Mungo's offers eco-alternative to the standard takeaway
- Credit: Mungo's Kitchen
Most takeaway food in the UK is pretty unhealthy, with burgers and pizzas seeming to be ever more popular in St Albans. But sometimes it’s nice not to have to cook, especially at the end of a long week, so what’s the alternative?
Mungo’s Kitchen is a brand new company, focusing on healthy plant-based delivery and takeaway meals. I spoke to Mark Flanagan, who is the owner and chef, and he explained that he has worked in many cafés and restaurants locally, and made the switch to eating plant-based in 2019.
"I found that there was a severe lack of choice in takeaway food; not only for vegan food but for anything remotely healthy, and that's when I started plans to try and make a difference."
Mark has also worked at music festivals and the menu definitely has that vibe, with international flavours, but also based in comfort food, with warming curries, chilli and a dahl.
I am really impressed by the menu, both in the variety, and the very reasonable prices. I had a Thai green avocado curry, which had a delicious flavour, and plenty of protein in it, with pulses and coconut milk.
At £8 I thought this was excellent; it had a generous amount of avocado in there, and plenty of green vegetables such as broccoli too.
With steamed wholegrain basmati rice (£2.50), it was a very filling and nutritious meal. We didn’t need all the sweet potato wedges, roasted with garlic and herbs, but they reheated very well the next day – nice to have leftovers!
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We also had hummus, which was made with yellow mung beans, which makes a nice change from chickpeas, and was beautifully presented with caramelised red onion and jerk-spiced granola.
Mark also made the chickpea flatbreads that went with it, which were thin and beautifully cooked.
He pointed out that none of the items on his menu contain gluten, and he uses organic ingredients where possible. He used to be the chef at Hiit in St Albans, so knows about balancing meals and getting a good mix of protein and vegetables in there.
When Covid hit, he had to get a new job, so started Mungo’s Kitchen from his home, which is now a commercial kitchen. He hopes to do food markets and street food in the city centre when he has time. The name comes from his use of mung beans!
I also tried one of the smoothies – the Very Berry, with raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants and blackberries. It had a great flavour – at £4.80 it isn’t cheap, but then fruit isn’t. You can add a protein shot for an extra £1.50.
Mark has three puds on the menu – sticky toffee banana bread, made with gram flour, and a blondie and brownie, both made with mung beans.
My chocolate fudge brownie was dense with dark chocolate, and had a lovely flavour. The texture is slightly different from wheat flour, but it works well. It’s also protein-packed so I justify that as post-exercise food!
The packaging is made from plant fibres so can go in your food waste caddy. I think you could also put it in your paper collection as it felt like soft cardboard, so give it a good rinse, and it should be fine.
The smoothies came in a plastic-free container too, though the UK still isn’t good at dealing with those.
You can collect or get a delivery. Head over to www.mungoskitchen.com for details, or ring on 07767 877500. Herts Advertiser readers can get 10 per cent of your first order over £30 if you use the code MUNGO1ST on the website. So why not ditch the un-eco beef burger, and try something new? You might feel a lot better for it?