I have to admit, I was a little reluctant to try this pre-packaged ‘ready meal’ service having had a bad experience with something similar before. Back then I ended up stuck with unappealing boxes of food and felt guilty for opting for beans on toast instead. However, Balance Box went way above and beyond my expectations, providing varied and healthy options which had me looking forward to every meal.
I went for the three-day pescatarian plan which included breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. I chose the lighter plan and what I was provided with was more than enough – I certainly wasn’t left raiding the cupboards for more.
Upon delivery, everything was packaged well to keep the meals intact and cold, and each box was clearly labelled with the days/meals for which they were intended. A conclusive list of all the meals including allergen and cooking information as well as packaging recycling tips was provided and this really felt like a company who had thought of everything, even the packaging issue. Most food delivery services can be sustainably problematic but this was all recyclable, and in London (where it is environmentally efficient) Balance Box will pick up your boxes, insulation, and icepacks upon their next delivery to ensure responsible disposal.
When skimming through the ‘Menu’, I was delighted with the variety. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of having the same five or so meals on rotation without much deviation. Balance Box was a useful ‘reset’ from this, as well as the added bonus that they’re ready in four minutes. Below was my menu for the three-day plan.
- Breakfast: Strawberry and banana muesli
- Lunch: Smoked trout with celeriac and fennel slaw
- Dinner: Seabass Provencal
- Breakfast: Leek and mozzarella frittata
- Lunch: Spiced butternut and quinoa salad with raspberry vinaigrette
- Dinner: Chipotle and black bean stew
- Breakfast: Date Bircher
- Lunch: Sweetcorn chowder
- Dinner: Indian vegetable curry
- Delish – Trail bar
- Much Me – Peanut Bar
- Yummy – Berry Bar
- Bliss Bar
- Assorted nuts
There wasn’t a single one of these dishes which I didn’t enjoy, despite not all of them being what I would normally go for. It was also the healthiest I’ve eaten since leaving my parents’ house, with each dish feeling light and nourishing but indulgent and filling. I was a little sceptical of the cooking instructions: a few of the hot meals could have done with a prompt to stir halfway through to ensure they were piping hot throughout. This wasn’t instructed and sometimes the heat was a little uneven – which is mostly fine but made me a bit uneasy with the rice/fish dishes. Ultimately though, it was a great experience; every dish was a delight, without having to compromise time or health.
At around £26.99 per day, the pricing is really reasonable when considering how much you’d spend on one meal out. This might sound a bit far-fetched, but while these are technically microwave meals they don’t feel like it at all. Prepared by professional chefs and designed by nutritional experts, these are the boujiest ready-meals I’ve ever had.
I can go through slumps of being unmotivated with my diet when I’m feeling run down or too busy. During these periods I’ll skip breakfast and get lazy with dinner which often results in evening meals of packeted ramen or a McDonald's. Balance Box felt like such a relief from this – it’s definitely something I’ll choose in the future to save me from the slump. Even if for nothing more than to get some meal inspiration and to break the cycle of endless spag bol dinners, I would highly recommend trying a Balance Box; give yourself a break from cooking.