I’m time poor. I’m a single mum of teenagers, working erratic hours between 7am and 9pm, and – to be honest – I don’t like cooking. When Salad Servers Direct approached me to review some of their products, I jumped at the chance to have some of the mealtime pressure taken off!
Don’t let the name “Salad Servers” lead you to think they only do salads. They have a full range of curries, hot meals, meal kits, salad bowls, pastas, risottoss, bakes, vegan meals, soups, kids meals and side dishes on their website!
Over two weeks I sampled several hot and cold meals. Keep reading for a discount code!
My cooking challenges
I don’t think I’m unique in this, but if you can identify with any of my statements below, Salad Servers could be your fairy godmother, turning raw ingredients into ready-cooked delicious meals for your family:
- It’s exhausting trying to plan meals that everyone will eat
- I don’t have time to trawl the supermarket (or internet) for inspiration
- Cooking is a time-suck chore
- Cleaning up the kitchen after cooking is also a time-suck chore
- My fridge is where fresh food goes to slowly perish, before finding an ignominious final resting place in the bin
- Sometimes I’m the only one home at mealtimes; sometimes I have a house full of random unexpected hungry teenage visitors
- I need nutrition to stop me (and the kids) living off biscuits and processed grab-snacks
- If I could afford a personal chef, I would hire one!
I have tried other fresh food box delivery services, such as Dinnerly and Hello Fresh in the past, and although the food is very good, sometimes I just need to be able to prepare one portion, or I haven’t time to chop vegetables and cook before getting kids to their after-school sports or jobs. With these meal prep meal kits, it took a while to get around to preparing and cooking some of the meals included and they lost their fresh appeal.
To be honest, I expected Salad Servers Direct to be pretty similar, but I was wrong! Salad Servers Direct is sooooo much more convenient for busy families!
Week 1 – I discover Salad Servers Direct
I split the meals I chose over two weeks, purely because I didn’t really know what to expect, or how many kids I would be catering for (see point 6 above!). My meals were delivered in the early hours of the morning, carefully packed in chilled packaging and ice bricks to maintain freshness.
Here’s what I chose to try in week one:
- Salad Servers Butter Chicken Curry (1.5kg) with Saffron Basmati Rice (750g)
- Mini Beef Ravioli (1.5kg) with Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce (1.5kg)
- Classic Caesar Power Bowl with Poached Chicken, Whole Egg, Bacon & Croutons (240g)
- Black Bean & Beetroot Falafel with Lentil Tabbouleh & Pickled Cauliflower (260g)
I was expecting to have to do a bit of food-prep and cooking, but I was delighted to see that all the hard work had already been done. After fist-pumping the air, heaving a huge sigh of relief, and taking photos to share with you, I packed all the food in the fridge and relaxed, knowing that dinner was going to be a breeze.
Salad Servers Butter Chicken with Saffron Basmati Rice
This was the first meal we tried, butter chicken already being popular in our house. There were three extra people home to try this one with me; my teenage son and two of his friends. I thought I would have to heat the curry on the stove, but after scanning the QR code (every meal has one) for cooking instructions, I discovered it was as easy as warming as much as I wanted in the microwave.
Before we began, I put some aside in a lunch container to take to work with me the next day. Perfect! That saved me preparing sandwiches – already winning!
This meal was hands-down the overall favourite amongst all my family and guest testers. It had a thick creamy sauce with plenty of soft, tender, chicken pieces, and just the right level of spice for our taste. The chicken wasn’t diced reformed chunks like I have experienced in chilled and frozen supermarket meals, but good-sized pieces that looked like they had been taken straight from the bone.
I’d go as far as to say, this could easily be a dinner party cheat. It had that home cooked flavour and texture, and if you had this gently simmering on the stove 5-minutes before dinner guests arrived, there’s no way they’d guess you hadn’t spent a couple of hours carefully preparing it yourself.
Surprisingly – even after pilfering a little for tomorrow’s lunch – there was enough for everyone to eat their fill, and none was wasted.
Overall verdict 10/10. I would definitely make this a regular purchase! (Sorry, no photo – I just couldn’t get it to photograph well in artificial light).
Mini Beef Ravioli with Hidden Veggie Pasta Sauce
This was another quick, convenient meal – just simmer the pasta in hot water on the stove for 4 minutes, drain, stir through the sauce until warm, and serve.
I was cooking this for two people, so only added what I needed to the pot. The bag was huge! It could easily have served six big appetites, I think, and was used up over several mealtimes.
This would be an excellent meal for younger children. It is packed with goodness and quick to prepare. We found the flavour quite mild, so oomphed it up with parmesan cheese.
Overall verdict 6/10. Good sized serves, quick to the table, perfect for young tastes.
Classic Caesar Power Bowl with Poached Chicken, Whole Egg, Bacon & Croutons
Having a son who loves Chicken Caesar, I could have been generous and shared this with him – but I didn’t! Instead, I took it to work for lunch and enjoyed it all to myself.
