By Alice Reeves
Last year, the folks at Simply Cook were kind enough to send me a sample recipe kit containing four gluten-free recipes and all the spices and flavourings needed to cook them. The concept of Simply Cook is a great one: they send you everything you need, aside from the fresh ingredients like meat and veg, for you to create fantastic, fool-proof dishes that quite frankly would be worthy of a Come Dine With Me victory. These kits are designed to take the mental effort out of cooking and provide culinary inspiration, something which I can be guilty of lacking in the kitchen as I get used to the same tried and tested recipes over and over again.
Each box contains four ‘meals’ for two people, you just take the card along to the supermarket as your shopping and buy everything you need. The great thing about these kits is that they allow you to try things you’d never normally cook, because clogging up your kitchen cupboards with a ton of obscure spices you’re never going to use again can be pretty off-putting (not to mention expensive.)
When my Simply Cook kit was delivered, I was right in the midst if moving house, trying to settle into a new routine and, somewhere along the line, it was tucked behind the spice rack and forgotten about until my housemate, Nicole, pointed out it was in danger of going out of date. Oops. She also offered to cook one of the recipes for the two of us, which was awesome because she’s a way better cook than I am, if I’m honest.
After deciding on the ‘Pork with Shichimi Togarashi’ (because pork is usually our meat of choice), all I had to do was pick up some single cream and a lovely piece of pork fillet as we had the other bits and bobs in the house.
While Nicole was cooking, everything smelled amazing. Plus, she made it look pretty much EXACTLY like the picture (which is something I rarely manage to achieve with any recipe I follow!)
It tasted as good as it looked, though Nicole cooked up a little more sauce than pictured, which we poured all over after we’d taken the photo. I think the dish would have been a little too dry without it (plus, the sauce was SO tasty we couldn’t resist).
I must admit, I was a little sceptical about Simply Cook at first, thinking that it probably wouldn’t fit with my style of cooking and/or it would be way too much effort, but I think I’ve been proved wrong. Nicole tends to be an experimenter in the kitchen, whereas I’m not. I reckon something like this would work well to get me out of my comfort zone a bit. Plus, I didn’t realise that all the recipes take just 20 minutes to cook. I’m a fan of maximum reward for minimum effort in the kitchen, especially during the week.
What’s more, each recipe is designed to cost around £3-£6 per person, per meal which is entirely reasonable when it comes to having a “nice” meal at home. On top of that, each kit is £10 (via monthly subscription) for 4 meals which works out at an extra £1.25 per person, per meal. Not bad for a restaurant-quality meal once a week.
You can check out all of the Simply Cook recipes here, as they’re all available online (gluten-free ones are clearly marked) and give you a great idea of the kind of meals you’ll get in your gluten-free box.
Although I received these products as a gift for the purpose of review, all words and opinions are honest and are my own. For more info, see this blog’s disclosure policy.