Sunday, 1 October 2017

Local Eat Treats #60 A Guilt Free Friday Night Feast with Poco Culina

Andy, the man behind Poco Culina, has created a catering company serving up top notch food as well as a healthy dose of ethics. You see, Poco Culina is all about plant-based food which is nutritiously dense (yep, a food delivery company serving food which actually does your body a whole lot of good), the ingredients are sourced as ethically and sustainably as possible, it is all hand-prepared and Andy will even deliver most of the food himself – on his bicycle! Oh and one more thing, even the packaging is all biodegradable or recyclable. Now that is what you call an ethical business!

We had a Friday night ‘takeaway’ courtesy of Poco Culina, but as well as a delivery (or pick up) service, Andy also provides business lunches, caters for events and dinner parties and puts on cooking demos. 
The menu changes on a weekly basis, but is always wholesome, always plant-based, nearly always gluten-free and all inspired by (mainly) Eastern flavours. Our week was influenced by dishes and flavours from the Mediterranean; including smoky Spanish beans, sweet roasted tomatoes with green chilli and broccoli rice (£.7.50 per person). The main courses are generous enough, but for a treat you can also order a meze starter (we had Greek puff pastries, sweet vegetable tortilla, arancini, houmous, Spanish and bean salads) which altogether works out at £10 each.

So…Andy arrived – on his bike – and delivered our dinner. We popped it in the fridge and then warmed it all up (you just need to whack it all in the microwave or oven to heat through) when we were ready to eat, set the table, opened a bottle of wine and dished up. 
What struck me first, is that although this is takeaway at its healthiest, the portions are plentiful so you certainly won’t feel hard done by! Secondly, don’t mistake healthy for tasteless, this food is full of flavour: Our plates were so colourful, laden with various beans, grains and vegetables. In fact, I knew that Kingsley would complain if I’d told him it was a meat-free meal, so I sprung it on him just as we sat at the table, but even he was impressed! We’ve eaten pretty shoddily of late, due to the arrival of PJ (our six week old daughter), so a plateful of goodness was just what we both needed! It felt even better that we could absolutely fill our boots and not feel one shred of guilt for doing so!
The verdict? It was really enjoyable to review something a bit different. Sure, fancy pants restaurants and proper pub grub always brings a smile to my face, but sometimes you just want a night in (especially now we don’t have a lot of choice without paying for a sitter), a chance to raid the wine rack and the opportunity to just relax with your very nearest and dearest (not that I’ve done any relaxing in the last six weeks!). It’s fab for Cheltenham to cater for those wanting to be healthy, those who are gluten-free, those who eat a plant-based diet or are trying to cut down on meat, and those who are ethically minded – or all of the above! It’s reasonably priced and as the menus change weekly, it’s a perfect excuse to have a healthy treat on a regular basis.
If you, like me, meet up with friends and family often and entertain lots but get fed up with constantly putting junk into your body, then Poco Culina is what you need in your life!
I challenge you to replace your usual Friday night takeaway with this healthier option and let me know what you think.

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