Tried & Tested: Hello Fresh recipe box
Eating well can be a struggle at times. Even when the intention is strong, life tends to disrupt the best laid of plans, and with January soon turning to February, it’s a common time to give up on those enthusiastic new year’s resolutions.
With this in mind, it’s the perfect time to hand over the reins and let someone else do the hard work – and if family members are refusing to cooperate, then there’s always Hello Fresh.
The subscription box service that makes dinners a doddle, Hello Fresh will deliver fresh ingredients and deliciously healthy recipes direct to your doorstep, so you’re all set for a healthy week of meals without so much as leaving the house.
Popping into the supermarket on a daily basis is one of the biggest reasons we fail to eat well, as forever dashing in for that missing ingredient after a long day at work can all too often result in leaving sheepishly with a trolley-full of comfort food.
With food boxes like Hello Fresh, you get your chosen number of recipes for the week (three or five), along with every single ingredient you’ll need to make them. For the most part, they are even portioned out, meaning there’s minimal waste – if at all.
Every week, Head Chef Patrick and his team create new recipes with photos detailing every step, doing all the thinking and planning for you so that you’re just left with the fun bit: easy home cooking – and eating, of course!
In order to find out what it was really all about, we put the Hello Fresh sample box to the test, and were pleased to find that it arrived promptly on a Monday afternoon, in the time-slot we had selected and in time for a busy week ahead.
Rifling through its contents, we were pleased to find that the fresh ingredients had been kept safely chilled thanks to re-usable ice packs, which we popped into the freezer until a later date. The fruit and vegetables were vibrant, ripe and undeniably fresh, and as for the recipes – they certainly did not disappoint.
Day one saw us whipping up Sumptuous Seabass with Tomato Concasse and Crispy Potatoes – a quick and easy Asian-inspired recipe that played on an incredible combination of flavours. The most time consuming element was the concasse, which employed the likes of coriander, ginger, lime and fish sauce to make for a mouthwatering accompaniment to the delicate Seabass and crunchy, crisp, potatoes. All that, and it was ready in just thirty-five minutes – starting the week on a definite high.
Dinner two was Cranberry and Cream Cheese Roulades with Crispy Potatoes, which saw us bashing our chicken breasts flat with a saucepan and filling with a Christmas-themed stuffing mixture, before rolling up and baking in the oven for 25 minutes. Although the ingredients were far simpler here, the roulades proved somewhat fiddly to construct – but a little practice makes perfect, so patience is key. The roast potatoes were crisp and flavourful, and the chicken juicy and sweet. Worth the effort when it was time to sit down and devour.
The final meal was centered around Luke’s Elephant garlic – truly enormous in size, but with a milder flavour than its more commonly-used cousin. The Pancetta and Mushroom Tagliatelle was again quick and easy, but somewhat less impressive than the previous two dishes That said, it still made for a tasty and comforting evening meal – and again, rustled up in no more than thirty-five minutes.
The great thing about Hello Fresh is the creativity that its boxes inspire, forcing you out of your cookery rut – and comfort zone – and getting you serving up dishes you never imagined you would. A fabulous option for those who can’t cook as well as those who won’t, each box is packed with creative and balanced meal ideas that are different every time.
With the emphasis today on clean eating, it would be good to see a greater variation in the types of boxes on offer, as although veggie and family versions of its classic box are already available, it is yet to cross the barrier that separates it from niche and minority eating habits (which, incidentally, are becoming more wide-spread by the day) So no superfood, low carb or vegan boxes just yet, but we’re crossing our fingers that it won’t be long.
The Verdict: Creative, convenient and quick, Hello Fresh will save you time and stress while ensuring that you have an inspiring meal to come home to. Anyone who fails to enjoy cooking would be hard-pressed to maintain that opinion after a week of fast yet irresistibly flavourful meals.
To get your Hello Fresh box, visit www.hellofresh.co.uk.