Cooking is not my thing. I know how to cook and think I’m pretty good at it but just don’t enjoy it. This is why I’m always looking for the perfect balance between healthy, easy and tasty meals.
That quest led me to HelloFresh. I took advantage of a Groupon for two weeks (six meals total) of meals delivered right to my door. The regular price is $69 per week for 3 meals for two and the family plan (for four people) is $129. More than I would normally spend on three dinners but less than restaurant meals.
HelloFresh has a website where you place orders. With the classic plan (meaning meat/fish) you can select which three meals you want from five options every week. Another feature I like is that it’s easy to indicate which weeks you want to skip delivery for those vacations or weeks when you have other plans.
The meals arrive each week in a box from UPS. In the box the meals are packed in separate boxes containing all the ingredients except for the protein. They are packaged under ice packs. I almost threw them out the first week but fortunately my husband realized the box still had something in it!
Lastly, the box contained recipe cards, an ingredient spotlight card and and envelope with curated offers from other subscription box companies including gwynnie bee, Carnivore Club and urthbox.
The recipe cards are visually appealing and contain much more information than directions. As you can see the first page is an image of the finished dish, images of all the included ingredients along with cooking times and level of difficulty. Warning: Level 2 is not easy; I don’t know if there is a level 3 but I imagine it would have you deboning the fish or chicken!
The back of the card included nutritional information as well as ingredient measurements and the directions. Speaking of nutrition, 741 calories is more than I want in a fish meal of tacos and a slaw.
I was able to prepare the meals pretty closely to the image provided by HelloFresh but was very unhappy at times with the amount of prep work required. Our last meal was chicken fajitas, I made homemade salsa, guacamole and fajitas. It was 30 minutes before I started cooking anything and took an hour to finish. Not what I want to do after a long day.
End Result – The Meals
The end result was five great tasting, fresh meals. I say five because one of them, the grilled steak and nectarine salad, had ingredients go bad before the week was up. The salad was slimy and starting to rot when I went to prepare it. We did grill the steak and have sandwiches instead.
This Zucchini noodle lasagna was so good my vegetable-adverse husband enjoyed it.
I would never pick up catfish at the store but this blackened catfish with roasted potatoes and summer vegetables was delicious.
I changed up the potatoes included in the Parmesan crusted chicken meal and added the green beans. The chicken was a big hit with my husband.
We both enjoyed the tuna tartar tacos (which I cooked more based on our preferences) and the chicken fajitas. I didn’t take pictures of the latter because it wasn’t pretty but I got to admit homemade salsa is awesome!
For empty nesters or singles, the subscription service is a great idea to add variety to your home cooked meals. I am open to trying competitors of Blue Apron for comparison purposes. Whichever meal kit delivery service you use, they offer discounts for new customers via deal sites or coupons so be on the lookout.
What’s your experience with meal delivery kits?