Note: I wrote this in MARCH when we first subscribed to Hello Fresh…but then I forgot to post it! I’ve written an update at the bottom.
We subscribe to Love with Food, which is really fun. For $14 each month you get a little box full of all-natural goodies. We’ve gotten fun things like cassava chips, taco seasoning, maple walnut fudge, and rosemary and pink sea salt shortbread. We even got a really nice tote bag one month!
But so far the best thing we’ve gotten in a box was a $35 off coupon for Hello Fresh. Hello Fresh is a meal kit delivery service, which I had never heard of before. Each week you get fresh ingredients for three recipes delivered to your door. You can choose for your meals to serve two or four people and you can choose the classic box or the vegetarian box. The classic box is $69 for two people or $129 for four (including delivery). Each week the Hello Fresh chefs present five options and you pick three (there are only three vegetarian recipes each week for the vegetarian box). Because I’m so pressed for time, like most people these days, I loved the idea of having dinner basically done for three nights a week.
The boxes come on Wednesday. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures as I unpacked my first box because I was so excited but it was really impressive. The produce was beautiful. The meat was very cold, thanks to several ice packs and an insulating box liner. We were very surprised to see that the chicken breasts were from Murray Farms (our preferred chicken source). The ingredients were neatly packed into plastic bags according to recipe, and three beautiful recipe cards were included.
The Hello Fresh customer service team is really great, too. I had a little snafu when I set up my first meal choice but the rep I talked to, Hallie, was fantastic and it gave me confidence that a) these people stand behind their product, b) they value their customers, and c) this is a real company, not some fly-by-night scam.
Here are my favorite things about Hello Fresh:
1) Saves me time planning meals.
2) Saves me time shopping.
3) Encourages us to try new things.
4) Encourages us to cook together (for some reason we spend more time together in the kitchen with Hello Fresh than when I pick meals).
But you really want to hear about what we ate, don’t you?
Meal 1: Teriyaki salmon with couscous and shaved fennel and grapefruit salad
We don’t usually eat salmon but the recipe looked good. I had never made my own teriyaki sauce before (super simple), nor had I ever cooked with fennel. I watched some videos online that day to find out how to approach fennel, which was helpful (I think I would use my mandolin to slice it next time). Overall, things went smoothly. I let Hubby cook the fish because he’s more experienced with it than I am. It was absolutely delicious! My mom never eats salmon and she raved about it. Great blend of flavors, and very unique.
Meal 2: Walnut and panko crusted chicken breast with crispy potatoes and salad
This was probably my favorite meal of the box. First off, it was very easy to make. I cut up the potatoes and got them roasting while I prepped the chicken – trimming, pounding, coating. Having a little salad on the side was refreshing. They even included these adorable bottles of balsamic vinegar!
Again, a great blend of flavors and ingredients. Using dijon mustard to adhere the coating gave it an extra kick.
Meal 3: Southwestern stuffed peppers with quinoa
I think this was my least favorite in the box, mainly because the recipe didn’t say to cook the peppers at all before stuffing them and they came out a little too crisp for my taste. The filling itself was excellent, though. Really nice blend of ground turkey (the box came with beef but Hubby doesn’t eat that), canned tomatoes, fresh garlic and onion, cumin, chili powder, and quinoa. It was my first time cooking quinoa but it was very easy and now I have confidence to make it again. The cheese melted on top for the last few minutes was the perfect little comfort food addition. So even though I didn’t love this like the first two things, I still liked it quite a bit.
We’re currently on our second box and it’s just as great as the first one – maybe better!
If you want to try Hello Fresh for yourself, use referral code Y7LVUB when you order your first box and you get $20 off.
UPDATE: It’s been a few months now and overall we’ve continued to be happy with the service. They improved their packaging. Now they use a Styrofoam cooler instead of the box liner and they use bigger ice packs. We’ve had a few hiccups (like the avocados that went bad before I made the dish they were supposed to go into) but HelloFresh has ALWAYS made it right without hesitation. We still get 2-3 boxes each month and enjoy trying new things, plus I have a growing library of handy recipe cards to fall back on when I have to (gasp!) plan my own meals. Even though I have other cookbooks (and the internet, duh), Hello Fresh makes meal planning super simple because the recipe cards include a main AND a side, so I’m not sitting there thinking, “Ok, what goes with spicy panko crusted chicken?” (answer: roasted sweet potato wedges and a salad).