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Meals brought to your door

gnocchetti sardi al pesto
Gnochetti Sardi al Pesto from Venturo
Although you do have to cook them yourself. Alix Norman looks at popular meal kit services on the island

In the last couple of years, Cyprus has seen any number of meal kit schemes spring up, services which allow you to choose your meal, have the ingredients delivered to your door, and cook at home. Corona has, of course, been a catalyst – if you enjoy a healthy home-cooked meal but don’t want the hassle of a mask-clad trip to the market, it’s an ideal solution. Here are three of the island’s most popular meal kit services.

 

RECIPE BOX

Based in the Paphos and Limassol districts, Recipe Box Ltd launched in May 2020 – the brainchild of Morgan Cheyenne Richards.

“During lockdown I’d been thinking about how I could help people who were not comfortable leaving home,” reveals the 31-year-old. “I knew from the start it would be some sort of food service and, after a lot of research, I settled on meal kits: an option that’s far healthier and more affordable than takeaway.”

With over 100 tasty recipes (including vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free, keto, and under-600 calorie choices) and new options added weekly, Recipe Box comes in six different order sizes, ranging from two meals for two people (€5.50 per portion) up to four meals for four people (under €4 per portion).

“We do things properly here at Recipe Box,” says Morgan. “We’re registered as an incorporated company, and compliant with all local tax and health regulations; meals are packed in a branded, insulated, and reusable ‘Bag 4 Life’; and the service collaborates in a bonus scheme with AlphaMega and with Chalkie’s Kitchen to help support locals in need during the pandemic.”

Ingredients are always fresh – purchased on the morning of delivery – and meals can also be frozen to enjoy at a later date. “At the moment, our most popular meal is the Sweet & Sticky Chinese Pork with Rice,” Morgan reveals. “Choosing a meal kit means you get to enjoy something you wouldn’t normally: this recipe, for example, has lots of ingredients including Chinese 5-Spice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame seeds. Buying all those yourself could be quite expensive, plus a lot would be wasted. But with a meal kit, you get exactly what you need.”

ingredients

Recipe Box is enjoying great success on the western shores of the island. Orders are placed through the website, and delivery can be made to Paphos, Polis, the Limassol army bases and surrounds, and the villages on the highway between Paphos and Limassol.

“And soon,” Morgan reveals, “we’ll be including the whole of Limassol! I must say I was not expecting Recipe Box Ltd to come this far so quickly; originally this was a temporary business venture, but we now have investors, collaborators, and a bright future. There’s been a huge amount of positive feedback, and over 90 per cent of new customers re-order – a figure which speaks for itself!”

https://www.recipeboxcyprus.com/

 

VENTUNO

Authentic, home-made Italian cuisine is the theme to Cucina Con Ventuno, a new venture from Limassol restaurant Ventuno.

“The inspiration behind the idea was Covid-19,” explains the restaurant’s digital manager Froso Kasini. “As a team, we really missed cooking for our clients, providing those authentic, home-cooked Italian flavours straight from the kitchen. Of course we were delivering,” she continues, “but true Italian cuisine demands the food be enjoyed immediately – hot from the oven or stove – to maximise taste…”

Working with in-house chef Mario Lorenzo, the team came up with the idea of Cucina Con Ventuno: “We realised that if our customers couldn’t come to us, this was a way to present them with the fresh ingredients, and guide them how to make the dishes we love making for them – but all at home. So we created a small menu of six of our most popular dishes (four pasta dishes and two risotti), all of which require between five to 10 minutes’ cooking and cost roughly €10 per person.”

To minimise preparation time, all ingredients are pre-chopped, and the sauces already prepared. “There’s a recipe card with the precise steps included in each recyclable box,” explains Frosso, “and a QR code with each meal which links to a video of our chef, Mario, cooking the exact same recipe. That way, you can cook along with him, or even buy the ingredients yourself at a later date, and make the entire meal from scratch. It might not be quite the same,” she smiles, “because the ingredients we use are supplied direct from Italy – but it’s an added extra.”

With ordering and delivery completed through either the Wolt or Bolt apps, Cucina Con Ventuno is still a Limassol-only venture. “But we do have plans to expand,” says Froso. “Although we only launched in January, the feedback has been so excellent that you never know what will happen next!”

For more information, visit the Facebook page ‘Ventuno’ or use the Wolt or Bolt delivery apps

 

diet boxes 1080 x 1080#
Diet boxes from Family chef

FAMILY CHEF

“From our family to yours,” says Shak Vassiliou, the brains behind Family Chef. Launched in February 2019, the Nicosia-based outfit now delivers to all cities on the island, focusing on “delicious food always made from all-fresh homemade ingredients.

“We cater to your everyday needs, weight loss requirements, your parties and your get-togethers!” explains 49-year-old Shak. “Granted, the pandemic has changed things up, but with a base of over 500 active customers, the venture has proved highly successful.”

Offering DIY recipes (which start at €4.99 per portion), meal plans for weight loss (from €90 per week for 1,000 kcal per day), catering services, and cooked meals, Family Chef focuses on bringing healthy, home-cooked meals to your home.

“We offer 12 different DIY or cooked meals every week, as well as 10 frozen items, 10 sandwiches, and 12 meat and fish fresh items. We also have a meal plan service,” he adds, “with five different meals every day, and a catering menu with more than 100 options.”

It’s a lot to take in, but the website makes ordering a doddle, with its clear categories and explanatory photos. “You choose the meal you like, the number of portions you need and whether you would like it cooked or DIY,” explains Shak. “For the DIY option, we deliver a box” – recyclable and complete with insulated packaging – “with the precise ingredients you need, all washed, prepared and labelled, along with an easy-to-follow recipe card. Minimum preparation is required, and your meal will be ready within 30 minutes.

“When you select the cooked option,” he continues, “we cook the meal for you and place each portion in a microwaveable container. All cooked meals remain fresh in your fridge for three days: just microwave them and enjoy the deliciousness!”

Along with their meal kits, Family Chef also sell fresh meat and fish, ready-made sandwiches and burgers, while their meal kits can be tailored to a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, and Lenten menu. The low-calorie option is also a favourite: “Our low Kcal meal plans are the most popular because there’s a great demand for weight loss while enjoying great food,” says Shak. “We’ve seen customers lose about one kilogramme every week. This is healthy eating at its best!”

www.familychef.com.cy

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