A few weeks ago I commented on my blog that I was worried that my weekly meal planner was looking a bit samey and not very adventurous. In response to this remark, I was approached by
Hello Fresh to try out their mail order meal recipe and ingredient service.
Hello Fresh chefs create recipes that are balanced and varied; the Hello Fresh team go out and buy every ingredient required to make the meals and then deliver everything you need to cook a tasty meal right to your door each Tuesday. Typically the meals which require cooking only take 30 minutes and have a step by step instruction leaflet, with photographs, for you to follow - so even the most reluctant cooks cant go wrong!
I was sent a big box of goodies, the 3 meal box, which was very well insulated and kept all the ingredients fresh and cool, one Tuesday morning. I received enough meat, veg, seasonings and condiments to prepare and cook three meals.
Here is an example of one of the meals I received and cooked:
XO Chinese Chicken With Stir Fried Sweetheart Cabbage
you will need
2 chicken breasts
1 nest of noodles
120g sweetheart cabbage
1/2 cup of coriander
(I didnt use this because both my OH and I cant stand it!)
2 cloves of garlic
50g banana shallot
10g fresh ginger
1 red chilli
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp of XO sauce
(if like me you dont know what XO sauce is, its a concoction made from shellfish, garlic & chilli)
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
Then you need to:
peel and finely dice the garlic and shallot
dice up as much chilli as you can stand (I did half)
coursely chop the coriander (if you use it of course!)
grate a 1/4 of a tsp of the orange zest, squeeze out the orange juice and finely shred the cabbage
bring a small saucepan of water to the boil ready for your noodles
turn your grill onto a medium setting
dice your ginger (the guide explains how you can peel ginger)
mix together the orange juice and zest and add a tsp of chinese 5 spice and a good grind of black pepper and stir
butterfly your chicken breasts (again the guide explains how you do this) and coat both sides of each breast with the XO sauce and drizzle some of the orange marinade on each side too (keep the rest back for later)
grill each chicken breast for about 6 minutes on each side, drizzling with more of the marinade when you turn them over
simmer noodles until 'al dente' and
when you add the noodles to the wok, add the remainder of your zesty marinade too and cook for 1 more minute to allow the marinade to thicken into a sticky sauce
then simply slice the cooked chicken and serve on top of the noodles and veg and its ready!
My Thoughts Of Hello Fresh
I think that if you lead a busy life and find it hard to do a regular grocery shop, let alone think up meal ideas, then Hello Fresh is a fantastic concept. Rather than grab a meal deal/convenience meal from the local supermarket or have a take away, to have fresh, good quality ingredients delivered to your home once a week would, I think, be a help to many professional working people.
The costs to have this service is as follows:
Current Available Boxes From Hello Fresh:
3-Meal Box for 2 - £39 (Vegetarian option available)
3-Meal Box for 4 - £59 (Vegetarian option available)
3-Meal Box for 6 - £89 (Vegetarian option available)
5-Meal Box for 2 - £49
5-Meal Box for 4 - £89
5-Meal Box for 6 - £129
Which when you consider that all your meals are planned, all the shopping has been done for each meal and everything will be used - ie no wastage - then I think if you can afford this meal delivery service then its brilliant! I think the prices are quite reasonable eg. the 5 meals for 4 people at £89 works out at just £4.45 per person per day. If you tend to rely on ready made meals or take aways, then the food boxes would be a cheaper and healthier alternative I would imagine.
I think a downside is that you don't know what meals you will be making each week which means that if, like me, you cannot stand coriander, to have that as a prominent ingredient and flavour is not one I would choose to have. However, the quality of food is fab, I was also sent prawns and duck breast for my other 2 meals, and it is exciting to receive a box that you have no idea what will be contained inside. A food lucky dip if you will.
My only other slight criticism, is that the portions are not that big - healthy size yes, but as my OH said he would have liked a bit more on his plate!!
Personally, with a family of four and as a Mummy who cooks from scratch for the majority of the time, Hello Fresh is probably a tad expensive as I can create meals for less than £17.80 a day. However, I can totally see how this concept is great for many people, and if my two boys were ever away for a few days then maybe I will use Hello Fresh for my OH and I.
If this kind of meals-to-be-on-wheels delivery service sounds of interest to you, then check out their website
I was sent a food box from Hello Fresh for the purpose of this review. The recipe is theirs, but all opinions and remarks are my own.