Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

Over the years we’ve tried all kinds of veg box schemes. We’ve tried those recipe boxes and we’ve had a milkman, then no milkman because the local diary closed, now we have another milkman because another dairy opened. Getting food delivered to the door isn’t just convenient, with the Creamline Best of Local Box scheme, you can get brilliant locally produced food from independent producers delivered to your door.

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

I live in South Manchester and I was asked to give the Best of local Box a try. Where I can I do try to shop local, and I buy directly from a number of the Best of Local suppliers on a regular basis. I knew that the contents of the box would be of a really high standard, but would it be more expensive?

The Creamline website it really simple to use. Just browse and add to your basket the products you want delivered, choose your delivery day, pay and then wait for the knock on the door.

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

I had a good look and what was on offer, then meal planned around that. I was excited that there was a baker, something we don’t really have locally anymore; so I did go a bit wild when ordering bakery products.

Here’s my order for my first box…

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

The meat products are what I usually buy from the butchers who supply Creamline anyway. The meat were the most expensive part of my order; we ate some straight away and I put the rest in the freezer for another day. I always think it’s better to buy good quality meat and eat a little less of it, than cheap, low quality meat.

The bread, rolls and bakes were incredibly quality. I’m so used to bland supermarket bread that just some toast made with the bloomer was a real treat. If you order the Best of Local Box, them it’s well worth stocking up on this gorgeous bread. I can also highly (HIGHLY) recommend the millionaires flapjack, which was superb.

The fruit and veg come daily from Manchester’s Smithfield Market. It was as fresh as could be. The watermelon lasted for ages and made one boy very happy (watermelon is his favourite thing).

I really loved my Creamline Best of Local Box. I knew everything was made within a few miles of my home, by local people who really care about the quality of what they produce. It’s exactly the kind of thing I would order and will order in the future.

Review: Creamline Best of Local Box delivered to your door

I think that sometimes when you order a food box, you’re not really sure where the food has come from and what kind of quality it will be. I already shop with a number of the shops who supply the Creamline Best of Local boxes; so it’s just a more convenient way for me to shop, without the bother of carrying it home. It’s delivered to my door, well packed, free of charge and by a cheery person.

The box is no more expensive that going from local shop to local shop. It’s great quality and I feel like I’m still doing my “shop local” bit to help my high street.

They’ve even got a discount code on their website right now if you want to try it out for yourself!

For more information about the Best of Local Box, visit the Creamline website.

We reviewed the Creamline fruit and veg box a few years ago, you can read about that here.

Disclosure: I was given a Creamline Best of Local box for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: A Creamline Dairies Fresh Veg Box

Living in Manchester my local dairy is Creamline Dairies. They offer doorstep deliveries of milk as well as a large range of other products. One of their newest offerings is a fresh veg box delivery and I was keen to give it a try.

I’ve previously tried veg boxes from most of the big veg box companies, but they just send you a selection of what they’ve got, rather than allowing you to pick and choose what you want and need. With the Creamline Dairies veg box you can choose what fruit, veg and herbs you need, add them to your box, choose your delivery date and as long as your order is over £10 they will deliver it to your door.Creamline Dairies

For the purposes of this review, they sent me a selection of the most popular fruit and veg. My box included – salad leaves, mushrooms, carrots, new potatoes, peppers, radishes, onions, tomatoes, apples, oranges, grapes and raspberries. They were well packed and presented in a sturdy cardboard box.

As it was delivered on one of the hottest days of the year, we decided a BBQ was in order so we set to work making use of some of our lovely fresh veg. It was all really good quality. I couldn’t fault the freshness of any of the ingredients. In fact the tomatoes were probably amongst the best I’d ever had.

Creamline Dairies

We made use of the salad leaves and made some veggie kebabs with the peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. For pudding I made use of the raspberries and grapes and added some strawberries I had in the fridge and made a chocolate sauce to dip the fruit in. That was incredibly popular. 

Creamline Dairies

Over the next few days I used all of the fruit and veg we’d been sent. It was great to have a fridge full of good quality fruit and veg which didn’t have too many food miles and had as much as possible been gown locally. 

I think milkmen (and women) have had a tough time of things lately, and if I could step on my soapbox for a minute, I’m very much in favour of supporting local dairies and in turn, supporting local farmers and food producers who are feeling the squeeze. Eating food which hasn’t come far, is great for the local economy and also helps to give me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. 

I really like that Creamline Dairies offer not only milk, but also fruit and veg and the full range of groceries, all with free delivery. As someone who doesn’t drive and can’t really carry bags of heavy shopping, this is a real godsend and I know that I’ll be using this service in the future. I couldn’t fault the produce or the service and I fully support the local ethos behind it. 

For more information about Creamline Dairies and their veg boxes visit their website.

We are sent our first veg box for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Recipe: Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

Lasagne is one of those tried and tested family meals. It’s something everyone will happily tuck into and it’s perfect for sneaking a bit of extra veg into if you’ve got kids. I’ve taken things a step further; and for some think may be a step too far, but it’s just as delicious and a little bit healthier. Stick with me on this. I use blended cauliflower instead of béchamel sauce to make cauliflower lasagne sauce.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore béchamel sauce and find it to be incredibly easy to make and versatile. But, and here’s the big but. It’s just flour, butter, milk and seasoning and it doesn’t count as one of your five a day.

Over the weekend I made our current favourite lasagne. Generous portions of roasted butternut squash and parsnip, with handfuls of fresh baby spinach in a fresh tomato sauce, layered with lasagne sheets and topped with cauliflower sauce. It works, it really works and if you put enough cheese in it, it turns into an amazing lasagne-cauliflower cheese mash up.

Recipe: Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

Sneak extra veg into your cooking with this delicious cauliflower lasagne sauce.

2 cauliflowers
400mls milk (I used semi skimmed)
200g mature cheddar cheese, grated
Salt & Pepper (chilli flakes & grated nutmeg optional)

Chop up your heads of cauliflower, they don’t need to be in pretty florets as you’ll be blending them. Add as much stalk as you like, it’s full of flavour and very frugal. Boil or steam until cooked through.

Once cooked, drain and put into a blender (you may need to do this in batches). Season generously and add the milk, blend until smooth. If you want a smoother sauce you can pass it through a sieve at this point and/or add a little bit more milk.

Whilst the sauce is hot, stir through the cheese and taste. Add more seasoning if you feel it needs any. Layer the sauce into your lasagne as you would do with your normal white sauce.

You can add as much cheese to the sauce as you’d like. I haven’t added much at this point because I know I’ll be sprinkling more cheese on top of the lasagne when I cook it.
I sometimes add a spoon of soft cheese with garlic and herbs which give it a nice background flavour.
Try adding chilli flakes to add a bit of a kick, or a touch of grated nutmeg because it just works.

Recipe: Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce

I think my cauliflower lasagne sauce has lots of potential. I can imagine it working really well in something like moussaka. It’s such a great way to sneak extra veg into your life.

This recipe could easily be adapted for vegans too. Just swap the milk for soy milk or similar and leave out the cheese.

Cauliflowers are incredibly cheap in the shops at the moment, so we’re cooking with them a lot. This would also work well with frozen cauliflower. But not broccoli, broccoli is a step too far!

Have you got any tips for sneaking veg into your family meals?


Recipe: Sneaky Cauliflower Lasagne Sauce