Hello Fresh: Meal Box Review (or: Don’t Worry About Dinner…)

I’ve been a massive fan of meal boxes for a couple of years now, but even though the concept has been around for a while, companies like Hello Fresh manage to keep their offerings new and exciting. When HF contacted me about their upcoming Christmas range, I asked to test drive one of their boxes to review on the blog – and here’s what I thought!


The first meal was garlicky prawns with proper mini roast potatoes and walnut parsley pesto. Having spent years pretending I liked pesto only to be continually baffled when I just wasn’t that into it, I was a bit worried about how well it would go with prawns and roast potatoes. However, the combination of walnuts and parsley made this a far more subtle blend of flavours than the ‘punch you in the face until you give up’ blend of basil and pinenuts – and it went so well with both the prawns and the potatoes that I’m going to make this again! The pan roasted potatoes turned out beautifully (although I have to say I’ve always been really good at roast potatoes, because…they’re not hard to do!), and the tomatoes and prawns were succulent and moreish.


The second meal, spiced beef ragout with couscous and flaked almonds was spicy and gorgeous – as usual, it’s the small touches that elevate the final dish and turn it into something special. Adding in the toasted almond flakes gave it an extra dimension as far as texture is concerned, and the big juicy chunks of courgette were a lovely addition. The actual ragout was made with peppers and ras-el-hanout, along with beef and tomatoes, and it reminded me of the couscous restaurants we ate at in Marseilles. As with most box meals, these were combinations I hadn’t thought of to try before, which I love, because new flavours are one of my favourite things!


The final meal was my absolute favourite – as they say, save the best until last! This was pistachio and prune stuffed pork loin with mashed parsnips and mange tout, with a homemade chicken pan gravy drizzled over the top. The stuffing was a perfect blend of sweet and savoury, with a texture from the nuts and the added meaty background of sausagemeat, which was also added. I also really enjoyed making the gravy too – I’ve never made such a simple and easy gravy, so now I know what to do next time I’m hankering after a quick sauce!

All in all, I’ve been a repeat customer of meal boxes for a couple of years now for several main reasons: it saves waste, it gives you new ideas for techniques and flavour combinations, it saves time both in shopping and cooking time, and it tastes completely amazing. You don’t end up with half a packet of this or a third of a tin of that knocking around, and you don’t end up just bunging everything in and making giant portions. The one thing I would say is that the calorie counts don’t always seem to be right, and you do seem to end up using a lot of oil (but, of course, you can decide to use less!), but other than that, box meals like Hello Fresh are a smart way to save yourself hassle and guarantee a selection of fresh and tasty meals!

Hello Fresh’s current crop of recipes are designed to help you take on Christmas by introducing techniques essential to getting your lunch just right, which I thought was a great touch! As an experienced cook, I already knew the best way to make perfect roast spuds, but the recipe for the prune and pistachio stuffing was sooo good I’m going to have to bust it out on Christmas too! Find out more here!

Hello Fresh provided a box for this review – opinions and photos are my own.

Hello Fresh: 3 Meal Box Review (4 Dec)

Another week, another box from Hello Fresh!
I was really looking forward to this week’s recipes, and I have to say, they didn’t disappoint! First up was chicken fajita – a fairly simple recipe flavoured only with chilli and cumin. But there were plenty of accompaniments (no sour cream or cheese though…), and the end result was delicious!
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The dish I was most excited to try was duck ragu, because I’d never made something like that before – you slow cook the duck legs in tomatoes, veggies and herbs. I thought the dish could have used a lot more cooking, to be honest, because the meat was difficult to get off the bone (especially when piping hot!), but it was still fairly tender in the dish itself.

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Very filling – huge portions this week!


Finally, a good old classic – bangers and mash. The red onion gravy was delicious – I don’t very often make this dish, but this recipe was so easy and gave such great results, I’ll be doing it again. The mash was made with roasted garlic, and tasted gorgeous. Again, another mammoth portion.

All of the calorie counts were much higher this week, but then this was hearty fayre. Hello Fresh isn’t really for those on a diet, but I hope in the future they’ll consider introducing a dieter’s box, because I’d sign up regularly. This will be the last Hello Fresh box from me for a while, because the holidays make dinners very unpredictable – but if you’d like to sign up, use the code FOODFASHFIT, for £10 off your first order at Hello Fresh!

Hello Fresh: 3 Meal Box Review (27 Nov)

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!

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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!

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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…)

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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!

Pork Chops Pork Chops with herbs

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!

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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!

Butterflied chicken raw

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.

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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!

Your easiest luxury Christmas shop ever!

Have you guys heard of Hello Fresh? They’re an amazing company that sends you boxes full of ingredients every week so you can make gourmet meals from scratch. Forget veggie boxes – this is where its at!

Hello Fresh have come up with a genius idea to take all of the stress out of that Christmas shop this year with their Christmas box! And, you can get £10 off with the code FOODFASHFIT, making it even more tempting! Inside the box are the ingredients you’ll need to put together a delicious meal for 4-6 people, or 8-10 people if you’ve got extended family coming over. It seems like they’ve literally thought of everything!

Included in the box are ingredients to prepare a prawn cocktail starter (my favourite!), plus turkey and all the trimmings, a Christmas pudding – and a cheeseboard! A cheeseboard! Now, that’s Christmas luxury! The food has been sourced from top quality providers, including sausages and bacon from Tom Hixson of Smithfield Market, a free range Copas turkey (which won a Great Taste award), and prawns from James Knight in Mayfair (who holds two Royal Warrants, if you please!).

The prawn cocktail starter is made using delicious tiger prawns, and for the main course there’s a whole host of goodies. For the 4-6 people option, you get a 2.5kg turkey breast, pop-up cooking timer (a Godsend!), cranberry sauce with rosemary, free range Goose fat, sage and onion stuffing with red onion, and gravy with cracked black pepper. You also get pigs in blankets, and a selection of veggies (including red cabbage, sprouts, carrots, and parsnips) to make side dishes like garlic and herb infused Brussels sprouts with toasted pine nuts (recipes included, of course)! Plus, there’s your good old fashioned spuds – which, trust me, will taste amazing with that goose fat! For pudding, there’s another Royal seal of approval from the Christmas pudding makers, Wilkin and Sons, which is accompanied by brandy butter – and you get some mince pies, too.

And, finally, that gourmet cheese board with creamy Wenslydale with cranberries, reblochon, and red Leicester, plus, a variety of crackers.

What, you thought that was it? Nope! This is Christmas, people – time to really push the boat out! You also get some treats to round everything off with – Joe and Steph’s mince pie popcorn, candy canes, Prestat choccies, and table crackers!

I’d say that with all of that, Christmas is pretty much sorted! The Christmas box for 8-10 contains the same products in larger quantities (for example, a whole 5kg Copas turkey instead of a turkey breast). They’re even going to pop in some ideas for the leftovers, too.

The Christmas box costs £155 for 4-6, or £225 for 8-10. But, don’t forget my FOODFASHFIT code, which brings it down by a tenner! You already save up to 35% on the RRP of these items with these economical boxes, and with £10 off, those savings jump even more.

I’ll be testing out a Hello Fresh box or two in the upcoming weeks, so look out for that – and make sure to use that FOODFASHFIT code if you order – its valid on any boxes, even the non-Christmas ones!