Boxed adventures

Anybody who knows me knows one thing well: I love food. I mean, I’m obsessed with it. Yet oddly enough, I’m a vegetarian. This was a choice I made after watching my dad suffer through three open heart surgeries starting at the age of 38 until he passed away from a heart attack at 62. So while I limit my intake of animal products, I can’t deny that I probably think about food entirely too much.

With all of that said, I’m also a total food snob. I love cooking from scratch. I only buy fresh ingredients — except for chickpeas, which I always have on hand in cans because roasted chickpeas are for me the equivalent of bacon for carnivores — and I rarely follow recipes. And I love strolling through the produce aisle at the grocery store, looking for reasons to use anything that isn’t a cob of corn or green bean in my menu.

Well, so many people in my world have been raving about these boxed food subscriptions that even a food snob like me was intrigued. I had scoped out a number of them, but when my boyfriend’s sister sent us a gift card to try a specific one out, I quickly realized that for my food preferences, it was the only way to go.

So, I gave in to Green Chef. Here’s why: Green Chef has options based upon your dietary preferences, unlike most of the rest of the subscriptions. You can mix and match with groups like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, but Green Chef has plans for vegans and vegetarians and paleo diets, not to mention omnivorous and carnivorous preferences. You can also choose your favorite meats if you’re a meat-eater — so if you hate seafood but are curious about game, you can set those preferences. And what else is great is that if I’m feeling as if I need some heavy Omega 3’s in my diet, I can choose some fish and mix it up one week (or more, if I so choose), or I can pass up my dietary preferences entirely and let my boyfriend have a full meal — with leftovers — of beef or chicken. And, I can always skip weeks where I may be traveling or short on cash or whatever else may come up.

What else I liked is that as I mixed and matched what I wanted my first set of meals to be, I was able to have the flexibility to choose the ones that really piqued my interest. I’m a vegetarian, but most of the vegetarian meals were things I already cook frequently at home. I wanted to try something new. So with my first box, I went vegan.

I got my first box today and was so excited to try it out. It was packed solid with individually-wrapped veggies, herbs, sauces, grains, and pastas. To my complete joy, most of the veggies were already chopped, which is typically what takes up most of the time when I cook. Plus, all of the materials it was packed in were recyclable or reusable, which meant I was already in love. In fact, the ice packs are already in my freezer, ready to soothe various injuries.

I made Teriyaki Tempeh Skewers for my first experiment. My first thought when instructed to marinate the tempeh in the provided teriyaki sauce was, “Ugh. I wish I knew what was in it.” Not because I’m worried about calories or allergies or anything, but strictly because I love recreating recipes and, as I said, am such a snob that I hate using pre-made sauces. The great thing I realized at the end is that if you go back online to view the recipe, Green Chef offers the full recipes of all of the pre-made sauces so you can make them on your own at home. Bonus!

The meal was delicious. Snobby me is not only thrilled, but slightly relieved. The anxiety I typically feel in coming home and making meals from scratch every night was resulting in me often eating at 9 p.m. Here it is 8:15 p.m. and I’ve already cooked, cleaned, and blogged about it all.

And even better yet, as my boyfriend and I try to bounce back from this horrific car wreck, this is an easy, less-exhaustive way to eat healthy and balanced. Last night, I ate macaroni and cheese cause it’s all I had the energy to make. This even cuts out the need to shop three days a week.

If you’re interested in Green Chef, use my invitation code to check it out. You’ll get four free meals, and I promise you, it’s worth it!

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