I did think about presenting it neatly in a salad bowl for photographing, but it was so handily packaged in its own bowl that I didn’t really need to. The chicken, croutons, bacon, egg, and parmesan were in separate compartments above the lettuce, and simply required tipping in and tossing together.
This was sooo good! The chicken was fresh breast slices, cooked to perfection, served over fresh mixed leaves. EVERYTHING about this meal was delicious. I did take a photograph of it all tossed together prior to being devoured, but presentation isn’t my strong point and I didn’t do it justice. Just take my word for it that it was awesome!
Overall verdict 9/10. Perfectly proportioned blend of flavours and textures.
Black Bean & Beetroot Falafel Power Bowl with Lentil Tabbouleh & Pickled Cauliflower
Again, this is one that I kept to myself for a working lunch, but it could have served two people as a light lunch.
The falafels had a nice texture and subtle flavour that developed on the palate. Overall there was a delicious blend of textures, from crisp salad, to crunchy almonds and soft tabbouleh, all delightfully pulled together by the light tangy tahini sauce. After eating this, I felt like I had done something really good for body!
Overall verdict 8/10. Nice blend of textures and flavours, conveniently packaged.
After enjoying all of week one’s delights, I was feeling very positive. The food was good. I hadn’t had to cook or prepare anything, I wasn’t hungry, and I felt like I was enjoying a bit of health kick with very little effort on my behalf. I was definitely looking forward to week 2!
Week 2 – This week I cook … kind of!
Week 2 was all about hot dinners. I chose:
- Beef Lasagne (1kg),
- Veggie Loaded Indian Curry (1.5kg) with Saffron Basmati Rice (750g), and
- Chicken Katsu Curry Kit
Veggie Loaded Indian Curry
Following the success of the Butter Chicken last week, we selected the Veggie Curry to try first.
I love vegetarian food, and this suited me down to the ground. Filled with large coarsely chopped fresh vegetables, coconut cream, chickpeas, lentils, and health-boosting apple cider vinegar, ginger and turmeric, this was a delicious thick-sauced curry.
My kids enjoyed this, but for them butter chicken was still the clear favourite. They’re pretty loyal to butter chicken!
Again, this was a quick-to-the-table meal, with portions heated in the microwave, and ideal for me to take to work for lunch the next day.
Overall verdict 8/10. Delicious, and a favourite for me!
Salad Servers Beef Lasagne
My kids, and their teenage friends, were looking forward to this one. I had an extra couple of hungry teenage boys jump into the car at school pick up, just because this was on the menu!
This one required a bit of time, but not much effort. It was all ready to pop into a pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. I threw some garlic bread in there with it, and served it with salad leaves.
The boys and I thought this was really good. Lasagne is actually one of the meals that I will cook completely from scratch – including the sauces – when I have time, but time has been in exceedingly short supply in the last year. The kids love my rare home-made lasagne, and this was a much quicker and easier alternative!
The sauce was rich and tasty; a good balance of meaty sauce and pasta and creaminess. A kilo of lasagne disappeared pretty quickly!
Overall verdict 9/10. Tasted home cooked and super convenient.
Chicken Katsu Curry Kit
I’d been putting this one off – it was a meal kit, and that made me nervous: I would have to do some prep! Then I plucked up the courage to scan the QR code, and discovered it was nowhere near as intense as I expected. In fact, it was really simple!
There were three large chicken schitzels that simply required heating through in the oven (I didn’t even have to dip them in egg and breadcrumbs myself). The curry sauce was filled with large chunky vegetables and just needed to be heated in a saucepan, and then the whole lot was layered on the plate with the brown rice salad (warmed in the microwave) and fresh, crunchy Japanese slaw.
I really enjoyed the mix of flavours and textures in this meal, and so did my kids. I was surprised that they tried the salad, but they did – and they liked it!
Again, I had put some vegetable curry sauce and schnitzel into a take out bowl for work the next day, prior to serving.
Overall verdict 9/10 – easier to prepare than I expected and a tasty meal.
Salad Servers Direct – the verdict
For my busy lifestyle, Salad Servers Direct is perfect. I can get home from work and have dinner on the table in no time, and with my kids being older, they can cater for themselves with a nutritious fresh meal when I am not home.
I loved that most of it can be divided into individual portions before heating, meaning I could stretch it for several meals – great for anyone on a budget. I also loved that the instructions were instantly available by scanning the QR code, and they were incredibly simple to follow.
So would I try Salad Servers again? Yes, most definitely! This could be my answer to that mysterious practice of meal prep, and the butter chicken will be the star attraction next time I have grown-up guests over for dinner.
The meals I tried over the 2-week period came to an approximate total price of $180. The hot meals serve 4-6 people, and represent great value for money in saved time and convenience.
Salad Servers discount code
If you yould like to try Salad Servers for yourself, you can save 20% off your first order with our exclusive discount code: BRISFAM. Click here to browse the full salad servers range of delicious dishes!