This series of blog posts is dedicated to all of those wonderful brands and small businesses in the food, hospitality and catering industry that kept us fed, watered and sane during the lockdown months. As we slowly venture back into restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes, I want to take a moment to thank each and every one of these small businesses that helped us navigate the low times during lockdown! Starting with DIY kits from restaurants and small businesses in the catering industry, these DIY kits come with everything you need and are a hassle free way to enjoy great quality food at home.
If you read my blog from a few weeks ago, Pasta Remoli have launched their new home delivery service and they kindly sent me a very generous box of samples to try as part of their Italian DIY kit. Included in the box were some ready-to-cook fresh pasta, their signature beef bolognese sauce, burrata (which is my absolute favourite), a solid wedge of parmesan, freshly home baked focaccia loaf, cured meats, an assortment of fresh vegetables and their famous homemade Tiramisu pudding. We created an Italian Summer-themed lunch in our back garden with all this delicious fresh produce, washed down with copious amounts of Aperol and Campari Spritz.
Gluten-free pasta experts Leggero helped make weekday supper nights super-convenient with their fresh pasta DIY kit delivery service. Their pasta was quick and easy to prepare without compromising on taste. Their box of goodies included two portions of fresh gluten-free and vegan pasta, two portions of gluten-free and vegan gnocchi and four sauces (Mushroom and Truffle Oil, Bolognese Ragu, Basil Pesto and a Four Cheese sauce) which I could mix and match to my own desire. It only took us a couple of minutes to boil the pasta & heat the sauces in the pan and we were ready for a bit of al dente decadence. Not only did their gluten-free pasta taste delicious but the packaging was compostable as well. To end our carbalicous meal on a sweet note, we also tucked into their dreamy White Chocolate Cheesecake and Choco Brownie. It was amazing to just dive into a fresh steaming plate of sauce-licked buttery fresh pasta after a busy day of Zoom calls and staring at laptop screens.
Continuing on my quest to explore different world cuisines whilst on lockdown, I was very grateful to win a DIY kit with Jollof Mama. I have never cooked West African food before and their easy to follow set of instructions and neatly pre-portioned and prepped kit made it very easy for me. Our kit contained two portions of Jollof rice and sauces; Suya spice-rubbed chicken, beef, lamb sausages and lamb ribs, tubs of Jollof Mama pepper sauce and spicy mayo for an extra hot spicy kick, plantain and two sachets of Suya spicy rub. My favourite part was cooking the Jollof rice, which was so easy to make with absolutely delicious results.
Over the course of the lockdown months, we tried to make our own poké at home thanks to the awesome DIY kit from Lords of Poké, who specialise in California style poké bowls. They have created these colourful DIY kits which they are delivering everywhere inside the M25. The ingredients came neatly packaged in 100% plastic-free packaging that is home compostable and came with clear labels and instructions. I ordered the Sesame Tuna poké bowl and my kit included unagi sauce, whole grain sushi rice, fresh sesame tuna, citrus ponzu, spring onion, sesame seeds, wakame seaweed, seaweed seasoning, pickled ginger, edamame, shaved radish, crispy onion and chilli. Besides boiling the rice, there was minimal cooking involved. Assembly was easy peasy – even for the clumsiest of cooks like me – and you can dress them up in any way you like. The ingredients were stunningly fresh and there were loads of them. They made four decent sized bowls (and some leftovers which we used up in a tasty stir fry the next day). The resulting bowls of deliciousness tickled our tastebuds, with their flavours and textures merrily competing and colliding with each other. These fresh and vibrant poké bowls were truly the perfect companion for hot weather days.
Kris and I recently enjoyed back-to-back date nights of delicious Italian indulgence with Pizza Bellissima Pizza DIY kit box. Each box contained enough ingredients to make our own pizzas at home. We could customise them further by adding our own favourite toppings. Inside the box you can find: 4 x Hand Stretched pizza bases (10”); 500g Diced Mozzarella; 450g of Tomato Sauce; 2 x Rosemary Focaccias; Portions of Extra Virgin Olive Oil| Balsamic Vinegar; 2 x Puccia breads (great with eggs for breakfast); 1 Jar of green Pesto; and 4 x soft drinks. Pizza Bellissima is founded by Stefano Laudadio. Born and raised in Rome, he brings his Italian culinary expertise, knowledge and training into the making of these products. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that these pizzas were delicious. This was the quickest, most fuss-free, tasty and fun dinner we made, as the pizzas only took 5 minutes in a hot oven after assembly and they were ready to be devoured. These DIY pizza kits are perfect for couples date nights, a get together with family or to send to a pizza-loving friend or family member to say you are thinking of them. The Bellissima boxes are delivered straight to your door within two working days by specially chosen delivery drivers who adopt strict safety measures with no signature required to avoid contact. For every Bellissima Kit sold, they also donate £5 to the NHS.
We were super duper excited to bake this delicious Babka from scratch with the help of Shuk London’s Babka DIY kit. It looked complicated at first but with the pre-prepped ingredients neatly organised in a box, simple and clear instructions and a little bit of help from their video on their Instagram profile, we got to treat ourselves to a divine, delicious Babka loaf. From the first bite to the last slice, you will be hard pressed not to fall in love with this sweet, sticky loaf. Shuk London are currently delivering their kits to all London postcodes (national delivery coming soon). Prices start from £20 for a single babka kit and £32 for a double babka kit, with free delivery.
Check out my next post on Ready Meals delivery options..
N.B. The above products were gifted to me for review with no obligation to post or write a blog about them.