I Tried a Meal Kit Delivery Service and I Wasn’t Impressed

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

I had grand plans on making this a series where I tried a bunch of meal kits and gave you my honest review of each. I even had a grading system and everything planned out.

Then I tried one and decided I didn’t have the time, energy, or will to do more than one.

I was not paid to do this review and will not include any links. I am an experienced home cook who’s been cooking for over twenty years and have a very well stocked kitchen.

Chef’s Plate Meal Kit Review

I got a massive discount on trying this and decided to give it 2 boxes. So far I’ve only done 1 box which was 2 separate meals.

Thai Fried rice in 4 bowls

The box was outside in the heat for more time than I’d like but none of the ingredients suffered.

Portions

The portions for both the Thai Fried Rice and the BBQ Salmon were impressive. It’s equivalent to what you’d get in a restaurant. We made the mistake of ordering the 4 person portion and the kids did not eat enough to make it worth it.

Score: 20/20

Level of Complexity

This isn’t for your absolute beginner. The instructions are simple, but the tools and timing needed are harder to master. Not to mention that nothing is defined.

If you get this and you don’t have a well stocked kitchen, you’ll be running out to get tools or pans.

I’d also say that they use way too many pans. The Thai Fried Rice had 4 pans in the instructions. I used my rice cooker for the rice and 1 pan for the rest. Same thing for the BBQ salmon. It needed 3 pans and the BBQ.

One piece of equipment that they do not mention in the instructions that I found invaluable was a good pair of scissors. EVERYTHING is packaged in these tiny little bags that are practically impenetrable. Wasteful and annoying.

Finally my biggest complaint was that it wasn’t formatted like a recipe. I would have been fine with it if there had been more detail, but this is not something you give or use if you don’t already know how to cook.

My entire family has some interesting allergies and I was downright angry that all the ingredients were not published in the kit. I took the chance on me and my wife since they rarely add chocolate to a spice mix, but I couldn’t have served this to my in-laws. I also skipped the Mediterranean spices in case it would affect my wife.

I repeat; none of the spice mixes or sauces had ingredient lists.

Score: 5/20

Quality

I was not impressed with the quality of the produce, but the meat was nice. The overall product wasn’t bad and I’d say it was a decent quality meal.

The packaging was a pain from start to finish though.

Score: 10/20

Taste

This should be the most important category. When it comes to cooking for kids, it isn’t always, unfortunately.

Either way, the Fried rice and the Salmon were good in the sense that I didn’t hate them. My daughter gave the Fried rice a thumbs up but didn’t finish her plate and refused leftovers the next day.

My son loved the roasted red peppers and zucchini, but that was literally all he’d eat. My wife seemed moderately pleased which is not her default for my cooking.

I would have been better off going to pick up Thai Express or just cooking myself.

Score: 10/20

Fun

I was hoping this would work out to be a fun activity. I had an image of sitting around the laptop deciding on the meals and everyone getting excited. Big NOPE there. Choosing the meals was exactly like meal planning. No one agreed or no one cared.

I was also hoping to get an Ikea Effect from the meal. I did not. I was mostly annoyed and swearing at the instructions for making more dishes to clean then needed.

I did like the colour and that the meals looked like their pictures.

Score: 10/20

Overall

This wasn’t a terrible experience, but it wasn’t a lot of fun. I don’t find it saved much time and at full price with shipping it will cost more than a quick restaurant.

I wanted this to not need to stress about meal planning and prep. Unfortunately, it didn’t help and added an extra frustration in the prep. This is great for those who can’t prep or shop for themselves, but not my thing.

Final Score: 55/100

Final Words

The experience told me that what I need is to find better delivery options that are local. This wasn’t for me and no one was all that happy about it.

What I’ll remember most (other than those annoying bags) is my almost two year old saying, “Couscous” over and over again.

Stay Safe and be kind,

Éric

Beer Battered Fish Recipe

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

This recipe is inspired by Alton Brown but I made some modifications in the proportions and spices.

I recommend 1855 Kichesippi Beer it’s really smooth and goes well with the Rainbow Trout.

Beer Battered Fish

Extra Crispy and flavourful battered fish.

Course Main Course
Cuisine English
Keyword Battered, beer, Fish, fried, pub
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Batter

  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 TBSP Baking powder
  • 1 TSP Dill
  • 1 TSP Pepper
  • 1/2 Bottle Dark or Amber Beer

Other

  • 3 Medium Fillets Rainbow Trout
  • 2 Litres Oil (Vegetable or Canola)
  • 1/4 Cup Cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Combine batter ingredients and mix until there are no lumps.

  2. Place in fridge and rest of 10-15 minutes

  3. Heat oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius) in skillet, wok, or deep fryer

  4. Remove skin of fish and cut into 4-6 inch squares

  5. Dry fish on paper towels and dredge in cornstarch  

  6. Drop fish into bowl of batter and make sure it’s well covered. Using a fork to lift the fish, place it into the oil.

  7. Cook until batter has solidified a little and flip. Once everything is golden brown (2-4 minutes) take out and drain on paper towel.

Do you have a favourite fish recipe?

Éric

More Great News and something about fish

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Lots of stuff to talk about today. Let’s get started.

More Great News!

They say news comes in threes. At least my Mom used to say that my grandfather said, “Never two without three.” (I’m never quite sure if he actually said those things or she made them up)

Blush

A few months ago my wonderful Wife received a contract to publish Blush, a card game to open communication channels about sex.

Learn more about Blush.

Ask an Anonymous question.

A Study in Aether (Formerly The Mitten Wizard)

Last week I signed a contract to publish my first book. Hopefully to be released this year.

Parasomnia

Today I’ll be signing a contract for Parasomnia. It’s with the same publisher, an awesome small press, as A Study in Aether.

I’m still in shock at how close the two contracts came in.

After almost 7 years of writing seriously and trying to get published I get two contracts? I feel extremely thankful and I little bewildered.

Fortune Cookie

At a party this weekend I got a fortune cookie. It said, “Wisdom comes not from age but from experience.” It’s right but boy did it make me feel old and unwise.

I haven’t lived the most adventurous life but I’d like to think I’ve learned to be wise… maybe just a wiseass.

I will smack you in the face with fish

I read this article this morning and found it to be overall condescending. Maybe it was meant as tongue in cheek… Maybe not.

Either way, be warned, I’m extremely proud of the stuff I, and my wife, make and sell so you’ll be getting smacked in the face by fish… a lot.

Serial Story

So the serial stories aren’t attracting a lot of votes but they do attract a lot of readers. This makes me think I’ve given you too many choices.

You have until Wednesday midnight to vote on which story you’d like to proceed to the next step. The story with the lowest vote count will be eliminated and I’ll put up a new poll.

The poll:

What do you want 2016's Serial Story to be?

  • Wargrave Island (57%, 4 Votes)
  • The Ruby Child (29%, 2 Votes)
  • Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens (14%, 1 Votes)
  • The Cosmic Cuckoos (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Please Vote!

The stories

Faeries Vs Robots Vs Aliens

The Cosmic Cuckoos

Wargrave Island

The Ruby Child

 

Hope you’re having a great day!

Éric