The Greek Lemon – April 2017: Vegan Apollo Box

The Mediterranean diet has been heralded as one of the healthiest diets in the world, and it generally comes out on top of most science backed lists for those who want to live a long and happy life. Perhaps best of all though, the Mediterranean diet advocates consuming good wholesome foods (lots of fresh veggies, fruits, legumes, olive oil etc) with a focus on moderation and balance. Oh, and it’s absolutely delicious too!

However, it’s not always easy to follow a diet when you have a busy lifestyle, so The Greek Lemon have come up with a monthly subscription box that contains natural, authentic and high-quality Greek produce to help you on your way. Their boxes are curated so that the products/ingredients compliment each other, making it super easy to include them in healthy recipes that you can cook at home. All of the products are sourced directly from local and artisan producers, so it’s a great way to be introduced to new Greek foods that aren’t readily available here in the UK.

The Greek Lemon offer two different monthly subscription boxes; the Classic Dionysus box (priced at £34.99 per month), and the Vegan Apollo box (priced at £29.99 per month). Both boxes contain 6-8 products and they are shipped free of charge to the UK and Europe.

I was delighted to be able to try out their Vegan Apollo box which arrived via courier in perfect condition. The bright blue box with that beautiful postcard-perfect scene really cheered me up and had me wanting to book a holiday to a Greek island straight away! I was very excited to open up the box, so here’s what I found inside:-Knossos Extra Virgin Olive Oil (250ml bottle)

It wouldn’t be a Greek food box without a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and this high-quality one comes from Crete. It’s cold-pressed and has a rich, full flavour that tastes amazing drizzled onto fresh salads and used in dips with some warm, crusty bread. You can also use it for cooking and grilling with, as it’s such a versatile and healthy oil to have in your kitchen.Handmade Concentrated Tomato Sauce (200g)

Using the finest Greek tomatoes and herbs, this tomato sauce is bursting full of flavour and has been made to a family recipe. I’ve been enjoying it with some pasta for a quick and easy dinner time meal that I can whip up in a couple of minutes, and it’s delicious!Maria Nefeli Greek White Beans (250g)

Beans and pulses are some of the most basic staples in Greek food and have been used for centuries by the Greeks as a way to provide cheap and nutritious meals for their families. These organic white beans are from the artisan Maria Nefeli, and they have a lovely soft and smooth texture to them. I’ve been adding a handful into homemade soups to make them more substantial, and they’re an ideal way to get some extra protein into your daily diet.Maria Nefeli Greek Wild Oregano (35g)

This large bunch of dried Greek Wild Oregano was the first item that I pulled out of the box as it was safely packaged on the top of everything else to prevent it from getting squashed during transit. I’ve often seen chefs mention Greek Wild Oregano as one of the best types in the world, so I was very excited to finally get to try it for myself. You can use it in so many ways – from adding a sprinkle to pasta and homemade pizzas, to using it as a traditional herbal tea to aid digestion and cure coughs, the list is endless. I’ve used it mainly in pasta dishes at the moment, and it has such an incredible aroma and flavour that you only need to use a tiny amount each time.Maria Nefeli Vegan Casarecce Pasta (500g)

Another product from the lovely Greek artisan producer Maria Nefeli is a large bag of handmade Greek pasta. Created fom a mix of 100% durum wheat semolina and vegetables (spinach, carrots, beetroot, onion and leeks), it gives you a healthier pasta option to use in your meals and is suitable for vegans. Goes really well with the pasta sauce above!Xenia Olive Tapenade (185g)

I do love a good quality olive tapenade and they’re not always easy to find here in the UK, so I was pleased to find one in the box. This one’s from Xenia and uses the finest Greek Kalamon Olives for a tasty savoury spread that you can enjoy in sandwiches with some feta cheese, or as a simple dip with breadsticks. Yum!Maria Nefeli Mini Wholegrain Ntkakos (100g)

Ntkakos (pronounced ‘Dacos’) are mini rusks that are made from wholegrain rye flour and sourdough. You’ll find them as a staple everywhere in Crete, and they have a deliciously satisfying crunch to them. Like most tapas style breads, you can enjoy them in various ways – I like to add some fresh chopped tomatoes and feta cheese with a drizzle of olive oil over them, or you can use them to dip into the olive tapenade above.Maria Nefeli Tsai-Too-Voo-Noo Greek Mountain Tea (30g)

As an avid tea lover, it’s a real treat for me when I get to discover new teas that I haven’t tried before and I was really excited to try out this Greek Mountain Tea when I saw it in the box. This is a unique herbal infusion that’s made from the flowers, stems and leaves of the Sideritis plant that grows high up on the mountains. It’s often referred to as ‘shepherd’s tea’ and has been used for centuries to aid digestion, strengthen the immune system and suppress colds and flu, thanks to it’s naturally anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.  The taste of it is really quite unique and pleasant – it sort of reminds me of Chamomile but with a lemony sort of aftertaste. I could definitely see myself drinking a lot of this when I have a cold or flu bug because it feels very comforting and soothing!Maria Nefeli Mykonos Almond Treats (100g)

The last product in April’s Vegan Apollo box is a small bag of handmade Mykonos Almond Treats. These sweets are a unique delicacy and are traditionally given as wedding favours. They’re made from just three simple natural ingredients  – almonds, sugar and a touch of rose water for a light and sweet flavour. One of these treats is more than enough to satisfy a sweet craving for me, and I loved the rich almond-packed filling.At the bottom of the box, I found a double sided leaflet which listed all of the products, alongside some authentic Greek recipe ideas to inspire you to use the products/ingredients inside this month’s box. I think this is such a great idea and I’ll be looking forward to making these at the weekend!

Our score: 9.6/ 10

I thoroughly enjoyed trying out The Greek Lemon - it's a great way to be introduced to some delicious and healthy Greek foods, and the Vegan Apollo box is an amazing option for vegans who want to try something new. I'm so happy to have discovered the Greek Mountain Tea and those yummy Mykonos Almond Treats!

  • Quality of products10
  • Originality10
  • Packaging and delivery9
  • Value for money9
  • Selection of products10

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