As a busy working family, meal planning is quite high up on our agenda every week. We like the convenience it brings when getting home from work as we don’t have a lot of time to prepare and cook our meals before we settle the toddler off to bed so if our meals are already planned out we can just get on and cook it. We were recently contacted by Riverford to find out if we wanted to review one of their recipe boxes and having heard of the great reputation Riverford have, I was keen to give them a go.
We were sent the ‘Quick’ Riverford food box (there are 3 food box options to choose from; vegetarian, quick and original) which contained all the ingredients we needed to cook 3 organic meals. All the ingredients were organically produced, fresh and seasonal and pretty much fresh from the farm. All the ingredients were supplied in exact quantities so there was no need to weigh out or measure them for the recipe. Alongside the ingredients were recipe cards with the step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and make the meal with key information such as cooking time and what cooking equipment you’ll need to make the meal. What
Our first impressions of the box
The Riverford food box is delivered in a sturdy cardboard box and really well packaged. All the ingredients are divided inside the box with fruit and vegetables in one compartment, fresh dairy and meat produce in the cool bag section and other ingredients neatly packaged in the remaining compartments. All the ingredients reached us in perfect condition so we were able to transfer them from the box to the fridge with no complaints.
What meals did we have?
The meals we had ingredients for in the box included Harissa Lamb Leg Steaks with spiced potatoes, greens and wet garlic hash, Ham Hock Chowder with watercress and garlic croutons and Broad Bean Frittata with curd cheese, spinach and little gem.
What did we think of the meal options?
Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances we wasn’t able to cook the meals within the 5 days that the recipe cards suggests but we were able to cook them up as soon as time allowed. I was really looking forward to making the Ham Hock Chowder as the recipe looked really delicious and I’m a bit of a pulled pork fan! My hubby was really looking forward to the lamb meal as I don’t eat lamb so it’s not very often he gets to eat it at home. Unfortunately we’re both not fans of curd cheese so we haven’t made the Broad Bean Frittata meal but opted to use the other ingredients in various meals instead.
How quick are the ‘Quick’ meals?
The recipe card for the Ham Hock Chowder suggests that the meal can be prepared and cooked in 35 minutes so I was interested to see just how quick I could cook up the meal and whether it was true to the recipe card.
As all the ingredients are fresh from the farm, they all need to be washed thoroughly before being chopped up for the dish. Once I was ready to start preparing the meal, I began the timer and began to follow the step by step instructions. The instructions are really easy to follow and I was really impressed with how quickly the dish came together. It took me ten minutes longer than the recipe card suggests so I was pretty impressed with that.
The meal tasted really nice and I was so impressed with the garlic croutons! They were delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again. The meat was delicious and the flavours were very moreish.
Ham Hock Chowder with Watercress and Garlic Croutons
My husband was really keen to try his hand at the Harissa Lamb Leg Steak meal so set about in the kitchen to cook up the dish. I’m not a lamb lover so this dish wouldn’t appeal to me but my husband was won over. It took him about ten minutes longer than the recipe card suggests but created a really delicious meal that he really enjoyed.
Harissa Lamb Leg Steaks with Spiced Potatoes, Greens and Wet Garlic Hash
What we loved?
I love the concept of the box. There’s a great combination of quality meats and organic vegetables all in the right quantities, ideal for busy working couples who want to enjoy tasty meals without the fuss of going to the supermarket armed with a list buying full sized products when you only need a little bit.
Two of the meals we cooked and tried were tasty. We really enjoyed cooking them up and we probably wouldn’t have tried these meals without the input from Riverford.
Once the meal was prepared and cooked, there was very little waste left over. I hate throwing food away so it was great to see there was little to throw away except potato peelings and the onion skin.
What we didn’t love?
We weren’t keen on the third recipe in the box; Broad Bean Frittata. If we were thinking about buying the box and saw this on the list of recipes we wouldn’t have bought it. Saying that, having looked at the list of recipes in the box this week (you can look here) we would have enjoyed them all.
The meal box we were sent was priced at £39.95 and feeds two people. As a family of three living on a budget we couldn’t afford to buy these boxes. Each meal (3 meals, 2 portions each, 6 portions in total) would work out at approximately £6.65 per person which is just far too high for us. I appreciate the food is organic and the meat is excellent quality but we just couldn’t justify the price.
The Riverford meal box is a brilliant concept and we really enjoyed the food. The meal box in my opinion is suited to young couples who want to eat well at home or older couples who don’t want the hassle of thinking up meals and shopping for them. I cannot fault the quality of the food and if we were in different circumstances it might have appealed more.
Disclaimer: We were sent the above product for the purpose of this review. All words and images are my own and this forms an honest and reliable review.