Review: Green Chef

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Disclaimer: I purchased this product on my own and have no affiliation with Green Chef. This review is based on my personal opinion of my recent experience with this company.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve developed a slight obsession with meal delivery services. It’s easy to get sucked in when the companies practically offer you your first box free, and then let you cancel with no hassle. So far, I tried and reviewed Blue ApronHello Fresh, and Marley Spoon.

Green Chef is a meal delivery service. You choose from an assortment of recipes and can get three to four meals per week delivered to your door, based on a plan for a two person household. They have options for families where members can get more or less delivered each week. Subscribers receive all of the recipes and all of the ingredients for each meal. Even with having to chop the ingredients, the whole process of prepping and cooking each meal was under 30 minutes.

What sets this service apart from the others are the dietary preferences. With the other services, you can choose between regular meals and vegetarian meals at no additonal cost. With Green Chef, your dietary preferences are Vegetarian, Omnivore, Carnivore, Gluten Free and (wait for it) PALEO. So naturally, I was really into this one. Because Paleo.

With the other services, there was no extra charge for choosing a dietary preference. If you were to price it out per meal, it starts at $10.49/meal for vegetarian, $11.99/meal for omnivore, $13.49/meal for carnivore, $13.49/meal for gluten free, and $14.99/meal for paleo (why oh why do I always like the most expensive shit). Each meal feeds two people. But as you can see, the cost for this service is more than the cost of the other for the other services. Both Blue Apron and Hello Fresh come in under $10/meal when you aren’t receiving a promotion (for the two person plan, less for the family plan), and Marley Spoon comes in around $10.50/meal – but that includes meat, so the equivalent Green Chef pricing is $13.49/meal.

Since I got this on a Groupon, I could choose any of the dietary preferences at no extra cost. Between the Groupon and then finding a Groupon “coupon” (because why would you pay full price when those are so readily available!), I got a weeks worth of paleo meals for $27. $27/week for three paleo meals (each feeds two people) is a great deal, considering the types of meals I would be receiving (shrimp, chicken, pork). An added bonus to this particular service is that I only started dabbling in the paleo world over the past two years and have a lot to learn. This was a great way to learn more about paleo cooking.

My first delivery was set for Thursday, February 25th. Deliveries could be scheduled from Monday-Thursday. The food comes packed neatly in a medium sized box. Inside the box is biodegradable insulation, and it contains all of the food plus enormous ice packs. If I wasn’t home to receive this, I would feel comfortable leaving it packaged this way for a whole day and not worrying about it spoiling.
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The recipes I received were:

  • Poached Shrimp “Cocktail”
  • Moroccan Apricot Chicken
  • Citrus-Sage Pork (not pictured! I forgot!)imageimage

The recipes come on separate card stock sheets with clear, concise directions. imageThe protein comes in vacuum sealed bags, and every item is clearly labeled. Something that I didn’t like as much as the other services is that all of the ingredients for all of the meals were in little baggies and containers, but they weren’t separated into boxes or bags by recipe. Not that it’s a huge deal, but I liked how the other three services had everything organized. It also seemed like there was much more waste with this one, although I did wash and save the little plastic jars and have already reused them, so maybe it works out.imageLike the other three services, you do need to keep the basics at home, like olive oil, salt and pepper but they give you everything else.

The one thing I noticed was the portion size. They seemed HUGE, but this was an eye opener. These meals were paleo and they gave you the calorie breakdown, and it made me realize that I might not eat enough sometimes. I usually try to exercise portion control and while I believe I’m spot on for how much meat/protein to consume, I could be eating a larger helping of vegetables with my dinner. Something I disliked was that they sent a lot of sauces and dressings, but they were already made up for you. I’d like to know what was in those to make them myself, because they were awesome. Like the creamy horseradish dressing on the salad, or the apricot glaze on the chicken – YUM. You can actually find their recipes for those items on their site, but I would have liked to prepare them on my own as part of this service.

I can’t decide which meal I liked best! Each one was fabulous in it’s own right. I think it would be a toss up between the chicken or the shrimp salad, but the pork dish was so good too. I loved the sides with the Apricot Chicken dish. I’d eat any of these meals again, and I will certainly recreate these in the future.

