Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Making Turkey Chili with HomeChef


On Black Friday I came across a pretty good sale for Home Chef, "a meal delivery service supplying weekly deliveries of fresh, perfectly portioned ingredients and chef-designed recipes", that I could not resist. My husband and I have been using Hello Fresh for a while now and been happy with it, but the deal was half the price, so I figured for $30 for six meals (two servings of three different meals) I'd give this a chance.

It arrived a few days after ordering. It came first thing in the morning, fortunately right before I left for work so I could put the ingredients in the fridge. It comes with several ice packs so that everything remains cold if you don't get it until later. I picked three meals: Turkey Chili with Cheddar cheese; Rotisserie-style chicken with cheddar, broccoli, and rice casserole; Blade steak with dried tomato-oregano butter with smoky creamed corn and pan-roasted potatoes.

Fleurp really wants to help me

I decided to make the turkey chili first. Most of the ingredients are sent to you, it is assumed you would have basics like olive oil and salt and pepper.


They also include a nice detailed step by step recipe with photos (on the back side) so you are really walked through things, in case you need the help. I've made chili so many times I only skimmed the recipe before setting off on my own.

this is relevant to our interest.
Sorry Muffin, there are onions in there now.. so none for you.


After adding the crushed tomatoes and the tomato sauce I thought it was a little thin so I chose not to add the additional water they recommended. Even without the water, it took a while to boil down to a consistency I prefer - not a lot of time but enough that I wished that I hadn't put in all of the crushed tomatoes.


What is nice about home delivery meals like this is that everything is proportioned. So you don't have to buy a pound of cheese or 12 oz of sour cream for one meal. You don't have to go to a grocery store and remember everything in the recipe. If you generally cook a lot and enjoy it these subscription services are probably not worth it for you, but if you find yourself with a lot of leftover unused ingredients when you only use part of something for a recipe, this can be quite economical. Home Chef is $9.95 per serving and if you order three meals a week the shipping is free. If you only order two then they charge $10 for shipping. Home Chef also offers fresh fruit for $4.95 per serving (a little expensive in my opinion) and a breakfast option if you would like to cook breakfast. We also like the size of the menu cards and the fact that they sent us a binder to store them in. 

Hello Fresh is packaged a little differently, in cardboard boxes instead of plastic bags. The ingredients seem slightly better in quality and the flavors seem a little more complex, aka orzo instead of rice, but their service is also a little more expensive at $69. The Hello Fresh recipe cards are 5x7 and not meant to be bound in a book. Both sets of recipe cards lend themselves to being replicated if you decide you really like the meal and want to make it again, which we have done with several of the recipes.

Neither site requires that you purchase every week, so if you don't like the sound of the meals you can skip the week. If you know you won't have time to cook, you can skip the week. Both sites also cater to some special needs. Gluten free, seafood, allergies, among others. I don't believe either site claims to be allergen free, though.

What I like about this is that everything is included. My husband gets home before I do so he usually makes dinner and he has very little imagination when it comes to cooking and less inclination to make anything outside of his comfort zone. I would bring home something different, like a head of cauliflower, and he would avoid it at all costs. He also had a very limited palate, so when I would cook with different types of ingredients he would pick them out and it was very frustrating for me. By having recipes, he can follow instructions which he is a stickler for when he cooks, and because he is picking out the meals he has been more adventurous in his eating. He still doesn't eat all of the red peppers in meals, but he eats a lot more than he used to ☺

Yes, I have to put with these two each time I cook. It is why the island is rarely used for food prep


In the end, the meal was very good, and there were leftovers enough for us to have a second meal from it. The chicken dish was very good as well. The sauce reduced a little too much because someone wasn't paying attention to it and it was a little salty and I prefer my rice casseroles to be far cheesier.. (DH said it was just fine to his taste).  The steak was also very good although the potato that came with it had a few black spots inside of it. When I wrote to Home Chef to tell them they promptly gave me a very nice credit for our next box.

