If you’re searching for some delicious recipes with healthy ingredients sent straight to your door, then a meal kit could be the answer. Take a look at this Mindful Chef review to see what you can expect and if it really provides good value for money.
Mindful Chef review
I have joined a lot of meal kit companies over the last few years. From Gousto to HelloFresh to Simply Cook, if it makes my life easier, I’m interested. (You can see the best meal kit and food subscription services over here). The fact is, I’m a terrible cook and lack imagination. Two pretty important parts of being a good chef. So I look to these kits for a bit of inspiration. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware that they’re going to be more expensive than just picking up food from the supermarket. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to find good value when ordering my meals.
The latest meal kit company to cross my path was Mindful Chef. And with the offer of £10 off each of my first 2 boxes, I thought it would be rude not to.
What is Mindful Chef?
Created back in 2015 by school friends Giles, Myles and Rob, Mindful Chef is a company that aims to deliver healthy meals to your door, using high-quality food and fresh ingredients. They provide 100% British meat and poultry, sustainably sourced fish and award-winning fruit and veg.
They don’t just provide meal kits. You will also find:
- Frozen ready meals
- Smoothie pouches
- Broths and soups
- Care boxes
How does Mindful Chef work?
First of all, you need to note that is a subscription service. That means you agree to receive food on a regular basis. But, you’re not tied to a minimum period and you can cancel at any time. And if you want to keep your subscription but you’re going away for a couple of weeks, you can easily skip an upcoming delivery with the touch of a button.
Once you’re ready to get started, you need to visit your dashboard on the Mindful Chef website (or the Mindful Chef app) to share your food preferences. Are you only interested in vegan meals, pescetarian recipes or are you happy to be sent all kinds of meals? And if you’re happy with meat, you can choose the source of your healthy proteins. For example, you can go with British grass-fed beef, free-range chicken or sustainably caught fish.
If you have a more specialized diet, you can choose from Gluten-free, dairy-free with vegan options. Mindful Chef promises no cheap fillers.
Then, choose the meals you want to be delivered for the following week. You can choose a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 5. You can change your meals up to 4 days in advance. For example, if your food is being delivered on a Sunday, you have up until midnight on Wednesday to make any changes.
Then it’s off to visit the calendar to select your chosen delivery date (they deliver 7 days a week). Once you’ve chosen a date, the calendar will automatically create orders for you every 7 days (although these can be changed). If you don’t select any meals for your delivery day, Mindful Chef will choose them for you.
The day before your delivery, you’ll get an email reminder and a text on the following day with an hours’ time slot.
In the box, you’ll receive all the ingredients you need, along with a magazine that includes your recipes. The ingredients are placed into labelled bags, so they don’t get mixed up between recipes.
How much does it cost?
Not all Mindful Chef meals cost the same and how much you pay depends on the ingredients. The majority of recipes start from £6 per person and go up to £9. So, if you have 2 meals per week, that means you could pay between £24 and £36. The good news is that delivery is included in these prices.
The ready meals (for 1 person), will set you back between £4.95 and £6.95.
My Mindful Chef experience
So, how does this food subscription company perform in the real world? Signing up and choosing the recipes was a very simple process. And, my discount was automatically added without issue. I was given a delivery date and all I needed to do was sit back and wait. And wait.
You see, on the Sunday, I was told my box was due to be with me the next day. But at 11:00 on Monday morning, I was sent an email to say that there had been an issue with their suppliers and they were unsure if I would even get my box the next day. They did explain that if my food didn’t arrive, they would apply a credit to my account (but didn’t offer a refund).
On Tuesday, I received confirmation about the delivery of my box for that day. This was shortly followed by an email to say that one of the meals was missing and it would be with me by Wednesday. I was told that I would be given a £10 credit to my Mindful Chef account as a way of an apology… although this never arrived.
But… my box didn’t arrive on Wednesday. Nope, instead, I received a text on Thursday morning to say the box would be with me in the next hour. It arrived in its time slot, but unfortunately, there had been a small leak. Although the food was salvageable. Also in the box was a small pack of tortilla chips. Now, I couldn’t see these mentioned anywhere in the recipe, so I’m assuming that they may have been by way of an apology. And I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but they needn’t have bothered. Leaving a small pack in a big box leads to a lot of crushing!
The food itself, I was very impressed with. The food had been kept cool with ice packs, it was good quality and the expiry dates were quite good, which meant I didn’t feel that there was a rush to cook that evening. Along with the food came a magazine with all the recipes, the ingredients, health information and cooking time.
The instructions for cooking were very easy to follow (great for novice cooks). The only issue I had was the cooking time. For example, the Lancashire lamb mince hotpot & minted peas recipe had a cook time of 40 minutes. But with all the preparation needed, it actually took around 1 hour to make. Although that’s only a small niggle, it’s something to consider when planning your evening.
Overall, the food tasted great. As you can see, the portions were very generous. And the total calories? Just under 700 per person.
Free school meals
An added benefit, if you choose to order with Mindful Chef boxes, is that they provide a nutritious school meal to children who live in poverty for every box you order.
What other people think
When writing my reviews, I always like to see what others think. Mindful Chef scores an excellent 4.7 out of 5 on Trustpilot from well over 14,000 reviews. Positive comments praise the quality of the food, customer service and the lack of waste. On the negative side, some users have complained about orders being made without their knowledge and dissatisfaction that the company’s new major investor is Nestle.
Refer a friend
Like many food subscription box companies, Mindful Chef offers a referral incentive if you can persuade friends to give them a go. Find your unique link in your dashboard and send it to friends. When they join, they’ll receive 25% off their first four boxes and you’ll get £10 off your next delivery.
If you think that a Mindful Chef recipe box would make a great present for somebody, you can purchase a gift card. This can either be sent through the post or by email.
And don’t forget…
If you have a bank account that gives cashback offers (such as Lloyds and Santander) check to see if Mindful Chef is listed. I managed to earn £10 back, on top of my first box discount! All you need to do is activate the offer and the money should be paid straight into your current account.
Is Mindful Chef good value? My review conclusion
I really can’t fault the food. The ordering process was simple, the food was fresh and high quality, it was fairly easy to cook and there was little in the way of food waste. And it’s not often that I finish a healthy meal without feeling hungry afterwards.
In terms of value… it’s not the cheapest. But it’s important to remember that this healthy recipe box delivery service is aimed toward busy people. The quality of the ingredients is high, you’ll get to try new recipes on a weekly basis and you don’t have to leave the house. Unless there’s an issue…
If I wanted to be really picky, I would also point to the fact that I prefer recipe cards over magazines, just because they’re easier to sort through. But it’s not a deal-breaker.
Also on the negative side, it was a shame that there was an issue with delivery. I know these things are possible, but it’s disappointing it happened on my first ever box. A big factor of these subscription packages is to provide convenience. I had to go out to the supermarket to pick bits up after my box didn’t arrive, which was a little frustrating.
But issues will happen, and it’s how a company reacts that separates the good from the bad. Although Mindful Chef promised me a £10 credit to my account, it never appeared. I sent them an email asking about it, which was completely ignored. On the plus side, my second order from them arrived without issue.
If you’re looking for a healthier life and you fancy trying out some Mindful Chef recipe boxes, click on the button below and you’ll get 25% off each of your first four.
Is there a free trial available?
Mindful Chef currently doesn’t offer free trials to customers.