My life right now is a bit mad. Super good fun, but also mad. And one of the outcomes of this is that I basically don't cook anymore.
I'm out every weeknight and then if I'm not away at the weekend, I'm usually busy with friends on Saturday evening too. Now, I don't tell you this to be like 'guys, look how busy and fabulous I am [insert sassy girl emoji here]', my point is that I'm never home to cook.
Seriously, I don't cook. My poor spiraliser is gathering dust.
If I don't eat a proper dinner out, I'll eat a million canapés or cake at an event then come home confused about what I've eaten, late, and just have a little snack if anything. Last Monday night, for example, I basically had mini burgers and risotto balls for dinner. Delicious, if not so nutritious.
It has got so bad that when I had my auntie and uncle over for dinner a few weeks ago and I properly cooked for the first time in yonks, I realised I couldn't remember how to chop an onion. I know.
And I love cooking, I do!
So when Gousto got in touch to say hi, I decided being forced to do some cooking would be a very good thing for me to do.
Gousto is a recipe box delivery company, and what that means is you choose from 12 recipes (which change every week) and then get sent a box containing all the ingredients you need to make them, bar cooking oil, salt and pepper.
The recipes are all inventive and interesting, and it's great because you can filter your recipe search in various ways, for example by "healthy" or "veggie". You can also choose whether you want each dish to serve two or four, and of course the prices vary accordingly.
The recipe cards are great too - they take you through, step by step, with pictures and really clear instructions. Plus, you're given nutritional info, should you be interested.
First, I made lentil dal with spiced aubergine.
It was so so good! I am definitely making this again. The recipe was super easy to follow, although it did take nearly an hour rather than 45 minutes. I needed one pan, one tray, one bowl and one board.
I loved this dish - it was super flavoursome, just the right amount of spice for me and the texture was lovely. There was a great tang from the yoghurt and lots of aubergine, which I loved.
I tweaked a few bits - I left out the coriander (devil herb) and ginger, but it was still bursting with flavour.
The recipe made loads - I'd say five portions, and this from a gal who eats a lot - and the leftovers may have been even better than the freshly-made dal.
It was healthy, simple and super delicious. My whole flat did smell of dal for the rest of the day, it has to be said, but it's debatable whether that's a bad thing or not tbh.
My second dish was baked Mexican bean parcels with sweet potato and toasted brown rice.
This was so different to anything I'd usually make, which was great. I find it's very easy to get stuck in a rut with one's cooking, and it's fun to mix it up.
This recipe was really interesting. It was easy to follow again, but it did take me an hour and 15 minutes instead of 40.
I loved all the flavours here - the tangy feta was so good with the sweet potato and creamy beans, and the peppers still had some bite, which I liked. There were so many textures going on. I did, however, find it really spicy! I know I'm feeble with spice so normal people would probably be fine but I struggled.
Once again, the portions were huge. But I love meals where you can just whack a load of different things into a bowl and nom it all up together.
Oh, I should say that you need a lot of foil for this recipe. I ran out, which made this a lot messier than it should have been.
I absolutely loved my Gousto experience - both my recipes were the best things I've cooked in ages (OK, I know I barely cook but STILL!) and it was a great way to try something new. I'll definitely be making them both again.
Would you do something like Gousto?
I was invited to try out Gousto but I wouldn't have written about it if I didn't totally love it. Brownie promise.