Many of us have evenings where all we want to do is collapse on the couch and relax.
If you work long hours during the day, or you’re a mum finishing a non-stop day with kids, you probably know the feeling.
At the end of the day you’re exhausted, but you still have to get dinner ready.
You might end up making the same recipes over and over again – because they’re familiar and easier to think about – or maybe you just decide to get take-out.
There’s nothing wrong with doing either one. But when you’re trying to eat healthier in the long term these habits can become frustrating.
Making the same dinners all the time can get boring, And in my case I end up eating snacks and chocolate afterwards to make up for it.
Take-outs are great but they can be calorie-rich and expensive in the long run.
What we really want is a healthy and interesting dinner on the table every evening that’s simple to make. And this is where recipe box subscriptions can help.
They send you pre-portioned ingredients for a few, easy-to-make recipes each week. When you want to make dinner you have everything you need to start, including the recipe cards.
They promise fast food prep too, with all meals ready within 30 minutes or less.
Here we look at one food subscription box in particular, Mindful Chef. These boxes are rapidly becoming the most popular meal kits in the UK.
As well as offering quality ingredients, they’re loved because of the variety and creativity of their recipes. These meals are health-focussed, full of vegetables and all are free from both gluten and dairy.
Here I take a closer look at what Mindful Chef have to offer and what their customers say about them. I also tried out 3 of their meals for myself, so you can see how they panned out below.
What are Meal Kit Delivery Services?
Meal kit delivery services aim to take away the time and stress from meal planning.
They provide pre-portioned ingredients for your chosen recipes. These are delivered to you once a week as part of your subscription.
You choose which meals you want from a selection of recipes that they have online. These tend to be different from week to week so that you get a variety of meals.
You can filter these according to your diet and then add the dinners you want to your weekly box.
In the box you get recipe cards, pre-portioned meats, spices, seasonings, fruits and vegetables, all in the right quantities.
That way you can be sure that you’re all set to make dinner. And that it will only take you 20-30 minutes to prepare.
Mindful Chef are considered to be one of the most health-orientated meal kit delivery services. Here’s a quick summary of what they have to offer:
Mindful Chef Summary Table
|What it offers||Pre-portioned ingredients.
2-5 recipes a week.
|Ingredient quality||100% grass-fed beef.
UK-landed fresh fish.
|Recipe quality (all meals)||Free from refined-carbohydrates.
Free from gluten and dairy.
Ready in 30 minutes or less.
|Recipe variety||16 recipes offered each week.
4 of these are ever changing plant-based recipes.
|Price||£5.50-£11 per serving per person.
Exact pricing depends on number of people and meals ordered.
(See price guide below)
|Diets catered for||Pescetarian.
|Allergen-free facilities||No. Meals are individually packaged but facilities are used to prepare other foods that contain allergens.|
|Extras||Prepped breakfast smoothies.
Healthy frozen meals.
Soups and broths.
|Lockdown services||Next day delivery box with 3 fixed meals for 2 people.
Lockdown fruit box.
|Delivery area||UK Nationwide except for Northern Ireland, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and a select few Scottish postcodes.|
|Shipping cost||Free shipping nationwide.|
|Social responsibility||Carbon neutral delivery.
Recyclable ice packs.
|Reviews||4.8 stars from 10,844 reviews across 2 platforms.|
|Special offers||£10 off your first and second box here:
Mindful Chef £10 Off
Are Mindful Chef Meals Healthy?
Mindful Chef is the UK’s only health focussed recipe box and each meal is nutritionist approved.
They are also all free from refined carbohydrates, gluten and dairy too. It’s clear from their recipes and their ethos that eating well is a priority for them.
Here’s what sets Mindful Chef apart from other food subscription boxes:
High Quality Ingredients
Mindful Chef pride themselves on the quality of what goes into their boxes.
They source ingredients from ethically run suppliers. They even visit many of their suppliers themselves on a regular basis.
The beef offered is 100% grass-fed. They also have free range chicken and UK-landed fish.
