On a mission to save time and expand my dietary horizons, the Green Chef Plant Powered meal plan came into my life this summer! Let’s chat about it.
(Disclaimer: this post is NOT sponsored but does include a personal referral code.)
Greetings, dreamers! Today we’re going into the kitchen to discuss the Green Chef Plant Powered meal plan.
While I’ve always had a love for cooking and concocting my own recipes, I have to admit that inspiration this year has been pretty flat. Let’s cough it up to the toll of everything else going on during this crazy time and just not having the headspace to meal plan every week. Even with an infinite number of saved recipes on Pinterest or pages pulled from magazines, I somehow haven’t been as motivated to plan and prepare for routine meals at home.
Tired of ending each day with a takeout or a Trader Joe’s salad kit (although I do still love those), I got thinking about the convenience of a home food service. I speculated that one might help sustain my interest in cooking and preparing nutritious meals at home, but in a time-saving way where someone else does the planning, shopping and prep work for me.
GREEN CHEF PLANT POWERED PLAN
When looking at different meal kit delivery services, I considered a variety of popular names such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron.
In the end, it was the Green Chef plant powered system that drew me in because of Green Chef’s interest in packaging everything as sustainably as possible and in materials that are made to be recycled. After previewing some sample menu options, I also thought there was enough variety that would routinely open my palette to new recipes.
12 busy weeks of hefty boxes arriving on my door step later – I wanted to share about my experience with the Green Chef to help those who might be considering it as an option to fit their lifestyle.
From the different plan as well as the most important thing — how does everything taste, keep reading below!
Green Chef Plan Options
Green Chef offers a variety of plans designed to help meet everyone’s needs! With “Plant Powered,” you have the option of choosing vegetarian or vegan meals. They also have plans designed for those following a gluten-free or keto diet as well as an anything going option for those without dietary restrictions..
When choosing your plan, you establish:
- NUMBER OF MEALS PER BOX: 2, 3 or 4
- NUMBER OF PEOPLE: Ranging from 2 to 12
- DAY OF DELIVERY: Saturday, Tuesday or Thursday
- FREQUENCY: Weekly or biweekly
CHOOSING YOUR MEALS
Above is a screenshot of what everything looks like from your account dashboard! I’m such a visual person so I definitely appreciate the colorful food photos.
Green Chef will automatically pre-select recipes for you based off your meal plan selections. But you can absolutely log into your account and personally choose which recipes most suit your fancy! You can also add additional meals if you simply cannot narrow down your selections because everything looks and sounds so tasty.
I follow the vegan plan with three recipes. Over the summer I’ve found that there are typically 6 fully vegan recipes to choose from as well as a handful of vegetarian meals that can easily be made dairy-free by omitting the cheese included in the kit.
HOW DOES EVERYTHING ARRIVE?
Each Green Chef box arrives with all of your meals neatly packaged inside as well as bio-friendly insulation and two extra-large ice packs to keep ingredients fresh while en route to your kitchen. The ice packs are great to have on hand in your freezer to use in a cooler when needed but can also be thawed, drained and recycled.
Green Chef’s team carefully packages all the ingredients for each meal separately into its own paper bag kit. You’ll also of course find recipe cards inside that include complete cooking instructions for each meal.
Yes, The Box is Heavy!
A cautionary word, the Green Chef boxes are heavy!
This may seem obvious but weeks later, I manage to still get caught by surprise by how heavy the boxes really are. In addition to the food itself, the large ice packs add quite a bit to the weight. Be careful when lifting and ask for help if you need it.
DO THE PLANT POWERED MEALS HAVE ENOUGH PROTEIN?
My biggest question going in was just who rich Green Chef’s vegan recipes would be with protein.
And, well – Green Chef doesn’t score major points in this arena.
Some recipes are better than others as are some weeks, but I’m surprised how often Green Chef’s meals use white rice and couscous over heartier protein-rich grains like quinoa and farro.
