Simply Cook Recipe Box Review & your First box for £1

As a new busy academic year starts, I have teamed up with Simply Cook to offer one of my readers three months’ worth of recipe boxes, as well as a 90% discount for anyone who fancies trying their first box.

Simply Cook GF

What is it?

Simply Cook is a new recipe box concept, delivered through your letterbox every month. Each £10 box contains flavour kits and recipe cards, along with a handy tear-off shopping list to make four meals for two people.

The stocks, spice blends and sauces are nothing like what you would get from the supermarket. They are the key flavour ingredients and have been created by chefs for a perfectly balanced result.

How does it work?

After you have registered online, you will get your first delivery within four days. You will receive a box each month and you can decide to suspend or cancel your membership at any time.

Once you have chosen a recipe, all you have to do is tear the shopping list off the recipe card, buy the few ingredients you need and follow the simple instructions on the recipe card to cook delicious meals in less than thirty minutes.

Simply Cook Recipe Kit

What if some of the meals do not appeal to me?

Your first box is chosen for you but in subsequent months, you will be able to choose recipes you really fancy. You also have the option to be sent gluten free boxes as well. These would have been perfect when Jumpy was diagnosed with a plethora of allergies and I was not sure what to feed her.

Why would I want to get these boxes?

I deliberately asked the people at Simply Cook to send my two boxes around the time I knew life would be as busy as it would ever get: when I was still juggling work, an evening job from home, three children under six and approaching the end of my fourth pregnancy. If these boxes were making like easier for us at that particularly hectic time, they could work for anybody.

I personally loved the concept as soon as I heard about Simply Cook, but before I used my kits, I thought it would be interesting to show them to two of my friends, who have a different approach to cooking.

Loraine, who has three young children and is not fond of cooking, immediately thought these meals should be recommended to time-starved couples or new parents with little time on their hands to be creative in their cooking. She also suggested they could be used as a special treat once a week, but raised the issue that non-foodies might find the shopping list too specific. Finally, she thought the boxes might make a lovely gift for busy corporates.

Cé, who dedicates a lot of time to create healthy meals for her family, was attracted to the hassle-free concept that would lead her to try new recipes. The idea behind those tasty, varied, meals with no thinking involved really appealed to her. I gave her the Malaysian Laksa kit and her husband complimented her on the meal, adding that it was the best curry she had ever made.

Did the boxes work for us?

I cooked four of the meals for my family and managed to stretch the ingredients to feed five of us (two adults, three children under six). Where necessary, I served the children before adding the hot spices and removed ingredients not tolerated by my allergic daughter. I liked the fact my toddler with multiple allergies (nuts, seeds, wheat, eggs, milk) could share the same meals as us.

It cost very little to make those meals as we already had some of the ingredients at home and I needed to buy very little to make them, substituting items on the shopping list here and there to make the meals more cost-efficient.

What were the meals like?

I made the first meal, Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto, when my newborn was under a week old, and apart from the need to stir constantly to achieve good results, I found the recipe straightforward to follow, with great results. We found the cinnamon a tad overpowering in this savoury dish, but it is only our personal taste.

The following week, we went for the Iranian Stew. It was quicker to make than the risotto and had a really healthy feel to it. The children found it too spicy but hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Simply Cook Vegetables

The Firecracker Chicken was delicious, with the right amount of spice for the adults (added after serving the children) and we all loved it. The dish came together beautifully for all of us.

Our favourite was without the shadow of a doubt the Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth. We served it with rice to make it more filling and we would all be happy to have this meal on a regular basis. The sauce was flavoursome and the chorizo worked really well with the cod.

Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth

Our overall impression

I love cooking but I sometimes feel I am making the same meals over and over again. As all kits have a long use by date, I might keep a few for when I need a change as those meals are much nicer than a takeaway whilst being relatively fuss free and saving time.

A promotional code for you

The lovely people at Simply Cook are giving you the chance to try your first box for just £1! Just click on ‘Get your 1st box’, fill in your details and enter Mel when prompted for a discount code (‘Have a promo code?’ on the left column).

Last but not least, a giveaway!

