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Home Chef Subscription Box Vegetarian Review + Coupon – December 2017

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home chef box for december 2017

Home Chef is a subscription meal delivery service that delivers you a weekly box of the pre-portioned ingredients you need to make two to six meals that feed two, four, or six people. Home Chef advertises easy recipes that can be made in about 30 minutes. They say their ingredients are fresh (though they don’t provide a lot of information about their sourcing practices), and they offer vegetarian, gluten-free, and calorie/carb-conscious recipes.

This is a review of the vegetarian plan (starting at $9.95 per serving) for two people, twice a week ($39.80 per week + shipping). Delivery is free with orders over $45. Shipping is $10 for orders less than $45.

home chef unboxing

Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

home chef ingredients for december 2017

About Home Chef Vegetarian Meal Kit Subscription Box

The Subscription Box: Home Chef

The Cost: Meals start at $9.95 per serving, and delivery is free for orders over $40.

COUPON: Get $30 off your first box from Home Chef. No coupon required, just use this link.

The Products: Fresh ingredients and chef-designed recipes— everything you need to make restaurant-quality meals at home.

Ships to: 90% of the U.S. (You can check to see if Home Chef delivers to your zip code here.)

Home Chef Vegetarian December 2017 Review

I’m excited for the comfort foods I ordered for this month’s review! Let’s get started:

home chef packaging home chef unboxing

When you first sign up for Home Chef, you take a short quiz about your meal preferences and dietary restrictions. I like that they ask what you like to eat, as well a what you like to avoid. Based on your answers, Home Chef will choose recipes for you to get each week. As is the case with most meal kit services, you can log in and hand-select the recipes you’d like to receive. Note though, that the more particular you are with your diet, the fewer options you’ll have. For instance, it looks like there are only around 3 veggie meals each week. So the ability to customize things kind of disappears.

That said, there are usually about 10 items on the menu, total, and some “Add On” items like fruit or breakfast picks that you can choose to include in your box. (They’ve had some really tasty-looking smoothies available lately!)

All of the ingredients you need arrive snugly inside insulating packaging made of cotton fiber. The fiber does go in the trash, but the idea is that it, unlike other materials, will eventually decompose. The plastic covering goes into the recycling.

Each meal’s ingredients are packaged in a handy zip-shut bag. Bigger items that might not fit in the bag arrive loose in the box. Inside those bags, most ingredients are individually wrapped and of course, pre-portioned to minimize waste. It’s so simple to just grab these bags out of the box and toss them in the fridge until I’m ready to cook. They usually have holes in them for ventilation, but I’ve still used them to collect garbage as I go through the recipe. Hooray for easier cleanup!

home chef recipe home chef recipe steps

One Skillet Lemon Orzo Risotto

Calories per Serving: 598

Prep and Cook Time, According to Home Chef: 25-35 minutes

Actual Time to Table: About 35 minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy

ingredients bag from home fresh ingredients for orzo dish

I’m a big fan of orzo, and a warm bowl of this rice-like pasta is just what chilly winter weather calls for. Personally, I like when recipes have a good ratio of veggies to starches or carbs, partially for wellness reasons and partially because I just appreciate that break in texture. I was pleased to see a bunch of spinach and asparagus were going into this pot of pasta, as were some “Sweety Drop Peppers” which look like bright red bulbs the size of holiday string lights.

orzo being stirred

This dish was sooo easy to make. The process is essentially cooking the orzo in a pot, then adding it to a pan with all the fixin’s you’ve chopped up. Everything melds together into a mess of delicious, heartiness that reminded me a bit of risotto. Part of that is probably because my orzo was just slightly softer than al dente, probably because I put too much pasta water back in.

bowl of orzo pasta orzo salad on plate

The finished product was super tasty! The asparagus tasted great—the recipe left it tasting not-too-crunchy but not-too-wimpy either. The spinach wasn’t the most noticeable addition to the dish, but I appreciated the chance to have a little extra green in my bowl. And the peppers provided an unexpected pop of acidic sweetness (kind of like the sweet-savory flavor of balsamic vinaigrette) to every few bites. They have you add croutons to the top, but that didn’t really do much for the dish, in my opinion. But everything else was creamy, a little cheesy, but bright and delicious, thanks to the veggies and the gentle freshness of the lemon.

