First off, each of the meals was prepared by the very talented Tori B Bearly, and you can see more of their cooking exploits by checking out The Sad Girls Cookbook.
Much like with HelloFresh, which I’ve reviewed previously and you can check out here and here, I had seen Gousto advertised for a few months and eventually decided to order a box partly so I could compare it with HelloFresh but mainly because my older sister had started to use the service for her family and had nothing but positive things to say about it.
I found that the Gousto box came packed full of first rate ingredients, all packed with both care and ease of use in mind. They were separated into individual packs, so that everything you needed for a specific recipe is contained within their respective packs. It was actually really handy. The recipes were good, Tori really liked that they included specific measurements, which was an improvement over HelloFresh and meant that it was easier to replicate the meals at a later date. However, they did think that the Gousto box’s recipe was harder to follow than the HelloFresh recipes.
Gousto has a great range of meals, with up to 60 recipes per week and options to pick between Meat, Fish and Vegetarian items. A bonus over HelloFresh, is that rather than being given a pre-selected set of recipes each week you can pick from the full range of items and further customise them depending upon your preference for meat or meat-free recipes. You also have the flexibility in your meal plans to get up to four recipes per week and as an added bonus you can also double up on ingredients to make double the amount of food.
Much like HelloFresh you can also skip or deactivate your plan at your discretion so it means you aren’t locked into anything.
Cheesy BBQ Chicken ‘N’ Chips
So the chicken was great quality, it has a nice natural flavour and cooked up really well. I’ve never been a fan of BBQ but even I really enjoyed this but Tori enjoyed it so much we’ve replicated the recipe at least 3 or 4 times since. The cheese and chicken combo blend together really well, kind of replicating Hunter’s Chicken albeit without the bacon. But it’s really good. The nice thick cut chips add in a savoury element as well as some much needed carbohydrates to the meal.
Simply Perfect Beef Spag Bol
This spaghetti dish is overall very good quality and the cheese on top was a really nice touch. Not something I usually add to my own spaghetti despite how simple it is. Speaking of cheese though, the addition of the white Cheddar adds a smooth creaminess which counterpoints the rich beefiness of the Bolognaise really well. Likewise the carrots and onions combined with the tomato purée 5o add sweetness to a dish which otherwise might be too rich and savoury. The beef itself is also really good quality. The soy sauce and the Henderson’s Relish are really fun and unique elements to this dish that truly make it a transcendent experience. They give it a depth of flavour that really makes the difference. About the only criticism we could come up with is that mushrooms would have improved the dish honestly this was amazing.
Sticky Chinese Pork Steaks With Sesame Pak Choi & Spring Onions
So the Pak Choi has the consistency of cabbage but is thicker and has a slightly heavier, almost bitter note which I really enjoyed and think worked well with the dish. It was cooked in sesame oil which added an additional depth of flavour and eathiness which really added to it. Tori also tossed it through the same sauce as the pork which wasn’t part of the instructions but again really added to the meal and I would suggest you do the same. Speaking of which, the pork was very tender and moist, and the sauce it was cooked on was so tasty. Much like the majority of this box it blended savoury and sweet trolly well to create something that was unique and memorable. The rice was also very tasty, clean and fresh, almost neutral when compared with the other dishes. I can’t decide whether I liked this or the Spaghetti more because both were amazing. I think if I’m honest the spaghetti is objectively better, I’d certainly eat it more often but this meal was so fresh and different to what I usually eat that it’s very close either way.
Sticky Chilli Meat-Free Chicken With Salt & Pepper Chips
So first off the chips are really nice, even Tori who is notoriously not a chip lover enjoyed them. They were made with good quality potatoes and the combination of the salt, pepper and five spices with a touch of sugar made something that is both spicy and sweet which blends really well with the chilli flavour.
The chicken was crunchy with a nice sauce but sadly wasn’t amazing. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t terrible, but it was far from the best meat substitute I’ve ever tried. The cornflower gave it a nice crunch when fried, and the blend of soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, honey and chilli jam all blended together really well to create something that was very palatable. The chicken itself added a savoury note which blended well with the spicy sweetness. I think the dish straddles those two tastes well but sadly the meat-free chicken was a little oily and chewy and just didn’t have the right consistency. I think if they were to try the same recipe with real chicken I would definitely try it again but for all the good points about this dish, it’s my least favourite from this otherwise good box.
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