However, the labels are eye catching and clearly tell you what exciting ingredients they have in each BOL.Whilst most of their current flavours are based on the ‘street food’ idea, with Thai Curries, Jerk Chicken stews, and Mexican chilies, I was really excited to try their new SuperBOL, with high sources of protein, and jam-packed to the lid with heaps of vegetables and goodies.
Paul Brown set up BOL after leaving his 14-year position at Innocent, to make fresh and ready to eat dishes inspired from his travels around the globe. At around £3.00 for a 380 gram BOL pot, these can be found in most supermarkets – including Ocado, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
Super Quinoa Squash
This one is my absolute favourite – although that’s usually a guarantee with the word ‘quinoa’ in the name! It’s vegetarian, and contains butterbeans, pumpkin seeds, kale, rosemary, butternut squash, black rice and quinoa, with a fragrant coconut cream-based sauce. The one downside with this pot is that it’s quite high in fat (15.6g in 380g) – this is something I feel they should be working to cut down across all their flavours, as many seemed to be rather high in fat, saturates or sugar.
This BOL is so delicious – I received enough for Kitty and me to take a couple of the BOL pots each into work for lunch. Being an enthusiastic meat-eater, I was pleased that he loved the BOL pot, and as for me, well, half my diet consists of kale, quinoa, and butternut squash, so I was in second heaven eating a lunch I hadn’t had to cook up! There are so many textures and flavours in this 380 gram pot – the sweet and squishy butternut squash with the crunchy pumpkin seeds and the black rice, and fluffy quinoa with soft kale leaves. The butterbeans leave you really filled up, and are a great source of protein for a vegetarian, and there’s a creamy coconut and rosemary sauce that you mix through from the bottom to create a wholesome, hearty, winter-warming meal. With 368 calories and 11.4 grams protein, this is a super little lunch pot that fills you up and keeps you going, with really interesting and tasty flavour combinations (making it different from my usual quinoa mix). I think I caved into two chocolate buttons during the whole afternoon – it really left me satisfied and full.
It rather felt like it was on track with the Deliciously Ella/MAE deli/ wholefoods buffet boat obsession, but without the insanely high cost. It was like Mr Brown had gone round filling up a plastic pot for me with all the (healthy) plant-based things I like from the salad bar in Planet Organic, drizzling a bit of tasty sauce over the top to bring the ingredients altogether, and then handing it to me, without me having to leave my office (only to the microwave), take out a second mortgage to pay the bill, or stand in a queue down the street for Ella’s Deli. If they ever choose to make additional SuperBOL/Superfood flavours, which include gluten free/ vegan recipes as well - they’ll be onto a winner.
The Super Quinoa Squash was an absolute hit and ticked all my boxes for what I look for in a lunch. There’re no hidden nasties in the pot, it’s 2 of your 5 a day, and it’s all made in the UK. I don’t think you can get much fresher than that - other than battling through #mealprep on a Sunday evening, dividing up a batch of quinoa into 5 pieces of tupperware.
Sri Lankan Lentil Sambar
Whilst not advertised as a ‘SuperBOL’, this looked too amazing not to try and was actually fairly low in calories (292) and fat content (11 grams per 380 gram pot). This lentil mild-curry stew contains turmeric roasted cauliflower, coconut cream, spinach, basmati rice, and a herby sauce with a slight kick.
I was very impressed with just how much was packed into one pot in terms of variety of flavours and authentic ingredients, not to mention the portion was satisfyingly perfect even for an evening meal as well as a hearty lunch. Kitty loved it too – his words were: ‘the curry doesn’t come across as a vegetarian meal thanks to the cauliflower, potato and lentils’. It tastes meaty and chunky without the need for any meat (this BOL pot is another veggie one), and the lentils keep you really full whilst you’re eating it, and right through the afternoon.
With 1.4 grams of protein and 12.9 grams fibre in a 380 gram pot, I think this is a tasty treat to pick up from a supermarket when you’re stuck for lunch ideas. Flavour – tick. Ingredients – tick. Healthy – tick. Tasty lunch – in the bag.
Definitely check out their other flavours and keep an eye out on the supermarket shelves – I hear they do a ramen pot, which sounds right up my street.