I love to cook and bake. My friends joke I can go from sleeping to cooking in 60 seconds. I like to pore over my collection of recipe books and magazines, mixing and combining multiple recipes for the same item in an effort to make it exactly what I want. Sometimes, though, the creativity and energy (or time!) to do that just isn’t there. A few weeks ago, I was feeling like I just didn’t have it in me to make up the usual weekly menu. Luckily, I came across a promotion code to try Hello Fresh, a service that delivers the ingredients for 3 meals directly to your door every week. I’d heard of Blue Apron thanks to Julie’s blog, but Hello Fresh was new to me.
I created a profile on their site and selected the two person Classic box option. Next, it was time to choose the meals. I liked that there were several options to pick from with pictures and descriptions; it made it pretty easy to figure out which recipes would be appealing.
Then, I waited until the next Wednesday. When I got home from work, a large and heavy package was waiting for me.
I took it inside, opened it, and spread out the contents.
I thought the company did a great job with the packaging. All the food was still very cold, and everything was so well labeled and organized. The recipe cards were very clear and the photos on them were really well done (how come my cooking never looks like that?). Basic nutrition information (calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, and fiber) estimates are included on the recipe card as well. The only problem was with the arugula. It apparently isn’t an ingredient that travels well in a plastic bag. I think if it had been in a harder container it would have been fine.
Now, the meals…
Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with Arugula and Roasted Potatoes
This was the first dish I prepared. It was really easy to put together, but the cooking times were totally off. It took almost double the time in the oven for the pork to come to the correct internal temperature (I thankfully used a meat thermometer to check). The end result was delicious though.
Garlic Skillet Meatballs with Baby New Potatoes and Green Beans
These were very easy to put together, and absolutely delicious. My chief taste tester told me to feel free to make these meatballs any time. I also liked that they were done on the stove top. I usually brown my meatballs on the stove before transferring them to the oven, but this was so much easier. I liked that they were served over potatoes, since it made a nice change from pasta.
Apricot Glazed Chicken with Couscous and Lemony Green Beans
This was the final dish I prepared, and it was so easy. I loved the flavors and how quickly everything came together. I would definitely use the apricot jam and chili glaze again on the chicken- the chili mellowed out perfectly in the oven.
Overall, I really enjoyed my Hello Fresh box. I did find that it took longer to make the meals than they estimated, but that’s always the case. I also thought that the boxes were short on vegetables. When I’m cooking myself, there is often a veggie side dish plus a giant salad. I missed all those greens. The portion sizes were perfect for me (sometimes I had a little left over), but might not be enough for someone with a larger calorie need.
A weekly delivery box isn’t in my budget, so I did cancel after that one promotion box (it’s really easy to cancel, or skip weeks on their website). For where I live, the Classic two person box is $69 and the veggie box is $59, and I can get much more food for that at the local grocery store. It was nice to have all the ingredients delivered to my door though, especially in exact amounts. Check out this tiny balsamic vinegar bottle!
I’d try it again though, especially if there is another stretch of time that I’m super busy and feeling rather uninspired in the kitchen. All the various box options are shown online here, including a veggie trial box and a classic trial box.
*This is just a post about something I tried and enjoyed. I paid a small fee for the box since I had a promotion code that I found randomly online if you look around, there might be more.