Chefs Plate Review - August Week 3 - Canadian Meal Preparation Subscription Box + PROMO CODE

Canadian Box Addict pays for this subscription. This post contains referral links.
  
What is it? Chefs Plate 
How Much? Starts at $49.80 per week, plus $6 delivery. Prices in Canadian dollars. 
What’s in it? Fresh ingredients and delicious recipes delivered weekly to your door

Chefs Plate is a weekly meal delivery service that sends original gourmet recipes and pre-portioned farm-fresh ingredients so you can cook a fresh, healthy, and nutritionally balanced meal. Chefs Plate started in Toronto in 2014 and now ships to most major cities in Ontario, BC, Manitoba, and Alberta. They will be expanding to Quebec and the Maritimes in coming months. 

Chefs Plate is putting Canadians back in the kitchen. By delivering easy-to-follow recipes and fresh pre-portioned ingredients right to your door, we take the guesswork out of cooking and have made food fun again! No more Sunday night grocery store lines, no more hunting for recipes – we handle everything so you can relax and enjoy the cooking experience! 

There are two plans available: The "2-Person Plan" includes market fresh meals for two and the "Family Plan" includes market fresh meals for four. Once you've selected your plan, decide if you'd like to receive 2, 3, or 4 recipes per week. Plans are priced per plate. For example, if you purchase a 2-Person Plan with two recipes per week, that's four plates. The "2-Person Plan" is $10.95 per plate (serving) and the "Family Plan" is $9.95 per plate. The weekly delivery fee is $6 per box. I subscribe to the "2-Person Plan" with two recipes per week, which is $55.80 per week with shipping. Prices are in Canadian dollars and there is no tax.

Chefs Plate has a great referral plan too. Once you're signed up, for every friend you refer, you get 2 plates free, and your friend gets their first 3 plates free. That means your friend (and you, if you keep reading to the bottom), can get your first week for only $16.95 (based on a 2-Person Plan with two recipes).

This is my second delivery, but it's the third week. Read my Week 1 review here. I skipped week two, partly because none of the recipes appealed to  me, and partly because I wasn't sure if I would be home to accept delivery. Delivery day for the Vancouver region is Tuesday. Boxes ship out via FedEx on Monday night. The food is packed in an insulated box with gel ice packs to keep everything cool. For those that reside in houses, you don't need to be home to accept delivery. FedEx will leave the box at your front door, or wherever you indicate (you can add special delivery instructions). Those in condos or secure buildings will need to be home to accept delivery, or make arrangements with a doorman or neighbour.

Recipes are released two weeks in advance and seven new recipes are available each week. There is typically one chicken dish, one beef dish, one pork, turkey, or fish dish, and three vegetarian dishes. At least one dish will be gluten free and at least one will be dairy free. You can see upcoming menus here. You can select your preferred dishes, or skip the week. If you don't make a selection, Chefs Plate will choose for you, so be sure to login and select your weekly meals! You can skip as many times as you want, or cancel any time.

The ingredients are locally sourced from Canadian producers. Vegetables are farm fresh, and arguably fresher than you would get from a supermarket. Meats are antibiotic and hormone free. Ingredients are designed to remain fresh up to five days after delivery. Items should be refrigerated as soon as the box is unpacked. Fish dishes should be cooked within two days of delivery, to ensure freshness.

 My first pick for Week 3 was Fish Taquitos
Back by popular demand our fish and sweet potato taquitos with are loaded with all the fixings, inspired by the markets of Puebla. The flaky basa fillets are cooked in Mexican chilli powder and loaded into fresh flour tortillas and served with creamy guacamole and tomato salsa.

Something new I noticed this week is full ingredients and nutrition facts. This label is affixed to the back of each meal bag. This is a nice feature! 

For Fish Taquitos we have tortillas, sweet potatoes, avocado, two basa filets, Mexican Chili Powder, a garlic glove, cilantro, yellow tomatoes, a shallot, a red tomato, and a lime. Chef's Plate sends all the ingredients required, aside from oil, salt, and pepper.  

 
The recipe is 8x11, full colour, double sided. There are step by step directions with pictures. This is considered a "medium" level recipe, but you don't need to be a chef to use Chef's Plate. Basic cooking skills are an asset, but not necessary.

Step one is always "Read the entire recipe card". That makes me laugh. I don't know how many times I've rushed through a recipe and realized I missed a step or ingredient. Next, each recipe starts with prepping the "mise en place", which simply means putting  everything in its place, or having all your ingredients prepared and ready to go. Since the ingredients are pre-portioned, all you need to do is rinse and chop!  

Let's talk about this avocado. When I took it out of the bag, it felt really soft. I was worried it was overripe and would be brown inside. I cut it open and was quite surprised to see that it was perfect. It's hard to get a perfectly ripe avocado when you need it! 

