Home Cooking Made Simple (No, Really)
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Ah, the joy of cooking. If Julia Child taught us anything, it is that it is a pleasure to prepare a delicious and well-prepared meal. At least, in theory. But anyone who’s ever run out of an ingredient, cut themselves with a finger while dicing, or overcooking shrimp knows that not all meal prep experiences are delicious. And with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, shopping for the necessary ingredients and preparing dinner can be overwhelming. That’s where Home Chef comes in.
Home Chef, like many of the other meal subscription services emerging today, claims to offer “simplified home cooking.” Does it? I got a week’s worth of meals delivered to my door to put it to the test.
Home Chef’s Delivery – Carefully Packaged, Well Done
Remember what we used to say about how life gets busy? That was underscored for me when I boarded a plane to Colorado the day I scheduled my Home Chef delivery. It is not ideal. I was only going to be away for a few days, but that meant my husband had to make sure everything was in storage so it would stick. And I had to wonder, having been exposed to who knows what during the shipping process, would the product still be fresh upon my return? What about the shrimp-based food that I ordered so boldly?
I’m happy to report that Home Chef makes every step of the process, including storing food until you’re ready to prepare, a no-brainer. One of my least favorite things in the world is storing groceries. Home Chef takes away your field work. Each meal is packaged in a convenient zip-top bag. All my faithful partner had to do was load our three bags into the fridge and – bam! – it was done.
And the simplicity of the system is brilliant on both ends. It means it takes a few seconds to put Home Chef meals away, and it also means that when you’re ready to cook, you literally just need to grab a bag and go. That is, in my opinion, genius.
Home Chef prices
Unlike other food delivery services (eg. Hellofresh, Blue apron), Home Chef has not set the meal plan price. Instead, you pay for food based on the recipe you choose. Their standard meals are priced at $ 20 for two servings or $ 40 for four. For premium meals, you will pay the market price.
Home Chef Meals – Delicious and Delightfully Simple to Prepare
Okay, honest moment here: I don’t love cooking. I don’t necessarily hate it, but after a full day of work, I’d rather be in the bathroom with a big glass of wine than standing by the stove. Some people really find joy in preparing a meal, but I am not one of those people. I cook out of necessity. And occasionally, I like the end result enough that I decide retroactively that I had a good time preparing a specific meal.
We received three meals in our Home Chef shipment and I chose three for three in Really enjoying creating them. Not bad!
It’s also worth noting that I’m a Pescetarian, so all my meals will be primarily plant-based and fish-based. Now, let’s talk about the details.
Food # 1: Avocado and Beet Poke Bowl
First, I did the Avocado and Beet Poke Bowl. I thought that after a few days of sitting in my fridge, this primarily farm-based food might leave something to be desired. But everything was packed so smartly that all the food sparkled. The carrots were crispy, the avocado was perfectly ripe, and the edamame and beets were delicious. Home Chef nailed it with the sauce, which was easy for my picky husband to customize. After a fast but exhausting period of travel, this meal felt as nutritious as it was tasty.
Food # 2: Baja Shrimp Bowl
I love eating shrimp, but I hate cooking it. The cooking time is so short that I feel like I’m always tiptoeing the line between raw and overdone. But, with the help of my Home Chef recipe, I nailed it to her Baja shrimp bowl.
This is a perfect time to talk about these recipes because while I was preparing the shrimp, my husband made the rest of the food. And he really hates cooking so I bow down to him and Home Chef. Their recipes have pictures to guide you at all times (very useful for hobby cooks) and the steps are broken down so you never feel rushed. Plus, Home Chef makes it a breeze by doing much of the field work, like cutting the shrimp or making the sauce, for you.
Oh, what about the food itself? It was so good that we forgot to take a photo. Whoops!
Meal # 3: Umami Miso-Mushroom-Cream Gemelli Pasta
Since we gave up meat, mushrooms have become a staple in our home. Its earthy and meaty texture can really take a meal to the next level, when used correctly. Or they may just be strange grayish-brown lumps on your plate. I am very happy to report that the Gemelli Umami Miso-Mushroom-Cream Pasta definitely landed in the realm of the first. This meal felt decadent without leaving us overwhelmed. And as a lover of umami, earthy flavors, this one definitely caught my eye. Also, how cute is that little piece of butter?
Pros and cons of Home Chef
All in all, I was really excited about every meal I received from Home Chef. Here are my key takeaways.
Home Chef pros:
- Quick and easy to prepare (everything took us 30 minutes or less)
- Good portion size
- Convenient packing
- Creative meals
- Free shipping on orders over $ 45
- Competitive price (all I tried was about $ 10 per serving)
Cons of Home Chef:
- Many plastic containers (some are recyclable)
- Pre-made items (for example, sauces) can be limiting for someone who wants to learn to cook from scratch
Would you order another week of Home Chef meals? Absolutely. While $ 10 per serving may seem comparable to delivery, you get fresh, tasty food and control the ingredients. Plus, the time you save on menu planning and shopping makes up for some of the cost in my mind because I don’t like both.
Do you want to try Home Chef for yourself?
If you are interested in paying Home Chef, we have you covered. Get 3 free dishes with our code “3platesoff” – just go here and start.
You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to live a greedy life. I definitely recommend trying Home Chef.