What’s the deal? Springbox is a keep-it-simple food delivery service with nutritious and balanced meals cooked by Michelin-star chefs best used as a healthy back-up option to fill in the gaps when you can’t be bothered to cook.
Where do they deliver? Springbox delivers to the whole of the UK.
How good is the food? The meals are consistent and well prepared, there’s plenty of variety in the menu and the ingredients are of a high quality. It’s worth remembering that this is a frozen food delivery service – if you’re looking for refrigerated delivery services look elsewhere – but if you need the convenience of frozen food which you can reheat whenever you like, you can’t go wrong with Springbox.
How healthy do you feel? We were using Springbox to try and lose weight, and we achieved over a stone of weight loss over three months in part thanks to the Springbox meals. It’s very useful having a healthy, filling meal available at all times so you don’t stray.
How much does it cost? Springbox meals range between about £6 and £9 per meal depending on how many you order and how regularly you pay.
Who does Springbox work for? If you’ve already got a healthy diet, cook your own meals regularly, or eat out often, Springbox is a great supplementary option to fill in the gaps when you can’t be bothered to cook.
The Pure Package
What’s the deal? The gourmet cousin of the delivered-to-your-door diet plan family. A variety of menus are available for a variety of goals, including weight loss, training support, detoxes and a “Japanese Body Boost”. Not sure which one is for you? The Pure Package also provide an individual consultation with a nutritionist to tailor your diet to your exact needs.
Where do they deliver? The Pure Package is London based only, with a few postcodes outside the M25 also included. Give them a call if you’re not sure.
How good is the food? As advised by the nutritionist, we tested out the Paleo Inspired diet plan, nutrient dense and low carb. In general, the meals are excellent. The crayfish, red pepper, cauliflower rice and coriander salad was packed full of crayfish, which soothed a carb-fiend’s shock at finding that the cauliflower rice wasn’t actually rice. The dinners are also fabulous, generous portions packed full of veggies and meat – all the good stuff, no filler. The portions are a little smaller on the breakfast which was surprising, but a good snacking selection makes up for it. The sugar snap peas came with an artichoke and bean dip that we could have eaten by the spoonful, and the package is worth it just for your weekly dose of a quite ridiculously fantastic chocolate mousse.
How healthy do you feel? Pretty clean and lean. A little more peckish on some days than others – craving carves at 3pm on one day, but not feeling the need to eat the afternoon snack on the next. Given a little more time, however, I’d guess that the nutritionist had got it just right as I felt considerably less bloated by the end of the third day and with a tad more energy.
How much does it cost? A fair amount. A full programme (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for 10 days comes out at £44.95 per day. Whack the order up to 90 days and you’re looking at £35.95 per day.
Who does The Pure Package work for? Nutrition conscious folk – or those with tricky dietary requirements – looking for a completely personal (and tasty) dietary overhaul.
What’s the deal? Mindful Chef is from the Do-It-Yourself vein of food delivery services, but with a healthy twist. Recipes and all their constituent ingredients are delivered to your door, with options for 1 person, 2 person or 4 person bundles available. The good-for-you touch? All recipes are gluten free and skip the refined carbs like pasta, bread and white rice.
Where do they deliver? Nationwide, including Scotland, every Monday between 9am and 5pm (the cool bag is designed to keep your food cool for up to 36 hours, if you’re lacking a fridge at work). Sunday delivery between 3pm and 8pm is available for those within the M25.
How good is the food? For budding chefs who want half the work done for them, or seasoned cooks who are just looking for a little bit of ease, Mindful Chef has it covered. Eating out of a little black plastic tray can lose its novelty after a while: home-cooked food just tastes better. “Not with my cooking”, you say? If your culinary skills are lacking, Mindful Chef recipes are about as fool proof as they come, with all the herbs and spices measured out for you for perfect flavour. With 253 seriously good recipes on rotation, you’re not going to get bored any time soon.
How much does it cost? £9 per portion for a 1 person box, £7 per portion for a 2 person box and £6 per portion for a 4 person box.
How healthy do you feel? Your portion control will be on point as Mindful Chef only sends exactly as much as you need per meal (no wastage either). The produce is, as you can expect, as…
This vegetarian dish is perfect for lunch ?
