How I feel about recipe boxes
Despite the fact that I’ve never once ordered one of my own volition, I’m a big fan of recipe boxes. I’ve tried just two in the past (Marley Spoon and Abel & Cole) and thoroughly enjoyed both experiences.
A couple of friends of mine however (Jess and Josh, two of my favourite foodies, check out their brand new blog here), use recipe boxes on a pretty regular basis – and they seem to be representative of a growing number of people across the country.
My only real beef with recipe boxes – and this goes for every single one of them, as it’s essentially unavoidable – is the waste. I’m not talking food waste here (quite the opposite in fact, read on to see more on that) but plastic. Herbs and condiments and little nibbly bits come packaged in tiny little plastic pots and bags, meaning that each recipe box causes a small addition to landfill that makes me feel guilty when I chuck it into the bin.
I’m unsure as to how that problem could be solved, but would be very interested in a company that managed to solve it.
What I love about recipe boxes on the other hand, is the very fact that everything comes in exact amounts, no matter how tiny. What this does is completely eradicate the possibility of wasting food. Everything that comes in that box has a purpose and is guaranteed to get used, nothing has to “go off” or go in the bin. BIG thumbs up.
The HelloFresh #CookItForward campaign
The reason we’re talking about recipe boxes again today is because HelloFresh invited me to take part in their campaign for December. The idea is to show a little love and affection for others through food – the main way I show my love anyway and a wonderful idea for the month of Christmas, don’t you think?
Within each summary of the meals I cooked below, you’ll be able to get a little bit of back story on the love that went into each dish and why, in true cooking it forward fashion.
Sicilian Caponata with Pine Nuts and Garlic Ciabatta
#CookItForward: It was a Monday, it was cold, and my Mum had just come back from a job interview. A hot, special plate of food (with garlicky carbs) at lunchtime was the exact antidote to the morning she needed.
Time Hello Fresh said it would take: 35 mins
Time it actually took me: 1 hour (this, I believe, is because my rubbish oven takes far longer to roast vegetables)
The recipe: Really easy to follow. It goes into every detail. If an alien had come to earth and said “hey what’s the whole cooking thing people keep talking about?” and I handed her this recipe, she’d probably get on just fine.
The food: Gorgeous. Something this aubergine-y and tomato-y would usually never make it to a plate near me, but it was lovely. Just the right amount, too, I came away feeling satisfied and just full enough thanks to the garlic bread.
Super Food Stir-Fried Rice with Pistachios and Sweet Soy Sauce
#CookItForward: My poor little sister is suffering massively at the moment with ear infection nonsense (if anyone has experience with this and can tell me what I can be feeding her to help her, shout me), so this lunch packed with veggies was my attempt at loving her back to good health.
Time HelloFresh said it would take: 35 mins
Time it actually took me: 44 mins – not bad, I blame my slow chopping
The recipe: Easy bloody peasy. All happened in the same pan (bar the rice cooking which I did in advance), which I know is really important to some people – myself included, less dishes, hey-o.
The food: It was nice, and the flavours were good, but I think this was probably my least favourite of all the recipes, it didn’t have the wow factor of the other two!
Sweet Potato Bake with Jalapeno Chilli and Feta
#CookItForward: It was my Mum’s last night at home before heading to Cornwall for the weekend, what better way to say goodbye than with sweet potato?
Time HelloFresh said it would take: 40 mins
Time it actually took me: 40 mins (third time lucky, eh?)
The recipe: Another really easy one, I loved the whole grilling once the feta had been added thing.
The food: So delicious! This is really similar to the kind of thing I make when I’ve only got the basics in (my basics are very much along the lines of sweet potatoes and feta) and want something easy, delicious and filling. Top marks.
Overall, I really bloody enjoyed my experience with HelloFresh, and I’ve recommended them to my Grandad for when he’s going to have to take charge of the cooking at his house for a bit next month.
I hope you all spend December cooking delicious food for the people you love..
HelloFresh kindly sent me a recipe box to take part in the #CookItForward campaign.