Delicious and healthy food, and not one minute spent at the grocery store.
I’d heard about food delivery subscriptions before. I’d seen the discounts and the free trials but had never actually considered it. Then one day, after discussing the concept with a colleague, my partner and I decided to give it a try. The idea of being able to avoid the grocery store was very appealing. Like all working professionals, I have very little free time and I'd rather not spend whatever time I do have shopping for zucchinis.
So we decided to give HelloFresh a try and I’m happy to report that it was all lovely. The lemon-oregano chicken, the caramel pork stir-fry and the gnocchi with beef ragout. Healthy, new and varied, HelloFresh had some of the most delicious food I’d tried in a long time.
HelloFresh isn’t your traditional food delivery service. The meals do not come pre-made. Instead, you’re given the exact quantity of ingredients (both omnivore and vegetarian options are available) and a recipe. Then you cook the meals yourself.
When I explained this to a few people who were interested in trying the service, the “cook the meals yourself” line was met with a disappointed “oh”. But I wasn’t disappointed that I had to cook it all myself. Not only is cooking the meal half the fun, but it also means that you can customise the recipes to suit allergies and tastes. My partner has an allergy to nuts and it’s comforting to know that your meal can actually be nut-free because you made it yourself.
It also means that there’s no waste. You get the exact portion of ingredients you need, and for an environmentally-conscious millennial, this is a huge plus. Food waste is a big problem and HelloFresh allows you to be part of the solution.
The other handy thing about HelloFresh? It labels the meals that should be cooked first so that you don’t have to worry about watching for expiry dates.
The ingredients for each recipe are packaged up in individual brown bag parcels so that it’s hard to get it wrong. Plus, each recipe has a big picture of the completed meal with a full ingredients list. Seriously, it’s very difficult to mess it up.
My partner and I decided to try cooking the lemon chicken with a roasted veg salad first. The instructions were super easy to follow and the meal turned out to be absolutely delicious – and low carb too!
It did take us quite a bit longer to cook than the estimated 45 minutes. Probably an hour and 5 minutes in total. This was a consistent theme. Most recipes specify a prep and cooking time of around 40 minutes but almost all of them took around an hour.
Although I found the recipe easy to follow, I knew that the real test would come on Wednesday when my culinarily-unskilled partner was left to cook one of the recipes on his own. He’s not a terrible chef, he just really struggles to follow recipes. “I’m smarter than the method listed” is his main foil.
I set him up in the kitchen and left for 10 minutes. By the time I’d come back he’d already bungled the first two steps. Fortunately, it was fixable. He’d put rice straight into the rice cooker instead of frying it up with lime and capsicum because he didn’t read the instructions properly. Some of the recipes suggest cooking things in non-traditional ways, so you really need to read the method. You can’t just assume your way through it, like the partner did.
After five days of cooking HelloFresh meals, I can say that I will order with them again. I’m not a huge fan of cooking every night (I prefer to pre-prepare meals in bulk) but this system made it fun. And the food all ended up tasting amazing.
You can select the number of people you want to cater for as well as the number of meals you would like to make. I wouldn’t recommend buying the five-meal box. You never know when you’ll be invited out to a last-minute dinner or when you just won't feel overly hungry for what’s on the menu. Making sure you have a few nights free stops you from potentially wasting food.
You can check out the recipes online for the coming week. I’ve already ordered my next box!