You could win a subscription to Simply Cook recipe boxes for three months.

Follow the simple instructions in the entry box below for your chance to win three Simply Cook boxes. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is check the range of recipes offered by Simply Cook, use the entry box below and answer a simple question in the comments section at the bottom of the page. For extra chances of winning, check the instructions in the form.

Entries are open until midnight GMT time on 7 October 2014 and the competition is open to UK residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

– The giveaway is open to UK residents aged 18 and over.
– The prize will be supplied directly by Simply Cook.
– I was sent two Simply Cook boxes for the purpose of this review and no payment was received. All opinions and photographs are my own.

Win competitions at



  1. Susan lloyd says:

    Butternut squash risotto sounds lovely. And my kids would eat it which is a huge bonus!

  2. ashleigh says:

    Firecracker Chicken – it sounds amazing for the whole family!

  3. clair downham says:

    the firecracker chicken sounds delish and great you can add spice after childen have had theirs

  4. Kirsty Greer says:

    Think my family would be spoilt for choice, I cant choose! xx

  5. wendy procter says:

    I would make the Iranian Stew as I <3 spicy food, the hotter the better x

  6. Sophie Lester says:

    I would like to try the gluten free Jerk Chicken

  7. Carolynn Woodland says:

    Malaysian Laksa – I love curries and this is a new one for me

  8. joanne beale says:

    Spanish Seafood & Chorizo Paella

  9. Eva Vida says:

    Bibimbap because it looks very yummy and I never made it before 🙂

  10. Martina Pichova says:

    the firecracker chicken sound tasty, I love chicken.

  11. elaine dale says:

    spiced butternut squash risotto because it’s so unusual to our normal diet

  12. Nicki Evans says:

    Firecracker chicken because I like spicy food.

  13. the firecracker chicken

  14. I would love to try the spiced butternut squash risotto as it sounds delicious

  15. Gerri Tennant says:

    The spicy butternut squash sounds really tasty, whilst being a very healthy choice and something that could become a family favourite.

  16. Linsdey C says:

    Iranian Stew – I love to try something completely difference

  17. Lynn Parry says:

    Ooo, chicken tagine!!

  18. Harriet says:

    Tagine is the best!

  19. karen cowley says:

    Firecracker Chicken love chicken dishes and this sound hot so would please the whole family x

  20. I love risotto so it’s the Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto for me

  21. Elizabeth (Liz) Briggs says:

    Pork with Schichimi Togarashi sounds wonderful and my son now likes Pork so would love to try new recipes with it 🙂 thank you x

  22. Susan Hunt says:

    The Iranian Stew looks like the thing for me.

  23. esther says:

    Korean Lambchops sounds really good

  24. Alex Adams says:

    The fire cracker chicken!! I love spicy foods and with chicken mmm

  25. Edward Guerreiro says:

    Choosing from the “All recipes section”, I would love to try the ‘Beef Stroganoff’, as I have never tried it before but have always wanted to.

  26. Firecracker Chicken sounds lovely!

  27. winnie says:

    I’d love to try the Firecracker Chicken… my favorite food is chicken 😀

  28. Sally Ann Savo says:

    Spiced butternut squash risotto. My vegetarian friend made me a butternut squash risotto once and it was divine!! Have always said I’ll make it myself one day.

  29. Anneka Hulse says:

    The Firecracker Chicken looks delicious

  30. Claire says:

    Firecracker chicken x

  31. becci cleary says:

    Firecracker Chicken – I love chicken but am always running out of new ideas….

  32. Dawn Chapman says:

    Firecracker chicken!!!

  33. caroline says:

    I’d really like to try the paella

  34. Amanda Norwood says:

    Chicken tagine cos I love tagine but have never made it myself

  35. Natalie Osborne Thomason says:

    Firecracker chicken I love hot and spicy

  36. firecracker chicken, sounds yummy!

  37. esther james says:

    the chicken tangine sounds lovely. I have always wanted to try one

  38. Stephanie Tsang says:

    I would like to try the Malaysian Laksa first because I love Malaysian food.

