Fri. May 24th, 2024
Gousto - Indian-style brunch - Finished
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Sometimes, you see an offer that it would be silly not to take up – and that’s what happened recently with a referral discount that meal kit/recipe box service Gousto was offering. With living costs so high I’m trying to budget better when grocery shopping, cooking meals from scratch and batch cooking for the freezer where possible (more food budgeting ideas here!) For that reason, Gousto’s not something I’d normally consider: I know I can cook meals from scratch a lot cheaper, but I can understand why it’s so popular.

The concept is simple: register an account on the Gousto website, choose the meals you want to eat, book your delivery date and pay. There’s currently a referral offer giving you 65% off your first box, and 25% off your first two months – my referral link is here if you want to check it out! Your delivery will arrive on the date you’ve chosen: a big box containing a recipe card for each recipe, plus the ingredients you need, all sent in the exact quantities that are required.

It means that if you’ve got recipes using weird and wonderful ingredients that you don’t want to buy an entire packet of (herbs and spices you might never need to use again, for example), you don’t need to: Gousto have done all the hard work for you.

The photos I’ve seen of friends’ Gousto meals had looked pretty good…I was keen to see if my own experience lived up to expectations…


The Gousto delivery

Delivery itself was perfect. I received an email after ordering that confirmed my choices and delivery date, and also telling me that I’d saved 2kg of food waste compared with shopping at a supermarket, reducing my carbon footprint by 23%. The day before it was set to be delivered I received the tracking information for the parcel. My heart sank when I realised it was being sent via Yodel, who I’ve not had great experiences with in the past…but luckily, the box arrived on time and undamaged.


The Gousto unboxing

The first thing I spotted when I opened the parcel was a booklet proudly proclaiming Gousto’s B Corp status – it’s great to see more and more food businesses committing to greater transparency, accountability and high social and environmental performance standards.

What wasn’t great to see was the amount of single-use plastic packaging that my Gousto box contained. The booklet did explain Gousto’s commitment to eliminating single-use plastic in their boxes by 2025, but with every single ingredient packaged separately, there was a LOT of rubbish. The majority of the herbs and spices, for example, came in individual sealed plastic wrappers – surely paper would work just as well?

Speaking of the individually packaged spices, these were a bit of a nightmare. It would have made much more sense to package the dry ingredients by meal: some of the recipes I’d chosen had the same ingredients (such as spices) but in different quantities, so I needed to check carefully that I’d opened the right one before cooking. What was positive, though, was that the meat and fish were still perfectly chilled, so I had no worries about using them for the week’s meals.

I’d ordered five meals for two, and cooked them over the space of four days (we had two dinner guests on the last night).


The Gousto food

First up, the Lebanese-style spiced rice with crispy basa, which seemed like a quick, simple recipe. The spicing of both the rice and the base was perfect, and the recipe was simple enough to follow. The portions were generous, too.

There were a couple of issues with the recipe: the rice took longer to cook than stated, and needed extra water. Cooking the basa in batches meant that more oil was required than stated in the recipe, and the whole thing could have done with a little more tahini sauce, as in the picture on the recipe card. Overall, though, a delicious dish that I’ll be making again.


Gousto - Lebanese Rice and Basa - Ingredients

Gousto - Lebanese Rice and Basa - Cooked


The Indian-style chicken burger with curried slaw and fries was one of my favourites of the week. Gousto sent a generous amount of chicken for each burger, which I coated in spices and cooked before putting into the ciabatta buns with mango mayo. The slaw is something I’ll definitely be making again: the addition of curry powder was perfect. Again, the picture didn’t quite represent the meal, though: I could have done with a little more mayo with which to top the burgers.


Gousto - Indian-style chicken burger - Ingredients

Gousto - Indian-style chicken burger - Finished


Another that I’ll absolutely make again is the Indian-style brunch with naan soldiers, one of the two vegetarian options I’d chosen. The Bombay potatoes were seasoned nicely, and the addition of a tin of butter beans made them nice and filling – and there were even some leftover for the next day. Frying the eggs with mustard seeds gave them a lot more flavour (I did use my own eggs, though, as the ones that were sent didn’t smell quite right). I wasn’t sure about the lime-pickled onions at first, as they sounded unusual, but their zingy flavour was perfect.


Gousto - Indian-style brunch - Ingredients

Gousto - Indian-style brunch - Finished


With one of our dinner guests a pescatarian and one a meat-eater, I ended up cooking two different Gousto meals on the same night (a stupid idea – I should have gone for two of the same fish option instead, but hindsight’s a wonderful thing, hey!) The baharat chicken and pepper skewers were nice and simple to put together, and the spiced rice was delicate, rather than fiery. Unlike other recipes, the amount of yoghurt that was sent over was actually TOO much for the yoghurt drizzle at the end, and again, the portions were generous.


Gousto - Baharat Chicken - Ingredients

Gousto - Baharat Chicken - Finished


The oven-baked spiced aubergine tagine is one that I think I’ll make again when I have vegetarian guests for dinner. The rice it was served with was moreish – simply added to a dish with water, butter and sultanas and baked in the oven. The ras el hanout gave the tagine itself a rich, warming flavour, and the crushed hazelnuts sprinkled over the top added some much-needed texture.


Gousto - Aubergine Tagine - Ingredients

Gousto - Aubergine Tagine - Cooked


All in all, I was really happy with the five meals I’d chosen – a few niggles with the recipes and the quantities, sure, but all of the recipe cards were easy to follow and produced great results. Would I use Gousto again, though? In all honesty, probably not. For me, the price is quite steep (around £45 for five meals for two, including delivery), and the amount of plastic really did put me off. For those who are short of time, who don’t want to have jars of unusual ingredients languishing in their cupboards, or who find it hard to get inspiration for what to cook, I can totally understand the appeal.

Have you tried Gousto before? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!


Click here for 65% off your first Gousto box (referral link)



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