Mindful Chef is a health-focused food box company set up by school friends Giles, Myles, and Rob in 2015. Since then, they've been delivering fresh produce and tasty recipes to thousands of people from small farms in Devon where they grew up. Their ethos is helping people lead a healthier life by reducing the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates. None of their fresh food boxes contain pasta, bread, or white rice, but instead are packed with fresh vegetables and wholesome ingredients. They cater for all different dietary requirements, including vegan, which is the option I went for when they offered to send me some of their fabulous meals.
Teriyaki tofu, seaweed & brown rice bowl
The concept of Mindful Chef is fantastic. They send out a box full of fresh ingredients, all weighed out perfectly, and a simple recipe which is easy to follow. Now I hate cooking, and I am terrible at it! I'm talking undercooked veg, overcooked rice, and bland everything. But with Mindful Chef, even a rubbish cook like me can whip up a tasty and nutritious dinner with minimal fuss! The other thing that I love about this concept is that I ended up eating foods and flavours that I would never have otherwise. I don't think I'd even know where to find seaweed let alone how to add it to a recipe! So their teriyaki tofu, seaweed and brown rice bowl was a big winner for me. The flavours are fantastic and really clever; they work wonderfully together to create a really delicious dish. Everything you need is right there in front of you so after a long day at work, you can come home knowing that a healthy dinner isn't too far away.
Brazilian black bean stew with brown rice
This recipe also got a big thumbs up from me. The macros for each meal are very handily listed on the recipe card, and can also be found on Mindful Chef's website, so for those counting macros or preparing for a competition, the hard work is already done for you. Again, the flavours in this dish were fantastic, with the sweetness of the creamed coconut marrying together with the bitterness of the beans to create a great balance. Mindful Chef also includes raw cacao powder in this dish which is a good source of magnesium, used by the body for energy production and promoting good circulation. Another ingredient which I would never have thought to include in my dinner so I love it!
Sugar snap, chickpea, and cauli rice biryani
One of the main ingredients included in this recipe was cauli rice, which I had heard of but never tried. Cauliflower rice has up to 75% fewer calories than regular white rice and it stays fresh for up to 12 months with no preservatives so it is definitely a healthier option. This recipe was also delicious and super easy to make! Its nutritional information is also very balanced, providing 447 calories, 53g of carbs, 21g of fat, and 21g of protein which is very good for a vegan meal.
I love the ethos of Mindful Chef and the fact that it is a humble British brand just trying to help the nation become healthier. They have so many different recipes that you would never get bored and it also encourages lazy people like me to get more active in the kitchen! It makes cooking easy and they cater for everyone. Their recipes are delicious and healthy, as well as being varied and exotic. I think I might have to sign up for a subscription myself! It's a resounding 10 from me.
Mindful Chef on Social
Pip & Nut was founded by Pippa Murray who has a fascinating story behind her brand. She won a competition to live rent-free in a shed in London, which allowed her to save the money she needed to start up her business. Leaving behind an unfulfilling job, Pippa was able to follow her dreams of running her own business and providing high-quality products to the nation. I was thrilled when I was sent her famous nut butter to try.
Crunchy Maple Peanut Butter
I was really excited to try the crunchy maple peanut butter, not only because it sounds insanely good, but also because my colleague absolutely raves about it. And she's right, it's fantastic! I added it to my daily smoothie and it blends really well, adding a very indulgent twist to my otherwise boring smoothie. Of course, I couldn't resist having it by the spoonful too as it tastes fantastic. It's fairly runny compared to other peanut butter products because it does not contain palm oil. I actually prefer it being runnier because it's easier to spread, and palm oil is bad not only for our health but also the environment, so it's really important that Pip & Nut avoid this ingredient. The Crunchy Maple Peanut butter contains maple syrup, roasted peanuts, coconut oil, and sea salt. Just four simple ingredients!
Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter
I am a new convert to cashew butter having only ever tried peanut butter up until very recently. Pip & Nut's Honey Cinnamon Cashew Butter is delicious; it's lovely and smooth, and again is fairly runny which makes it perfect to go on toast or a bagel. The honey adds a subtle sweet taste while the warming cinnamon provides a spicy kick which isn't too strong. Again, it only contains whole ingredients, and no chemicals or e-numbers so you know that what you're consuming is good for you. This flavour pairs really nice with the natural flavour of apple, so slathering onto apple slices makes the perfect afternoon snack!
I love Pip's ethos and the values that she delivers. All the products contain very few ingredients, all of which are wholesome and natural. They believe that nuts should be embraced, along with the natural good fats that they provide. Peanut butter can get a bad wrap sometimes as it can be calorific, but in sensible quantities, it can be enjoyed as an indulgent yet healthy snack! I love the variety of interesting and unique flavours that Pip & Nut provide and I absolutely cannot fault these products! It's a 10!
Pip & Nut on Social
BodyMe was founded in 2011 by Leigh Prideaux and is an ethically-conscious UK brand just liked Sundried. Naturally, it seemed like a great collaboration and I was really excited when they sent me some of their wonderful products to try.
Chia Vanilla Protein Bar
With 16g of protein in each bar, I'm off to a great start before I’ve even taken it out of the attractive and well-designed packet. The bars are dairy-free, GMO-free, gluten-free, and raw vegan. Phew! You’d think all that would mean it tastes like cardboard, but it absolutely doesn’t! The texture is not too dense or chewy and they're easily digestible. The Chia Vanilla bar is packed with chia seeds which are a popular superfood; they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in antioxidants, calcium, fibre, and iron. The chia seeds add a subtle crunch and the texture is not too thick or chewy - my mouth didn’t ache after eating it like with some protein bars! All the ingredients are organic with no nasty surprises and nothing made in a lab. It is cold-pressed which means none of the flavour or nutrients are lost in the production process.
