When I was asked if I wanted to test out the new HelloFresh meal kits, I was intrigued. With award-winning recipes and pre-measured ingredients delivered right to my door, I was pretty confident I would enjoy having a virtual ‘sous chef’ to make weeknight dinners a whole lot easier. After trying three family-sized meal kits, I have to say I was impressed.
What did I like about HelloFresh?
- When my shipment was enroute, I received an email with a tracking number.
- The ingredients arrive in a sturdy box with oodles of ice packs to keep perishables nice and cold PLUS each meal is in a separate box inside so you don’t have to figure out what ingredient belongs to which recipe.
- The portions were extremely generous – while each of the kits in my Family Box was intended to feed four, I found that the provided quantities could easily have fed five or six.
- The ingredients were already prepped, for the most part, so it only took a little bit of time and effort on my part to finish making the recipes.
- The step-by-step recipes were easy to follow and all were ready in 30 minutes or less.
What did I make?
Since this was a promotion, I didn’t get to choose my recipes from the weekly changing menus as regular subscribers do. My kits were:
- Chicken and Cold Soba Noodle Salad
- Sausage and Pepper Hoagies
- Steak Tagliata with Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges and Watercress Salad
Would I recommend HelloFresh?
As mentioned, I was impressed by the appearance of the meal kits when they arrived at my doorstep and can confirm that all three recipes were simple to prepare and very tasty. My husband thought the Chicken Soba Noodle Salad was restaurant-worthy and my son really dove into those Hoagies. While I was tempted to tinker with the Steak Tagliata recipe, I made it exactly as directed and found it to be delicious. While the price at first might seem high, it’s important to realize that HelloFresh uses a lot of premium ingredients, particularly for its meats, and if your time is valuable, you’ll really appreciate all the work that’s been done for you ahead of time.
Would I change anything?
- As a matter of personal taste, I found some of the ingredient quantities to be disproportionate. For example, there was not enough rice vinegar for the soba noodle salad dressing and the amount of oil (to be supplied by me) was insufficient. On the other hand, there were far more vegetables than needed supplied for the hoagies. The herbs were also not properly portioned – I’m pretty sure even the biggest dried oregano fan in the world, for example, would not add a tablespoon of it to about a quarter cup of vinaigrette.
- While the recipe card for each dish does outline possible allergens, I thought an effort could have been made to find gluten-free soba noodles for that dish.
- Although the instructions were for the most part quite clear, I was perplexed by one on each recipe card that said “wash and dry all produce”. That makes sense for intact items, but I would assume that anything which has been chopped would have been washed ahead of time. I was particularly puzzled about how to wash and dry a bag of diced onions.
- Also on the topic of produce, I found that in my box, tender watercress did not travel well. Despite wrapping it in paper towel and putting it in a plastic bag in the fridge immediately upon delivery, the next day more than half the bunch was unusable. Perhaps more sturdy greens should be considered.
- The recipe cards tell you what is included for that meal but don’t give exact quantities. It would be really nice if it listed not only the HelloFresh amount (eg 1 package) and an equivalent measurement (1 cup), should one wish to recreate the recipes later.
As someone who genuinely loves all aspects of cooking – from choosing recipes to grocery shopping to preparing meals and even doing the dishes – I have to say it was a real treat to have three nights where I didn’t have to think about dinner at all, knowing everything I needed was at hand and I could look forward to whipping up a nutritious, delicious meal in just half an hour. If you don’t love cooking the way I do, you might really enjoy HelloFresh.
The nice people at HelloFresh have offered a discount code to you, my readers, so you can enjoy HelloFresh too. The code is COOKING-60-OFF and will allow you to have a total discount of $60 ($30 off when ordering your first HelloFresh box, plus another $30 off when ordering second box). For more information on HelloFresh, visit www.hellofresh.ca
Disclosure: While I did receive three meal kids from HelloFresh to test out their service, I was not compensated in another way and all opinions expressed are my own.