taking a bite of home chef
Over the last several years I’ve noticed food delivery services cropping up left and right. From your favorite local restaurant to fresh recipes you can make at home, even pre-made meals shipped right to your door, the options are becoming endless. While I’ve been curious about many of these delivery services, I’ve always held back from using them. That’s why I was so excited to finally try Home Chef, a company that delivers fresh ingredients and recipes to those who don’t always have time (nor energy) to plan meals or maybe just want to try something new. In short: it was fantastic! I highly recommend you give it a try. Plus, as a special offer from me and my friends at Home Chef you can get $30 off of your purchase using code “INSTACHEF” at checkout. I’ve detailed my experience below and hope that you will order your first shipment soon!
Check-Out and Delivery
Each week you can hand-pick the recipes you want to make. Simply create a profile and start shopping! What I really appreciate about their menu is that among the 10+ meals to choose from, there is an option for everyone: meat, seafood, vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, low carb and low calorie. You can include these preferences in your profile so that Home Chef can make smarter suggestions for you each week. In case you don’t love their suggestions, you can edit your meals and shop their entire menu at any time. Home Chef also has breakfast options (hello Cannoli French Toast), a weekly smoothie option, and fresh seasonal fruit baskets that can be added to each delivery. After selecting meals, just choose the day of the week you want them delivered, checkout and like magic a box of yummy goodies will arrive on your doorstep the following week! The best part: it isn’t a binding contract. You can choose to skip a delivery at any time before it is processed and you can deactivate your account at any time, for as long as you need. For more details, visit their FAQ page.
What You Get
The fresh pre-measured ingredients, recipe book and recipe cards will all arrive in a box packed with insulation materials and plenty of cold gel packs to make sure the contents stay nice and cool! All of the ingredients for a meal are separated into clear packaging that is distinctly labeled. I love that I didn’t have to measure anything! Each item is perfectly portioned. However, don’t forget to wash your produce. I was a little surprised that it didn’t come pre-washed, but I’m not complaining because it was all so easy.
The ingredients are accompanied by a large recipe card that describes every detail you need to know. The step-by-step instructions can be stored in a special three-ring Home Chef binder, which is also included in your shipment. It is a great way to keep track of all of the meals you try! You could even store your own recipes alongside them. Because it was just before Valentine’s Day, I also received a bar of guajillo and chipotle chili dark chocolate for a little something sweet. It was delicious! It was also a great snack while I cooked…always eat dessert first, right?
The Cooking Experience
For this post I made the Crispy Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad. It was amazing! The recipe card was easy to follow and included detailed pictures to reference along the way. I recommend reading through the directions once or twice before you start cooking. That way you know what to expect and can make sure you’re timing everything correctly. Had we not stopped to take pictures, this meal would have taken the exact 30 minutes to prepare as the recipe card claimed. Pan frying the goat cheese required a delicate hand and you have to flip them ever so gently. Otherwise they fall apart! Keeping them in the freezer a little longer than the recipe requires isn’t the worst idea. It firms up the cheese and keeps it from melting into a mess before properly crisped.
The biggest thing I noticed with the two Home Chef recipes I tried is they don’t require any seasoning outside of salt and pepper. I took the liberty of adding garlic powder to the panko bread crumbs (c’mon, everything is better with garlic!) but that is the only thing I added. Honestly, I was surprised how great it tasted with such little use of herbs! The recipes really showcase the value of fresh ingredients and creative preparation. To sum it up: simple and delicious. The honey vinaigrette was sweet and acidic, which balanced out the candied pecans and the salty crunch of panko. Fresh cherry tomatoes add brightness and the peppery arugula pairs perfectly with tart goat cheese. That’s a lot of adjectives. What can I say? This simple salad had a lot going on!
I hope this review was helpful and that you enjoy the images of my experience. Make sure to try Home Chef yourself and use the special coupon code “INSTACHEF” for $30 off your shipment.
Can’t wait to try one of these! Oh, and as to the produce not being washed, I have heard that vegetables last longer if stored in their “au natural”, i.e., washing them hastens the ripening process.
Ah! Good to know!