REview: Fresh Prep Meal Kit Service

Squeeking this weekly post in kind of close to the end of the week but I had to give myself time to make both meals that I had delivered this week!

Every once and a while I get into a big food rut/lack of inspiration. I think the pandemic has made it worse over the past year so I decided it was time to try another meal kit delivery service.
Meal Kit Delivery services have been around for a while and the basic premise is that a box arrives at your door with almost everything you need to make a couple of meals (usually you have to supply your own basics like oil, salt & vinegar, water etc). We’ve used a few of the kits in the past to get some new recipe ideas and get a break from grocery shopping.

The thing with most of the kits is how much waste there is. Most of the kits come in a cardboard box with an extra cardboard layer to provide insulation and then of course everything is individually packaged. We’re pretty good at recycling so the water issue has been minimal (but the boxes do take up a huge amount of space in our recycling bin) so I was pretty interested in how this low/no waste kit would go.

Fresh Prep is based in BC which is a nice bonus (food travels less distance to me as I am also in BC) and delivery is done by local drivers which I thought was cool. The kits are delivered in an insulated reusable and returnable bag and the ice packs as well as reusable and returnable. Some of the kits come in a no waste format, but neither of the meals I picked for this week did (I’ll post an update when we do get one!).

Selection of the meals was pretty simple, the website gets you to put in the number of meals you want and some food preferences/allergies and then presents a selection of a dozen or so meals to choose from. Lots of asian inspired options (Thai Chicken, Wonton Soup, Lemon Grass Pork Meatballs) and some western comfort food options as well (Baked Chicken and Pasta, Seared Flat Iron Steak). The meals also include a healthy portion of veggies. Our first week we selected Deconstructed Wonton Soup and Spicy Thai Chicken Breast with Peanut Chopped Salad and Crispy Noodles. Here’s how it all went.

Delivery:
I opted in for text messages about my delivery and got a few throughout the day updating me on delivery time line as well as one when the delivery happened which I think will be really great in the summer when it is super hot.
Both meal kits came in a labeled paper bag and the recipe cards were tucked into a pocket in the cooler bag and everything was cold when it arrived.

Minimal Waste:
Sort of, everything was packaged in small plastic bags (which are recyclable in my area) but the returnable bag is way better than the multi-layer cardboard boxes.
I did find it a bit weird that things like a carrot had been chopped and packaged (why not just send a carrot on it’s own?) but on the other hand I did like that the garlic came pre-chopped for me (even though I could have chopped garlic cloves on my own).

I also was puzzled that nothing was labelled except the sesame oil and the soy sauce. Not sure if that was a one off or if it is the norm (will update in future weeks).

Bit a mystery, but I figured it out, when the packages aren’t labeled. For example – wet ingredients: one was ginger and one was garlic (easy to figure out), dry Ingredients: one was the spice blend and one was Dashi (soup stock). Had to do a taste taste to figure that one out!

Recipes:
Both were fairly easy to follow and turned out as expected. I liked that this company provides the list of ingredients in their “soup base” or “spice blends”. Other companies I’ve really had to dig online to find out. Estimated cooking time for both were pretty much dead on.
I did feel that these recipes were built for people that already have a basic idea of cooking: being able to multi task, chop, and identify spices (although that could be an oversight and maybe everything should have been labeled – as mentioned above).
Recipe cards, and the availability of the recipe online mean we can recreate them on our own.

Results:

Deconstructed Won Ton Soup: Would I make this again – yes. Would I change anything: Maybe? I might leave out the leaves of the Yu Choy, that was probably the least favourite part of the dish but it was still great.

Spicy Thai Chicken with Salad: Would I make this again – no, but I would make the dressing and the cabbage & carrot salad again. I found the name to be a bit misleading – the crispy noodles were just a garnish and I had expected them to part of the actual cooking/prep.

Interested in trying it yourself:
Feel free to use my referral link to check out the options: Fresh Prep (I get one free meal serving (plate) and you get three!
If you do try it let me know what you think!

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