There was a time I loved to cook. Hovering around in the kitchen creating meditteranean platters, spicy curries and obscure vegetarian dishes packed with flavour and texture.
Some days, I’d just have a bowl of cereal, maybe after a big lunch, and knowing I was only catering for myself, it really didn’t matter.
But then, life changed. I was no longer feeding myself, but another person, then another, and another. Meal times became loaded with pressure, rejection, repetition and a distinct lack of flavour.
And here we are, ten years later, stuck in a rut of the same meals week after week; balancing speed, nutrition and a host of fussy preferences which equate to the same dinners over and over again.
I mean, it’s not that I don’t like spaghetti bolognese, chicken curry, macaroni cheese, chilli, or a roast… but it’s as though any other options have fallen out of my brain.
Lockdown has made this even harder – without the escape of a pub lunch, a roast at the parents or a curry house, it’s been cafe Mum for EVER.
I had been toying with the idea of signing up to a meal subscription when I was contacted by Simply Cook to see if I wanted to try their mail recipe delivery box.
Honestly, this could not have come at a better time.
I checked out the online options and picked out four meals then waited to see what the postman delivered.
At first I thought I’d done something wrong, as the slim parcel containing recipes and spice & flavour portions wasn’t what I was expecting. On investigation I realised that unlike other meal subscriptions, Simply Cook differs in that you source your own fresh main 3 or 4 main ingredients.
In actual fact, this spoke to me – less packaging, less cost, less post and more choice. Whether you want to buy organic from Waitrose or bargain buy from Aldi; it works around your budget.
It also means less waste as you can scale the portions up or down depending on how many you are feeding, and store the recipe kits for months at a time.
All of the meal kits are simple to create and use a combination of the kit contents, store cupboard items and a few shopping list fresh items to create a banging dinner packed with flavour in less than half an hour.
This however is not just a box of generic spice – each pot contains a carefully created and blended fusion which brings restaurant quality food to your home without the faff, cost or hassle.
Over the course of our 4 day week. we tried the following meal kits:
Monday – Mexican Pulled chicken
My food heaven is spicy chicken with coleslaw and sweet potato chips… so it’s a given that this was a.MAZE.ING. The cooking technique blew my mind and taught me how to recreate the meal textures… but damn I need those flavour pots secret recipe!!! The chipotle slaw took me back to the southern states of the USA and I ate this cold for lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday too…
Tuesday – Spanish Paella
After a little mission to track down the prawns that were unavailable in my food shop delivery, this banging one pot wonder was a real change up from our usual mid week dinners. I can’t remember the last time I cooked seafood at home, and the warmth through the dish was like a hug in a bowl.
Wednesday – Crispy Chilli Tofu
I really wanted to make sure our box contained at least one vegan dish as it’s become really important to me to reduce our meat and dairy intake and be more mindful about plant based foods as part of a balanced diet.
Tofu however was a totally new cooking experience for me – and I could not get enough of it. The hot crispy tofu smothered in spicy, sticky sour sauce on rice with some al dente sugar snap peas. I actually think this was my favourite dish of all…
Thursday – Chicken Makhani
As I already mentioned, chicken curry is a go to midweek meal for all of us, but somehow, every single curry I cook tasted EXACTLY the same. And as much as we love it, it’s become a bit… meh. So I was more than excited to spice up the Sarah special.
The chicken Makhani did not dissappoint – by teaching me the power of a tikka chicken and creamy passata based sauce, combined with the little pot of wonder, a beautiful thing happened.
I have to admit I was kind of sad to reach the end of the box… but with the recipe cards to hand and an understanding of how Simply Cook works, I will definitely be reusing the service – even a box a month would make a huge difference to the dread that comes from opening the fridge and wondering how to convert it’s contents into a meal I want to eat, let alone cook.
Simply Cook? It’s a thumbs up from me.
If you would like a trial box for just one pound, follow my link to access the deal: