It can be easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to cooking dinner every evening. The very kind people at Riverford Organic Farmers offered me the opportunity to review a Riverford Recipe Box. Life can be so incredibly busy, so meal planning isn’t always the highest of priorities on our list of things to do. That’s why I think recipe boxes are such a brilliant idea, as everything is done for you, with healthy options to choose from – all you need to do is the actual cooking!
I thought it’d be interesting to include a little bit of history about the Riverford Organic Farmers. The Riverford Recipe Box scheme was born when Guy Watson began delivering boxes of vegetables locally to friends in Devon. Now, from their regional farms, around 47,000 boxes are delivered per week to homes around the UK. The experience doesn’t just begin with your box though, the delivery man was super friendly and told me to get in touch with him if there were any issues. Of course, everything was fine.
I was also very impressed that there are recipe options to suite everyone – meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans! I love when companies are inclusive and in the past, I’ve done Meat Free Mondays. Ordering a vegetarian or vegan box would be perfect for that one day in the future.
The process is pretty simple, you just type in your postcode into their website and you where your nearest farm is and all of the current recipes available to order. Wool packs are used inside the box to keep all of the ingredients fresh and cold. Every little detail had impressed me so far (I hadn’t even tried the food yet!), as each ingredient was prepared and weighed out – it was literally just a case of following the instructions on the recipe card.
Due to the nature of farming and the recipe boxes, it is unlikely you will receive the same box twice. As I am intolerant to onions and chilli, I liaised with the team to find the most suitable recipe for me to try. Wow – did they deliver! The chosen recipe was perfect, a Beef, Blue Cheese and Walnut Salad with green beans and tomatoes.
Beef, Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad
- 2 sirloin steaks
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- Oil for frying e.g. sunflower or light olive
- 250g green beans
- 100g salad leaves
- 15g parsley
- 40g walnuts
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- 75g perl las blue cheese
- Salt & pepper
- Remove the steaks from the fridge. Leave them out to come to room temperature while you continue. Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Preheat your oven to 200˚C/Gas Mark 6. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them in the roasting tray, cut side up.
- Drizzle them with a little oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them in the oven to roast for 20 minutes. Remove the tops from the beans. Add them to the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes until just tender. Drain and cool immediately in cold water to stop the cooking process and lock in the colour.
- Wash the salad leaves and spin or pat them dry. Wash half the bag of parsley. Shake it dry and finely chop the leaves. Put the frying pan on a medium heat. Toast the walnuts in the dry pan for a few mins until lightly coloured and smelling fragrant. Be careful not to burn them.
- Tip them onto a board and coarsely chop them. Peel 1 garlic clove and finely chop or crush half of it. Make the dressing by mixing the chopped garlic, mustard and vinegar together. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, a little bit at a time, until you have an emulsified dressing. Season with salt and pepper and add the walnuts.
- Return the frying pan to the heat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Get the oil very hot and fry the steaks for 1 minute a side. They should be nicely browned.
- Remove the steaks and let them rest for 4-5 minutes while you finish the salad. Add the cooled beans to the tray of warm tomatoes. Add the parsley and mix everything well. Divide the salad between 2 plates. Evenly distribute the beans and tomatoes on top.
- Crumble over the blue cheese. Slice the steaks into half cm strips (see cook’s note). Scatter the steak across the salad and spoon across the walnut dressing.
As you can see, all of the ingredients were organic and so fresh. I cooked this meal for myself and my mum, as we were having a girly evening together. This recipe in particular was incredibly filling and each ingredient was super tasty. I would happily recreate this recipe myself, as it was really delicious, or order it again via Riverford! Riverford’s produce is fresh, healthy, filling, value for money, hassle free, there is no waste and it is delivered directly to your door!
Even my kitty, Jack, enjoyed and got full use out of the cardboard which my Riverford Recipe Box came in! You can find out more information about the Riverford Recipe Box and browse the selection of currently available recipes depending on your location.