The difference between Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Marley Spoon is minimal and really comes down to what your personal preferences are. Green Chef was the most suitable for my dietary preferences, but I don’t consider it to be my favorite service. I still think the flavors and cooking style in the Blue Apron box were a bit more suited to my taste and lifestyle. What I liked about Blue Apron was the creativity behind the meals and the use of carbs. I tend to stay away from carbs, but Blue Apron used things like farro, which I plan to incorporate regularly into my diet. I feel like they used creative carbs 🙂

Hello Fresh has still proven to be the most affordable and offer lots of opportunities for discounts (check out my post on Hello Fresh for $40 off your first box!!). I’ve received three boxes from them and have not paid full price yet. I actually haven’t canceled my account with this service, just paused every future delivery so I don’t get charged because I keep getting promotions that allow me to purchase at a discounted rate. Last week, my box from Hello Fresh cost me $9! Unheard of.

The recipes from Marley Spoon were also creative and enjoyable, but used things like regular pasta and were on the heavier side. I would be least likely to choose this service again, while I would gladly order from the other three. If I could justify it, I would absolutely be a regular subscriber to one of these.

Serious foodies looking to try a meal delivery service should consider Blue Apron or Marley Spoon. Families and those who might not be as adventurous with food but would like to change up their weeknight menus would probably enjoy Hello Fresh. Those with particular dietary preferences should check out The Green Chef! As with all of the boxes so far, it was a joy to come home and know I had a brand new meal to prepare that wasn’t going to take me all night to cook. Oh yeah, and I didn’t have to meal plan or food shop for any of it – it’s all shipped right to your door! FOOD CHRISTMAS!

As for my Green Chef account, I deactivated my subscription immediately after my final delivery because they will automatically charge you and ship you more food. It was not as simple to cancel this one – you had to email them and get a link to cancel – but it wasn’t a problem.

There was no discount code given to me for this one to share, but they offer some Groupons and promotions if this has piqued your interest.

Have you ever tried a meal delivery service? What are your thoughts on this type of business? I’m obsessed!

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36 Replies to “Review: Green Chef”

  1. This actually looks like one I would try. The food doesn’t look overly complicated and that’s pretty inexpensive for the service. I love your reviews of these because we have such similar tastes!

  2. Nice reviews. I have enjoyed reading/learning about these meall delivery services. Check out this month’s vogue magazine. There is a meal delivery review article in there too. (Adelle is on the cover)

  3. Can you talk about the sodium content of the meals across all the services? I’m especially curious for Green Chef since you mentioned the sauces and whatnot. I’m so pleased that you’ve gotten a hankering for these services, so now you get to try them all and I just get to pick the good ones, haha!

    1. I’m not so sure about Blue Apron and Marley Spoon, but I know for sure that the sodium content was a bit high for the Green Chef – the meals ranged from 900-1200 mg of sodium. However, I did find (in looking this up for you) that the sauce recipes for all of these items are on their site! It looks like they are just too time consuming to include in the recipe box, but certainly something I would prepare at home. Hello Fresh had much lower sodium content – my most recent week, the recipes ranged from 96-250 mg/serving. I know I keep saying Blue Apron was my favorite, but Hello Fresh is an extremely close second!

  4. Very, very good review! I love the detail you shared and you really gave good, honest feedback.

    I suck so bad at cooking so I’d LOVE to have food delivered to me and step-by-step hand-holding directions on how to make meals. My diet is the worst. I would so benefit from choosing a healthy dietary option and not have to worry about choosing healthy things myself since I have no idea on what healthy foods are, lol

    1. LOL! I really love the whole meal delivery thing. I would totally be a regular subscriber, but I already love to cook so it’s cheaper if I meal plan and shop…but the time saving factor…the variety…oh what a treat!

  5. I just signed up for my first meal delivery service! My sister-in-law had given us a gift card for one a long time ago and I finally got around to ordering it. My first box arrives on Monday. I love the idea of it, although I’d rather find one that sends me the food already prepared 🙂 I hadn’t heard of Green Leaf or Marley Spoon before, I’ll have to check them out. Thanks for the review!

    1. Soooo cool! Which service are you trying out? If you like it and haven’t tried Hello Fresh yet, I posted an offer code for $40 off of a box for new users. I am totally not affiliated with their company, just a fan and using that gets you a week of meals for something crazy cheap, like $19 or something! You should check it out. Let me know which one you are getting, and how you like it! I am so curious about all of these!!

