You readers will know I love getting things in boxes. Letterbox cakes, flowers by post, beauty boxes, food boxes - you name it, I've either tried it or I want it. I used to enjoy getting recipe boxes delivered - containing ready-measured ingredients and recipes to make the weekly meal planning and shopping easier - but since going vegan a few months ago my choice was suddenly limited. Then I stumbled across Mindful Chef on Twitter and let out a little "squeee" in excitement when I saw that they have a plant-based recipe box. And an even bigger "squeee" followed when they offered to send me one to try!
Mindful Chef was founded in 2015 by two friends, Giles & Myles, with a mission of making healthy eating easy and enjoyable. Their recipe box service aims to take the planning and shopping out of your weekly routine by sending the exact amount of ingredients you need to cook so that all you have to do is follow the recipes. The delicious meals are made with the finest ingredients as provenance is very important to them and they source as much of their produce from small West Country farms and most of them are Soil Association accredited, too.
My Mindful Chef plant-based box was delivered last Monday by Parcelforce. Everything was neatly and carefully packaged so that nothing was damaged in transit. I happened to have been leaving to do the preschool run when I saw the Parcelforce van pull up, so I was there to take the delivery, but if I had been out the box could have been left in my specified safe place. If you work, getting your box delivered to your workplace is a great idea, especially as the box has an integrated handle on the top making it easy to carry to your car or even on the train!
Mindful Chef do a classic recipe box with 2, 3 or 4 recipes for one or two people, and they also do a plant-based box with 3 recipes for one or two people. I got a plant-based box for two people which usually costs £36.00. It had all the ingredients I needed to cook three amazing vegan meals: Mushroom stuffed squash with avocado, Nut baked tofu with roasted vegetables, and Quinoa, red pepper & lentil stew.
One of the things people often say to me when they realise I am vegan is "What on earth do you eat?" It's a common misconception that vegans have really boring diets and I'm sure people envision me gnawing on broccoli all day (I actually do love broccoli) but I eat far more exciting and adventurous things now than I ever did before! Mindful Chef have teamed up with Julie Montagu, a top nutritionist and cookery book author, to create the delicious recipes for their March plant-based boxes. The recipes are all nutritionally balanced, gluten-free and 100% vegan.
All three of the recipes were really easy to cook, taking about half an hour in all. Everything is already measured out in the quantities and measurements that you need, so other than a little bit of chopping there's hardly any prep involved at all. This is what I love about recipe boxes - I love getting busy in the kitchen but after a hectic day I just want something quick and easy, but I don't want to compromise on flavour or nutrition or give in to the temptation of a takeaway.
But what you really want to know is if the food tasted good, isn't it? Well, looking at the photos what do you think? I can honestly say the Mindful Chef meals are as delicious as they look! Ian is not vegan, but he eats whatever I eat in the evenings because he can't (won't) cook. He has enjoyed all three of the meals, except for the squash because he just doesn't like squash. I on the other hand love it so I was happy as anything! I swapped out the peanuts for pine nuts on the Nut baked tofu recipe as I'm allergic to peanuts, and I added a dash of chilli to the Mushroom stuffed squash because I think smashed avocado and chilli are two things that deserve to be together! The stew I didn't change at all, it was like a party in my mouth with all those flavours coming together. I wish Ian had hated it so I could have had his portion too, but sadly for my greedy belly he loved it.
Head over to Mindful Chef to find out more about their healthy recipe boxes and use discount code QFSHESAID25 for 25% off your first order! It will also get your 25% off your next three orders if you decide to continue. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
*I was kindly sent a Mindful Chef box to review.