  39. firecracker chicken sounds good

  40. Kay panayi says:

    Chicken tagine

  41. Caroline H says:

    Loving the sound of the Spiced Quinoa & Feta Salad. I’m always looking for new veggie ideas and really like the idea of quinoa but the couple of times I’ve used it, it’s been a little bland – but I’m determined to find something lovely to do with it!

  42. lots of great receipes, would love to knwo how to make a great risotto

  43. Lynne OConnor says:

    The firecracker chicken sounds amazing. It’s always nice to have chicken with bite

  44. Moroccan spiced fish sounds yum

  45. jodiecrossley says:

    The butternut squash risotto!

  46. The Jerk Chicken

  47. Lorraine Tinsley says:

    The baked cod sounds amazing and what you’ve written makes me believe it would taste amazing. I love cod and hubby loves chorizo so this would be great for both of us

  48. Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto sounds Amazing!

  49. Spencer Broadley says:

    The Iranian Stew – lots sound nice, but I would need to spice them down, I like spices but many seem to spicy for me, which detracts the flavour of the meat I feel – a little not a lot is my motto – Also I can’t eat rice, so the nice looking rice things are out 🙁

  50. Lucy Robinson says:

    The firecracker chicken sounds yummy, the family would love it. x

  51. Caroline Henaghan says:

    Bibimbap!! Looks and sounds very intriguing – quite literally ‘out of this world’, yet named as one of the world’s 50 most delicious foods!?!

  52. victoria thurgood says:

    Firecracker Chicken because its sounds yummy

  53. The Hot Cajun Meatballs would go down well!

  54. Stacey Tripconey says:

    The Firecracker chicken as it sounds delicious!

  55. The firecracker chicken sounds lovely

  56. Hot Cajun Meatballs because it looks delicious

  57. claire griffiths says:

    firecracker chicken just sounds so yummy

  58. emma falvi says:

    Firecracker Chicken sounds interesting

  59. butternut squash risotto sounds yummy

  60. Irene Wright says:

    they all look very good. Have been getting e-mails from this company for a while & wondered what they were like. Now I know & would love to try the Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth you mentioned. Love trying different foods Will probably take advantage of the £1 offer.

  61. These boxes look fab

  62. Joanne McGawley says:

    Firecracker Chicken. All my favourite things 🙂 🙂

  63. janet humphrey says:

    Firecracker chicken sounds amazing

  64. Firecracker chicken

  65. Helen Garner says:

    I fancy Spiced Duck with Chilli Cabbage & Miso just because I like the sound of it.

  66. stephanie Whitehouse says:

    Moroccan Spiced Fish with Cassia is tempting

  67. Firecracker Chicken…sounds interesting

  68. Rachael G says:

    Creamy chorizo rigatoni looks amazing!

  69. Nicola Holland says:

    Spanish Seafood & Chorizo Paella

  70. Butternut Squash rissotto – I love both but never cooked with butternut squash

  71. katie skeoch says:

    the The Firecracker Chicken would go down a treat in our house

  72. emmav6 says:

    Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth, always looking for fish dishes to get my boys to enjoy it

  73. valerie myburgh says:

    Rissoto, I love rice and butternut squash!!

  74. dianemjackson5 says:

    The Firecracker Chicken sounds delicious


  76. Hot Cajun Meatballs – we’re a big fan of spice and the whole family will enjoy these.

  77. Cherryl Thomas says:

    The Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto – with two members of the family unable to eat gluten and dairy and a number of vegetarians besides this seems to be able to keep everyone happy!

  78. Lucia Jefferson says:

    Spinach and paneer curry sounds tasty

  79. paella or curry

  80. Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth, I am always looking for ways to make fish more interesting.

  81. Sam Williams says:

    I’d love to try the Firecracker Chicken, as I love the heat and my girlfriend can’t have gluten

  82. Lydia Frew says:

    Chicken Tinga – because I have no-idea what it is and I like to try new things

    • Not heard of this either! The name somehow reminds me of a character from the Lion King… or am I making this up?

