Posts Tagged ‘recipe boxes’

Riverford delivery

May 8, 2021

Each Riverford delivery has proved to be different.

Order a recipe box late Wednesday at the latest and delivered Friday morning.

Order more than one recipe box and receive a discount.

I learnt recently, can also order fruit and vegetables, not restricted to a veg box, but a minimum £15 order.

More recently I learnt, can add to existing order for a recipe box, thus not limited by the £15 minimum order.

My first order, two recipe boxes to obtain a discount. One large box, partitioned in two. Top half the meat to go straight into the fridge, the bottom half two more boxes containing vegetables and other ingredients.

My delivery of fruit and vegetables, an open box with the fruit and vegetables inside.

My next delivery, an open box with fruit and vegetables, a smaller box with side by side, meat and a box with the vegetable and ingredients.

Overnight, leave out empty boxes, these are collected when delivery arrives in the morning.

Thursday night I did not leave out empty boxes due to heavy rain.

Friday morning, an open box with vegetable order, a bag containing a recipe box for a meal, Thai mushroom and peanut noodles.

Riverford

March 19, 2021

Riverford is a collective of organic farmers and growers, originally a veg box scheme, now also deliver recipe boxes.

The first thing notice with Riverford is the level of professionalism, cf amateurish Mindful Chef.

Order before 2345 Wednesday night, will be delivered Friday. When on Friday depends on the route taken. What is on offer changes each week.

Order more than one recipe, and a discount kicks in. Free delivery. Mindful Chef no discount for additional dishes, obliged to order at least three, with Riverford can order a single dish and still get free delivery.

Unlike Mindful Chef, Riverford does not default to subscription scam.

Riverford delivery is by their own drivers from a local farm, the route determined to minimise fuel consumption.

Today, it was drizzling with rain all morning. Delivery instructions followed, leave on a bench at the rear of the property. A neat touch, enclosed in a plastic bag to keep dry. Contrast Mindful Chef, cowboy courier service DPD, delivery instructions ignored, dumped on back doorstep in the pouring rain during Storm Christoph, then lied where left. Found four hours later, one soggy box.

The Riverford box impressive, clearly a lot of thought has gone into its design. Holes in the side to enable easy to lift and carry. Lid tucked in, no sticky plastic tape. Inside, at the top the cool items, wrapped in sheep’s wool, not until I looked later, ice to keep contents cool, below a separate area with a card partition, vegetables and dried goods neatly packed. Contrast with Mindful Chef, stuck down with plastic tape, everything appeared to be tossed in, overpackaging, obscene use of plastic.

Riverford a couple of items, for example the meat, plastic packaging, but since January, plant-based biodegradable plastic for their vegetables, but in my box, spring greens and cabbage loose.

The quality of what was inside the box excellent, organic, fresh and locally sourced. The meat details of source, when packed, when slaughtered, with tracking codes. Mindful Chef, not organic, not locally sourced, not quality and too often substitution with inferior produce.

Inside two recipes for the two dishes ordered. Clear instructions, also mention of what you may need from the kitchen. What I would like to see, the recipe before ordering, though having said that, far more information provided than by Mindful Chef. Contrast with Mindful Chef, instruction are not at all clear have to read several times, and often plain wrong.

Cost wise, more or less the same for a meal for two, the big difference, Riverford far better value for money, organic fresh quality produce.

The packaging will be collected when Riverford next deliver. I only wish I had taken more care when opening the box.

The proof of the pudding is in the cooking and eating. But so far very impressed.

Two dishes ordered

  • Green Thai Pork & Lemongrass
  • Beef, Mushroom & Creme Fraiche Stroganoff

I have never before attempted either a Thai dish or stroganoff, it is going to be very interesting if not challenging.

The one minor criticism, a tiny bottle, cf a miniature, of white wine. I would rather have gone out and bought a bottle of wine wine, or paid extra and received half a bottle of white wine.

A veg box scheme I think an excellent concept, though I can never justify the demand. A recipe box I find hard to justify, if cannot get out, then maybe, but for me, the opportunity to try something new.

Riverford B Corp Certified, probably not necessary but well deserved. Mindful Chef B Corp Certified, which makes a mockery of B Corp Certification and renders it yet another worthless certification scam to greenwash Big Business.

Riverford a collective of organic farmers and growers that sustains the planet, Mindful Chef owned by a rapacious global corporation that trashes the planet and tramples over local communities.

— to be continued —-

Pork with colcannon and mustard sauce

January 27, 2021

It would help if when ordering Mindful Chef specify any extra equipment required, pots and pans a given.

