Lunch box from Planet Organic

Lunch box from Planet Organic

Hungover and feeling poorly, I decided to walk to Planet Organic on Islington’s Upper Street  to see if they had anything that might help me snap out of it and put a spring back in my step. So I opted for one of their large salad boxes. Only, I didn’t fill it with salad.

This was the kind of hangover that only a good dollop of stodge would budge, so I pointed the person serving me in the direction of not just the broccoli and spinach salad, but also the chicken pie, lentil shepherd’s pie, and chick pea stew. I had high hopes indeed for this mound of goodness.  And at just £5.99 for a platter that would probably serve two people for a main dinner, I was more than content.

Once home, I tucked straight into – for some strange reason – the broccoli. It looked unusually green and had a few pretty alfalfa (or similar) shoots draped over it and was quite delicious. Now it was time to try the main event – the chicken pie.

Now I don’t eat meat often, so when I do, I really look forward to it and have been known to express a bit of food rage every now and then when things don’t quite meet my expectations. The flavour of this pie was great – rich, creamy, earthy and smooth – but I seem to recall there being approximately one teaspoon’s worth of chicken in there. Not counting the two bone fragments, that is.

Yes, it was just as well that I decided to chew my food more thoroughly than usual that day. I found two rather large and sharp unwanted bits of matter and decided they must have been bone. Not great. But I was so hungry that I continued, albeit extra vigilantly.

I moved on to the lentil/mash section which was, I’m afraid to say, a little bland. In it’s defence, I think the chicken pie was so flavoursome that the lentil concoction just couldn’t stand up to it. Another time, sans chicken pie, it could have been a winner.

The chick pea stew was quite tasty, although I did – as I tend to do with most meals – gather a little bit of everything for each mouthful, so the nuances of each dish were a little difficult to distinguish by this time.

All in all, I’d still give this a thumbs up. Not only for the interesting combinations of dishes that I went for, but for the variety that was on offer at the counter.

I’d like to think the fact the pie contained bone was testament to the nature of the ‘made in store’ cooking process and was down to a slip of the human hand; the type of slip you don’t suffer when your pie is made from boiled and mechanically reconstituted meat that’s piped into pastry-filled tins by clever machines in factories.

But then again, maybe I’m looking at this through rose-tinted glasses and should pick my bone with Planet Organic.

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