Hello Fresh Returns | The Last Box (for now)

This post has been a long time coming and I think I’d have just not bothered, but for trying out one of these recipes last week – and it’s one that needs shouting about. This was our sixth and final Hello Fresh box, as we trialled them again. I was considering giving them another go – I hit a bit of a slump where I wasn’t enjoying cooking and lost all motivation. But I’ve got my mojo back and I’m loving trying out new recipes – courtesy of buying a couple more recipe books, to mix things up. Maybe I’ll even start sharing more recipe posts on here again, too?

Anyway, to the all-important question – what did I cook this week?

Plant-based sausage pasta

Monday:        Smoky plant-based sausage rigatoni, with herby garlicky breadcrumbs

I have two confessions to make. The first one, I actually like vegetarian sausages. I never thought I would. I don’t know why. It must have been something all in my mind. It sounds silly when I write it down. But in this dish, you genuinely couldn’t tell the difference. The smoky flavour of the sausage with a rich tomato sauce, and that really lovely, crispy, herb and garlic breadcrumb topping – to me it was just sausage pasta. I’d definitely make this again. Oh, and second confession – when Alfie went through his sausage obsession phase, I would mix it up and give him Quorn sausages and he ate them, not knowing any different. He would probably eat this too.

I rated this 4/4

Pork and lentil curry, with kale and naan bread

Tuesday:       Pork and lentil curry, with naan bread

Oh, how I really wanted to enjoy this. I’m always thinking I should have more pulses in my diet. I would normally serve a curry with rice (and a naan), so I wasn’t sure how I felt about the lack of rice, despite the lentils. The texture was too samey and boring for me, just chewing pork mince and lentils for days! Also, I wasn’t keen on the kale and found that too chewy – and think spinach would have worked better. The level of spice/heat was pleasant enough, although I’m usually a medium kinda girl. Maybe I’m just spoilt by some really good homemade curries, and of course, we have Aina’s Kitchen on the estate. But this one’s a no from me.

I rated this 2/4

Bacon and mushroom risotto, with a side of dressed rocket

Wednesday:   Oven-baked risotto, with bacon and mushroom

Ding ding, we have ourselves a winner. My favourite recipe from this week, and the one that I made again recently. We had some risotto base in the freezer, and I used pancetta and chestnut mushrooms this time. I personally call it a ‘cheat risotto’ – because there’s none of that ladle-by-ladle of stock and lovingly stirring until you get a severe RSI. This is chuck it all in and bang it in the oven. And I’m down with that, because it’s easy – and still delicious! The side of rocket is just lovely, and much better than the double-carb approach I would usually take. While risotto can be hard work, it’s certainly underrated.

I rated this 4/4

Thursday:      Speedy lamb and pepper spag bol, with spinach

No photos of this one, and I have no idea why. I remember making it because for ages I thought the recipe said lamb and fennel, and I thought that sounded really interesting. But when it came to make it, there was no fennel and I was confused. Der, it says pepper. But why ruin a good thing? To me, bolognaise should contain beef mince. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve started using pork mince in pasta dishes, but that’s not a bolognaise. And likewise, why lamb? Sounds silly, but it had a really strong lamby taste (and smell) which was quite off-putting. I didn’t enjoy it, although I stretched the recipe to three portions, feeding Ash and my mum, and neither of them had a bad word to say about… at least not to my face.

I rated this 2/4

BBQ chicken, wedges and garlic green beans

Friday: Speedy bbq chicken, with wedges and garlicky green beans

Ending on a high with a friYAY fakeaway! This is a dish that I’ve been meaning to recreate at home, because it was so simple, yet so tasty. Usually bbq chicken comes in the form of that heavy, gloopy hunters mess – but this was so light, it was delicious. I’ve sung the garlicky green beans’ praises for a while now – a Hello Fresh revelation, and the only way I will now serve the vegetables (unless it’s a roast dinner). And of course, now I have my air fryer, all forms of chip/wedge/whatever, go in there! My mind is made up, next Friday, we go again.

I rated this 4/4

A mixed bag here, but a few recipe cards I have decided to keep and try again. The rest, as well as the ones from the previous boxes have either gone to my neighbour, or in the recycling. After the initial problems – remember when I was sent ONE correct ingredient and the rest was a random mess and couldn’t even make a dish? – on the whole, things got better. I still wouldn’t say it was convenient, because of course, I was also doing top-up shops. But it was nice to try some new recipes I probably would never have given a go, otherwise. Will I sign up again? Only if there’s an offer on.

Love, Lucy xx

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