As someone who doesn’t like to go grocery shopping, and someone who does like to do online shopping food subscription boxes have a huge appeal to me. I’ve been seeing a few different versions like Blue Apron (lots of bloggers seem to be getting these), Plated, Marely Spoony are just a few that I’ve seen floating around. I hadn’t actually known anyone in real life who’d used a food subscription box until a friend of mine began subscribing to Hello Fresh. They liked it quite well (making me even more interested) and I was super excited when they received a promotional discount to give away and I immediately decided I’d be the one to take it!
For my box I went with the family plan which can contain meat, fish and veggie recipes and is made for two adults and two children and the option to pick either two (that’s what I chose) or three meals for the week, at a cost of $8.75 a meal. From there you can pick what day you want your deliver to be and just wait for it!
Mine arrived on a Friday afternoon in the box you see above, inside it was thermally wrapped and had a ton of ice packs. the meat and shrimp were next to the ice and the rest of the ingredients for the two meals in separate boxes, as well recipe cards to make the meals.
The first recipe I made was the toasted rice bowl. Included ingredients were
- 1 Cup Basmati Rice
- 2 Red Bell Peppers
- 2 ClovesGarlic
- 2 Scallions
- 1 Lime
- 15 oz Corn
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes
- 16 oz Shrimp
- Soy Sauce (for flavor)
- Sesame Oil
I was immediately impressed with the quality of the ingredients and that literally everything was included.
First I toast half the rice using a large dollop of sesame oil in a pot on high heat until the rice is golden brown, then add the remaining rice and 2 cups of water to the pot at a low simmer for 15-20 minutes. While this is happening I washed all the produce and cored and seeded the bell peppers, minced the garlic and sliced the scallions as well as cutting the lim into wedges.
I also began to cook the vegetables in a large pain with more of the sesame oil on high heat. I added the corn (drained if you used canned corn) and chili flakes. This cooked until lightly brown (about 5 minutes) and then I added the shrimp and garlic and cooked another 3 minutes. Then added in the rice and it was ready to serve.
My family was extremely impressed with this recipe, it was very simple and easy to make (less than 30 minutes) and tasted great. It is different than something we’d normally have but there weren’t any complaints.
The second recipe set I was given was the mini pork meatloaves. It had
- 1 Red Onion
- 1/4 oz Chives
- 24 oz Sweet Potatoes
- 16 oz Ground Pork
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 2 tsp Barbecue Seasoning
- 1/2 Cup Barbecue Sauce
- 2 TBSP Red Wine Vinegar
- 8 oz Red Cabbage
First step is cleaning all the produce and cutting it up. Peel and finely chop half the onion and thinly slice the other half. Chop the chives. Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges and drizzle with olive oil on a baking sheet before seasoning with salt and pepper. These will go in with the meatloaf burgers. To make these mix the minced onion, pork, panic, 2 tsp barbecue seasoning and 1/2 tsp salt. Form four 1-inch meatloaves and put on a lightly oiled baking sheet, spread the remaining barbecue sauce over the meatloaf . Put both the sweet potatoes and meatloaf in the oven at 425 degrees. Cook about 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are browned and the meatloaves are no longer pink.
While these are in the oven cook the cabbage by putting olive oil in a large pan over high heat. In a small bowl I stared the vinegar and 1 tsp of sugar until dissolved, adding the sliced onion, and butter to the pan with cabbage cooking until it is soft, about 4 minutes. Then serve with chives on top.
Just like the first recipe we were very happy with the second recipe. the cook time was a bit longer but still very manageable and there was plenty of food for everyone.
So what’s my final verdict on Hello Fresh?
I completely love the concept of having a meal subscription box, and Hello Fresh is great. The shipping was efficient and ordering was easy. Both meals I made were enjoyed by the whole family and literally everything I needed was included make them! Even with my meager skills they were quick and easy. But there are two issues with the subscription boxes, #1 that you can’t customize the box which means if you have food allergies you can’t guarantee something your family can eat, and #2 the price at $80 for a family of four for two meals is pretty high even for the fun and convince.