  83. I would love to try the Chicken Tagine as it’s one of my favourite dishes 🙂

  84. The Iranian stew, I know very little a bout Iranian food and would be keen to try it

  85. tory Stockley twitter says:

    sounds delicious my family would really like this

  86. Lorraine G says:

    Firecracker chicken — sounds spicy and exciting. 🙂

  87. CAROL PATRICK says:

    Firecracker Chicken sounds great

  88. Chris Reid says:

    Chicken Tagine sounds very tempting

  89. It would have to be the beef stroganoff. I love it but only eat it when we go out, I’ve never made it myself 🙂 x

  90. The Goan Fish Curry. I have always been afraid of using fish in a curry, as I am heavy handed on the spicing. if every ingredient was supplied exactly then I could have a successful dish and I would encourage me to cook more adventurously (and accurately!)

  91. Spinach and Paneer curry sounds lovely. I’m vegetarian but with providing the fresh ingredients yourself I could still make the meat dishes but with meat substitutes. I suffer with health conditions which affect my diet but this looks great.

  92. Firecracker Chicken cause I love chicken and it sounds really yummy!!

  93. Caroline Hooper says:

    The Firecracker chicken looks really yum 🙂

  94. Tamsin Dean says:

    Firecracker Chicken sounds fantastic

  95. the baked cod in chorizo sounds right up my street! x

  96. Liam Bishop says:

    Baked cod and chorizo. Sounds yum!

  97. fiona mcbride says:

    my kids love squash and tagine so either

  98. Gluten Free Jerk Chicken sounds delish!

  99. Hannah Lawrence (Lewenstein) says:

    Bibimbap! Would love to try Korean food 🙂

  100. The Firecracker Chicken looks gorgeous x

  101. Alex Telford says:

    Char Sui BBQ pork sounds delicious.

    • Alex Telford says:

      whoops, sent before I meant to… because pork is my family’s favourite meat so I’m always looking for something new to make with it.

  102. I’d like to try their Sri Lankan Duck Curry. Looks yummy!

  103. Firecracker Chicken sounds right up my street!

    Jen xx

  104. Christina kuczerepa says:

    The firecracker chicken sounds fab

  105. Philippa Turner says:

    what a great idea to eat healthily and even better not having to traipse the supermarkets!

  106. Cod with chorizo because I love both those ingredients!

  107. Michelle Ferguson says:

    Firecracker chicken as i like anything spicy

  108. Lara Latchem says:

    Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth sounds amazing trying to eat more fish too

  109. MANDY DOHERTY says:

    The Firecracker Chicken, my sons’ two favourite things chicken & heat

  110. Sarah B says:

    Cod and chorizo broth.

  111. Lorraine G says:

    Firecracker chicken ‘cos it sounds as if it has quite a kick to it 😀

  112. Solange says:

    Firecracker Chicken sounds delicious

  113. Stacey Carnell says:

    Butternut squash risotto Mmmmmm my Mum would love this #veggie 🙂

  114. buddymagoo says:

    Baked cod in chorizo broth! Looks amazing!!

  115. Michelle Banks says:

    Firecracker Chicken

  116. Greig Spencer says:

    The Firecracker Chicken, AS I LOVE CHICKEN LOL

  117. Beef stroganoff as I haven’t had it in ages

  118. jen morgan says:

    The firecracker chicken it looks amazing x

  119. Gluten free jerk chicken

  120. lyn burgess says:

    I fancy the Jerk Chicken

  121. thekiwibex says:

    Spinach & Paneer Curry, because I love vegetarian Indian food!

  122. EMA J LOWE says:

    I would like to make the Creamy Chorizo Rigatoni

  123. Angela Kelly says:

    I’d like to try beef stroganoff because I like it but wouldn’t know how to make it myself

  124. dorothy cavender says:

    Firecracker Chicken-tasty

  125. the firecracker chicken

  126. Wild Mushroom Penne – love mushrooms and it looks lovely.

  127. lorraine rogers says:

    Firecracker chicken

  128. lynn heath says:

    The Baked Cod in a Chrizo broth sounds delicious

  129. Emily CLark says:

    Beef stroganoff. Perfect now the weather is getting colder.

  130. kylie goldsmith says:

    iranian stew! sounds amazing.

