Recently we reviewed the popular new meal subscription service SimplyCook and were so impressed by the four gluten-free recipe kits sent to us, we immediately signed up and started shopping for more.
The first step in the process for new customers is to select from one of four categories: Gluten-Free, Low-Calorie, Vegetarian or No Dietary Preferences. Each recipe kit makes two/three portions and takes around thirty-minutes to cook, with easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of crossover between categories – even those listed under ‘no dietary requirements’ typically either gluten-free or low in calories.
Take Bokkeumbap (V). This hugely popular Korean rice dish combines leftover rice with stir-fried white cabbage, Doenjang (a Korean soybean paste), Gochujang (a red chilli pepper paste) and a fried egg to finish. Ridiculously cheap and repeatedly delicious, this is not only the easiest recipe we’ve tried but quite probably the tastiest.
SimplyCook’s Hungarian Goulash Soup (GF) also scores top marks. This hearty soup of sausages, red pepper and carrot has a delicious warmness from the sweet paprika, with caraway and fennel enhancing the flavour of the meaty pork sausages. Don’t be put off by the water-based sauce: the tar-like beef stock oozes deep, dense flavour and you really will be mopping up every last mouthful (best served with crusty sourdough).
Not all recipes are quite so successful. We found the Tandoori BBQ chicken with Sweet Potato Wedges (GF) easy but underwhelming, while the Jambalaya (GF) was similarly pleasant but lacking the flavour and fiery heat needed to really bring it alive.
The Wild Mushroom Penne was unexpectedly tasty, but unfortunately the porcini and chive seasoning blend contains gluten, so don’t be tempted to plough on using gluten-free pasta instead (as we did). It’s a shame as the sauce is wonderfully rich and robust, with porcini mushrooms adding a pungent, woodsy flavour to the rich, milkiness of the crème fraîche. Top with parsley and grated parmesan for added oomph.
We loved SimplyCook’s Moroccan Spiced Fish with Cassia. Sat on a tomato-based stew of new potatoes, sweet roasted onion stock, salty Kalamata olives and their signature Ras el Hanout spice blend, we used Haddock instead of the suggested Hake or Cod and found the warming rub of cassia, ginger and cayenne perfectly suited to the North African-inspired sauce. Be sure to read the recipe card carefully (olives are included on the shopping list but left off the main ingredient list), and don’t skip on the optional lemon – it needs that sharpness to offset the sweetness of cherry tomato and roasted onion.
Another dish more than worth a mention is this Malaysian Laksa (GF).
Bursting with ginger, garlic, lime, basil and lemongrass, this fragrant chicken and coconut noodle soup is fresh, filling and wonderfully indulgent. We swapped the butternut squash and asparagus spears for peppers and leeks and doubled the quantity of dried rice noodles from 100g to 250g, which resulted in less of a soup than a thick, creamy stew – with more than enough to feed two generously. The recipe estimates 800kcal per portion, but we also used full-fat coconut milk instead of the suggested light version, so let’s not even begin to start totting that up. Not that we cared much anyway. When something tastes this good, who’s counting numbers anyway.
Try SimplyCook for just £1 (including delivery) with our special reader discount code: Frankly1.