A few years back, in fact right at the beginning of my blog, we tried HelloFresh recipe delivery service and liked the concept but weren't 100% sure about the recipes. Fast forward three years and a lot has changed for us; we have another head at the dinner table, I'm working freelance from home juggling the school runs and Husband is commuting up to Central London every day. HelloFresh got in touch and asked us to try them again and I thought is was a great idea to see how the years have changed them and (excuse the spoiler) it's definitely for the better.
HelloFresh deliver a box of yummy goodness direct to your door once a week. There are several box options: Classic box, Veggie Box and Family Box. They feed from 2-4 people and you can have between 2 and 5 meals.
We were sent the Family box which feeds a family of 4 and includes 4 different meals for the regular price of £64.00 per week.
HelloFresh deliver on Monday, Tuesdays or Thursdays. Both weeks our boxes were left on our doorstep. Assuming no-one pinches your box (It is quite heavy so they would struggle to do so inconspicuously) this is very convenient as you don't need to wait in for the delivery. The meat and diary is well packed within a wool liner containing ice packs so your produce stays very fresh even if it is left on your doorstep for a few hours.
The box is jammed packed with meat, veg, dairy, grains and store cupboard items. The company is passionate about quality and trys to sources fresh produce from British producers. So all the meat comes from a farmer called Nick, the fish from the Queen's fishmonger and Les grows the herbs. You can read about them on the website and as you'd expect the store cupboard stuff is all branded, high quality products.
I did a comparison with how much this lot would cost in Tesco and for approximately the same amount of food (in some cases you'd get a larger volume store cupboard items like vinegar and stock cubes etc) it came to approximately £53. You are paying an additional £10ish for the convenience of everything being portioned and ready to go. Which really isn't that bad in my opinion.
So now we've got all the food in the cupboards how about the recipes? Jamie Oliver has teamed up with HelloFresh and created some special recipes for them but unfortunately we weren't sent any of his recipes in our 2 weeks trial so we didn't get the chance try them out.
The HelloFresh recipes come on double sided recipe cards which give you a list of ingredients and step by step instructions on how to create your dish.
The cards were very easy to follow but this isn't a quick fix home cooking service. Everything is portioned for you but you do need to prepare and chop all the fresh ingredients yourself. Being handy in the kitchen plus working from home I didn't find the prep or cooking too time consuming or difficult to master but perhaps if I was coming home from a long commute and day at the office the prep required may seem a little more daunting.
Well the first week we cooked:
Hands down our favourite recipe was the chicken taquito which was crispy and delicious and quite an unusual dish for us. The biggest let down was the Ragu which didn't have a lot of flavour and we much prefer our own recipe. The paella was delicious but wasn't a paella - more of a risotto. This disappointed Husband slightly as he was expecting Paella, one of his favourite meals.
Week 2 we tried:
These meals were really yummy but i'm not sure I'd cook risotto in the oven again, it just doesn't taste as creamy as done on the hob with lots of stirring. It is hard to choose a favourite from the other three. Husband thinks the Teriyaki because he adored the coconut rice. But I think the Shepherd's Pie was super delicious.
One of the things I love about this way of cooking is you can adapt the recipes they send to suit your individual tastes. For example I didn't add the mushrooms to the risotto because I hate them! Husband loves them so I pam fired them and tossed them into his spinach portion. Easy. Also the Shepherd's Pie was supposed to be quite spicy. We wanted the kids to enjoy it with us for Sunday lunch so we just left out the spice mix and added an extra lamb stock cube to give it some flavour. Little E said it was the best pie she has ever eaten.
I was very impressed with the quality of the ingredients. The veggies lasted much longer than supermarket veggies which was one of my main complaints when we tried HelloFresh before, so great to see they have improved this element.
We had the family box which serves 4 people. Unfortunately our kid's palettes are not refined enough for the string flavours in the HelloFresh recipes. They eat homemade food at every meal and Little E has school lunches, so generally they are good eaters but we could only get them to eat 2 of the meals sent: the Ragu and the Shepherds Pie. If you had older kids this probably wouldn't be a problem. The portion sizes were pretty good and suit a family of 2 adults and 2 kids well but I don't think some of the recipes would stretch to feed 4 adults. In some cases Husband ate double potions (The Herby Dukkah Pork and the 3 rice dishes) but I was able to serve the leftovers of the steak and taquitos for a second meal. So it would be interesting to try the 2 person box and see how we go.
You can pause HelloFresh deliveries at any time, perfect if you go away on holiday, but you need to be super organised and make sure your HelloFresh order is updated or paused the Wednesday the week before your delivery day. So a little bit of forward planning is needed, but compared to having to shop and plan these dinners that's a small price to pay.
So in summary HelloFresh has only got better and we will be giving the 2 person box a go in the future.
You can find out more at hellofresh.co.uk
I was sent HelloFresh meal boxes to review free of charge but all opinions are my own
Linking up to #bloggerclubuk, #brillblogposts and #triedtested
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.