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Mealtimes are one of the highlights of my day but also one of the most labour intensive, firstly creating a weekly meal plan which caters to everyone’s needs, then purchasing the foods and actually preparing the meal. It is easy to get stuck in a rut with mealtimes, recycling the same tried and tested family favourites over and over but then everybody gets bored – me included!
I love to find new sources of inspiration for mealtimes and also to try things that make meal planning and preparation easier. This is why I was excited to give SimplyCook a go.
This is a recipe kit subscription service that has a great range of family friendly online recipes. The big difference between this and other meal subscription services is that SimplyCook only provides the spices for the meal, and not the fresh ingredients. The advantages of this for a busy family is flexibility. Providing the spices makes delivery by letterbox possible so nobody has to be home to accept delivery, whilst allowing for extended expiration dates so you have more time to juggle the meal plan. We all know that sometimes even in the most organised household things don’t always go to plan and meals get switched around.
Here’s how it works.
We recently enjoyed a Spanish Paella recipe which I’d like to share with you as it was so tasty but I have too warn you, it wasn’t as quick to make as the recipe card promised!
- Website: SimplyCook.com
- 25 minutes cooking time (This was what the recipe card gave as a guide. Our paella took 1 hour 45 minutes to make and took 300ml extra of water as we wanted the paella rice to be soft to eat. I suppose you can do the rice in less time but it will have a harder consistency.)
- Serves 2 (Double the quantities for 4 people)
- Non spicy
- 595 calories per portion (Calorie estimate is based on main fresh ingredient list and recipe kit flavour pots only)
- 150g king prawns
- 50g chorizo
- 1 onion
- 150g paella rice
- 1 red pepper
- 230g tin chopped tomatoes
- We added some chicken breast too – you will need to work out the calories for any additional ingredients that you add in.
- Start the base: Heat some olive oil in a wide frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the chicken (if using) until golden
- Add the onion, pepper, chorizo and paella garnish pot and fry for 2 minutes
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes, mix well and fry for 2 more minutes
- Meanwhile: Boil a full kettle of water
- Add the rice and the saffron seasoning pot to the frying pan and stir well
- Stir in the paella paste pot, then add 600ml of boiling water to the pan and mix well
- Bring it back to the boil and reduce the heat to medium-low and leave to cook for 15 minutes without a lid. (This is the bit that took us a lot longer. We let the paella cook for 1 hour 45 minutes, keeping an eye on it and stirring in more water when we felt it needed it.)
- Stir in the prawns (and 100g frozen peas if using – optional) into the pan and cook for 5 more minutes
- All 30ml of water if needed, but a little crispiness at the bottom of the rice is quite tasty!
- Serve into large bowls, squeezing a fresh lemon over the dish if desired (This is optional)
We all really enjoyed the meal although I would suggest it would make a great weekend meal rather than a midweek one due to the time it took to cook. There’s so many dishes to choose from on the SimplyCook website, you can try a Mexican Beef Quesadilla or a Massaman Curry. An Iranian Vegetable Stew or Japanese Seared Steak. There really is something for every taste.
A box with 4 recipe kits and the recipe instruction card is usually £9.99 with free delivery but SimplyCook are offering a £3 trial box via their website.