The recipes are varied with dishes from around the world.
Many are healthier takes on traditional favourites. For example in the photograph above, they have parsnip ribbons instead of using a thick pasta like pappardelle.
Each recipe has 10 different ingredients inside it to guarantee that it’s full of a variety of flavours.
Meals Are All Free from Refined Carbohydrates, Gluten and Dairy
Instead of refined carbs they use wholegrains, vegetables and legumes.
They also have a separate range of frozen meals and smoothies in their shop which you can buy as one-off purchases. They keep these free from nasty additives and hidden sugars too.
Dinners Are Ready in 30 Minutes or Less
Their meals all take between 20-30 minutes to prepare.
So there’s no fussing about or uncertainty, you can just prep the food and cook.
1 Person Meal Delivery Kits Are Also Available
They are the only supplier that have the option for 1 person recipe boxes. Normally these services require a minimum of 2 people to order.
That means that if you cook for yourself you can still take out a weekly subscription.
In addition to 1 person boxes they also offer for 2 people and 4 people (family) boxes.
Mindful Chef Review
I was really excited to give Mindful Chef a try.
Signing up for my first box took less than 2 minutes. I chose my meals, delivery date and then checked out.
They also offer a much faster delivery times than other services that I’ve tried in the past.
They delivered their first box within a few days of ordering, whereas others needed 2 weeks’ notice before beginning. So it was nice to be able to get started straight away.
The recipes I chose were:
- Crispy cod & sweet potato chips.
- Vietnamese crispy pork & carrot noodles.
- Cajun chicken & roasted veggie lettuce tacos.
They all sounded so delicious. They also seemed to be healthier versions of some of my favourite meals.
How the Box Arrived
Mindful Chef arrived on time on a Monday in a cardboard box.
The food was kept cold inside it as it was packed with ice blocks and insulation.
The ingredients were portioned into plastic bags to keep them fresh.
I unpacked the food and as you can see the ingredients looked to be a noticeably high quality.
The recipes themselves also looked good, so I couldn’t wait to get started.
Mindful Chef Recipe #1
Crispy Cod with Sweet Potato Chips
This cod recipe is made with a crunchy ground almond coating.
This is healthier and tastier than the traditional breadcrumbs we use on fish.
How Easy Was This Recipe to Make?
The recipe itself was easy to make. You chop the sweet potatoes, drizzle them with oil and place them in the oven.
You then combine the almonds with the paprika, toast them for a minute in a pan and then coat the cod with them. The fish then goes into the oven too.
It took the full 30 minutes to make the recipe but the steps were all easy to do.
How Did the Crispy Cod Recipe Taste?
I loved this recipe and I actually found it tasted better than traditional fish and chips.
The flavours of the almonds and the sweet potatoes were much richer than the usual breadcrumbs and potato chips. And the whole meal was healthier because of them.
The fact that everything was oven cooked made it nice and light too.
Mindful Chef Recipe #2
Vietnamese Crispy Pork and Carrot Noodles
This recipe is similar to a crispy beef recipe I used to order from our local Chinese take-out. It was basically beef deep-fried in batter and covered in a sugary sauce.
Although the take-away dish was tasty, it probably had about 2,000 calories in it whereas this recipe here is a much healthier version.
They use carrots and courgette instead of noodles and the pork is lightly sautéed instead of being deep fried.
How Easy Was This Recipe to Make?
For this dish you create a ginger, soy and honey sauce that you cook the pork in.
Then you finely chop or spiralize the courgette and carrot and add that in as well.
The spiralizing is probably the only tricky part but you can also finely chop the vegetables instead if you prefer.
Otherwise everything goes into 1 wok so it’s a really simple cooking process.
How Did the Crispy Pork and Carrot Noodles Taste?
I was surprised by how well the spiralized courgette could replace the noodles in a dish. It makes for a much healthier base.
The crispy pork also worked well. Although it was sugar free it still had a little honey on it to give it some sweetness.
