Recently my friend Tracy told me how much she loved Green Chef food service. “I’ll send you a complementary box,” she said.
I was delighted, having never before had a meal in a kit delivered to my doorstep. (Only about 7% of Americans have subscribed to a meal kit service, most of them between 25 and 44 years old. Many non-users indicate they didn’t want to be tied down.)
My First Meal Kit
To redeem my gift, I went to the Green Chef website and selected the type of cuisine I wanted and a delivery date. I picked Mediterranean and Thursday.
So What’s a Meal Kit?
The subscription food service offers pre-portioned, sometime partially-prepared ingredients, and recipes for homecooked meals. You may have seen such names as: Freshly, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Home Chef.
Kroger, having purchased Home Chef, now offers some well-reviewed meals in their grocery stores.
Pros and Cons
Pro: less food waste, better nutrition, diet options, pre-measuring, easy to follow recipes, quick clean up, time saving—sometimes.
Con: often pricy, you’re on a schedule, still need to grocery shop, can take as much as a half hour to compose a dish.
A Variety of Meal Kit Choices
This is not an exhaustive list, but just a few examples of what’s out there. Click on name to learn more.
Freshly: arrives fully cooked and only needs heating.
Blue Apron: Designed for those wanting to learn to cook. Also offers kitchenware for preparing the recipes.
Hello Fresh: Fifty menu choices each week.
Green Chef: features plant-forward meals and vegetarian, paleo, and keto meals.
Splendid Spoon: Specializes in ready-to-eat meals for one person, including smoothies, soups, and bowls. (This might suit me. I intend to try it.)
Sunbasket: Provides ingredients for a family in an oven-warmed dinner.
Icon: One of the top ready-to-eat meal kits. Custom designed meals available.
Look for more meal kits to turn up at grocery stores and other retail outlets. If you try one of the food services, just remember when it comes to quality and flavor “you get what you pay for.”