All in all, we were pleased and we will be getting another box.

If you would like to give either service a try there are referral options that get you a reduced price for the first box. Home Chef offers $30 off the first box if you use the link and Hello Fresh offers $40.

I wasn't compensated for this, I just needed something to talk about while I wait for kittens. If you decide to order, I do get a small kickback, but that did not influence my review in the least.

18 comments:

  1. Now if the meals came with those two cooking supervisors ... I might bite ;)
    For some odd reason, every time I cut up an onion, Kitty would be at my feet. She usually watched me make dinner from a point where I couldn't miss her ... but I wouldn't trip over her either ... but get out an onion, and you'd think I'd opened a can of tuna. I didn't know at the time that onions are toxic to cats, and I wouldn't have given her any anyway - but she didn't seem interested in getting a bite (like she would with tuna) ... it was just odd that she responded that way to the smell.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous2:27 AM

    I love these meal delivery services! Neither my husband nor I like to meal plan or shop, and these make it so easy.
    We've tried both Hello Fresh & Home Chef. I do agree the ingredients quality on Hello Fresh is slightly better. But the quantity and variety of weekly meal options are better under Home Chef. You can also pitchase as many meals as you like under Home Chef. Always nice when you just can't make up your mind which three you want!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My human was hungry after reading your post! But she mainly lives on frozen dinners and takeout - she never has time to actually cook - so she's probably not the ideal customer for these folks.

    ReplyDelete
  4. often wondered about these....it is hard to cook for one but I wondered if the cost worked out (plus like your hubby, I'm not very adventurous....why pay for onions I won't eat - haha)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've long listened to Blue Apron ads, because they sponsor a bunch of podcasts. I'm a much more adventurous eater then DH (and also the primary cook), so it would likely be me eating most of the meals. Yours look yummy.

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Hubby is our chef; he does all the shopping, cooking, cleaning and serving. So, I guess I already have my own food delivery system! Just like the cats...lol!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We love this idea and hope to be able to try it out sometime next year, just to see how it works. Thanks for the wonderful photos and great post about your experiences!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've tried these sites but they don't allow you to see what the meals would be and you have to give them your credit card info before you are allowed access - unfortunately we are picky eaters. If they had one of these meal delivery services where you could pick and choose the individual foods, I'd be all over that.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What an interesting idea! It is just the two of us so sometimes if I want to try a new recipe some ingredients go to waste. I do love to cook and bake and no longer work outside our home so I have the time to make our meals from scratch.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've wondered about these meal services. I've gotten coupons for one called Blue Apron, but I never tried it. With you sharing your experience, I may give one of them a try. Thanks. ~Island Cat Mom

    ReplyDelete
  11. Looks like a great meal and your supervisors look like they enjoyed the aromas and hung around in hopes of getting a taste.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I used the Purple Carrot for awhile and loved their meals, but after awhile I realized I wasn't that enthusiastic about cooking when my husband came home so late each night. I prefer simpler meals than the ones by Purple Carrot. I might check out Home Chef the next time I'm in the mood to cook...and my husband gets home at a decent hour.

    ReplyDelete
  13. We haven't used these services before but it sounds like a good option. Hubby does all the cooking here and he makes yummy foods but maybe he deserves a break on the shopping. :) Glad you had such good snoopervision while you cook!

    ReplyDelete
  14. My mom (who lives alone) recently started trying out services like this. She did Blue Apron and something with "green" in it maybe? I'll have to tell her about these two.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a good idea, mail-order meals ready-to-make. I am not a big fan of chili, but the best I ever had was some chicken chili, so I suspect I would like the turkey, too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Fear of cauliflower . . . your husband sounds a lot like mine!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, great: Now our cats are demanding a kitchen island so they can supervise me more closely. I can't see that happening in a kitchen that's barely the size of an island to begin with. There will be crankiness . . . all Muffin and Fleurp's fault.

    ReplyDelete

All spam will be fed to the kittens

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...