Just launched, there’s a smart new food service offering dietician and chef-created meals delivered directly to your door by Bristol start-up field doctor ™
Bristol and Bath’s new purveyor of ‘nutritionally supercharged’ ready meals, field doctor™, had this closet chemistry nerd with the cute little nutrition-based take on the periodic table on its planet-friendly packaging. It assured me my veggie moussaka would make for a working lunch packed with Fi (fibre) and leave me better off in the Pr (protein) and K (potassium) departments.
Not only upping my vitamin stores (A, B and C) via three of my five-a-day quota, it was bringing folic acid and its feel-good friend selenium to the party – the latter an immune-boosting antioxidant that, like vitamin D, we just don’t get enough of in this country as our soils aren’t too rich in it.
The field doc gang had smuggled the lesser known nutrient in via Brazil nuts which are a great source of the stuff – and actually, now’s a really good time to mention that this chef and dietician-led West Country team are nuts about nuts, so if you’re not (or worse, they’re your health kryptonite) then these are not the ready meals for you. But it was the beefy Brazils I was to partly to thank for the real depth of flavour from the fragrant aubergine, courgette, British puy lentil, yellow pea, red pepper, white bean béchamel and pecorino cheese Greek-inspired creation – although labour-intensive cooking methods employed make a real difference too. Cooking down the veg in extra virgin olive oil, soffritto-style, to really concentrate the taste, and focusing on umami flavours, also help keep the salt levels down.
It’s the famously robust Mediterranean diets that dietician Sasha Watkins and food-loving entrepreneur Martin Dewey – co-founders – built their range around with the Michelin-star experience of head chef and food educator Matt Williamson. Wholegrains and pulses are added to all meals, which are largely plant-based, cooked in small batches and flash frozen to lock in their freshness. When meat does feature, it’s organic. We also tried the field green risotto comprising British naked barley with peas, broad beans, asparagus, courgette, kale, pecorino and another choice nut, chopped almond, and it was equally moreish, with none of the clagginess that risotto sometimes can have (at least, when made by my hand) and a red pepper and chickpea curry with green beans, broccoli, cashews with a very light and fluffy turmeric brown basmati and lentil rice mix.
While more importance is placed on substance, and we’re told the dishes are “not designed for Insta”, each looks noticeably high quality and pretty appealing even in their frozen states, and with the flavour profiles to back them up once out of the oven, you feel confident that you’ve genuinely given your body a real little boost with zero effort. It’s a satisfying fix when you’re time-poor, up against the clock with a work deadline. Ordering on the website, you can whittle down what’s best for you using your dietary requirements or sorting by health claim – meals specifically designed to benefit the muscles, skin, bones, brain, eyes, heart or gut; meals that are better for energy or immunity.
We’re just witnessing the germination of field doctor™, but the aim is to nurture a ‘regenerative relationship’ with nature – hence the name – and support the move away from intensive farming practices and modern food manufacturing towards sustainable farming, biodiversity and soil restoration, to look after both human health and that of the planet. That’s something we can definitely get behind.
field doctor™ delivers direct to your door, with single meals priced at £6.75 (£9.95 for two), minimum order £25. Use code fdtbm10 for £10 off your order; fielddoctor.co.uk