I’ve heard quite a lot about HelloFresh both online and offline from one of my friends on Facebook trying out their boxes to seeing their stands at certain events. For those of you who want to know what HelloFresh is, it is a company that delivers fresh ingredients to the door for their customers to make a weekly selection of meals.
I was sceptical about trying HelloFresh at first because they seemed quite pricey and I thought certain meals wouldn’t appeal to me due to them containing ingredients I don’t like such as salmon and chilli as well as thinking I could only receive meals on a, “You get what you’re given,” basis. Shortly before I ordered my first box I was watching some videos on YouTube where HelloFresh was featured, such as one on a channel called AprilJustinTV, albeit the American version, for example. While April (yes, another one!) and Justin as well as my friend on Facebook have initially convinced me to try HelloFresh, I received a voucher in one of my Graze UK boxes that gave me £20 off my first two boxes from HelloFresh UK that encouraged me to try them even more (I’m pretty sure April and Justin had a money-off code but I believe only US residents could use it and I’m obviously a UK resident). I looked at the HelloFresh UK website’s FAQs and it turned out I can choose from a selection of weekly meals according to my personal tastes as well as choose which day of the week and what time window I want my box delivered. After some more thought I signed up to receive my first box on 9th October 2017 and used my Graze voucher code. HelloFresh offers three different types of box: Classic, Veggie and Family. I chose the Classic box because I thought that it would be the best box to suit my needs. HelloFresh also offers a range of plans from three meals for two people at £34.99 a week (my first two boxes only cost £14.99 each due to the discount code), which is what I went for, to four meals for two adults and two children at £63.99 a week. As an added bonus delivery is always free! Customers can also choose to skip a week, which is ideal for when they go on holiday for example. Because I live alone I have the option to eat one serving of a meal on the day I cook it and save the other for the following day. The first three meals I chose were Pan-Fried Duck, Herby Chicken and Pan-Fried Gnocchi.
Upon opening my box when I received it, the first things I saw were the recipe cards that had clear photographs and simple step-by-step instructions. The recipe cards also have nutritional information for each meal, which is perfect for adding to my MyFitnessPal diary. Next I saw three colour-coded paper bags that contained ingredients for each recipe (the recipe cards are also colour-coded to match the colours on the paper bags) as well as an envelope containing special offers that I felt I didn’t need.
The box also contained special insulated packaging and ice packs for more perishable ingredients such as fresh meat. I eventually removed the more perishable products from the special packaging, put them in their corresponding recipe bags, labelled each bag with the recipe to avoid any mix-ups and placed them in the fridge. I also put the ice packs in the freezer to re-use them at a later time.
Here is what I thought of each meal in my first week:
Pan-Fried Duck with Bulgur Wheat, Charred Courgettes and Orange and Parsley Salsa
This is the first meal I decided to cook due to not having eaten duck for a while. Although the duck was slightly burnt due to having cooked it in a somewhat poor quality pan and having previously charred the courgettes, the courgettes and bulgur wheat were perfect while the orange and parsley salsa was refreshing yet zesty and the sprinkling of Dukkah spice mix gave the dish some gentle heat that wasn’t too spicy. It tasted great cold on the next day too. Rating: 3/4 (based on HelloFresh meal ratings).
Herby Chicken with Cheese and Onion Mash and Garlicky Green Beans
Chicken dishes are amongst my favourites so I also decided to give this one a try as my second meal. Despite the chicken being a bit dry probably due to my oven temperature being a little too high (although I turned it to 200 degrees Celsius as specified in the recipe), I still liked the strong herby flavour of it as well as the crunchy breadcrumbs. I also felt the mash could’ve done with more Cheddar cheese but I guess I was only sent a 30g block due to its mature flavour although a splash of milk, the crème fraîche and some Tesco Butter Me Up spread made it more creamy. I even resorted to steaming the green beans and garlic in the microwave because I burnt my frying pan when I was frying the onions but I managed to stir in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar successfully after I drained them. Rather than add the remaining parsley on top of the dish after having mixed the the first half with the breadcrumbs to put on the chicken, I stirred it in with the mash if I planned on eating the leftovers the following day. I also added some extra garlic to the green beans because I love a lot of garlic flavour! The next day I ate the leftovers with some gravy to give it some more moisture. Rating: 3/4
Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Pancetta and Chestnut Mushroom Sauce
This is the last meal of my first week I cooked. I bought a new frying pan and saucepan on the day I made this dish so the gnocchi, mushrooms, shallot, garlic and pancetta cooked in the frying pan very well without sticking to it while the saucepan was pretty good for cooking the broccoli. I also liked the idea of keeping the gnocchi warm in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius whilst preparing the rest of the ingredients. Although I feel I could have cooked the broccoli for longer because its stalks were tough and cut it into smaller pieces and the gnocchi was a little dry, the mushrooms, shallots, garlic, pancetta, parsley and Parmesan cheese gave the dish some good flavour. Like stirring the parsley into my mash with the chicken dish, I stirred the parsley into the gnocchi as well as the Parmesan. It tasted even better microwaved the following day, especially if if made the broccoli stalks softer, thus making this my favourite dish in my first week. Rating: 4/4.
Overall I was pleased with my first ever HelloFresh box. The ingredients were fresh and of high quality while the meals turned out very well for the most part and tasted great. I lenjoyed receiving my next box containing Cumin Roast Chicken, Orzo Risotto and Veggie Moussaka although I have decided to skip the following two boxes due to going away to spend time with my family. Soon I eventually discontinued HelloFresh to receive recipe boxes from elsewhere that better suit my needs of living alone. During my initial short time as a HelloFresh customer my favourite meals were the Pan Fried Gnocchi and the Cumin Roast Chicken.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post.