Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Staying Sane in the Kitchen with Hello Fresh

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary Hello Fresh box for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own. 

I'm still reeling off the fact that it's July, and our calendar has been packed full with expected and unexpected events. I have to be honest - I haven't been giving as much planning to meal planning as I usually do so when I was introduced to Hello Fresh I knew they were going to be a perfect fit for our lifestyle!

Pan Roasted Cod with Mango Chutney//Citrus Beef Stir-Fry with Noodles//Spicy Linguine with Chicken in a Tomato Cream Sauce
If you're not familiar with Hello Fresh, they deliver complete ingredients and recipes for three full dinners for either two, four or six servings right to your door! There's a vegetarian box too and everything is neatly packaged and is ready to cook straight out of the box, and as the names implies, it's SUPER fresh. As a previous grocery delivery user, with fresh products I found it was often hit or miss with quality and freshness, but I have to say all the ingredients in my Hello Fresh box were perfectly fresh (and delish!).

Here's how my family enjoyed Hello Fresh this past week . . . 

Packaging - I'm a sucker for awesome aesthetics, and the box had me at hello (no pun intended!) especially with its cheery phrases 

Freshness - everything was perfectly ripe and delicious; crunchy veggies, fresh meat, and the true test - the mango - was ripe and sweet! Lil Lovebird loved it especially

I'm also a sucker for mise en place as I've shared before!

Instructions - the recipe charts were easy to follow, full of pictures and definitely worth saving 

Type-A me loved how all the ingredients fit perfect in my fresh drawer - this helped make sure nothing was nibbled on mistakenly!
Taste - I really appreciated the variety of the meals, and while I was thrown off by the potatoes in the Asian dish, I did enjoy the robust ingredients used such as ginger; the most flavorful meal was the mango chutney cod - we'll definitely be making that again! 

Lil Lovebird usually despises beef but she gobbled up the stir fry!
Eco-friendly - with our small family having excess ingredients is often an issue; I don't know about your family but having to throw away ingredients/leftover food is a common problem. I like that everything was portion controlled. I don't know how to calculate it (Hello Fresh addressed this issue!), but I speculate that with the cost of transit/gas/wasted food vs the cost of packaging/shipping/having pre-measured ingredients that it just might be a wash; we were also sure to recycle as much of the packaging as we could 

The only critique I'd have to give is the high fat content of two of three meals (the chicken and beef dishes with 48g and 50g of fat per serving, respectively). Our family eats mostly low-fat, so we couldn't see eating like this on a regular basis, but these Hello Fresh meals in particular are worth it for a special occasion meal. The fish, at 12g/fat per serving, provided two perfect servings for me and Mr. Lovebird, but I made the other two dishes on the same night to share with my sister Lauren and Lil Lovebird in addition to me and Mr. Lovebird. It was more than enough food for all of us (and Mr. Lovebird even took two servings of the linguine to lunch after I had a serving), but you can also order family sized Hello Fresh boxes as well. Additionally, regarding the cost, each meal comes in at just under $10/serving including transit/delivery, and we tend to eat much less than that as a family (think ~$3-4/serving), but like I mentioned saving on gas and time has to be taken into consideration. 

Hello Fresh delivers Maine to Miami, and west over to Chicago. To find out if your area is covered go to the "Subscribe to HelloFresh" section on their website, pick the subscription you're interested in by clicking "Add to Cart", and enter your ZIP code into the ZIP code validator tool. Or you can also take a look at the delivery area map. 

If you're area's covered and you'd like to give Hello Fresh a try they've offered my readers $30 discount off your first box! Just enter code SB68JP7 at checkout.

Happy cooking!

Of the three meals, which appeals to you? Would you find Hello Fresh helpful in your meal preparation?