I will say that this guy wasn’t the greatest leftover, which I was surprised by. I think sans the spinach, it’d work great over the next few days. I guess the spinach wilted (like, soggy-sad-type wilted) in the lingering warmth of the dish, so the next day, it kept interrupting my relatively tasty, still-perky bites with slimy vibes. Next time I plan to make this recipe for myself, I’ll probably skip the spinach and go for more asparagus.

mushroom melt recipe mushroom melt recipe steps

Diner-Style Mushroom Melt

Calories per Serving: 692

Prep and Cook Time, According to Home Chef: 25-35 minutes

Actual Time to Table: About 30 minutes

Difficulty Level: Easy

mushroom melt ingredients bag mushroom melt recipe name on bag mushroom melt ingredients

If there’s one thing that meal boxes have done that’s really changed my life, it’s teaching me how to cook mushrooms. I used to be either “meh” or “ick” depending on the mushroom, but thanks to all of the recipes I’ve gotten to try in vegetarian boxes, I’ve learned to make mushrooms that I actually loooove to eat. More specifically, I’ve learned that you can cook mushrooms well, or you can cook them in a way that makes them soggy, droopy, flavorless… ways that rob them of their delightful mushroom-ness. This dish proved to be another winning way to prep and present mushrooms—in a sandwich!

mushrooms in pan

A melt sandwich is essentially some kind of goodness draped in melted cheese. In this instance, the star of the sandwich is quartered mushrooms and onions, which you sautee until they’re a gorgeous, coppery brown.

breadcrumbs being made

You also toast up some (super delicious) bread. It keeps its cushiness but gains a warm, just-baked flavor. The oddest part of the recipe for me was making “croutons” for the accompanying salad out of the scooped-out insides of the bread. Scooping out the centers leaves more room for filling, but it also proved pretty difficult—the bread isn’t really big, nor firm enough to get a lot of the center out without ruining the structural integrity of the bun. The bits that did come out were pretty crumbly and not very crouton-y at all, even after toasting them.

mushroom melt sandwich on plate salad and sandwich on plate

Ah well. In the end, I had enough big “croutons” to salvage for my spinach salad, and sound-enough bread that held my mushroom masterpiece quite reliably. If I could eat 5 of these simple sandwiches, I would. The mushrooms and the onion and the zip of the cheddar cheese made for a rich, yummy, heartwarming sandwich. Maybe not the healthiest thing in the world (given the cheese and the voluminous white bread), but it sure was delicious for a winter comfort-food treat! The salad was a great accompaniment to the rich sandwich, too. The dressing is pesto-based, and the mild, herby flavor complimented the earthiness of the mushrooms really nicely. Yum!

The Verdict: The orzo dish from this order was good, but I’ve gotta say, that mushroom melt is something that I’m already looking forward to making again. What a tasty, warm, wonderful meal! It’s been so much fun collecting all of these recipe cards over the year, and I’m excited to see what’s on the menu in 2018. Especially after this box, I’m eager for more mushrooms!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Each week, Home Chef introduces new recipes to choose from, though there are favorite dishes that repeat now and then. You may not see these exact recipes available for the ordering, but I can say that mushrooms, cheese, and pastas/rice appear a lot in Home Chef vegetarian options—if these flavors appeal to you, then there’s a good chance you’ll come across something you like!

Coupon: Get $30 off your first box from Home Chef. No coupon required, just use this link.

Value Breakdown: Price-wise, Home Chef meals start at $9.95 per serving, which is cheaper than Plated ($12 per serving) and on par with Blue Apron ($9.99 per serving) and Hello Fresh ($9.99 per serving).

Check out all of our Home Chef reviews and find other meal boxes in the Meal Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

Would you want to try either of these Home Chef recipes? And if you have tried them, what did you think?

Written by Anna Reilly

Anna Reilly

Anna loves collecting little treasures, be they pop-culture finds, handmade mementos, or new potions to put in her makeup bag. Beauty boxes got her interested in the subscription world, but now she’s swooning for all things kawaii!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

3 Comments

  1. Anna your final meal photos are stunning. Teach me your ways!

  2. We got this same box, and the mushroom melts were soooo good! My husband even liked them, and he’s not a huge mushroom fan. I thought the risotto was too soggy, but maybe I overcooked the orzo a bit. Might try it with rice instead.

    • I’m really excited to make those mushroom sandwiches again—for something so simple, they had SO much flavor! I’m glad I’m not the only one with soggy risotto, hehe. I think that orzo must cook way faster than I expected!!! Thanks so much for reading, Jill 🙂

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