A few weeks ago we were sent a wonderful Riverford Recipe Box to review from Riverford, the award winning organic delivery company. I'm sure many of you are familiar with the Riverford Box Scheme which delivers freshly grown fruit and veg produce and dairy to around sixty thousand homes around the UK, but did you know that they now offer recipe boxes? I certainly didn't and so I was excited to find out more when I was approached to review a recipe box..
Riverford Recipe Boxes are an easy and innovative way to cook delicious organic meals without the fuss of having to source everything that you need from scratch. We were sent a Vegetarian Recipe box, which contains everything that you need to create three home-cooked meals. Inside there is fresh seasonal organic produce, step-by-step recipe cards and all of the extra ingredients in exact quantities. There is no need to go and buy a whole tin or packet of something, just to use a teaspoon of it (which saves on waste), and no weighing or measuring of ingredients (which saves massively on time). Everything is provided for you and all you have to do is some minimal preparation and then the cooking.
Now this idea hugely appeals to me as I like to try and eat delicious, freshly prepared healthy meals, but as many working Mums are (and perhaps even most of the working population in general), I am very time poor. I typically probably have around thirty minutes in the kitchen per night to cook something from start to finish, so anything which speeds up this process is a bonus to me, and anything which saves me deliberating on what to cook is also a quick win.
I was extremely impressed with the way that the box was packaged when it was delivered. It had everything labelled with the exact quantities, and packed into compartments so that you knew what was what, and there wasn't stacks of excess packaging to throw away.
The meals we were sent ingredients for were Portobello Mushroom Rarebit, Spinach and Sugar Snap Kedgeree, and Panzanella and Mozzarella.
Over the next week we sampled all three meals. Having all of the ingredients there in the little containers was so easy, I kept the fresh ingredients together in the fridge drawers and so could just grab what I needed as I went along. Everything was in the right quantities to cook with and there were step by step instructions to follow along the way. The only thing I would say would be to read all of the recipe card instructions when you get them as it might be that some things need some pre-preparation, or have to be left for a certain amount of time. For example I had to soak the onions in the oil and vinegar for the panzanella and so had to make sure I made this dish on a night when I was not in a hurry to go anywhere.
I think that the two meals I most enjoyed were the Portobello Mushroom Rarebit served with salad and shoots which was very tasty and filling, and the Panzanella which was a fantastic meal for a summers evening. My husband was also very impressed with the taste and quality of the meals and remarked that it was a welcome change from my usual offerings!
I was extremely impressed with the Riverford Recipe Box service. Everything was delivered to me, it was fresh produce, and all ready to go. The recipes were easy to follow and the instructions were so self-explanatory. All three meals were very appetising and satisfying. I didn't feel hungry at night after I had eatern them, and there were ample portions all round. I also liked the wide range of recipes on offer, so every week there is something different on offer and great variety to choose from. All of the recipes are seasonal, organic and created by professional chefs.
The price of a Vegetarian Box is £33.95 for three meals for two people. I think that this is extremely reasonable as it comes in at around £5.50 a head - which is what you would pay if you were buying a ready meal with the accompanying salad or bread. Plus and more importantly, the meal is freshly prepared and cooked, organic, and you know ingredients are going in! The Vegetarian box is slightly cheaper than the meat alternatives. There is no obligation to subscribe weekly, you can buy as little or as often as you want to. I wouldn't say I would purchase this each week as some nights we eat with the kids and some nights without, and the kids may not be open to every recipe (perhaps a kids meal box could be a good seller! However, I think we would use this service at least once or twice a month, and I am also looking into ordering the veg and fruit boxes on a weekly basis!
I would definitely recommend sampling the Riverford Recipe Box scheme. We loved our complimentary box and I will definitely be ordering this again as it took all of the time and hassle out of deciding what to cook, going to the shops to hunt for the ingredients, then preparing the individual dishes. It was so easy and ultimately any company who is going to make my life easier gets my business!!
Disclosure: We were offered the Riverford Recipe Box in consideration for review.