Green Chef – Sweet & Sour Chicken
If you turn on the TV at all, you’ve more than likely noticed advertisements for home delivery services that send you a box of specialized food to your doorstep. I suppose the onslaught of diet plans has made this popular and the premise is simple: You place an order for 3 meals that are shipped to you with just about everything you need to make a delicious home cooked meal. It eliminates a trip to the supermarket and you have all the ingredients needed right in front of you.
For some reason, I was skeptical and envisioned the box to contain not-so-fresh ingredients that needed to be used immediately if not yesterday. So I placed my order for all organic ingredients from a company called Green Chef and anxiously waited for the box to arrive. You get to pick the delivery day and there are no commitments … just order what you want when you want it. When the delivery man brought it to my house, he asked “What time do I need to be back here for dinner?” Evidently, he has delivered lots of these and knew exactly what it was.
As I opened the box, I was pleasantly surprised to find the care that went into packaging the items. The refrigerated box kept it all cold and everything looked beautiful, from the truly fresh vegetables to the meats. There was even an egg in the box and it was just as fine as could be nestled in among the containers of premeasured spices. Of the 3 meals I selected, all the items were color coded, making it easy as can be to quickly see which items go with each recipe. I sorted them carefully and decided to start with the Sweet & Sour Chicken with black quinoa, edamame, ginger, pineapple and red pepper.
The included step-by-step recipe said the recipe would take me 20 minutes, so I wanted to see how accurate that was and set my timer. There were 8 steps to this recipe with a picture to accompany each one. I followed the instructions exactly, preparing each when it said to do so. The best way I can describe the experience was that it seemed as if I had a sous chef with me in the kitchen. Everything was measured perfectly, from the cornstarch I needed to finishing sauce. The entire meal was actually ready and on our dinner plates in just over 18 minutes. But how would it taste?
Another shocker … it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I nearly fell out of my chair when my husband actually ate the black quinoa! Would I have spiced it up a bit more? Sure, but I realize these have to be made for the masses. Overall, I gave it a good solid A and can see how it would be a real plus for some people who live life on the run and don’t spend as much time in the grocery store as I do. If you have limited storage space in your pantry and refrigerator, this could actually save you money. Instead of purchasing an entire box of cornstarch or quinoa, or expensive spices that you may or may not use again very soon, you have just the right amount. It also could help you decide if you actually like something before making a larger investment in it. In addition, this could be an excellent teaching experience for kids or for adults who are just learning cooking techniques. The pictures and recipes explain everything and the food is much tastier and healthy than fast food.
Would I do this every night? No, but I can tell you it eliminates the guess work and the wondering what I will throw together quickly when I get home from work. We’re having BBQ Pork Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes and Pickled Slaw tonight, then a Lentil Chili with Polenta Cakes after that. Each meal very generously serves 2 adults (we had leftovers) and the entire shipment averages around $11 per person per meal. That’s without discounts and free offers that are all over the place. So if you have a bit of an adventurous bend and want to try something different, give it a try. I’m still trying to get over my husband liking the black quinoa!
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