Cooking has taken on a new meaning since having my daughter Bria. I’ve always loved cooking and trying out new recipes when we added a baby to the mix, how and what I cooked changed. I didn’t have time to search recipes on Pinterest, let alone go to the grocery store to search for the ingredients. If I did, you can bet I’d forget about the leftover ingredients until weeks later when they were spoiled in the back of the fridge.
In the early days, we opted for frozen meals or easy meals with little nutritional value like pop in pizzas or pasta…and lots of takeout. So when I heard about HelloFresh a few months ago, I instantly wished I knew about it sooner. What is HelloFresh you ask? A game changer….okay, no seriously, HelloFresh is an online meal service that delivers healthy, fresh (duh) recipes with pre-portioned ingredients right to your door.
Each week the chefs at HelloFresh create fun recipes with easy instructions and photos to help you create your dish. They do all the shopping for you so no wandering the grocery aisles searching for that one ingredient you can never find! Then like magic, your HelloFresh box will show up at your door. Delivery is free and everything is packaged in a way to make cooking easy and keep all your ingredients fresh.
When my HelloFresh box showed up, I honestly had forgot all about it (mom brain) and was actually jumping up and down on my porch because I had forgot to take anything out for dinner and was clueless as to what I would make that day. I ran inside with the box and couldn’t wait to open it. I loved how the box was insulated (how freaking neat is that?!). The bottom was where the meat was stored with ice packs and then on top was three boxes labelled for each meal I had picked out online.
I want to take a quick second to talk more about the packaging because I was so impressed with HelloFresh’s effort to create sustainable packaging. The box that your HelloFresh order comes in is made from 100% recycleable and biodegradable cardboard. The insulation is made from FSC-certified sustainable cardboard and even the ice packs are made with recyclable plastic. Taking this even further, buy using HelloFresh’s pre-portioned meals you are reducing food waste by 47%!
Okay, back to the food. For my week I picked Double Smoked Bacon Fusilli, Thai Beef Salad and Vietnamese Pho. We started with the Double Smoked Bacon Fusilli since it seemed like the easiest one to make, and I mean…bacon, no brainer. Each box comes with a recipe card that explains everything in detail (and with pictures for the visual learners!). I found it really straight forward to follow and each ingredient is marked as well so its incredibly foolproof.
Our first dinner turned out great and pretty much exactly like the picture. The portions were generous and we were full and very satisfied after. Clean up was easy as well since there was hardly any chopping or prep work to be done. My favourite part of the meal was the bacon. Not only was it a delicious thick cut bacon but it was local, sustainable meat that was fed a vegetarian diet.
Our second night we tried the Thai Beef Salad. What I loved about this one was the mix of raw and hot items. The jasmine rice and cooked beef, along with the raw veggies were the perfect combo. This recipe also showed me another amazing benefit of HelloFresh – it got my creative juices flowing! I would have never thought to make a meal like this, but it was so easy to put together and so easy to replicate if I wanted to try it on my own.
For our final meal, we made the Vietnamese Pho Soup. This was both my husband and I’s favourite of the three we tried. I found this one the most fun to make I think because I have never made soup before and it was so different from any kind of cooking I have done. We thought the meal was not going to be filling because this one was vegetarian and only soup, but it turned out to very filling and we each had two bowls!
Overall, I was really impressed with HelloFresh. I loved the variety of recipes, the way everything was packaged and the quality and freshness of the food. My only complaint, and this is small, is that a little more detail in some of the recipes could help the less experienced cooks like me. For example, two of the recipes required carrots to be cut into ribbons and I had no idea how to do this so I had to Google it (fun fact: you can use a veggie peeler to do this!). I ran into the same issue when I had to mince garlic. I had no idea how to do this and had to look it up online (ended up using a cheese grater). Little helpful tips on how to do some of these more advanced parts of the recipes would be a great addition.
Did you know that each HelloFresh meal can be made in 30 minutes? So really there is really no excuse not to eat well. The same amount of time it takes to throw in a pizza, I could have a restaurant quality, NOT FROZEN, meal with HelloFresh.
I am already planning on using HelloFresh again and have been checking the upcoming recipes to see which week I want to order. Are you interested in trying HelloFresh? Use the code JUSTATRACE for $30 off your first and second box!
Have you tried HelloFresh?