Thursday, March 10, 2016

Home Chef 38th Delivery & $30 Off


Salmon in Lemongrass Ginger Broth with Bok Choy & Shiitakes


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Swiss Fondue for Two with Pretzel Bread, Broccoli, Tomatoes & Apples


Ingredients


Honey Garlic Chicken with Parmesan Vegetable Medley


Ingredients


English Pub Steak with Oven Fries, Malt Vinegar Mayo & Smashed Peas


Ingredients


This is a review of a weekly subscription box called Home Chef. This is our 38th shipment which included four recipes, three of which were low calorie and two low carb & gluten free. We have now made 149 of their recipes over the last ten months. See photos of all of them on my Home Chef Pinterest BoardThis week we gave one recipe four out five stars, one recipe three stars and two recipes two stars. Each week they offer twelve recipes and a fruit basket to chose from. One is a smoothie, one is breakfast and usually three of them are vegetarian. Each dinner entree is $9.95, smoothies are $4.95 and the fruit is $4.95. Occasionally, there is a special recipe that is higher in price due to the ingredients. They also occasionally offer desserts and appetizers. If you would like to try it out, be sure to use my $30 coupon, link below.

Salmon in Lemongrass Ginger Broth with Bok Choy & Shiitakes

This was our favorite recipe for the week. They have had some really good Asian recipes and this was one of them. We never cooked with lemongrass before, so we were anxious to give it a try. It was really quite easy and we noticed that the lemongrass unraveled itself after cooking. The flavor of this dish was like nothing else I've had before. Hubby used all of the Fresno chile, so it was quite spicy. We always love bok choy, cilantro, green onions and shiitake mushrooms, so this recipe is perfect for us. The cilantro wasn't in good shape when it arrived, but I cut it up as small as possible to increase it's flavor. We would have given it five stars if the cilantro had arrived in good shape and there was enough of it. This low calorie recipe had only 524 calories and it took about forty-five minutes to prepare. It's also low carb and gluten free. It was scrumptious and we plan to make it again soon! It was a satisfying portion.

Swiss Fondue for Two with Pretzel Bread, Broccoli, Tomatoes & Apples

We were really excited for this appetizer since it arrived on our 27th wedding anniversary and we usually go to Melting Pot for that occasion and always order fondue. Since we moved, there isn't one nearby, so sadly we can't go there anymore. Unfortunately, this recipe did not live up to our expectations and we only gave it two stars. Immediately upon opening the broccoli package it stunk horribly. I don't know why they placed it in a sealed bag this time, it was a big mistake since it couldn't breathe and it went bad. We weren't crazy about the pretzel bun either, it should have been rosemary or pumpernickel bread! The cheese fondue was made with sherry and it should have been beer. They also added nutmeg and that wasn't tasty at all. Surprisingly it was low in calories, coming in at 586 calories. We had it for dinner rather than an appetizer since it was a large portion.

Honey Garlic Chicken with Parmesan Vegetable Medley

This recipe looked good, but it was a bust. The potatoes, red bell pepper, brussels sprouts, red onion and Italian seasoning blend were't a great combo and the cold grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on top wasn't a good idea. It would have been much better melted. The honey garlic glaze on top of the chicken was ok, but there wasn't enough of it. One chicken breast was much smaller than the other and it still had a small chicken bone in it. Thankfully, I noticed it when I was cutting it and managed to pull it out prior to eating. The last couple of months their chicken portions have been getting smaller, so I stopped ordering anymore of their chicken recipes. They have been saying "we're working on it", but so far no changes have occured. We gave this recipe two stars. It's a low calorie, low carb, gluten free recipe with only 505 calories and it took about thirty minutes to prepare. My portion wasn't satisfying since I had the smaller chicken breast.

English Pub Steak with Oven Fries, Malt Vinegar Mayo & Smashed Peas

Having British parents, I just had to order this recipe. When I started looking at the negative reviews coming in for the side dish of mushy peas on their Facebook page, I went and looked at the recipe online since it had not arrived here yet. They sent American peas instead of marrowfat or English peas and forgot the heavy whipped cream. The skins of small American peas when mashed pull off and make for a rough texture, so they are not to be mashed! No wonder they didn't like the texture nor the taste. When mushy peas are made properly, they are absolutely scrumptious and almost like a dessert especially if a bit of sugar is added. Since I had a can of marrowfat peas in my pantry from Publix, we used those instead of the American peas that we were sent. I also added two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. They were so delicious that I wished we had two cans of them! The mayo, malt vinegar and black pepper combo was good, but I added twice as much mayo so that the malt vinegar wasn't so strong and so that there was enough to dip the fries in. It was very tasty that way. The fries took forever to cook. It's so much easier and faster to use the precut frozen ones and just bake those. I feel it's not worth the effort to make them from scratch. I added another garlic clove to our steak sauce since we like a lot of garlic. The sauce was not great, but the steak was very tasty. So we gave this recipe three stars, if they had made the mushy peas properly and given us a tastier steak sauce it would have been given four stars. I was quite upset they made the mushy peas improperly, because now so many Americans who tried it will think they don't like them when in fact they didn't really have the proper dish to determine this! This recipe had 963 calories and took much longer than the forty minutes they said it would take.

This week wasn't a very good one, though I'm really glad we chose the Salmon in Lemongrass Ginger Broth recipe. That's one we will make again soon since it had such a wonderful flavor and it's low in calories on top of that! I stopped ordering their chicken recipes due to the quality issues. After being with Home Chef for almost ten months now, we are moving back to Hello Fresh next week. I get the impression Home Chef is now trying to lower costs to improve profit, but for me the chicken issues are a deal breaker. The reason I left Blue Apron was due to their protein becoming smaller and smaller as the months went by. I don't like leaving the table not full and snacking shortly thereafter. Hello Fresh uses antibiotic free chicken that has an expiration date on the package which is what I prefer.  Since I had to give Hello Fresh two weeks notice to start getting deliveries again, Friday we are expecting the following Home Chef recipes:
  1. Sirloin Steak with Red Pepper Steak Sauce
  2. Banh Mi Meatball Sub
  3. Sriracha Shrimp & Avocado Salad
I recently did a comparison of Home Chef, Plated, Blue Apron & Hello Fresh, so be sure to check out that post before you leave. Note that I haven't had a chance to add Home Chef's recent issues to it yet. Which of the four subscription services have you tried so far and which one is your favorite?  

Bargain Alert:
   
Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here.
Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79". 

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