Night #3 with Chef’s Plate

Last night was our third meal of the week with Chef’s Plate. It was Seared Steak & Italian Peperonata Sauce, with roasted peppers and garlic pepper hasselback potatoes. I didn’t take a picture of the ingredients (I forgot) but here’s Mr. Math’s dinner:
Seared Steak from Chef's Table cooked by Deborah Cooke

This meal was our favorite of the three. There were comparatively a lot of potatoes and not so much green veg, but there was a lot of onion and pepper garnish. We didn’t add a salad on this night, but we did modify the instructions. Mr. Math is a firm believer that if you’re going to have a steak, it should be barbequed. The instructions called for it to be seared in a frying pan then cooked in the oven. He recoiled in horror, then told me he’d barbeque. So, I did the potatoes and brussel sprouts in the oven, as instructed, and the peperonata sauce in the skillet while he grilled the meat. I also looked up the cut of beef because I didn’t know it (a flat iron steak, which is evidently a new thing) and we decided to marinate it a bit first, which wasn’t in the instructions.

It was delicious, a real Friday night meal but on a Thursday. This menu was the most similar to what we usually cook. So, ironically, we tried this service to get new ideas yet our favorite meal was the one most like our usual cooking. On the other hand, I’ve never “hasselbacked” potatoes before and I didn’t think brussel sprouts would cook so quickly or so well in the oven. We both really liked the peperonata sauce, so we’ll definitely do this again, perhaps with steaks. Again, we nicked a piece of beef for the New Girl and didn’t miss it, so the portions were generous. We did the 2/3 – 1/3 split and everyone was happy. (Even the New Girl.)

So, where do we stand after our three nights of Chef’s Plate? I did enjoy it. It was nice to not be thinking about dinner, doing menu planning or making lists for the grocery store. (Mr. Math is such a foodie that he asks me at breakfast what’s for lunch and for dinner.) I liked not having to think about dinner until 5, then just opening the bag and following the instructions. The only grocery shopping we did this week was for basics—salad ingredients, milk and bread. Lunches and breakfasts. I did learn a few new things and we tried some new recipes, which was great. We also had no desire to go out for lunch or dinner.

On the other side of things, I do have that sense that I’ve eaten out a lot this week, even though I haven’t. I suspect it’s the salt. We cook with very little salt, so always notice it when we eat out. The Spicy Pork Sausage Ragu, for example, had a whopping 1880 mg of sodium per serving. (Health Canada advises that adults eat 1000 to 1500 mg of salt per day and not exceed 2300 mg per day.) Tonight’s meal had 590 mg of sodium. Although the calorie count is on the website as well as the ingredients, the other nutritional information is only included on the recipe card. Since it’s not on the website when you choose your menu, you don’t know until your food arrives what the sodium (or carbohydrate or whatever else) count will be. This is less than ideal, especially if you are on a diet of some kind, whether it be low-sodium, Weight-Watchers, or whatever. On a similar note, these services are not geared to people with allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances.

I also feel a lack of vegetables in my life. We eat a lot of vegetables, probably more than the recommended 5 – 10 per day, and while I ate salad at lunch each day, I’m ready to have more vegetables again. These recipes tended to the carbs (potatoes, pasta, and rice) and we tend to the green vegetables. That’s a personal preference and I can’t expect them to skew to that. Tonight, for example, there were 8 fingerling potatoes included and six brussel sprouts. Even though they were big sprouts, at 3 sprouts and 4 potatoes each, if I’d been planning the servings myself, the count would have been at least the other way around. (I am known to cook 7 -8 brussel sprouts per person. They’re good for you.)

I’m also looking forward to cooking something from scratch today.

As far as Chef’s Plate itself goes, the recipes were clear and easy to follow. The order was delivered promptly and the meat was very fresh. I thought the vegetables were less than ideal (we had celery and parsley for the first night, and sugar snap peas for the second), but it is Canada in December and celery has been very disappointing of late. There is a lot of packaging with such a service, but it can be recycled. And there is less food waste—if I buy a whole bunch of disappointing celery and end up chucking half of it, Mr. Math accuses me of buying compost. So, there’s something good about having just what you need.

I didn’t order for next week, because I was concerned about the sodium. (I sent them a message asking them to add that information to their website.) We’ll be trying a different service during Christmas week called Goodfood. They’re out of Montreal and another Canadian option. I like that they list all the nutritional information on the website, so I can see the sodium etc. before I order. If you want family options, they seem to have more of them so are a good site to check out. I’ll let you know what we think.

And tonight, I’m making a quiche with a great big salad. 🙂

If you’d like to give Chef’s Plate a try, use this referral link to get three plates free in your first week. If it doesn’t work, enter #3platesFromDebC at checkout for the discount.