As pretty much everyone in the world knows, I love to cook. I don’t just like it, I absolutely love cooking. If I see a recipe that is intriguing I may drop everything and run to the kitchen to create.
I had been hearing a lot of buzz about the home delivered meal plans. These are the plans where the groceries are delivered in kits. The intention is to save you the time from having to shop, and providing you with all of the ingredients to make things you may not otherwise cook. Since we provide a completed meal plan, I wanted to give one of these plans a try to see how they work.
I decided on a whim one day, when a really good coupon came across my Facebook newsfeed, to give Home Chef a try. When I got to the website, they asked a variety of questions to determine what recipes and meal kits to offer me. We ended up with a baked chicken recipe, a pork chop recipe and a salmon recipe. These are three of my favorite proteins, and the recipes sounded good, so I entered my details and waited patiently on my box to arrive! I knew I would need to make a few adjustments, as there were no meals that fit my taste perfectly, but these three seemed pretty good.
A few days later, a very well packaged box arrived. It had everything except the meat on the top, wrapped in a thermal blanket. Under a cardboard layer, there were freezer packs with the meat. It all arrived at proper temperatures and the presentation was very nice. The recipe cards and some other details were also in the box.
Each meal came in a separate bag, labeled, other than the meat. We placed them all in the fridge in anticipation of a meal the following evening.
We decided to try the salmon first. There was a total of 12 ounces of salmon for two people. Steve and I generally buy a pound of salmon to share, so this was a bit light for us, but we figured we would fill up on the side dishes. The salmon was tasty, and it was topped with garlic and lemon. The base was a creamed kale and cherry tomatoes, which was also good.
Unfortunately, we walked away from the table hungry, even with the addition of an avocado to the meal. The recipe was somewhat complicated to follow, and we dirtied more dishes that we usually do to prepare meals. Also, had we not had olive oil, butter and salt and pepper on hand, we would have had a hard time completing the dish.
The second night, we tried the pork chop with maple butter. The recipe was good, but again, it had lots of steps and a pile of dirty dishes were created in the process! I did streamline things this time, and took my typical shortcuts. Instead of roasting the carrots (which would have created a dirty pan), I sautéed them in with the pork chops. The side dish, mashed broccoli was really good, and I will make it again. We did need to supplement with additional butter and several more cloves of garlic (they sent two cloves for the entire dish). We also had two other pork chops that we cooked, as after night one, we figured we should plan ahead.
And our plates!
The final meal was a pan fried chicken. They sent two small breasts, so again, we added a couple more to make a complete meal. This one included a recipe for mashed potatoes. They sent ONE potato. As luck would have it, I am not eating potatoes right now, so it was just enough for Steve. The brussel sprouts were really good, but I did need to add an entire additional bag of them from our freezer to have enough for the two of us. We eat a ton of vegetables and we did finish the entire pan of them. This meal again, came with two cloves of garlic total, and two small pats of butter for the entire dish. Luckily, being the butter and bacon eaters that we are, we again had supplementary supplies in our fridge.
Overall, I think if you were small eaters, not big into spices, you might fare ok with these meals. Also, if you struggle to know what goes with what from a food standpoint, the recipes are pretty good. We spiced them up quite a bit, but we love things with a kick to them.
For the regular price, I think it was a bit steep, based on what we charge for “completed” meals from our shop (heat and eat, no prep involved). If you enjoy cooking, I think I can help you secure supplies for these meals at an equal or lesser cost, with enough food to fill you up, and extras to take with you the next day.
But again, if you don’t have time to get to the store, these are a viable option. You will still need to have some kitchen basics, such as salt, pepper and olive oil. There were also a couple of kitchen tools that I could have used, that I don’t have (geez, I thought I had every kitchen gadget imaginable!) The regular price, without a coupon would have been $59 for 3 meals, and there seriously are no left overs to take for lunch the next day!
If you are interested in recipes with real food, left overs and a manageable grocery bill, I would love to help you!