Okay, I’ll admit, I can be lazy in the week when it comes to making supper. Technically, it’s not really laziness that’s my biggest problem – my imagination is lazy. Sometimes, just sometimes, after a long day at work, the last thing I am capable of doing is making decisions between chicken or beef; roast or spag bol. We’ve all been there. So when Gutsy Green called me to tell me all about the new start-up, I was all ears.
By Heather Ingarfield
With a strong focus on home cooking and convenience, Gutsy Green delivers all the ingredients for three delicious suppers, plus their recipes, to your work or home, so you don’t have to worry about digging deep into the trenches of your mind to think of something to cook up for dinner, nor do you have to worry about shopping or wastage (the ingredients come pre-portioned). Oh, bonus, they only use organic vegetables and free-range meat.
The convenience of knowing what was for supper, and that I absolutely, most definitely, had all the ingredients, was nothing short of miraculous for me.
First of all, before I go any further, there are options. For all the indecisive folk out there, you get to personally select your menu from the 9 options that will be presented in your inbox. I spent a few minutes drooling over the options, before choosing – in no particular order – these 3 winning dishes: Spicy hoisin chicken meatballs; Salmon and aioli burgers; and Earthy biltong and Parmesan risotto.
SPICY HOISIN CHICKEN MEATBALLS
The prep was pretty easy for this one: a bit of chopping, bit of dicing, bit of mixing, bit of rolling and some frying. The recipe suggested you serve this with rice, which was sent in the pretty brown box, but the sauce wasn’t plentiful enough to coat the rice, so I’d suggest either bumping up the sauce a little, or serving the balls with a juicy veg. But then again, rice is literally my last choice of starch, so I may be slightly prejudiced.
Speaking of quantities, this meal was the only one where the pre-portioned servings of ingredients were not quite enough to make the recommended number of servings (I only managed to roll out 6 meatballs, as opposed to 12), but owner Kyle Moore says they are working on being as generous as possible to allow customers to have lunch for the next day. Aaaah, someone who understands the leftover lunch game.
SALMON AND AIOLI BURGERS
I was probably the most excited for these – and my excitement sky-rocketed when I pulled out the massive hunk of pinky salmon. It was to be chopped up and mashed together with some garlic chives, garlic, shallots, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, then formed into two sizeable burger patties and fried for 4 minutes per side. I know the delicate flavour should not be overwhelmed by big flavours, but I was sceptical about the lack of additions to the patties… However, when smashed on to the bun with some of the lemon and garlic aioli, everything comes together to form a fresh, zesty and rich burger that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The beauty of this concept is that I now have the recipes, printed on handy little colourful recipe cards, for when I get my hands on another hunk of salmon.
EARTHY BILTONG AND PARMESAN RISOTTO
When I first chose this one, I did so with some trepidation. I love risotto, but making it on an ordinary Wednesday night after a day in the office and then a heavy gym session didn’t sound like my idea of fun. But, I chose it anyway because, well, I do love risotto! And I’m glad I did… Maybe it’s my mind playing tricks on me, or maybe I’ve only ever made the fussiest, faffiest risottos before, but this one was incredibly easy and quick. I didn’t feel the need to pitch a tent next to the stove, I didn’t grow a bicep stirring for hours – actually, my biggest problem was trying not to drink the wine meant for the risotto. Kidding.
The end result was very close to its description: earthy flavours, with the biltong and Peppadews taking centre stage among a cast of creamy Arborio rice, tomatoes and Parmesan. If anything, it could have done with more Parmesan, but then I am a bit of a cheese glutton…