Mindful Chef vs Gousto
We have ordered a few Mindful Chef recipe boxes now, (one by accident.. more on that later!) so I think it is high time for a review. We have been long time Gousto customers- and we still are, but as friends who use Gousto told us – after a while the recipes become a little samey, and so we went looking for an alternative for a change. Mindful Chef is all over social media and I had heard good reviews of plant based options and recipes, so we decided to give it a go. As always with these recipe subscription services, we got a nice welcome discount on our first two boxes – all I had to do was download the app (though you can just use their website) and we were ready to go!
I couldn’t help comparing Gousto and Mindful Chef – and here the first point goes to Gousto. The ordering, website and app process is a lot more user friendly with Gousto. Mindful Chef feels clunky and you don’t feel as in control when compared with Gousto. Hence- my accidental ordering of a box! I must have been looking at recipes through their calendar function, and not realised after my first two discounted boxes that my subscription had rolled on. Absolutely, my own fault – but the first I knew of the impending delivery was an email the day before saying it was arriving. Opps! It was a good surprise though as Mindful Chef had auto filled our recipes (thank goodness – at some point I had set that we were vegan!) and we got a lovely selection of food that we may not have chosen ourselves!
Second point- goes to Mindful Chef for exciting and new recipes. The recipes all seem so vibrant and adventurous, although I am sure our ‘overload’ of Gousto may contribute to this feeling! Even the food photography over at Mindful Chef is so much more inviting! We have been customers with Gousto for many years, and in our first three boxes with Mindful Chef we were using brand new ingredients (like tempeh) and trying recipes and cooking techniques we’d never tried before. This is a big win for Mindful Chef as one of the main positives for recipe subscription boxes for me, is in discovery of something new, and the cooking outside of my own box!
Thirdly – the quality of ingredients goes without doubt to Mindful Chef. The ingredients out of the box were at the peak of freshness and looked beautiful. We have found more often than not that Gousto ingredients arrive feeling little bit sorry for themselves- and sometimes don’t last as long as they should. I will add the fourth point does go to Gousto for it’s value for money- Mindful Chef is certainly more expensive, so you would expect a better quality of ingredients. Gousto remains fabulous value for money at £34.99 for four recipes for two people. Mindful Chef varies slightly but for four recipes for two people it is around £50.00.
The fifth point goes back to Gousto for recipe layout. Gousto boxes come with recipe cards with really easy step by step instructions and photos along the way. The nutritional information is nicely laid out and the recipe cards are hole punched and can be kept in a handy binder. The binder is sent for free and you can add a new binder to your boxes free of charge when you need another one. Since we started ordering from Gousto – we have re-made so many of the recipes. We have our favourites filed at the top of our binder and often return to it for ideas. Again, this is where the Gousto app is superior, as you an also easily access all your past orders and access recipes easily (again with step by step instructions) to cook again. This obviously then adds to the value for money as you can return to these recipes time and time again.
Mindful Chef send a booklet with all their current recipes in with your box (all recipes including meat, fish, vegetarian as well as the vegan ones!). Your ingredients are numbered and this all correlates with numbers in the booklet, where you will find a one page recipe and photo of the final plate of food. The nutritional information is also printed. I have found a few issues with the booklet. Firstly, the booklet holds all their current recipes so your chosen recipes aren’t as easy to find- and by the end of the week the booklet can look a little worse for wear (though I appreciate I am a messy cook!). I don’t think we have once returned to a recipe, as the booklets just get shoved back onto our bookshelf with our other recipe books. I don’t think the recipes are quite as easy to follow either- but that maybe because Gousto use the step by step instructions accompanied by photos, which by comparison works so much better.
I feel like there is a place for both Gousto and Mindful Chef, and I think we will continue ordering from both- but it is fascinating how different they are. Gousto is definitely the giant here- you can tell the machine is a lot bigger and well oiled – but Mindful Chef’s counter to that is part of it’s charm!?
Unsurprisingly, I can’t quite choose my favourite service – what I will say is, if you haven’t given food/recipe subscriptions a go yet – what are you waiting for? New and delicious recipes, a discovery of flavours and dishes along with zero food waste and great value. You simply cannot go wrong.
Clink on my referral links below for your very own welcome offers, or just send me a message and I’ll send you my code.
I’ll leave you with a selection of photos from my recent Mindful Chef boxes… if this doesn’t serve as inspiration- nothing will!