- 2 Portobello mushrooms
- Half cauliflower
- Bunch of fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 tablespoon milled golden flax seed
- 1 teaspoon cardamom
- 1 teaspoon sweet red pepper
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- Half a cup dried cranberry
- Half a cup raisins
- Salt for taste
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit). Wash and cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces. Put it into oven for 15 minutes (keep checking if it isn’t burning and flip it after every 5 minutes). Don’t turn off the oven – you will need it for later.
- Meanwhile chop the whole parsley and cashew nuts.
- Take the roasted cauliflower out of the oven and let it cool down.
- Grate the cauliflower into the bowl. Add parsley, oil, cardamon, sweet red pepper, cashew nuts, dried cranberry and raisins. Add salt for taste. Mix everything finely.
- Wash mushrooms, cut the mushroom legs off, smear mushroom hats with oil and add a little salt on both sides.
- Put the couscous into the mushroom hats and sprinkle with flax seed on the top. Put it into heat resistant dish (without cover).
- Bake it for around 15 minutes.
Enjoy your meal!
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Many restaurant and store bought dips and dressings are high in calories, fat and added sugar. A salad at Mcdonald’s may not always be better than the quarter-pounder with cheese once you factor in the dressing that comes with the salad. You’re always better off ordering a salad without the dressing and making your own at home. If you are eating at the restaurant, you can get the dressing on the side and dip your fork first in the dressing and then in the salad. Here are some healthy dressings and dips that will add a ton of flavor to your salads without all of the extra calories.
Carrot ginger dressing:
To make this easy and low calorie dressing, simply blend cooked carrots, minced ginger root and roasted garlic with unsweetened cashew milk until a smooth consistency is achieved. It will give an Asian flair to any salad or dish. Ginger has a strong flavor so start with two tablespoons to large carrot. Ginger has numerous health benefits and this is a great way to work it into your diet. It is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger also helps with nausea, lowers blood sugar levels, helps improve various heart disease risk factors and has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and blood triglyceride levels.
Greek yogurt dip:
Greek yogurt is a great substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream in dips and dressings due to its thick consistency…
When Saturday and Sunday roll around, I love waking up and making waffles; they are my favorite weekend treat. Having little bite-sized pieces makes my sense of creativity feel endless- from dipping it in dark chocolate to adding a variety of fruit to my new favorite or sprinkling any type of nut spread. My current obsession is any nut butter from Wild Friends. If you have not heard of Wild Friends, I suggest checking them out my favorites are Chocolate Almond Butter, Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter.
These are the only flavors I have tried and I LOVE them all so much, I simply cannot choose between them. If you have not had Wild Friends, I suggest trying them and letting us know which flavor is YOUR favorite. If you have, can you give us suggestions as to which flavor we should try next?!
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ cup coconut or nut milk
- 1 cup gluten free flour (substitutes; almond or brown rice)
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of salt for taste
- Wild Friends Chocolate Almond Butter
- Preheat the waffle iron
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and milk or choice
- Add in flour and pinch of salt. Combine until smooth, once smooth add in the coconut oil
- Whisk egg whites for roughly one minute
- Combine egg whites and batter until smooth
- Add maple syrup, mix well
- Scoop desired amount onto a preheated and greased waffle iron
- Cook until golden
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 – 15 mins
Total Time: 20 – 25 mins
Serving Size: 4
Every week we bring you Sunday Meal Prep to help you lay out healthy weekly meals. Do your shopping, spend a few hours cooking, and enjoy the fruits of your labor all week long. A lot of thought goes into curating them, ensuring there’s a good balance of nutrition and delicious fun.
You might think Sunday is meant for lazing around on your couch, but you are wrong. Sunday is about getting ready for the week ahead. That’s the only way you’re going to get through all the hustle and bustle smoothly. And the most important of all that preparing ― aside from making sure…
We hate to be the ones to tell you this, but the white stuff oozing out of your cooked salmon is almost impossible to prevent. Don’t feel bad, it happens to everyone. The good news, we’re going to tell you how to keep it at a minimum.
First, let’s get to the bottom of what that stuff is. The totally harmless (but wholly unappetizing) white gunk that seeps out of salmon filets as they cook is just coagulated protein — also known as albumin. (To clarify, the correct spelling is albumin with an “i.” You may have…
Apples are popular not just because of their simple, delicate flavors. While apples are delicious, and can span from very sweet to incredibly tart, they are also incredibly healthy.
