If 2020 left you feeling a bit lacklustre in the kitchen department, I may have a solution for you. If you’re also considering whether you want to embark on Veganuary this year, this could be what you are looking for.
2020 Kitchen Blues
Through 2020 I’ve found not being allowed to eat out has made me want to eat out all the more. Right now, the thought of someone else cooking (and clearing up) for me seems like bliss. Add to that the monotony of cooking three meals a day for a family of three, and an increasing ennui with the same array of dishes I’ve cooked umpteen times before, and mealtimes have become…well a bit sad. I love to cook. And prior to this point, I’d relish getting out my cookbooks and trying out new recipes. But something about 2020 has left me lacking my usual gusto in the kitchen. That’s why, when I was given the opportunity to sample the new Bol plant based Centrepieces, I jumped at the chance. Here was an easy way to spice up our weekly menu minus the burden of deciding what to cook.
Bol plant based Centrepieces
The new Centrepiece range consists of three plant powered main courses. Each dish centres on oven cooked vegetables that have been prepared, marinated and topped with a spiced seed crumb. And each also comes with its own sauce to finish.
Centrepieces are the latest product from BOL Foods, who style themselves as ‘passionate pioneers of plant based eating’. They have been created to help make vegetables a celebratory main meal in their own right. They are targeted at those wanting to fit more veggies into their week with a flavourful easy dinners.
Founder and CEO of BOL foods, Paul Brown says:
Our purpose is to inspire the world to eat more plants and making vegetables exciting and delicious enough to be the main event at home is crucial to this. We know people are cooking more at home, but on busy nights with Centrepieces we’ve done the hard work to guarantee you flavour but also that you get all the goodness of homemade with no nasties. These high quality, restaurant worthy recipes can be enjoyed in so many ways from a quick dinner on a Wednesday to Christmas Day.
I was sent all three of the Bol Centrepieces: an Indian Spiced Butternut Squash, Sweet and Spicy Glazed Aubergine and the Whole Roasted Firecracker Cauliflower.
Quick and delicious plant based meals
What I loved about these easy, oven friendly dishes, was that they took away any debate over what was for dinner. They also come with a recipe for the perfect (super-easy) side dish to go with them. In under an hour you have a delicious meal for two, with very little cooking effort involved. One slight downside for people buying these for the first time is that the side dish ingredients and recipe is printed on the inside sleeve of the packaging, so until you have bought the product you don’t know that it is there or what it consists of. I was also sent these side dishes as additional recipes cards, but I don’t think these come as standard.
Bol Sweet and Spicy Glazed Aubergine
I absolutely loved the aubergine dish. I’ve attempted sticky, miso aubergine on a number of occasions and struggled to achieve the perfect degree of icky, yumminess that this dish provided. The recipe card suggested accompanying this with stir fried broccoli and peppers with noodles all in a peanut butter, maple syrup and soy sauce. This was really easy to make and the whole dish was ready in 30 minutes.
Bol Indian Spiced Butternut Squash
The curried lentils with coconut yogurt that were suggested as an accompaniment to the butternut squash were really delicious. And while the butternut squash was tasty, it wasn’t as special as the aubergine.
Bol Whole Roasted Firecracker Cauliflower
Again the whole dish for the firecracker cauliflower, which I served with rice, spring greens, courgette and sugar snap peas in a ginger, garlic, chilli and soy sauce dressing, was really delicious. The cauliflower by itself didn’t blow us away, but as a whole composition it was all really yummy.
Centrepieces sit somewhere between ready meals and the kind of meal delivery service where you get the ingredients and recipe card but cook it yourself. They are really easy. But to get the full effect, they do require the suggested sides, which you have to buy and make. I’d happily pay the £4 for the aubergine dish and will definitely be buying this one again. I would also recommend all of the dishes to my friends to try as they were really flavourful. I suspect I will also be using the side dishes to go with some other dishes of my own!
On the whole these three meals really cheered up our week and have re-inspired me in the kitchen.
Find out more
Bol Centrepieces are available to buy from Tesco from November 2020 and Co-Op from January, RRP £4.00
BOL Centrepieces are the sixth 100% plant powered product to be added to the growing range.
Read more on their website or follow them @BOLfoods on Instagram
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