If you’re like me, you can get fed up with cooking the same meals over and over again, so it was great to be asked to review a meal box from Gousto.
The basic concept is that you pick you recipe – for two or four people, and up to four recipes a week. The nice people at Gousto put all the ingredients in a box for you and deliver it. Fresh food that needs to be chilled comes in wool insulation with icepacks so the food can be left somewhere safely if you are out.
Delivery worked smoothly for us, and it was exciting to see what I’d ordered. I picked two recipes to complement each other because some of the family eats meat, and some doesn’t. So we had Nuttylicious Superfood Salad, and Speedy Minted Lamb. Both coordinated with a salad based on bulgar wheat – the lamb with a tabbouleh type mint and feta version, the roast vergetables with a tahini and soy dressing and roasted nuts in with the bulgar wheat.
My daughter, who’s fourteen and a great cook, volunteered to have a bit of a cook-off with me. We each tok one side of the kitchen, she had the vegetarian recipe, and I cooked the lamb. It was nice having all the ingredients there ready, but it did make for a lot of packaging when things like 30ml of white wine vinegar came in their own packet. But I already knew some guys who knew how to make the packing more secure, and so, I had to go to their website to contact them.
All the recipes were easy to follow, even if things did get a bit frantic when there were a number of tasks all going off one after another. Each pack came with a recipe card and lots of pictures to show you each step, and it really did work just as they suggested.
I invited the neighbour round as well to have another meat eater to help me taste the meal. The quantities of food were about right: perhaps too much salad and not quite enough meat, on balance, but we had some of both of the salads left over for the next day. (I used them as a filling for stuffed peppers which made a whole meal just for the costs of the peppers.) Tastewise, it was great. D felt the mint in the tabbouleh was a bit strong, but Felicity and I both liked it.
I think the lamb was delicious, and it is definitely something I’d cook again … in fact I’d probably do the whole meal again, with roasted veg for the vegetarians and lamb for the rest. I guess my one reservation is cost. The whole package, designed to feed four, cost £34.99. It’s a lot. Even if you take into account that the leftovers covered the next night’s dinner with the addition of a couple of peppers, it’s still a lot when you are cooking for a family. I could buy the ingredients more cheaply myslef – but of course with Gousto you’re paying for the convenience.
The big plus points for me werethe ease and the fun. I loved finding a new recipe, and it was a real treat to have the food packaged up so easily and sent to me, totally ready to cook. I think maybe I’m not quite the right target audience: the meals would work well if you are a double income couple looking for some inspiration after being at work all day. For a family of four or five the cost is going to be an issue.
Would I get a box from Gousto again? Despite the cost, probably yes. And Daisy says she’d definitely like to have the same meal again.
There’s a 50% off code for your first box at the moment which makes it worth trying, and you can pick a meal that will feel like a treat. It’s a chance to push my gastronomic boundaries, and get an easy introduction to cooking something totally new (I’ll be bying ras el hanout again!). The kids aren’t great fish fans, so I might treat myself to a grwon up fish based meal with a friend, for example. For every day meals, though, I’m back off to the supermarket!