An Introduction to Hello Fresh

My neighbour recommended Hello Fresh to us and I’d never really considered it before that. When it comes to cooking, I’m very organised. I like to get out all of my books and cookery apps and plan properly, so that we only need to do one weekly shop. I do all the cooking in our house, but I do always like to get some input. I was offered £10 off our first four boxes, so I thought I’d give Hello Fresh a go, and chose the option of five meals for two people.

I downloaded the Hello Fresh app and couldn’t believe how easy it all was. I could see the meals in advance and chose the five I liked the sound of. There’s an option of paying a supplement for street food and premium meals, but I didn’t bother with that, or the sides/desserts. Then it was a waiting game until Sunday when my box would arrive – you can choose the date and time (at an additional cost) at your convenience. So far so good.

Unfortunately, what wasn’t so good, were my first impressions. Don’t get me wrong, it was all packaged well, with dairy and meat in a separate insulated package, complete with reusable ice packs. Each day’s meal was in its own bag, containing all the veg, herbs and spices etc that you’d need. I went to match up each meal card with its bag and soon realised I had been sent the wrong bag. After going onto the app and talking to a customer service representative, it transpired that I was sent some of the ingredients and the meal card for the pork dish I’d chosen, but the meal bag was for a confit duck leg in brioche bun. I had no recipe card, no duck and no brioche so there was no chance of me making that. I was sent the recipe card for the duck and received a £13 discount off a future box. Luckily, my neighbour helped me out with the apple jelly and remaining ingredients for my pork meal and all’s well that ends well! A minor blip on an otherwise good week – so what did we try?
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Monday:      Veggie packed chilli with brown rice
We are big meat eaters in our house, so every now and then I love to do a meat-free Monday. This veggie chilli hit the spot nicely. It wasn’t overly spicy, with the tomatoes adding sweetness and the barbecue sauce, a smokiness. Packed full of veg and pulses, it was really substantial and I actually managed to stretch the chilli to five portions, so Ash could have some for lunch the next day and I froze the rest to go with a jacket potato and cheese. This was one of my favourite meals of the week and I would definitely cook this again.
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Tuesday:     Meatballs with bacon & onion gravy and cheesy mash
I’d never had roasted broccoli before and I was almost half tempted to just boil or steam it... but I’m glad I followed the recipe and didn’t! The meatballs were made using beef and pork mince and were so flavoursome. But the real game changer was the gravy, which was more of a jus. It was totally transformed by the redcurrant jelly, which obviously complemented the meat.
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Wednesday: Duck breast with Pad Thai noodles
I also managed to stretch this recipe to three portions, skimping on the duck so that I’d have lunch at work the following day. Once reheated, it was a bit dry and the noodles were claggy, so not the best. This wasn’t a traditional Pad Thai by any means, so maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d anticipated. We don’t eat duck often, so I was looking forward to it, but it wasn’t the same with egg noodles and carrots/leeks!

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Thursday:    Creamy prawn rigatoni with zesty herb sprinkle and courgette
The recipe called for 200g of pasta for two people, but I often opt for 50g per person – so this stretched to three portions on Thursday night when mum was over. I managed to ensure that everyone got enough prawns too and I saved some pasta and sauce for Alfie to have the following day. The crème fraîche sauce was light and fresh, with the lemon and herbs adding more flavour. This was definitely a hit with all the family – and so easy to make!
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Friday:                  Pan-fried pork loin with cavolo nero champ and sticky glaze
Like I said, we were saved by my neighbour and it was lucky that we were as I’ve saved the best ‘til last here. The cheesy cavolo nero mash was really good and something I had never considered making before. The pork was really tender, although we were given two different shaped pieces... mine was more flat like an escalope so cooked a lot quicker. But it was definitely worth waiting for!

If like me, you’re late to trying Hello Fresh – do not fear! I have two amazing offers for you. If you’d like to receive a £20 discount off your first box, when asked to do so, enter code: HS-8D719Y9EE. Or alternatively, I have four free boxes up for grabs. All I need is your name and email address to have your link sent to you.

Next week’s box has arrived and I’ve already emptied the contents. I’m so excited to try some new recipes and get creative in the kitchen... Bon appétit!

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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