Gousto Box www.gousto.co.uk
Product: A choice of hearty dishes with fresh ingredients, pre-measured in one handy box Price: £4.00 Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
What they say…
Gousto is the UK’s award-winning recipe kit for aspiring home cooks. It delivers imaginative recipes and the fresh, quality ingredients to create them, straight to your door. Yours Magazine readers might find this a convenient way to discover new foods and cook healthy and delicious meals throughout the week, without the stress of the grocery shop.
For those who lack the time or inspiration to cook meals at home, Gousto is the ideal solution. It enables people to cook delicious meals in around 30 minutes, without the hassle of having to conjure up recipes or go shopping to source ingredients.
The idea is simple, choose up to 4 recipes for the week from a selection of 10 changeable seasonal meat and vegetarian dishes from around the world. These range from Thai Pork Skewers, Puttanesca Risotto to a very popular Double Chipotle burger. Gousto prepares the exact portions using organic vegetables and locally sourced produce, and delivers it straight to your door for free.
What we say…
I love cooking and I love trying new foods. But I often struggle to scramble enough time together to follow a recipe and faff about with a proper dish. Especially if that dish involves lots of snazzy ingredients that I don’t already have in the cupboard and lots of preparing (life’s too short for endlessly dicing and slicing vegetables I think- particularly when I’m hungry).
So I was very happy when I discovered that my Gousto Box would let me try tasty, top quality homemade dishes without any of the hassle of preparing. You can choose from up to ten different recipes every week that covers almost every cuisine and a mixture of vegetarian and meat dishes. All fresh, all healthy and all worthy of a top cookery book. I went for chicken teriyaki as a big fan of Oriental dishes and veggie gnocchi ragu since I’d never cooked with gnocchi before.
You can then choose between a meal for two or for four- although I have to say I was cooking for one and found this worked just as well as I simply froze half the portion I made for two and enjoyed the rest of it for lunch the next day.
The box arrives on the day of your choosing, with exact amounts of the ingredients you need for the recipe nestled into clever wool packaging. This keeps the food fresh and unspoilt, meaning you don’t have to worry about it going off sat on your neighbour’s doorstep in case you’re not in when it arrives.
With all the prep done for you (my dream of having a cooking fairy magically do all the work has finally been granted- now just to find a washing-up fairy…) you can make a start on the dish right away. The recipe is very clear with detailed pictures and even links to how-to Youtube videos in case you get stuck at any point. It explains how long it should take to make and sorts out all the troublesome issue of coordinating your timings for you- so no more panic at doing ten things at once.
One little thing to be wary of if you’re a bit of a flapper in the kitchen (like me) is to make sure you know which ingredients are which before you start. It might sound silly but some of the ingredients are packaged very similarly making it easy to mix them up if you don’t pay careful attention and read the labels. As I discovered when I mistook my balsamic vinegar for soy sauce (not the best addition to teriyaki I have to say).
At the end, you get a really filling meal that tastes great and you still feel you can pat yourself on the back for making yourself. My veggie gnocchi ragu in particular was so scrummy and ready in just 45 minutes. With the teriyaki, I was really proud to have been able to make such a pleasant dish, especially since a lot of the ingredients I used were ones I’d never usually buy for fear of them not getting used and going off. It’s great that with the Gousto Box I was able to cook completely new things without having to fork out for all these extra ingredients.
At the price it is- starting from £4 per portion- a Gousto Box meal certainly on a par with the price you’d pay for a quality pre-prepared ready meal in one of the supermarkets. And while yes, it might have taken a bit longer than something microwavable, you know that, having made it yourself, it’s completely fresh, made from high-quality ingredients and free from any nasties or hidden salt or fat. It’s probably pricier than I’d pay for a meal every single day but for a tasty treat once or twice a week, especially if I’m thinking of entertaining friends, it's a terrific idea.