There was a knock at the door on Tuesday this week and I opened the door expecting to see a delivery driver. Much to my surprise I was greeted by the gorgeous smiles of Bels and Els - the founders of Piccolo Plates - who, as well as cooking homecooked meals for kids across London, actually hand deliver all the food themselves. Unfortunately I had baby snot on my t-shirt but they had the good grace not to mention it!
Bels and Els had been in touch a few days previously to ask if the Sneaky Veg kids would like to try some of their meals. They're different to ordinary ready meals in that they're all home cooked, free from salt and sugar, and are delivered to your home the day after cooking. If you don't want to eat them straight away you can pop them in the freezer where they'll keep for three months.
We received a cottage pie, a fish pie, cod and salmon goujons and chicken and pesto nuggets. In total Piccolo Plates has seven meals available, three of which are vegetarian and most contain a healthy portion of vegetables. For example the mash on top of the pies is made from cauliflower, celeriac and potato. The kids had no idea that they weren't just eating normal mash. This is something I'll definitely be trying at home. Mind you we don't have a potato masher at the moment as it was recently used enthusiastically in a game of "bands" with a saucepan and didn't survive.
Out of the meals we received the goujons were the only ones that didn't have any hidden veg, but what I like about these is that the coating is made from ground almonds, so they're gluten free. The kids enjoyed the cod ones (the older two are both suspicious of pink fish so only Baby S ate the salmon ones). That's proof that they must be good because when I've tried to make homemade fish fingers they have been wholeheartedly rejected! Only shop bought will do. Until now.
I nearly got into difficulties with the chicken and pesto nuggets as they are ball-shaped and the two Rs were expecting something different - but they enjoyed them once persuaded to eat them. And they contain carrots, courgettes and yellow pepper - so again a great dose of hidden vegetables for your kids.
Bels and Els set up the business together. Bels has a post graduate degree in Personalised Nutrition and Els came from a career in the City working with food companies. During her studies Bels realised that tea time was a particularly stressful time of day for mums (and she's right as I often have to chop veg at the moment with a toddler trying to climb up my leg!) and that, combined with Els' desire to have a more hands on relationship with food led to the birth of Piccolo Plates.
All in all it was a big thumbs up from the kids. The meals cost £5 each and serve two children (the portions are generous and were more than enough for my three who are almost 6, 4 and 1). Meals can only be delivered in London at the moment and deliveries take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Visit piccoloplates.com to find out more or to place an order.
Disclaimer: I was sent some meals by Piccolo Plates to review. I didn't receive any payment for this post and all opinions are my own.