Friday, August 5, 2016

Home Chef- How to Make Busy Night Easier!

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received these meals, free of charge,from Home Chef, via Edelweiss, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about them.


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Summer has officially ended in out neighborhood, all but Miss Grace's school are back in school (she starts next week), so now the hunt for quick and easy dinners begins!

A new food service understands your pain and is here to help!
home chef logo
Home Chef, the Chicago-based meal kit delivery service, is expanding service nationwide this year! 

home chef meals

Each week, their team of chefs creates easy-to-follow recipes using fresh, thoughtfully sourced ingredients. You can choose between over 10 weekly meal options, or let them suggest meals based on your preferences. From hearty meat & seafood options to gluten-free and low-carb dishes, there’s a dinner option that’s bound to work for you. They even have some 'breakfast as dinner' options too!

ingredient delivery
Then they deliver perfectly portioned ingredients and chef-designed recipes straight to your door, with everything you need, except for the pans, to cook your meal! No shopping required for any of these recipes!

home chef app screen

It's SO simple to start:
  • 1. You sign up, and set your taste profile online, or in the Home Chef app (available for for iOS or Android.
  • 2.  Make your menu selections by Noon Central Time, on Friday, or based on your preferences. You can also choose how many servings you want of each meal.
  • 3.  Receive your delivery the following week on the day that's best for you. Your package will arrive with lots of frozen ice and safely wrapped, but due to meat involved, you DO need to schedule when you know someone will be home to put it in the fridge that day!
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And there's no worries too- you can skip, or pause, your deliveries at any time you like- like if you go on vacation, if you won't be home for meals a certain week, or just need a 'time out'. There are NO binding contracts, so you can breathe a sigh of relief!

We were sent 2 meals (each made for 2 people) to check out:

home chef cajun chicken pasta

1. Cajun Chicken Pasta- as you can see, the dish is exactly what it says- chicken, veggies, spice and pasta!

 cajun chicken pasta collage

 cajun chicken pasta recipe sample
In our package we received  a red and green pepper, 2 green onions, a canned of condensed milk, a bag of spaghetti, breast chicken meat, vegetable oil, butter, a Cajun spice packet and fresh croutons.

The recipe was VERY easy and the instructions were a cinch to follow, thanks to photos with each step, as you can see to the left. They tell you exactly how much of each ingredient to use at each step, making it easy even for those who claim they can't cook to follow along.

With this recipe, we did find that even though we like Cajun spices, you really only need HALF a packet for a great flavored dish. You can use the whole amount, but it tends to overpower the fresh flavors. We also didn't put the green onions on top, as the kid has a phobia about that-she'll eat them if in sauce, but not on top.We also somehow got more sauce that what the recipe picture showed. Not sure why...If I ordered it again, we would add mushrooms and less pepper, as we like it better that way. 

This dish was the hands down favorite, and for me it was the quicker and easier one to cook, thanks to quick prep work, and cooking.
home chef Unami Burger with Miso-Marinated Beef-

2. Unami Burger with Miso-Marinated Beef- a healthier update on traditional fare.

Unami Burger with Miso-Marinated Beef- collage

In this packet we received a sweet potato, hamburger meat for 2 patties, a red onion, Cremini mushrooms, 2 slices white cheddar cheese, Miso paste, mayonnaise, Parmessan cheese, sun dried tomato pesto and 2 brioche buns.

You add some of the Miso paste and Parmessan to the meat and make your patties. Personally I think it calls for too much Parmessan, as it seemed to make the burgers a bit crumbly. Then you cut your potato into fries and start it baking, while you work on the burgers. The mushrooms are cut up and then cooked with the burgers, giving them a yummy taste (the kid declared them 'the best'). Then while the burgers are cooking you make your secret sauce with the mayonnaise, pesto and rest of the Miso. It was pretty yummy, and even the 9 yr old liked it! I did toast my buns AFTER cooking the burgers, as I wanted the buns warm, not cold. We had WAY too much red onion for the 2 burgers, so over half ended up going to the next night's dinner. 

Unami Burger with Miso-Marinated Beef- and cajun chicken pasta

We served both dinner's together, and it was enough for 3 people without a problem! We all got a good taste of each dish, and there was enough pasta and a half a burger left, for me for lunch the next day. The pasta was the clear favorite, as the sweet potato fries just did not get as crunchy as they should have, and the burgers themselves were rated so-so. Between my dad and myself, we both make some really great burgers, so we just weren't as impressed with the Miso flavor.

All in all the dishes were VERY simple to make, and I learned a new way to may a cream sauce, using canned milk I always have on hand! I have to admit it was great having all the ingredients together, without having to go searching for them. On a busy night during the school year, I can see where this could be a great asset, to getting a fresh, nutrient rich, great tasting dinner on the table!

And cooking with Home Chef let's you work the 3 R's- reducing, reusing, and recycling! By cooking with perfectly pre-portioned ingredients, you also eliminate food waste from buying in bulk at the grocery store. Home Chef chooses innovative suppliers who are making waves in their given industries; suppliers with sustainable practices, who benefit the ecosystems in which they operate; and suppliers who actively demonstrate respect and appreciation for their employees. So you have meals you can be doubly proud of!

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Home Chef isn't in all area's yet, so be sure to check out the website to see if they deliver to your area. Plus if you recommend Home Chef  to 3 friends, with each getting a $30 discount off their first order, you'll get $30 back, for every completed sign up. And after 5 orders of $40 or more from your friends, you'll get $150 in free trials! Now that a great deal!

So if you're looking to step up dinner during the school year, you might want to check out Home Chef and see what they can offer your family!

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