- a blog about food and value

What’s on Your Plate?

1006881_30129717Feeling lazy and hankering some comfort food, I nipped into Tesco and bought the Tesco Finest Lamb Moussaka. I naively thought it would marry well with the Potato Gratin from the normal Tesco range but I choose poorly. Both were tasty but sadly not together – I swear I could almost hear my arteries clog up.

Unbearably uncomfortable, I decided to have a look at the ingredients. Shockingly; a half portion of the Moussaka is 42.6g of fat which is a massive 61% of your recommended daily fat intake and the Potato Gratin, which has 20.9g of fat – equates to a whopping 30% of your guideline daily amount.

The ingredients are good with no added artificial preservatives, flavours, colours or hydrogenated fat but the double cream and really cheesy béchamel sauce make it unnecessarily heavy. In fact, I don’t think the dish needs cream at all and I should have made the effort to make my own Moussaka.

Just goes to show how important it is to read the label and avoid discovering you have eaten 91% of your daily fat intake in just one meal.

Do you always read the label?


  1. I always read the label. Its for that reason that I never eat ready meals. Its not worth it.

  2. Yep I always read ’em, started off when I was trying to lose a few lbs and then when I learned more about nutrition I really started reading them…these days I’m a veggie & don’t eat egg or dairy so I don’t rarely buy packaged meals as they tend to have at least one of them in them….!
    It’s really good though to educate yourself about what you’re eating. If there’s a long ingredient list, put it back on the shelf. And if it’s a meaty or dairy-based dish, you can assume it’ll be packed full of saturated fat. If it’s low fat, expect lots of sugar and salt….plus you’re starving afterwards if it’s a ‘diet’ dinner usually.
    Just like with the McDonalds post above, if you eat crap, no matter how much of it you eat, you’ll stay hungry because your body won’t be getting any of the nutrients it needs to work. Just like putting the wrong petrol into your car, I suppose.

  3. Moussaka should not contain cream….. Bechamel is all you need. And as for the sides, can I recommend a simple salad rather than creamy potatoes, since the dish already contains potatoes and is rather rich?
    As for ready meals, some, like M&S’s, contain no additive or nasties, and are quite close to what you could make at home. Sully’s ones too. I steer clear of the ones with high amount of salt or monosodium glutamate or colouring or hydrogenated fats. I rarely buy ready meals, but there are things I would rather buy ready made than cook them myself because I can’t be bothered, TBH. Like moussaka, for instance. I make it from time to time, but it’s so time consuming that if I really fancy it one day, I’ll just buy it….

  4. I always make moussaka the day after we have a leg of lamb, to use up leftovers. I use a Keith Floyd recipe. It is time consuming, yes, but tastes great, I have it with salad and baked potatoes.

  5. I was thinking about ready meals as i did the shopping at the weekend. (Yes, it was a quiet one!) When I cant be bothered to cook, I reach for a jar of pesto and packet of pasta. I cant think of a reason where i would ever buy a ready meal.

  6. Ready made pesto is not always best 🙂 In fairness, most of us still have a long way to go to reach the perfection of home cooking, so the least we can do is check the labels

  7. And the ready made “meat” in ready made meals comes from? Who knows?? I wouldn’t touch a ready made meal with a barge pole. I only take veggie food on flights and in cafes…the fat is the least of your worries, the rest of it is muck!

  8. I go for low fat meals on flights BB. They are so nice and you get loads of fruit.