Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Meal Subscription Services - Chef's Plate


Last week I received my first shipment of Chef’s Plate – a service very similar to “Hello Fresh”, which I tried a little while ago. I received an offer through a friend who was already using this service and decided to give it a try – see below how the two compared.

The first Chef’s Plate meal was “Quinoa Meatballs” (meatless) and turned out well. It was something different which is basically one of the main points of using such a service – trying to ‘switch it up’ in the kitchen a bit. The second meal was “Vij’s Family Chicken Biryani” and it was quite delicious. 

 Ingredients for Quinoa Meatballs

Meatballs about to go into the oven...

The Biryani!

I looked into these recipe/meal subscription services a little bit more, and was happy to discover that there is actually one based in Calgary! I am going to have to try this one, because local is always better. If you’re in Canada and looking for options near you, you can check this out: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/everyday-cooking/photos/canadian-meal-subsciption-box-services/ As one might imagine, there’s more options for eastern Canada.

One other thing I will note…similar to what I did for Hello Fresh, I asked Chef’s Plate about their protein sourcing. They got back to me right away: “We work with the best suppliers to provide the freshest and most ethically and locally sourced ingredients where possible. Our proteins, with the exception of some fish/seafood are sourced from Ontario”. Honestly, I was hoping for something a bit more specific. They said that as requests such as these increase, they would possibly display this type of information in the future on their website. When I asked Hello Fresh the same question, they were able to send me two company names who they were using for their protein sources, although I have only ever purchased the veggie options from them.

I would encourage you all to ask questions like this in abundance from wherever you get your food -- whether that be through a meal subscription service, or even at your grocery stores. We deserve to know where our food is coming from, and we should try to get as much as we can from local sources. I do like the concept of these services, as I think it's a great way for people to get cooking more at home. But it is important to ensure they are sending quality ingredients as well as ethically treated animal proteins. If you're purchasing from one of these companies, ask them where the food is coming from and who their suppliers are. 

Hello Fresh
Chef’s Plate
Selection of Recipes & Plans
Choose from three plans: (Veggie, Family, Pronto). Each plan comes with three meals and there is no selection among meals under each plan. You can skip each week if you like.
Chose from two plans: 2 –person plan or Family plan. Chose 2, 3, or 4 meals for the week. 2-person plan you select from 7 possible recipes; 4 recipes for Family plan. You can skip each week if you like.
2 for pronto & veggie and either 2 or 4 for Family plan
2 servings for 2-person plan, and either 2 or 4 for Family plan
Freshness / Quality of Ingredients
Time to Prepare
30-40 mins
30-40 mins
Ease of Recipes
Approachable – some kitchen know-how required
Approachable – some kitchen know-how required
Customer Service
 Prompt. Helpful.
 Prompt. Helpful. Could be more specific about sourcing.

As you can see, there are way more similarities than differences, although the big difference is that Chef’s Plate gives you options, and Hello Fresh does not. However, I am just wondering if it’s better to not give options as far as sourcing quality products go? If you'd like to try it out yourself, use this link to get three free plates: Chef's Plate Offer

I will be trying this Calgary option out soon, called Jolly Table and will let you know how that goes! Stay tuned. 

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Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety (plus a smoothie recipe!)

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