Apples are loaded with healthy phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Phytonutrients are plant-based compounds that can only be obtained through eating fruits and vegetables. They’re typically very good for your immune system. Vitamins and minerals give structure to our bodies and the systems operating within. Antioxidants help our body function more efficiently and prevent oxidative damage, which is what makes us age.
Apples have been hailed for helping heal the body for centuries, but scientific method has only recently been able to extensively study the fruit. Many of the most important claims made about apples turned out to be true.
Apples can help with anything from repairing damaged tissues that can impair strength or vision, to maintaining a proper electrical current to the brain so it can communicate effectively.
Apples can help with anything from repairing damaged tissues that can impair strength or vision, to maintaining a proper electrical current to the brain so it can communicate effectively.
A particular nutrient of interest in apples is vitamin C. Scurvy – a deficiency of vitamin C – is a disease that often conjures images of swashbuckling pirates with missing teeth, bad gums, and scabbed arms. These are all symptoms of vitamin C deficiency, which often happened to seamen on long voyages when deprived of fresh food.
Why is vitamin C so important?
What’s the good thing about knowing the symptoms of scurvy? Almost everything vitamin C deficiency causes, can be reversed and, in healthy people, made even healthier – simply by eating a good supply of the vitamin Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and is responsible for a lot of the health benefits you’ll find in apples – stronger grums, healthier skin, and strong teeth just to name a few!
Considering apples are incredibly well-known for being healthy, it’s surprising how few nutrients they have in them. A lot of their nutritional value is from the single, potent vitamin/antioxidant that is vitamin C. Unfortunately, a huge number of people in modern society are deficient in vitamin C. 15 percent of the population in the United States is classified as deficient in vitamin C!
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is one of the most well-known and commonly studied vitamins on the planet. It is responsible for a vast number of health-bolstering effects, and can even function on its own as an antioxidant.
Antioxidants prevent the symptoms of aging by fighting oxidative damage, which occurs during natural periods of stress. Oxidative damage gradually reduces the function of organs, tissues, and cells, causing the slow degradation of the human body.
Preventing this oxidation is the key activity – and appeal – of antioxidants. They fight the underlying cause of pretty much every type of natural aging, and can greatly extend the human lifespan. Vitamin C, in particular, is good at
- Bolstering the strength and improving the appearance of your hair
- Increasing the health of your teeth and gums
- Strengthening your skin, making it appear young and healthy
- Increasing the speed with which your body heals injuries
While apples have an impressive amount of vitamin C – around ten percent of our daily value per apple – and fiber – almost 4 grams of insoluble fiber, and half a gram of soluble – they’re also impressively low in other nutrients. They only have trace amounts of the B complex, biotin, vitamin E, chromium, copper, and potassium. The amount of these nutrients present isn’t enough to bother supplementing apples to fix a deficiency.
Antioxidants in apples and their effects on human health
It’s not just vitamin C that helps your body ward off the unpleasant symptoms of scurvy. You may wonder how else apples can help you, if their main nutrient is only vitamin C?
Despite having a very small profile of nutrients and minerals apples have a ton of components that bolster our abilities as humans. These aren’t vitamins and minerals, though – most of them are antioxidants.
Polyphenols are divided into two subtypes – flavonoids and non-flavonoids. Many of the polyphenols in apples are found in the skin – so make sure you don’t peel them before eating them, or you’ll be peeling off a lot of the health benefits!
Apples are responsible for about a fifth of the total polyphenols consumed in the United States. Among apple’s polyphenols are
- Quercetin glycoside, responsible for fighting atherosclerosis and maintaining healthy blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Phloretin glycoside, another flavonoid commonly found in all varieties of apples, helps the body’s immune system function and helps excrete waste effectively and efficiently.
- Chlorogenic acid speeds up your body’s metabolism while simultaneously slowing the absorption of fat, making it an ideal antioxidant for people hoping to lose weight.
- Epicatechin is an antioxidant capable of mimicking insulin and can consequently improve heart health and help fight against diabetes.
Different varieties of apples will have different antioxidant capacities. Of these different varieties, even individual batches will have different amounts. It’s possible to pick-and-choose different types of apples for the specific types of antioxidants that you require for your own personal choice of diet.
The variance of antioxidants will not differ too drastically, so you can be sure that the health benefits listed below will apply to most – if not all – apples.
Here are the 10 health benefits of apples, as backed by science.
