Simply Cook Review - Is It Good Value For Money?
Recipe Selection: 8/10
As well as working on AmateurChef I have a full time job and by the time we get Edwin to bed, we sometimes don’t want to spend a long time cooking. This is why I have found food subscription boxes like Simply Cook to be a great help. These boxes tend to include food recipes that have been chosen due to them taking very little time to cook.
I find that these subscription boxes are perfect for;
The aim of this Simply Cook review is to help show you more about this service and hopefully this will help you decide if it’s what you're looking for!
What Is Simply Cook?
The thing that can really make a meal taste amazing is the seasoning, without it the food can taste bland. Simply Cook is the answer! It is a recipe box that is sent on a monthly basis and contains all of the spices, seasoning and stocks to help you make some incredible dishes. Each box will help you cook 4 different meals for 2-4 people.
One of the things I love about Simply Cook is that it encourages you to try different foods that you might not normally attempt, due to the complex flavours. Stocks and seasoning can be hard to make, as you need to get the right balance of spices in order to get that authentic flavour.
To give Simply Cook a go, you can get a trial box which is on discount at the moment and only £3.00. You can then pick from all recipes or vegetarian and then pick and choose 4 different recipes to try in your trial box.
How Does Simply Cook Work?
Even though this is a subscription box, it is very different to other boxes services such as HelloFresh and Gousto. These provide ALL of the ingredients needed from spices to the fresh ingredients. Simply Cook do not provide the fresh ingredients but provide the required spices, stocks and seasonings. This is one of the reasons why it is so much cheaper than other boxes.
A great thing about Simply Cook is that you don’t need to be in when they deliver it. It has been well positioned in a box that is the perfect size to fit through your letterbox. Working all kinds of hours, this is really helpful!
Once you receive your box, it contains a recipe card for each of the 4 recipes. On the side there is a tab that can be removed and contains a list of the fresh ingredients needed for that recipe. Usually you would only need to purchase 3-6 ingredients for each recipe and are said to only cost £3-£6 per meal, which is great value. They have claimed that this would save your ⅓ on average when making these compared to following a recipe from a cookbook.
I personally like this as sometimes things don’t go to plan and I change what I am going to eat that evening. With a box that includes fresh ingredients, you tend to have to consume the food within a few days. With Simply Cook you can keep the ingredients for longer and therefore able to enjoy the meals at your own pace.
I can imagine that some people are thinking that it is expensive for just a box of herbs and spices but this is far from true. Some of the flavour blends they provide contain up to 18 individual ingredients, helping you to make meals with authentic flavours.
Once you have all of the fresh ingredients, follow the simple step by step instructions and in 20 minutes you will have some incredible tasting food to enjoy!
What Types Of Recipes Are There?
If you have no dietary requirements then you can simply go through the recipes and pick which ones you fancy. You can however filter the recipe results to find recipes that are Gluten Free, Vegetarian and also low in calories.
One of the things I love about these boxes is that you can find recipes from around the world, allowing you to try cooking cuisines that you may not usually attempt.
The Contents Of A Simply Food Box
I got the box delivered and the first thing I did was pop the lid open to see what was included! On the top was a small booklet (a couple of pages) which was an introduction from the founder Oli. It gives you a little advice on getting started with Simply Cook and then the two ways you can decide what meals you want in the following boxes.
This is then followed by 4 large recipe cards, the front of them have a very large and high resolution image of the dish you will be cooking. Looking at the food just makes me hungry, this also has a little description of the dish - which I thought was a nice touch.
The reverse of the recipe cards provides a lot of great information on the recipes. There is a rip off section that you can take to the local supermarket to get the required fresh ingredients. Followed by a list of the flavour pots, shopping list and things from cupboard such as olive oil. I like the icons at the top of this section, which show you how long it takes to cook, calorie count, heat and whether it is gluten free etc.
Finally on the right side it has the step by step instructions. These are split so that they are very easy to follow, perfect for those that might not be the most confident in the kitchen.
The last (yet most important) part of the box is the 4 individual boxes. Each box is for a specific recipe and they all contain 3 individual tubs. As mentioned before, these are NOT just herbs and spices but a collection of up to 18 different ingredients. As an example for the recipe Chipotle Grilled Steak Salad, it came with a Chipotle paste, Lemon and Herb blend and finally a Ancho steak rub...yummy!
What Do The Dishes Taste Like?
The four recipes I received was;
NOTE: At the point of writing this, I have not yet had a chance to cook these dishes (whilst my kitchen is being fitted. As I cook each dish, I’ll update with my thoughts on each recipe.
How Much Does Simply Cook Cost?
The price of a box is normally £9.00 and as mentioned includes all of the spices, stocks and rubs to help take your food to the next level. They do say that by the time you have added the fresh ingredients such as the meat and veg, the meal would cost around £3.00. This to be honest is great value for money.
Are There Any Discounts?
As mentioned before for your first box you are able to trial this service for only £3.00- £4.50, saving you a massive 50%. This will help you to decide if this subscription is ideal for you or not.
My Overall Impression
My overall thoughts of Simply Cook are good and it is something I would recommend people to try. I like that it is a little different to other services such as Hello Fresh, as it means I am free to make these dishes whether its now or in a few months. Even if it’s not something you think you would continue, for only £4.50 to try the recipes it’s great value! I love how quick the recipes are to make and also allow you to test different cuisines, perfect for midweek meals when i’m in a hurry.