With busy lives, sometimes making a good, healthy, home-cooked meal isn’t always convenient in my house. I’m always looking for shortcuts and ideas that can save me time in the kitchen, but not cheat my family of a healthy and yummy meal.
Basically, you can get anything delivered to your door these days – from food to clothes to even makeup! Everyday I have emails with special offers to subscribe to one of these services.
So I took up one of these offers and tried out Home Chef, a Chicago-based company that recently started delivering nationally. They provided me with a gratis kit for this review, which contained two meals that included everything I would need to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal in about 30 minutes.
My meal selections were suggested automatically based on a Home Chef profile I filled out when I signed up which notes your family’s food preferences.
Under dietary preferences, I selected the kind of meals my family prefers to eat — meat, seafood or vegetable-based. Next, I was asked if there are any ingredients your family should avoid – such as pork, red meat, gluten, nuts, soy, dairy, and shellfish. I could also opt to select meals that were either low in carbs or calories. From there I selected how many people I was cooking for (2 – me & The Hubs) and how many meals I wanted to get delivered that week. Finally, got to select the day on which I wanted our food delivered to my doorstep.
Our food arrived a week to the day from ordering online and was packed neatly within an arrangement of puffy cooler pads. Each meal was segregated into its own bag, and each bag had nearly everything needed to make the completed meal. Cooking oil and salt and pepper were the only ingredients that I had to provide myself for either meal.
Each meal included its own recipe card, with detailed directions and step-by-step photos, which was helpful. The recipes are also accompanied by pro-tips and explanations of cooking terminology and techniques. The tips appear in a sidebar, so they don’t clutter the actual recipe. The recipe cards also have pre-punched holes so you can store them together in a recipe binder which Home Chef provided in my box.
The first meal I prepared was Apple Glazed Pork Tenderloin with BBQ-Rubbed Cauliflower, Caramelized Shallots, and Green Beans.
Following the directions, I started by prepping my vegetables and getting the BBQ-rubbed cauliflower on a baking sheet into the oven. While the cauliflower began to roast, I seared each side of the pork tenderloin to a nice light brown in a pan on the stove, which took about 7 minutes. After searing, I added the pork tenderloin to the baking sheet with the cauliflower and placed it back in the oven so both could finish cooking.
From there it was onto caramelizing the shallots and making a sauce to drizzle over the meat when served. The last thing was the green beans, and they were completed in about 5 minutes.
In total, it took about 45 minutes from start to finish, including time for the pork loin to rest before slicing it. It was just that simple, and the portions were large. There was more than enough for me to take to work for lunch the following day, so I got a second meal out of it.
The following night I made Chicken Diane with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans. That meal was just as easy to make, but two nights in a row (and lunch!) of green beans had me a little blah on the veggies, but it was a tasty dish. There wasn’t as much leftover with this meal, but again, the portions I thought were very generous for two people.
There are many benefits to a meal delivery service like Home Chef. First, it takes out all the guess work out of meal planning and prep. Second, it saves you time, by crossing off a trip to the grocery store off your to-do list since the ingredients for each meal are included and are already portioned out. Thirdly, it helps with portion control – which is a major problem for most people (including myself!), so you don’t overeat.
As for price, I’d say Home Chef is pretty reasonable. Meals average about $9.95 per serving. Delivery is free for orders over $40.
I think this would be perfect for a home dinner party – you could have a simple, yet gourmet meal for six for under $60. You’d never be able to do that at a restaurant.
Home Chef is a meal delivery service that I’ll use again. Next time we’ll be trying out some vegetable and seafood based meals!
If you’re interested in trying out Home Chef, you can get $30 off your first box by using this link.
Now it’s your turn to share. What is your favorite meal to make for your family?
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