We all want to be eating delicious & healthy dinners, but lacking the time to research recipes, plan, make lists, get to the store, and do the prep is a common issue! And I know that some of you reading this aren't used to cooking healthy dinners with whole foods....this is s learned skill that takes some time & practice. I personally grew up learning to 'cook' with a lot of prepackaged convenience foods and it took me a while to learn otherwise. If either of these resonate with you, read on! I even have a link for you to use that will get you 4 free meals towards the end!
You've probably seen advertisements for multiple meal delivery services. You know....Home Chef, Sunbasket, Blue Apron, Plated, etc. They are becoming quite popular, and I want to give you my 2 cents on them today!
If you have never tried one of these services, what they do is take all of the busy work out and save the fun part for you....cooking & eating! When using one of these services, they send you a box each week with everything you need to prepare the meals, along with the recipe, and nothing more. No planning, No shopping, No prep. No wasted food. It's pretty awesome really.
I was hesitant about these services as there are things about the idea that I don't like, but as I've had several of my clients using them, I decided to try some myself, and I'd love to give you my two cents. I realize now that they are perfect for some lifestyles and can be a huge blessing. I'm going to share my thoughts from my own experience below.
Here's what I like about them:
- They make you feel like a master chef even if you are not much of a cook. It's a great way to learn and be more confident in the kitchen. The directions are clear and easy steps. I have several clients that have been using these and are learning to cook great meals with fresh foods, without all the hassle that they would probably never go through to get all of the ingredients for these kinds of meals. They love them!
- You don't need to plan, make lists, go to the store, or prep anything.
- Zero food is wasted! This one is BIG! To make a nice meal with a lot of ingredients you need to purchase each one at the store, and always end up with left overs of these ingredients that you then need to figure out what to do with so they don't go to waste. All of these services send you JUST enough of each ingredient to make your meal. Nothing more. Nothing less
- Besides the zero food waste, you actually end up saving money. If you were to purchase all ingredients to make one of these meals, you would be forking out much more money at the store, and again, you'd need to figure out what to do with the leftover ingredients so they don't end up in the trash.
- Most of these meals are made with whole foods, and good ingredients. Going for the organic ones, ensures you are eating healthier.
- I consider myself a good cook. I love to create meals in the kitchen, but when I get one of these boxes, I always end up making something that I wouldn't otherwise make. Lots of fun flavor combinations, creations, and ways of preparing things that inspire me to incorporate into other meals that I do plan on my own.
- Even with all the ingredients, and what can seem like a complex meal, they make it easy with the recipes and everything pre-portioned so you can whip most of them up in 30-40 minutes.
- You can hold deliveries or totally cancel your account at any time. There's no obligation to get weekly deliveries... only if you want to.
What I don't like:
- If you don't want a delivery to be charged to your card every week, you need to stay on top of either holding your orders or canceling your account. I manage this by putting reminders on my calendar.
- I love shopping at the farmers market & local food co-op, and spend most of my food dollars at these places because it's important to me to support my local food economy. Obviously ordering food online is outside of this goal. Maybe someday soon there will be a more local service like this that I can support?
- Packaging: I've been working to reduce the amount of plastic that I use in my life, and I do a lot of my shopping in bulk to reduce waste & excess packaging because I know this is important for the health of the planet that we all live on. Since everything is individually packaged, there is a lot of excess packaging involved. This is something that I think about on the occasions that I have these meals delivered, and I wish it could be different. I reuse the small plastic containers for things like dressing in my lunches to go, and wash out the baggies to reuse for snacks on the run, etc. All of it is recyclable, but I'd rather not consume it.
This isn't something I have delivered every week, but I have been enjoying them from time to time, especially when I know I have a busy week. They can be really fun too! I grabbed one of the meals to go to a friends house last week, and we cooked up a meal together with ease because I had everything we needed in a little bag! Nothing more, nothing less. Cooking together is always a great time, and this made for an easy, fun evening at a friends house!
There are a lot of these services out there, and some are certainly more healthy than others. Only a few have mostly organic ingredients. When you are a meat eater, I feel like this is extra important. Lately I've been enjoying Green Chef. I think about 95% of the ingredients are organic, and you are only paying a dollar or two more per meal for that great advantage. The meals are tasty, balanced, healthy, and you have a lot of options. You get to choose the type of diet - carnivore, omnivore, gluten free, paleo, vegetarian, or vegan. They have a set menu for the week for each dietary option, so that's the only choice you have to make!
Even though I always like to promote eating & shopping as local as possible, I realize the many benefits to this for many people, so I wanted to give you an honest review. If this can help you to learn to cook with whole foods that's a wonderful thing! Perhaps you would be cooking with fresh ingredients and supporting your local farmers more once you got the hang of it! If you are someone who is so busy that you turn to a lot of convenience foods out of lack of time, this is an amazing service! If you are someone who ends up throwing away a lot of food because ingredients don't get used up, then these services can save you some money and save food from going into the garbage.
So far, I've been most happy with Green Chef, due to the organic ingredients and the recyclable & compostable packaging. The meals I've had from them have been really tasty too! If you would like to try Green Chef out yourself, click the link below, and they will send you 4 free meals in your first order!
Here's the link:
Get 4 free meals from Green Chef!
Have some thoughts on this? I'd love to hear from you!
Have a great rest of your week & Happy cooking!