Hello Fresh – the return of the subscription box

Avid followers will remember my previous set of Hello Fresh posts. We had an offer on our first four boxes, and I ended up documenting our meals, with an emphasis on the experience which wasn’t great. Of those four boxes, only one was 100% accurate in terms of the ingredients and/or recipe cards – and I ended up receiving another two boxes with all the refunds I was given – but the problems kept on coming!

Now I’m all for second chances, so I thought I’d give it another go – this time, we had a code for 40% off our first four boxes. It seemed a good idea, given the current situation – and we’ve been really lacking inspiration at mealtimes. But boy, have they returned with a bang!

We do the five meals a week for two people. But I can usually stretch it to three (sometimes four) portions. Delivery was limited, so started on a Friday, but I’ve since changed it to Sunday which is great – it means the meat doesn’t need to go in the freezer at risk of going past its date! So, what was in our first box?

Mediterranean Vegetables with goat's cheese and almonds

Monday:        Indonesian inspired chickpea curry with garlicky spinach

You don’t need 20/20 vision to see that is not what we received. Despite receiving the recipe card for said curry – which I was totally looking forward to on our Meat Free Monday – we didn’t receive any of the correct ingredients, other than a sweet potato. When I contacted Hello Fresh, it transpired that not only were the ingredients completely wrong, they were completely random. They did not link to a recipe card. I was left with a random bunch of ingredients that did not make a meal. Yes, I was fuming. But I got creative – and without the use of Google or any other inspiration, I made this! So, I will be blogging the recipe, because tbf, it was pretty damn good and I impressed myself – but just so you know, it’s harissa roasted veg with goat’s cheese and almonds.

Rating – you can’t give a zero, so on the app, I gave this a bold 1/4, for being such a shambles. My recipe was a solid 4/4 though.

Chicken in a chive and chilli sauce, with potatoes and spinach

Tuesday:                 Crispy chicken and chilli & chive sauce with spinach and potatoes

Okay, so we hit another snag here – we didn’t receive the skin-on chicken thighs. We received no chicken at all. Don’t worry, I went with plan b – chicken out of the freezer. Sadly, it wasn’t skin-on so lacked any crispy element, and once it had defrosted, I realised I’d got out the mini chicken fillets, rather than breast. I also made the rookie error of not reading the recipe correctly, and so I mashed the potato and spinach together – which wasn’t all bad, as I don’t really like boiled potatoes. But overall, it was delicious. The sauce was really flavoursome and not too hot through the chilli. I did find it quite thick, almost like a hollandaise texture, but it was good. I’d make it again but feel the gamechanger would be the crispy chicken skin.

Rating – 3/4

Minced pork noodles with green pepper and coriander

Wednesday:   Asian-spiced pork noodles with stir-fried green pepper

We had a 100% success rate with this dish, in terms of my thoughts and having all the correct ingredients to make it. I love all the Hello Fresh Asian-inspired meals I’ve tried (bar one), and actually one thing I do like about the boxes is having my eyes opened to more spices and sauces. Ketjap manis is life changing. I think I used too much of the Thai spice blend seasoning, as I found the dish a little hot, but overall, it was beautifully balanced. The sauce just stuck to the noodles and I would never have thought to use mince in a stir-fry, but it really works. Note to self, eat more pork mince. I served my noodles with some supermarket mixed hors d’oeuvres to make it a bit more substantial.

Rating – 4/4 (dish of the week!)

Spiced pork ragu pappardelle, with cheese and tomato flatbread

Thursday:      Spiced pork ragu with pappardelle

Okay, so I ate pork mince two days in a row without even noticing. I managed to stretch this meal to three portions, serving it with some cheese & tomato flatbread. Despite using white pasta, I’ve always rated the pasta dishes from Hello Fresh and for the most part, they’ve not disagreed with me. The pappardelle was so light and the meat and sauce just stuck to the pasta. Again, it wasn’t overly spicy, but added a nice heat to the tomato sauce. A super simple recipe which can easily be replicated at home – I’ll certainly give it a try again.

Rating – 3/4

Mango chutney chicken wraps with peppers and lettuce, with potato wedges

Friday:          Mango chutney glazed chicken wraps with spiced pepper and potato wedges

Ending the week with what I’d call a cheat meal, with the double carbs – and these white carbs sadly weren’t my friend. It was another really simple recipe to make and it tasted delicious – although the spices and smell of frying filled my kitchen while I had washing on the airer. The mango chutney glaze on the chicken was delicious. But the combination of mango chutney and mayonnaise was beautiful. I ended up using it as a dressing on top of the wraps, rather than on the side. You can’t go wrong with beautifully seasoned wedges, either. I think I’d make these again, or even using the glaze to marinate some chicken and serve with rice and salad. I also loved the freshness of coriander on the little gem lettuce.

Rating – 3/4

Think you’ll have a better time of it than me? I’ve got four free box codes to feed you for a week. Just drop me a message on socials (links below) with your email address and I’ll make sure you get fed!

Love, Lucy xx

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