  131. kayleigh widdowson says:

    firecracker chicken, love spice!

  132. lisa chappell says:

    baked cod in chorizo broth sounds amazinggg !!!

  133. Becca Staples says:

    Firecracker chicken, as it sounds like something the who family would enjoy x

  134. The Spices Butternut Rissotto as mine is a bit blahh!

  135. The Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto sounds divine! Can’t beleive you did it with a newborn though, at that stage I was probably getting my husband to cook or a sneaky takeaway

    • Hubby did do a fair bit of cooking but after a few days, I was craving veg and healthy stuff so I cooked a few of our dinners!

  136. I’d like to try Nyonya because although I love the flavours involved I’ve never had it before.

  137. Amanda Beamish says:

    Char siu BBQ pork recipe. We all love it (unusually for my lot…..there’s ALWAYS one that says ‘don’t like that’ lol)

  138. Chicken tagine sounds nice and my family would like

  139. jen1984j says:

    Firecracker Chicken

  140. michelle pierce says:

    I would love to try firecracker chicken because it sounds delicious

  141. The baked cod with chorizo broth sounds delicious!

  142. Deirdre Maher says:

    I would love to try the Iranian Chicken stew!

  143. Spanish Seafood & Chorizo Paella looks delcious

  144. clare d says:

    fire cracker chicken sounds lovely!! x

  145. Sandra Henderson says:

    Butternut risotto as i love risotto but hardly ever make it as i find it takes to much standing over-so this would be my treat.

  146. Gillian Hale says:

    Firecracker Chicken

  147. Anthea Holloway says:

    Spanish Seafood & Chorizo Paella sounds just up my street!

  148. Deb Hambleton says:

    Jambalaya as my mum used to make it and it was lovely.

  149. Rachel R says:

    ooh, firecracker chicken sounds amazing!

  150. Rebecca Hopkins says:

    Looks like a good idea to force you into cooking different things 😀

  151. Denise Walker says:

    Firecracker Chicken would be a nice change than my normal cardboard chicken lol

  152. Courtney I says:

    Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto. Perfect for the season 🙂

  153. Susan Hoggett says:

    Butternut risotto, love it

  154. Damien Broom says:

    Seafood & Chorizo Paella

  155. Jo Glasspool says:

    The Spanish Seafood & Chorizo Paella it sounds mouth wateringly good xx

  156. Kat Glynn says:

    Firecracker Chicken! x

  157. Firecracker Chicken sounds amazing – Me and boyfriend love a meal in over a night out.

  158. Bridgette West says:

    Spinach and Paneer curry sounds delish! Any any other veggie dishes 🙂

  159. Fiona Mallard says:

    The chinese spiced duck salad sounds delicious. I absolutely love duck

  160. Allan Wilson says:

    The Firecracker Chicken x

  161. Jamie says:

    Sri Lankan duck curry, yum.

  162. Mark Chamberlin says:

    The lemon and pepper salmon sounds nice (I’m actually cooking a lemon and dill salmon right now) as I’d like to try some other flavours on my weekly salmon dish.

  163. Diana says:

    Firecracker Chicken. Sounds yummy 🙂

  164. Eleanor Powell says:

    BBQ Tandori Chicken with sweet potato wedges. I like that they have gluten free options

  165. Jasmine Ferrari says:

    I’d love to try the Iranian Stew! It’s a culture I’ve not experimented with much, food-wise so I’d be very intrigued to give it a go. My partner and I are both vegan so we’d have to make a few tweaks I assume 🙂

    • You would have to tweak some of the recipes, but I think the Iranian stew would suit a vegan diet (if I remember well – you would have to check).

      • Jasmine Ferrari says:

        I’m used to the tweaking, plus I enjoy the challenge! Lovely, I’ll have to do some research 🙂

        • My toddler is allergic to milk protein, eggs, wheat and nuts so we have to do quite a bit of tweaking, too. Check my ‘free from’ recipes, I have a few vegan ones you might like in there.

  166. Mark Palmer says:

    Gluten free jerk chicken would suit diets and taste!