- Apples can help you lose weight
- Apples can reduce LDL cholesterol
- Apples can improve mental health and intelligence
- Apples can prevent heart disease
- Apples can help you breathe better
- Apples can fight different types of cancer
- Apples can prevent diabetes
- Apples help bolster the body’s immune system
- Apples are potent anti-inflammatory agents
- Apples can fight allergies
To read more in-depth about each of the listed benefits above, and to learn some delicious apple recipes, click here.
I consider medjool dates my best friend. Not only do they taste like candy, they satisfy my craving for chocolate. They are packed with bone strengthening-minerals, filled with triglyceride-lowering antioxidants. This recipe is key to helping curve my candy cravings.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup Dates
- 1/4 cup unsweetened Coconut
- 1 cup Almonds
- 2 tablespoons Cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Serving: 5 (3 bites per serving)
Average Calories per Serving: 250 calories
- Add the dates to the food processor and process until they have broken up and formed a ball if the consistency seems dry add ½ tbsp. at a time until desired consistency.
- Add the almonds, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, unsweetened coconut, and sea salt.
- Process until all parts are evenly blended and the mixture forms into a ball again.
- Remove mixture from the food processor and roll into roughly 15 bites
- If desired, roll each ball in the shredded coconut.
- Keep refrigerated
The lure of the 5-ingredient recipe seems irresistible. Short list means simple, right? With a possible three out of five already in your pantry. That single recipe subcategory accounts for a lot of scrolling through the websites of All Recipes, Eating Well, Good Housekeeping and Rachael Ray, Southern Living, Food Network — you name it.
I am scratching my head about this, though, because I see 5-ingredient recipes that should have asterisks. They are the culinary equivalent of fake news. With notable exceptions, the recipes don’t count water, basic seasonings, oil. Why?
I am looking at a “5-ingredient” recipe for Simple Roast Chicken with Garlic and Lemon at JustATaste.com: the bird, a lemon, butter, rosemary sprigs, garlic. Except any cook worth her salt and pepper knows what’s missing from that lineup. The S&P are in the directions, however. I have the “Quick-Shop-and-Prep 5 Ingredient Baking” book from a couple years back, and its Spiced Chess Pie calls for 13 ingredients. Milk, cornmeal and ground allspice are in boldface, signaling to those who read the foreword that those items need to be purchased; the premise of the book relies on your stock of flour, sugar, butter, ice water, eggs, vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground ginger, salt and nutmeg.
The 5-ingredient phenomenon makes me wonder what home cooks really want when they type the phrase into their search fields.
“It feels like a scam, a little,” says Suzanne Rafer, executive editor and director of cookbook publishing for Workman. “I’m not a believer in limiting . . . . If it’s going to take six or seven or eight ingredients, so be it. Our deal is, no matter how many you put in, you want it to taste good in the end.”
Not a scam for everyone, perhaps. There is cooking for sustenance, and there is cooking for satisfaction. Overlap is desirable, but often, someone who has to get weeknight meals on the table will look at the clock, do the math and try to reduce the effort one way or another.
The 5-ingredient mode is hardly a stretch for drinks, fruit-and-yogurt desserts, sides. Seasonal produce at its peak doesn’t need bells and whistles or magical transformation. Keeping main-dish recipes “ingredient-simple,” on the other hand, typically relies on using very good components, or it can mean a missed opportunity to enhance flavours.
“People are looking for quicker and easier shortcuts all the time,” says Lisa Ekus, the force behind her eponymous literary agency, which launched Ronni Lundy’s well-received “Victuals” last year. “But you can’t have cheap – meaning economical – and fast and good. Something’s got to give.”
What often gives is a pronouncement of “delicious.” Or the complexity that multiple and complementary spices can bring. Or the control over sodium or fat in the shortcut, store-bought products the recipe calls for, such as a pasta sauce, marinade or frozen pie dough. A short list doesn’t necessarily translate to quick or uncomplicated: Think slow cooker or sous vide or a range of required knife skills.
Ekus echoes Rafer’s bottom line: “The question in the end is, is it good? Rozanne Gold is one of the few who did it really well.”
Yes, she did. The New York chef’s “Recipes 1-2-3” won a James Beard award in 1996 and forecast a two-decade trend. (Fun fact: It gave rise to the Minimalist column in the New York Times food section, which Gold had to pass on writing because she was revamping the Windows on the World menu at the time.)
