EASY DINNER TIME WITH GOUSTO

Saturday, March 21, 2015



Working long hours can be stressful at times, especially when you get home and want to shovel all the good food in your face. You finally fire up the oven and then it can take ages to prep a decent meal or you're missing certain ingredients, so it just feels easier to go for something basic or call in a take-away. Now I'm not one to have a take-away but I do sometimes find my meals a bit samey and take a while to cook when I'm in working mode, so it was pretty much a god-send when Gousto asked me to try some of their organic and nutritious home-delivered meals to whip up at home and 'spice up my life' a la Spice Girls (minus the big trainers).

Gusto as I said is a home-delivery service, specialising in obscenely healthy balanced meals, delivered across the country to save your meal-time meltdowns. The menu changes weekly, and at roughly £3-£5 per meal for 2 people, you're getting a lot of great flavour for your money. Both veggies and meat eaters are catered for - dietary requirements are highlighted but as of yet, there is no specialty diet option, however you are free to swap and choose certain parts once it arrives.

Time to get you lips licking, there's some very  moreish food coming up...




When this huge box arrived on my doorstep, I was thinking 'what the bloomin'eck is in here?!' but then ripped it open at the prospect of yummy delicious meals to eat. Inside you get all freshly packed ingredients in exact amounts (the fact there were mini sachets with the correct tsp of spice made me very happy indeed) and also some great step-by-step recipe cards which tell you what exact ingredients you'll need, how and when to cook them, and also provide a YouTube video to guide you alongside the cooking process (as well as a massive cold bag of wool which keeps your produce fresh until it get's to your fridge - genius!)

As it states on the box, you are also welcome to re-use it for your cats, so if you like food and have cats, this one is for you!




With no time to lose, we quickly whipped up our first meal - Mushroom Bolognese. Gousto rightly caught on to the fact that lots of fleshy mushrooms in a pasta sauce have the taste and texture of minced meat, perfect for us veggie lovers! With everything from pasta to garlic included, this recipe is easily whipped up in 40 minutes and is packed with 22g of protein. Interestingly there was soy sauce included which I would never have thought to have used, but with the balsamic vinegar mixed in too it was delicious - all it was missing was some red wine, alas I did not have any so I beefed it up with some extra sugar and vinegar to taste.



I personally switched my pasta out for some gluten/wheat free variety (I haven't had pasta in over a year so I was going to go steady before launching back in) but the sauce was so smooth, with great flavour and a lovely freshness of basil to it - I did spend a few minutes sniffing the basil before popping it in the pan. I know, someone stop me.

Personally, this is a great mid-week comfort food which satisfies your hunger, but I would use more basil and a richer sauce for that true Italian kick. A solid 8/10 for me.



Now I'm a bit fan of curry, and I can dabble in some serious spice now and again when I feel like it - Tom Yum Soup? Conquered - so I was very excited to try the Sweet Potato Sag Aloo, especially since I heard a lot about it in that classic Gavin and Stacey clip. Let me tell you now, the spice filled my kitchen for hours and I could smell curry long after I went to sleep. Surprisingly this took only 25 minutes to cook and you can leave it simmering on the stove for longer if you want to finish some bits of before you sit down for the night, but it's an amazingly flavoured sauce packed with cumin, tumeric and chilli, and is only 443 calories!

I personally found the spice amazing, it was a great flavour to compliment the sweet potato, and we had more than enough to last for a small lunch the next day so a big whoop-de-whoop for money saving meals there! 9/10 with a side of thumbs up.



I don't eat a lot of cheese, in fact, I don't eat a lot of dairy (minus the Christmas crackers and cheese plate because HELLO) but I will occasionally cave for a slice of halloumi. Luckily for me our final tasty treat was a Persian Halloumi Salad which looks pretty simple but is a bit more fiddly than the rest; however, it is well worth it for that first bite - more on that later...

Apparently halloumi is dubbed as 'veggie bacon' which is something I can totally get on board with, and with a blend of mint and lemon to jazz up the salad I was more than excited to cook this. There some ingredients I'd never heard of before - barberries and ras el hanout anyone? - and like I said it can be faffy, but my god they tasted amazing. You need a lot of surfaces and utensils including chopping boards and bowls to put several of the ingredients in so prep yourself for a load of washing up, and then it's time to start cooking.

Ras el Hanout (or Rag Al Ghul as I kept calling it, silly Batman terms!) smells wonderfully like cinnamon, and blended with the lemon to cook the halloumi is mind-blowing. Once you mix in the right amounts of water, mint, bulgar wheat (or quinoa if you're substituting) with the lemon zest and spices, it comes together to create a perfect Persian meal to tuck into for either lunch of dinner - I wish there was more halloumi. I can honestly say that this meal rocks; out of all the three we made, this was just so moreish, flavourful, a perfect balance of texture and is pretty much a sensory adventure. Okay, you're flapping about for 40 minutes if you're not prepared for all the bowls, but now that you know that, you can make this swift and easily to tuck into the best meal you'll have had in a long time. What can I say? 10/10.




It's safe to say that Gousto definitely put love and nutritional value into all their meals, and I would hand-on-heart make all of these recipes again - made ever so easy by the included cards, thank you! Going back to my regular meals was a bit sad but it's making me want to create even more interesting meals to post here, and also to discover more ways to use Ras El Hanout because that is my new thing now, I need some more of that for my sweet potato chips.

Overall, the experience of using Gousto was great; we did have some issues with some items of food not being delivered, but upon explaining this to the company it was addressed immediately as it very rarely happens. The food that was missing was easily substituted by things already in our fridge or cupboards, and everything tasted as expected. If you spend £50 a week on a shop, then maybe scale back and try this for 3 treat or gourmet meals after work or the weekend as it's good value for money, plus your first delivery is discounted - woohoo!

This has definitely opened me up to new cuisines and flavours, and there's now a little Gousto shaped heart in my fridge were all the ingredients once were. For really delicious meals you cannot go wrong with the service provided, and as the Spice Girls also once said, 'I'm giving you everything, all that joy can bring, yes I swear' - see you in the kitchen ;)


Gousto has given Britton Loves readers £20 off their first box with the code BRITTONLOVES - go give it some spending now!


Are you a rushed chef or a calm pre-planner? Do you liked the sound of these meals? Would you try a service like Gousto?

Lots of Love,
Lauren x


This box was provided by Gousto for review and is not sponsored. All opinions and thoughts are my own, so please see my disclaimer for more.

Some products in this post may have been sent for review or gifted, and will be marked with a * or c/o. All opinions are mine are not influenced by brands or companies. Please see my full disclaimer for more.

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