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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fresh Food Fast (and easy!) | Hello Fresh Meal Subscription Service

hello fresh meal box (4)::: press sample :::

We're talking food today! Really though, who doesn't like food? Most sane people do, however, a lot care less for the actual cooking part of the equation. I personally, love to cook, but the everyday routine of it can be a buzzkill. The shopping, the planning, the actual cooking, the cleanup... it gets to be a bit much, especially when you end up in a rut cooking the same handful of meals. Ugh. Luckily, the world of subscription services has evolved and includes meal subscription services to take the bulk of the work and hassle out of weekly dinners. Hello Fresh is one of said services and it's pretty much perfection!

hello fresh meal box (3)hello fresh meal box (1)

Last week, I cooked my way through a Hello Fresh Family Box (three meals for four) and I was incredibly impressed with not only the food, but the whole production. On Tuesday (the delivery day for my area) a fairly large box arrived on my doorstep. After a welcoming from Igby (my cat) I lugged it into the kitchen to unpack and document (for your benefit, clearly.)

Upon opening the box, you're greeted to a Hello Fresh booklet that gives a bit of info regarding food sustainability and the ways in which you can recycle all of the packaging withing the box. The recipe cards are there too (more on those in a moment.) Under the info, reside three boxes with your meals. All of the ingredients are divided into their own colour coded box that fits snugly into your fridge. The proteins (aka meat) are stashed under the boxes with a bevvy of large icepacks. My box was delivered just after three in the afternoon, and the packs were still completely frozen and the meat was thoroughly chilled. The meat is packaged in airtight pouches so there is no chance of accidental spillage or general messiness.

hello fresh meal box (2)

Obviously, to cook your meals, you're going to need the recipes. The Hello Fresh recipe cards are full colour, printed on heavy, glossy card, and include step by step instructions and photos. There is nothing overlooked on the cards, as they show you what the meal should look like once cooked (always helpful) a rundown of the ingredients, what kitchen tools you'll need, and every step to get to the perfect finished product.

So, what kind of food/ meals can you expect from Hello Fresh? Good question. Hello Fresh bases all of their meals on fresh, real ingredients that can be made easily (most in under a half hour.) As someone who does cook and is fairly adventurous in the kitchen, I was impressed that Hello Fresh offers easy recipes that are far from basic. I know I'll be adding some of tidbits from these recipes into my regular arsenal as they were just that good. 

The first meal I cooked was the Minted Lamb & Feta Burger with crunchy spring salad. Now, I've cooked many burgers but never lamb, so there was a bit of nervousness there. Non was needed though, as Hello Fresh made everything as simple as can be. I appreciate that they even chop the onions. My burgers were amazing- feta and mint rarely disappoint though- and while I felt like a Fraggle, I've learned radishes aren't so bad.

The second night, I cooked the Lemony Chicken Paillard with roasted sweet potato wedges, gremolata and a spring salad. This was the meal I wasn't so sure about, as I don't always love lemon with savory foods (although, a squeeze of lemon on a Cesar salad is life-changing.) Not only was I totally wrong in ever doubting the recipe, you can bet I will be making a whole lot of gremolata this summer. If like me, you're not educated in the ways of gremolata, it's a blend of parsley, lemon, garlic, and oil that is pure deliciousness on a chicken breast (or whatever else you want.)

The meal is simple, but the perfect example of fresh ingredients making all the difference. While I know it's not hard to make homemade salad dressing, it's just so easy to grab a bottle of pre-made stuff. Saying that, I've been changed and will certainly be making the lemon-honey dressing (lemon juice, honey, oil, salt and pepper) Hello Fresh paired with this spring salad.

The last meal included in my box was the Beef Sizzle Stir Fry with bok choy. red pepper, and jasmine rice. Much like the other meals, this was simple and so good with the addition of fresh ginger (I will admit I usually use powdered) and oyster sauce in the sauce. While the stir fry is the most basic meal, it was great and the quickest meal to prepare.

Overall, I really have nothing negative to say about Hello Fresh. The ingredients were all of excellent quality (other than a few soggy leaves in one bag of spring mix, everything was in perfect condition.) I was really pleased with the meals they offer and that the instructions were so clear and easy to follow. If you're Canadian, Hello Fresh currently delivers to Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and the Maritimes. Hello Fresh also serves many areas outside of Canada, so I recommend checking out their delivery areas here (down at the bottom.) So, what do you think? Have you tried any meal subscription services? Would you try hello Fresh?