Good ingredients, good meals

We tried our very first recipe box this week! As someone who loves to cook, I don’t know how its taken me so long to try something like this. Riverford got in touch and asked if I’d like to review a Sarah Raven limited edition recipe box. We are regular veg box customers so I was really looking forward to getting my hands on a whole box of goodies and trying out some new recipes. The box contained three recipes and their ingredients, each feeding two people.

Monday morning there was a knock at the door and I was handed this big box. It was full of fresh vegetables, chilled goods (chicken, butter and cheese) tins, spices, herbs sugar, meat and fruit. All organised into neat compartments. The chilled goods were packed in an insulated bag lined with eco friendly sheep’s wool.

Recipe box

Riverford recipe box

Ingredient pots in box

Recipe box ingredients

For a non-vegetarian box I was happy to see two vegetable based recipes. We aren’t vegetarian but keep our meat consumption to a minimum; a treat rather than a staple. Over the next few days we would be eating a tomato and poppy seed tart, sweet and sour vegetable curry and sangria chicken. Cue a tummy rumble.

Recipe cards

Tomato and poppy seed tart

Without doubt my favourite meal in the box.

Tomatoes on chopping board

From glancing at the recipe card photo, the tart looked like it was only filled with saucy tomatoes. But there was a hidden surprise; it was also layered with Sussex slipcote soft sheep’s cheese and torn basil leaves. I would never have thought to add a layer of sheep’s cheese to something like this but it tasted tremendous. And the poppy seeds created a nice pastry texture.

Tomatoes, cheese and basil in pastry

Tomatoes, sheep’s cheese and basil

Tomato tart with basil garnish

Tomato and poppy seed tart

Look at this beauty! Cutting into it seemed a shame but eating with your eyes is only half of the experience.

Tomato tart

Tomato and poppy seed tart

We had seven, good sized portions. Served with the salad included, it made a quick and easy lunch.

Sweet and sour vegetable curry

We’re both curry monsters, but despite this I rarely cook one from scratch; it always feels like something is missing. But we loved this. Vegetarian and packed full of flavour. Scott came down while it was cooking and said “you’re killing me with these nice smells”.

A pot of whole spices was included, ready for grinding down into a powder.

Bowl of whole spices

Whole spice mix

Have a look at all the lovely ingredients in this dish. Don’t be shy, get a bit closer. Closer. There are chillies, cashews, parsley, sweet potato, spinach, sweet potato… it tasted every bit as good as it looks. I’ll definitely be making this again.

Vegetable curry with rice and garnish

Sweet and sour vegetable curry

Vegetable curry on fork

Sweet and sour vegetable curry

Red rice is something I’ve never eaten before but I really enjoyed it. It has a nutty, buttery flavour — much more exciting than regular rice. You have to cook it for quite a while but it’s worth the wait.

Sangria chicken

If I’m totally honest I had my reservations about this dish. Not because of the flavour, more the fact that the meat was chicken thighs and wings. I really don’t like eating meat off the bone or the flavour of leg meat. But I was willing to try it especially as the other meals had been so good.

All the ingredients went into a dish to marinate in the fridge overnight — minus the fennel. Neither of us like fennel. Scott doesn’t like celery either, hah!

Chicken marinating

Sangria chicken marinade

The next evening I popped it in the oven for an hour and look what came out! Beautiful browned sticky, crispy, chicken. The meat hadn’t absorbed as much of the flavour as I’d hoped but it still very nice and… I ate all my chicken!! I’d like to make it again with chicken breasts, but that’s the only thing I’d change.

Golden chicken and rice

Sangria chicken with red rice and salad

Our verdict? A big thumbs up! It was nice to try dishes I wouldn’t normally cook and to have the convenience of everything arriving together, all weighed out and in one box. Fresh, organic ingredients turned into comforting, healthy meals. Lovely!

If this post has piqued your curiosity, check out some of Riverford’s recipe boxes.

Disclaimer: Riverford offered me a free Sarah Raven limited edition recipe box in exchange for an honest review. They chose the recipe box on my behalf. All thoughts, opinions and photography are my own.

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