Home Chef Review & Coupon – August 2017

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Home Chef is a meal in a box subscription – every week, you choose from a variety of recipes and have all the ingredients and preparation instructions delivered to your door. The basic concept is the same as other weekly meal delivery services, but it has its own unique features and recipes. Their meal options include include many great Asian, Indian, African, and South American inspired dishes, along with more traditional American home-style and steakhouse fare.

Meal selections are suggested automatically according to a profile you fill out noting your family’s preferences, but you can change your selections any time. Home Chef offers an incredible 10 selections available for 2, 4, or 6 people, a breakfast choice, a smoothie choice, and a fruit basket selection. The portions are large, and this is currently the least expensive and has the most choice out of any similar major subscriptions (for 2 people) – $9.95 per person per selection (they typically have one meal a week that’s a premium meal).

The food is packed in puffy, padded cooler pads, with each meal packed in a separate bag containing nearly everything needed to make a complete meal. The box is always packed with several ice packs.

DEAL: Get $30 of free food when you sign up – just use this link to get the deal!

The recipe cards display prep time, difficulty, a “best cooked by” time frame, and even a spice level. There is also a list of stuff you may need from your own kitchen such as cookware and salt and pepper. You have to have a basic kitchen set-up (stove/oven, cookware, etc.), but a couple tablespoons of cooking oil and salt and pepper are usually the only ingredients you have to have at home – they even include liquid egg (instead of expecting you to have eggs on hand), and oil for shallow-frying when a recipe calls for more than a few tablespoons worth.

The back of the card has the actual recipe guidance, complete with pictures and bold-facing of ingredients. The recipes are accompanied by pro-tips and explanations of cooking terminology and techniques. The tips appear in a sidebar so they don’t clutter the actual recipe. I love that they include a heads-up for when ingredients are divided and used in different parts of the dish. The prep is done is a sensible order – items with long lead times are started first, chopping is done all at once when it makes sense to do so, but they’ll also have you do some of the latter stage prep while other food is cooking, shortening the overall prep time. The recipe cards have pre-punched holes so you can store them in a recipe binder, but we usually prefer to just wait till the recipe is offered again instead of attempting to gather the ingredients to recreate it ourselves.

They’ve just upgraded the bags used to bundle the meals! The new bags are, of course, recyclable, but they also have a handy resealable zip closure. I find this really useful, as the old bags would not always survive initial opening intact.

All of the provided ingredients for our three recipes this week. Each recipe was packed separately, and neatly, in its own bag, except for the meat (which is shipped in a separate section of the box, surrounded by ice packs). Unless otherwise noted, each of the pictures of prepared food below shows one of two servings made by each recipe.

Seasonal Fruit Basket With An Assortment Of Fresh Fruit. 336 calories per serving. This is a pretty representative fruit basket, as they typically include a couple apples and pears. Other fruits depend on the season and could be anything from oranges to kiwi or mango. This basket was all U.S. produce, and its always really high quality – firm, sweet, and just coming into ripeness.

Ranch Steak And Jalapeño Popper Fritters With Fresh Corn And Cheddar Cheese. 25-35 minutes, intermediate, 819 calories per serving.

I found the description of this dish confusing at first, because ranch steak is usually a thick, lean, and not extremely tender cut of beef. This was actually a very tender and delicious sirloin flavored with ranch seasoning. It was a wonderful cut of meat, and the flavoring was delicious and unique (though ubiquitous on snacks and dressings, ranch isn’t commonly applied directly to meat). The fritters were wonderful! The fresh corn added some texture and sweetness, keeping them light. The jalapeños added a good bit of heat and lots of flavor. This dish was actually very quick and easy to put together, especially because both items cooked primarily on the stovetop and didn’t require extended roasting.

Korean Pork Tacos With Sriracha Mayo And Slaw. 35-45 minutes, easy, 841 calories per serving.

We love this style of dish, as it always packs a great combo of textures and flavors, and it’s easy to make. The pork cooks quickly, and the remaining items only take a minute to assemble. The sweet and spicy pork acquires a fabulous texture as it cooks – tender, yet crisp in spots, with a tiny bit of chew. Paired with the crunchy slaw and topped with a spicy and creamy sauce, it makes a killer filling for the soft tortilla.

We only grabbed a couple of meals this week, but they were really fantastic. I loved the spicy, yet subtly sweet flavor of each, and the duo was satisfying but somewhat light. As always, they’ve managed to match great flavors with good sized portions – Home Chef is typically the heartiest of the meal kit subscriptions we regularly review, both in portion size and composition, though they’ve toned done the extreme size of the portions lately. With easy preparation and approachable flavors, it is a great subscription for fans of homestyle meals.

Have you tried Home Chef? What did you think of your meals?

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