My parents used to despair of me. Getting me into a kitchen other than to lick cake mixture out of bowls was nigh impossible but getting me to the table at home or at restaurants on the other hand was child's play - I've always loved food. At university, I existed on carb-heavy staples as I just didn't have any interest in spending any productive time in the kitchen. It was probably during my final year (having spent my third in Paris) that things turned a corner and now I'm fiercely protective of the oven.
I follow huge numbers of food writers for recipe inspiration and writing for a foodie website myself means I'm rarely short of ideas but sometimes I am short of time. Which is where Marley Spoon stepped in and offered to help. Their premise is simple - choose two (or more) chef-created recipes from the weekly changing menu and they'll send you all the fresh ingredients and the simple instructions you need to follow. After a quick sign up process (it takes five minutes) and a scan of the recipes, I clicked my order and eagerly awaited my delivery.
It arrived a couple of days later in fully recyclable packaging (points to Marley Spoon already) and bagged ingredients that were easy to slip into the fridge. I'd chosen the grilled salmon with fresh coriander paste and potato salad, and the garden pea and mint risotto for my dishes and whilst not the most ambitious or out there or choices, was pleasantly surprised by the meals.
Instructions are really easy to follow and handily photographed so if you're a little less confident in the kitchen, you have some idea what things are supposed to look like. I improvised slightly by bashing things a bit with pestles and mortar but honestly, the recipes themselves are easy to follow and make and the flavours are great for inspiring new dishes (I'm totally a fiend for coriander paste right now). For someone strapped for time or looking for ways to introduce littles into the kitchen, this is a great starting point.
My verdict? A great premise. The flexibility of the ordering process and the weekly changing menus are really appealing and the execution is beautifully done. The dishes are healthyish (mine were both around the 750 calorie mark) and they yield ginormous portions despite saying they cater for two people: I had one serving of the salmon salad and then used the large remainder as an offering at my housemate's birthday barbecue where everyone declared it the best one there (insert smug face here). And the risotto has kept me going this week at work.
Meals start at £5.50 and you can choose as many dishes and portions as you like with free delivery wrapped in. What're you waiting for? Make cooking easy with Marley Spoon.
Marley Spoon sent me a box to review for free but, as always, all opinions are my own.