Tesco is launching a low-calorie ready meal range called The Skinny One - in time to tackle the post-Christmas bulge.

The 350-calorie microwaveable meals, made under its City Kitchen brand by Kerry Foods, launch nationwide on 2 January and have been created by the City Kitchen team and chef Jason Gladwin, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants.

The line-up comprises Mediterranean prawns with orzo pasta, Tuscan chicken pasta, Bombay spiced chicken and Thai coconut chicken (rsp: £3 for tubs from 270g to 300g).

It joins the City Kitchen premium chilled ready meal range, which launched in June 2009 with the intention of challenging the perception that ready meals were intrinsically unhealthy. The range, which included Katsu chicken curry, shredded hoisin duck noodles and King prawn, chicken & chorizo paella, was launched exclusively into 10 London Tesco Expresses and has since rolled out to 1,700 Tesco stores across the country, racking up £10m sales in the past year alone [Dunnhumby 52w/e 13 November 2011].

The Skinny One meals would provide welcome relief from the usual cardboard diets shoppers put themselves through in January, said a Kerry spokeswoman. The meals will be sold at an introductory promotional price of £2.50 until 17 January.

In September, Kerry launched Made for You frozen ready meals, a range of products exclusively for Morrisons. Recipes included slow-cooked beef with gratin potatoes, hunter’s chicken with roasted potato wedges, coq au vin with gratin potatoes and wild mushroom risotto.