I was recently asked if I’d like to try out the online meal kit service from Gousto so I thought I’d share my findings with you. I didn’t get to choose our meals but informed Gousto that there were 4 of us, (you can also order meals for 2). Their web site says “Our high animal welfare meat comes from British farms and all our veg is organic. Oh and delivery is FREE!”. The meal kit for 4 sells at £49.99 with an introductory offer at £34.99. I was quite glad of the offer to review Gousto as I was working on a very labour intensive project so thought that a helping hand with the evening meals would be perfect and save me time.
A box arrived from Gousto which was well insulated with plenty of ice packs to keep the food chilled. There was a packing list of all the ingredients – I had an extra unlisted box of ginger porridge in mine which at first I’d thought was part of one of the recipes! I unpacked all the ingredients which were well labelled and was very happy to see a potato scrubbing brush had been included as mine was threadbare (that might have been about to change though)!
The meals were written up on colourful recipe cards with a photograph of the dish on the opposite side. The first night we had Caesar’s Crispy Chicken Salad which my family and I absolutely loved. Indeed it was delicious and my husband gave it 10 out of 10 which I think we all agreed with. On the negative side we ate our dinner about an hour late as the meal took a lot longer than stated on the card. The cooking time given to roast the chicken thighs and cubed potatoes was 25 minutes but the skins didn’t crisp up until it got to 45 -50 minutes (as I would expect), my potatoes also stuck to the grill pan leaving a big mess (I should have turned them but was trying to follow the instructions to the letter). Having to wash muddy potatoes (2 of which were green so I borrowed from another bag) had also held up the preparation time. I’m sure the times are based on a 2 person portion as preparing twice as many ingredients takes twice as much time. So this meal took about one hour and three quarters (I wasn’t amused after a busy day)!
The following night we had Poached Salmon Linguine which again my husband loved (10 out of 10 given again), I found it good, my son wasn’t blown away and my daughter refused to eat shortly after finding fine bones which my husband and I also came across (the salmon was provided poached). I had decided to cook earlier after the previous night’s foray but the cooking time was still over triple of that on the card (25 mins) so I was cooking for an hour and a half. The dish used the zest and juice of a lemon which If I’m going to use I buy an unwaxed lemon but the one provided appeared to be of the waxed variety (unless it was so old that I couldn’t tell the difference) so I washed and scrubbed it as a precaution.
On night three I was wanting throw in the towel and order a take away but hubby was so enjoying the food that I managed to rope him into chip making duty for the Steak & Blue Cheese that was on the menu. He ignored the recipe calling for them to be oven cooked and put them in our new ActiFry (yes he’s hooked). The card had a time of 30 minutes on it and our meal was ready in an hour and ten minutes. It’s dawned on me that perhaps Gousto mean preparation time rather than cooking time as there is just a picture of a pan on a stove with a time. The chips alone cook for 30 minutes so there’s no way the whole meal could be ready in that time. On to the meal though, the steak was utterly divine, tender, juicy and tasty (not like anything I’ve bought from a supermarket) so I was really glad we hadn’t got a takeaway. I even had the blue cheese sauce and as everyone knows I don’t eat blue cheese but in its cooked state it became palatable to me. The whole family loved this dish and I think we all gave it another 10 out of 10. I did however supplement this meal with a large mixed green salad as steak and chips on their own is not a balanced meal. When I opened the Gousto Box it did strike me that there wasn’t much in the way of vegetation.
So overall I’d give Gousto:
9/10 for taste.
8/10 for quality of ingredients
8/10 for value for money
6/10 for nutritional balance
3/10 for convenience and speed of recipes
5/10 for accuracy of cooking times.
10/10 for packaging/delivery.
So that’s an average of 7 out of 10!.
I have looked at the Gousto website where I have seen quicker recipes saying 15 minutes so maybe if I’d had some of those I wouldn’t have felt so shattered every night and there are also vegetarian recipes on there. If you a busy person juggling work and family commitments then I don’t really think this is the meal kit for you as it is all a bit chefy and like re-creating a restaurant standard meal. If I had someone to cook these meals for me every night I’d be delighted as they were delicious! I think this meal kit is better suited to a couple where the time to prepare the meals would be halved to what I experienced and maybe saved for the weekend when you have more time on your hands and haven’t been hard at work all day (depending on your job of course). If I could change anything it would be to ditch the muddy potatoes which I had to scrub on 2 nights, include a few more vegetables, have total cooking times for 2 & 4 on the cards plus have a few more shortcuts to make the whole experience quicker and easier. My ethos has always been more time eating and less time in the kitchen – which is why this meal kit from Gousto had me in a bit of a spin.
Disclaimer: I was sent this meal kit to review by Gousto, all opinions are mine and I was not paid.