  167. Kristy Leanne Brown says:

    Bibimbap – it sounds very strange but very interesting

  168. Claire Hull says:

    I like the look of the chicken tagine

  169. Caroline Bellamy says:

    Butternut squash risotto – I love risotto and butternut squash – great combination

  170. Pam Francis Gregory says:

    Firecracker Chicken sounds lovely

  171. Karen Lloyd says:

    Sri Lankan Duck Curry because I love the curry’s in Sri Lanka.

  172. Kay Broomfield says:

    Spiced butternut squash risotto!

  173. Firecracker chicken – sounds really tasty

  174. Would love to try Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto.

  175. Grilled halloumi salad – I love halloumi 🙂

  176. Aaron milne says:

    Firecracker Chicken – should excite the kids aswell

  177. megan davies says:

    Anything that will help me work out what to do with fish 🙂

  178. Firecracker chicken sounds amazing!

  179. Heather Haigh says:

    Iranian Stew. I have never tried anything Iranian and I love to try new cuisines.

  180. Kerry Lethbridge says:

    Firecracker chicken sounds fab and we are all spice fiends including my 22 months old twins

  181. Mike Martin says:

    Firecracker Chicken it sounds as though it meets my food tastes spicy and suculent

  182. LEE HARDY says:

    Creamy Chorizo Rigatoni

  183. maxine m partridge says:

    wild mushroom penne. two of my fave thinngs

  184. I would definitely go for the Firecracker Chicken

  185. Andrew Sales says:

    Firecracker Chicken, it sounds right up my street

  186. daph57 says:

    Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth.
    My daughter loves chorizo and we need to eat more fish

  187. Karen R says:

    I’d love to try the Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto because I love squash, but don’t have many recipes for it 🙂

  188. Stevie says:

    I love egg in any form so I was easily sold with Bibimbap.

  189. hannahlig says:

    Spiced butternut squash risotto sounds delicious

  190. Sheila Reeves says:

    Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth – as I’m trying to eat more fish, & I love chorizo

  191. Firecracker chicken sounds delicious I love a bit of heat!

  192. oooh these look fab, difficult to choose just one but possibly the firecracker chicken would be my first choice

  193. I would definitely try the Baked Cod looks delicious

  194. Pauline Wilson says:

    The firecracker chicken sounds like my kind of dish that I enjoy

  195. liz ferguson says:

    The one with paneer because paneer is a firm favourite in this house.

  196. The Iranian Stew, as it’s something a bit different – I get bored of eating the same thing over and over again!

  197. Chris Fletcher says:

    I really like the sound of the gluten free West African Peanut Stew! It sounds like something my old uni flatmate used to knock up, which was delicious! I never got the recipe of them so would love to give this a try

  198. Teriyaki Fish and Soba Noodle Salad looks delicious!

  199. I like the sound of the spices in the firecracker chicken.

  200. Emma Price says:

    Firecracker chicken…yum!

  201. Naomi Buchan says:

    The baked Cod in Chorizo broth sounds really yummy x

  202. The Baked Cod in a Chorizo Broth sounds like the perfect recipe for us – we love chorizo!

  203. Lisa Wilkinson says:

    The Sri Lankan Duck Curry. My Husband loves duck and I think I’ve only ever cooked it once. So this would make his day 🙂

  204. The tandoori chicken as we love our spices and Indian meals

  205. Laura Vitty says:

    I’d like to try the jerk chicken 🙂 haven’t made anything like that before x

  206. Ceri Kay says:

    I love the sound of the Iranian Stew, I have tried very little Iranian food and this would be a good place to start.

  207. Janet Rumley says:

    Chicken tagine would be something I think my whole family would eat.

  208. olivia280177 says:

    Smoked Haddock Kedgeree – I have never actually tried it!

  209. Angela Paull says:

    Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto

  210. Joanna Sawka says:

    The Firecracker Chicken – it sounds delicious

  211. Stephanie Acton says:

    The grilled halloumi salad, it looks really tasty and healthy too

  212. Grilled Halloumi salad as it is my absolute favourite cheese, such a treat to have it.

Thanks for taking the time to write a little message. Comments always make me smile! x Mel