Let’s talk about cooking. Have you ever wished someone else would just do the groundwork for you? I don’t know about you, but I always fail at meal prep. I start each week with good intentions to shop for, prep and plan for my meals but always end up eating scrambled eggs or something carb-y.
Last week I had the opportunity to test out Chef’s Plate, a Toronto meal delivery service that ships perfectly portioned fresh ingredients right to your door. Sounds like magic, right? It basically is. But before I tell you about my adventures in kitchen heroism, let me tell you a bit about Chef’s Plate.
meet the chef’s plate team
The two strapping young gentlemen above are Patrick Meyer and Jamie Shea, the brains behind Chef’s Plate. The reason they started Chef’s Plate is simple: most young adults today are eating out in restaurants or buying something prepared from the grocery store. Not only is this expensive – it also means so many young adults aren’t experiencing the joy of cooking. I’m completely behind this idea, especially because I love to cook but often make a huge mess during food prep…so much so that my family begs me to stay out of the kitchen.
how it works
Each week, you can choose from 6 new recipes created by Chef Jason Rosso (you may know him from his time at Milestones) and his team that are designed to be cooked in 25 minutes or less. You can choose to purchase anywhere from 1 – 8 portions of each meal and can order multiple recipes per week. Your portions will arrive on Monday and be waiting for you when you get home from work in an insulated package.
When I ordered last week, I had the option of Sous-vide Farmer’s Chicken, Creole Chicken Etouffee, Szechuan Ginger Beef Stir Fry, Black Olive Salmon, Roasted Balsamic Vegetable Flatbread and the Panko-Crusted Goat Cheese Salad. Now, I’m a pretty picky eater and I’m also trying to be healthier so I appreciated both the wide variety of options and the fact that nutritional information is listed on the recipe ordering page.
I had originally planned to try out the flatbread one night and the Szechuan beef stir fry the next, but I ended up having to feed both my brother and Mike so I made both recipes the same evening. Since there were 4 portions in total and only 3 of us, we were more than full and even had some left over.
Inside the insulated cardboard box, you’ll find perfectly portioned ingredients in various states of preparation. While the vegetables for the stir fry were completely ready to go, I had to chop zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes and tear basil for the flatbread. The rest of the ingredients, right down to the pre-cut marinated beef and balsamic vinegar, didn’t require any effort aside from dumping them into the pan. I told you it was magic.
Now – I still made a bit of a mess: I found the sesame oil for the Szechuan beef splattered like crazy but that’s cooking with oil for you. Aside from that, cooking up the two recipes was a cinch. The flatbread browned in the oven while I sauteed ginger, garlic and vegetables for the stir fry and my hungry charges got to enjoy it as an appetizer as I … slaved… over the hot stove. The large recipe cards included for each dish had easy-to-follow directions and photos. I kept them beside me the whole way and they got splattered with pretty much every ingredient, but boy were they ever useful.
The flavor of both dishes got a thumbs up from the boys and I especially loved the sauce on the flatbread. Plates were wiped clean, stomachs were full and I was lauded as an excellent cook…at least for one night.
Based on the quality of the food, ease of cooking up the various ingredients and the convenience of having my dinner ingredients waiting for me after work with zero grocery shopping required…I’d say you should definitely give Chef’s Plate a try. Membership is $10 monthly, which allows you to purchase each plate for $12 instead of $15. The membership pays for itself after your first order – the minimum order is 4 plates ($60) but it would work out to only $48 with the membership. Have I mentioned all the money you’re going to save by not having to purchase a whole bottle of, say, truffle oil or sesame oil for a single recipe? Variety without your pantry exploding is the name of the game.
If you want to give Chef’s Plate a try, your first meal is on me. Use code CHEFSTEPH at check-out to get $15 off your first order. Let me know what you think and what you ordered![disclaim]I was provided with 4 free plates from Chef’s Plate for editorial consideration and review. [/disclaim]