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A few months back, I saw Katy from Katy Kicker talking about how useful she found Gousto when she was postpartum with her youngest Aurora and decided to drop her a message, asking if Gousto was suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Her being the good egg that she is, sent me a screen recording of some of the dishes on offer, and a discount code to use, and I decided to give it a go.
A screen recording showing one week of Gousto’s options for vegetarian and plant based meals. These change weekly so there is plenty of choice and you can see my choices in the pannel below.
At the time I was struggling with food, thanks to my gallbladder attacks. I found that I was dreading meal times, bored and unhappy, never feeling fulfilled by eating the same things every day. My relationship with food had started to get really negative and I knew something had to change.
Subscribing to Gousto has been a really pivotal part of my 2021, as dramatic as it sounds. It allowed me to start enjoying food again, to try new things and find a joy in cooking! I spent a lot of my life being told I was pretty useless, especially at things like cooking, and so I started to believe it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m hardly Nigella (I could never be so seductive!) but following the simple Gousto recipes, testing out techniques I’ve never used before and creating dishes that almost look like the recipe cards, has really given my confidence a boost that it needed.
It has also become a little sliver of me-time in my busy days. Steven comes in from work and I hand him the boys. He happily plays with them, grateful for the time, while I pour a glass of wine, stick a podcast on, and get cooking. Grateful for some time to destress, and do something that nourishes my family.
(I am not good at food photography and I’m usually too hungry to faff about but here are some recent meals)
The meals come, carefully packaged in a big box with cool packs, so it can be left in your safe-place for a good few hours if it arrives and you’re not in. It’s easy to see which bits need refrigerating and which are okay in the cupboard, and you get individual bags with the dry ingredients and spices for each meal.
The only things they ever really expect you to have is like, olive oil, sugar, flour, salt and pepper etc. and just basic cooking equipment like pans, over-proof dishes etc.
So, is Gousto good for vegetarians and vegans?
In short – yes! We are a fully veggie family, but we are trying to make more vegan choices, and with little Indiana having CMPA, I’ve had to cut dairy out of my diet anyway, so we mostly choose from the plant-based options. In fact, Steven and I are doing Veganuary and I think we will end up just remaining vegan afterwards as we are really enjoying it, and Ruben has been vegetarian all of his life anyway (but he does love chocolate!).
I’ve never found that we struggle for choice with the meals on Gousto and sometimes it’s hard to choose just four. On the odd occasion that something from the Vegetarian section has really tickled my fancy, but it comes with dairy-based cheese or cream for example, I will just buy that one ingredient and give the dairy version that comes in the box to a friend or family member who does eat dairy, to avoid the waste.
I keep all the recipe cards in a little folder and there are some recipes, such as the Smoky Spanish meat-free chicken, and meat-free bacon fried rice, that I now cook myself.
If you’re a meat-eater there are SO many options available weekly, and you can choose lower-calorie meals, premium offerings, themes or gluten-free dishes. There are options for everyone.
How big are the portions for Gousto?
For a lot of the meals, such as the curries or pasta dishes, I’d say the portions are pretty generous and usually we share a 2 person serving between me, Steven and a bit for Ruben (age 3). However, if a dish involves salad, you can be pretty certain that 80% of the plate will be filled with leaves. I personally don’t mind that, as they’re usually pretty tasty, with a homemade dressing on it, however Steven will always complain that he feels like he’s eating a plate of leaves with a tiny dollop of “real-food” and he’s hungry 10 minutes later.
So, if you have a big appetite, you might want to be aware of this. Recently I added some of our own Taste and Glory roast “chicken”, to a salad dish to bulk it out and it worked really well.
How much does Gousto cost?
On a normal week, where we choose 4 meals for 2 (well, 2.5) people, it costs £34.99. So that’s around £8.75 a meal or £4.38 a portion. You can make cheaper meals of course, and the rest of the week I’ll usually do a vegan bolognese or burgers, etc, but I find that we are trying more wholesome food, buying less takeout, and making much less food waste.
We don’t often go out for food because, y’know, Corona and also a toddler and a baby in a restaurant is less of a treat and more torture. So these meals are more of a treat. In some ways it’s saving money because I’m not buying a huge jar for a spice that I will only use for this one dish.
They have a great offer if you use a sign-up code like this one, where you get 65% off your first box, and 30% off the rest of the boxes for your first month which makes it really cheap to try and you can cancel at any time.
So, for a meal kit subscription with plenty of vegetarian and/or vegan options, I would hugely recommend Gousto. We originally only planned on using it while the discounts were on from signing up, but now several months on and it’s a regular delivery to our house. I love it.
Do you use any meal kit subscriptions? I’d love to know!