Mr Lee’s Gourmet Instant Noodles Review

As a so-so cook who lacks much patience, I have always been honest about my addiction to instant noodles. Pour on the water, wrestle with the sachet of sauce which rarely adds any discernible flavour and hey presto instant lunch and, frequently instant calories.

That wait can seem endless, waiting for the rock hard sweetcorn pieces to reach a vaguely malleable condition, avoiding bullet like peas and remembering the heady days of the 80’s listening to Depeche Mode, Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran in my tiny room in Neuadd Martin hall of residence at Pill, a brisk walk away from Swansea University campus.

But now there is a healthier option instant noodle snack in a disposable paper cup with no sachet and actual recognisable vegetables.

Mr Lee’s Noodles is an award-winning Coeliac UK certified gluten-free, 100% tasty 0% nasty cup noodle brand based on the sunny shores of Bournemouth, easy to prepare, ready in three minutes, and very low in calories. Ideal for the busy parent, or a simple lunchtime meal for the time-poor office worker.

They make one of the world’s healthier, tastier instant noodles, free of Es, MSGs, saturated fats and added sugars. Their noodles vary between 202 & 237 calories and are full of tasty freeze-dried, nutritious meat and veg, rather than the normal dehydrated flavouring powder that is found in most instant noodles.

Mr Lee is Damien Lee who, when diagnosed with cancer, wanted to rid his body of all harmful substances and created the healthiest version of his favourite noodles possible. You can learn more about his story here.

We were sent 6 varieties to try and some cheerful chopsticks to go with them.

Peel off the lid, boil the kettle, add your water (the quantity depends on whether you like your noodles soupy or firm), wait for 3 minutes then stir and eat.

Coconut Chicken Laksa waiting for the kettle!

My favourite was the Coconut Chicken Laksa – fragrant chicken curry rice noodles with coconut, cauliflower, green beans and turmeric, whilst the hubby loved Hong Kong Street Beef -beef rice noodles with broccoli, orange blossom honey, ginger & Chinese 5 spice.

Both contains recognisable meat and vegetables and were tasty and filling – without the risk of staining anything yellow or squirting soy sauce in your eye.

There’s also Tai Chi Chicken (chicken broth rice noodles with broccoli, spinach, ginger & orange blossom honey), Dragon Fire Vegetables (hot & sour rice noodles with red miso, bamboo shoots, green beans, mushroom & tamari soy sauce. Vegan friendly), Zen Garden Vegetables (miso rice noodles with asparagus, green beans, spinach & ginger. Vegan friendly) and Warrior Fighting Shrimp (tom yum rice noodles with shrimp, coconut, galangal, bamboo shoots and lemongrass).

The low calorie count makes Mr Lee’s Noodles an ideal cupboard standby for when the munchies strike.

You can find out more at Mr Lee’s Noodles and buy them on their website or on Amazon.

Review: Tesco Free From Christmas Jumper Cake Kit

GIFTED: These days, more and more of us are adapting our diets, either through choice or because we are managing allergies and food intolerances. If you’re looking for a gluten-free Christmas cake, though, read on.

At Christmas, when we are likely to have more visitors than usual, wouldn’t it be good to know that, no matter what your guests’ nutritional needs are, you can offer them something special and tasty – for example a gluten-free Christmas cake.

This year Tesco’s Christmas campaign is “Everyone’s Welcome” and to prove the point they sent us their Tesco Free From Christmas Jumper Cake Kit to try.

It’s a vanilla cake mix with a decorating kit, all packed up in one little box so it would be easy to keep in the cupboard just in case.

The kit contains four sachets – vanilla cake mix, icing mix, chocolate drops and coloured sprinkles.  You need to supply 225g dairy free spread and 3 medium eggs (or egg substitute). You’ll also need greaseproof paper to create your cake template.

Make sure you keep the box because when you open it out you’ll find your template for the Christmas jumper.  All you do is trace the outline of the jumper on to some greaseproof paper, cut it out and place to one side until your cake is baked.

Caitlin was tasked with creating the template which she took very seriously.

To help us out, we were also sent a lovely Acacia mixing spoon made from handcrafted wood, a non-slip 4-litre mixing bowl and a Homebake Superior square baking pan from Tesco Go Cook range.

Assembling the cake is easy.  Simply place the contents of the vanilla cake mix sachet in a bowl with the eggs, spread and a tablespoon of water and mix.  That’s it!

25 minutes later (Gas Mark 4) you have a lovely golden cake ready for cutting into a jumper shape and decorating.

Once the cake has cooled, place it bottom side up on a flat plate or board and put your template on top.  Carefully cut around your template to create your jumper-shaped cake.

Then, turn the cake the right side up and prepare your icing.

Once again, this was a doddle – add 100g dairy-free spread or butter to the contents of the icing mix sachet and mix until smooth.  I had to add a little hot water to get a smoother consistency.

Cover the cake top and sides and smooth.

Then you are ready to decorate.

Now, this is the part where we came slightly unstuck.  You are supposed to melt the chocolate drops in the microwave and then return the melted chocolate to the sachet they came in. Snipping off the bottom of the sachet is supposed to create a piping bag.

I found the chocolate drops difficult to melt – probably due to the cold weather! Getting the chocolate back in the bag is a bit of a struggle and piping it was equally difficult.

Rather than have random chocolate blogs on top of my nice white cake, I let the kids go mad with the sprinkles.

You may be more creative than me (it’s entirely possible!) but next time I’ll add the chocolate drops as they are.

I think our creation is perfectly acceptable and looks just as exciting as a non ‘free from’ cake would look.

The Tesco Free From Christmas Jumper Cake kit retails at £4.50 and you’ll need to stock up quick because it will only be available for delivery until 23rd December. It’s a great choice for a gluten-free Christmas cake.