GREEN CHEF REVIEW
OUR NATURAL HOME is a blog series highlighting the little things we’re using, doing, and buying as we strive to make our home chemical free and as natural as possible.
We moved to Richmond Virginia just over a month ago, and the food and restaurant scene here is unbelievable. You really can find any type of food you could possibly imagine. Hawaiian, German, Farm To Table, Asian Mexican Fusion, Ethiopian, Warm Cookie Delivery.. Its all here. And its all incredibly well made. And we ate out every single night. It was delicious, but hard on our wallets and our stomachs. So we realized it was time to get back on the wagon of cooking dinners at home. I knew I wanted a meal subscription box- because having to go grocery shopping is my number one excuse that leads to us going out to eat, and I knew I wanted something organic and healthy because we’ve worked hard to eliminate chemicals in every other aspect of our home, and it seems silly to not do the same for what we eat. So I went to google-town and did tons of research. I came across two really great options- Green Chef vs Sun Basket. Today I’m going to share with ya’ll all about our experience with Green Chef. And then next week I’ll tackle my Sun Basket review on the blog! So without further adieu, here’s my Green Chef review!
First impressions- I went to school for graphic design, and am obsessed with packaging design. My husband often jokes that if a pile of poop was packaged really well, I would totally buy it. And the sad thing is, he’s probably right. I love the simple logo and design of the box. White print on cardboard is so lovely. The USDA Organic certified logo on the box also gave me reassurance and peace of mind.
I also want to mention their packaging in my Green Chef review. I love that they use 100% compostable packaging. We just moved to our new home in December, so I haven’t really had the chance to put together a garden yet, but once we do, its great to know that this packaging can be composted. It makes me feel a little better about all the packaging that always comes with meal subscription boxes.
All of the recipes come on full-page sheets, with a really lovely styled photo, cook time, description, and ingredients on the front. The back of the page has step by step instructions with photos to help show you what to do. As someone that has been cooking for 20+ years, I find the photos kind of unnecessary and dont feel like they really help make anything easier. They just look pretty and kind of break up the text of the directions. You’ll also notice.. one of my favorite things about green chef.. is each recipe card is color-coded to match the color coded labels on each ingredient! Hallelujah! Makes finding the 10-15 ingredients in my refrigerator or drawer so much easier!
The Green Chef unboxing- Once I opened up the box, the first thing on top is all of the dry ingredients. Because I’m learning that I’m a big fan of simple organization- I stress out less when things have a basic organization to them in life in general, I’m gonna be a nerd and show you how I organized all the contents of the Green Chef box in our kitchen in this Green Chef review. I keep all of the dry, non perishable ingredients in a little drawer next to our refrigerator so their easy to find and I’m not cluttering our counters all week with little baggies.
I throw all of the refrigerated ingredients in one drawer in the refrigerator so they don’t take up a ton of room on the fridge shelves. Because we are currently doing both a Green Chef meal subscription box AND a Sun Basket meal subscription box, I like keeping each box separated. Just makes my life a little easier.Green Chef also pre-makes most of the sauces for you. Im kind of torn about whether I like this or not. It definitely saves a couple steps while making dinner. But the whole reason I love these meal subscription boxes is because it still allows me to feel like I am making everything from scratch. This kind of takes that feeling away a little bit. But the sauces they include are really delicious and flavorful. I also love how every label has the USDA organic certified label on it. I did however notice that there were a few ingredients that did not have the organic label on them- like the arugula and the couscous this week. Anyway- I stick all of the Green Chef sauces on one of our fridge doors. The same side as the drawer that I put the Green Chef produce in.So, first up is the Lentil Quinoa burgers with Kale chips. We got this one out of the way first because my husband is not the biggest fan of “weird stuff” like this. When we met, he was a meat and potatoes kind of guy. The extent of international food he had tried before he met me was mexican, chinese and italian. Its been 6 years and now we love exploring new food together, but it took a lot of baby steps to get to that point. The one thing that I don’t love about Green Chef is they dont allow you to choose your meals. Sure, you can choose if you want a vegetarian, omnivore, or carnivore meal box. But you can’t choose which specific meals you get each week. I’m completely adventurous and will try anything (I grew up being taught that), and while my husband is much more adventurous with food that he used to be, things like lentil quinoa burgers and kale chips still weird him out a bit.
Unfortunately the arugula that was supposed to be on the burgers had already gone bad before we could use it. It ended up just being a mushy pile of green mush. Overall, this lentil quinoa burger met the husbands approval (thats pretty impressive). It had really good flavor thanks to the seasoned chickpeas and roasted red peppers sauce from Green Chef. I loved the kale chips. They actually reminded me of the flash fried brussels sprouts at my favorite restaurant back where we used to live. Really tasty.
The next night we made sumac steak. Im a little confused by why Green Chef chose to pre-cut the carrots, but not the celery (They both ended up needing to be chopped for the recipe). The two pieces of steak that came in our Green Chef box were noticeably smaller but way thicker than what was shown on the recipe card. Which is fine. Except when cooking according to the directions, our steak came out pretty rare.
Hearing the word “Sumac” in a recipe kind of weirded me out a bit, because my only reference to sumac before this recipe was poison sumac. And you definitely dont want to eat that. The sumac and sesame seeds gave the steak a nice mild flavor with just a hint of crunch. And the cilantro lemon tahini sauce that Green Chef made was really delicious! We both really liked it. The veggies and the rice on the other hand were pretty bland, even after adding a good bit of salt and pepper. But they sure looked colorful and pretty!
Lastly was the chicken and veggie bowl. I think this was the favorite for both of us. Putting apples, butternut squash, broccoli and lemon yogurt sauce together in one dish didn’t sound like it would be a great idea. But the flavors really worked well togetherThis was a great dish for a cold night. It felt really hearty and filling, but still felt night and healthy and seasonal. All of the flavors of the dish just blended really well together. A little sweet, a little salty, a little tart, a little savory.
Overall, we really liked Green Chef. I loved knowing that everything we were eating was certified organic, and the dishes definitely felt gourmet, and pushed our food boundaries a little bit, which I love! I hope you enjoyed this Green Chef review. If you’d like to try Green Chef, you can get your first week of Green Chef meals free by clicking here (no green chef promo code necessary)! Woohoo!