Mashed potatoes requires a means to mash the potatoes, which I lack. An extra purchase, adds to the cost of the meal and not even possible as lockdown and all but non-essential shops are closed.

Therefore what to do? Various possibilities:

– par boil the potatoes then roast potatoes alongside the pork
– pop into town visit M&S Food Hall chilled ready made mashed potatoes
– pop into town visit M&S Food Hall chilled ready made colcannon potatoes

Pros and cons of all these options.

Very little fat on the pork, roasting potatoes alongside a non-starter.

Let’s see what M&S Food Hall has to offer. The two potatoes I will save and use for baked potatoes.

One reason I do not buy meat from a supermarket, apart from the low quality, is packaged in plastic. Meat supplied by Mindful Chef ticks both boxes.

Portion size? I ordered for one. The meat not sufficient for two, the potatoes and vegetables more than sufficient.

I will pop to a local butcher and order a second pork loin chop.

Valentine steak. Pretentious name for a pork loin chop with a lot of waste. Equally pretentious to call it a steak. Strictly speaking a variant on a loin chop, a horizontal cut halfway into the chop. Why? What purpose does it serve?

The humble potato is an extremely versatile vegetable.

Staying in Cyprus I ate most evenings in a hotel. Not once were the potatoes served the same, not once did chips appear.

My first encounter with colcannon potatoes which until then I had never heard of was at Secret Garden, not its full name, with an excellent Irish chef. Sadly the restaurant is no more. A crying shame.

Peter O’Connor kindly shared with me his recipe for colcannon potatoes, which is different to the variants of mashed potato plus.

Colcannon potatoes can be thought of as mashed potatoes plus. Create mashed potatoes, then add shredded cabbage or kale, maybe a spring onion or two or a chopped onion.

From M&S no mash, but I did find a pot of colcannon mashed potatoes. I was going to add to it, but decided against.

Spring onions in the box, not very good condition, to the compost heap, the cabbage not much better, but neither needed.

Colcannon in the oven in an oven dish. Splosh of rapeseed oil in baking tray, salt and pepper to season the chops, to go in he oven later.

Carrots sliced lengthwise, shallot diced, added in saucepan wit ha little oil.

Mushrooms supplied were not chestnut mushrooms, Excuse chestnut mushrooms not available. I had no problem obtaining mushrooms, nor when I inquired was there a shortage. But more expensive. Difference in final result, I do not know. The mushrooms were not in good enough condition for salad, ok for cooking.

I only used half the the mushrooms supplied, ie two. A mistake, I should have used all four. Tow saved to fry with bacon.

Illustrated mushrooms in a box as would use for eggs. No, a simple card box. I would prefer carsdas an egg box, use for kitchen scraps, then onto the compost heap.

Adding to a pot in olive oil a big mistake, not unless wish to ruin the pan. Maybe get away with non-stick pan. Use a small frying pan, then add with the chicken stock to a saucepan and gently simmer.

Chops taken out of oven, water in the saucepan drained into tray and back into the oven, emptied onto plate, then the gravy added. Note gravy not mustard sauce.

A very tasty dish.

— to be continued —

Mindful Chef recipe box DPD delivery

January 21, 2021

Service provided by Mindful Chef appalling. An order placed with Mindful Chef a couple of weeks ago should have arrived Sunday a week ago.

  • Mexican-style steak, avocado salsa & brown rice
  • Swedish-style pork meatballs & potato mash
  • Steak with salsa verde & parsnip fries

Nothing. I was given the run around. Friday I called, after being on hold for ten minutes whilst  insulted by a robot it’s quicker to e-mail, finally I had a human on the line. The lady apologised said I would have to order again, had the gall to charge me, and the order was no longer what I had originally ordered, the choices vary each week, though in reality a subtle variation.

  • Denver steak with harissa chickpea & pea shoot salad
  • Pork with colcannon and mustard sauce
  • Asian pork meatballs, kale & brown rice

Tuesday my second order arrived. A week and two days late from when I should have had a delivery.

The appalling service by Mindful Chef gets worse.

Tuesday morning a delivery, a delivery one week and two days late from scheduled Sunday a week ago.

Waiting all morning for a delivery. Will it arrive in time for lunch?

1225 Blinds to conservatory opened to find a large box sitting by the back door.

Not knowing it was there, had anyone opened the back door not expecting a parcel as a trip hazard, they would have tripped over, down three steps and smashed their head on concrete path, or worse, slammed head on the side of a low wall and split their skull open.

I was baffled, why was the plastic sealing tape covered in large drops of water, why was the box soaking wet? It was not raining.

I then found the card that had been left. Timed 0822. In other words, the large box had been sat outside for over four hours, sat outside in the rain.

