We all like fast food a bit – it’s tasty, often cheap and always convenient.
However, this is not always good for us. They are also often similar foods, like the big chains offering burgers, fries, and fried chicken, with little variety.
One company breaking the mold is Chief’s Health Kitchen which has a store in Blackburn and its original store in Nelson. A far cry from other food businesses in the area, it offers freshly prepared meal prep dishes to “fit your workout and dietary needs”.
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Intrigued by the concept, we went to the Chief’s Health Kitchen in Whalley Banks, Blackburn, to see what it was all about. Immediately I was drawn to the shop’s modern, minimalist interior and exterior design – it seemed to hit the brief exactly on the head, no fuss, just good simple food.
I was also impressed with the store’s location, just a short walk from the city center and on a busy road with many residential areas – it’s the perfect location for people who live or work nearby. Inside, I saw the menus on the wall, detailing exactly what you can order, as well as the “macro”—the amount of calories, protein, carbs, and fats in each serving.
There are three sizes to choose from – a small kids portion, a medium or a large. Once you have chosen your hunger, you then choose your meat or fish, otherwise known as your “protein option”, which forms the basis of your meal.
These include peri peri chicken, lean ground beef, mixed lentils or our pick, sweet chilli glazed salmon. After deciding on this, which is harder than it looks because they all look very appealing – your next decision is the “carb” that comes with it.
On the menu, options such as rice pilaf, mashed sweet potatoes and whole-wheat pasta. I went for the ‘seasoned couscous’, something I don’t order often or even see on a menu, but thought it was worth it, when in Rome and all that.
My meal was then prepared by the friendly and helpful members of staff, who, as it took 10 minutes to prepare, reassured me that everything was freshly cooked to order. Once my food was ready, I was left with probably the biggest decision of all – what salad or vegetable options I wanted with it.
Since it was more of a midday meal for me, I opted to go the salad route rather than the broccoli, kale, green beans and carrots which are colorfully and mouth-wateringly presented. Playing it safe, I opt for sweet corn, wild arugula and red onion, the best sides for a light lunch and the options I can guarantee will be a treat.
And boy, was I right. The salmon was cooked to perfection with a nice brown color on the outside, with the inside soft and falling apart. The couscous was fluffy and well seasoned, an ideal alternative to rice which is often heavy and sometimes a bit bland.
I don’t often enjoy being right, but the salad was also perfect. As I thought, it went well with the dish, but the best part is that you can tailor it to your exact preferences and needs.
After my meal, I felt full and satisfied, without the typical discomfort one can often feel after a fast food meal. However, Chief’s Health Kitchen is more than a quick win for a lunch or dinner meal.
According to Chief’s social media, the company offers meal prep dishes to a number of local areas for delivery twice a week. Prices start from £16, where you can order boxes of freshly prepared meals to ensure you know exactly what you’re consuming in the week.
All in all, whether you love counting macros or just want a change of pace, Chief’s Health Kitchen comes highly recommended as a meal prep service or as a simple meal to enjoy at lunchtime.