We started our HelloFresh trial last week and I know it’s early, but the verdict is in! We ❤️❤️❤️ it! And I highly recommend it for several reasons, which I will share with you in a moment. But first…
The Meals We’ve Made So Far
Disclaimer: The photos are from the HelloFresh website, but believe me, our versions looked just like this and did not disappoint.
Carolina Barbecue Chicken
with Quick Stovetop Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Green Beans
This was a great recipe to start the experience with because there wasn’t anything too new or foreign about it, as far as prep and cooking are concerned.
One new trick: When the instructions direct you to cook the green beans, it has you add them to the boiling water with your pasta for the last couple minutes before the pasta is completely finished. I had never done this before, but it works really well without dirtying another pot. The green beans float above the pasta (don’t stir them to combine, obviously) and then you simply remove them with a slotted spoon when they’re fully cooked just before you are ready to drain the pasta.
I had expected the barbecue sauce to be sweeter than it was. I would actually describe it as savory with a slight touch of sweet, but it was very good and flavorful.
One-Pan Orzo Italiano
with Chicken Sausage, Tomatoes, and Spinach
This was our absolute favorite meal of the week! We kept looking at each other with wide eyes and saying, “This is so good!”
We had never had Orzo or Panko before. So what are they?
Orzo is a type of pasta that I would describe as a hybrid between a pasta and a rice grain, but it is a pasta.
Panko is essentially breadcrumbs. It is called for as a topping that you add with fine-grated Parmesan cheese at the very end, just before you broil the finished pan for about a minute. My caution here is that you broil this one very briefly and you must keep a close eye on it or you will scorch the Panko.
Maple-Glazed Pork Chops
with a Sweet Potato Mash and Garlicky Green Beans
We ended up saving this meal for our Sunday lunch and as Derek said, “This is the fanciest Sunday lunch at home we’ve ever had.”
Prior to this, I had never made a glaze before, so I was nervous. This was the only meal that while I was plating it, I looked to Derek and said, “This one might not be great.” It looked right, but I was just a bit unsure about my glazing technique. Boy, was I wrong! I must have done the glaze correctly after all, which really boosted my confidence in the kitchen.
I have to say that I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, but these were very good. Instead of topping with the whole Pecans, I crushed them down a bit before sprinkling them on. This way you still get the crunchy texture throughout, but you don’t suddenly feel like you’re chowing down on a bag of Planters. Know what I mean?
Why I Recommend HelloFresh
You’re able to set how many people you will be cooking for, how many meals you’d like per week, and when you want the week’s meals delivered. Almost every ingredient is provided, except some very basic items like salt and pepper, olive oil, and butter. No weekly trips to the store.
When you break down the Classic Plan, it comes to approximately $10/person/meal. Compared to eating out, even if you go for something between a fast food chain and a full-scale restaurant, you can easily drop $12/person.
3. No Waste
Often things at the grocery store are packaged for families of 4, so it forces you to be pretty strategic about your meal planning, otherwise you will be wasting ingredients, especially produce. With this service, the ingredients are designed for the number of people you are cooking for.
4. Balanced Meals
If you are looking to eat healthier and be smarter about getting more balanced nutrition in your meals, look no further. The recipes we have made so far were well-balanced with protein, veggie, and carbohydrate with nice proportions of each.
5. Fresh Ingredients with Smart Packaging
I was very impressed with the quality of the ingredients we received. I was a bit concerned this might be sub-par, especially considering it has to be shipped to you. The packaging is designed so well though, keeping your food nice and cold for the travel, and making it incredibly easy to unload into your fridge.
Each meal’s ingredients are divided into paper bags inside the box and labeled with stickers. You can transfer the bags straight into the fridge without separating anything out. There are little bottles of vinegar sometimes and other items like that that don’t need to be refrigerated, but I didn’t worry about that. I just kept it all in the bag.
The meats are packed below the bags, tight against the ice packet in the bottom of the box. After sitting in my office all day and then riding in the car all the way home after work, the meats were still plenty cold and the ice packet was still frozen solid.
6. Easy Instructions You Can Re-Use
Each shipment comes with a meal card for each recipe. These are colorful, pictured recipe instructions that are large and printed on card stock. Even if you discontinue the service down the road, you can save these recipe cards and make the meals again on your own.
What if you’re going on vacation or will be out of town on a work trip or have a busy social calendar for the week? Pause the service. What if this is simply not the service for you? Cancel anytime.
If you’d like to try HelloFresh for yourself, use my invitation to get $40 off your first week! Be sure to let me know what you think!
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