Card left claimed I would find in porch, e-mail rear porch. There is no rear porch, there is no porch The parcel was dumped in the rain on the back doorstep. Whoever dumped parcel blatantly lied.

Weather forecast very heavy rain for next three days including Tuesday, Storm Christoph.

As yet I did not know if contents damaged. I left left sat outside on a bench to dry out whilst not raining.

Why ask for delivery instructions, if ignored?

A week ago, I asked this be escalated to CEO. I was still waiting.

Yet another complaint filed with Mindful Chef, to which I received a prompt, detailed response including an apology. A novelty on all three counts.

Opening the box a few hours later, the contents appeared to be undamaged, apart from a booklet at the bottom. of the box.

To me recipe boxes a novelty, I had heard of veg boxes though never used but not recipe boxes where all the ingredients for a meal contained in the box plus a recipe.

Opening the box when it had been left for three hours on a bench to dry I found

  • three plastic package with meat for each dish
  • three ingredient bags labelled with numbers which corresponded to numbers in the recipe booklet
  • a booklet about Mindful Chef
  • a recipe booklet
  • a Mindful Chef calendar

One of the reasons I do not buy meat from a supermarket, apart from the very poor quality, is that it is packed in plastic. I buy from a local family butcher, quality meat and they cut off what I ask for.

The meat was packed with two ice packs within an insulated bag. The insulated bags they ask to be returned to be reused.

The ice packs were rock solid. What to do with? I popped in the freezer. Would be cold in the summer unless delivered in a refrigerator van? Why use DPD, why not use food delivery service ocado?

Ingredients not yet examined. Box placed in a cool place for later examination.

The recipe booklet well produced, but if I expected to be easy, oh I was in for a surprise.

The recipes are not simple, not easy to follow, though with practice maybe would not be a problem. That the recipes are complicated would appear to defeat the entire rationale of a recipe box to make home cooking easy.

What is missing and an absolute must videos posted on vimeo for each and every recipe. Can then make oneself and to make easy, order from Mindful Chef.

A criticism when ordering, no mention of extra equipment may need to prepare the dish. Pots and pans a given, but not grater, a potato masher, which I do not have.

The recipe booklets useful if wish to go it alone without ordering a recipe box.

At £11 a dish, expensive. I could eat out cheaper, and not have to prepare, cook and do the washing up after.

Other dishes more expensive, salmon £12-50, venison £14.

A few dishes were cheaper, but with very cheap ingredients, for example beans and potato wedges £8 or chick peas and fried sweet potato wedges £9-50, although lentils and cauliflower £10.

To put in context, cod and sweet potato chips, with a tiny bit of salad £12, whereas if I pop along to High Farm fish n chip shop I can pick up excellent takeaway haddock and chips at a little over half the price, order on-line and ready for me to collect, or if it was open, Elite Fish Restaurant one of the best fish n chip restaurants in the country excellent haddock and chips and I am still paying less.

Note: Prices quoted single person per dish. If ordered for two or four, the cost would be lower, significantly lower, per person.

To also put in context compare with the disgusting lunch boxes shipped out to school children, not sufficient for a day, expected to provide five meals, and of very poor quality. These lunch boxes cost £30. With Mindful Chef, only three meals but enough for two kids or a kid and an adult, and as already noted the price drops significantly if for more than one person, and a bulk order would easily get costs down to £30 for a weekly delivery. Not that I am suggesting schools order from Mindful Chef, even though it would be better than what they currently receive in terms of quality and quantity, I would prefer to see schools contract local pubs and restaurants currently closed to supply delicious meals, local control, a lifeline to local businesses and the money is retained within the local community.

Whatever the quality of the meals, cost to one side, the ease or otherwise of the menus, what is hard to stomach is that Mindful Chef is owned by Nestle, especially when the founders had a choice, Nestle or Waitrose. A choice between a greedy rapacious corporation that destroys communities or a worker owned cooperative. A third option, was it even considered, the Brew Dog model, sell shares to customers.

Mindful Chef

January 16, 2021

I have come across veg boxes, though have never used, have not before come across recipe boxes.

I had not been out since New Years’s Eve, was not feeling well, I had been in contact with some one who was ill with coronavirus, food was running low. Mindful Chef seemed an option to consider.

A recipe box I learnt is a box of ingredients with a recipe giving instructions on the cooking.

I scrolled through the options, not sure how large the portion size, picked three meals for one person.

  • Mexican-style steak, avocado salsa & brown rice
  • Swedish-style pork meatballs & potato mash
  • Steak with salsa verde & parsnip fries

Late one night last week I tried to order. It would not progress beyond entering my post code.

