Unlike conventional meal planning, where you spend hours poring over recipe books, shopping for the required ingredients and then lugging your groceries home, the hardest part of using Gousto’s service is deciding what you fancy to eat.  There are so many appealing options to choose from. 

As I was out for the expected delivery day, I was slightly concerned that the food would spoil, thanks to the wonderful summer weather that we were experiencing.  Gousto had it covered; their box contained an insulated bag along with some ice packs to keep the food fresh and cool.

For my first dish, Mustard Glazed Trout with Summer Salad, I was a little sceptical at the idea of mixing hot potatoes with the cold apples and trout; however the combination worked very well.  As the dish was to be served cold, it was perfect for the hot summer evening.  It was refreshing to see a salad without a single lettuce leaf!

The dish was bursting with flavours, the mustard glaze was strong but the main flavour came from the beetroot. All the ingredients in the summer salad were coated with the beetroot juice.  If one had chosen to omit the beetroot, the dish would have still been lovely and moist thanks to the trout’s glaze, the apples and cucumber.  The beetroot along with the radishes gave it a lovely tangy flavour, possibly a little too tangy for some tastes.  Even though I am a fan of beetroot, I did find it quite overpowering.

Chicken in Saffron Sauce with Vegetables took very little time to put together – the main ingredients were chicken, onion, pepper and potatoes. This meal was extremely easy to prepare, it was essentially a one pan dish – only needing an extra pan to cook the potatoes. However the saffron sauce was somewhat on the thin side, despite my reducing it by simmering as per the instructions, and in my opinion the recipe called for rather too much onion and pepper.

The chicken itself was full of flavour but the rest of the dish was fairly bland – particularly the saffron sauce.  If repeating this dish, I would definitely reduce the amount of onion and pepper, add some herbs and spices and further reduce the sauce.

Both the chicken and the trout were easy to make, requiring little space and the instructions provided were extremely easy to follow. Most dishes take under an hour with many being under 30 minutes.  After cooking there was very little mess to clean up – always a bonus!

What I really liked about Gousto was the fact that they provided you with a few extra ingredients here and there. For example the chicken dish came with two peppers even though the recipe only needed one. Gousto’s philosophy is that they would rather make sure you have enough, although they do hate waste.   In addition, I loved the fact that they don’t make the assumption that everyone already has items such as saffron, honey and Dijon mustard in their cupboard and so include the necessary amounts for each recipe. 

Personally, I did feel that the difficulty rating provided for each meal was somewhat pessimistic. Wanting a slight challenge, I choose a 3 star (the chicken dish) and a 2 star (the trout dish). However I soon discovered that these dishes did not match their ratings. Considering the only “cooking” involved in the trout dish was boiling potatoes, I would not have given it a 2 star difficulty rating. Granted, the chicken dish was slightly more complex but again I didn’t agree with the difficulty rating of 3 stars.

You pick the recipes that appeal to you and your family and fit them in with your week.  Each week there are 10 recipes, from which you choose three (for the purposes of this review I tried two).  There are also a number of vegetarian recipes (usually at least three) and you see the ingredients before you order so you know exactly what you are getting – perfect for those with allergies.

Gousto’s pricing is very competitive with the couple’s box priced at £42.00 (3 meals for 2 people) and the family box which is priced at £67.00 (3 meals for 4-5 people). You need to place your order for your chosen meals by Wednesday evening at the latest for delivery the following week.  Delivery to you is either on a Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on your location.  Prior to ordering, Gousto provide the nutritional information for each recipe and suggest whether it is child friendly etc.  They also advise what other minor ingredients are required to cook the recipes e.g. butter, oil etc.  Gousto’s food is either free range or organic, where possible and delivery within the UK is free.

The hardest part really is choosing what you want.