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Monday, September 7, 2015

REVIEW -- Personal Chef to Go

Personal Chef to Go

Fresh Meal Delivery? How is this possible?

Each order is delivered fresh, never frozen, to your home or office using refrigerated shipping containers that are professionally tested and guaranteed to keep your meals properly chilled and flavor fresh for up to 60-hours of transit time.

Each weekly menu is prepared from scratch by professionally trained chefs under Corporate Chef Gene Castelluccio's close supervision. Next your meals are quickly and specially packaged in oxygen free packaging that locks in flavor and preserves freshness for over 10 days. All menu plans are kept super cold and well insulated from the rigors of transit with the best packaging technology available. Your order is then rush-shipped to your home via either Federal Express Ground or Second Day Express service depending on your delivery destination. All orders will arrive within 48 hours upon leaving our licensed and inspected facility.
Growing up in PA, I was pretty much left to my own devices as a tween and young teenager. Mommy had a job at the local nursing home and then at the 'rest home' in our trailer park, so there were MANY nights I was responsible for my own supper.

But there are only SO many TV dinners, pot pies and other quick, microwavable meals a young teenager can make before she screams, 'ENOUGH!' and begs her mom to have a homecooked meal waiting in the oven or microwave for her, and warm that up. I didn't qualify for 'Meals on Wheels' because of my age and the fact that I could cook somewhat, even if it was the microwave. (Not to mention, I was steady on my feet then and Mommy did teach me how to cook, so I could have made myself something more elaborate, like spaghetti and meat sauce, if I chose)

But, the CP got worse, I got unsteady and I began getting around with a walker (which I do so PROUDLY, ThankYouVeryMuch!!) So, cooking became a little harder. I can still do it, but it's not as easy as before.

But, I still didn't want 'Meals on Wheels.' Not that there's anything WRONG with it, but I personally would feel QUITE embarrassed to be on the program in my mid 30's.

Enter Personal Chef to Go, the meal plan for those who either can't or don't have the time to make great tasting meals.

I was fortunate enough to be sent a full week of the 'Busy Singles' plan for review.

BAD photo of my meals

Let's look at each meal.

Grilled Shrimp Salad with Caesar dressing
Not a fan of Caesar dressing to begin with. Loved the shrimp, Asiago cheese, Roma Cherry tomatoes and the red pepper, but the Caesar dressing ruined the mixed greens for me.
TASTE: 7/10

Citrus Basted Salmon with Cilantro Chipotle Sauce served with fresh seasonal vegetables
Tasted alright. Only type of Salmon I had before this was canned salmon, when Mommy would make fried salmon cakes with fried potatoes. I liked how the citrusy flavor played with the Cilantro Chipotle sauce.
I wasn’t crazy over the brussel sprouts. I liked the edamame beans, but I like the Green Giant preparation of brussel sprouts. I didn’t care for the ‘natural’ brussel sprouts.
TASTE: 7.5/10

Veggy Cannelloni; pasta tubes stuffed with wild mushrooms, spinach and ricotta cheese, topped with puree of cauliflower served with roasted vegetable ratatouille
I was NOT a fan of the ratatouille. It tasted alright, but the presentation was terrible. The vegetables honestly looked rotten and spoiled.
However, the stuffed Cannelloni was awesome. I loved the ricotta cheese and spinach mixture. I like ricotta cheese to begin with anyway. I’m surprised I liked this, since I HATE cooked spinach. I like spinach on my Subway subs, but I don’t like it cooked.
TASTE: 9/10

Bourbon Glazed Chicken Breast with Toasted Walnut Crust served with roasted butternut squash
Favorite meal of the shipment.  I really couldn't taste the bourbon; then again, I have no clue what bourbon tastes like.  The walnuts were soft and chewy. The chicken was very tender, easily cutable with a butter knife. The butternut squash was also tender, and I was able to 'mash' them with just a fork. I also liked the fact that I didn't need butter or salt added to the squash. It was delicious with just the herbs and spices added.
TASTE: 10/10

Signature Vegetarian Garden Burger topped with tomato herb salsa served with Quinoa and Brown Rice blend
I actually ended up freezing this one before it spoiled on me, and haven't made it yet. Once I have, I will update this.
TASTE: ?/10

Korean Grilled Beef in Sesame Ginger Garlic Sauce served with wild and brown rice pilaf
Really delicious. Would have liked more of an Asian taste to this dish, as the Korean flavor was a bit on the weak side... then again, I've ate a LOT of Chinese food in my life. So, I could be bias. But the rice was yummy.
TASTE: 9.5/10

Beef Fajita Salad with Chili Cilantro Dressing 
I didn't even eat the mixed greens this time, as there was one that bothered my stomach the last time.  Was a bit disappointed that the 'beef' was just very dry Deli roast beef, because when I think of fajitas, I think of thick strips of beef, similar to the strips in the Korean Beef entree. But the dressing was quite tasty.
TASTE: 8/10

Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with Toasted Walnuts and Assorted Reduced Fat Cheese in our Low Fat Vinaigrette
Again, I did not eat the greens. I felt cheated on this one, because there was just one ‘cube’ of cheddar cheese. However, it did NOT taste like it was a reduced fat variety. I drizzled the vinaigrette over the chicken and ate it that way. The dressing played very nicely with the chicken. I also liked the red berries and the walnuts, which I ate as a ‘dessert.’
TASTE: 9/10

These meals are made to be 'cooked' in the microwave, but since we don't have one, I used our oven to cook them. I didn't see or taste a loss in the quality of the meals. The meals are prepared in a way that will keep them fresh and edible for up to 8 days after receiving them, or you can freeze them for longer storage. I wasn't able to make one of the meals, so as stated above, I did freeze one meal.

The biggest problem I see disabled people having with this program is actually the packing supplies. It comes in a huge box that I actually had to move with my feet. The meals were packed in a styrofoam cooler with ice packs to keep them fresh as they traveled across the country. The plastic placed over the meals will probably be the hardest thing for disabled people to deal with. It was awful difficult to pull back.

This is available from Personal Chef to Go website starting at $69.50 and up, depending on the plan. (I received the 'Busy Singles' plan, priced at $99.50 for a one-time order) There is a discount for subscribing. However, if you need special dietary restrictions followed (No salt, kosher, no certain vegetable, etc), there is a $10 additional charge for this.

Great idea for disabled people who don't want to be enrolled in the 'Meals on Wheels' program.

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**


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