I’ve really enjoyed receiving and trying meal subscription boxes. Going to the grocery store is overwhelming and trying to pick a meal in addition to the shopping…well, it’s just a bit much for me. Next, it was time for me to try Home Chef. Home Chef is intriguing because there was a much larger selection of meals (9 compared to 5 or 6 in other boxes). The minimum number of meals you can order is 3 meals for 2 people, but you can order up to 5 choices each week (first time I’ve seen this). There is also an option for fruit and dessert add ons. Because of their marketing deal, I actually did two boxes ($20 off the first box, $10 off the second)…then did a third for fun.IMG_1037

THE PACKAGING

Home Chef sends all of the food in an insulated box. Each meal comes in its own bag, with the protein packaged separately. It is very important to store the chicken on a plate in your fridge! Mine leaked in the fridge which caused quite a problem and took a while to clean.

In your first box, you will receive a binder so you can make your own cookbook of Home Chef recipes. I thought that was a clever idea. I have accumulated quite a few recipe cards, soIMG_1036 this was perfect to store all of them together. The ones from Home Chef come pre-punched, as well. Just add it and go. I decided I really like when the ingredients for each meal are packaged together.
It makes it easier to cook when you’re ready, and you don’t have to worry about losing something. The produce was relatively fresh. It wasn’t what I would have picked out in the store, but it was okay and it lasted for several days.

 

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I love meals that start with a lot of color – especially PIZZA!

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This is how Home Chef packages their meals. Almost everything is in a bag with a recipe label. Larger ingredients and protein are separate.

THE MEALS

Between my three boxes, I had a total of 9 meals. Since I don’t eat much meat, most of these meals were from their vegetarian list, which were all quite good. I didn’t have a single meal that didn’t turn out well or that I thought didn’t taste right. Best of all, you can make all of these items at home. (Pictures are in order of the bullets below)

  • One Skillet Lemon Orzo Risotto with Asparagus
  • Margherita Chicken Breast with Parmesan-cauliflower fritters
  • Old-School Baked Ziti
  • Neapolitan Pizza Margherita with fresh mozzarella, basil, and balsamic dressed arugula
  • Breakfast for Dinner: Mini Artichoke and Mozzarella Quiches
  • Linguine Carciofi with artichokes, pecorino cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes
  • Chicken Scaloppine with Mustard Cream Sauce
  • Pine Nut & Goat Chees Bucatini Alfredo
  • Chicken and Garlic Peanut Sauce

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Instead of boring you with all of the details of each dish, I’ll give you my highlights.

  • Chicken with Garlic Peanut Sauce was delicious and something I think I will make all of the time. It was easy and so good. The sauce is just 2.3 oz of peanut butter, 1 TBSP. rice vinegar, 4 TBSP. of water, and 1 TBSP. soy sauce whisked together. You can put this on chicken, rice, broccoli, and viola! Yumminess. It also recommends 1TBSP. of Chili Garlic Sauce, but I didn’t use it because I don’t like spicy food.
  • The spinach salad from the quiche dish was also easy and healthy. Basically, you put 2 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat on the stove and add shallots and grape tomatoes. You cook them for 4 minutes. During that time the shallots will caramelize and the tomatoes “blister” and start to burst. Season with a little salt and pepper, then throw into a bowl with the spinach. Once you mix it around, it will start to wilt a little bit. That’s your dressing.
  • The entire meal for Margherita Chicken Breast with Parmesan-cauliflower fritters was delicious. I had never cooked cauliflower before, but it was easy (big theme with me!) and quite good. They also warmed up well for leftovers.

I did learn about one new food in my first box. Sweety drop peppers. Had never heard of them before, but they were quite interesting…

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THE RECOMMENDATION

Home Chef seems to be the most “normal” option. Because you have so many more options to choose from, it seems like it could be your best choice for a weekly service (if you’re a picky eater, like me). What I don’t like about it is I would choose these recipes from a cookbook. Nothing about these meals was unusual or made me get out of my comfort zone. That is what I’ve liked about some of the other boxes – I have tried food and flavors I normally would not have tried. Even though their price is more affordable, I think you could buy ingredients for some of these meals chapter than $10/meal since the dishes are so simple.