David Oliver Fine Foods

There never seems to be enough time in my life – it’s my eternal moan. So when it comes to cooking and feeding just myself, it needs to be instantaneous. However, I have a great aversion to ‘ready meals’ - to me there is always a bit of a strange after taste (could it be the detergent from the food vats?) Anyway, I’m  always extremely suspicious when it comes to food items that you ‘just pop in the microwave’. But when I recently went to a shopping preview evening with Really Wild Clothing I got chatting to a very affable fellow called David Holliday  who, along with fellow chef Oliver Shute have launched their very own David Oliver ‘ready meals.’ David told me “Ah but these are different… I’ve produced a range of fine foods that are traditional dishes – all of which are restaurant quality and can be prepared in your own home for the fraction of the price of going out to eat. Go on please try out our meals, and tell me what you  you think.” OK so that sounded like a good challenge to me! So as promised, I eagerly brought a selection back into the office for us all to try...

The David Oliver range consists of three classic country meals based on game and wild foods; the Classic Venison Stew, Rabbit and Flageolet Beans and Guinea Fowl and Lentils. David Oliver insist on sourcing the finest and freshest ingredients from the best producers of game and wild food and use traditional slow cooking methods to give the dishes their rich flavour and authentic restaurant-quality. Unlike traditional ready meals who often skimp on their meat content, the David Oliver dishes are packed with hearty chunks of game and the type of rich sauces we’ve come to only expect from restaurant cuisine. And as all the dishes are free of any additives, preservatives or stabilisers. I'm also very happy to report in that we all at The Amazing Blog thought that each of the different dishes were absolutely delicious AND quickly added, I couldn't taste any strange artificial after-tastes!

Thanks to their recent success, the range is now expanding to include four new ragu sauces including slow-braised British Pork with Red Wine, Smoked Bacon and Rosemary and Venison with Red Wine and Juniper Berry sauce which can be used as an accompaniment to pasta, topped on a jacket potato, or simply served with crusty bread and a green salad for a quick and satisfying meal - yum! After a busy and stressful day in the Amazing PR office it's such a relief to know that we have the helping hand in the kitchen from David Oliver, safe in the knowledge that not only is every meal mouthwateringly tasty, it is also balanced and complete, nutritious and healthy. The meals even provide two of your five-a-day and all for less than 300 calories… ahem, please note that these are certainly not your traditional ready meal...

David Oliver ready meals cost £5.99 and are available from selected Waitrose shops and from Ocado. Ragus cost £3.70 and are available from Ocado, and all their products can be purchased online here with delivery nationwide.


Having started the New Year with the best possible intentions, I’m embarrassed to admit that the inevitable has happened and as predicted, the cold weather and January blues have completely overridden all my saintly resolutions. After boasting to the girls at the Amazing PR office that I would be hitting the gym religiously, eating healthily with no snacking in between my well-balanced meals, minimising my alcohol consumption and drinking gallons of water I am feeling incredibly discouraged at my failure to keep to any of these promises past the three week mark.

Knowing that my habit of snacking in between meals would be the hardest to tackle (as demonstrated by the chocolate wrappers and crisp packets routinely cluttering up my desk) I was not surprised that this was my first failure, however thanks to some recommendations on healthier alternatives from the girls in the office I am feeling decidedly less guilty about my lack of will-power.

Already a huge hit in health conscious Australia, Sakata Japanese rice crackers are the first flavoured crackers to launch in the UK. Available in four flavours: Original, Classic Cheddar, Sizzling Barbecue and Sour Cream & Chive they are perfect for satisfying my craving for crisps and at only 9 calories or less per cracker and gluten-free they have quickly become my guilt-free snack of choice. Now all I need to do is find a guilt-free cocktail…suggestions are welcome!

Sakata rice crackers are available from Waitrose and Ocado.


Sweetcorn Bites

Here at Amazing PR we are constantly on the lookout for tasty, healthy snacks that aren’t going to leave us feeling guilty nor fill us up too much between meals and this week we have been curbing our hunger pangs thanks to Sweetcorn Bites.

Sweetcorn Bites are not only a healthy, tasty and extremely convenient snack, they are made from 100% natural and fresh sweetcorn harvested straight from the farm with no artificial ingredients or GMO’s. Perfect as a quick fix snack or last minute vegetable side-dish when in need, each pack contains eight bitesize cobettes which can be easily cooked in the microwave, steamed, boiled or wrapped in foil and put on the barbeque. Naturally high in vitamins, fibre, protein and folic acid, sweetcorn is a great healthy snack and generally considered sweet enough to be loved by kids as well as adults. Our preferred way of enjoying sweetcorn is usually laden with melted butter however these bites are sweet and crunchy enough that they are just as tasty on their own.

As an added incentive, Sweetcorn Bites are harvested from Barfoots Farm in West Sussex who practice sustainable farming and reuse, recycle and reduce waste wherever possible. All their vegetables have the LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) logo and they support ethical trading initiatives across their global farming network to ensure workers are given fair pay and get good healthcare and schooling. They have also started generating biogas from their sweetcorn waste products which is converted into renewabale heat and power as well as irrigable water and natural fertiliser…talk about green energy!

Sweetcorn Bites are available from Waitrose and Ocado.

Munch on this...

With it being National Chocolate Week, us girls at Amazing HQ are doing our patriotic duty by indulging in all things chocolate. However, fearing both our waistlines and our health in general, we thought we’d try and be adventurous and see if we could find everyone’s favourite ingredient in any less sinful alternatives.

So the snack experts at Munchy Seeds, creators of the delicious Choccy Seeds, have a definite thumbs up from everyone in the office. Developed through a passion for mindful munching, they have taken the nutritional benefit of Sunflower and Pumpkin seeds along with the taste benefits of luxurious Belgium Chocolate, and what a happy marriage it makes. Add in fruity dried apricot pieces, and voila – a tasty treat with lots of goodness.

Pumpkin seeds are known for a host of healthy benefits; not only are they rich in amino acids, iron and protein, they are also a rich source of fatty acid which help to maintain healthy blood vessels. Equally, Sunflower Seeds are choc-a-block full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Such is the goodness of the seeds that Choccy Seeds really are the ultimate in guilt-free chocolate indulgence – hurrah!

Munchy Seeds have a huge range of tasty snacks on offer to suit all appetites – from Munchy Granola to Vanilla Pumpkin Mix - all with bucketfuls of goodness thrown in for good measure.

Prices start at £1.50 and Munchy Seeds are available to buy from Lakeland, Ocado, Waitrose, Tescos and Booths.