Someone nailed the market with the idea of gourmet ingredients and innovative recipes delivered to your door step with a few simple clicks of your mouse. Californian’s are busy creatures- hopping from a work event, to the office, to the gym and then meeting up with friends- all within an hours time- ok exaggerating a smidge, but really. Who has time to cozy up with a cup of coffee, pinteresting their favorite recipes and then dosey-do-ing around Whole Foods searching for all the perfectly specified ingredients- not many, or at least not on a regular basis anyways.
Thats where companies like Chef’d, Green Chef and Blue Apron come in. The companies are fairly young but going strong and seeing a great demand from busy individuals or just those looking to expand their cooking talents and learn a few new tasty recipes. Chef Daniel Joseph at Green Chef wrote on his blog shortly after launching the company, “I’m fanatical about people having access to the best ingredients. I’m also fanatical about convenience. Even with groceries sent right to our home, my wife and I often found ourselves at the end of a long day, scrambling to pull together a meal. We’d want something healthy and fresh, flavorful and fast. And it seemed like we were always short of ideas—or just one ingredient.”
A girlfriend and I decided to give this company a go last week- having seen a superb deal on the money-saving website, Groupon. We ordered a 3 meal package and were excited to receive the produce laden cardboard box on Friday. The box was organized and the ingredients were all clearly labeled and portioned out for their ease of use in preparing the meals. Saturday we had a girl’s night, or rather a night like any other except it was filled with inexpensive red wine and ice cream – that sort of appeared healthy with yogurt in the name- despite the caramel swirls and chocolate chunks.
We chose to make the Porcini- Crusted Cod with roasted Brussel sprouts and kohlrabi-kale salad, simply because fish had the shortest use by date, being safely stored in the fridge for no more than 2 days at 41 degrees- a little dietician student knowledge for you. The recipe directions were clearly written and detailed, easy to follow and laced with photos to assist along the way. The directions promised a simple 30 minute preparation and it took us closer to 45 minutes- mind you there was succulent red wine and girl talk weaved into the process- but still with two of us it shouldn’t have taken us quite so long. In preparing the meal what took the longest was the kohlrabi- have you heard of such a thing? Us either- we spent at least 5 minutes consulting Suri about it- “Suri,what is this green apple looking vegetable?” , we prodded. Suri was her faithful self and informed us that it was- no joke- ” a swollen stem”. That it is- a root that resembles a turnip but is the most lovely shade of chartreuse green. The flavor was reminiscent of broccoli stem and had a satisfying crunch. The vegetable is typically prepared using the leaves and roots in German speaking countries- possibly why it was a bit foreign to us.
The meal came together nicely in the end and had lots of flavor. I don’t eat meat, myself, but my friend enjoyed the flaky cod with porcini crust. I would definitely order from the company again- they cater to a variety of different diets – Paleo, vegetarian as well as gluten free- making it a great choice for pretty much anyone keen on trying something new!