty good. Freya and I happily shared the pack.
3 CHEESE STONE BAKED PIZZA
I'm a big fan of pizza. I love pizza in any form. If I could have pizza for dinner every day of my life, I would be a happy man. It's the simple pleasures in life. Plant Kitchen's 3 Cheese Stone Baked Pizza was very good. I can't say it's the best shop-bought pizza I've tried, not by a long way, but what it did well was a crispy base. For a 3 cheese pizza, the cheese flavour is mild, but that also means it won't overpower any other toppings you put on. This would be a great pizza base option if you wanted to get a little creative. Throw some mushroom, peppers, pine nuts, vegan chorizo, etc. and you could make a delicious meal!
NO CHIC'N NUGGET
These little wonders are delicious! Four of them make the perfect snack or you could add to them and make a full meal. I can see myself popping over to M&S at some point in the not so distant future to make sure I have some stashed in the freezer. The breadcrumbs are golden and crumbly, exactly what you want from a nugget. The "meat" itself is a soy-based protein which is tender and deliciously seasoned. They're a great little treat if you're looking for a more substantial snack. I could also see them being part of a larger plate. Pop them on a plate with some chips & mayo and you've got yourself a quick and easy meal.
Gone are the days when the only sandwich offering a vegan could get was a hummus & falafel wrap. M&S have a substantial range of creative sandwiches and wraps available.
HOISIN NO DUCK WRAP
I did really like the Hoisin No Duck wrap too, the hoisin sauce had a good flavour without being too sweet. The duck had a nice texture also. What I liked the most was it didn't feel like they were scrimping on the fillings, it was a well-packed wrap.
NO EGG & WATERCRESS SANDWICH
I think the No Egg and Watercress was my favourite of the two, but only by a small margin. What tipped it for me was its originality, I don't think I've ever seen another shop selling egg sandwiches. It was very convincing too! Either of these sandwiches would make a great little lunch on the go.
I think it's safe to say that I am still impressed with the Plant Kitchen range. The only thing that didn't come up to scratch for me was the pizza, but this could easily be saved with a quick bit of creativity in the kitchen. Behind the scenes, we've also been trying out some of the other options they have, such as the cheese stick, katsu curry, chicken kievs and more. Although they aren't officially reviewed here, I can recommend all of these too. I'm happy to report that the people behind Plant Kitchen are still making delicious and convenient vegan ready-meals that I'd be happy to eat any night of the week.
Have any of you tried the Plant Kitchen range from Marks and Spencers? We’d love to know what you thought of it, leave us a comment below, or find us on social media.