She followed up with another eight books in the “1-2-3” vein that were translated into several languages. Her Mahogany Short Ribs in WaPo Food’s Recipe Finder continue to be a revelation for readers every time we happen to mention it in a Free Range chat. But none of those recipes – including the ribs – listed water, salt and pepper as ingredients.
“The idea of ingredients you can count on the fingers of one hand has to do with cooks not being intimidated,” says Gold, now 63 and working on her master’s in poetry. “It’s code.” Her 3-ingredient recipes were, in part, a reaction to an era of “pile-up” on restaurant plates that masked true flavours, she says, as well as a personal challenge to exploit an ingredient to the max – an exploration of all the ways, say, asparagus can taste in raw and cooked forms.
What matters is how the ingredients interact, Gold says. “There needs to be some experience and knowledge” in that guiding hand, and she is heartened that “it’s the mettle of a chef to cook more simply these days.” She recently produced a collection of balanced, “incredibly complex” (in flavour) 5-ingredient recipes for Cooking Light that did not count the water, oil, salt and pepper used. Would “9-Ingredient Recipes!” sound as appealing?
Which brings me to the accompanying recipes. All of them contain 5 ingredients – plus a few more. None of them are complicated; some are downright quirky. Each offers flavours that are true to their ingredients. If you like even one or two of the dishes, the lesson might be: Look beyond the sheer numbers of ingredients, with an eye on the total sum.
SALTED CARDAMOM DRINKING CHOCOLATE
As the recipe’s author says, the challenge here is to find a salt that will land on the surface of your drink without sinking or dissolving. A flaked salt works best in this surprisingly dairy-free beverage.
What’s the difference between hot cocoa and a drinking chocolate? Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, and the latter is made with whole chocolate as well, which contains both cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Drinking chocolate typically tastes much richer as a result.
Adapted from “Bitterman’s Craft Salt Cooking: The Single Ingredient That Transforms All Your Favorite Foods and Recipes,” by Mark Bitterman (Andrews McMeel, 2016).
One 13.5-oz or 14-oz can coconut milk (not shaken, not low-fat)
3 cups (750 mL) water
1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) cardamom pods, cracked
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder (do not use Dutch-process)
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (at least 60 per cent cacao), broken into pieces
6 pinches flaked salt (see headnote)
1. Use a spoon to skim the cream from the top of the opened can of coconut milk and place it in a liquid measuring cup. Add enough of the liquid left in the can to yield 1 full cup. Reserve what’s left for another use, if desired.
2. Combine the water, sugar and cracked cardamom pods in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it comes to a boil, cook for 1 minute, then remove it from the heat and let it steep for 5 minutes.
3. Use a slotted spoon or small strainer to find and discard the cardamom pods, then stir the cocoa powder into the saucepan. Place over medium…
Gyoza with classic pork and cabbage are juicy and moist in the centre with a crisp and chewy wrapper. They are related to the Chinese dumplings but slightly more subtle in flavour and not as hard to make as you might think! The key is in quality ingredients – and the wrapping! But you’ll be forgiven if you can’t quite master the pleating technique!
This recipe was prepared with my very good Japanese friends Mika and Yumi who explained that the Japanese Gyoza are best enjoyed with some cooked rice and traditional soup.
Watch video recipe:
INGREDIENTS FOR THE DUMPLINGS
1 x packet of dumpling wrappers (40-50 wrappers)
500g ground pork shoulder/mince
½ medium head of Napa cabbage
1 glass water
1-2 bunches fresh garlic chives
1 garlic clove
1 small piece of ginger
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons mirin (cooking sake)
Small dish with water
INGREDIENTS FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE:
1/3 glass white vinegar
Drizzle of soy sauce
3-4 drops of La Yu (Chilli Oil)
Deep fry pan with a lid (Or a wok)
3 medium sized mixing bowls
1 small mixing bowl
1. To make the Japanese Gyoza, start by finely chopping the cabbage using a large, sharp knife.
2. Add the cabbage to a bowl and sprinkle salt on top. Mix this through well and leave to the side for a few minutes.
3. Finely chop the garlic chives and leave these to the side as well.
4. Get an empty bowl and the bowl with your cabbage. Pick up portions of the cabbage using your hands and squeeze out the excess water, then transfer this into the empty bowl….