Anyone who knows me knows one essential truth about me. I like to eat. You’ll be hard pressed to find me without food at genuinely any time of the day. I’m literally eating a cheese pasty as I post this.
I don’t always eat well, however. Indeed my laziness does come out to play sometimes when it comes to the preparation of food. I’m keen to get things done quickly and one of my peeves is when a meal takes ages to cook and not that long to eat. As a master of the microwave meal and the “stick it in the oven and forget about it” meal you’ll find my parents often joking about pizza being one of my major food groups, alongside burgers and curries.
That being said I do enjoy cooking and it can be particularly rewarding, especially when cooking for a group or loved one. My curries and chilies are practically famous among my friends. This is why my interest was piqued when I heard that my boyfriend Lewis had started to use Hello Fresh.
Hello Fresh is a company that sends meal ingredients to your door weekly for 5 main meals, which can be for 2, 3 or 4 people. I guess what makes Hello Fresh unique is that not only are the ingredients always fresh from what I can see (it’s in the name!) aside from one or two tinned ingredients, but they give you only what you need for the meal to reduce wastage.
I’ve heard much about similar companies, although never Hello Fresh itself, so when Lewis said he was going to cook with them for three nights I was more than happy to give it a try.
What initially struck me when preparing the meals (although I should say when I watched the meals being prepped – Lewis cooked!) was the simplicity of the instructions and the way the recipe sheets were laid out. The use of bright colours is always appeasing when dealing with food too – kudos to the design team for Hello Fresh.
The first meal we tried on the Friday was a sweet & sour pork dish. This was easily the simplest of the three meals to cook and tasted amazing. What I did note was that some of the ingredients I would not normally prepare to eat myself. This dish had fresh pineapple pieces. I quite like things like pineapple juice but I don’t think I’ve really ever eaten chunks of pineapple itself. It added a whole other texture to the meal that was most welcomed. It was really a stunning meal.
The recipe sheets for Hello Fresh also include all of the nutritional information for that dish. Whilst I am not currently calorie counting or anything like that it would certainly be good for those that do. From times when I have been watching what I eat more closely, looking through recipe books which don’t have calorie information is a nuisance. Hello Fresh don’t shy away from presenting this information to you and I think all three meals were less than 800 calories. It certainly seems to be a healthy option.
The second meal we had was pan-fried gnocchi. I don’t think I’ve ever actually had gnocchi before but as I love all things pasta it was something I was keen to try. I was not disappointed and whilst the almost doughy texture was not something I was expecting it was very nice. This dish contained pine nuts which, again, is something I would not normally consider putting into any meal I cook personally. Whilst they were fine I’m not sure if they added anything to the meal aside from another texture. Overall this meal was certainly a very hearty one and appreciated on the cold and wet evening.
On Sunday we had the final meal, crispy-skinned chicken. This was served on a bed of lettuce and noodles. It also contained salted peanuts – another ingredient I would not add myself and not one I personally appreciated at all in this dish. The cooking of this meal didn’t go amazingly so perhaps on a second try and with the knowledge gained from the first it would be better. That is not to say this was a bad meal, just the most technically difficult it seemed with a lot going on at once. The actual taste was nice. I just don’t think I’ll be rushing back to it.
Overall I was quite impressed with the meals and from what I know about the way the system works it seems ideal for someone like me. Clear instructions and guaranteed healthy food! The price works out at about £4 a meal per person. Whilst more expensive than buying your own supplies in most cases, the ease of this scheme is really what you pay for. It also prevents you from getting to the end of the week and running out of food or money. There’s also nothing to stop you from reusing the recipes and buying the ingredients yourself after you give a meal you like a try. Whilst they help you reduce wastage by supplying you with only what you need it does come in a lot of packaging which seems like quite the negative point for me.
I may well look at doing something like this is the future for myself, if to only counter any lazy tendencies I have and to impress guests with the (mostly) quick and simple meals. Do you have any experience with meals being delivered like this? Let me know what you think of them in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,