Dinner, simplified: Make meal prep easy with Hello Fresh

Every Sunday I go grocery shopping and then prep my meals for the week.

Since I basically work three jobs (my full-time gig, teaching fitness, and blogging), I’m always doing something and lately I’ve just been feeling very overwhelmed. When it comes to the weekends, I just want to relax, I don’t want to constantly do work 24-7.  So as you can imagine, finding recipes to make for the week is the last on my list of things to do. When it comes to nutritious meal ideas, I usually check out my favourite food blogs or go through Pinterest, but since there’s so many recipes out there, it’s hard to narrow it down to something I want to make.

Enter Hello Fresh, the meal kit delivery service that takes all the planning out of the equation. I’ve been familiar with Hello Fresh for a while now but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it out yet.  They were kind enough to send me one of their Pronto boxes last week and I was more than happy to skip my usual meal prep and give theirs for a test drive.

Hello Fresh box

In case you aren’t familiar with Hello Fresh, it’s a weekly meal service where you choose a specific plan (Pronto, Veggie, or Family), the number of people you want to feed (two or four), and the amount of recipes you want (two to four), then you choose from a variety of different meal options of the week and they send you a box containing all the ingredients you need for those meals.  Each meal comes in it’s own labeled bag with all the ingredients already pre-measured and portioned out, so all you have to do it make it (aside from the veggies, which you have to cut up, if required).

I got the Pronto plan with three meals. Since this was set up though their influencer relations department, I didn’t get the choose the meals I wanted, but for that week there were five to choose from for that particular plan. I did mention that I don’t eat pork, so she said she was sending the Poblano Beef Tacos, the Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Thighs, and the Roasted Cauliflower Biryani.

Since I live in Winnipeg, our delivery dates are Tuesday and Wednesdays, which if you like to meal plan on Sundays like I do, that may be a bit of a problem, since you’ll have to go grocery shopping anyways for the Sunday and Monday, or eat out.  My box was delivered in the morning through UPS from Saskatchewan (I actually always thought that this was a franchise and that it was delivered locally, so the fact that it’s shipped was surprising to me).

Hello Fresh ingredients pre-portioned and packaged Moroccan Spiced Chicken dish from Hello Fresh

Now I know what you’re thinking. There’s protein in my meals, so how does the meat stay fresh? The box is insulated and they actually put the protein at the bottom of the box, layer it with ice packs, then put cardboard over top, which the three different meal plans sit on in their paper bags.  Everything is labelled, so you just grab the right bag and the protein, along with the recipe book and start cooking!

We tried the Poblano Beef Tacos first, which were really yummy and something I’ll definitely be making again.  The recipe cards I found could have been a little simpler to follow. For example, the first step was to wash the veggies and mince the garlic, but you don’t actually use the minced garlic until like step four or five. I ended up throwing the minced garlic in the pan right away since I was confused with what I was supposed to do with it. It wasn’t a big deal since it gets added anyways, but I found that they could have moved that step to later in the recipe.

Anyways, the tacos turned out delish, the only qualm I have with them is that the onions could have been chopped a little thinner (they were precut), but other than that they were super easy to make and I’ll definitely be cooking this recipe again.

For the second day, Hello Fresh actually sent me the Mustard-and-Herb-Crusted Pork instead of the biryani, which I was disappointed about since I don’t eat pork for religious reasons. I ate it anyways since I have had pork before and it looked yummy (I just try really hard not to eat it).  Out of the three, and I hate to say it since it’s pork, but I liked this one the most. The sauce that goes on top of the pork was amazing and next time I’ll totally swap it out for chicken or beef, but I was super satisfied with how this tasted. My boyfriend actually whipped this up while I was teaching a fitness class and he said that he had to bake the pork longer than what was called for in the recipe card.

Moroocan Spiced Chicken Hello Fresh Herb-and-Mustard Pork from Hello Fresh

Last was the Moroccan-Spiced Chicken Thighs, which were also delicious. Everything was pretty straightforward with these and it took about 45 minutes to make (because you have to bake the veggies for 20-22 minutes at 425 degrees). The meal was topped with an amazing and easy to make lemon yogurt crema, and the was served on freekah, which I had never heard of before but will definitely look into buying in the future.

Overall, I was super happy with how every meal turned out and loved how it was all pre-cut and portioned, so all I had to do was open the bags and go to work.  I will say that although these were all two-person meals, I did stretch the pork and chicken meals to three meals, since I needed a lunch the next day.

So have I sold you on Hello Fresh yet?  The only bad thing about this service I have to say is the pricing. The box I got (Pronto for two people and three meals), comes to C$79.99 a week, which is expensive for three dinners and potentially two lunches. Let me put it this way, I usually spend a maximum of $70 a week on my groceries, and that includes breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. The $80 for the box is only three dinners, which if you eat out a lot for two people at nice restaurants, it’s totally worth it. But, if you’re used to cooking at home, then I would say to stick with the grocery store.

So what is the ideal situation like for Hello Fresh? I travel a lot, and for days when I get back on a Monday and don’t have time to grocery shop the next day, then this would be perfect. It means less time wasted grocery shopping and meal prepping.  Also, I tend to stick to the same recipes a lot, mostly because I know I like them, and some of the ingredients in new recipes I find look very foreign to me and I have no clue where I would get them. Hello Fresh lets you expand your horizons and make meals that you might order in a restaurant, and best of all, it includes easy-to-follow recipe cards that you can now use again and again, so if you liked a certain recipe, then you can go out and buy the ingredients to recreate the meal.

Overall, I do recommend the service to try out. I wouldn’t order it every week since I would have to go grocery shopping anyways for lunches and stuff, but if I’m ever in a bind, then I would take a look at having it delivered.

If you want to try Hello Fresh, you can get 40% off your first box with code SHAYNA40.

Let me know what meals you get!

Have you tried Hello Fresh yet? What were your thoughts?

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