What is Hello Fresh?
You’ve probably heard a lot about Hello Fresh. For those that haven’t, It’s a fresh food and recipe delivery service that is aimed at providing healthy ready-to-make meals for couples or families. The huge draw for this service, and others like it, is the convenience. In our world today, if something can be sent to your house with a click of a button, then everyone wants to do it!
I had been seeing Hello Fresh ads for years but I finally decided to try it and give you my honest opinion on the food.
Choosing the Meals
My friend sent me a voucher for a free box of 3 meals for 2 people so I went online to look at the meal choices.
This is where my first problem arose. The voucher did not work! I tried three of four times to get that darn voucher to work but it never did. So I begrudgingly paid the $59.95 for the box. That works out to about $10 per person per meal. Not expensive but I’m sure buying the same groceries at the grocery store would be cheaper than that. Once again, I think you’re paying for the convenience.
The next day I emailed Hello Fresh and explained the issue with the voucher. They responded very quickly and were able to reimburse the total amount. I was so impressed with the customer service for responding that quickly to make things right.
So while I did get this box for free, all of the opinions in this post are purely my own and the opinions of those who tried the food.
The Box Arrives
The Hello Fresh box of food arrived on a Monday. The box was packed with large cooler packs to keep everything cold till we got the food inside after arriving home from work. All the food was divided neatly into the three meals I’d selected. All the fresh ingredients, herbs and spices for each meal were placed in a brown paper bag and labeled with the meal name. Then the meat for each meal were in separate vacuum sealed packages.
Large recipe cards were in the box and each cooking step was listed as well as pictures to help show what you were supposed to be doing. It looked like I had everything in the box. Now it was time to cook!
Meal #1: Ground Beef Bulgogi Bowls
This Asian inspired meal was the highlight of the Hello Fresh box for me. It only took about 25 mins to make (about 5 mins longer than the recipe card stated but I was getting interrupted by little kids while making dinner) and the flavors were bold and enticing. There was actually enough food to feed the whole family (2 adults, 3 kids) when I added some extra vegetables on the side such as a marinated kale salad and more cucumbers. The meal is basically ground beef cooked with a sesame soy sauce, piled on top of white rice and paired with quickly stir fried carrots and quick Pickled Cucumbers. There was even an optional spicy mayo drizzle.
I love the flavor of the sesame sauce and thought it paired beautifully with the Pickled Cucumbers. Plus I loved the crunchy stir fried carrots, although my kids were not fans for some reason.
I had two complaints about this meal:
- I was missing the tabasco sauce. I double and triple checked the brown paper bag for this meal but did not see the Tabasco for the spicy mayo drizzle. And I checked the recipe card and I was supposed to have Tabasco included. The crises was averted when I substituted Tabasco with sambal oelek instead.
- Perhaps due to the limited meal options of the free box, you couldn’t get anything that didn’t contain white rice or white bread. I typically try to use brown rice or wholewheat bread due to the higher fiber content.
Overall I would rate this meal an 8 out of 10.
Meal #2: Melty Monterey Jack Burgers with Red Onion Jam and Zucchini Fries
These cheesy burgers sounded so great on the Hello Fresh website. But then when I made it, I was quickly disappointed Why? Because of the amount of food.
I’m feeding a hungry Texas man so one burger the size of a slider is not going to be enough for his dinner. So I graciously gave him both burgers.
On the upside, the hubby said the flavor of the burgers were great, mostly due to the onion jam. It was basically red onion sautéed till soft then balsamic vinegar and sugar (or in my case I subbed for agave) is simmered till the liquid is thick and syrupy.
The other disappointment about this meal was the zucchini. After the ingredients had been in the fridge for 3 days,the Zucchini I received in the brown bag did not look good. About 1/3 of it was very soft and going bad. Luckily I had extra zucchini in the fridge to make the zucchini fries.
I really liked the simplicity of making the zucchini fries. You mix minced garlic with mayo, then use that mixture to coat the zucchini before tossing it in Panko breadcrumbs. Very simple to make and pretty tasty too.
Overall I give this meal a 5 out of 10.
Meal #3: Moroccan Chicken Sausage Tagine
I loved the flavors in this Moroccan inspired dish. Sautéed Chicken Sausage, chickpeas, tomatoes and carrots are seasoned with a Moroccan spice mix then spooned onto a bed of French couscous. There also another spicy mayo drizzle… hmm I’m noticing a trend!
This meal took about 40 mins to make versus the 35 minutes that the recipe card indicates. It took longer than I thought to make this dish mostly because of the long simmering times. All the steps to make the dish were very easy – mostly slicing and simmering ingredients on the stove.
What impressed me the most was the flavor of the dish and how filling it was. I actually had enough food to feed myself and my parents-in-law. I even made a mistake and I think I accidentally threw away half of the spice packet! I was supposed to use that half of the spices on the simmered vegetables. I think the dish would have been even more flavorful if I hadn’t messed that up! But honestly the meal was totally delicious even with that mistake.
No other negative comments for this meal! Lots of food and lots of flavor.
Overall I give this meal a 9 out of 10.
So am I going to continue with Hello Fresh?
The answer is…. no. While I enjoyed trying this box, I personally prefer much more vegetables than what the meals have to offer. I also like to pick more whole grains than what was offered for this trial box. Perhaps when you become a weekly subscriber, these options are available to you. But sadly it was not when I looked at the meal options online.
It was very easy to cancel my meal service subscription on the website. I even got an email saying I would get a free meal if I left a review on why I stopped the service, but when I clicked on that link, it took me to a page where I had to reactivate my account. I think it’s just a ploy to get you back as a customer.
All the meals I chose were easy to make and delicious. Generally the ingredients are good quality but I was disappointed at how quickly the zucchini started to go bad. The meals take a little bit longer than the recipe card indicates so that’s one thing to remember if you’re pressed on time. Lastly, I really enjoyed trying new flavors such as those in the Moroccan Chicken Sausage Tagine.
I would recommend trying Hello Fresh if you’re interested in it because of the convenience factor. I can definitely see it being beneficial for busy, young professionals or people that want to learn more dishes in the kitchen. However, if you have particular food aversions or allergies, you may find the selection somewhat limited for your trial box.
Overall, I really enjoyed cooking these meals from Hello Fresh. If you’ve tried Hello Fresh, I’d love to hear your opinion on it. Leave a comment below and tell me what you think!