I’m a foodie – like, food is all I think about. Seriously. I wake up and am already excited about lunch, and thinking about what to make for dinner. I am also one who enjoys to cook. I love spending hours in the kitchen preparing fresh home-made meals for my family. I sincerely get so much satisfaction out of it.
So anything that has to do with food, I am all over it, but when I first heard the words “weekly meal service”, I thought, “okay, this is going to be precooked stuff and I am not okay with that. Seeing the commercials for all the current services out there definitely intrigued me, and I figured why not give it a shot? I work full-time, run this blog full-time, manage a household, 2 kids, 2 ferrets – so why not get a little help during the week with the meals?
What sold me immediately about Hello Fresh is that all the ingredients are fresh. Everything is nicely separated and the meals are all planned out for you in boxes. Can’t get any easier than that. Soooo… I partnered with Hello Fresh for a week to review their Classic Box and must say, this foodie was quite impressed with what she has cooked and eaten. Let me explain…
My first impression upon receiving the box: clean, organized, well packaged. When it comes to cross contamination of meats and produce, I tend to panic. Everything was separate and safe.
They even send an apron – which I must admit, I LOVE aprons, and collect them. I am one of the very few people who still wear them daily while cooking. It is the culinary training in me I suppose. 🙂
I was very impressed by the recipe books. Step-by-Step instructions were easy to follow (even if you don’t cook often), and the stickers on the box tell you which meal to cook first, based on the contents and when they expire.
And as you can see, there is a significant amount of time that is saved when it comes to thinking about what you want to make, then gather ingredients, running out to the store and buying what you may not have. This cuts out all that for you.
So, after going through the boxes and putting away the rest of the weeks meals; I got to cooking!
First up: Shrimp and Chorizo Paella
Fresh seafood and produce, how could I resist?
As someone who has been cooking since she was 10, I found this recipe to be the most time-consuming out of all the 3. But not in a bad way! It just requires a few more steps, but well worth it because the dish was delicious. I did however season my rice, even though it didn’t mention it. I enjoy food seasoned to the max, so I am always adding extra. Starting from the box to the end, I spent about 1 hour in the kitchen – which is way less than I would normally spend on an average week day. And the great thing? There were leftovers! This fed my family of 4 and we had enough for lunch the next day.
Next: Pan-Seared Steak with Roasted Potatoes/Green Beans and Herb Butter
I am a carnivore, anyone who knows me well knows that I would never pass up a steak. Best part of this dish? The herb butter melting on the steak – YUM!
This dish was overall very quick to make. And it didn’t need a lot of prep work, which was great for a busy Tuesday night! The meat use was a sirloin and it was fresh. The meat packages looked smaller than what was in it, so that was a relief upon opening. The butter was a hit and made me think,”why don’t I make more butters at home?” It really is that simple to make, and it is nice to have someone else think of it for you! I will add that this recipe did not call for the steak to be seasoned, I am thinking because of the butter – however, please season your steak. A simple salt and pepper should suffice, but don’t ever leave meat unseasoned, that’s just wrong. Unfortunately, there were no leftovers of this meal, steak just doesn’t last in my house.
Finally: Paprika-Rubbed Chicken with Barley, Tomato, and Avocado Salad
This dish was not a huge hit like I thought it would me. The kids liked it, however my 4-year-old was not pleased with the barley salad. But don’t forget, I reviewed the Classic Box, not the Family Box. My kids have a pretty fancy palette and I liked the recipes in the Classic Box better than the Family Box. But you do have the option to choose that, in case there is something you don’t like one week. I should also mention, that due to some craziness and not eating dinner at home – this box was the last one and I didn’t make it until after a FULL WEEK later. So, the ingredients and produce kept very well. Just make sure you leave everything in the white boxes they ship it in. Keeps it all nice and organized, too!
I personally enjoyed this recipe, again – I seasoned the heck out of my chicken with more than just salt, pepper and paprika. I also added garlic, onion powder, a splash of lemon and sliced up onions to saute in the pan with the chicken. Came out AMAZING! Leftover status? Plenty of salad, but no chicken. The next day I whipped up some fresh whiting and ate that with the salad. Dinner crisis averted!
Overall, would I order? Yes. I don’t think I would do this frequently, because I do enjoy cooking so much and planning my meals. But it is surely something that I would order in advance, knowing I have a busy week ahead of me. This totally gives me peace of mind for the week ahead.