Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Home Chef Gives Vegan Love

I love to shop for groceries. And I love to cook. But mostly, I love to eat. Sometimes, I don't have time to run out to Whole Foods, and other times, I don't have an extra moment to flip through a cookbook and plan out menus for the week. Of course, I make time to do those things anyway because I have to. But I get a little stressed out trying to fit enjoyable activities (shopping and meal-planning) into my hectic schedule.

Enter Home Chef. It's a fresh ingredient delivery service for people who don't have time to go shopping or plan meals but still want to cook gourmet dishes. The delivery service isn't totally vegan, but they've enlisted the help of Chef Ashlee Piper from The Little Foxes to create and curate ingredients for some vegan options. Ashlee and I met at Vida Vegan Con last year, and though we'd planned to grab drinks together while in Portland, we got so busy with con stuff that we didn't get much face time. But we get plenty of Facebook time (har har).

Anyway, Home Chef asked me to review a couple of their Ashlee-curated selections. Last Thursday, these two mystery bags arrived in a cooler bag in the mail. Hmmmm.....what could be inside?

The first bag I opened revealed all the ingredients to make Ashlee's Mexican Sweet Potato Hash with Black Beans and Avocado Crema.

It's all right there — onion, black beans, potatoes, green onion, cilantro, cumin, chipotle powder, and sriracha. Look at that tiny container of sriracha?! I was most impressed by the very under-ripe avocado. I knew I wouldn't have time to make this dish until Sunday, and this meant my avocado would be just right by then.

Also included are step-by-step recipe cards with pictures. It even includes directions for plating, calories, and drink pairings! I made the hash on Sunday night, and it was phenomenal. The avocado crema is spiked with chipotle and sriracha, and it's spicy and creamy in all the right ways. The recipe suggests serving this with tortilla chips, but I opted for a side salad since I've been eating so much junk lately.

The next bag was filled with stuff to make Ashlee's Spring Pappardelle with Asparagus and Lemon Gremolata in a Spicy Cream Sauce.

Pasta, asparagus (so in season!), a tiny container of full fat coconut milk, slivered almonds, garlic, lemons, parsley, spices. I made the dish last night, and it truly tasted like a splash of spring. The pasta with tossed with asparagus and a coconut-lemon sauce, and then it's topped with toasted almonds and a gremolata of lemon zest, garlic, and parsley.

Both recipes made a number of servings (four on the hash, three on the pasta), so I'm happy to have leftovers tomorrow.

If you're interested in ordered the Home Chef service, check out the menus here. Each meal costs around $9 per serving, which is about what you'd pay in a decent restaurant but definitely more than if you'd done the shopping and meal planning yourself.


Dana Vickerson said...

that looks so great! i often see those meal services and think "that would be amazing!" but they never have vegan options OR you have to be home for them to deliver it. going to have to look at this one.

as much as i love cooking and meal planning, some weeks it just gives me anxiety

Unknown said...

Hi Bianca! Love your book and blog! Thanks for informing us of this service! Sounds so awesome...I know the pain of meal planning when you are super busy!