After the veggie chopping was done, I set to cooking the sweet potato, which was very easy. 

While the sweet potato cooked, I mixed together the salsa and guacamole. 

I didn't get a picture of the fish cooking, but it was very quick and simple - just a quick pan fry, 2-3 minutes per side. One critique is that I didn't have enough Mexican Chili Powder to nicely coat both sides of the fish pieces. I went to my spice cabinet and used some taco seasoning to finish it up.

Up next - assemble the taquitos. This was easy. There were six tortillas, so I just divided the fish and sweet potatoes between them. 

To make them into taquitos, instead of tacos, roll tightly and quickly brown in a frying pan. 

Top with salsa and guacamole and that's it! 

I really enjoyed this meal. I don't often cook fish at home because it kind of scares me. This dish was so easy and I realized I should not be afraid of fish. The flavours were fresh and bold. Typically when I cook Mexican inspired food I need cheese or sour cream. This dish didn't need anything extra. If you wanted to extend the meal for left overs or to serve three, add a salad or bean side dish and serve two taquitos per person instead of three.  

My second pick was Pork Steamed Buns.
Bursting with savoury pork filling, these soft and fluffy steamed buns deliver big flavour! Stir-fried ginger pork is tossed in a black bean sauce and complimented with pickled radishes and cucumbers. You win some you "dim sum" with this recipe!

I was super excited about this one. I love steamed buns. I dubbed this recipe "Asian Sloppy Joes". 

For Pork Steamed Buns we have six buns, green onions, cucumbers, radishes,  Gochugaru powder (Korean red pepper), black bean paste, pureed ginger, cider vinegar, sugar, and ground pork. Again, I only needed to supply oil, salt, and pepper. One critique here is that the small paper sugar packet was thrown into the bag with the other ingredients. A lot of moisture develops in the bag, so the sugar packet was nearly destroyed. It probably should have been placed into a small plastic zip bag for protection. 

This is an "easy" level recipe and takes only about 25 minutes to prepare.

There are two parts to this recipe. One is the pickled veggies. I recently started doing "quick pickles" with my Asian dishes and salads. It's super easy, and takes hardly any time. This recipe calls for cider vinegar, sugar, and a bit of water. Just bring it to a quick boil, then remove from the heat and let it sit while preparing the rest of the dinner. 

 The second part of the recipe is the meat. Throw it in a pan with the seasonings and cook. That's it!

To steam the buns, Chef's Plate suggests placing a metal colander over a pot of boiling water. I used a steamer basket instead, because I have one. Use whatever you have to get the job done! When the buns steam, they puff up and become very soft. 

Assembly is easy. Meat and pickles. That's it. Serve the remaining pickles on the side as a salad. 

G and I loved this dish. The meat was so good with just a hint of spiciness. I loved the quick pickles. The buns were delicious - slightly sweet, soft and chewy. I really want to create this dish again so I'm hoping I can find frozen steamed buns like this at T&T market. We each had three little sandwiches and it was just enough food. Our appetites were satisfied, although we would have loved some left overs.

Once again, I was really pleased with my Chefs Plate experience. The meals were very tasty, and I would definitely cook both recipes again. They were quick and easy, which is perfect for after a long day of work. I like that Chefs Plate gives you everything you need, with minimal food waste. I'm terrible for throwing out produce because I don't use it. I strongly suspect that Chefs Plate is actually saving me money, from less eating out and less food waste. I need to look into this theory more! I know some people are concerned about the amount of packaging waste, but everything is reusable or recyclable. Even the gel ice packs are recyclable. PMD Recycling has a monthly drop off depot near my house, so soft plastics (bags, etc) that can't go in my blue bin go there. If your local city recycling program doesn't accept soft plastics, check for a company in your area that takes those items (PMD also takes Styrofoam, foil packets, and loads more).

I've already selected my meals for the next two weeks. For August 23rd delivery I picked Korean Steak Stir-Fry and Lemon Pepper Chicken.
 

For August 30th delivery, I selected a Pork Spring  Roll Bowl and Avocado & Black Bean Tostados. You may notice a trend. I'm all about Mexican, Asian, and... chicken. 

Keep an eye out for upcoming reviews. I'm not sure I can keep up with reviewing every week, but I will sure try.

If you are interested in trying Chefs Plate, you can get your first THREE plates for FREE! That's a $33 savings. Simply use my referral link here, or enter my referral code #3platesFromcdnboxaddict in the promo code section at checkout. On a "2-Person 2 recipe plan", your first week will only be $10.95, plus $6 shipping. After that you can continue with your subscription, skip as many weeks as you want, or cancel.

Click here to check out Chefs Plate.




Disclaimer: Box information is correct as of posting date. As prices and terms are subject to change, please be sure to read the FAQ of this company before 

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