Product Review: Riverford Quick and light organic vegetarian recipe box.


Ruth and I love to cook food from scratch. Even after young Hare has gone to sleep we still do, which quite often results in some late suppers eaten as our eyes dip into the land of nod.

So when Riverford contacted me and asked if I’d like to try an organic vegetable box for Organic Week I jumped at it. I’ve never ordered a veg box before. I don’t know why, but after sampling the two recipes we cooked over that week we’ll be certainly ordering again.

Riverford deliver around 47.000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from their local organic farms.

The good thing about the boxes are that there’s no weekly commitment, you just order when you wish.

With Riverford a box of ingredients arrives and in the case of the Vegetarian quick box for two people a promise of getting food out in just 30 minutes is made. Could this be too good to be true. Sometimes in our house it’s over an hour.

The aim of the box is to cook fresh but taking away the stress of the preparation which includes the chopping of veg. All veg for the two meals is clearly labelled and measured for you, chopped and cut, so you can be on the way quickly. All spices and sauces are individually wrapped and a recipe is provided. And away you go.

The thing that strikes both of us is the quality of the ingredients and vegetables. They smell and feel fresh, the colours are vivid and and some had dirt still on them. The recipe cards were on the top of the box and all the ingredients enclosed in the box as portioned out to match the recipes were used, so no wastage.

The recipe cards or booklets were beautifully produced and very comprehensively put together. The clarity of the instructions and lay out assisted greatly in the artificial light and the step by step instructions were spot on.

We decided to make one dish each.

The first evening Ruth made the Miso Mushrooms with Kale, Green Beans and sticky rice. For me this was my favourite. Lovely flavours, healthy and filling at the same time and maybe not something we’d make usually. It packed a punch and made in 30 minutes just as promised. A very healthy dish where the quality of the ingredients shone through and were showcased perfectly.

The second night was my turn. The beautiful sounding Spinach and lentil Mulligatawny with Apple, carrot and ginger salad.

Again this dish was made in thirty minute, and again the instructions were clear and simple to follow. The dish itself was lovely. Good simple but healthy flavours with the quality ingredients giving the dish a lift. I found it easy to make and the addition of the salad gave a contrasting crunch. In fact the two components of the dish could be eaten separately, but together they certainly complimented and gave a filling effect.

One of us had the salad at the side and one on top of the mulligatawny both ways worked well.

I finished some of the mulligatawny off the next day and the flavours had more of a depth from been chilled over night in the fridge. A lovely dish which we both enjoyed.

What did I think?

Ruth and I both enjoyed the recipe box and recipes. The quick and light vegetarian box was a great success. The recipes were well written, presented beautifully and were completed in the time stated.

The ingredients were of the highest quality and the individual packaging kept them fresh and separate from each other.

I’d advise reading the recipe through before starting cooking but once all of the ingredients are laid out in front of you it’s easy to get going. The meals were full of flavour and filling and low in calories at the same time. For people with little time to make fresh food in the evening or who fancy trying different recipes that they may not normally make the vegetable boxes are an ideal way of treating yourself .

As I’ve said there’s no commitment to buy but you can do so when you feel ready. That’s ideal in my opinion.

The recipe box is perfect for two people and for Vegetarians it’s a lovely way to eat and a fun vibrant way to make and explore new dishes as well.

We’ll definitely be ordering again sometime soon.

Thanks for reading,

Andy😊

I was sent the Riverford quick and light organic vegetarian boxes complimentary for the purposes of my blog review. All opinions stressed are my own and Ruth’s. I have not been paid or sponsored for this post.

The Riverford Vegetarian quick box costs £24.95 for two speedy meals for two people. There is also a 3 meal version for £33.95.

Riverford Organic farmers limited is based in Buckfastleigh in Devon.

Known also for its abbey and homemade drinks made on site.

I know it well.

https://www.riverford.co.uk/

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ted up the next day.

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Veggie burger watch: The Kitchen Garden, Kings Heath, Birmingham. 


The Kitchen Garden is one of my favourite places to visit. Be it breakfast, lunch or just a piece of cake and cup of tea, it covers all bases and covers them in a cosy cosseted kind of way. Just taking the walk through the winding path through the garden centre and past the organic food shop feels reassuring and lifts the gloom on a cloudy rainy day. 

Entering this tranquil oasis there’s an abundance of choice for Vegetarians and Vegans and all with a nod to local and ethical sourcing. I’ve tried and reviewed most of the key elements to the hot veggie food menu for breakfast and brunch, but had never tried the veggie falafel burger that at £7.95 is competively priced and decent value. 

The better veggie burgers have a balance of flavour and hold well in the bun. For this The Kitchen Garden falafel burger is a success with a good falafel filling that with the halloumi makes a filling burge that has a nice depth and isn’t too stodgy. 

The chips though aren’t the best. A bit cool, a bit off coloured and rubbery for my liking and not to the standard I’d like with this decent veggie burger. 

It Came with coleslaw and a nice original salad including chick peas, lettuce and red onion, which I liked as it wasn’t too powerful a flavour with the burger. 

Falafel burger at Kitchen Garden 

The Veggie Falafal burger is a very decent choice of lunch time indulgence at The Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath, and if their chips could be as good as their sister Fletchers next door then this dish would be amongst the best in the area. I suppose that’s something to work on and proof that a good chip goes a long way in making a fantastic burger meal perfect (Or certainly near). 

