You might remember I posted about Hello Fresh before. It’s the company that is offering a complete Christmas dinner in a box – all the ingredients (down to the cheeseboard!), delivered to your door in time for the big day! The company also do weekly deliveries, containing all the ingredients you need to make a variety of recipes they supply, so I decided to try some out this week. As you probably know, I love cooking, but sometimes it’s easy to get into a rut with the meal choices and same old recipes. Hello Fresh gives you a choice of vegetarian or meat options, but other than that, the recipes (and ingredients) themselves are a surprise. (Of course, you can cheat and find out before they’re delivered what you’re getting!)
So, on Tuesday, I received my special box containing my first three meals!
Inside was a treasure-trove of ingredients in special packets, along with recipe cards and a welcome pack about the company.
Check out these beauties! Is there anything more wholesome than a great big spread of veggies?
Of course, vegetables weren’t the only things on the menu this week!
There was even a cute little paper bag for all the sundry items needed – the only things you’re expected to have are butter, oil, salt and pepper.
As my pack contained seafood, I decided to cook that recipe first, to keep it as fresh as possible. Viola – paella!
I’d actually never cooked paella before. Or eaten it. It just never appealed to me particularly, nor have I been to many places that offered it. That said, I was certainly up for the challenge of cooking this one, even though my husband doesn’t eat fish (a bit of a drawback on this scheme, as you can’t select meat only options). However, it was easy enough to separate the meal into two pans, as it’s a one-pot dish, and chuck some chicken into his. Extra bonus? I got to eat all the seafood!
Once the preparation was done, the meal had to cook for about 20 minutes, which was great as it meant I could come back and do some blogging while I waited. The ingredients had to be prepped, of course – which took slightly longer than the recipe anticipated, but then I was making life difficult for myself by dividing it all up… Some people are just never satisfied with an easy life, I guess! Anyway, the recipe was very simple to follow, and although I don’t consider myself a beginner by any means, I don’t see how you could have trouble following these directions. You definitely have to read ahead, though, because a clean tea towel is required at the end to finish the dish off. Luckily, I had just finished a batch of laundry, so I was prepared! (Let’s just say, a clean tea towel is not always to hand in our house…)
Anyway, it was absolutely delicious. Just what you want from a meal – a bit adventurous, simple to make, and very very tasty! Even though I had more seafood than the calorie count was for, the original count made this 563 calories, which is not too bad at all, considering the portion was enormous, and it was chock full of chorizo as well!
The next day’s meal was rosemary and thyme pork chops with roasted fennel and baby carrots:
Check out these juicy pork chops!
They were flash-fried and finished in the oven with the herbs, and the veggies were roasted with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to make another fairly simple, yet tasty dish. However, I had to make another alteration for my husband (he’s not a foodie, let’s just make that clear) and chucked in some baby potatoes I already had spare – fennel is not a staple of his diet. I loved it though – trying new things is definitely what makes me tick!
The roasted garlic really lifted this dish – I love chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, so it was familiar and delicious meal for me. Plus, the baked rosemary was crispy and fragrant – just right for the pork. I think I overcooked the pork slightly, because it wasn’t as juicy as it could have been, but other than that it was a good meal, and a diet-friendly 527 calories, according to Hello Fresh’s calculations (not including the extra spuds, of course!).
Today’s meal was the posh sounding aubergine ‘al funghetto’ with butterflied chicken:
I love the little descriptions of each dish provided in the details on the recipe card… Anyway, hilariously, this was another meal where my husband didn’t like one of the main ingredients – aubergine. He doesn’t like mushrooms either, incidentally… Luckily, I do!
There was a chance to test my knife skills by butterflying the chicken, which was fun and very easy – and made me feel like a proper chef. Again, the instructions were easy enough to follow, and the recipe was adventurous yet still familiar – a stew-like concoction of aubergine and tomatoes, spiked with garlic and dried chilli, with boiled new potatoes and a butterflied chicken breast. You’re supposed to cook the chicken under a grill, but our oven doesn’t have one, so I griddled mine instead – and it was delicious! You add in fresh mint at the last minute, which seems really unusual for these ingredients, but still really works, and gives the whole thing a refreshingly exotic taste.
This one had the lowest calorie count of all – 503 in all, which is about the amount I usually allow myself for dinner when I’m on a diet.
All in all, I loved my first Hello Fresh box, and even though my husband wasn’t keen on everything, it was easy to adapt and chop and change things around to suit him. It was great fun to let someone else do the shopping for me, and pick out some dishes I’d never get to try usually, and I loved it so much I’ve signed up for next week, too. It’s a rolling subscription, but it’s easy enough to suspend if you want a breather. I don’t know how typical the calorie counts are, but this week’s were all under 600 calories – which is great – and having the counts already on the recipe takes away an extra chore when you’re trying to watch what you eat. There are also fat, carbs and protein counts in grams on there too for those that want them!
Onto the pricing. Delivery is free, and there are a range of options depending on how many people you’re feeding, and for how long. Ours was one of the cheapest options – a three meal box for two people – but you can feed six people for five meals if you fancy it!
- 3-Meal Box for 2 – £39 (Vegetarian option available at £36)
- 3-Meal Box for 4 – £59 (Vegetarian option available at £57)
- 3-Meal Box for 6 – £89 (Vegetarian option available at £78)
- 5-Meal Box for 2 – £49
- 5-Meal Box for 4 – £89
- 5-Meal Box for 6 – £129
However, with the code FOODFASHFIT, you can get £10 off your first order (and I’ll get some money off, too, which is handy!). Visit Hello Fresh for more – and come back this time next week for my round-up of the next batch of recipes!