When you think about it, it makes perfect sense for supermarket chains to get involved in the recipe box game. They already have all the food available, after all, so putting together some recipe cards and shipping out the ingredients in perfect amount seems like a pretty small step to take, especially as it might bring back customers who were ordering recipe boxes instead of shopping at said supermarket.
Waitrose has latched on to the idea, and so has Morrisons, which launched the Eat Fresh service in late 2018 and established itself as cheaper than its main rivals, including HelloFresh, Gousto and Mindful Chef. You can get three meals for two people for £25 (£4.16 per serving), or for £40 for four people (£3.33 per serving). For comparison, HelloFresh meals start at £3.44 per serving (four people, four meals) and cost £5 per serving for two people eating three meals.
There’s also value to be found inside your deliveries from Morrisons, because you’ll often get more than you need with certain ingredients. With the meals I tried I got a full tub of cream cheese when the recipe only called for half of one, and the same went for mushrooms and herbs. Presumably it makes more economic sense for Morrisons to send the existing quantities it has rather than start packaging up smaller amounts for the recipe box.
However, this does mean that making the recipes is a little harder than with HelloFresh and others, where you don’t have to worry whether you’re using the right quantities. It’s also possible that the excess food could end up going to waste, and there is also a lack of joined-up thinking, because I actually got two tubs of cream cheese in the same delivery for two different recipes that each needed half a tub.
The three recipes I tried – a chicken and leek pie, curried beef stew with cauliflower rice, and salmon linguine – were all easy to make, with clear instructions that are well-paced so you’re not frantically trying to juggle three pans at any stage of the cooking process. There was an error in one recipe, which completely omitted one of the provided and listed ingredient from the method, but it wasn’t too stern a test of my mental faculties to work out what to do with the chickpeas involved (put them in the pan), especially since there was a picture to help.
I wasn’t bowled over by the taste or ingenuity of the recipes involved, but then you don’t really need that for an easy midweek dinner. They were all simple to make in under 45 minutes and certainly nice enough that I kept the cards to make again. Except the salmon – I should have checked beforehand to ensure it included ingredients I actually like.
The range of available recipes is vast, and there are lots of vegan and vegetarian options. You can also filter to find pescatarian meals, as well as recipes that are under 550 calories. I also like the fact that in addition to low-calorie options, you can search for “healthier choices” that load up on vegetables and provide a balanced meal even if the calorie count is fairly high. If you’re an active person then calories are likely to be less of a concern than getting enough healthy fare onto your plate.
Aside from the disappearing chickpeas and the fact I now have to work out a way to use an entire tub of onion and chive soft cheese, I was impressed with the Morrisons delivery service. The meals are easy and tasty, and it’s not hard to find options that fit your preferences. The fact that it’s currently better value than other recipe box services is the cherry on top.
Use the code COACH50 to receive 50% off your first order. Valid on baskets over £25 until 28th February 2019