Premium recipe boxes to liven up lockdown
Expand your lockdown menu, learn new skills and skip the food shopping with these delicious recipe boxes, which help us amateurs make restaurant-worthy food from scratch.
Magic up a Sunday roast with all the trimmings, courtesy of London caterers Sabel, who give you the option to do as much or as little of the prep and cooking as you like. Choose from Cornish red chicken and all the trimmings or half lamb shoulder and all the trimmings. You can opt to receive all the ingredients to rustle up the roast yourself... or you could go for the prepared option and tuck into 48-hour gravy, dripping-roast potatoes, greens with caramelised onion, confit and glazed heritage carrots, creamy cauliflower cheese and succulent roast meat. It's about as close as you can get to a cosy pub lunch in lockdown – and the leftovers are ideal for those working from home fridge raids.
Price: £25-£45 depending on the size of meat joint you chose. Minimum spend for delivery is £45, but you can top up with freshly baked goods, homemade premium ready meals and storecupboard essentials.
Plentiful fresh veg, ethically sourced meat and fish and a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options make Mindful Chef a Culture Whisper favourite. And during social distancing, the recipe boxes have come into their own: there's no stressing about shopping for ingredients, a welcome break from the endless cycle of deciding what to eat, and a nutritonist-approved health kick. Subscriptions range from as little as two meals every fortnight for one person, to a different recipe every night for larger families, and they are easy to tweak and pause to suit your lifestyle. The menu changes weekly and you can choose and change your recipes or just stipulate dietary requirements and enjoy the surprise.
Price: roughly £7.50 per portion, depending on what recipes you choose.
Cook up the freshest fist from London Shell Co., the floating seafood restaurant. The two delivery boxes provide everything you need for either a picnic or a BBQ for two people - plus a bottle of English sparkling wine to wash it down with. The fish in the boxes will change weekly for optimal freshness, ensuring you enjoy the catch of the day from sea to plate in a matter of hours. For the ready to eat picnic box, think freshly prepared fish and seafood accompanied by soda bread and pickles. The ready to cook BBQ Box sets you up for a great grill, with dishes such as monkfish kebabs or tuna burgers, plus line caught mackerel, king prawns, sides and sauces. Fish is sourced in Cornwall and delivered within the M25 every Friday (with plans to expand to nationwide soon).
Price: £45 for the picnic box; £60 for the BBQ Box; £6 for delivery
Beloved Soho deli and restaurant Lina Stores is helping novice cooks create their favourite Italian dishes at home with pizza and pasta meal kits. With top-quality ingredients and idiot-proof instructions, you can enjoy a just-baked prosciutto and mozzarella pizza, fresh artichoke and truffle green ravioli or homemade spaghetti bolognese. The kits provide enough food for multiple meals, and can easily be frozen. The online store is also well stocked with Italian delicacies and store cupboard staples and, best of all, homemade desserts (those baci brownies are definitely better than your quarantine baking efforts).
Price: Pizza Meal Kit, £32 for four 12" pizza bases and a bundle of toppings
Fresh or Dried Pasta Meal Kits, £32, with enough for approx 10 meals
Confusing times call for carbs, so treat yourself to artisanal pasta and sauces so you good you could be in Rome – or at least an upmarket Italian restaurant. Made freshly by Italian chefs in London, Pasta Evangelists' meal kits could not be simpler: there's no subscription, it fits through your letterbox and takes mere minutes and minimal skill to prepare. The menu changes every week, featuring the likes of carbonara with fresh rigatoni and pancetta, crab and chilli tortellini with tarragon butter and black truffle and burrata ravioloni. You have to order a minimum of two meals, but each order is a one-off so you can pick and choose what you fancy when you fancy without committing to any subscription.
Price: from £7-£12 per portion
Your favourite restaurants come directly to you with weekly brunch boxes curated by different chefs, featuring coffee and brewing tips from Climpson & Son's London Fields roastery. Each recipe box has all the ingredients you need to create an epic brunch at home, along with coffee and an alcoholic beverage chosen to compliment the food and to kick off the weekend. The menu will change each week, featuring dishes from Som Saa, Brat and The Marksman Pub. Boxes will be delivered by bike to E8, E9, E2, E5, N1, N16 or can be collected from Climpsons HQ every Friday from 9am - 1pm.
Falafel wraps are the kind of food you take for granted when there's a wealth of street-food options. But they can be a faff to make at home. Middle Eastern restaurant Arabica makes it easy with this DIY falafel kit, which includes raw Beiruiti falafel mix, chopped salad, tahini, chili sauce, pickles, khobez flatbreads and easy instructions to make your own gourmet kebab. There's a also a tempting selection of pre-made mezzes if you feel like creating a full Middle Eastern feast.
Price: £20 for a kit that makes five wraps
If all the pandemic stress snacking has left you feeling sluggish and ready for a health kick, let Detox Kitchen do the hard work with virtuous yet flavoursome meals. Alongside the full meal plan subscription service, there is a Fridge Fill option, where you can buy a one-off bundle of six nutritionally balanced salads and fancy ready meals, which are either vegan, protein or mixed. It's ideal for those weekday working lunches, when you miss the convenience of nipping out for a salad.
Price: £40-£45 for a Fridge Fill, roughly £7 per meal
Riverford gathers all the farm-fresh organic ingredients you need to make seasonal dishes from scratch. There are boxes designed to feed the whole family and smaller vegan and veggie options for two, including the likes of shiitake and summer greens dhal, Mexican enchiladas and one-pot chicken with spring veg. Note: due to the increased demand from social distancing, Riverford are currently serving only those who already have an account but there is a waiting list you can join.
Price: approx £7 per portion
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