I was recently sent an Abel and Cole box in exchange of a review. This post reflects my honest opinions x
When I was asked which box I would like to review, I really thought Abel and Cole just did fruit and vegetable boxes. Oh no, they do everything. I think I could actually do my ‘big’ shop with them. There is everything from fruit, veg, meat, fish, store cupboard items, baby food, frozen meals, drinks, toiletries, cleaning products and even pet food.
All their boxes are created with organic fruit and vegetables, high welfare meat and sustainable fish. I decided to try a Simple Recipe Box (£36), the box contains all the ingredients needed to make 3 meals for 2 people, including the recipes. As I don’t like fish, I was worried that there may be a dish in that I didn’t like but you can check what recipes are going to be in it the week before and swop them if you don’t like it so no wasted food or money. You can even swap for recipes from other boxes including the foodie box (more adventurous) and the veggie box. I was hoping for some tasty new recipes for us to try but easy enough for us to make once Lucas was in bed and D was home from work. This is exactly what we got!
The box arrived nice and early (about 7.15am, this will obviously vary with different rounds and locations). The box itself is an eco chill box with ice packs and a special layer of British sheep wool (not well described but very impressive). It was covered in a plastic bag to keep it dry if you aren’t in when it is delivered and you have specified a safe place for it. The eco chill box is reusable so you can leave it out for when your delivery person drops the next one off.
Our recipes where Moussaka Tumble, Lamb and Sweet Potato Tagine with Harissa and Pollo e FUnghi. My initial impression of the ingredients was that they where excellent quality but I didn’t think there would be enough to fill us up. I couldn’t have been more wrong, there was more than enough once cooked, even leaving enough for me to have leftovers for lunch the day after.
I really enjoyed cooking from scratch, D and I don’t eat a lot of fast food but we do use sauces from jars and buy meat from our butchers that already has a flavouring or a topping on it, getting this box reminded me of how much I love cooking, following a recipe from beginning to end with proper ingredients.
I highly recommend these boxes and will definitely be ordering again, I think I might even try the Foodie Box next time and push my cooking a little further x
Pollo e Funghi Pasta
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- A 250g punnet of white mushrooms
- A 250g pack of chicken breast mini fillets
- A 200g bag of chifferini pasta
- A 75g bag of rocket
- A 200g tub of half fat crème fraiche
- Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Finely slice the mushrooms. Chop the chicken into bite-sized chunks.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a deep frying pan or wok. Add the chicken. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook and stir over a medium-high heat for 5-6 mins till the chicken is golden brown. Lift out of the pan and pop onto a plate.
- Add the onion to the frying pan. Turn the heat down to low. Cook for 5 mins till soft and glossy. Stir every so often.
- Add the garlic and mushrooms to the frying pan. Cook for 5 mins till the mushrooms are lightly browned. Stir now and then.
- Meanwhile, fill a pan with water. Add a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to the boil. Add the pasta. Put the lid back on and simmer for 8 mins till the pasta is tender but still has a little bite to it.
- Pop the chicken back in the pan with the veg. Add 2 tbsp water and cook together for 2-3 mins to heat everything through.
- Drain the pasta. Stir the crème fraîche into the chicken and veg. Gently warm for 1-2 mins. Add the pasta. Toss to mix. Pop onto two warm plates and serve topped with rocket.
- A 400g bag of potatoes
- 1 aubergine
- 1 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- A 250g pack of beef mince
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- A 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 egg
- A 150g pot of yogurt
- ½ x 200g pack of feta
- A 75g bag of sweet salad mix
- Chop the potatoes into 2 cm cubes (no need to peel). Put in a pan and cover with boiling water. Pop on a lid and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-7 mins till the potatoes are just soft when pierced with a knife. Drain and set aside to dry.
- While the potatoes cook, chop the aubergine into 2 cm cubes. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel and grate or crush the garlic.
- Heat a frying pan for 1 min. Add 2 tbsp oil and the aubergine. Stir and cook for 4-5 mins till golden on most sides. Tip into a bowl.
- Keep the pan on the heat and add the beef mince. Cook for 3-4 mins, stirring with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. Add in the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 3 mins till the onion is just glossy.
- Add the aubergine back to the pan with the cooked potatoes. Sprinkle in ½ tsp dried oregano. Stir. Pour in the chopped tomatoes. Half fill the can with warm water and add that too. Season and stir. Cover and simmer for 10 mins till thickened slightly.
- While the mince is cooking, make your topping. Beat 1 egg in a bowl. Tip in the yogurt. Crumble in half the pack of feta. Add ½ tsp dried oregano and season with plenty of black pepper. Mix together. Heat your grill to its highest setting.
- Taste the mince and adjust the seasoning. If your pan isn’t ovenproof, pour the mince mixture into an ovenproof dish. Spoon over the feta and yogurt topping, spreading it to the edges. Pop under the grill for 10 mins till browned and set. Serve on warm plates with a handful of salad leaves.
Lamb and Sweet Potato Tagine with Harissa
- 1 red onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 sweet potato
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 chicken stock cube
- A 250g pack of diced lamb
- ½ tsp of harissa
- A 75g bag of pearl barley
- 1 orange
- A 25g pack of sesame seeds
- A handful of coriander
- Prepare your veg: peel and thickly slice the onion. Trim and peel the carrot and thickly dice. Peel and thickly dice the sweet potato. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Crumble the stock cube into a heatproof jug. Pour in 500ml boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Set aside.
- Heat a large pan for 1 min. Add 1 tbsp oil and the lamb. Cook for 4-5 mins, stirring a few times, till browned all over.
- Transfer the lamb to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Add the onion to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 3-4 mins till just softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min.
- Return the lamb to the pan along with any resting juices. Add in the carrot and sweet potato. Add ½ tsp harissa – it’s quite hot, so using a little now means you can add extra at the end if you want.
- Pour in the chicken stock. Tip in the pearl barley and stir everything together. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 45 mins till the pearl barley and lamb are tender. If it gets too dry, add a little more water.
- While the tagine is cooking, tip the sesame seeds into a dry frying pan. Toast for 2 mins, shaking the pan, till nutty smelling and golden. Take care not to burn the seeds – they catch quickly. Tip into a bowl. Cut the orange into wedges.
- Taste the tagine and add more salt, pepper or harissa if you think it needs it. Serve in warm bowls, scattered with the toasted sesame seeds and coriander leaves, with orange wedges for squeezing.