As an example on the protein, the above recipe was for a Blackened Sweet Potato bowl. Included in the ingredients was a mix of white rice, tomatoes, spices and of course sweet potatoes. While there were a handful of pecans for sprinkling on top when serving, I went ahead and added a can of black beans to the recipe on my own to boost the protein.
PRO TIP: Don’t select meals based on their pictures alone. Open the details of each recipe to see what’s included as far as ingredients go as well as the nutritional/protein content per serving. If you notice meals that are more sparse on protein, you can use things like black beans, chickpeas or even pumpkin seeds to add more as needed.
Limits Food Waste
Wasting food is a pet peeve I think we all try to avoid and I’m delighted to say that the Green Chef plant-powered system has helped me tremendously cut back in this arena.
Each meal kit includes only the amount of vegetables you will need for the recipe. It’s also super easy to toss in any extra veggies or herbs you have leftover in your fridge to further reduce the amount of food wasted from your kitchen. Because as they say — the more the merrier! And be it mushrooms, red pepper or corn leftover from the Fourth of July — I really like to include any stragglers form the fridge in my cooking wherever I can.
Green Chef scores major points for me with their sauces! And I think you’ll be pleased with the variety they serve with their plant-powered recipes as well. From a vibrant dairy-free pesto and aioli to spicy stir fry sauces and a smokey cashew cream, I have really enjoyed all the fantastic sauces that have come in my boxes.
The only downside? Green Chef does not share the recipes for the sauces! I have tried recreating a few on my own based off a guessing game, but they’re keeping the precise sauce recipes secret for themselves.
You Can Skip Weeks, But Do So Early
You have until the Tuesday before your box arrives to finalize your menu selections as well as skip a week if needed.
There’s no limit to how many weeks you skip, but just be sure to do so early if you’re planning to be away so you won’t be charged and the food won’t go to waste.
If you work full-time, I think you’ll agree covering dinner at the end of a long day can feel like a major chore.
And so there really isn’t a price I can put on the amount of time and headspace the Green Chef plant-powered plan has saved me. There is so much peace of mind knowing you have dinner set and don’t need to make a trip to the grocery store to pick up any last minute ingredients.
Medium Level of Difficulty
If you’re a seasoned pro in the kitchen, Green Chef‘s recipes will be a snap for you. But if you’re entirely new to cooking, some recipes you might find tricky as there are multiple steps involved.
My best advice? Read through the entire recipe ingredient list and instructions before you start to cook. The meals come together rather quickly and you don’t want to overwhelm yourself trying to keep up!
Both compared to the cost of eating out and gathering your own food at the grocery store, Green Chef’s Plant Powered plan is cost effective for those needing two or four servings per meal Above that, the prices jump to be quite high and I’m especially surprised to see that a box for 8 people rings in at a lower cost than a box for 6.
Below is the cost comparison of servings x 3 meals a week:
- 2 SERVINGS: $80.93
- 4 SERVINGS: $100.91
- 6 SERVINGS: $197.81
- 8 PEOPLE: $176.83
- 12 PEOPLE: $260.75
GREEN CHEF PLANT POWERED BREAKDOWN
- More sustainably packaged than alternative meal delivery services
- Descent selection of menu options
- Time-saving and great for those who work, have a busy schedule or simply don’t like meal planning
- Boxes can be skipped on a week-by-week basis
- The evolving new recipes keep you from getting in a cooking rut
- Greatly decreases food waste
- Flavorful sauces
- Friendly and helpful customer service if you have any issues
- Recipes need more protein
- Pricy for those needing six or more servings
- Multi-step recipes may be difficult for beginners
- Must select a plan, rather than purchasing boxes week-by-week as needed
WANT TO TRY GREEN CHEF?
If you’re as curious about the Green Chef plant powered plan as I was, you can use this referral is a link to receive $55 off your first box!
Thank you for reading!
I sincerely hope this long overview helps you better decide if Green Chef fits your needs. x
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