Let's get this out of the way: I'm not on Weight Watchers. I'm also not against going on Weight Watchers.
But cooking is definitely not my forte, and a coworker recently told me about Chef'd, a meal delivery service that's partnered with Weight Watchers. It's like Blue Apron, but healthier.
I'm all for healthy meals that taste great, so I was more than willing to sacrifice my taste buds and spend a few bucks to do an HONEST review.
If you aren't familiar with meal delivery services, everything you need to make the meal (minus the pots and pans) comes in the box.
From breakfast to dinner, meals for two range from $10 up to $79. For example, a mushroom risotto for two costs $19.
I spent a LONG time taking the survey and choosing my dishes. I love food so deciding was tough! I ended up getting five meals and paid a total of $135.
Going into it, I was nervous about the cooking part, but equally concerned about whether the portion sizes and flavors would satisfy me. Going to bed hungry is not something I would tolerate in this experiment...
All of my meals were between 4 and 10 points per serving, but like I said, I'm not in it for the diet part, just the healthy, easy dinners.
Day one came and I was actually really excited! I don't love salads, but this chipotle pork salad sounded promising.
All of the veggies, meats, and ingredients were bagged and labeled individually, and you receive printed recipes to go buy.
My first impression was that the ingredients were super fresh. As for the cooking, the estimated time was 35 minutes — for me it was an hour. (I had to Google what "zesting" meant. Told you I was a novice.)
My first bite tasted like heaven. I forgot that I was eating a salad. But then the chipotle started kicking in and my mouth was on fire! I would make this again, but I'd go lighter on the chipotle purée.
Next up: MEAT. This beef tenderloin was right up my alley.
This meal was much easier to prepare, but again, took longer than the estimated cook time. (This time it was actually due to things needing more time to cook through, not my lack of kitchen prowess.)
As a Latina who consumes rice at least once a day, this plate looked sad to me. Look at all that empty space! I had every intention of eating the second serving.
But that beef tenderloin was one of the best beef dishes I've ever had. I ate one portion and was totally satisfied.
Also, I was really starting to enjoy cooking my own meals, even if they did take a long time to make.
All was going well until I hit my third dinner of the week: the moo shu beef lettuce cups were the definition of diet food.
I'm not a cook but I know about flavor. I was a little freaked out that the recipe didn't require me to season the meat before cooking it.
I assumed that was because of the weight-loss meal plan. I put my Sazon away and cooked the recipe as instructed.
Keep in mind that the recipe serves two people. After serving myself, I realized that I left nothing but scraps for the second person. Predictably, the meat had no flavor. If I were on a diet plan, this would have been my breaking point. There is nothing more disrespectful than eating bland ass food.
F*ck a 4-point plate of lettuce cups. Bring me real food — and some salt.
I wasn't excited about the ginger garlic stir-fry, but there was a silver lining, RICE.
My food didn't look as exciting or as colorful as it did in the recipe photo, but it did taste pretty good.
This wasn't the best stir-fry I have ever had, but it wasn't terrible. I won't deny how much I was considering throwing this away and ordering some real chicken stir-fry.
After cooking dinner for myself for four days straight, I was ready for this to be over. The last meal I cooked was Thai shrimp and vegetable stir-fry.
For once, this dinner took less than the 35 minute estimated cooking time.
I devoured it entirely; the peanuts on top were a nice touch. The meal was so good it made me forgive Chef'd for the awful moo shu.
- Having measured ingredients shipped to your door makes cooking way easier for people who don't love being in the kitchen.
- You get to try things you might not usually cook on your own.
- The ingredients are extremely fresh and hold up well in the fridge.
- Most meals take longer than the recipes claim.
- The recipes aren't that easy to follow and can lead to overcooked and over/under-seasoned food.
- Two words: MOO SHU.
Would I do it again?
I enjoyed about half of the dishes. Aside from a few missing ingredients and wrong measurements, I also loved the experience of being in the kitchen.
I will be trying Chef'd again, even while I'm happily not on Weight Watchers.