Field Doctor is a relatively new company offering a range of ready-made frozen meals delivered direct to your door. That in itself isn’t a new concept, and it joins an ever-expanding group of already established household names in the food delivery subscription market – Mindful Chef, HelloFresh, Gousto, Detox Kitchen… to name but a few who saw a massive hike in subscriptions mid-pandemic.
With Field Doctor, the meals arrive ready to cook from frozen – a massive plus for the time-tight but what about the nutritional credentials? Luckily the frozen food market has come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of decades to keep up with a public that demands better quality produce and a range of options to suit all manner of dietary requirements.
With Field Doctor you’re getting meals crafted by dietician Sasha Watkins and Michelin-trained chef Matt Williamson, using ingredients from sustainably-focused producers. Their emphasis is on food packed with ‘flavour, nutrients and health benefits’, which flash-freezing achieves as it locks in the goodness.
The website is easy to navigate, and allows you to sort meals by health goals/dietary choices (vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, lowest calorie, high protein and gluten free). A USP of Field Doctor is that you can also search for ‘low fodmap’ options – FODMAPs are a group of fermentable carbohydrates which are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, and trigger symptoms in people with a sensitive gut or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides (wheat, rye, onion, garlic, pulses, broccoli), Disaccharides (dairy), Monosaccharides (honey, asparagus, apples, figs, juices), And Polyols (mushrooms, cauliflower, sweetners).
There are 22 meals to choose from, and we picked Teriyaki salmon and whole grain rice, Goan fish curry, Potato topped chicken pie, Smokey chipotle meatballs, Vegetarian moussaka and Field green risotto. Reluctantly sharing them out with our husband, we both agreed that they were the best frozen ready meals we’d ever tried (disclaimer: 99% of the time we now cook with fresh ingredients, but being uni students in the late 90s, we’ve both had our fair share of ready meals over the years).
Plus points for us were: plenty of flavour, nicely balanced, interesting mix of textures and they didn’t leave you feeling uncomfortably full or disappointingly unsatisfied, which can often be the dinnertime lottery you take if you’ve ever tried a supermarket ready meal. The only one which I wouldn’t try again was the field green risotto, as I felt this needed a bit more oomph in the flavour-stakes.
Each meal can be bought as a 1-person or 2-people option, with prices starting at £5.95 for 1-person and £9.95 for 2-people. There’s a minimum order of £35, which one of their ‘bundles’ of six meals easily achieves. You can also sign up for a regular subscription which saves you 5% on all future orders.
So they’re not exactly cheap, and sit at the Charlie Bigham end of the ready-meal market. But if you know you’ve got a busy period coming up in terms of work/childcare/training or, heaven forbid, we enter another lockdown, they’re a fantastic nutritionally-sound time-saver in the kitchen. Their New Parent bundle (£39.20 for 1 person or £63.80 for 2 people) is also a great gift option and is ‘packed with iron, vitamins and nutrients essential for post partum recovery’.