Being a huge fitness fan and health-conscious vegan, I’ve noticed the growing trend for meal prep boxes recently and at-home recipes as the nation begins to shun awful sloppy, sugar and salt laden frozen ready meals. With companies now offering more health-focused eating, I find I still prefer the process of cooking and making my own food from home.
As a busy bodybuilding mother of two I like to know exactly what goes into my meals – insuring my food is fresh and avoids contamination from meat or dairy for my vegan dietary requirements – so when I spotted the MindfulChef vegan menu I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on a box!
You can order as much or as little food as you like and the boxes arrive with ingredients securely packed up to the exacting quantities which are delivered directly to your door. Chilled produce remains fresh in transit with the use of ice packs and eco-friendly insulation made from recycled cotton offcuts, ensuring perishable items can remain in the box at fridge temperature for up to 36hrs. Each meal is then portioned into an eco-friendly brown bag which can pop into the fridge until you’re ready to cook and all packaging can be saved up and returned for recycling every 4wks.
The MindfulChef caters to all ages, tastes and dietary requirements as well as vegan; however I’m over the moon that their plant-based menu contains a very generous 16 recipes including ‘mushroom, walnut & lentil bolognese with sweet potato’ an ‘Hawaiian-style poke bowl with crispy tofu’ ‘red Thai aubergine & chickpea curry’ ‘lentil moussaka & creamy coconut béchamel’ and ‘tofu tikka masala, roasted broccoli & brown rice’ to name but a few.
Whilst it can be easy to get stuck in a rut with mealtimes making the same foods over and over again losing passion and enthusiasm, it’s good to try new things and experiment with recipes and flavours. For my first box I chose two new vegan recipes which were ‘pulled barbecue jackfruit & avocado salsa’ and a ‘creamy vegetable & borlotti bean pie’ as I wanted my children to dine vegan with me.
Each paper bag contains the exact ingredients and recipe card necessary to cook, serve and feed two adults with children being able to share a single portion. What really touches me about the ethos of MindfulChef is their ‘One Feeds Two’ scheme whereby for every meal sold a school meal is donated to a child living in poverty – their inspirational goal to deliver and donate 1 million meals each year.
With 24 new plant-based recipes added every 6wks I need never run out of food-inspiration or fall back into a rut at mealtimes. I’m a keen cook and have clocked up many hours in my kitchen feeding my family but I’m always open to learning new skills and trying new things. The recipe cards are clear, concise and easy to follow with each meal stating preparation time, calories, protein-source and macros per person so that you can track protein, carbs and fat and take charge of your nutrition.
The meals are perfect for getting a delicious nutritious meal onto the dinner table quickly from school or as rather generous post-workout lunches. I found it fascinating to try jackfruit for the very first time – something I would never have known existed nor how to prepare it. As a family of four I was expecting my children to find these new flavours and textures a little alien, as we all know how children can be about eating their vegetables and trying new things, but they loved it as much as we did and there wasn’t so much as a scrap left over!
Having all of the herbs, spices, vegetables and chilled goods included with each meal means there’s no panic to dash to the shops at the last minute for forgotten items or essential ingredients that have suddenly run out.
It’s removed the stress and scheming over staring into a half empty fridge trying to construct a meal for hungry tummies after a long day, and we’ve all begun counting down the hours until dinner time just to taste whats on the menu tonight – essentially restaurant quality food made lovingly at home without the need for taxis and childcare.
The pulled barbecue jackfruit is a South and East Asian inspired dish made with a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce, brown rice and juicy lime, avocado and fresh coriander salsa – a festival for the tastebuds! Brown rice and avocados are something that I pretty much live on whilst training, but I’ve never had them taste like this before. The combination of flavours and textures in recipes take such everyday items and just blow the roof off. I never would have thought of making something like this by myself and now I can’t imagine going back to bland, plain meals again.
My daughter absolutely loves the borlotti bean pie inspired by a traditional shepherds pie minus the meat. The smoky flavour from the paprika, nutritional yeast and wholegrain mustard is a delicious kick against the mellow creamy vegetables, mashed sweet potatoes and crisp oven baked kalettes.
With fifteen-minute-meal options making healthy eating possible on days when you are pushed for time, MindfulChef have created four meals that can be taken from prep to plate in just quarter of an hour – the perfect way to begin your healthy home-cooking journey.