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Is meal planning something you wish you didn’t have to do?
Are you wanting to eat healthier, but just don’t feel like you have the time to meal plan?
Do you love to cook, but don’t love planning what you’re going to cook?
Are you wishing you were a much better cook?
If you said yes to any of the above, do something about it girlfriend!!
I have a solution for you – Home Chef is your New Best Friend
A couple of months ago, I received a Home Chef discount voucher in the mail. What’s Home Chef, you ask? Let’s be real here – I didn’t exactly know what it was either. What I found out was that Home Chef is a meal-kit delivery service that sends pre-proportioned ingredients for meals that you personally select to your doorstep. They take all of the guess work out of planning out your meals for the week.
When I saw Home Chef costs $9.95 per serving, and that I would get free shipping if my total order amounted to $40 prior to using coupons, I figured hmmm… maybe I need to check this out!
Little did I know, that piece of “junk mail” was about to change my life. I know, I know – that sounds just a little bit crazy, if I do say so myself. Keep reading though, my friend. That very same evening I received the discount voucher, I went to Home Chef’s website a little bit hungry, having not had dinner yet. I left their website having purchased 2 servings each of 3 different meals for the next week. The meals looked that much better than my hubby and I’s usual weeknight dinners, which often ended up being soup and salad, crock pot meals, tacos, or something else quick and easy.
Upon ‘checking out’ the Home Chef website, I discovered we can choose from 11 different meals each week. To my surprise, Home Chef does have some gluten free meals, vegetarian meals, low calorie meals, and meals for other dietary preferences. They let you select either 2, 4, or 6 servings for each meal of your choosing, and each week you order, you can select a different number of meals if you’re so inclined. You’ll only be able to cook 3 times this upcoming week? Only order 3 meals from Home Chef. It’s that simple!
Delivery Day is Here
Fast forward to Tuesday of the next week. Duh duh duh duhhhh…. Home Chef has arrived! I could’ve selected a different day of the week to have the meals delivered, but in Cleveland, OH, the earliest weekday we can request delivery for is Tuesday.
Upon opening the insulated box, I found four ice packs, a separate bag full of ingredients for each meal, a package of meat for each meal, and a full-page, front and back recipe card for each meal. Talk about making things simple! After putting the meal packs and meat in the fridge, I dumped the box and the cooler into the recycling bin, and left the ice packs in the sink to thaw. All of the packaging is recyclable (including the emptied ice packs), which is awesome!
Introducing Katrina DeGrande, the newest Home Chef
What should I make first?! Decisions, decisions. I went with the Seared Bone-in Pork Chop with Candied Walnut Butter and Parmesan-roasted acorn squash for our first meal. Oh. My. Goodness.
First things first, I read through the recipe card, because I thought it might be a good idea to know what all I was going to have to do and when, in order to fully prepare the meal. The only ingredients I had to pull out of the pantry were olive oil, cooking spray, salt and pepper. These are the only ingredients you will ever be asked to provide, outside of what Home Chef sends you. What’s nice is the recipe card even tells you how many days the ingredients will stay fresh for, how long the meal will take to make, and nutritional information.
Let’s Get Cookin’!
First things first, I set our brand spanking new double oven to preheat to 425 degrees, per the recipe card. When the hubby knows you love to cook, he surprises you with a trip to Lowe’s for Christmas, to pick out an oven! Merry 1st married Christmas to me! 😉
Back to the good part –
After preheating the oven, I started following the recipe card, starting with the very first step of cutting the acorn squash. Acorn squash?! What in the world am I supposed to do with an acorn squash? Cutting an acorn squash may sound a little intimidating, especially you’ve never cooked squash before (like me). However, Home Chef told me exactly how to do it, and it absolutely couldn’t have been easier!
Searing a pork chop sounds easy enough, but what is this candied walnut butter craziness that I have to make? Oh you know, it’s the most simple, delicious butter in the entire universe – consisting of only butter, home-made candied walnuts and parsley.
Upon sitting down for dinner, my hubby asked, is that butter? His question was accompanied with a crazy look that said hmmm… I think you’re a little nuts asking me to eat the chunk of butter that’s sitting on my plate. It was totally a “Where’s the bread?” kind of look! Do you know what though?! All that was left on each of our plates after dinner was a measly pork chop bone. Mic drop!
The other two meals I made with this box were Pork Shumai Meatballs with ponzu dipping sauce, sugar snap peas, and rice, and London Broil Sirloin Steak with sweet potato fries and zucchini. Those meatballs were amazing, as was the steak dinner!
The hubs and I use Home Chef to help us eat healthy during the week. Can you believe that all three of these meals came in at under 625 calories per serving? Amazing!
Just to give you an idea of how we incorporate Home Chef into our diet without breaking the bank:
Earlier, I mentioned our weekly Home Chef delivery day is Tuesday. Thus, the hubby and I have a standing Monday night date night. What a fun way to kick off the work week!
We typically order three meals per week, so even if there is a night where we are busy between Tuesday and Friday, all of the meals get cooked in a timely manner. Only ordering three meals also leaves our weekends open, which is absolutely perfect for us social butterflies and workaholics!
Pizza night happens once a week in our house, typically on either Friday or Saturday. Finally, Sunday is family dinner night, where we spend time cooking something amazing together.
What does that leave me buying at the grocery store once a week?
On a weekly basis, the only food items I have to buy from the grocery are breakfast and lunch ingredients, a few snacks, and of course pizza and Sunday dinner ingredients. I use an app on my phone to make my weekly grocery list. If you don’t already have a free app on your phone to help you make lists and check things off, I am a huge fan of GTasks. Just so you know, from week to week, the only items on my list that consistently change are whatever ingredients we need for Sunday dinner! Easy as can be, and I can normally be in and out of the grocery store within 30 minutes.
Overall, I am extremely impressed with Home Chef. We have been using it every week, except for when we are away on vacation, in which case we designate that we don’t want any meals for the week. It’s great to know that there is an option out there where I don’t have to meticulously plan out what’s for dinner, shop my cabinets for ingredients, make a long grocery list, and hit the store in search of ingredients.
I also have found that I really enjoy cooking and trying new things. It’s great to have some variety in our meals – I love when Sean asks me what we are having for dinner, because he loves trying all of the meals too! Home Chef is nearly idiot proof, because the packaging of the ingredients and the instructions for the meals are so spelled out. If nothing else, this has been a way for me to learn and try new things in the kitchen.
Wanna Try for Yourself?
I’d love to know if you’ve ever tried a meal-kit delivery service in the past. If so, which one did you try, and did you like it? Comment below and clue us all in! If you haven’t tried a meal-kit delivery service before, are you wanting to try one in the future? If you’re all in for trying something new, visit my Home Chef personal link to get started.