"Who are these new recipe boxes aimed at?"
"And why do you need them when you can just go to the shop to buy the ingredients yourself?"
That's what my husband asked me a few weeks ago when a flyer came through the door.
So when Mindful Chef got in touch to see if we'd like to review one of their new plant-based recipe boxes I jumped at the chance.
A recipe box, in case you don't know what I'm on about, is a box, delivered to your door, containing the recipe and all the ingredients you need to make a meal.
We received a plant-based recipe box, containing two meals: Moroccan spiced aubergine, chickpea and apricot tagine and Italian sundried tomato and olive ragu with butterbean mash.
Both recipes were really simple to make and took under half an hour to cook, including chopping time. The ingredients were all organic and good quality and we really enjoyed both meals. I decided against sharing these meals with the two older kids - mainly because the portion sizes wouldn't have allowed for it. I think they would have enjoyed the ragu - and I'm definitely going to make the butterbean mash again to see if they'll eat it. I loved this - it was one of my favourite aspects of both meals and is something I'm looking forward to eating again.
I did share a portion of both meals with Baby S. He liked the tagine but we discovered that he's most definitely not a fan of mushrooms when he tucked into the ragu (pictured below with some leftover spaghetti as well). By the look on his face when he put one in his mouth you'd think we'd given him mud to eat or something! Of course the rest of the mushrooms on his plate were picked up one-by-one and carefully dropped on the floor.
Mindful Chef offer two types of box - classic, which could include meat or fish, and plant-based, which is completely vegan. Neither box contains bread, white rice or pasta. Boxes are available for one or two people. All the ingredients are organic, and fresh produce comes from farms in Devon.
The classic option lets you choose from 2, 3 or 4 meals. Plant-based comes with three recipes.
It doesn't come cheap - with a plant-based box for one person costing £19 a week, and a classic box with three meals for one person costing £24 a week. But the attraction is in the pure convenience of it. Fresh, healthy ingredients delivered to your door with clear simple instructions. If you don't have time to shop, meal plan or even think about what you want to make for dinner it's all too easy to fall into the trap of takeaways and ready meals. Or even sometimes a bowl of cereal for dinner. This solves that problem for you.
Would I try it again? Yes, definitely, but probably not regularly as the cost is just too much for us at the moment. I'd also like to see a family-sized box as cooking one meal for everyone is something I'm really trying to prioritise at the moment - although the kids would much prefer it if I gave them fish fingers every day!
Find out more about Mindful Chef.
Disclaimer: I was sent a recipe box to review by Mindful Chef. I received no other payment for this post.