The theme of the week is food. I just can’t kick this constant hunger lately, likely a result of all the training I’ve been doing to get back into racing. And it didn’t help when my best friend texted me a picture of magazine worthy beef stir-fry during west coast dinner time, when I was well into my desperate post-east-coast-dinner snacking slump. She tried a new meal subscription box, Hello Fresh, and the results look incredible. Enough so that I forced her to write a review. She’ll take it from here!
First thing you should know about me. I am the WORST at meal planning. I mean, I enjoy cooking (especially when the kitchen is clean before hand) but trying to map out meals for the week is pure torture. So with that being said, I’ve been eyeing all of these meal subscriptions for a while. I remember watching a Shark Tank episode about Plated and was curious of how it would work. So when a Hello Fresh ad popped up on Facebook with a $25 off coupon, I thought why not?! Signing up was easy and straight forward. You pick how many meals you want a week for how many people. Then you decide what day of the week you want it delivered. I chose their 3 meal Classic box for 2 people to be delivered on Mondays. My 18-month-old has a pretty good appetite and eats basically everything, but after reading a few reviews I decided we would have enough getting the 2 person meals.
My first box came and I was pretty pumped that I didn’t have to figure out what we were going to eat! They have an 8am-8pm window and it arrived around 5 pm, just in time for dinner.
Inside, there were 3 boxes with the ingredients for each meal except for the protein. The protein was underneath a bunch of ice packs, essentially with some insulated material on top. I know the my description of the packing job sounds sketch, but the meats were fine. The three meals were Zuchini & Parmesan-Crusted Chicken, Spicy Pork & Kale Soup and Beef Stir Fry.
We decided to try the Beef Stir Fry first. The meal was pretty simple with minimal ingredients and the recipe said it takes about 30 minutes (if you don’t have to stop every 2 minutes to break up baby and dog mischief). The produce was fresh and had good color. I loved that I didn’t have to measure anything, since it was all done for me. I felt like one of those TV chefs that has everything neatly measured and laid out. It was awesome.
I don’t tend to cook a lot of meat at home but this was super easy. Season with salt & pepper, sear that bad boy on both sides, cut it up into strips and throw it back in the pan. The meat looked fresh. I thought it wouldn’t be enough for 2 people but there was plenty.
The sauce was made up of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and water. Simple but delicious. It was just enough flavor, but not enough to mask the flavors of the meat and vegetables. So good.
The meal turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I was expecting a decent dinner but it definitely turned about better than I thought. And so simple and convenient which I’m sure helped. 🙂 So here are my pros and cons:
- NO MORE MEAL PLANNING!!! This obviously was my draw and it is for sure the #1 Pro. The convenience of having the food delivered, recipes picked and ingredients already proportioned is such a luxury. With being a stay-at-home mom, having one less thing to worry about is wonderful.
- Easy delicious meals. I loved that these meals take 30 minutes to make and are made with quality food.
- Good portion sizes. If you are a second and thirds kind of person this might not be good for you, but I thought the meals were a good proportion. We had a good size portion each and then there was enough for my husband to take to work the next day.
- New Recipes to try with foods that are in season! I am always looking for new recipes to try and Hello Fresh makes that pretty easy. When you sign up, you can pick the meals you want delivered. I didn’t know this when I tried it, so it was a surprise to me. You get a little recipe booklet that also has some tips of where to store food and the shelf-life of that item. Hello Fresh also has the recipes online, so if this is your only desire, save your money and check them out on their site.
- Delivery. Though it is super convenient to have it delivered to your door (which I did rave about) there is always that chance that the food could be spoiled. I’m sure it is a very small chance, but there is a chance nonetheless. So to help avoid this, it is good to be home when the package arrives to put the food straight in the fridge, but then this whole delivery thing starts to become not so convenient…Catch 22.
- Not cheap. For the Classic box of 3 meals a week for 2 people it is about $65/week. With the $25 off coupon I thought it was worth trying, but I don’t know if I want to shell out $65 a week for basically just our dinners for the week. If you are on a budget, this probably isn’t the best option.
Overall, we had a great experience and this is something I would definitely recommend to friends. In fact, use my code and you get $40 off your first box! I have one more box coming next week and then I might venture out and try some other food subscriptions out there. Yay for healthy and convenient eating!!
Question: Have a food box to rave about? We would love to get recommendations!