Becoming a Mindful Chef

One of the main things I want to do this year is cook more. This goes back to looking after myself in better ways as part of my desires for this year. I started by making time to cook things, rather than buy pre-made meals, but I am not a good cook. I need recipes to follow and it requires a good deal of organisation to have everything I need in the house. I tried to build up a good store cupboard stock, but didn’t want to buy things if I didn’t know whether I would like them or not. So I kept coming back to food boxes. I’ve done the veg box before, but as I need recipes this was not the way I wanted to go this time. I looked at the big names in this area, but after a cold call door stop visit from one company I never want to use them. Then I found Mindful Chef.

They are a new small business only set up last year and are based in Devon. They provide a weekly box of food for one or two people for up to four meals a week. You can choose a classic (meat and fish) or a vegan box to be delivered every Monday. The courier company they use are instructed to leave the box in a safe place (that you provide to the team) and it’s packed in a box and packaging that allows food to keep cool for up to 36 hours. I’ve been home for one delivery and the other two have been left in my safe place as specified for when I came home from work.

Each recipe is packaged up in paper bags, with heavier tins or vegetables in the box seperately. The spices, sauces, and herbs are all measured out as required for your selection. All I have to do is chop the food up and cook it as instructed.

You are given the recipe cards for the ones you selected and with the classic box a list of the upcoming recipes to choose from. I went with the vegan box for the first two weeks as I wanted to see what it was like and try out some non-meat variations of protein to see what I liked. I also thought I could add fish or chicken I already had in the freezer if I wanted to.

Inside each recipe bag, everything is divided up with heavier stuff at the bottom and lighter stuff at the top. It makes it really easy to be organised.

They are generous with the ingredients when it comes the vegetables even with the box for one person. Many of the recipes only require half a pepper or squash, but they give you a whole one. I’ve then used this as snacks or to supplement other meals by roasting up everything at the end of the week.

Here is everything I’ve cooked so far, some of which I’ve loved and some of which I haven’t, but overall I have really enjoyed trying this out and have now switched to the classic box as I need a bit more choice when it comes to things that include coconut milk.

The first recipe was this one and it was great. I went wrong by not cooking the butternut squash enough, which meant I also slightly over cooked the beans so they went a bit mushy, but this was overall a good one.

This was my favourite of my first box. I like tofu, but have never cooked it at home as didn’t know how. This recipe added lots of flavour and texture which made it very enjoyable. I would definitely cooke this one again on my own.

This was the one I didn’t like of the first week.I think it was the pepper as that was the main vegetable and I’m not a huge fan when that happens. This one just didn’t work for me, but it did introduce me to using quinoa and lentils together.

The second week’s box had my new favourite recipe ever! This was basically a burrito without the meat or bread and it was amazing! I plan to make this whenever I have visitors as it was super easy and super tasty.

This was the one that didn’t work for me from the second box. Something about the cabbage and sauce did not work for my tastebuds. I wanted to like this for the tofu, but for me it just was not my flavour.

This one surprised me in the end. I was expecting not to like it because it contains coconut milk, but I really enjoyed it. It helped the sauce reduced down a lot and properly because contains a lot of fresh garlic and ginger. It was super tasty and the quinoa balanced it out by being plain.

This week’s box contains meat and I’ll update you on that one once I’ve had a couple of weeks of the classic box. I’m looking forward to it and get excited when I get to chose the recipes each week too! This means I now only need to pop to the shop to pick up fruit and essentials. I’ve been saving a third of each recipe to take to work and that has been working really well.

And of course Merry and Pippin get a band new box every week! The bonus is it will smell slightly different each time depending on the recipes I’ve chosen.

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