We tried Green Chef for the first time a few weeks ago. I’ve heard about various online meal services but this was the first time trying one. My sister and brother in law, recent empty-nesters, have been using this service all fall and rave about it. They love the quality of the food and feel like they are eating in a restaurant multiple nights a week. I will say it makes meal planning a breeze.
We were flying back from Chicago late in the day on Monday and I wasn’t sure if I was going to have time to go to the grocery store during the week so I thought that it would be a perfect time to try it. Live and learn, but I didn’t know the delivery days for our area and that you needed to order at least a week ahead, so when I placed my order on Wednesday, the earliest I could get it was Thursday of the following week.
Green Chef is certified organic by CCOF and provides fresh and sustainably sourced food. The food has no synthetic pesticides, genetically modified organisms, artificial ingredients, and growth hormones or antibiotics. There’s no commitment and you can skip a delivery at any point. The food is sent in insulated, refrigerated boxes.
They have two person and family-style meal plans and you can choose a menu that fits your diet including omnivore, carnivore, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and paleo options. What’s great is that you can further refine omnivore after placing your order to select which meats you want. I’m a pescatarian and do not like most shellfish, so I only selected fish for the meat for our order.
The selection of meals for each week are posted the week before. It gives you an idea of what could be sent but since there are more options than the three, you don’t know which specific dishes you’ll get. You can’t individually select which meals you want.
The three meals we received were (photographs courtesy of Green Chef)-
Chinese BBQ Salmon with black rice, bok choy, bell pepper, and carrots.
Cauliflower Mac & Cheese with kale, breadcrumbs, and sun-dried tomato tapenade.
Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers with cotija and rice, olives, capers, beans, and almonds.
What You Get:
One box with all the ingredients for the three meals, minus some basic items like olive oil, salt, and pepper. Everything else that you need is included. The packaging is biodegradable, and the ice packs are reusable. Everything stayed very cold and I wasn’t worried that anything had spoiled.
The recipe card tells you the ingredients, items you’ll need from your own kitchen, a description of the dish, nutritional information, length of time for cooking, and how to make the meal.
Each recipe has a color and the ingredients have a sticker that corresponds to the recipe color. This was really helpful and kept everything organized.
The recipes take anywhere from 30-40 minutes to make. I found some of the dishes took longer than the recipe states and used some new to me multi-step cooking methods so I had to reference the instructions multiple times while cooking. CET loved the two-part method for cooking the salmon. First, I fried it on the stove top skin side up then I flipped it over, topped it with some sauce, and put it in the oven to finish cooking. The recipes seemed to call for more olive oil than I typically cook with so I used less when I could.
The servings were very generous! Each recipe says it serves two, but we never finished it all in one night. We typically had enough left over for at least one lunch the following day. For instance, this serving was about a quarter of what we made.
It’s fun being surprised by what you’re sent. It got us out of our cooking rut and encouraged us to try new dishes that I probably wouldn’t have selected otherwise. For instance, CET doesn’t like peppers so I tend to stay away from stuffed pepper recipes. In this case, I’m glad I didn’t because it was one of my favorite dishes they sent. The rice and filling was plenty as a standalone meal and the roasted pepper was really just an addition. CET enjoyed it as well and Baby Flyer liked the rice and loved the green olives.
Tips I Learned Along the Way:
- At least in our area, they only deliver on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Check to see if you are on the same delivery schedule.
- You need to place your order a week before the day you want your meal delivered. Likewise, when you want to cancel it, they need a week’s notice.
- You can easily select your own dietary preferences by signing up for the omnivore plan and opting-out of the meat options you don’t want. To do this, you log intoGreenChef.com, go to your Account Info (https://greenchef.com/#/my-account/account-info) and click “Edit” next to “My Plan”.
- If you want to select which meat you want, choose omnivore and after you have completed your order you have the chance to refine your selection further. I knew this was an option but it took me a while to figure out how to do it. I thought I needed to do it before placing my order.
- To cancel your order for an extended period of time, you can do it by logging into your account then clicking this link- https://greenchef.com/#/cancel before the weekly cutoff time (7 days prior to your delivery at noon EST). You can reactivate your account anytime by logging into your account and selecting the reactivation button.
Overall, we really enjoyed our experience and were impressed with the quality of the food. The produce was fresh, directions clear, and dishes tasty. To us, it seemed like a treat. We probably won’t be doing it weekly but think it would be fun to do once a month, or a perfect idea for after a trip when you’re still settling back in. Or, perhaps, for those post-holiday burn out weeks when coming up with a meal plan is just about the last thing you want to be doing.
If you want to try Green Chef for yourself, you can get 4 free meals by using BabyFlyerBlog’s link. Let us know in the comments if you’ve tried this, or other meal services. We’d love to hear your experience!