Though I consider myself a foodie, buy local/free-range/organic when I can and cook dinner most nights, I have a dirty, little secret: I eat ready meals most days for lunch. They’re just so damned convenient! Plus, they’re generally tastier and less preservative-laden here in Ireland than the frozen ready meals in my native U.S. So, as a public service, here are my tasting notes and reviews of my lunch-time repasts.

Meals are rated on a scale of 1-10 for three factors: taste, nutrition and foodiness. Taste and nutrition are easy, but the last factor requires some explanation. Foodiness is a measure of creativity, locality and general coolness. An Irish-produced shepherd’s pie, though low on creativity, will rank higher than a shepherd’s pie from elsewhere. Granted, the ingredients may be from all over, but at least the jobs are local. A shepherd’s pie made with lamb from a named local producer and topped with champ mash would rank higher still (where can I find this ready meal?!). The coveted foodiness factor of ten can be granted only to locally-produced, locally-sourced meals.

I will also write about other foods and supplies that are great to keep in the pantry for quick meals.

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