UK low cal ready meals

selina884 Posts: 826 Member
Im sorry if this thread has been done to death but I couldnt find anything under the search function. Perhaps, I was using the wrong keywords! Anyhow...

Low calorie diet means low calorie meals and lately Ive been too busy to cook so Im looking for a little help because Im bored of rummaging through isles at the supermarket and extending a quick shopping trip of 20 minutes to 3 hours looking for diet friendly (as in low calorie + tasty) goodies.

So one thing I did discover is that Pizza express margherita is only 598 calories - for the whole thing!

Any other reasonable finds?
Please share, it will be appreciated.


  • Becca_250
    Becca_250 Posts: 188 Member
    600 for the mini pizza but I always want the larger version which is 1080! ;)

    If I'm looking for something pre-made I tend to gravitate towards the "healthy" packaged items first which narrows the search down in the shop, most supermarkets have their healthier range grouped together looking fairly obvious (for example look out for Tesco "Healthy Living", M&S "Balanced For You", Morrisons "NuMe"). Aside from that, to be honest I don't scan the MFP Database for things to eat because I'm not convinced how accurate and up to date the records are, I always check the packaging first and then find the correct entry (I would hate to find something really good only to go and buy it and it turns out to be twice as many calories!). Perhaps you could browse the supermarket's online shopping site instead as they will have the most up to date nutritional information and you'd be able to search for their particular range (or generic brands)? :smile:
  • acebanditcat
    acebanditcat Posts: 28 Member
    Quick meal for me is Asda Savoury Cauliflower Rice and a can of Heinz Dhal Curry Lentils.
    The rice is 168 cals for the whole 400g bag and the Dhal is 276 cals for the whole can.
    I usually have this after swimming and classes on a Monday night as not home until 9.30pm and don't want to cook.
  • zoominzozo
    zoominzozo Posts: 92 Member
    Not quite a ready meal but I tend to get a frozen baked potato (Asda 191cal) and one of the tins of chicken tikka masala (I think it's 229 for half a can). I get proper lazy at lunch and can usually only grab a microwave at work for 5mins so it's ideal.

    Another ridiculously quick one for work is a kids tin of Heinz spaghetti shapes on toast!
  • Sleepyscribbler
    Sleepyscribbler Posts: 20 Member
    I find tins of soup the best solution for quick, lo-cal meals. I find the Baxters ones most like home-made (and as a self-confessed 'fat-because-foodie I'm fussy about such things). Several are well under 150 cals a tin which means you can have a slice of bread too if you need filling up (easy on the butter though) and still have a very low calorie meal. I also try to keep a few hardboiled eggs in the fridge either as a snack or to add protein but only a few extra calories to a meal of soup. Alternatively, after the soup a prawn sandwich with lo-cal mayonnaise instead of butter is another option low in calories: one third of a bag of Tesco frozen prawns is about 70 calories. In fact frozen prawns are really handy for all sorts of minimal cook meals. Half an avocado, some rapidly-defrosted prawns, some lo-cal mayo: what's not to love?
    In terms of hot, minimal cooking meals, what about instant prawn curry? One third of a bag of prawns, a dollop of Philly (lo-cal if you prefer), plus a spoonful of curry paste (Pataks do various kinds): heat the Philly and the paste in the microwave or on the hob, stir till hot and mixed, then stir through the prawns and reheat briefly. Ten minutes, tops. Serve with either half a packet of microwave rice (can't remember the cals, but it's not awful) or, if you've made some on the days you do feel like cooking, some cauliflower 'rice'. (If you've not yet discovered this brilliant idea: cooked cauli pushed through a ricer, or 'riced' by bashing with a metal or silicone whisk, or just finely chopped as you would, say, rice: I even allow myself a little butter added to eat when hot.) Or, my new ultra-lo trick: a Little Gem lettuce very finely chopped, again, as you would herbs, to make 'lettuce rice'. You could probably pulse blitz in a food processor, though I've not tried that. (Not sure if I invented this lettuce rice or saw it somewhere.) It needs to be Little Gem, to give enough texture, or maybe cos would work: haven't tried. I don't think ordinary lettuce would work.) I've found my 'lettuce rice' works well with anything in a sauce as it mops up the sauce almost like mashed potatoes, and it's great as a rice substitute with curry.
    Alternatively, what about pre-cooked baby potatoes, microwaved and eaten with some sort of grilled (easy and no prep) chops plus microwaved ready-meal veg: Tesco Finest do a delicious mixed green veg, though I can't recall the cals but it can't be high. (I stock up and freeze whenever I can get to a supermarket. Nearest one to me, here in a very rural part of the far north of Scotland is 50+ miles away so I can't get there often.) Or, cheaper, the ready-made carrots & swede that various companies do. Nearer home I can buy a brand called 'Mash Direct' in a local ( 10+ miles over hills!) shop which does a wonderful mashed turnip, as its called here in Scotland and in Northern Ireland where Mash Direct is based, which you'd probably think of as mashed swede. It's so low in cals you could eat a whole pack without worrying. I have half a pack and allow myself a pat of butter through it and it's still a very lo-cal option. They (Mash Direct) also do various other mash variants, plus some very delish veggie burgers: I'm not normally a fan of veggie burgers at all, but these are excellent. I have them with their mashed turnip (swede) as a side and the whole meal is well under 300 cals, yet very filling. If you can't find Mash Direct in a supermarket (no idea whether you can or not, for aforementioned reasons) you might find them in one of those branded local shops, Mace or similar, which is how my local shop manages to get them, I assume, via their delivery van. Well worth looking for, anyway.
    Hope at least some of these ideas help.
  • tamaraworrall
    tamaraworrall Posts: 166 Member
    Ainsley Harriet cous cous is about 150 calories a packet with half a bag of frozen prawns,a mushroom and a few peppers in a wok.
    About 250 calories and it's so filling .
    The pizza express under 500 calorie pizzas are amazing .
    Pasta if it's weighed properly with tuna and light Mayo.
    Asda do a good and counted range which is filling
  • torizia
    torizia Posts: 140 Member
    I really like the weightwatchers frozen meals - particularly the ravioli, chicken pasta bake and lasagne. However, they're only good if you cook them for at least an hour - the instructions say 40mins but then the sauce is really thin and watery! They're all about 260 calories so are great with salad and I tend to follow them up with a nice big protein shake :) Oh and they're only £1 in iceland!
  • cathed42
    cathed42 Posts: 88 Member
    The thing to watch out with most "low calorie" foods is that although they may be low calorie they are loaded with salt. When I started on this life change I tried a weight watcher ready meal, chicken curry and rice. It was awful and packed with crap - just saying beware not don't do it. It's your choice