My family was an early adopter of the Riverford veg box- my Mum started buying them back in the early 90’s! I left Devon when I was 18, and then only moved back in my 30’s, but feel so lucky to be back here with Riverford on my doorstep.
We’ve had some amazing meals over at the Riverford Field Kitchen near Totnes, so much so that I always recommend it to visitors! I love meat, but at Riverford it’s all about doing amazingly tasty things with veg, and maybe supplementing the veg with a lovely meat dish- so in the Field Kitchen you will get 4 or 5 incredible veg dishes and one meat for their lunch menu.
Riverford have expanded in recent years, and as well as fantastic fruit and veg and meat boxes, they have been growing their selection of recipe boxes too. When they asked me if I would like to review their new Quick and Light recipe box, I happily accepted- not only was it a lovely idea to have the hassle taken out of shopping and cooking for a few days, but I was really keen to see what I really thought about the whole recipe box concept.
I am not a good planner when it comes to cooking- I know that many people plan all their meals for the week and do a shop to cover them, but I tend to shop around what is on special offer, and then make things up throughout the week using what I have in! I don’t like the restriction of having planned exactly what I am going to eat every night, as often I won’t feel like having what I have planned, circumstances mean I need something quick, or my husband will get called away unexpectedly for work and then I’ll not feel like cooking a full meal just for me. I’m also a bit lazy about following recipes- I like to just improvise in the kitchen and I find most of the time I don’t feel like following a recipe- equally I do love trying out new things and have a million recipe books, but that’s more of a weekend activity for me!
My box was delivered (left in a safe place as I was out), and contained all of the ingredients for:
1. Asian Pork with Shredded Greens and Rice
2. Chicken, courgette and white bean stew
3. Lentil Koftas and cauliflower cous cous
I love the way the box is organised, with little sections containing the specific ingredients for recipe 1, recipe 2, and recipe 3:
I am also a sucker for all the cute little pots that the ingredients come in! (Mine are now in my daughters’ play kitchen!)
Lentil Koftas & Cauliflower Cous Cous
The first recipe we tried was the lentil koftas with cauliflower cous cous- I think lentil koftas are a genuis idea! Both my girls love koftas but my youngest is not a big fan of meat in general, and prefers things that are easier to chew, so these are perfect! Although they didn’t try this version as it was made with harissa and they aren’t spice fans, I will definitely take this idea to turn into a child friendly version! I was also so impressed with the cauliflower cous cous- I’ve made it before but really not seen how it can replace actual cous cous, but the flavours added into this version really made it delicious and the perfect accompaniment to the meatballs. Here’s the finished dish:
This meal was absolutely delicious, I loved the ideas that it gave me, and I’d definitely make it again! The portions were also generous, I think it would have been enough for the kids too (if they would have eaten it!).
2. Chicken, Courgette, and White Bean stew (click here for recipe)
I have to say, this was the recipe I was least excited about- it’s not the sort of thing I would usually cook, but it turned out to be my favourite of all the meals- it was absolutely delicious!
The stew is so full of flavour, it’s deliciously lemony! It uses sorrel, (which I have never cooked with before and wouldn’t have had a clue how to use) and really uses a very simple range of ingredients for something which has so much flavour. In fact, while I was photographing it, both my children appeared out of bed asking what the delicious smell was! And this one is definitely child-friendly- my husband and I guzzled this whole portion, but I’ve already bought the ingredients again to make it for the girls as I think they will love it too. I didn’t have any luck getting sorrel though, so we’ll be trying it without this next time around, and I will probably use white wine stock rather than white wine to keep it as Slimming World friendly as possible!
Yum! really recommend trying this one- you can find the recipe here.
This is sorrel, just incase you didn’t know!
3. Asian Pork with Shredded Greens and Rice
Another real winner! This was easy to make and again just delicious. It used the winning combination of lemongrass, ginger, chilli and garlic, and then tamari sauce (which is very similar to soy sauce, but has less wheat in it so much better for anyone gluten-intolerant). I would never have thought of using minced pork in this, and it was a great quick way of doing the meat in a dish like this without having to create washing up by chopping it. The consistency also worked really well with the rest of the meal.
Overall I was so impressed with this recipe box- it was a brilliant way to learn some new dishes and ideas with all of the hassle taken out (I would cook all of these meals again). The box says that the ingredients last for 5 days, but I spread my cooking of these over 7 days, and it was all still fresh and lovely by the last day of that.
This would be perfect for a busy week, a holiday cottage stay or to supplement a weekly shop with some easy, but healthy and tasty options. It’s also a great way to eat seasonally and discover new ingredients.
The quick and light recipe boxes are perfect for anyone following Slimming World or a healthy eating plan, they use lean cuts of meat, and every meal is under 500 calories. The portions are generous and filling, and each meal takes no longer than 30 minutes to prepare.
I found all of the instructions clear and easy to follow (I hate faffy recipes!), and found these dishes all to be as good as ones that I have eaten at the Riverford Field Kitchen (interestingly they were all created by a former head chef there, Bob Andrew.
If you have thought about getting a recipe box, I thoroughly recommend this one! Let me know if you have any questions!
Disclosure: Riverford provided me with this recipe box free of charge in exchange for an honest review. All words, opinions and images are my own.