Back in the summer, we tried out a recipe box from Marley Spoon (now closed in the UK), and made two very delicious recipes. So when Marley Spoon got in touch to try out a couple of their recipes form their new Family Plan, I said yes straight away!
The plan is specifically tailored to British families offering fast, easy and healthy recipes, delivered with the exact ingredients needed to cook them at home. And what’s more, every box can be tailored to suit each family’s tastes! Every week five delicious new recipes will be available to choose from. With dishes that are perfect for any night of the week.
Family plan recipes feature flavours and spices designed to fit with the demands of feeding children and adults alike. The family-style dishes will be large enough for 2 adults and 2-3 children and start at £4.40 per portion, with options to cook two, three or four times a week.
Marley Spoon offers a flexible subscription, meaning members can customise their weekly box plan entirely, from which recipes are included, to specific taste preferences, frequency and delivery day.
I love (apart from the tasty meals) that the ingredients for each recipe come packed in their own bags, meaning I can pop them straight in the fridge and can pull them out when I’m ready to cook. The meat, and other perishable, fresh ingredients come in a cool bag, which I just unpacked and put away. This saves faffing around, trying to find ingredients for each meal, which is good when all you want to do, is get on with the prepping and cooking. The recipe cards are A4 size with a photo on the front of the finished dish, as well as the cooking time,allergens and calories (which I found very handy, since I log all of mine).
The two dishes we chose, were Teriyaki Pork Fried Rice with Carrot & Baby Bok Choy, and Creamy Squash Linguine with Cavolo Nero, Sage & Parmesan. Both would take 40 minutes, and had 4-5 servings.
I checked the use-by date on the pork, and it was safe to wait until the weekend to make the fried rice dish, in fact, the shelf life was around a week, so there was no rush to cook it straight away, if we didn’t want to. All of the ingredients are sent in the exact quantities you need for the recipes, but you may need to add some basics from the store cupboard, like oil, or salt and pepper. These are marked on the recipe card, and on the website when you’re selecting your dishes.
You really will have to excuse the very poor lighting on my prep photos; this time of year with the very dark evenings and poor kitchen lighting, means they’re not the best – but I wanted to at least show that I followed the steps!
Teriyaki Pork Fried Rice with Carrot & Baby Bok choy
The finished dish was so good! The pork was tender, and you could tell it was of a very good quality. The peanuts added a nice crunch, the chilli peppers gave a nice kick of heat, and the lime squeezed over the top really brought all the ingredients to life. This is one recipe that will go into our dinner rotation, as the recipe card has all the weights and measures of the ingredients, and of course the step-by-step instructions. Since this dish was so yummy, I’m sharing the recipe here with you too!
- 300g basmati rice
- 400g pork tenderloin
- 100ml teriyaki sauce
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 carrots
- 400g baby bok choy
- 3 spring onions
- 10g fresh coriander
- 2 unwaxed limes
- 45g toasted peanuts
- 20ml honey
- 40ml soy sauce
- 1 fresh red chilli
- salt & black pepper
- vegetable oil
- Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Place in a medium saucepan, cover with 600 ml of water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight fitting lid. Cook for 13-15 mins. Remove from the heat and leave to rest with the lid on for 8 mins.
- Cut the pork tenderloin crosswise into 1 cm strips, removing any sinew. Place the strips in a medium bowl and marinate in half of the teriyaki sauce.
- Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and finely dice the carrots into 0.5 cm cubes, shred the bok choy crosswise and then thinly slice the spring onion. Roughly chop the coriander, stalks and leaves. Cut one of the limes into wedges, and juice the one one into a small bowl and set aside.
- Before you start this step, make sure the rice is cooked and in its resting time. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok or large frying pan on a high heat until it starts to smoke. Add the pork retaining the marinade in the bowl. Cook for 3-5 mins, until the pork is browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and wipe the pan out.
- Add another tbsp of oil, the carrot and a splash of water, cook for 3 mins on a medium heat. Add the garlic and return the pork to the pan. Add the bok choy, peanuts and half of the spring onions. Pour the left over teriyaki sauce over the veg, cook for 3-5 mins until the bok choy is wilted. In the lime juice bowl, add the soy sauce and honey, mix to combine.
- Add the rice to the pan and continue to cook over a high heat for another 1-2 mins in the sauce. Take off the heat, add the soy sauce mix and stir through half the coriander. Season and divide between 4 plates then top with the remaining coriander and spring onion. For adults, add chopped chilli for some heat and the lime wedges for more zing.
When coming to cook the creamy squash linguine with caolo nero, sage and parmesan, a couple of days later, I managed to drop the prepared squash on the floor – not my proudest kitchen moment! The fallen squash was unsalvageable, so I had to make use of what was in my fridge. Seeing a pack of bacon, I decided to use that instead – so not the vegetarian meal we were originally sent, but was delicious, if I do say so myself! I’ll share that recipe in a separate post.
After trying out the family plan box, the same thoughts echo from the last time we tried Marley Spoon:
Overall we were very impressed with Marley Spoon’s recipe box. There was no faffing around trying to locate lots of little ingredients in the fridge, as they were all bundled together, and whilst the instructions were on the wordy side (at least for me, I like things to be as simple as possible!) they were easy enough to follow. I liked that the recipe cards have a calorie count, so if you are watching those, you can take them into account.
Marley Spoon deliver to most of England, Wales, and Scotland, with the exception of remote regions. Delivery days depend on your location. Ingredients are kept fresh in cooled vehicles (within London), and for the rest of the UK with Woolcool packs (made with sheep wool) to keep everything cool. The boxes are not on the road for longer than 24 hours so you can be guaranteed optimal freshness. The ingredients stay fresh for a minimum of 4 days, so you don’t have to cook them on the day you receive the recipe box.
Ingredients are sourced from the UK (unless, Marley Spoon say there is a good reason not to) and they work with carefully selected producers to guarantee the quality of their ingredients. They always opt for the organic options when possible and their meat comes from species-appropriate husbandry – ensuring that they are delivering the best stuff out there.
I think recipe boxes are a great invention, and they’re perfect for when you are busy and want to treat yourself (they’re not always the cheapest option, which is why I say it is a treat), and would make a great gift for new home owners or for a student just moving out of home and into new digs for the first time.