Monday 15 May 2017

Taking the hassle out of cooking and shopping with Gousto (review)

As you'll know if you're a regular reader of my blog, I love cooking and all that it involves - hunting out new and exciting recipes to try, menu planning, sourcing ingredients, experimenting with herbs and spices, ... However, you'll also know that I run a monthly #KitchenClearout linky to try and get through all those half bottles, packets and jars of exotic ingredients (amongst other things) that are lurking in cupboards, on shelves and in the fridge, taking up valuable space and losing their freshness.

Gousto is a home delivery service for all of the ingredients and recipes that you need for preparing a certain number of meals of your choice from a constantly changing menu. You can choose to cater for 2 or 4 people but the serving sizes are generous so the 4 person meal would be enough for two parents and three pre-teen children. If you are planning a dinner party, you could also choose the same meal three times, allowing you to cater for up to 12 people which should be plenty !

The website is dead easy to navigate. You can browse through the recipes to see which ones appeal to you the most, select the ones you want and specify for how many people, then choose your delivery date. You don't have to worry about being out at the time of delivery because it all comes in a special woolcool box which will keep your ingredients chilled and perfectly fresh for up to 24 hours - convenience really is the name of the game here. Should you need any help, you can phone up or use the live chat - I did actually request some help on the live chat and they were amazingly helpful and efficient.

On the day of delivery, you will have everything you need, in just the right quantities, to get straight into the kitchen. I've used other foodie subscription boxes in the past which offer the spices and exotic ingredients but leave you to go out and buy the fresh meat and veg yourself, so it's lovely that there is no hanging about until you can get to the shops. Everything is measured out so there is no waste at all, which is another element that I really appreciate.

I couldn't fault the quality of the ingredients, with everything at optimum freshness and from high end producers - for example, the halloumi in its authentically exotic packaging and the gammon from Northern Catering Butchers, all labelled up for total transparency.

Even as a self-confessed foodie, there were a few products that I'd never tried before, including lambs lettuce. Others, such as pomegranate molasses and bulgur, are ingredients that some people may well be unfamiliar with, so this is a great way of experimenting with new flavours without having to buy a full sized packet or jar that may never be used again.

The hardest part was choosing which recipes we wanted to sample. After a lot of umming and aahing, I eventually opted for Sticky Pomegranate Persian Halloumi, coated with ras el hanout and pomegranate molasses, served with bulgur, sultanas and fresh mint ...

... and Honey Baked Gammon.served with cranberry salad, wholegrain mustard mayonnaise and crispy potatoes. There were so many other dishes that I fancied trying though, including Indian Fish Pie with Coriander, Hoisin Meatballs and Chinese Sesame Rice, Pork Bibimbap, Turkish Lamb and Dill-Infused Bulgur, ... and all of that just from the week that I went looking, bearing in mind that they change every week. There are recipes to suit all tastes, exotic, traditional, vegetarian, spicy, surprising, ... the choice is yours !

Whatever you choose, the enclosed step-by-step recipe cards will make it a piece of cake. I'll come back and share the recipes and finished dishes with you in a separate post.

There are six different subscription schemes available at present, depending on how many people you are cooking for and how many recipes you want to try. Prices are as follows :
2 recipes for 2 people - £27.49 per week
2 recipes for 4 people - £41.99 per week
3 recipes for 2 people - £34.99 per week
3 recipes for 4 people - £51.99 per week
4 recipes for 2 people - £41.99 per week
4 recipes for 4 people - £59.99 per week

Bearing in mind that you get everything you need and delivery is included, that works out cheaper than a takeaway or eating out a couple of times a week.  When you sign up to Gousto, the default weekly delivery is set up for your account but you are free to skip a box, pause your deliveries or cancel your subscription whenever you like with no commitments.

If you're tempted, I also have a fabulous discount for you : you can redeem a £20 discount on both your fist and second Gousto orders, on any sized box, meaning that they could cost as little as £7.49 each. Just enter the discount code TORNADO at the checkout.

If you give them a try, let me know how you get on - I'd love to hear which recipes you tried.

for more information :

Disclosure : I received a free Gousto box in order to write an honest review.

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