It’s nice knowing that essentially any ingredient that can be certified organic in a Green Chef box, will be, and their gluten-free ingredients are certified as well. So, you might be paying a bit more for this label. I’d consider ordering a box every once in a while to get out of the mac and cheese rut that occurs when a toddler runs the house.
Order and Delivery Process
Using the Green Chef website is easy and clear. Everything is laid out with images of the food, which you select and checkout. Once you confirm your order you can cancel, change, or swap out meals up to seven days before it’s scheduled to be delivered. My only issue was that I wasn’t entirely sure that my meal kit was scheduled even after submitting the order, but an email confirmation was all I needed to sit back, relax, and wait for all my glorious produce to arrive.
Delivery was a breeze, it was dropped on my doorstep on the appropriate day, and all the meals came in separate brown bags containing the necessary ingredients, as well as recipe cards with easy-to-understand instructions.
Ease of Use
This is where I need to add the caveat that I have precious little time to spend peeling, chopping, and waiting for things to cook. Green Chef is worlds better than other meal kits in this regard, as there is nary a “chop up garlic and smear it into a paste using nothing but the back of your knife” in the instructions. As I mentioned, all the tasty sauces are premade and ready to be poured into whatever concoction is bubbling on the stove. Many of the vegetables were already chopped and in bags. The one aspect that elicited a groan from me was that all the meals required three different cooking vessels—a pot, a saute pan, and a baking sheet, not to mention mixing bowls, and other cooking utensils. I try to stick to two at most, and maybe only one, if I can get away with it.
And since I can’t keep a secret, I’ll tell you: I did my own thing with the chickpea bowl, and didn’t roast the chickpeas separately from the carrots according to instruction. Instead, I threw them all on a baking sheet with oil and spices and let them all brown in the oven. Had I done them separately, I think the chickpeas would have come out a bit crisper and better, but it was still a tasty meal, so no regrets.
Generally, I think, for a person who can spare 30 minutes (most of the meals only require 30 to 40 minutes from start to finish), Green Chef is a pretty good option.
While I liked the flavors of the meals, the calorie count was pretty high for me (around 800 calories per serving), and I’m guessing much of that was from the rice. The breakdown of protein, fat, and carbs isn’t readily available on the recipe cards, and I have a feeling my protein intake would be low if I only ate these meals. That said, they do use lots of colorful vegetables and legumes in the vegetarian menu, which is a bonus when it comes to fiber and other nutrients.
Overall Taste and Satisfaction
All of the meals I tried came with fresh, high-quality produce and ingredients. The premade sauces were all very flavorful and dialed up the taste of the otherwise ho-hum bowls. My one complaint is that I wish there was a bit more variety, creativity, and perhaps a few recipes that relied less on simple carbohydrates, like white rice. The portion sizes were pretty generous, in my opinion, and would definitely satisfy two people.
My final thought is that Green Chef is decent—if a bit pricey—option for people who are looking to get out of a meal rut, and multiple people in the family will eat the recipes. You also may need to be in a stage of life where roasting, boiling and sauteing different things at the same time to prepare one meal doesn’t make you break out in hives.