There are SO many food delivery subscription services out there that I’ve been curious about. I’ve been sitting on a discount code for HelloFresh for some time now so decided to give it a go. This is not a sponsored post in any way, I paid for the trial after discount and am just sharing my experience!
The website itself is pretty easy to use/navigate. After creating an account and setting up your subscription package options you can change your menu selection or delivery dates. I opted to receive my first delivery on a Monday thinking I could prepare meals ahead of time for the week. Since I only have to worry about myself I selected the 3 meals for 2 people option (too bad they don’t have a one person option). I was a little disappointed in delivery. This has less to do with HelloFresh per se and more the way I receive mail at my house. All packages go through our main office, even though I don’t live in an apartment. It’s frustrating but it is what it is. I was given a tracking number, which is great but my box wasn’t delivered until 8 pm. Then I wasn’t notified of it’s arrival until hours later. Long story short, I didn’t get to pick it up until the following day.
When I did finally receive the box – holy huge and heavy! I get it there were essentially 6 meals in there but it was hefty. Lucky for me, I lift 😉 The contents were packed very nicely in an insulated pack with ice packs at the bottom. So while I was disappointed I didn’t pick up the box until a day later, every thing was still fresh. Though I did notice the shrimp that was shipped was leaking a little and had been smooshed at the bottom under one of the ice packs.
My menu options for the week were Sesame Shrimp, Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas and Italian Sausage and Mushrooms. I wasn’t able to meal prep everything for the week so I made each meal on separate days. Since the package said cook me first on the shrimp, that’s what I started with!
It turned out pretty well though I overcooked the rice and it ended up a tad sticky. My bad but it was still tasty. It was Jasmine Rice cooked with ginger and garlic. The shrimp was marinated in a nice tangy sauce with scallions for garnish. Overall the meal was delicious. And how have I never thought to oven crisp green beans before? That’s genius and a cooking move I’ll be using again. Two thumbs up!
Meal #2 was Chicken and Pineapple Quesadillas. These were yummy as well and probably my favorite meal from the week. I had to laugh though at the pineapple. It was one of those fruit cups and you drain the juice but I didn’t think it was very Hello, Fresh? Ha. The recipe has you cube the chicken first cooking it with some of the ingredients but I actually grilled it separately on the George Foreman grill because I prefer that flavor. Also, they have you fill a tortilla then fold it over but I covered the entire tortilla and placed a second one on top before putting in the oven. There were additional ingredients for making Pico de Gallo but I chose not to make it. For one, too time consuming chopping the tomatoes and two, I’m not really a big tomato lover. The pineapple made the quesadilla tasty enough without it.
Lastly was the Italian Sausage and Mushrooms which was served over a bed of Israeli Couscous.
This was a favorite second to the quesadilla. In reality it was the Israeli Couscous that was to die for! You add Parmesan Cheese to anything and I’m sold. It was cooked in an Oregano and chicken stock broth then tossed the cheese in afterwards. OMG, so yum. I really think the spinach hurt the dish though. I LOVE spinach but it didn’t do it for me on this meal. Luckily you cook it separately so my leftovers won’t include it.
Pros: 1. Pre-packaged meals with everything you need, including spices, and in some cases extra ingredients. 2. Leftovers. Because it was just me and the smallest option is meals for 2, each box provided me an additional meal for later which I loved.
Cons: 1. A lot of prep. I didn’t feel like this saved me any time from a traditional grocery store run. 2. The use of oil. I try not to use oil for cooking as I think it adds needless fat and greasiness (yes I know there are healthy fat oils like EVOO). I tend to grill my meats and use water or natural juices when pan cooking. Every method of cooking on the stove top called for adding oil to a pan which I avoided where I could.
Overall I was pleased with the taste and overall convenience of Hello Fresh. I haven’t tried other subscription services so nothing to really compare it to but it was nice to have all my ingredients together and not worry about a grocery store run for a few days. That said, it still seemed like a lot of work. Peeling, slicing, chopping etc each meal was just a lot of prep time. I might have felt differently if I’d have been able to do meal prep in one sitting. I’ve already cancelled my subscription because by and large it wouldn’t work for me on a regular basis but I do think it was nice to try/ You do have the option of pausing weekly deliveries so I suppose I could just do that on occasion but..meh. Still it was nice to try another option out there for meal planning and I’m glad I finally experienced a subscription food service.
Have you ever tried HelloFresh? Another meal service? Any others I should give a shot?