A typical workday starts with leaving the house for the office at 8 a.m. and returning home from the gym by 8 p.m. The short evening is spent prepping for the next workday, writing and getting to bed at a decent hour. Gone are the days of spending a few hours creating recipes between writing resumes and waiting for a prospective employer to call. With my new work schedule, I’m realizing my cooking schedule needs a serious change.
While exploring ideas for cooking healthy meals under 30 minutes, HelloFresh.com asked me to review their service. They create the recipe, do the food shopping and deliver premeasured ingredients to your doorstep. For people who don’t like store-brought frozen meals, don’t have the time cook and loves to be in the kitchen, HelloFresh.com is a dream service. I’m basically doing my own cooking without purchasing high-sodium frozen meals.
A week later, HelloFresh delivered a specialty box designed to keep the ingredients for three dinners cold for 24 hours—convenient for people not home when their shipment arrives. My boxed groceries arrived in the afternoon. Coming home in the late evening, I opened the box to feel refrigerated cold air. The meat was chill, and the vegetables were crisp. The package revealed the ingredients for Chicken Paillard with Crushed Rosemary Potatoes, Rocket and Gremolata; Spiced Pork Skewers with Caramelized Onion Rice; and Spicy Shrimp Linguini with Chili and Sun-dried Tomatoes.
For the next three days, dinner was effortlessly and quickly made in less than 30 minutes. My initial thought about this service, is how it could help people learn to cook. HelloFresh packs beautiful designed recipe cards with simple photographs of each ingredient and for each step of the directions. A service offering fresh ingredients is better than most diet plans with a celebrity du jour endorsement.
There are diet plans using point systems, requiring the purchase of weekly frozen meals, and intimating people away from certain ingredients (Read about this writer’s opinion about diet plans here. The trend of believing cooking is an unnecessary life skill is what leads to poor eating habits contributing towards a person and their household’s obesity and other health-related problems. HelloFresh is a modern convenience of preparing and cooking with fresh ingredients within 30 minutes or less—the same amount of time of driving or walking to a fast food restaurant and waiting in line to order. HelloFresh’s ‘fast food’ meals are a healthier option with a higher nutritional value.
Our first HelloFresh meal, Spicy Shrimp Linguini with Chili and Sun-dried Tomatoes, was made Friday evening. The recipe was written in seven easy steps without any difficult techniques and fancy equipment. The prepping to cooking to serving time totaled 20 minutes. The simple sauce was effortlessly made without opening a jar of premade pasta sauce.
On the second night, the Chicken Paillard with Crushed Rosemary Potatoes, Rocket and Gremolata was made. It sounds difficult, right? When the recipe called for grilling the chicken, we had to adjust, because we don’t have a grill in our New York apartment. Instead, the chicken was sauté in a skillet. The only minor difficult technique was butterflying the chicken breasts — a method I’ve never tried. After following the directions on the recipe card, I’m proud to know another cost-saving kitchen skill — no more buying thinly cut chicken breasts, when I can buy the whole breast. As for making the Gremolata — a garlicky, parsley spread — we strayed from the recipe by adding a touch of Greek yogurt to it for a Mediterranean influence.
The last meal was an internationally inspired Spiced Pork Skewers with Caramelized Onion Rice. Since we rarely eat pork, we use chicken instead. Also, the recipe requested wooden skewers and a grill. We adjusted the recipe by stir-frying the ingredients to serve over the Caramelized Onion Rice. Grilling the chicken on skewers may have been more flavorful, but our stir-fry adaptation was just as delicious.
HelloFresh.com is currently offered in a few states. Their weekly plans start at a bargain price of $69 a week for three dinner meals. For a single person, that’s actually dinner prepped and served in the evening, and leftovers are brown-bagged for lunch the following working day–that’s six fresh meals in a week (do the math, if the average healthy lunch — not cheap fast food — starts at least $10 a plate).
Working long hours doesn’t mean the only option for eating is fast food, takeout meals. People serious about their food and diet know cooking their own meals is essential to their well-being. However, finding the time to go grocery shopping, including visiting farmer’s markets, and cooking during the weekday is quite challenging for most people. As for my household, HelloFresh facilitates cooking during the weekday; a must needed service for my short evening hours. Meanwhile, I use my weekends to continue being creative in the kitchen.
Exclusive Offer: HelloFresh is offering first time customers 30% off their first order. Use the promo code, MYLIFE30.
Discuss in the comment section below:
Would you use a service like HelloFresh? Why or why not?