Home Chef Subscription Box Vegetarian Review + Coupon – February 2018
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.
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.)
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: Save $80 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - 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 February 2018 Review
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 each recipe.
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Tart with Greek Cucumber Salad
Calories per Serving: 549
Prep and Cook Time, According to Home Chef: 45-55 minutes
Actual Time to Table: About an hour
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
At first glance, this dish looked a little more decadent than what I’d usually choose for myself. All that tasty cheese and dough? Maybe not the best for new year’s resolution-keeping, but definitely tasty looking! Surprisingly, one serving of the dish is under 600 calories, maybe because the real bulk of it is vegetables—there’s a massive amount of spinach in each tart (as you’ll see), plus the salad is a straightforward, vegan mix of cucumber, tomato, and shallot.
The first step in this recipe is making the filling for the tarts, which involves wilting a huge bunch of spinach over shallots and a bit of oil. It seemed like too much spinach for my big pan. But a few turns in the heat, and everything cooked down to a baseball-sized blob of green goodness.
Once the spinach as cooled off a bit, you mix it with the cheeses.
Then scoop it onto two stretched-out pastry pieces. It was really awesome that the box came with two pre-cut pastry pieces with a piece of wax paper dividing them. One less step for this pastry amateur to mess with!
The pastry feels sooo thin, especially when stretched over the heaping mounds of spinach filling. I was working pretty fast with my fork, crimping the edges of the dough together before it had a chance to spring back and out of place. It’s not the most professional pair of tarts in the world, but given my limited experience, I was pretty thrilled that these two tarts looked this good!
Ta-da! Here’s the finished product! I was nervous about the tarts being too toasty brown, but I actually think they could’ve done with an extra minute or two to really dry out the bottom bit of crust (which ended up a little soggy from the filling). After letting them cool for a few minutes, I cut each tart in half, so that they’d be easier to pick up and eat with my hands. The filling could’ve done with a pinch of garlic I think (I always want more garlic in recipes… I love it so…) but the shallot gave the mix a nice richness. I was also pleased by the salad—for such a simple mixture, splashed by a bit of red wine vinaigrette, it was super filling and refreshing. This whole dish, actually, was surprisingly satisfying without being too filling. I think my experience with tarts is at the little French bakery by my house or at other restaurants where they load ’em up with decadent amounts of salt, cheese, and butter. But this dish, especially paired with the salad, held me over without weighing me down. Definitely keeping this recipe around!
Oh no! When I went to find the recipe for my second dish, I saw that Home Chef included the wrong card in the box! Luckily, Home Chef also posts recipes on their website, so I could find my directions there.
Wild Rice and Brussels Sprouts Harvest Bowl with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
Calories per Serving: 614
Prep and Cook Time, According to Home Chef: 30-40 minutes
Actual Time to Table: About 35 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
I’ve mentioned before that I think Home Chef vegetarian dishes can be a little grain/starch heavy. I was worried that’d be the case for this rice-based dish, too, until I started cooking. There really wasn’t all that much wild rice (which arrives pre-seasoned, I believe). Enough for a nice heaping scoop per serving, but that’s that. Where other dishes have felt like 60-70% pasta and 30-40% veggies, this one felt decidedly more veggie-laden.
For instance, this photo shows all of the veggies (chopped brussels sprouts and apples) cooking in my biggest pan. It was almost overflowing! And unlike spinach, the sprouts didn’t wilt down quite so much.
There was even a special step where you toast up some almond slices. I can’t tell you how nice this made my kitchen smell!
Here’s the final product! Notice how you can’t really see much of the rice in the bowl? There’s just so much more veggie mixture to go around. And I’m thrilled about it, because this blend of savory, somewhat bitter greens and mildly sweet cooked apples is an awesome combination. You top the dish with the almonds, some dried cranberries, creamy goat cheese, and a splash of vinaigrette that blends balsamic vinegar and fig jam! This salad was so tasty I’m considering making it with just the veggies and topping for a quick lunch option during the week.
The Verdict: I was really happy with both of the dishes in my order! This gal likes to get her veggies in, and I felt like each meal delivered on that desire while also tasting really great. The cheese and thin layer of pastry in the tart made that dish feel comforting and yummy. And the pop of sweetness from the apples and fig in the second recipe did the same. If you’re trying to eat more wholesome meals but worry about sacrificing taste, I feel like these dishes would give you the flavor and the nutrition you need. Apart from the missed recipe card, the convenience was great. (Yay for digital recipes!) I could see spending about the same amount per serving at a restaurant (which is what I’m trying to train myself away from), so the price was reasonable for me. I’m mostly into this subscription for the sake of recipe discovery, though. Now that I have some restaurant-quality recipes that I can make myself and know I like, maybe I can shop locally for the ingredients and shave a little off the cost.
To Wrap Up:
COUPON: Save $80 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - 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).
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?
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