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Cooking outside of the box.

Our list of the best, freshest, funkiest food box companies, delivering neat ideas and seriously good food to your door.

By: Louis Thomas

Food boxes have been one of the success stories of lockdown.  Let’s face it, we’ve done so much cooking at home that we’ve run out of ideas.  The combination of fresh ingredients and interesting (but hassle-free) recipes has proven to be a winning formula.  Here’s a run-down of our favourites.

Mindful Chef

For the past five years the minds behind Mindful Chef have been creating delicious, healthy and easy to assemble meal kits using ethically sourced ingredients. Fresh produce is what makes these recipe boxes so special – whether it’s the free-range poultry from Norfolk or the never frozen fish from James Knight of Mayfair (who also happens to supply Buckingham Palace), you will love the taste of the nutritious meals that await you. Whether you want to reduce your carb intake, or adopt a more flexitarian lifestyle, Mindful Chef has you covered. And it’s perfect for midweek, with each recipe taking less than half an hour, and, with the insulated boxes, you don’t even need to be at home for delivery.

Mindful Chef is offering £10 off your first two boxes with this link.

Hello Fresh

With meals starting from just £3.44, it’s no wonder that Hello Fresh has quickly become so incredibly popular – and you can tailor the box to suit your particular tastes, whether it’s with the addition of desserts or some wine to complement the food, all you have to do is assemble the pre-measured ingredients. Not only does Hello Fresh reduce waste by portioning everything for you, they are also committed to offsetting 100% of direct carbon emissions, investing in green initiatives on a local and global level. You can consume the delicious, sustainable meals provided with a clear conscious. There really is something for everybody, from the customer favourite comforting Colcannon Cottage Pie to the spicy Fragrant Aubergine Curry with coconut rice, these dishes are as tasty as they are easy.

All Plants

With increasing demand for meat-free options, it’s hardly surprising that All Plants’ plant-based meal kits have found their market. With over thirty vegan meals to choose from and flexible delivery options, this isn’t just a subscription service for the die-hard vegans, but for anyone who wants to cut down their animal product consumption for their own health and for that of the planet. Additionally, because of how easy it is to change, pause or cancel your subscription, this would be the perfect way for the uninitiated to get into ‘Veganuary’, who knows, you may find yourself coming back for more delicious meals – from breakfast superfood smoothies to date night treats. Better yet, the online quiz will personalise meal recommendations for you based on your preferences. This really is the fool-proof way to get into the meat-free movement.

Able & Cole

Organic food to suit your needs may seem too good to be true, but that’s what Abel & Cole are offering. Supplement the ethically and seasonally sourced meat and vegetables with pantry essentials and household staples – this really is the one stop shop for all of your needs. There is also a drinks section, boasting of everything from Fairtrade teas to organic wines and craft spirits. The recyclable packaging is also a nice touch. Though recipes are not provided, the mind of any creative cook will be overflowing with ideas of what to do with these expertly-sourced organic ingredients. Ultimately, Abel & Cole’s success is down to their trustworthiness, that might explain why they’ve been operating for the last three decades.

Gousto

Meals starting at £2.98 per serving might seem too good to be true, particularly for a tasty dish cooked from fresh ingredients, but that is exactly what Gousto can offer the home cook. The easy to follow recipe cards provided with each box make it perfect for the novice. Although cooking from a kit might theoretically stagnate dinnertime, Gousto counters this risk by offering fifty recipes a week, so you won’t get bored. There are classics, such as a British interpretation of Spaghetti Bolognese, but also exotic offerings like the Brazilian Haddock Moqueca with zesty lime rice, giving you the chance to sample world cuisines in an affordable and less wasteful way. These are quick meals that won’t cost the Earth.

Gousto is offering a discount of 50% off your first box (3 meals for 2 or more) and then 30% off all other boxes that you order in your first month.  Follow this link.