As fun as it is to embrace the spontaneity of summer (AKA grabbing an ice cream cone and calling it lunch), there’s something reassuring about settling back into a routine come fall—when it’s not too hot to turn on the oven and you can actually get excited about your healthy eating habits again.
In the spirit of embracing eating well, two Well+Good editors decided to turn their return to routine into a game—by challenging themselves to a week of following a completely new eating style to see if they could develop fresh (still exciting!) habits while experiencing unique flavors. (Spoiler: They did.)
To do it, they hit up Green Chef, a USDA-Certified Organic company that offers meal kits catering to a variety of dietary preferences, to help them try out plant-powered and keto eating plans.
In addition to inciting new creativity in the kitchen, their main takeaway was how unbelievably easy everything was to prepare. You just sign up, pick the meals that look most appetizing, and bam—all the sustainably sourced, pre-portioned ingredients show up at your door, ready to be cooked and gobbled.
Scroll down to hear two editors’ firsthand experiences with their week of going the meal delivery kit route. Photo: Green ChefPlant-Powered: Alex Taylor
I opted for the plant-powered track because I’ve been trying to lower my meat consumption. And though getting creative with words is literally what I do for a living, transferring that imagination to the kitchen isn’t always successful (my go-to is tossing eggs and veggies in a pan and calling it dinner).
Thankful for the culinary creativity assist, I picked my first Green Chef meal of the week: roasted curried cauliflower. Let me tell you right now, I’ve never been more excited to eat leftovers. It took all of 25 minutes to whip up, and it contained so many flavors I rarely have the fortune of tasting that I was genuinely impressed by my skills. Technically, most of the credit belongs to the detailed recipe cards (complete with photos and step-by-step instructions), but I still felt like a professional chef.
After that powerhouse of a veggie-fueled meal, I didn’t know how the others would measure up. But the Asian noodle bowl with mushrooms had me drooling just looking at the photo on the recipe card (not even kidding) and the sauce was chef-kiss worthy. I closed my week with the white bean Ratatouille—and it was tres, tres délicieux and sent me to France without having to pay for airfare.
Seeing how simple these three recipes were to whip up inspired a whole new level of kitchen creativity I didn’t know I had. Now, my quest to cut back on meat feels way less arduous than I previously thought, and I can (finally!) stop eating the same exact thing five days in a row.
Photo: Green ChefKeto: Erin Flynn
As a keto skeptic (I’m generally not a fan of restrictive diets), I treated this week as a challenge to get out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. I mean, there’s got to be a reason keto is seriously trending right now, right? So I was excited to see what all the high-fat hype was about with Green Chef’s keto recipes.
Off the bat, I liked that I could just select the keto meal plan on the website and choose my meals from there, rather than spending tons of time reading nutrition labels and counting grams of fat. The Green Chef system made it easy to be sure my meals were within the keto guidelines, and for me, simpler is always better, so that was a total win.
Once it was time for dinner, grabbing the paper bag of ingredients made starting to cook super streamlined—rather than hunting through the fridge for miscellaneous accoutrements or playing the “is this mine or yours?” guessing game with my roommate.
The first meal I tackled was smoky chicken with cotija cheese over sautéed cabbage. Though the ingredients were minimal, I was surprised at how full the leftovers kept me at work the next day.
Next up was the kale salad with BBQ chicken, which admittedly was very similar to my go-to salad order at my favorite lunch spot. I was starting to understand the whole keto concept a little better (basically, this stuff tastes good). I capped off my week with shaved steak and zucchini noodles, another personal favorite, and I was pretty much overjoyed that I got to add butter and cheese to the savory sauce.
I might not be a fan of diets, but I’m a huge fan of flavor (and of butter) and eating keto with Green Chef didn’t feel like a diet at all. It felt like treating myself to nourishing, gourmet meals every night, which is a lifestyle I can totally get behind.
Ready to start cooking? Use code WELLANDGOOD75 for $25 off your first three orders and free shipping.
In partnership with Green Chef
Top photo: VeaVea/Stocksy
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