Chef Sets, a collaboration of one of my favorite chefs, Ana Sortun (of Oleana and Sofra) and SetPoint Health in Newton. When I was asked if I would want to sample the new line, I never hesitated. Easy to prepare meals? Vegetarian options? Complex flavors? Sure! As a working single mom I struggle to find ways to get healthy, interesting meals to the table in less than 15 minutes. These kits easily fit that need. Chef Sortun and Set Point Health have created 4 different options. Each set comes with 3 packets, easy directions and a vegetarian option. I tried two with the protein they suggested, and two vegetarian style.
Chef Set Meals website. Instead of chicken, I tossed chickpeas in with the sautéed onions and Aromatic packet. I scattered the almonds from the Garnish packet on top of the chickpeas and couscous. I wasn't quite as taken with this set as the others. In retrospect, cooking the couscous with broth would have added much more flavor. This dish was just much more subtle than the others. But I still ate it all. In fact, I loved it the next day, cold and tossed with a bit of olive oil and sherry vinegar for a salad.
Overall: One of the great strengths of the Chef Sets is that even the most inexperienced adult could pull these off. Second, these are a quick dish for any of us who don't have the time or money to put together these spice mixtures. No, it will never replace a delightful meal at Oleana or Sofra, but it is certainly quicker, faster, and, of course, less expensive. For people who are counting calories or trying to stay healthy, by following the recipes exactly, the sets empower you with knowing exactly the nutrition and caloric breakdown of your meal. They may not be an easy sell to kids or even adults whose palettes aren't quite ready to leap into sumac or cumin and mint. But for those of us who crave full flavored and complex meals in minutes, these are a great option.
The Chef Sets are now available at selected Whole Foods, as well as Sofra in Cambridge for around $6.00.
Thank you, as well, to Chef Sets and Chef Sortun for giving me a chance to try these out.