A few weeks ago, a friend of mine gifted me a free box from HelloFresh! I had never used this meal service before and was super excited. Alex and I ultimately decided to do it together. He’s been dying to learn how to cook more and I’m always looking for new recipes to add to my collection.
The process of choosing the meals online was neat. We had to initially decide if we would choose a vegetarian box, or stick with the classic. Ultimately we went with the classical and chose meals that I could easily substitute non-meat options into. We ended up choosing a creamy shrimp pasta with tomatoes, beef noodle bowls, apple pork burgers, and figgy balsamic pork.
Cooking the meals was actually pretty straight-forward and easy for us to handle. The directions are all laid out in front of you, so following them is simple. We did end up skipping some steps (like shredding apples) in order to more quickly get to eating the meals. I will say that as far as specificity in terms of cook times, HelloFresh is pretty good. We only ran into a few issues with how long to cook meat for.
Okay, so let’s break this down, meal by meal.
The Apple Pork Burgers were delicious. I didn’t even eat my burger (I subbed a veggie patty instead!) but the flavor of the sides was amazing. I loved the balsamic greens we could add to the burgers and the crunch of the apple. Alex was a huge fan of the burger, eating the 2nd pork patty completely plain! I do think that we should have left the sweet potato wedges in the oven for a longer period of time.
I think the Beef Noodle Bowls were our least favorite. I subbed tofu for beef in mine and cooked it in the same sauce as the beef. Both the beef and the tofu came out great, but the noodles weren’t the best. Alex hated the texture and I didn’t like how long they took to cook. I’m also never a fan of low sodium soy sauce, which is what came with the meal, simply because you lose a lot of flavor. I think if I were to cook this again, I would do it with rice instead of noodles.
We made the Creamy Shrimp Pasta with Tomatoes at about 1am. We had planned to make it much earlier, but laid down for a nap in the late afternoon and suddenly woke up having missed dinner! It was definitely a moment when I was happy to have HelloFresh. This meal was relatively quick to make, and it was filling for sure, but not our favorite. I think the creaminess of the sour cream combined with the spice of the pepper (I didn’t even use the whole thing!) upset my stomach. Alex ate most of the shrimp, but didn’t love the squishiness of the tomatoes.
Saving the best for last, the Figgy Balsamic Pork was a winner. I even ate the pork! This meal was incredibly easy to make and the balsamic and fig jam reduction was just about the best sauce I’ve ever made. I really don’t have too many complaints when it comes to this one, and unfortunately didn’t get many pictures because we ate it so quickly!
I loved trying out HelloFresh! The meals are easy to make and they do give you the exact ingredients, but what I didn’t love was the waste that came with the packaging. Because the food is mailed to you, there’s a lot of insulation and ice packs that go into keeping it fresh. I think that these meals are great for people who have a ton of time to cook different meals every single night, but for me, the meals don’t quite fit my lifestyle at the moment. So I think that while it was great to try, I probably won’t be signing up for HelloFresh anytime soon!