All in all this was another dish that was full of flavour.
Mindful Chef Recipe #3
Cajun Chicken and Roasted Veggie Lettuce Tacos
The third recipe was the Cajun chicken tacos.
I had seen lettuce wraps being used instead of wheat tortillas before but I had never tasted it myself.
How Easy Was This Recipe to Make?
The only work was the chopping of the vegetables. These are then grilled in the oven.
The chicken is seasoned and gently cooked in a frying pan. While that’s happening you chop the avocado.
Once everything’s cooked the tacos are ready to assemble in the lettuce leaves with the chicken and the vegetables.
You drizzle on some of their light dressing for a finishing touch.
How Did the Cajun Chicken and Roasted Veggie Tacos Taste?
This recipe was surprisingly flavoursome.
Again I loved how I could enjoy all the taste of tacos while taking out the refined carbs and heavy cheeses or sauces.
The lettuce wraps meant that the dinner stayed light so I didn’t end up with that heavy feeling afterwards.
My Overall Review of Mindful Chef
I found the quality of the ingredients and recipes to be really excellent and nothing like I’ve tasted before.
Here’s how I would summarise my review of Mindful Chef having tried these 3 dishes.
Mindful Chef Meal Reviews
Noticeably high quality ingredients.
All recipes tasted great and used natural flavours together with seasoning and spices to make them delicious.
|Easiness of Recipes||⭐⭐⭐⭐
All recipes were easy but there is always some chopping and cooking involved. Nothing took over 30 minutes to make.
|Taste of Meals||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I can’t give enough stars here. They tasted really delicious and they left me feeling full but not heavy afterwards.
|Healthiness of Meals||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
All meals are healthy and balanced. I especially like their low carb meal selections. They use a lot of different ingredients so that they are still full of flavour and satisfying.
|Special Offers||Get £10 off your first and second box here:
Mindful Chef £10 Off
When Did Mindful Chef Start?
Mindful Chef was founded in 2015 by Myles Hopper and Giles Humphry. Their priority has always been to make healthy meals easier for everyone to enjoy.
They both grew up in Devon so they source some of their ingredients from ethical suppliers in the Devon area.
They pride themselves on the quality of their ingredients with their meat being 100% grass-fed, their chicken free range and their fish landed in the UK.
The pair even go and visit their suppliers in person on a regular basis.
What Does Mindful Chef Offer?
Mindful Chef offers fresh, pre-portioned ingredients for a certain number of meals, which are delivered to your door each week.
They provide these alongside the recipe cards for the meals. Each one takes 30 minutes or less to prepare.
The recipes on offer change every week so that you can choose different meals each time.
You are offered a choice of 16 recipes each week and 4 of these are plant-based or vegan meals.
You go ahead and select between 2 and 5 recipes, depending on what plan you want.
You then receive the ingredients for these recipes pre-portioned and ready to be cooked along with a recipe booklet.
As well as the weekly food boxes, Mindful Chef also have a separate shop.
Here they sell one-off items such as:
These meals are frozen from fresh so that they only need to be placed in the oven or microwave to be cooked.
They are made by chefs with the same fresh, quality ingredients.
They also sell pre-cut and frozen smoothie ingredients like fruit, vegetables and grains. You can just add water, milk or coconut milk, blend and they’re ready.
There are no additives like preservatives or sugars in these, just the natural ingredients.
Healthy Broths and Soups
They also have a range of healthy broths and soups. The soups are more like meals whereas the broths can be used in your own cooking to add more flavour.
Is Mindful Chef a Subscription?
Yes Mindful Chef operates on a subscription basis and they deliver weekly boxes of fresh ingredients to you.
You can pause or cancel the subscription at any time. You can also choose which recipes you want each week from your online account. Or you can let yourself be surprised by what arrives.
They have a separate shop which allows for one-off purchases of smoothie packs, frozen meals and broths and soups.
Website: Mindful Chef
How Does Mindful Chef Work?
