After a laid-back summer with only a couple weeks of camp and lots of wide open days, my kids are now back in full over-scheduled mode. Swimming, piano, parkour, Taekwondo, soccer…I went a little overboard signing them up for after-school stuff this fall, and am finding it hard to squeeze in time for homework (let alone piano practice!).
With a husband who works crazy hours and my own consulting practice now busier than ever, by early October I was complaining about my struggles to get a healthy meal on the table even a few nights a week. It wasn’t just that I didn’t have time to cook the meal–I didn’t have the time to THINK of what to cook and then get all the ingredients together. My dinner prep started to look like this:
I might add some steamed broccoli for the kids, and then Daylon would run out for pizza after they went to sleep while I ate a bowl of granola (not homemade). Pathetic.com!
Meal Kit Delivery Options: What’s Good Stuff?
Last year, when this same dinner-making fatigue occurred, I decided to sign up for some meal kit delivery services. I tried Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, and even though I canceled both, it wasn’t because they didn’t live up to their promises. Indeed, not having to think about what I was going to make was luxurious, the meals were easy to prepare, and it was almost always delicious. The problem was not one ingredient included in these services was organic.
The quality of the ingredients wasn’t at the level of any of the stuff that I would buy at the grocery store, which made the whole exercise seem silly–after all, the point of cooking at home rather than ordering take-out is mostly about the healthfulness of the meal. (The cost is actually less of a consideration–a trip to Whole Foods for dinner ingredients sets me back more than ordering a pizza!)
With Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, I worried that the chicken stock had MSG, that the tomato sauce had high fructose corn syrup, and that the ground beef was pumped full of hormones.
Green Chef: An Organic Meal-Prep Option
This year when the cooking malaise struck, someone told me about Green Chef. It’s the same concept as Blue Apron and the like, except that everything–literally every single ingredient–is organic. Green Chef also places an emphasis on seasonal ingredients from local farms. It’s the same concept as Blue Apron and the like, except that everything–literally every single ingredient–is organic. They also put an emphasis on seasonal ingredients from local farms. I’m a total convert, and love that it’s highly customizable; even if you choose omnivore (instead of, say, vegetarian, Paleo, or gluten-free), you can opt out of beef or fish or pork if that’s not your thing.
What Else I Like About Green Chef
Compared with other meal-delivery services, I found that Green Chef offers more “done for you” ingredients, which means the meal is more interesting but requires less work–things like salad dressings, marinated veggies, and sauces arrive pre-mixed (but fresh). This also means fewer dishes in the sink when you’re done.
What I Don’t Like About Green Chef
One downside to Green Chef is that if your kids are picky like mine are, they might not love every meal (since it’s heavy on seasonings, cilantro, curry, etc.). We’ve found ways to modify the recipes or remove the kids’ portions before we add the sauces, but sometimes I still find myself making them a separate meal. My husband hasn’t been blown away by Green Chef’s vegetarian dishes, but I think they are tasty and satisfying.
In some cases, the flavor of the sauces or dressings is a bit overpowering, so I would add them all “to taste” rather than dumping the whole tub in.
And speaking of tubs, recyclable or not, there is just a lot of plastic involved in these kits.
Green Chef costs slightly more than its competitors, but this makes sense given the organic angle, and it is still way more affordable than ordering take-out. Plus, the portion sizes are more generous than the others–we do the “for two” option, and it’s enough for our family of four.
Get Four Free Meals When You Try Green Chef
I want to hear from you! Comment below if you’ve tried Green Chef or other meal-prep delivery services and let me know what your experience was.
P.S. In case you skim blogs like I do, here’s your link for free meals from Green Chef.