Feeding the family made easy
Supperlicious dinner bags are packed with quality local produce and simple recipes – we put them to the test
With nine children between them, Bristol mums Emma Osborne, Sam Oliphant and Zoe Gough know all about juggling work and family, not to mention cooking for several hungry and fussy mouths every evening.
The three women have just launched Supperlicious, a Portishead-based company that provides families with a weekly bag of top quality local meat and vegetables, together with recipes for simple but delicious family meals.
Assuming you have basic store cupboard ingredients such as olive oil, milk, butter, dried herbs and spices, flour, salt and pepper, the idea behind Supperlicious is that all you need to do is put on your apron and cook.
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The co-founders of this new business got the idea from Scandinavia, where similar upmarket home-delivery food boxes have been popular for years.
The three women admit that telling families what they are going to eat each week is a "big ask", but when recipients of the bags realise that they don't have to worry about food shopping or think of different meals each night, it soon makes sense.
I have to admit I wasn't quite sure about the concept until I received my "three-day" bag earlier this week. Although I'm a busy parent, I still like to choose what I cook for the family each night, despite the frequent trips to the shops.
My Supperlicious bag included all the ingredients for three dishes – crispy chicken escalopes with buttered carrots, spinach and rosemary potatoes; seasonal cottage pie with Savoy cabbage; and pan-fried pork with creamy mash and sauteed sprouts.
I cooked all three dishes and each recipe was easy to follow with clearly written instructions, but what struck me most was the quality of the ingredients supplied. The majority of the produce is sourced within 20 miles of Bristol and the meat and poultry were impressive.
As for the dishes themselves, they went down a storm with the family, particularly the chicken escalopes.
At £51 for the "three-day" bag and £85 for five evening meals, they are also very good value. It would take quite a bit of time and money to shop for ingredients of this quality if you did it yourself.
Supperlicious is a simple idea but one that could really take off. The co-founders are already planning national deliveries in the New Year.
In the meantime, I would highly recommend you try it for yourself. The deadline for ordering the next bags is Monday, November 28, and the bags will be delivered on December 5. They can also be collected from the company's Portishead HQ.
Orders for Supperlicious bags can be made via the website www.supperlicious.co.uk. For more information, call 01275 390686.
â 1 bag of potatoes
â 2 garlic cloves
â 1 bunch of rosemary
â 4 chicken breasts
â 2 eggs, beaten
â 2 handfuls of plain flour
â 1 bag of breadcrumbs
â 1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
â 1 bunch of carrots
â 1 bag of fresh spinach
â Olive oil
â Sea salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Peel and chop the potatoes into 2-3cm chunks, crush the garlic and chop the rosemary. Mix together on a baking tray with a glug of olive oil. Season well and cook in the centre of the oven for between 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.
While the potatoes are cooking, using a rolling pin, flatten out eat chicken breast until they are about 1cm in thickness throughout.
Mix the breadcrumbs and dried herbs together. Place the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs on to three separate plates. Dip each escalope into the flour, then the egg and then the breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pan and fry the chicken gently for about 8-10 minutes (turning occasionally) until golden and crisp and cooked through. Keep the escalopes moving in the pan to prevent burning.
Whilst cooking the chicken, put a small pan of salted water on to boil. Peel and slice the carrots thinly on the diagonal. When the water is boiling, blanch the carrots for five minutes until slightly softened. Drain and set aside.
Wash the spinach, then place in a pan with a knob of butter in the chicken pan and fry the carrots for 2-3 minutes. Season and serve with the carrots, potatoes and spinach.
â 1 swede
â 2 parsnips
â 2 onions
â 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
â 1 pack of minced beef
â 1 large pinch of cinnamon
â 1 tbsp of tomato purée
â 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
â 1 tin of tomatoes
â 1 Savoy cabbage
â Olive oil
â Butter, optional
â Sea salt and pepper
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Peel and chop the swede and parsnip (remover inner core) into equal small chunks (so they cook quickly).
When boiling, add to the pan and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
In a large non-stick pan gently heat a glug of olive oil. Meanwhile, bring a second pan of salted water to the boil.
Peel and finely dice the onions. Add to the oil with the garlic and sauté on a medium heat for about five minutes until soft.
Add the beef and cook for about 10 minutes or until the mince is browned.
Add the cinnamon, along with the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to mix for one minute.
Over a medium heat, add the tomatoes and then simmer for about 10 minutes until the meat mixture has slightly reduced.
Whilst simmering, prepare your cabbage by washing, removing the hard inner core and then cutting into thin strips.
Add to the second pan of water and simmer on a medium heat for about five minutes until tender.
Heat the grill to high. Drain and mash the swede and parsnip adding a knob of butter and season.
Place the meat mixture into an ovenproof dish, top with the mash and place under the grill for around five minutes until browned. Drain the cabbage and serve.