Gousto food box review

If you live in or commute to London, chances are you’ve seen or heard of Gousto and its food boxes.  You’ve probably most likely seen the overly enthusiastic salespeople at the train/tube stations trying to corner you with beaming smiles in the hopes of getting you to sign up to a subscription.

Frankly I can only believe the salespeople must be mad. If that isn’t flirting with danger I don’t know what is, seeing how most of us commuters become incandescent with rage at the most trivial of delays to our journey, let alone somebody trying to talk to us.

“The instructions were clear and very straightforward, which is perfect for people who aren’t too confident in the kitchen.”

As a foodie, I struggled with the concept of a food box. Do people really have no time or imagination to think about what to eat for the upcoming week?  But they must be doing something right as these food boxes are increasingly popular.  So when I was kindly offered the opportunity to see what the fuss was about with Gousto, I thought “why not”.

Placing your order

To get your Gousto food box, you go to their website (www.gousto.co.uk), login/register and then select the recipes you’d like sent to you and pay. It’s all very simple.

For my box I ordered the Warm, Lemony Lamb Tabbouleh and the Goan King Prawn Curry.

Getting your order

Food is delivered to your home/office in a large, sturdy, box. The contents are kept chilled through the use of ice packs and insulating the box, which is really important as no-one wants their meat to spoil in transit.

In the box you also get some laminated cards with your recipes on.  The instructions were clear and very straightforward, which is perfect for people who aren’t too confident in the kitchen.

“The recipes were super easy and quick to pull together and perfect for a mid week dinner when I didn’t want to spend too long in the kitchen”

The food

If you aren’t familiar with how a food box works, you will probably be surprised to see some random things in your box, such as one clove of garlic, one stock cube etc. This because Gousto works out the proportions of food needed depending on how many people you are cooking for. While this does end up costing you slightly more overall, it’s really handy if you want to keep things as simple as possible for yourself, or are just quite lazy.

The cooking

Warm, Lemony Lamb Tabbouleh

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This was very easy to cook and probably took me about 30 minutes in total.  The recipe called to add some ras el hanout and honey to the lamb during cooking which definitely helped lift the dish with some aromatic flavours.

Tabbouleh is essentially bulghar wheat with chopped tomatoes, parsley and lemon juice. I found this was a nice pairing to the lamb as the fresh flavours help cut through the lambyness, which would otherwise have been quite overpowering.

There’s not much that can go wrong with this dish as it is essentially fried lamb mince with bulghar wheat, so wont exactly blow you away but overall I found this a nice, tasty dish which I would have again. I do think it needs some red chilli thrown in to give it some spice, although you could always add that yourself.

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Goan King Prawn Curry

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I am a curry fiend and love making my own pastes and breads, so when I saw this on Gousto’s website I knew instantly that I would order it.  Granted the recipe requires you to use curry powder, but the caramelised red onions and cinnamon infused rice worked really well and was not something I have thought to do before.

As before with the lamb dish, this was also very easy to cook and again took around 30 minutes.  I found when following the instructions that my prawns were overcooked, but I can understand that Gousto wants to err on the side of caution when telling you how long to cook shellfish.

Using curry powder certainly makes this dish very easy and similar to the lamb dish I found overall it lacks a bit of spice. You could easily add your own chilli to increase the heat or even make your own curry powder/paste if you wanted to tweak the recipe.

I enjoyed the Goan King Prawn Curry and would definitely have it again. The biggest revelation for me was the addition of caramelised red onions and cinnamon infused rice – I’ll certainly be employing these in future curries I make. Thanks for the tip Gousto!

“It was nice to quickly throw together a dinner without really having to think too much about things or worry about the quantities.”

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Conclusions…

Both of the recipes were super easy and quick to pull together and perfect for a mid week dinner when I didn’t want to spend too long in the kitchen.

It was nice to quickly throw together a dinner without really having to think too much about things or worry about the quantities, but if you are really into your cooking, then you may find that this is not for you.  You will also pay more for the ease of having almost everything done for you, but the business model is clearly aimed at busy professionals / parents who are happy to sacrifice cost for simplicity and time.

So, overall the Gousto experience was pretty good. I would recommend giving it a go at least once as there are usually discount codes to save some £’s and who knows, you may even learn something new like me!

Thank you to Gousto for the samples.


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