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Every Sunday night I go through my fridge and pantry to see what I need and make a grocery list for my weekly trip to my local market. As a single man, the list is pretty simple. Meat and vegetables, bacon and eggs, a few starches such as rice or potatoes, and a few healthy snacks.
I get nearly the same things every week, and generally, I am in and out of the store in 20 minutes or less. So, when I saw Green Chef offers 50% off your first order to deliver meals I would never make myself, I jumped at the opportunity!
What is Green Chef
Meal delivery services are a relatively new idea with the first one dating back to 2007 in Sweden. The company was called “Middagsfrid” or “Dinnertime Bliss” in English, and after its success in Sweden and northern Europe, a swarm of new services flooded the market.
With inspiration from Middagsfrid, companies like Blue Apron, Plated, and Hello Fresh came about in the US around 2012 and is now an estimated $2.2 billion-dollar business. With Blue Apron, Plated, and Hello Fresh dominating the US market, and economists saying we are in a meal kit bubble, new meal delivery services must differentiate themselves, and that’s where Green Chef comes in.
Green Chef is one of the newest companies to enter the meal kit space and is one of the most innovative. Other services let you choose from limited options of meat, fish, and vegetarian while Green Chef allows you to choose from many types of diets.
The options are:
- Vegan – for plant-based meals
- Vegetarian – for those that don’t want to go fully plant-based.
- Gluten free – for those avoiding grains
- Paleo – for those that want to eat like our ancestors!
- Keto – for those that are avoiding carbs, dairy, and gluten.
- Carnivore – for the meat lovers with every meal serving a land or sea protein
- Omnivore – for those that want to try everything green chef has to offer!
They also allow you to switch dietary plans any time you want with ease for those that like a little variety each week!
The other aspect that makes Green Chef more innovative than its competitors is the ingredients they use. All ingredients from Green Chef are handpicked organic and sustainably sourced products. Green Chef has a team of ranchers, farmers, fisherman, and chefs that hand pick products for them, and they are the only certified organic meal kit delivery service on the market.
Since the ingredients are all organic, standards prohibit the use of GMO’s and the meat must be raised from animals without antibiotics or synthetic hormones.
With the highest-grade products on the market, Green Chef is bound to cost more than its competitors. The average cost per meal for Green Chef is $13 while its competitors average $10 or less. The pricing per serving for each diet were $10.49 for vegetarian, $11.99 for omnivore, $13.49 for the carnivore and gluten-free, and $14.99 for paleo and keto.
The extra few dollars per meal might be well worth it for those concerned with where their food is coming from, but for those on a tighter budget, Green Chef might not be for you.
Ordering was relatively with limited steps. Choose your diet, see what’s on the menu that week, add your credit card info and fresh recipes are on their way! Green Chef allows you to choose what days you want your box delivered from Wednesday-Sunday. So, if you want dinner at the beginning of the week, chose to receive your box on Sunday, and if you want meals for the weekend, Wednesday or Thursday deliveries are perfect.
Shipping costs are minimal with each box coming at a flat rate of $9. Most other services such as Blue Apron offer free shipping on any box that is more than $50, making Green Chef a bit pricey on the delivery end. But what makes Green Chef’s delivery unique is the packaging. Green Chef delivers all its meals in eco-friendly packaging that is easy to reuse, recycle or compost. They offer videos on their website showing you how to recycle their packaging or put it to better use which is very helpful.
I chose my box to be delivered on Wednesday as I wanted to cook for my niece and nephew who were staying with me over the weekend. I got a text the day before saying my meals were on the way and another text just minutes after delivery. In fact, the delivery driver was still walking to his truck as I got to the porch. Green Chef’s packaging allows the food to stay cold for hours out on the porch so don’t be afraid if your box is delivered while you’re out of the house!
What I got
My option was the Keto plan as I have a friend who just started a keto diet and won’t stop talking about how great he feels.
I wanted to eat healthier while satisfying my love for meat, so the Keto plan was perfect. So, I selected the smallest and cheapest plan with three meals that serve two people each, but they also have family plans that feed up to four people.
