Home cooking made easier with Sorted’s Meal Packs app

There’s not many things to bring excitement and variation into life these days, what with lockdown, but the one thing I do enjoy is spending time in the kitchen trying to make new things. I will admit, though, that after a year of trying to be creative I was finding it hard to think of ideas of what to cook. I’ve followed SORTEDFood on YouTube for as long as I can remember and they often plug their Meal Packs but I don’t know why it took me so long to really check them out. The key detail here is that this isn’t one of those meal pack things where you subscribe and they send you all the ingredients things, these are just packs of recipes.

So here’s how it works: each week there’s a new set of menus with 3-5 meals that you can choose from and then that gives you a shopping list that you can combine with the rest of your plans for the week (and you toggle if the portions are for 2 or 4 people). You go through the shopping list, ticking off things you already have in the kitchen and can then copy and paste the rest for taking to the shop.

What I like about this is the flexibility – say you’ve picked a menu that happens to include an ingredient that someone in your households hates or just can’t have, you’re able to do a little switcheroo without wasting anything. You have the choice of where you do your shopping so the price and your product preferences is in your hands. The community using the app can suggest twists they made to the menu which can give you good ideas too. That degree of flexibility has been really handy for me. Then once you’ve got your stuff, they guide you through the recipe with tips and timers all included in the app, et voila dinner is served!

Creamy Beetroot Pasta with Spinach, Feta and Almonds (hack it menu)

The idea is to help you ‘boss your midweek meals’ by taking the stress out of meal planning and reducing your spending and waste by coordinating the ingredients together so you’re using everything up during the week. I definitely think it does both of those things but on top of that and the flexibility, what I love is trying new dishes and learning. There are a lot of recipes in the packs that are similar to things I would maybe cook myself, but there’s also opportunities to try something completely new which has been exciting to me both as a home cook but also as a home eater! For example, I’d never have thought to turn my pasta pink, and I’d never even heard of Feijoada before I made it but I really loved it.

In particular, I think the menus have taught me about balancing flavours in dishes, like a lot of the time the most valuable aspect of the dish is the element of acidity brought by a pickled vegetable or a citrusy dressing that I would never have thought to add but it makes a big difference. My apple cider vinegar has never seen so much attention! Also I think there’s loads to learn from this app if you’re not such an experienced cook, they have packs that teach you through basic cooking skills and the guides as you cook are really handy so if you want to learn how to cook, this should definitely be your pal!

Mushroom Stifado (summer bowls menu)

So yeah, it’s been a great addition to my life and I’ll definitely keep using it. For the meal planning alone, it’s worth it for me so I don’t always have to think of all the dishes. I’ve been loving the journey and it will only continue to be fun as there are always new menus coming. It’s a definite recommend for me and brilliant value for money (only £5/month or £50/year). It comes with a month’s free trial which is plenty time to decide if you want to carry on, and the membership includes access to their Cookboooks app which gives you even more recipes to try without having to physically buy a big hulking book. Also, lol, this is not sponsored – I’m just telling you about a tool that’s been making my life easier and bringing a little variety to my life.
You can find out more at their website.

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