      1. The one we’re getting is called Plated. It’s expensive, in my opinion, at $12/meal/person so I probably wouldn’t have tried it without the gift certificate we had. I will definitely check out Hello Fresh! With the offer code that is great deal!

      2. I am dying to try Plated! I haven’t been able to find a good discount for that one yet, but it looks amazing! I think that would give you dessert too! I hope you post about how you like it because I’m dying to hear about it!

      3. I will absolutely post! There used to be a free 4 plates deal (which I should have taken advantage of!!). Now it’s only 2 free plates with your first order.

    1. I hope you try one! They are so fun! I just got another Hello Fresh discount so it looks like I have one more week on tap. I might save it for the week after the Boston Marathon as a special treat 🙂

  6. I just finished another round of Hello Fresh tonight. Like you, I’ve never paid full price. One thing I’ve noticed is sometimes they give me extra of stuff, like spices. I just keep the extra packets but I have to pay attention to make sure I use the correct amount for the recipe.
    I’ll have to try these other services sometime, especially with all the discounts available.

    1. Yes! I just got another discount yesterday and have a 4th week on tap for Hello Fresh. The discounts are awesome. I won’t pay full price for it, but even if I get a $20 credit I am so ordering. LOVE it so much! Have you heard of Graze? That’s another one I tried, canceled because I wasn’t impressed but they offered me two weeks at 50% off to try again so I will write a review soon. It’s a snack box 🙂

      1. They are definitely small. I wasn’t overly impressed with the service but your first box is a sample box and it’s totally free and you are under no obligation to keep it. I didn’t know when it was coming and thought it just never came, so I canceled it – but the sample box showed up anyway. The stuff was good, but small. But then they gave me two boxes at 50% off to try again – that ends up being $5.99/box, with 8 snacks/box. I have been so hungry for a little sweet treat at night that I thought, why the hell not! I will review that one next 🙂

  7. I tried Hello Fresh this week and was really impressed – so much so that I signed up for a couple more weeks (with a Groupon of course). The meals all tasted great and were easy to prep. I feel that even if we don’t get the service regularly at least we have some great new recipes for during the week. It was also a wake up call about portion sizes. I would look at my plate and think there was no way that would be enough food but by the time I was done I was completely stuffed – so that’s a nice reminder to think about how much I am eating.

    1. I am so happy you tried it and even happier that you loved it! I was concerned about the portions, too – my husband can pack away food (so can I, haha!) and I thought for sure he was going to be hungry. Not one time during any of these meals did he complain that it wasn’t enough for him. Last night I had an awesome one from Hello Fresh – it was called Dukkah Roasted Chicken. It was with sweet potatoes and snap peas so it was actually kind of Paleo. It was so good. I still haven’t paid full price for it – I just got a $20 credit from them, so I plan to order another box. I’m saving it for the week after Boston to make my life easier 🙂 If you see a Groupon for Blue Apron, try that one – I loved that one even more than Hello Fresh!

  8. Awesome review! I have been very curious to try one of these (well, Blue Apron because that’s the one I’m always hearing about), but am too worried I’ll get hooked and then not be able to justify the expense.

    Oh, and also…not a big fan of being in the kitchen. That’s where stress lives. 😉

    I’m like a one-pot/five ingredients max kind of girl.

    If that changes though, I will definitely put your reviews to use.

    1. If you do, based on what you said I would recommend Hello Fresh. You can get a Groupon for it so it’s cheap (or use my discount code that I put and get $40 off your box!) and I find it is less pots and pans and less ingredients than the other ones. I like the flavors in Blue Apron better because they are a little more gourmet like, but Hello Fresh has become a favorite because it is easy and has been cheap!!!

  9. I would like to try a food delivery service, but they are so expensive. We are vegan and I have such a hard time justifying such an expensive meal when I can keep dinners under $5 at home. The food looks so great though. Maybe I’ll have to find a groupon and try it out!

    1. There is a vegan one – it is called the Purple Carrot! I haven’t tried it though. I think you can get a good discount on your first box, and I would assume it is just as easy to cancel as the others! I am curious about it, but I am not vegan so I don’t know what would be good or bad! You should check it out!

    1. The worst, right? You can go on and I think you can get all of their recipes just by going on their site without purchasing anything at all! Might be worth it just for the inspiration…I know it is for me!

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