We all lead busy lives and fitting in the chance to get our and enjoy a ride means compromises need making in other areas. One of these for me tends to be the preparation and cooking of me evening meal, takeaways and ready meals are my go too more than they should and all my hard work on the bike is undone. So are food boxes the answer? They advertise themselves as taking the hard work our of cooking fresh food at home but is it too good to be true?
What is a Food Box?
Gousto and their contemporaries are part of a growing trend in meal prep services delivered to your door. These companies claim to take the hardship out of cooking at home by doing all the hard work for you.
We chose Gousto for our test as they are highly praised in reviews from customers and they offer fresh ingredients and always seem to have offers and reductions available to keep costs down.
We placed out order on the Thursday and chose to have it delivered the Tuesday of the next week. The order process was very easy and a wizard guided us through with little difficulty. Chosing what meals to go for was the hardest part as there is a massive selection to choose from and they all seemed so tempting. Sticking to the aim of this review we chose a range of different recipes. We had one of the “Speedy” (Simple King Prawn, Garlic & Chilli Linguine) options, one out of the “World Foods” (Greek Lamb Pasta With Feta & Dill) and finally one of the “Boost & Balance” (Vietnamese Chicken & Brown Rice Salad). Once we had chosen our delivery slot and menu then all that was left was to confirm the order and wait.
Whats in the Food Boxes?
The box was delivered when we expected and once we cracked it open it was a pleasant surprise. All the fresh salad and vegetables were portioned and wrapped with clear labels on them. There was a large plastic bag that when opened we found a material wrap several ice packs and all the meat, this was again nicely portioned and wrapped and labeled well. In the bottom of the box was a wooden spoon branded with Gousto and the 3 recipe cards required to cook the meals. This all looked nice and fresh and very well packaged, so far so good.
Cooking & Eating
We were going to chronicle each meal but once we had the first two we realised that the same could be said about them all so it would have been overkill. The recipe cards were very detailed and easy to follow and having everything portioned out for you makes it easier to cook without a doubt. Cooking required a little more effort than I was expecting, although the meals are portioned for you there is still a fair amount of washing, peeling and chopping required. As far as convenience goes you are saving time in planning meals and shopping but not a lot of time saved when it comes to cooking.
Once cooked the food was delicious, the freshness of the ingredients really was notable especially in the Greek Lamb. We enjoyed all the meals from a taste and variety aspect but we were slightly disappointed with the portion size. That could be down to us being greedy and wanting too much but after a day at work and a decent ride after I was ready for a big meal and these didn’t really hit the spot for me unfortunately. If you’re not a big eater however then this wouldn’t be an issue for you.
Delicious, fresh home cooked food with no waist and no shopping
Small portions, still requires you to prep food
We enjoyed our experience with Gousto and will be ordering from them again. The portion sizes while smaller are probably the ideal size and me being dissatisfied says more about me than them in hindsight. The main benefits I found were the time saved sat planning out what I want to eat the following week and what I would need to buy at the shops to make these. Also having the correctly portioned food sent means that my diet was much more varied as I wasn’t having to eat the same thing twice due to the shops not selling the correct amount. This also reduced waste (who likes throwing food away). Food boxes might just be the answer to a busy cyclists needs.