Next day I tried again. This time I entered delivery address manually, all seemed to work, how to deliver,  credit card details.

Saturday an e-mail conforming delivery next day, or so I thought, I had scheduled Sunday. It was only later when I checked, it was junk meal offering frozen meals next day delivery.

Sunday I waited all day, night came, no delivery.

I posted on their facebook page, got nowhere. I sent an e-mail.

I was then given the run around over the following days.

Asked for details of my order. This I gave.

Next day asked for my post code.

I then volunteered my address, which I assumed they already had having given when I ordered. I clearly stated I required confirmation of delivery.

They had my details as how otherwise were they sending junk e-mails addressed to me personally?

Then nothing, a reminder each and every day, nothing. Request for e-mail of CEO, nothing.

In the meantime, to add insult to injury, junk e-mails every day, unwanted posts on facebook.  And just  when I thought could not get worse, I find posts on Facebook messenger.

I only have to open facebook, and there in my face unwanted junk from Mindful Chef, scroll a short distance, more junk from Mindful Chef.

Friday afternoon having heard nothing for three days, apart from unwanted junk. I called.

Ten minute wait to get a real person. Whilst waiting a robot message, get a quicker response if e-mail.

Eventually after waiting ten minutes a real person came on the line.  I am told the long delay, failure to deal with e-mails failure to deal with the problem, I am told a small team, too many queries. I was told the same story in one of the first e-mails. Clearly trained to trot out this pathetic excuse. And why so many queries? Many queries, people like me getting nowhere?

I place an order again over the phone, only now I cannot order what I originally ordered and have to pay again.

  • Denver steak with harissa chickpea & pea shoot salad
  • Pork with colcannon and mustard sauce
  • Asian pork meatballs, kale & brown rice

A rotating weekly menu, but if compare with my original order, which was not delivered, variations on a theme.

At £11 a dish, expensive. I could eat out cheaper, and not have to prepare, cook and do the washing up after.

Other dishes more expensive, salmon £12-50, venison £14.

A few dishes were cheaper, but with very cheap ingredients, for example beans and potato wedges £8 or chick peas and fried sweet potato wedges £9-50, although lentils and cauliflower £10. To put in context, cod and sweet potato chips, with a tiny bit of salad £12, whereas if I pop along to my local fish n chip shop and pick up excellent takeaway haddock and chips at a little over half the price, order on-line and ready for me to collect, or if it was open, one of the best fish n chip restaurants in the country excellent haddock and chips and I am still paying less.

Note: Prices quoted single person per dish. If ordered for two or four, the cost would be lower, significantly lower, per person.

A reputable company would have not forced me to pay again, they would have apologised and sent out the order gratis.

Now the order not what I originally ordered will be delivered Tuesday, a week and two days late.

Every time I open facebook, unwanted junk posts from Mindful Chef.

Today in my face, Mindful Chef, smoothies for a delicious breakfast.

Delicious breakfast not difficult.

  • muesli zero waste stall
  • unpasteurised raw milk farmers market
  • bananas fruit and vegetable stall
  • wholemeal bread local baker

Smoothies are hot healthy. Smoothies are very high in sugar content.

Sugar is a killer. Obesity, type II diabetes, heart conditions, tooth decay.

Are these smoothies even fresh?

Delivered in a pack, stored in a freezer, watered down to consume, sounds like dehydrated. Not very fresh. Big mark up.

Invest in a decent blender (need two) buy fresh fruit and vegetables off a decent market stall and make ones own.

Try

  • apple, orange, carrots and ginger

A juice not a smoothie. The ginger about the size of a thumb.

But, having not watched the video, and now watched, would still need a blender for the Mindful Chef packet, therefore what has been gained? Would still need a blender. Buy fresh fruit and vegetables off a market stall.

My contact details have been given for the sole purpose of fulfilling my order. My consent has not been given for any other use. Mindful Chef are in breach of data protection legislation. A breach ICO should look into.

Mindful Chef likes to masquerade as an ethical company.

we can’t just work with anyone. Look at our name – Mindful Chef – they have to fit in with us and our values and what we’re trying to achieve. We’re an ethical business trying to do things better which is a lot harder doing it that way; it’s more difficult to get really good margins. For example when you buy free range chickens or 100% grass fed beef then it’s a lot more expensive.

Mindful Chef is owned by Nestle.

And the food, the contents of the recipe boxes, does hype pan out in reality? I do not know, as come tomorrow, it will be a week has passed by for my original delivery. When it does arrive Tuesday, I will post again as to what was my experience.

But my experience to date, Mindful Chef a company with piss-poor service and appalling customer service when things go wrong.


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