The Kitchen Garden is a lovely cafe and this veggie burger is well worth eating again. 

A good lunch time meat free choice. 

Thanks for reading, 

Andy 😊

We paid for our food and drinks ourselves. My opinions are honest as always. 

#Tastymorsel: Great deals at vegetarian 1847. 


  
  

Vegetarian restaurant Bistro 1847 has a number of offers that are  perfect for those enjoying Veganuary (try vegan for a month) or cutting back after the festive season. 

In Birmingham you can Enjoy £40 worth of food for just £20 via Dine Birmingham. Full T&C available here.

24 Birmingham Restaurant Deals for January 2016

   
 
For my latest review of the Winter Menu, see here:

https://t.co/p2wLZcZfFg

Veggie Sunday Lunch Watch:

Bistro 1847 are also open every Sunday in Birmingham – new for 2016 from 1200 – 2000 offering a choice of Vegetarian and Vegan roasts with 3 courses for £17 plus kids eat free! 

I’m certainly tempted. 

Book on their website 
http://www.by1847.com/
  

Bistro 1847 also have Valentines menus available on their website for Valentines weekend, February 12-14th. 

Book directly on their website. 

http://by1847.com/

Valentines menu: 

http://by1847.com/menus/ValentinesMenu2016.pdf

Vegan and Gluten Free options will also be available.

  

For details of Veganuary see here:
http://www.veganuary.com/

  
   
   
Bistro 1847 are still doing their classic lunch deal.

  
Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Bistro 1847, Great Western Arcade, Birmingham, B2 5HU.

https://m.facebook.com/pages/1847-Birmingham/208341145981255
 

Winter menu review: An 1847 Christmas in Birmingham. 


  

What does Winter mean to you? A cosy fire, warming comfortable food, deep intense flavours, Christmas, Milky sunshine, snow?

 In 1847 (the year the vegetarian society which Bistro 1847 takes its name from was formed) Winter was very different, but had for some those comfy elements. For others poverty and cold filled the darkening destitute days with a penniless existence. There was fog in London, Famine in Ireland, times were hard and a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens had been written four years before. 

For me, food is best comforting, warming seasonal and filled with the intensity of deep flavours and cheerfully rich colours that only a Winter time dish deserves. So you’ll find root vegetables, cabbage, red onion gravy, kale and hearty mash on the menu. 

Bistro 1847 are in full on expansion mode. Openings recently in Bristol and Brighton supplement the Manchester and Birmingham restaurants. Dishes served with contemporary flair and passion which just happen to be Vegetarian with good Vegan options and menu make 1847 unique in Birmingham. With a neighbourhood feel in the city and cocktail list its charming. 

I visited with my parents and brother to try the new Winter menu’s delights, one mild lunchtime. 

We enjoyed two courses, a main and a desert. 

   

Merguez and Mash: 

Spicy Puy lentil sausage, turnip and sage mash, red onion gravy.

A hearty vegan friendly main course, big flavoured, spicy, a deep intense gravy. It’s comfort food at its best. It’s simple in design, almost traditional, but those hearty slightly exotic flavours pack a punch that creates a harmonious wintry and Christmas memory lane delight of a main. 

To accompany it I enjoyed a glass of decent house red that worked, bringingout the deep flavours of the sausage and red onion gravy.


  

  Chocolate and Pear:

Soft ganache, port poached pear, gingerbread, mulled wine gel. (Vegan)

A gem of a pudding, and the best I’ve tasted at 1847. It felt luxurious and with a deep and full flavoured port poached pear which set off the soft, dark chocolatey ganache,  it was heavenly, creamy (but no cream) and made me think, can I have some more please? 

    ‘Fish and Chips’

Ginger ale battered Halloumi, triple cooked chips, savoury lemon curd, green pea and Basil. 

A Bistro 1847 signature dish that my brother lapped up. A variation on the norm due to the added ginger ale. Cheese heaven! 

  

My parents also had the Merguez and mash. They said it felt like winter on a plate. 

  
  A welcome to Winter

  
  Cheese board. 

My Dad enjoyed his British cheese plate for desert, which he said was a good size with the right amount of varied biscuits. Local to 1847 they come with grapes and homemade chutney. Nice cheeses. 

 

A trip to Bistro 1847 is a refreshing and inventive experience for Vegetarians and Vegans. When the classics are spun into another more modern realm of intricacy, simplicity and beauty then Winter feels more 2015 than 1847. Dishes are more precise, but not less indulgent and comforting for it. With the core elements of familiarity and comfort 1847 have taken the season and made it now, but with a certain doff of the cap to the past. It is on this level where it succeeds and in its discovery where appetites are more than satisfied. 

Thanks for reading 

Andy 😊

Disclosure: We paid for our own meal at Bistro 1847. My views are my own and honest of my experience of the dishes eaten. 

   
 

http://by1847.com/menus/b-menu.pdf

http://by1847.com/menus/b-menu-desersts.pdf

Bistro 1847, 26 Great Western Arcade, Birmingham B2 5HU.

http://by1847.com/

Two courses on the winter menu cost £19.50 and three cost £25.