Mindful Chef delivers pre-portioned ingredients that you can use for certain recipes. The recipe selections rotate each week and you can select 2-5 recipes out of their options for your meals.
You receive the box with the recipes and you are able to start cooking straight away. And as you only have the ingredients that are needed, there are no unused or wasted groceries.
Mindful Chef is also the UK’s only health-focussed recipe box. Each meal is approved by a nutritionist and all meals are free from refined carbohydrates.
This is a breakdown of the sign up process which took me only a few minutes to complete.
Sign Up Process
Choose Your Delivery Date
First you choose your preferred delivery date. The subscriptions can start quite quickly after placing your order.
Choose Your Preferred Recipes
You can then see the meals on offer for the week and select the ones you want. This is a refreshing change from other meal delivery services who make you checkout before you can see any recipes at all.
Mindful Chef let you browse the recipes for the coming week as well as for future weeks. So you can feel comfortable that you’ll like what’s coming up.
Filter Meals and See Prices Instantly
Mindful Chef’s meal selection system is really helpful in that you can dynamically change different fields to adjust the price. These are:
- Meal types (filter by quality fish and meat only, pescetarian, vegan)
- Number of people (1, 2 or 4)
- Delivery Date
- Number of recipes selected
Once you’ve added enough recipes to your cart (minimum of 2), the price for your meals appears straight away on the bottom right of the screen.
That way you can adjust the number of recipes up or down, before going to check out.
You then proceed to the check out page to finalise the order.
Once your account’s set up you can go back in and make any changes to your recipe selection, as long as it’s before the deadline for the next delivery.
You can also pause or cancel the subscription at any time.
How Much Does Mindful Chef Cost?
The cost of meals with Mindful Chef varies quite a bit depending on how many people you are and how many meals you order. The recipes you select can also affect the price somewhat.
We’ve broken down the cost of each of the options below to give you an idea.
In the table there are 2 prices shown. The first is the guide price that Mindful Chef gives on their website. The second is our quote where we selected specific meals.
We should note that one of the meals that we chose had red meat in it, which would be slightly more expensive than other meals.
Mindful Chef Price Guide
|No. of people||Guide price (from Mindful Chef)||Our quote (based on 2 meals per week)|
|1 person||£9 per portion||£10.50 per portion|
|2 people||£7 per portion||£7.50 per portion|
|4 people||£6 per portion||£5.75 per portion|
|£10 off your first and second box here: Mindful Chef £10 Off|
Their 1 person boxes work out higher than other packages. This is to be expected as the cost per person would go down if you had 2 people eating the same recipe.
The family boxes are slightly more economical but they also have different recipes on offer compared to the 1 and 2 person boxes. You can only choose a maximum of 3 recipes a week.
So family boxes can have 2-3 recipes a week, while boxes for 1 or 2 people can have 2-5 recipes a week.
Mindful Chef Reviews from Existing Customers
Mindful Chef scores very highly in their ratings from thousands of customers. On average they got 4.8 stars from 10,844 reviews across 2 independent platforms, Trustpilot and Google.
Many of their customers say they were ‘blown away’ by the quality of the ingredients but also the variety and taste of the recipes that they received.
Customers loved the:
- ease of use of their service
- healthy and delicious recipes
- gluten free meals which are great for those with gluten intolerances and coeliac
- recipes from ‘around the world’
- how they helped them lead a healthier lifestyle
- quick delivery of all boxes
Busy mums found that it helped them organise healthy family dinners more quickly.
Others who were on clean eating food plans were grateful that they found a food delivery service that they could enjoy alongside this.
The only negatives people mentioned were price and having leftover food. The leftover food could be seen as a good thing as you get more value for what you pay.
In terms of price it is more than standard groceries as it’s offering more in terms of the quality of ingredients and the recipe selections.
There are also some cases where meal kits can actually save you money as well. For example you no longer have wasted items in your grocery orders as you only purchase what you need.
You may also find you order take-out less frequently too as you have interesting meals to enjoy.
