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Friday, December 27, 2013

Want to Have Dinner Shipped to Your Door? - Meet "Hello, Fresh" (Review)

Is meal planning difficult for you?  Is getting to the grocery store a hassle?  Are you stuck in the same quick, unhealthy, food-eating rut?

Hello Fresh just might be for you.

What is Hello Fresh?  Hello Fresh is a subscription service that plans healthy meals and does all of the shopping for you.  You choose which of the options you'd like, and a package will be delivered to your door soon after, containing everything that you'd need to prepare three healthy meals.

I received the opportunity to review Hello Fresh with the Mosaics Review Team, and I was eager to check this out.  There are two main options for your Hello Fresh box - Classic or Vegetarian - and each option can be ordered with servings for two or four people.

I chose to go the Classic route.  While the Vegetarian boxes do not currently give you a meal choice within that category, the Classic box features five meals, of which you choose three.  Right off the bat, I liked that the five choices featured beef, chicken, shrimp, sausage, and a veggie option, so there was no risk of eating a different version of the same meal.  I've been popping over to the website over the past few weeks, and I haven't seen repeat meals, so you'll get new options each week, too.

We were excited to find our Hello Fresh box on our doorstep one afternoon.  You can track these boxes, and the website tells you which day of the week they deliver to your area, so I knew it was coming, but still ... it was fun to find when we arrived home.

I was concerned about how well these super fresh foods would transport, but there was no need.  As you can see, the box was completely lined with thick insulation, with a greeting and the recipe cards on top.

Inside we found all of our food, neatly placed on top of THREE large freezer packs - the same kind that my grandmother's insulin is shipped in.  The ice packs were still rock solid and our food properly chilled.

I must say that I enjoyed the packaging a lot.  Each protein was in its own separate bag with a cute sticker detailing in which meal it was to be used.  The same goes for the other fresh ingredients - the ingredients for each meal were placed in a single bag with a cute label.  The non-perishable ingredients, like the canned coconut, were loose.

We decided to try the Spicy Thai Beef with Coconut Rice first.  I'd never had Thai food or coconut anything before, so this would all definitely be new.

Since this was a dish completely new to me, I followed the directions on the recipe card carefully.  I was happy to find that it came together in about 20-30 minutes and was very easy to assemble.  I was confused about the coconut milk; I wasn't sure about the size of the can, since it has a special label, and I didn't know if I needed to use it all, but I learned that all of the Hello Fresh ingredients are measured exactly, so again, I needn't have worried.  

I skipped the salt when cooking this dish just because I always do, and we decided that it needed it; but other than that, it was fantastic.  The coconut flavor was strong but yummy in the rice; the vegetables, although I thought there weren't enough in the beginning, turned out to be plenty, and the beef had just the perfect amount of spice.

I made this late one night for my husband and I, and I wasn't sure, at first, that there would be enough bulk for two seriously hungry people.  However, I filled our bowls and had some left over - and I wasn't able to finish off my serving.  The portion sizes are more than adequate.  This meal was my favorite.

We tried this dish next.  We chose to make the second two meals at one time, for all four of us, so that we could all sample everything.

This dish featured ground chicken made into meatballs and then served with pasta and tomato sauce.

Although I had thought this would be our favorite, it wasn't.  The sauce was very tomato-y - strange sounding, I know, but true - and even with the fresh herbs, it was rather bland.  It was okay - just not great.

This meal proved to be very interesting.  My husband loved the pork chops.  I'm not a pork fan, so they were just okay to me, but we all really enjoyed the carrots, even my husband - who is not a fan of roasted veggies.  On the other hand, we learned that we don't like leeks.  Without the leeks, this would have been a completely amazing dish, and I plan to make those carrots again.

Overall, Hello Fresh provides lots of fresh and healthy food and completely lives up to its name.  The herbs and veggies keep each meal full of flavor.  The wide variety will keep your taste buds hopping as you try new things each and every week.

With all of that said, will I be continuing with Hello Fresh?  Sadly, no.  It's not in our budget to pay this price for three meals, healthy and convenient though they may be.  If I were still working full-time outside of our home, however, Hello Fresh would be a great alternative to the quick, frozen, or boxed meals that we often ate during that season of our lives.  The convenience and health factor is high, and for a family short on time but craving fresh, healthy, easy-to-prepare food, Hello Fresh is a fantastic option.

I received a free Hello Fresh box in exchange for an honest review.

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