Recipe boxes are the new way of convenience eating. There are many brands out there and I thought I would give some of them a try to see if firstly they are value for money and secondly if the food is good and tasty.
These posts will be packed full of the good and the bad. None of these articles are sponsored by the brands but I do have a little refer a friend offer that will save you money off your first few orders and a £10 credit goes to my account. Full disclosure.
Will Mindful Chef Save You Money?
I start with Mindful Chef and have been getting their recipe boxes every couple of weeks since March 2020 and lockdown started. I saw it as a little treat as I couldn’t eat out at restaurants.
Firstly there are always sign up offers to save you money from your first few boxes, there are TopCashback offers, even offers on Google or you could use my email address (email@example.com) in the referral box and save 25% off your first four boxes.
In your account set up you will need to choose the frequency of your boxes and how many people you want to feed. There is plenty of flexibility here. I wanted four meals over a two week period. I found the cheapest way to do this was to order two meals for two people rather than four meals for one person.
By the way the food has good dates on it, and even lasts beyond the dates on many vegetables. But I do pop meat in the freezer if its at best by date.
This means I am making meals that serve two people and saving some for the following day. Sometimes the portions are super generous and there is enough for three servings!
You can set up your preferences in your account to only receive vegan food, or only meat, or only vegetarian, whatever you prefer. These preferences will kick in if you don’t choose specific meals for each delivery. And by the way cancellation is easy, just click on your highlighted delivery day and click cancel delivery. Its also easy to pause deliveries.
Mindful Chef is all about healthy ingredients, with a focus on top quality suppliers and many vegan options. Every week you have 20ish recipes to choose from. All will have many portions of vegetables, often they take you straight to the 5 a day in just one meal.
You can select your menu choices or you will sent automatic meal choices and they all vary in price. The meat options work out at around £7 to £9 per person and the vegan/vege options are always cheaper at £6 to £7 per person. I find that I pay around £30 for my four meals if I go for meat options or £24 for my four vegan meals.
You need to get your order in four days before delivery if you want to choose exactly what you get.
On delivery day you get a text and email letting you know the hour slot that the box will be delivered, although mine is always left on my doorstep if Im not there.
The box contains two brown paper bags with all the ingredients I need for my two meals for two people. There is also a cold bag with ice packs to keep any fridge ingredients cold. There is a booklet explaining how to make all the recipes that week and there is normally some kid of freebie item, a can of drink or a healthy snack bar.
I am always slightly annoyed by the amount of plastic used for the ingredients, but its difficult to avoid as everything is measured out to exactly what you need. It’s the ultimate convenience cooking.
You then work through the cooking instructions and create your beautiful healthy dinner. Many examples of my food dotted throughout this post!
The box and chill packaging can all be sent back to Mindful Chef via collection points and recycled.
Does it Taste Good?
I can definitely say that I have loved 95% of the meals I have ordered. The vegan meals especially have been amazing and I have learnt a whole new tasty way of cooking. The food is absolutely of restaurant quality, despite me being chef.
Also the healthiness of Mindful Chef is a big plus. The food is amazing quality and packed with extra vegetables. It feels like a treat but actually its proper healthy food.
Value for Money
This is a tricky one as it depends on what you are like as a person. If you are a person who maybe spends a bit on Deliveroo or Justeat a couple of times a week then switching to Mindful Chef will save you money. A Wagamama vegan delivery is going to set you back £20 for one person, Mindful Chef four meals will cost you £25.
Of course if you add up the cost of the ingredients they come to less than £6 to £9 per person. But then again you are getting a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and if you need to buy a whole bottle already that is £2 to £3.
Back to my original question, will Mindful Chef save you money? No its not going to save you money if you like to cook from scratch and can be creative with your cooking and get your ingredients from Aldi. But yes it is value or money if you want convenience and it saves you from ordering in a takeaway.
If you fancy trying it out after reading this then please use my email address as a referral code firstname.lastname@example.org. You will save 25% off your first four boxes and I will get a £10 credit on my account.
Disclosure – As mentioned this post contains my refer a friend email code to save you money and to give me a £10 Mindful Chef credit.