Cacao Orange Protein Bar
The cacao orange bar has an ideal taste of chocolate orange and the little chunks crackled and popped which adds a fantastic texture. Like the chia seed bar, it is not too thick or chewy and has a delicious taste. It didn't leave an aftertaste in my mouth like some protein products so that was a bonus too. It's fairly moreish, I could've eaten more!
Cacao Mint Protein bar
The cacao mint bar was my favourite, it's delicious! I was dubious at first as I was worried the cacao would be too much, but it was perfect. The mint flavour filled my mouth as soon as I took the first bite, without being overpowering. The texture is perfect, not too chewy and with lovely crunchy bits to keep it interesting. I could easily eat this bar every day!
Plant Protein in a choice of cinnamon, cacao, or naked flavours
The plant-based protein is made from a blend of pea, brown rice, and hemp seeds which makes it an interesting mix! I'm often wary of vegan protein powders as they can be very thick and grainy, but these are fantastic! I think they are possibly better blended with certain liquids - soy milk rather than just water - but I had the cacao flavour powder in my daily spinach protein smoothie and it was great!
BodyMe has ethics that Sundried really supports and they are a small British brand just like us. Their products are clean and vegan without compromising taste so it's a win-win! It's a 10 from me.
BodyMe on Social
Rude Health is a small London-based food and drinks company co-founded by Nick and Camilla Barnard. They celebrated 10 years of business in 2016 and they aren’t afraid of speaking up about real, honest food. Their ethos is about providing high-quality ingredients and products to the public and they have spent years perfecting all of their recipes. Their bright, loud, and exciting brand really sparks an interest in their healthy snacks and nutrition, but they stay humble by only using the kind of ingredients that you’d use in your home, with nothing artificial or refined. I was lucky enough to be able to try a generous offering of their products and I was not disappointed!
Made from spring water, rice, Italian almonds, organic cold-pressed sunflower oil, and sea salt. That’s it! Just five organic ingredients which make it vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. It has complex flavours, with the depth of the rice hitting you after the freshness of the spring water. The almonds provide a nice sweetness without the aid of nasty artificial sweeteners or other additives. It would be perfect pre- or post-workout, especially after a heavy triathlon training session. It tastes delicious on its own or partnered with their ultimate muesli. I’m definitely a big fan of this drink and I would happily have it every day!
Spiced Apple/Honey & Nuts Granola
Like the drink, the granola manages to be perfectly sweet without the help of chemicals or processed additives. The fruit adds a lovely touch, with the spiced apple providing a little tang in the background. The texture is perfect, not too crunchy, and feels fresh. You can tell this has been made with real ingredients without compromising any of the flavour.
Hazelnut Butter Porridge
The porridge comes in a super cute individual pot, with a handy guide written up the side of the packaging so that you know how much water to add. It’s very easy to make, just add boiling water! You could easily take this to work with you and either have it as breakfast at your desk or as an afternoon snack to keep you going through a long day. The hazelnuts add a lovely crunchy texture and the cacao is rich and indulgent without being unhealthy! Winner!
I love the Rude Health brand and all that it stands for. Their humble roots have blossomed into a really exciting brand with strong ethics just like Sundried. Their products taste fantastic and it’s good to know that there’s nothing artificial in what you’re eating. It’s a 10 from me!
Rude Health on Social
Vega is a well-established plant based protein company in the USA, so when I was asked to try some of their products as they start to make waves in the UK, I was thrilled! Vega was co-founded by Brendan Brazier, a vegan former professional Ironman triathlete, so Sundried and Vega share some common ground in our passion for ethical consumption and triathlon. Vega’s products boast organic ingredients which are all gluten-free, non-dairy, and high protein. What’s not to love?
Vanilla Flavour Essentials Nutritional Powder
The vanilla flavour essentials nutritional powder is made from a blend of pea, flaxseed, and hemp. Its wholesome vegetable ingredients provide you with the nutritional building blocks to start your day strong and are high in protein, fibre, and omega-3. Vega says that it’s great as a smoothie, but I decided to try out their recipe for Cashew Vanilla and Coconut Balls, which turned out to be amazing!
They are really easy to make - trust me, I am a terrible cook! They smell phenomenal and they are lovely and light with a sweet taste. They make the perfect post-workout snack, and knowing that they are raw vegan and organic means they are totally guilt-free! If you want to have a go yourself, you can find the recipe on the Vega website.
Chocolate Flavour Clean Protein
I also got to try to chocolate flavour clean protein, which is a protein powder made from pea, hemp, alfalfa, and pumpkin seed. It’s naturally high in protein and low in sugar which makes it the perfect clean vegan protein powder! It tastes great mixed with water over ice but there are also recipes on the Vega website which you can try.
So, the verdict. I must say I am impressed! Anyone who has tried several different vegan protein powders has probably had the same experience as me in having to endure thick, lumpy, powdery protein shakes which taste awful! Well, no longer. Vega’s products are light and mix well, and are perfect in tasty recipes so that you can stay nourished and happy all day long. I was really pleasantly surprised by these products as past experiences have made me dubious about plant-based protein, but the nutritional value of these products is excellent. It’s a 10 from me!
Vega on Social