Subscription boxes took the Blogging world by storm and are still a monthly feature on most sites I subscribe to. I absolutely love the surprise & indulgence of Beauty boxes,but food always wins when I have a choice. I subscribed to Gousto for 6 months, but have ended my time with them after paying £42 a week for some lack luster ingredients. There are some great food boxes you can subscribe to or order your weekly shop from but Ilumi is the first gluten free, nut free and milk free one I have seen so far with such a vast selection on offer.
Ilumi works by ordering the ‘pouches’ you want, whether for an indulgence, sharing meal or just your weekly necessity. The pouches don’t need to be refrigerated, can be kept in the cupboard and only take 1-2 minutes in the microwave. I am a notoriously lazy cook but I would never compromise on quality which is why I love Ilumi. I am also lactose intolerant and so avoid eating certain foods especially when it’s a takeaway and had no idea I could enjoy my favourite Asian dishes without milk, nuts or gluten!
I haven’t ever tried a gluten free beer before & didn’t know what to expect other than fear the unknown! Instead the beer proved me wrong and made me feel a lot less bloated, yet tasted just as good as others that I drink. I added a quarter of lime in the top & I was good to go. I would definitely purchase this again, as bloating is the main reason why I avoid drinking beer in general & it worked perfectly with the Asian style meal.
Each pouch equates to one meal per person, realistically for one meal a bag of rice & a chosen main should be sufficient. For the purpose of the review Pete & I tried out all 4 mains with rice & a soup each accompanied by the delicious beer.
The starter was Tom Kha Gai 250g pouch for £1.90, and had a mixed reception from us both. The quality of ingredients & balance of flavour was spot on, but I personally dislike the overpowering taste of lemongrass. There’s nothing wrong with the soup or the way it’s flavoured, in fact I have an amazing Thai Restaurant opposite me & I still can’t eat meals flavoured with lemon-grass, I blame the oils I used to use in a footbath! The price of the soup is fantastic value, and really filling. It would be great for a Winter evening with some toasty gluten free bread.
For the mains we enjoyed White Long Grain Rice £1 for 175g pouch, Vegetable Biryani £2.75 for 275g, Chicken Laska £3.75 for 275g, Beef in Black Bean Sauce £3.75 for 275g & Sweet Five Spice & Chilli Pork £3.75 for 275g. Considering that the meals are diet specific, and don’t need to be stored in the fridge the prices are very reasonable, and a lot cheaper than I could freshly prepare at home. Each course takes 1-2 minutes to cook & would be a great idea for a party/banquet, yet similarly work perfectly if you are single & don’t want to cook up huge meals, and are ideal for couples with little time (Pete &I!)
Beef in Black Bean Sauce
Sweet Five Spice & Chilli Pork
I definitely preferred the Chinese choices from the Menu, despite loving Thai food I just couldn’t enjoy the lemon-grass flavours or chicken dishes. The pork and beef was so succulent & tender that it made the meals incredible, the chilli pork had a lot of heat to it without tainting and overpowering the flavours of the dishes, similarly the black bean was packed full of flavour and spice, all well balanced and impressive for a microwave meal.
Even if you don’t have dietary specific requirements I couldn’t recommend these any-more. Make sure you check the ingredients before you order so you know you love the balance in advance and you could be onto finding a replacement for your Friday takeaway. I would happily indulge in the Chinese Menu in replacement for my fast food frenzies at the weekend & swap my bloating beer for a gluten free refreshment.
If you want to check Ilumi out for more info or food choices then follow them here: