Dinner For Two Chez Nous

Trying out a Home Chef meal delivery kit. These stuffed poblano peppers were a big hit. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

You’d think since we now have a beautiful new kitchen to work in, that I’d have been cooking up a storm. Not so much. You see, though I enjoy the process of cooking, I’m not crazy about meal planning or shopping. I’ve fallen into a rut, preparing the same few meals over and over.

This post is sponsored by Home Chef and ShopStyle. All opinions are my own.

I was actually thinking about trying a meal kit delivery service when Home Chef offered me an opportunity to try them out and share with you. (Meals shown c/o Home Chef.)

Because there are only two of us at home most nights, I was happy to see that you can select the number of servings (2-6). You have the option to choose from low-calorie, vegetarian and heart-healthy meals, as well as flagging specific foods that you don’t want included. You can choose from 15 menu options weekly.

Easy And Delicious

Home Chef meal kit delivery. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

My first meal kit arrived last week, and I was impressed not only with the well-insulated packaging keeping everything cold, but that all of the ingredients are packaged and labeled by meal. You get the precise amount of each ingredient needed, so there’s no waste! Almost all of the packaging is recyclable too.

Illustrated recipe card from Home Chef. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

There’s an illustrated recipe card for each meal that lets you know what cooking equipment you’ll need, and gives step-by-step directions for preparing each dish. The instructions are easy to follow.

Squeezing lime juice to make pickled onion garnish. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Making Jerk Chicken stuffed peppers from Home Chef. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

The ingredients are fresh and appealing. These Jerk Chicken Thigh-Stuffed Poblanos were a big hit!

Adding cheese topping to stuffed peppers. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Back in the oven to melt the cheese. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Even le Monsieur who was raised in a family of good cooks and has a very discriminating palate gave these a rave review.

Did I mention no waste? I also like that Home Chef doesn’t require a contract. You can pause service, skip a week, or change the number of meals or servings as needed. I’m probably going to resume my service once we’re back from our travels.

A Special Offer For You

Home Chef has provided me with a discount code for my readers! Click HERE and use code SUSAN30 for $30 off your first order!

Do you enjoy cooking? Do you ever get into a meal rut?

Affiliate links in posts may generate commissions for unefemme.net. See my complete disclosure policy here.

26 Comments

  1. May 16, 2018 / 4:30 am

    I’m with you on not enjoying the planning or shopping. I like the market but not the supermarket.
    These kits are a great way for people to get into cooking. And they seem healthier than the boxed meal aides like Hamburger Helper and that ilk.

  2. Catherine
    May 16, 2018 / 6:14 am

    I’ve always considered myself a pretty decent cook, even owned my own catering business…but over the years I’ve lost interest and mainly because of the planning and shopping. And like you, I’ve found myself in a rut. My house runneth over with cookbooks and food magazines and I still tend to be uninspired. I’ve thought about trying the home meals but was concerned about all that packaging in the trash, so good to know it’s mostly recyclable. Thanks for the review. Maybe I’ll give Home Chef a try with that discount. Thanks Susan!

  3. Anon
    May 16, 2018 / 7:37 am

    If I had a shiny new kitchen I ‘d have some reluctance about getting it dirty, at least for a while.

  4. Garden Goddess
    May 16, 2018 / 7:40 am

    Trying to slog on coming up with ideas for three meals a day, 7 days a week, month after month can really get to you. I’ve come up with a couple of ideas that may help.

    First, for dinner I have a theme for each night of the week: Sunday Soup (or Salad in summer); Monday Indian; Tuesday Mexican (Taco Tuesday after all…); Wednesday Asian; Thursday European; Friday Leftovers and Saturday El Hombre makes Korean Bibimbap (last year it was pizza using the bread machine). This gives him a chance to get good at cooking something, which makes him more likely to be willing to do it–not that he isn’t…

    Then I’ll pick out a cookbook (hey, finally getting some good use out of all of those cookbooks!) and skim for recipes which fit the category, are in season and sound right. I put the recipe page number and title of the recipe on the “Menu Calendar” (in a spiral notebook). This way everyone knows what is for dinner (and breakfast and lunch). After filling out the dinners, I fill out the Breakfasts: Monday Eggs; Tuesday Smoothie; Wednesday Oatmeal; Thursday Yoghurt & Berries; Friday Pieogies and Eggs; Saturday Smoothie; and Sunday something brunchy like Waffles or French Toast. Next I do lunches, which are supposed to always be salads (tossed green; tostada; Caesar; Asian Slaw, etc.), but often end up being leftovers… which is why Home Chef has an advantage here…

    Anyway, after all that, I just flip the page over and write out a grocery list with everything I need for the week in Categories (to make it easy to shop). The categories I use are: Produce; Frozen; Dairy Case; Canned; Dry Goods; Bakery; Cleaning; and Miscellaneous (you might want to add Meat). If you shop at more than one store like I do, you can add a note next to the item regarding at which store you can find the item, which really helps if someone else is doing the shopping for you. This has helped me a lot the past couple of years, I hope it does for you too!

    • Kris
      May 16, 2018 / 10:33 am

      I love that routine – such a good idea!

  5. Patrish
    May 16, 2018 / 7:50 am

    Part of the joy of cooking is to be creative and part of that is to be a ‘hunter – gatherer’. Going to the market to see what looks best, what is the freshest available and making thoughtful selections is part of the process. Cook books and the internet serve up recipes that can be either followed or tweaked. A subscription meal is akin to painting by numbers. No artistry involved and that, to me, is a shame.

  6. Mary Ann Fitch
    May 16, 2018 / 7:59 am

    Susan, just arrived home from 21/2 weeks in London and Paris and a short stop in Florida. You can plan for weeks on what to pack, what always gets you is the weather. Rain and wind in London and heat (hot) in Paris, and really moist in Florida. Enjoy the change from Ca. and be happy when you get home.

    • Lyn
      May 16, 2018 / 9:11 am

      Our last trip went from rainy 40’s in Amboise to unexpectedly gorgeous low 70’s in Paris. I always pack something for both 10 degrees warmer and colder than I expect. A good raincoat is non-negotiable.

  7. Charlene H.
    May 16, 2018 / 9:00 am

    I understand the reluctance to planning/shopping. However, I do love the beauty, inspiration, and choices at a good farmers market. Having favorite recipes on my iPhone allows me to make spontaneous purchases that will be used and enjoyed! The Evernote app helps me keep it all organized.
    Happy Travels!

  8. Lyn
    May 16, 2018 / 9:05 am

    Some of these ideas would help us out. I like the daily themes — it would give us some structure. We find ourselves saying “What shall we have for dinner?” at 7pm — a bit late even for carry-out. Planning ahead is the obvious solution (but, just as obviously, not our strong point.)

  9. May 16, 2018 / 9:37 am

    Doesn’t LA have a famous farmers’ market? I know that your city is very spread out, so it might be quite a jaunt.

    • Susan B
      Author
      May 16, 2018 / 10:16 am

      There are several, but I think the one you’re thinking of is now less produce and more prepared food stands. It’s also some distance from us and in a congested area that’s kind of a pain. Our local one is quite good, but still driving distance and only one afternoon per week, so unless I build it into my schedule, I can’t always get there.

      • Kay
        May 16, 2018 / 3:21 pm

        Yes, the Fairfax farmer’s market has become a tourist attraction with not much in the way of fresh produce. Now there is a mall-like attraction next to it which detracts even more from the fresh-food atmosphere. The last time I was there, I vowed not to return. Local communities often hold farmer’s market nights during the week. I have found a couple of good ones.

  10. Darling Lily
    May 16, 2018 / 10:08 am

    I had Blue Apron for awhile, and did enjoy it, but it just wasn’t budget-friendly for the long haul. I do think these services are fantastic for those of us who hate the grind of food shopping.

  11. Amy
    May 16, 2018 / 11:44 am

    I am reluctant to use any meal service because of the excessive packaging – nearly all of it unable to be recycled! Yes, there is no “food waste” but there is certainly waste in the landfill! I would love suggestions for more eco-friendly options.

  12. Lynne Savage
    May 16, 2018 / 12:55 pm

    Looks a great idea. Hope they can manage to ditch the plastic though. Imagine if you had that much daily? Come on scientists…hurry up with fully disintegrating materials to replace plastic for food preservation.

  13. Angela
    May 16, 2018 / 1:03 pm

    When My Food Bag started up here in New Zealand I thought my days of indecision about what to make for dinner would be over. Turns out that being rural fringe, we are outside their delivery area. But I did then buy one of the cookbooks from their initial recipe range to improve my repertoire. Irony now is that like all my previous cookbooks it generally sits on the shelf unopened, again! I now tend to use just two books and started keeping a note of often repeated favourites. I think that after 40 plus years of planning, buying and cooking on repeat, I’m a tad over it.
    Maybe cooking is just like fashion, different styles to suit different personalities and I need to decide what that is and declutter the rest?

  14. Rondi
    May 16, 2018 / 1:41 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly. I think cooking is a form of artistic expression. I don’t have any particular talents as far as arts or crafts but I enjoy cooking. Nothing especially gourmet but healthy and hopefully well presented. I have been planning, shopping, and cooking meals for 40 or some years. When I tire of it we just do carryout for awhile. Then I’m ready to cook again! I like the way you compared your cooking style to your fashion style. Just like Susan does in this great blog, develop your own style.

  15. Jan D.
    May 16, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    I detest cooking and could quite happily exist on cheese on toast. Now an empty-nester, this is a common occurrence! I make a big pot of soup often but my usual cooking style is grilled meat or chicken a d veggies – minimal prep and fuss required!

  16. May 16, 2018 / 3:14 pm

    Seriously! It’s a rainy day here in Annapolis, and doing a “big shop” at Trader Joe’s about did me in…I needed a nap when I got home! A thankless job, but somebody has to do the shopping, prepping and cooking! I may treat myself to this – Thanks, Sue, for the recommendation and the cute photos!

  17. Nicole
    May 16, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    I do this every once in a while with a company in California that offers organic, local produce and poultry and grass fed beef. It was all organic but after a couple of years they changed things up a bit (no doubt due to costs) and the organic food and grass fed beef are now options with a surcharge. Still not too bad for me, since the minimum is 3 meals at two servings each. I cook one meal and the second serving is lunch for me the next day. It’s quite a novelty, and I absolutely love how precise it all is. I get to try new spices and ingredients without any waste. To tell you the truth, I feel like Martha on my own cooking show. At this stage in life, I have almost zero interest in cooking (and I used to love cooking for my family). Now as a party of one, dinner is often a bowl of popcorn, until such time when I get a hankering for a good steak or chicken thighs. Lucky for me, my daughter invites me to her house for dinner one or two nights per week!

  18. Kathy
    May 16, 2018 / 4:20 pm

    I think meal kits are a great idea for those who don’t have the time, energy or inclination to devote much thought to cooking. Some of us just don’t like it. I’m fortunate to be married to a man who loves to cook, so much so, that he actually looks forward to shopping daily at the grocery store.

  19. TURNER
    May 17, 2018 / 2:54 am

    I tried a meal kit service a few years ago and I found that success with those recipes actually inspired me to cook more on my own as well. I became more confident cooking meat and more “entree”-ish meals. What I didn’t like was that, although you could choose, for example, vegetarian, you couldn’t exclude specific disliked ingredients or allergens. It sounds like this service does allow for that which is great. Hey if you sign up for the 4-person size you will have a second meal of leftovers (yes I’m lazy!)

  20. Valerie
    May 17, 2018 / 3:56 am

    Is there actual recycling where you are located? My experience in visiting the USA is that there is next to no recycling done. In Canada, recycling is taken to the extremes, which is not much fun either.

    That’s my one main issue with these meal prep services, the amount of packaging is very high.

    • Susan B
      Author
      May 17, 2018 / 5:31 am

      Yes, most communities here have a recycling program. Our city collects recyclables from a separate bin on trash days.

  21. May 19, 2018 / 11:33 am

    Oh gosh this is haute cuisine pour moi. Fortunately Ron still cooks my dinners. Let’s keep it that way haha.
    Greetje

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