Making our own meals in our own kitchens is something a lot of us would love to do more of but all too often, a lack of time or suitable ingredients gets in our way. No wonder so many of us give up and turn to takeaways.
However, there’s a terrific option out there that gives you the satisfaction of cooking yourself a decent and delicious serving of food. Using a recipe box service, you can avoid all that last-minute panic over what to have for dinner, and there’s no need for any emergency dashes down to the shops with a scribbled shopping list in hand.
Ingredients delivery services are becoming more and more popular, but there’s a particular outfit that comes up with the goods, not only in terms of great grub but also in terms of what’s good for you and the planet. Green Chef is what we’re talking about. Let’s see what it’s all about.
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The Green Chef story
The company started out in 2014 in Boulder, Colorado and set out its stall as a meal delivery service using healthy ingredients for householders to put together at home. In a few short years, it became the United States’ No.1 sustainable meal delivery service.
In 2018 it was acquired by HelloFresh, the market leader in recipe boxes, and launched in the UK in 2021, with an emphasis on serving the health-savvy British consumer.
What’s in the Green Chef box?
Basically, what you get in a Green Chef meal kit is recipes and all the ingredients you need to make them. Which recipes do you get? This is all down to you, the subscriber, who can decide either to sign up for a meal plan or select meals ad hoc from the extensive range available.
If you want to go for a meal plan, this is a case of selecting from the list of diet preferences. These comprise vegan, vegetarian, lower carb, flexitarian, keto (the UK’s first!) and pescatarian.
The choice you make will then determine the kind of meals you’ll be making. For instance, if you choose lower carb, you’ll receive recipes and ingredients for meals with a carb component of less than 50g per serving.
The nice thing about meal plans is that they take that age-old question - what to have for dinner - out of the equation and you’re led to something delicious you might never have dreamed of if left to your own devices.
Go your own way
However, sometimes you might want to be left to choose your own meal ideas. You might be having somebody over with a particular favourite food, in which case, you’ll want to choose something suitable.
Say you want something plant-based and satisfying? How about a bowl of Spicy Fried Vegetable Rice with Garlic Shiitake Mushrooms and Sriracha? Or you’re after a much meatier proposition? How do Pork Steaks in Sage Brown Butter sound?
You can vary between meal plans and choosing your own meals, back and forth, as you wish.
About those ingredients
Inside your box, you’ll get easy-to-follow recipe cards as well as all the ingredients you need to bring these creations to life. The ingredients are of superior quality and are ice pack fresh.
Here’s the best bit - they’re all measured to the exact amount you need for the recipe. No messy weighing, and no leftovers ending up in the food waste. Also, most of the ingredients come ready-prepared, so preparation is made all the simpler.
The boxes contain instructions and ingredients for up to five meals per week for two or four people. You can also get add-ons like soup and sides for an extra cost.
What makes Green Chef special?
Green Chef is all about putting healthy eating within reach of everybody. All too often, high-calorie processed foods are pushed at us as the easy option, and inevitably we cave from time to time. Green Chef aims to take that convenience and marry it to high-quality, healthy foods and give us the chance to exercise our chef muscles!
As mentioned, a number of dietary preferences are covered. Care is taken to avoid cross-contamination when it comes to packaging the ingredients. However, the company does recommend that vegetables and fruit are washed on arrival, which is only sensible.
A gluten-free menu is not included yet, but Green Chef says its UK registered nutritionists are looking for new meal ideas to meet this demand. Meanwhile, those with gluten intolerance can see for themselves what is in each recipe so they can decide which ones to avoid accordingly. Same with those following a paleo diet.
What sets Green Chef apart most of all is its emphasis on sustainability. For instance, it is committed to recyclable, with an ongoing campaign to minimise single use plastics wherever it can.
Green Chef also prioritises smaller, local suppliers wherever possible. Meat is always British and high welfare, carrying the Red Tractor label and fish is always sustainably farmed. .
Finally, for those who want to go that bit further, Green Chef offers low-emission recipes, which have up to 50% lower carbon emissions than the average recipe.
Green Chef and you
The most important point to know about Green Chef is that the food is good for you, but it’s not just for health enthusiasts. It’s about putting great-tasting food on the plates of those who might not have the time to put it together otherwise. The fact that it’s good for you and better for the planet is a bonus. But what a bonus!