Saturday, December 7, 2013

Hello Fresh = Hello Yummy

My online friends at Mosaic Reviews were in need of some extra East Coast people to review Hello Fresh in November, and I offered to help out on this review.  I love YUMMY reviews!

Hello Fresh is a weekly subscription service that sends members three recipes + all the ingredients needed to cook three main course meals. Hello Fresh prides itself on using fresh, high quality ingredients in chef inspired and tested recipes.  These delicious (yes, I liked them all!) meals can be prepared in 30 minutes. Subscriptions are $69 per box (so, weekly) for as long as you choose to enroll.  Two sizes of boxes are available -- for 2 or 4 servings (the larger box has a different weekly cost). In addition, classic boxes (with meat) and vegetarian subscription boxes can be selected (prices vary between these two boxes). Subscriptions can be paused for several weeks at a time.  Additional subscription and program information can be gleaned at their FAQs page.

My Experience: After registering and linking payment through PayPal, subscribers are able to pick from five weekly recipe selections.  My choices:
hello fresh recipe
All the ingredients (except salt, pepper, oil and butter) are sent to you weekly in a well-packed, insulated box:
I really loved throwing these bags into the refrigerator and not having to worry about someone taking an ingredient that I had planned to use for a dinner meal.  Not that we have to wrestle over zucchini!

My meat (tilapia and lamb) were packed under the vegetables in vacuum packaging.  The meat was not frozen, but was sufficiently cold as it laid on several ice packs (which I’m going to save to use this summer for beach days):
The cold-packing is meant to keep items cold for several days, so no matter what part of the country, you shouldn’t have to worry about being stuck at home waiting for a food delivery all day. 

Non-perishable ingredients are also bagged and labeled.  I was surprised to see that my can of diced tomatoes was organic. And –my, oh, my – the two tilapia filets were absolutely huge compared to the tilapia I find at our local grocery store.

I cooked our first selection – the tilapia with dill crusted tilapia with sweet potato, cranberry and toasted almonds –  right away.  I really liked the recipe card, which had pictures and simple instructions:
Truly, these recipes were very quick to cook.  The only time I had trouble understanding the direction was when I made my lamb cassoulet.   I don’t often use fresh spices, and didn’t realize that you can add an entire sprig of thyme to recipes to add savory flavor, so instead I stripped the thyme leaves off the stem.   Now I know! It might be helpful for the chefs to look at their recipes from the perspective of the non-professional and include tips that would help us with some of these unknown (or lesser known) tips.

I was also impressed at the freshness of the vegetables in my box.  Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, I was not able to cook two of the recipes until almost 5 days after delivery.  The mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and zucchini were 100% fresh and crisp.
DSCN2656 DSCN2699
Dill Crusted Tilapia with Sweet Potato & Cranberry
Zucchini Parmesan
Lamb Cassoulet
I appreciated how easy trying new recipes – and new ingredients – was because of Hello Fresh. In our family, I found that the 2 person meals could have easily fed 3 adults with the addition of a salad or additional vegetables and sides (the tilapia was the only recipe of the three that had a side dish). I would love to be able to include Hello Fresh occasionally into our food budget.  The recipes were fun to try, easy for me to prepare, and I love adding the variety (lamb, folks!) to our family meal plan.

You can read more reviewers’ experience with Hello Fresh HERE.

Disclaimer: I was given a 3-meal, 2 person box for free in exchange for my honest opinion about this product, with no promise of a positive review.  All opinions are my own or those of my family. 

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