Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hello Fresh review! @hellofreshus

Hi there! I know it has been a ridiculously long time but I'm back!!  Life has a way of sweeping the rug from under you but I'm back with a more level head and interesting outlook.  Am I still on my weight loss journey?  Yes.  I've maintained the 200 pounds I've lost but I still need to lose another hundred.  It's been rough going but I can do it!

My friend sent me a coupon to try three "Hello Fresh" Meals for free.  I had been looking into the meal delivery services because I hate going to the store but I need to cook more at home to control what I'm eating. Before I start, let me make a few disclaimers:

  • The meals I tried were given to me but not by the "Hello Fresh" company.  A friend of mine had tried them out and she was given a code that she shared with me. 
  • All the meal kits I ordered were for two people.  There are family sized meals but I didn't need that size. 
  • I did not add any personal seasonings other than salt and pepper that was directed by the recipe.
With that being said, let's get started.  The ordering was easy.  You can choose no seafood or vegetarian as an option. They also allow you to swap out a recipe from the options offered for the week.  I hate that there weren't any low carb options but that was a personal issue with me. 

Meal One
This was the Smoky Beef and Poblano Chili.  This kit contained:

  • Scallions
  • Poblano pepper
  • Kidney beans
  • Ground beef
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic 
  • Beef stock concentrate
  • Cheddar cheese 
  • Crushed Tomatoes
  • Cumin
  • Sour Cream
What I did like about it.  The beef was all natural and nonGMO and the beans and tomatoes were also organic/Non-GMO. The only veggie prep was cutting up the pepper and scallions.  This one only took about 15 minutes to put together.  I browned the ground beef while chopping the veggies and everything (except the cheese and sour cream) then just went into one pot and simmered.  The finished product was really good.  It was a hardy chili and a filling meal.  It would be great on a cold day. Even though this was for two, this easily could have fed four very well.  The only thing I would add would be a little spice, maybe some cayenne or red pepper flake for a little bite. 

Meal Two

This was Jamie's Chicken Skewers with Bulgur Wheat Salad and Lemony Yogurt.  This kit contained:

  • Green beans
  • Bulgur wheat 
  • Parsley
  • Chicken breast
  • Raw cashews
  • Lemons
  • Tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Oregano
  • Yogurt
This recipe was more out of my comfort zone.  This was the featured "Chef Inspired" meal by Jamie Oliver.  Out of the three, this was my least favorite.  One reason was the expectation that you would own certain tools like a zest grater.  I don't cook, why would I own a grater?  The prep was longer because I was trying to make peel as small as possible.  Another reason was the uselessness of the cashews.  Other than toasting them, they were just to go on the side with the yogurt.  

The bulgur wheat salad was interesting and I liked it more than I thought but without adding your own spices, I felt that it needed something else.  The yogurt was just lemon juice and yogurt.  Nothing really inspiring about that.  The chicken was probably the saving grace.  It was really good I enjoyed it on the skewers.  With the yogurt, with was okay but with a more flavorful dipping sauce, it would probably be better. Overall, the "Chef Inspired" was the least inspiring. 

Meal Three 
This was Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Potato Cauliflower Mash and Carmelized Pan Sauce.  This kit contained:

  • Yukon Potatoes
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Granny smith apple
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Thyme
  • Chicken stock concentrate
This recipe was really easy to put together.  The Yukon potatoes are so thin-skinned that they didn't need peeling so they were tossed in a pot with salted water and cauliflower.  The pork tenderloin was seasoned with the thyme, salt, and pepper, seared and placed in the oven with the snap peas that had been tossed in oil, salt, and pepper. I only need a fork to mash the potatoes and cauliflower with a little butter, salt, and pepper.  The sliced apple cooked in the same pan I used to brown the pork in with butter, water, and chicken stock concentrate.  Everything was done pretty much the same time.  This was a really good meal. 

Final Thoughts.

Overall, this was a good experience. Even though the meals were for two, there was enough food to feel satisfied and not like you had to struggle to share a meal.  I wish there was more meal choice but you have to choose from the meals for that week.  You can decide how often you want deliveries so if you don't cook all the time, you can skip a week or two or just arrange your delivery schedule to suit your needs.  More low carb options would be a plus. What I did like as well was the fact they give you recipe cards so you can recreate your favorite recipes at your leisure. 

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