Author Edit: After reading my review, Mindful Chef has kindly given Lifestyle Reviewer readers an exclusive £10 off their first two boxes. Click here to get the discount or use code LIFESTYLE10X2 at checkout.
It may sound extreme, but the Mindful Chef recipe boxes have literally changed my life!
Over the past year or so I began to lose the joy and excitement I once had for cooking. Despite owning an entire book shelf worth of cook books I would find myself feeling overwhelmed flicking through them. Either I didn’t have the obscure ingredients, I couldn’t make my mind up or they appeared too complicated and long-winded and so every time I would end up returning to my same old, go-to recipes. I found I was eating pasta on repeat! Meal times began to feel like Groundhog day, each day with the same question asked, ‘what are we having for dinner?’ and each week churning out the same dishes. Not only did I become bored but my husband did too.
I had seen these kind of food boxes online and friends had recommended them to me but I felt skeptical, mainly because I had lost my confidence in the kitchen. One evening I found myself waiting and checking and waiting and checking for baked potatoes to be ready and I thought to myself ‘enough is enough!’ – it was time to expand my horizons and get outside of my comfort zone. I had a look online at the various food box companies and after some research I decided to choose Mindful Chef. They won my vote because they pride themselves on being healthy (tick), they are easy and convenient (tick), include high quality ingredients that are ethically sourced (tick), offer vegan / gluten free / dairy free options (tick) and are sustainable (tick). I also really liked that with every meal enjoyed, they donate a school meal to a child in poverty. It appeared to be a no-brainer for me!
At this point I was still skeptical, but with no contracts or commitments involved I decided to give it a try – I had nothing to lose! The site offered me 16 recipes to choose from and so I started by selecting two as a trial. I chose one safer option involving free-range chicken breasts and another wild-card option (for me), jackfruit coconut curry. My box arrived a couple of days later and I felt a rush of excitement! I opened it to find two clearly marked packages with a recipe booklet. Both sets of instructions appeared clear and simple and I had the exact amount of food required with nothing going to waste.
Night one, I started with the chicken and creamy tarragon sauce with carrots and asparagus on the side. I have had this kind of meal in restaurants but I have never made a delicious sauce like this before and wouldn’t have known where to begin. Who knew it was this easy! This meal took me 30 minutes or so to make and it was absolutely sensational! What surprised me the most is that I thought healthy eating might mean smaller portions or sacrificing taste, but that really wasn’t the case. With a large free-range chicken breast each and plenty of veg, we were completely full and had none of the lethargy that normally comes after a big meal! Small changes like using cashew cream & carrot mash made a real and noticeable difference.
My husband was seriously impressed and literally licked the plate clean! I honestly felt so pleased with myself, I had created a completely new dish, learnt a new skill (I’ll be making that sauce again and again) and to top it all off, it was healthy.
Night two, I was excited for my next challenge – Sri Lankan-style jackfruit curry. Yet again, this recipe was so simple and easy to follow. Some of the ingredients such as black rice, jackfruit and desiccated coconut, I had never cooked with before which was such a thrill! To be honest, I usually shy away from making curries from scratch because they entail so many spices and herbs which I don’t tend to have stocked in my kitchen cupboards. This recipe felt straightforward (with the spices readily made and packaged for me) whilst also feeling authentic and home-made.
I cannot tell you how mouth-watering the aromas filling my kitchen were. This curry was seriously tasty, made all the better by enjoying the whole cooking experience and feeling quite proud of myself for trying something new.
This may sound silly and ridiculous but these boxes have changed my day-to-day life. I am excited to cook again! The recipes are simple, easy to follow and selecting my meals for the week is like being in a restaurant. My husband and I have tasted so many delicious new meals and I have added so many recipes to my once mundane repertoire. It took just one box to bring back my joy for cooking and being creative in the kitchen again. I honestly felt proud to create new meals and to eat outside of my comfort zone – I never in a million years would have made a jackfruit curry but it was a huge hit!
Aside from these benefits, it just makes my life so much easier. The boxes provide everything I need for 2 portions (although you can order larger portions for families or single portions in their 1 person box) and we no longer create waste which used to cause me a lot of guilt. On the evenings when I don’t use Mindful Chef I can return to some of the recipes they have introduced me to or try something new.
Finally, and most importantly, I’m feeling healthier – the recipes are full of good stuff but still delicious and left me feeling full. We have more energy and feel more alert throughout the day. We were afraid that Mindful Chef’s healthy meals would mean small portions and possibly bland flavours but we are delighted to have been proven wrong! The portions are generous and full of protein and fresh veg that have genuinely kept us fuller for longer. These meals have changed the whole way I look at food. I previously believed that being consistent with healthy eating was impossible but now I have been shown that it’s entirely achievable, more than that, it’s delicious, enjoyable and easy!
I can not recommend these boxes enough! Less waste, more variety, improving your cookery skills, being creative, healthy and above all it’s so simple and unbelievably delicious!
My rating for Mindful Chef: A hugely deserved 5 out of 5 stars!
This article contains a sponsored offer from Mindful Chef for LifestyleReviewer.com readers.