Trying out delivered meals from Home Chef
I have mixed emotions about cooking in the kitchen (or anywhere). I kind of feel like eating is a necessity (which it is. Sorry, foodie friends). I don’t like to eat out too often, both due to cost and health choices. I’m also often on the go in the evenings (and work during the day), so grocery shopping and cooking meals sometimes become a minor headache for me. The more I find easy, tasty recipes, the more I wander into the kitchen to cook.
I attended a health writers conference in New York City in January, where some great companies were sponsors and vendors. One company was Home Chef, a company delivering complete meals to your doorstep. Home Chef had several meal choices as samples and provided a generous discount code to try their service. So I did.
I have a surprising number of friends who currently use or have tried a meal delivery service. Many find it to be convenient and easy to prepare, so I was interested in trying it. More and more I dislike grocery shopping and struggle to be entertained in the kitchen (although I did try Meijer’s curbside grocery pickup a few times and LOVE it). I’d rather make something quick and simple so I can eat and move onto my next task.
Setting up an account with Home Chef’s website was really easy. You select how many meals you’d like each week, the day of delivery, food preferences/allergies and then get a menu of available meals for the week. There are a variety of recipes to select, plus salads and limited fruit smoothies. I wouldn’t say that all of their meals are low-fat or low-calorie so I definitely encourage you to click on their meal facts before ordering (if that matters to you).
They don’t delivery on Mondays (my preferred day) so I selected two meals per week for Tuesday delivery. I like that Home Chef lets you select as few as two meals per week. I’ve heard that other meal delivery services have a minimum of three meals per week, which would be too many for me. You also can skip weeks, another good option for someone like me who had plans or meetings four evenings during one week. And you can cancel at any time.
The meals are delivered in an insulated box with an ice pack to keep the ingredients cool (it also helped that the cold winter won’t leave Michigan). I was impressed with how organized the delivery is – ingredients for each meal are included in bags and labeled. Meats, such as chicken or ground turkey, are sealed separately. There is a recipe card for each meal with pictures, ingredient list and step by step instructions for preparing each meal. My first shipment came with a plastic binder that included some basic cooking tips and room for the recipe cards you get with your deliveries (the cards are pre-punched for the three-ring binder). I like that you can keep the recipe cards and make the meal again. Most of the ingredient containers are recyclable, which is a big plus for me.
My first recipes were Mediterranean turkey skillet and spinach and feta-stuffed tart. In the following weeks, I tried lasagna arrabiata, turkey and avocado tostados, chicken fajitas, BBQ turkey burgers, chicken salad and a orange mango smoothie (you can choose vegetarian, fish, pork, etc. too). Each meal is two servings, which is good for me as I had leftovers of every meal to become two. Home Chef is generous with their ingredients too. I had plenty of spinach left from one recipe so made a salad for lunch the next day. I still had to prepare and cook the meals so I’m not sure that I actually saved time. It was convenient to have all the ingredients right there, but, truthfully, I could have that if I had gone grocery shopping (and that would be easy with curbside pickup).
Overall, I like Home Chef for their tasty recipes. It was convenient to have the meals arrive on my doorstep and have step by step instructions lead me through the cooking process. If you’re hesitant to cook, need inspiration for meals, or a little confidence in the kitchen, this would probably be a great service for you. Like I mentioned, I was sometimes spending more time preparing and cooking than I would have liked, but of course having left overs the next night meant I didn’t cook that evening. As spring comes, I most likely will pause the service. I’m on the go a lot during the warm months, often grill outdoors, like to shop at farmers’ markets and local produce stands during summer, and more than likely spend less money shopping on my own at the grocery store. But I would consider possibly starting Home Chef again during next winter.
If you find yourself low on time to cook meals, need some motivation, meal ideas and maybe a bit of confidence with your cooking skills, I recommend trying Home Chef. For a $30 discount code, click this link.
Note: While Home Chef provided a discount code to try their service, this review, my opinions and photos are my own.