SL’s deputy editor Astrid Carter reviewed the latest home delivery food box, The Mindful Chef, based on the benefits of the Paleo diet and lifestyle.
What Is It? A diet-led meal kit box delivered straight to your door based around the rules of Paleo. Choose from either the Lean, Balanced or Plant Based (coming soon) box, for three recipes cards and all the ingredients you will need to make them. Each recipe only takes 15-30minutes to prep and cook, making The Mindful Chef ideal for busy Londoners that all too often settle for a quick salad for supper or (god forbid) a ready-made or takeout meal.
The benefits: if you haven’t heard of the benefits or Paleo yet you must have been living under a rock for the past 12months. Often referred to as ‘the caveman diet’, the idea is to eat the types of foods presumed to be eaten by our early ancestors. Think lean meat, fish, fruit and nuts, and absolutely no diary, wheat or processed foods. Even legumes are a no-no on this diet – see you later trendy quinoa. Benefits are said to include heathy weight loss, natural anti-inflammatory, improved skin, less bloating, high immune function, improved sleep and mental clarity to name but a few.
How it works: The box was delivered to my work place (the company have great delivery hours and will even deliver up to 9pm on a Sunday night, filled with a stunning array of organic, fresh, local (where possible), rainbow-hued produce. First up was Hazelnut Port, Fresh Red Cherry Salsa & Ruby Red Chard, next Flattened Chicken with Honey & Mustard Carrots and Greens and lastly Walnut & Mustard Beef, Orange, Beetroot & Watercress Salad. The cards claimed the recipes would take 30mintutes max, and after a fair few unsuccessful Jamie Oliver 15Minute Meals, I expect these recipes to go in much the same way. In fact, the longest I spent in the kitchen was 35minutes for any of the meals, which in my book, is pretty good.
Cost: £24 for three meals. £8 per dish – true, you could spend less on supper if you budgeted and meal planned, but after a hectic day at work and a commute home I often spend more in my local Tesco for a meal nowhere near as satisfying.
The verdict: Will I be going Paleo? Maybe not, I enjoy eating out too much, but it has made me rethink my midweek meals. I felt full, but not bloated, and my sleep was certainly improved. I would without a doubt buy into The Mindful Chef’s boxes again, especially if I had a busy week coming up and didn’t want to have to worry about what I was going to cook each night. Plus, the dishes were so well-balanced, seasonal and impressive that I’ve added them to by regular kitchen repotoire and I’d even serve them up if I had friends round for supper.