The total came out to $100, but with the 50% off first order coupon, I paid just $50 for 6 servings which is much cheaper than eating out or even doing the shopping myself. The meals for that week were Cajun sole with mustard greens, tomatoes, and roasted celery root. Chimichurri steak with oven roasted bell peppers, Portobello mushrooms, and onion. And lastly tarragon-mustard chicken with roasted cauliflower rice, and a kale salad with radishes and egg. Three vastly different meals that satisfy my need for variety, and are much healthier than my usual diet.
Cooking and Prep
Each meal has an estimated 35-minute cook time but took me around 50 minutes with prep since I’m not the most experienced chef.
Each meal comes with a handy and large recipe sheet that tells you what ingredients and materials you need along with detailed directions and pictures to follow along with. The recipe sheet also included calories per serving, possible allergens, and some general cooking tips.
Once you’ve chosen what meal you want to make, each ingredient in your big box of goodies is labeled with a number corresponding to the recipe. This isn’t so clearly laid out, so for the first meal, I made I had to keep going back and forth from the ingredients list to digging in the box trying to find what I need. Once I realized there was a number on each ingredient corresponding to the number on the recipe card, I felt a bit silly.
The first meal I made was the chimichurri steak with roasted peppers and mushrooms. I chose this one to cook for my niece and nephew as I felt it was the most kid-friendly. I don’t think many 5-year old’s enjoy Sole with Kale salad!
The process was easy. Chop the fajita vegetables and cook them in a pan with a little oil and pre-divided seasonings. While the fajitas are simmering, I seasoned and cooked the steak in another pan and let it rest before slicing. I plated the veggies, and sliced steak then topped it with cilantro and the pre-made chimichurri sauce.
The meal kits come with everything needed for cooking except Salt, pepper, and cooking oil.The meal was incredible, and even my picky nephew wanted seconds! The servings were plenty for me to have a reasonable amount while the kids split an adult serving. If it weren’t for my poor chopping skills, the meal would have taken a right around the estimated 35 minutes and clean up took no more than 10 minutes. Something I loved with Green Chef compared to other services was the quick clean up. I noticed the materials needed were very limited and I never needed more than a couple of pans, a baking sheet, and a mixing bowl.
Throughout the week I made the rest of the meals, which were equally quick and easy, and ate them for lunch and dinner. Since they don’t have a single person plan, the smallest plan with two servings was plenty to eat for dinner and have enough for lunch the next day. You should have seen the look on my co-worker’s faces as I microwaved tarragon mustard chicken with cauliflower rice while they ate their usual sandwiches and greasy takeout!
How does Green Chef Compare with the Big Dogs
Green Chef is one of the newest and lesser-known meal kit delivery services, but in my opinion, is the best on the market. It’s the only 100% organic meal kit service in the United States and is the only company to have eco-friendly and reusable packaging.
Companies like Hello Fresh have caught some flak for their excessive packaging leading to waste, and Green Chef solves that problem. As someone who doesn’t usually buy organic products, I thought I wouldn’t notice the difference, and boy was I wrong. The difference in freshness and flavor of the organic foods were immediately noticeable and much better than its competitors.
I also found the delivery process to be much quicker than the other services and the option to choose what day you want your food to be delivered is a nice touch. The texts the day before delivery and just minutes after were also convenient. When I tried Blue Apron, I didn’t get the text that it had been delivered until hours later. Although all meal kit services deliver their foods in refrigerated boxes, it’s probably not good for them to be sitting in 100 degrees heat all day!
The only deterrent from Green Chef would be the price. It’s the most expensive meal kit service in the United States and is nearly 2 dollars more per meal than its competitors. For people concerned with where their food is coming from, the extra few bucks are worth it, but for most families on a tight budget, this might be too pricey.
If the price is not a concern than Green Chef is a no-brainer if you’re looking for a weekly meal kit delivery. It’s the freshest and best tasting service out there, and since the company is fairly new, customer service is also the best in the business. The eco-friendly packaging was also a nice touch, and cancellation was easier than most of its competitors. Blue Apron, Plated, and Hello Fresh are great for families on a budget, but if you’re looking for quality, look no further than Green Chef!
- Only 100% organic meal kits in the US
- Eco-friendly and reusable packaging
- Freshest produce on the market
- New and unique recipes every week
- Ability to choose delivery day and texts updating you when your food will arrive and immediately after delivery
- Easy cancellation and limited annoying marketing emails
- Most expensive in the US
- Some recipes might not be great for families with picky eaters
- Shipping costs of $9 per box