You’ll all know Riverford from their organic vegetable box deliveries, but did you know they also do recipe boxes? You know the type I mean – where you receive a box containing everything you need for a recipe, right down to the exact quantity of herbs and spices you need, whether that’s a bunch of thyme or 1 teaspoon of cumin.
I’ve always been intrigued by these boxes but haven’t tried any for myself as, although I can see the benefits in time, convenience and the chance to try out a recipe you might not have thought of making yourself, as well as not wasting money on buying a whole jar of spice, when you only need a tiny bit, I’ve always thought they were a bit uneconomical. Recipe boxes aren’t particularly expensive – especially when you take into account what I’ve just said – but I’m in the habit of cooking so cheaply (my jaw hits the floor when I watch those programmes where families say what their weekly food shop is. £200 a week? Mine’s more like £20 a week), I kind of baulk at spending £5 on one dish at home (even if I don’t bat an eyelid at spending £15 on one delivery pizza).
So, when Riverford asked me if I’d like to try out their vegetarian recipe box, I eagerly accepted their offer. I say ‘eagerly accepted’ but because the recipe boxes change each week and you can see the previous week’s box, as well as the current week and the box for the next week, I had a look to see if there was anything I or The Meat Eater wouldn’t like. As far as I could tell, the only questionable item was olives – which I love, but The Meat Eater hates – but they were going on a tart, so all that meant was more olives for me, yay.
The box turned up while I was out, but it was left in my ‘safe place’, wrapped up in a protective covering to keep it dry.
Inside the box is everything you need to make three meals:
- A list of contents (categorised into loose ingredients, middle section of the box, cool bag)
- Three recipe cards (one for each meal)
- All the ingredients you need to make the dishes (except oil, salt and pepper)
Because I received my box on a Wednesday, and Friday night is chippy night and I don’t generally cook at the weekend, I was pleased to see everything had a longish shelf life of 5 days, which meant I could save the last meal for Monday and wasn’t going to end up having to throw anything away.
My three recipes were:
- Leek, olive & wootton millstone tart, with toasted pine nuts
- Roasted kabocha squash with pepper & bean chilli & lime soured yoghurt
- Beetroot latkes with red onion spelt, apple & horseradish creme fraiche
and because I was feeling tired and lazy the day I received my recipe box, I decided to make the leek, olive & wootton millstone tart, because it looked the easiest and I’ve made something similar plenty of times before.
I was pleased to see the Wootton Millstone goat’s cheese clearly labelled as vegetarian. I’d never have guessed it was, as it’s a hard, stinky (in a good way) cheese. It also stated on the label that it’s made with unpasteurised sheep’s milk, which struck me as odd, but I’m not a cheese expert, so maybe goat’s cheese is made from sheep’s milk?
Because the cheese was so stinky, I thought it might be too strong on the tart (I love blue cheese but when it’s cooked it can be overpowering) but it wasn’t at all. As I’d thought, the tart was quick and easy to make – on the recipe sheet it says preparation and cooking time is 30 minutes and I’d say that was accurate, even taking into consideration I’m a slow cook.
The next night, I made the roasted kabocha squash with pepper & bean chilli & lime soured yoghurt.
This recipe was slightly more fiddly as unfortunately, Riverford don’t send someone round to chop the vegetables for you. I’ve never had a kabocha squash before – the only squash I’ve had is butternut and that usually ends up in a soup, so it was with some trepidation I tried this.
I needn’t have worried though – we both enjoyed this and it was very filling.
I’m afraid the last meal – beetroot latkes with red onion spelt, apple & horseradish creme fraiche – didn’t go down too well. The beetroot latkes were okay but I managed to mess up the spelt as it was revolting. Bitter, hard little bullets that got left uneaten.
You can’t win them all though and on the whole I’d recommend the Riverford Recipe Boxes. The meals were tasty, interesting and easy to make.
The recipe boxes are available in:
- Vegetarian (3 meals for 2 people) at £33.95
- Original (3 meals for 2 people) at £33.95
- Original (2 meals for 2 people) at £29.95
- Quick (3 meals for 2 people) at £33.95
For more information, visit the Riverford Recipe Box page on their website.
Win a Riverford Recipe Box
Riverford have kindly allowed me to give away one of their recipe boxes and, because I am also kind, I’m not even going to restrict it to a vegetarian one, so you can choose whichever box you like.
Please note: Although Riverford deliver to lots of locations around the UK, they don’t deliver everywhere, so you might want to check they deliver to you before entering the giveaway to avoid any disappointment, as there is no cash alternative.
Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!