Wicked Kitchen is a range of vegan meals created by Derek Sarno and sold through Tesco. There is a large selection of meals to choose from, ranging from ready meals, pizzas, sandwiches and salads. I have tried the following from the range:
- Teriyaki Noodles
- BBQ Butternut Mac
- Caponata Pizza
- BBQ Mushroom Pizza
- Rainbow Curry Bowl
- Muay Thai Curry
- Veggie Pasta & Amazeballs
- Hoi Sin Mushroom Wrap
All of the ones I have tried have been really nice. I really like that there isn’t a dependence on meat or dairy alternatives. The pizzas don’t have fake cheese, and the amazeballs aren’t soya/tempeh etc. The plants are the ingredients that shine here. I don’t have a problem with meat/dairy alternatives, I eat them happily, but it nice that there is a range that doesn’t rely on these.
Another great thing about the range is the variety of different cuisines it covers. This means that it can appeal to a wider range of people. I will eat pretty much anything, but for some of my friends and family who are pickier about what they eat, it’s great that there are more options for me to tempt them with.
I definitely liked some of the dishes better than others, and I think that’s bound to happen with such a wide selection of food. My favourites so far are the Teriyaki Noodles and the Rainbow Curry Bowl. I’ve had the curry bowl a couple of times since I first tried it. Luckily there is a Tesco near my office which sells the sandwiches and salads, so I can pop in there when I’ve forgotten to bring lunch in to work. I like it so much that I haven’t tried any of the other salads or sandwiches yet. I really should branch out!
I don’t have a microwave in my house. Not for any moral reason, it just wouldn’t fit anywhere! This means that a lot of the meals aren’t really suitable for eating at home for me. They are great for bringing in to the office though for a quick, easy and healthier lunch. I did decant one of the microwavable meals, the Muay Thai Curry, in to an oven dish and cooked it in the oven, and I think it was fine like that. I do believe that having an accessible, tasty and healthy vegan convenience food range is really important. I want as many people to go vegan as possible, so anything that makes going vegan easier, or makes choosing plant based options easier, is great.
I do have some criticisms of the range. My biggest criticism is of Tesco generally, as this is not just a problem with this specific range. It’s the packaging. So much of the packaging is not recyclable. One of the biggest benefits of a plant based diet is that it is significantly better for the environment than a traditional western diet. Why then, is a range of plant based meals packaged in non-recyclable materials? This is a general problem with supermarkets, and definitely with Tesco.
My other criticism is with the price. The sandwiches and salads are £3 and £3.50, and are not in the meal deal. In the shops they are next to the main selection of sandwiches and salads, which are in the meal deal, and are therefore significantly cheaper. The fact that you have to pay a premium for plants, while you can buy a meat based sandwich, a dairy chocolate bar and a fizzy drink for £3 is ridiculous. I worry it will put people off choosing this range over their main range. It also doesn’t help dispel the misconception that vegan diets are so much more expensive than a traditional western diet.
In conclusion, the food itself is delicious, and it’s definitely a range I will go back to. I’m looking forward to trying some more of the sandwiches and salads. I just think that there are some kinks that need to be ironed out, and Tesco definitely need to do more about their packaging.