Growing up there was only one thing I hated more than house choirs, cooking. I used to watch my mother and grandmother spend hours in the hot kitchen preparing meals and I would think to myself ‘’Me cook? Never! I will marry a Chef or be a millionaire, so I can pay other people to do it for me’’. Well, forward 15 years and I am not a millionaire and my husband is a hard-working Army man who cherishes every second he gets to eat freshly cooked meal. So yes, faith had it and I became involved with the food and beverage industry very early in my career. I moved to Dubai to become a Public Relations Representative for a Michelin Star Chef and his new modern middle eastern restaurant. I spent hours in the kitchen, observing professionals do what they do best. Then, I moved to Los Angeles and married the love of my life. It so happens that I left my well paid job and dedicated my full time to my blog and my new young family. Of course, I started spending much more time in the kitchen and learned how to prepare meals I had other people prepare for me.
I’m by no means a professional, but I learned my way around kitchen. However, I still don’t like spending hours shopping, prepping, and cooking. Although I feel much better about my new role and my new-found abilities, I still like to keep my time spent cooking at a minimum. I would much rather enjoy what L.A. has to offer instead of spending time in the stuffy kitchen. Here is where HomeChef.com comes in. I was approached recently by Home Chef. to try out their services and give my honest opinion about it. I must say, I was delighted to do it. I heard about similar companies before, but I have never tried any. This why I was excited to give it a chance.
First of all, what is Home Chef?
Subscription boxes are the hottest thing on the block right now and Home Chef is a similar type subscription food delivery platform that provides an easy way out for busy young millennials when it comes to cooking. In short, it’s a meal service that delivers fresh pre-measured ingredients with recipes and step-by-step instructions. I see many benefits to a service like this for both people who want to learn how to cook and for those who already enjoy cooking, but don’t have the time or energy to meal plan and grocery shop for new recipes. The packages arrive with absolutely everything you need, to include the recipes from that week’s meal plan and spices like salt and pepper (that’s one thing that super impressed me).
How much is it and is it more expensive than shopping for food yourself?
Each meal is $9.95 per serving/ person unless otherwise noted. I opted for ‘2 meals for 2 people per week’ plan which adds up to $39.80 per delivery (shipping is free). Whether or not the price is “worth it” will depend on your individual shopping and eating habits. Personally, it made perfect sense for us because we wouldn’t be able to eat out twice out (2 people) for $40. It would probably cost us $40 to eat once at any casual restaurant, so the order was worth it. Plus, I got to try new recipes I never tried before, using fresh ingredients and we saved money and time on gas and groceries.
Do you get to choose the meals?
Yes! When you sign up, you will choose which day of the week you want your meals to arrive (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday). Home Chef recommends new meals each week based on your preferences... or you can choose your own! You’ll be able to set your preference in advance and choose meat, seafood or vegetables based meals. Also, low-carb or low-calorie preference are available as well (great if you have food allergies or if you are a picky eater).
The recipes are available online with a complete list of ingredients as well as calorie information, so you know exactly what you’ll be getting in each meal as you make your selections. We decided not to pick any recipes, but just mark our ingredients preference. Instead, Home Chef picked for us in this case and we got our box on Wednesday the 24th of May packed with ingredients for two interesting meals:
I liked the selection and I HAVENT MADE ANY OF THESE DISHES BEFORE.
On the delivery day, I got my box before 11am. This was great because I could start prepping our lunch immediately and have it ready within 45min.
We had a super fun weekend of cooking our Home Chef meals (my hubby was great help). I don’t see us having a box delivered every single week, but we will certainly be using it on occasion when we want to try some new meals over a weekend and want all of the work (except for the cooking part!) done for us. Our box arrived on the expected date and all of the ingredients were high quality and fresh. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and the meal tasted great (for an amateur chef). I love that the recipes arrive on full-size cards with step-by-step color photos, so I can easily save my favorites in my recipe binder. It’s also convenient that all recipes and instructions are available online if you prefer to load them up on your phone or tablet.
Things to keep in mind:
There are no long-term commitments when you sign up for the service since you are billed per individual box, but your account will automatically default to delivering a box to you every week. You can login to your profile and easily choose which weeks you want to skip and there is an easy option to pause your account completely if you know you won’t be ordering boxes for a period of time.
Pros of meal delivery services:
Big time saver – you skip the trip to the grocery store, gas, research, prep and save money
Everything comes pre-portioned
You can control amount of salt, sugar, butter, sauce, spice
Healthier than eating out
No going out of your way to find specialty sauces or spices
No waste, you use almost everything and you don’t have to buy a big box of one ingredient that will end up going bad in your fridge
Great way to learn techniques & try new ingredients & cuisines
Good practice for amateur chefs
Good if you struggle to figure out what to cook
Cons of meal delivery services:
Protein portions can sometimes be small (it was perfect for me, but my Army husband needed an additional snack after lunch)
Can be hard to cook a whole box of food while it’s still fresh (I ended up cooking with 5 days apart because of previous engagements)
Not good for single folks (minimum portion are for two)
Cooking usually takes 45 mins to an hour
Must plan ahead, order / cancel 5 days in advance
You might forget to cancel & get unexpected food
Who’s this for?
People who aren’t comfortable in the kitchen and want to work on getting better; couples that want to crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy cooking something new together; people who want to add a few new recipes to their repertoire; couples that want to spend an evening enjoying a nice meal and a movie, but are opting for cooking in and Netflix instead of nailing down a babysitter; people that are looking for a cool gift idea, busy go getter couples or roommates etc.
For all of you who are willing to give Home Chef a try I also have $30 off voucher code for your first purchase (must use the following code): http://bit.ly/2pQjOLY
Now let’s get cooking. Today, I am sharing with you my step-by-step Roasted Chicken with Patatas Bravas and smoky tomato sauce and green beans recipe.