Gousto – Recipes, Ingredients and Inspiration to Your Door!
If your New Year’s Resolution is to spend more time in the kitchen cooking good food from scratch then this will really appeal to you! Gousto provide veg boxes with a difference, rather than gazing in confusion at a collection of root vegetables and wondering what on earth you are going to do with Kale again this week, Gousto allows you to choose your recipes on line and then sends you all the ingredients and instructions to make them! It is perfect for anyone who wants to move beyond the five meals we all make or for good cooks who want to expand their horizons. A subscription would make a perfect gift for anyone heading off to University or setting up home for the first time!
We were asked to choose two meals from the menu selection and give them a go.
Each recipe card comes with all the ingredients needed, ready measured out and ready to go. All I needed to add was oil, butter, salt and pepper. Each recipe is graded according to difficulty, ingredients are local, organic and seasonal and there are always veggie options. We received our bag in November and had a go at Pearl Barley Orzotto with Sugar Snap Peas and Goat’s Cheese and then Stuffed Mushrooms with Ricotta, Chestnuts and Fennel.
I thoroughly enjoyed cooking both, it was marvellous not having to weigh anything out and for everything I needed to be at hand. Using pearl barley instead of rice to make a risotto and producing an orzotto which, my recipe card tells me is a speciality of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of north eastern Italy, was something I had been meaning to do for ages. I love that the Gousto box pushes you gently out of your habitual mid week meals and into something new without it being complicated or difficult.
This was delicious and went down a storm, I now have a head full of ideas for more orzottos because the pearl barley was a revelation to me!
I have stuffed many a mushroom in my time, they are simple and satisfying and Gousto’s recipe for large flat chestnut mushrooms stuffed with ricotta, chestnuts and fennel is a classic for long winter nights. The addition of chilli flakes gives it a spicy kick to warm you up nicely and the bed of gently wilted spinach, the crunchy fennel and the deep flavour of sweet chestnuts mean it is a dish full of texture as well as flavour.
The recipes are clearly well thought out, the website is clear and easy to use, bags are offered in different sizes according to your household’s needs and each week sees a new selection of recipes for you to choose from. Delivery is free and, if you don’t live in London as we don’t, your food is delivered in a biodegradable box, insulated with wool.
To give you an idea of price, which I think is very reasonable, a family bag costs £67 per week but – big Bonus Point to Gousto from Life is Delicious – the veggie option is £5 cheaper per week, hoorah!
Our Gousto experience was marvellous and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. The only, very minor, drawback was that the two recipes we had hadn’t been tested as thoroughly as I would like. A bit like buying flat pack furniture, we had a lemon left over from the orzotto and parsley from the mushrooms, it wasn’t difficult to guess where they should go but they didn’t appear in the instructions. An inexperienced cook might be a bit flummoxed by this but I am sure it is something Gousto are working on as they now come fully recommended by the BBC, Cosmopolitan, The Sunday Times, Hello!, The Times and Woman and Home… and now by Life is Delicious!
Gousto bags are convenient, healthy and well balanced. Receiving only the products you are going to use means an end to excessive food waste, you don’t have to trawl the shops for an elusive ingredient or queue at the supermarket checkout but, most of all, it is tremendous fun!
What do you think? Will you be giving Gousto a go?
Disclosure: As stated above, we were sent the ingredients to make two meals for two for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own, as always