After watching so many ads I finally did it, I took the plunge and got myself a meal kit. This is the second meal kit I have ever tried and I was really excited about it, spoiler alert things turned out really well! So let’s talk about the process of getting started.
I received a referral code with my online shopping order from New York and Company (I shop with them a lot by the way) and just thought to myself “Why not?”. I wanted to try something new after not going to a restaurant for so long. We’ve had some take out, but it’s just not the same. I heard that Green Chef had really good quality ingredients and would make for a good “Date Night” type of meal.
The website will ask for your general information, of course. Sign up with you name and email address. Then you can pick what kind of meals as well as for how many people (2, 4, 6, 8, or 12). They have meal choices that include Plant-Powered, Balanced Living, and Keto + Paleo. Under each option there are more specific plans, like pork-free or vegan. I love the extra options to personalize the meal kit. I chose the Plant-Powered kit for 2. I am not vegan or vegetarian, but I have been reducing my meat consumption and increasing my vegetable intake in my diet. The website allows you to choose the meal a week before delivery from a list that changes every week. For an extra fee you can choose more meals and basically have your week covered. I wanted to stick with just 3 meals because I love to cook and enjoy my own meals.
The meals are delivered on a Wednesday in my area. Each meal is packed in it’s own brown paper bag, and all the bags are in an insulated box with a couple ice packs at the bottom. The insulated box is made of cardboard and paper, so very easy to recycle. The ice packs can be reused, or emptied and recycled. Each bag is labeled as to which meal it is and comes with instructions. The instructions include a list of tools and extras (oil, salt, and pepper) that you will need. I love that a list like that is included. I can get everything out that I need before I start. The instructions also include a picture of how the meal is plated. The first step for each one is the ingredient prep followed by the cooking details. Nutrition details can be found on the website, calories are on the recipe card.
The first week included Truffle Butter Risotto, Southwest Zucchini Fritters, and Black Bean & Mushroom Enchiladas. The risotto (while not really quite a risotto) was my favorite meal for this week. It felt fancy and delicate, definitely worth the 40 minute cook time. The fritters were a close second, followed by the enchiladas. It was my first time having enchiladas and I really enjoyed them.
The second week included Butternut Squash Chili, Pesto Penne Primavera, and Zucchini & Ricotta Flatbreads. I wasn’t sure about any of these at first. When picking out the meals for the week I didn’t have strong feels towards any of them. They all came out really tasty and pretty easy to make. Each one reheated well too. The chili was lacking in seasoning, but i have the right ones in my cabinet. I would recommend chili powder, chili flakes, and cumin. It came with tortillas to toast in strips, which came out perfect. The flatbread was crunchy and enormous. The penne had a surprising sweetness to it that kept me excited for the next bite. I was delightfully surprised by each of these.
The third week included Mediterranean Veggie and Couscous Bowls, Japanese Vegetables Fritters, and Kidney Bean Burgers. I was most excited for the bean burgers. I’ve had several types of mock burgers in my life and am always up for trying another. The kidney bean burger was a great combination of beans, onion, and chia seeds. After refrigeration it held together nicely. I think cooking from half frozen might be even better as far as holding together in the pan. The recipe that is for two still makes 4 burgers, so leftovers were expected with this one. They still only send two buns. The fritters and couscous bowls were wonderful. It’s my second time with fritters and I’ve liked both so far. And the couscous bowl made me want to try more recipes with it as the main grain.
The fourth week included Cauliflower & Couscous Bowls, Cheesy French Onion Cauliflower, and Truffle Butter Risotto (because I liked it so much). This was my second couscous bowl and I am convinced that it is something I need to add to my usual meal rotation. The taste and texture of this dish was perfect for me. I added some garlic toast for more crunch (and because garlic bread is amazing). The cauliflower was nice, but my least liked meal so far. There is just something missing from the meal that I can’t quite place. It just didn’t come together for me. And I ordered the risotto again, because I love it so much. I think it’s the truffle butter that sends it over the top for me and I will always order it when it pops up. I didn’t know I liked truffles until this came up in my menu.
I am not a vegetarian or vegan, but I am reducing my meat intake. My partner is very agreeable to the changes I am making but would still prefer to have meat in his diet. SO for almost all of these I did serve some kind of animal based protein as an option with it. But by the 3rd week I pretty much skipped the meat entirely. Each meal is really great on it’s own and more than enough food for two. Even when I did not add meat we had some leftover for someone’s lunch the next day.
I enjoyed the meals that I received. They had good instructions, including what tools I would need along the way. My partner was able to cook the meals without me and he doesn’t cook very often. It was a nice detore from our usual meals. The change to routine was welcome and appreciated.
Because I still enjoy my own cooking and recipe ideas I did not get the meal kits every week. I had two weeks on and two weeks off. The break allowed me to be creative with my own cooking while looking forward to the next box.I did feel a little stress knowing that these meals MUST be cooked or the food would go bad, some of the items are already chopped and ready to be cooked. But it was so easy to pull out the bag and get dinner done in less than an hour. I could even leave it to my partner while I worked late or spent time in my garden. Each meal felt special, almost like going out to eat. The quality of the product was impressive. I wish someone else would do the dishes though.
I will continue to use Green Chef and really look forward to the meals to come. I think next time I might try a different menu, keep things interesting. So, if you want to try it out take a look at the link below. It’s a referral link that we both benefit from. And if you do order, let me know how it went. I think next time I’ll make a video of the cooking process, we’ll see.