Here are a few reviews from customers of Mindful Chef.
One reviewer bought these boxes for her friends when they gave birth and they all loved them:
This reviewer loved the variety of recipes on offer each week:
Special Offer on Mindful Chef
Get £10 off your first and second box with code New10X2 here:
Is Mindful Chef Worth It?
Mindful Chef is definitely worth it. They have balanced and unique recipes alongside quality ingredients which are delivered to your door each week.
They make sure you only spend 20-30 minutes preparing dinner. And they prioritise health in their boxes by making all their meals nutritious and free from refined carbohydrates.
As an added bonus, all meals are gluten and dairy free too.
Mindful Chef is ideal for busy parents or professionals who come home at the end of the day tired and hungry. If you want to get dinner on the table fast, but still want to eat well and take care of your health, it offers a great solution.
It also works for anyone looking to switch to a healthier diet as the meals are all balanced, high in vegetables and refined carb free.
All in all I haven’t seen a recipe box quite like Mindful Chef in terms of the quality of the ingredients offered and the quality of the meals themselves.
It’s refreshing to see a company that actually cares about making a healthier product. I will be recommending them to friends and family.
Mindful Chef FAQs
Is Mindful Chef expensive?
Mindful Chef pricing varies between £5.50-£11 per serving per person. Overall it’s not expensive considering what’s offered.
You get quality pre-portioned ingredients along with creative, health-focussed recipes. No time needs to be spent on meal planning, recipe researching or grocery shopping. No money needs to be spent on last-minute dashes to the corner store or take-out meals.
The factors that affect the price are the number of meals ordered, the number of people the meals are for, as well as the ingredients in the meals themselves.
Is Mindful Chef a Subscription?
Yes Mindful Chef is a subscription box which delivers groceries once a week. The foods are pre-portioned ingredients for specific recipes that you’ve chosen for that week. You can pause or cancel the subscription at any time.
They also have a shop which sells smoothie kits, frozen meals and soups and broths. These are one-off purchases rather than subscription-based.
How do I Cancel Mindful Chef?
Mindful Chef subscriptions can be cancelled easily in your online account.
They have made it very easy to find the PAUSE or CANCEL options so that you can make the changes you need to in one click.
Is Mindful Chef Organic?
Their foods used to be organic but recently they announced that they weren’t able to guarantee the quality of produce if they were tied to organic suppliers.
Customers complained about how the vegetables looked. As a result they made the decision to move away from being exclusively organic. They continue to focus on sourcing their ingredients from ethically run suppliers.
They visit the sources of their meats and other suppliers themselves on a regular basis. They continue to be proud to be working with quality producers.
Is Mindful Chef Gluten Free?
Yes all Mindful Chef meals are gluten free. One of their main priorities is to offer healthy meals to their customers.
Is Mindful Chef Dairy Free?
Yes Mindful Chef meals are also all dairy free so there is no need to filter for dairy free options.
Is Mindful Chef Halal?
No they do not provide halal options.
Is Mindful Chef Vegan?
Yes Mindful Chef also caters to vegan diets and has 4 ever-changing plant based recipes that you can choose from each week.
The remaining recipes contain meat and fish so they cater to vegetarians, vegans, pescetarians and meat and fish eaters.
Does Mindful Chef Deliver to Me?
Mindful Chef delivers nationwide excluding certain areas such as Northern Ireland, Isle of Wight, Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and a select few Scottish postcodes.
Can you Freeze Mindful Chef?
Yes all meats can be frozen when you receive them. The remaining ingredients are fruits and vegetables so these aren’t normally frozen.
If you’re keen on freezing meals on a regular basis then you may want to look at their frozen meal selection. These are prepared by their chefs and frozen from fresh:
Mindful Chef Frozen Meals
Where is Mindful Chef Based?
Mindful Chef source many of their ingredients from suppliers in Devon which is where the founders grew up.
*This offer is subject to availability and to the supplier’s terms and conditions at time of order/booking. Please check supplier’s website for full details.