The end result is things sometimes get a little boring at the dinner table. We also tend to go out to eat once every week or two for some variety, but that can get expensive.
If are looking for a way to liven up your dinner table without heading out to eat, HelloFresh might be your ticket to gourmet meals at home.
HelloFresh is a weekly subscription service that makes cooking easy for everyone. Each week the HelloFresh chefs create three recipes, do the shopping for you, and send you a box of fresh, pre-measured ingredients delivered right to your door. Everything needed is included in the box. You only need to provide such items as salt, pepper, butter, and cooking oil. There are two box types available, Classic and Veggie, with options for two or four people. I received a Classic Box for two for review.
The recipes for the week I received the Classic Box were: Stuffed Squash with Cherry Balsamic Reduction, Apricot Glazed Turkey with Beets and Orzo, and Dill Crusted Tilapia with Sweet Potato & Cranberry Medley.
From the website:
"HelloFresh works closely on recipe development with the Michelin star restaurant, Aquavit, and has a team of in-house chefs who graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education and worked at restaurants including Momofuku and Eleven Madison Park, to name a few!"
Since my box arrived the day before Thanksgiving, I simply unpacked the items and placed them in the refrigerator for a few days. I didn't have any problems with the items remaining fresh until I was ready to try the recipes.
I'll be honest and admit that the recipes provided were probably not ones I would have selected from a recipe book or website. There were several items in each that wouldn't be well-received by various members of the family nor would have been something I'd normally include in my cooking (i.e. dried cranberries). Our teens were out and about with other dinner plans for most of the meals I made from the box, so I was mainly cooking just for hubby and me. However, my husband can be pickier than the kids.
The first meal I made was the Dill Crusted Tilapia.
The recipe was easy to make. I personally felt there was a bit too much dill in the crust, but that would have been remedied by going lighter on the coating.
The next recipe I made was the Apricot Glazed Turkey. After Thanksgiving, turkey wouldn't have been my pick, but there was nothing Thankgivingy about this recipe.
My teenage son joined us for this meal, so I added a salad and garlic bread. It was plenty.
This was the least favorite of the meals, mostly because of the beet side dish. However, I had never tried beets before making this dish, so I didn't really know if I'd like them or not. I got my husband to take a taste, too. While neither of us liked them, I was happy we had the opportunity to try them in a tested recipe. My son wasn't as adventurous, but he did eat everything else.
Lastly, I made the stuffed squash. This was a recipe that I was going to switch with one of the alternates, but decided to give it a try at the last minute. I'm the only one who will happily eat squash, so I made this on a busy evening for just myself, putting the other half of the squash in the refrigerator for lunch the next day.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to review the Classic Box from Hello Fresh. It got me cooking with ingredients that were outside my normal cooking and even encouraged my family to be a little adventurous in trying some new things with pleasant results. I particularly enjoyed using fresh herbs. I usually don't buy fresh herbs because I only need such a small amount and the rest will go to waste. However, it really made a difference in the taste. The recipes also had me trying some new techniques. For example, I've made sweet potatoes plenty of times, but never cubed and thrown in a skillet.
As much as I enjoyed trying the recipes, a weekly HelloFresh box doesn't fit into our current food budget, though I suspect that if I were to buy the ingredients on my own the price would be comparable, as shown with this HelloFresh vs Grocery Store comparison chart. The ingredients were all fresh and I weighed all the meats and found them to be accurate to what was listed. While I found the serving sizes to be generous and likely to feed my family of four, my family enjoys more country cooking than gourmet and I tend to cook rather frugally within their tastes. As a family, a weekly HelloFresh delivery doesn't really fit our needs.
However, I don't think homeschooling families, who are mostly single income and feeding growing bodies, should rule out HelloFresh all together. Since you can put your subscription on hold for any week, there is some flexibility. Even if you don't think you could budget for or use a box every week, I can see plenty of reasons to give HelloFresh a try as an occasional treat.
- HelloFresh is a great way to get your kids cooking and trying new things. The recipes are simple enough for beginners and take about only 30 minutes, but look like they take more time and effort. Your kids will feel like professional chefs and learn some great cooking skills.
- HelloFresh will expand your dining experiences. It is a great way to try new recipes without a lot of frustration hunting down ingredients or having unused leftover ingredients. If you like the recipe, you can always make it again on your own with the recipe cards. It would be fun to order an occasional box to try new things. If you have a very large family, you can make all three meals in one evening and have a sampling of each.
- HelloFresh is an economical alternative to going out for something different or special. When our family of four eats out, the bill is usually over $50. HelloFresh meals are priced under $10 per meal per person, likely cheaper than a comparable meal out. If you didn't want to share with your kids, couples can use the meals for a date night at home. Better yet, have your kids cook the meals for you!
The Classic Box for two is regularly $69 and the Veggie Box for two is regularly $59. However, if you use referral code KVUJJT, you will get $20 off your first box.
HelloFresh may be just what your family needs for a little change of pace in the kitchen and at the table!
If you would like to hear the experience of other families using HelloFresh, visit Mosaic Reviews.