The thought of returning home at the end of a long day in the office post-commute and having to scrape together something for dinner doesn’t really fill me with much excitement; I’m usually knackered and go straight for convenience food, which typically consists of unhealthy or processed oven food, takeaways or countless meals out. Ultimately it’s expensive, lazy and nothing really with any real nutritional value.
I’ve wanted to get a bit more adventurous in the kitchen (ooh-err) following having a new kitchen fitted with all the bells-and-whistles and have been on the lookout for something to improve my cooking skills whilst improving my diet. However, I struggle for inspiration and time to meticulously plan my shopping to ensure I have the necessary ingredients for a proper recipe. All of this changed when a man from HelloFresh turned up on my doorstep with an enticing offer.
HelloFresh Delivery Review
“But my good man, what is HelloFresh?” I hear you impatiently ask. Well, let me tell you.
HelloFresh is a new subscription box service which sees recipes with all of the ingredients needed shipped straight do your door; in theory, it’s a no-fuss approach to cooking, offering convenience and the chance to learn a new dish. Customers can choose from a range of recipes (including a one each week by Jamie Oliver), with ingredients pre-measured supplied direct to your door, avoiding unnecessary waste and hunting of a cupboard for that dried up and out of date jar of whatever. It sounds pretty snazzy (yeah, I said snazzy).
I signed up for the classic HelloFresh box which would supply six meals over the course of the two weekly deliveries at an introductory price of £27.30 per box, rising to a regular subscription of £39 per box thereafter. The boxes I had delivered included recipes and ingredients for:
- Mimi’s Coastal Fish Curry with Green Beans
- Sausages with Parmesan Swede Wedges with Tenderstem & Red Onion
- Coriander Spiced Pork with Couscous, and Herby Salsa
- Seared Steak Salad with Chimichurri Dressing
- Roasted Chicken with Pancetta and Herbed Lentils
- Homemade Baking Tray Pizza
Taking my HelloFresh delivery
I have to say, I was impressed off the bat by HelloFresh; the delivery was extremely well packaged in a (fully recyclable) insulated box having been delivered via courier whilst I was out at work; meats were stored separately underneath vegetables and sundries in a cool-bag.
Everything was portioned up nicely, arriving in supermarket condition as if I’d plucked it off the shelf minutes before arriving home.
Cooking with HelloFresh
Each recipe comes with step-by-step instructions, giving easy to follow instructions which allows you to achieve something along the lines of the photograph provided; as somebody who isn’t terribly confident in the kitchen, I did have to look-up a few bits on YouTube as I went along (think Paul Hollywood and kneading), but it wasn’t too taxing and there wasn’t anything that I did wrong (although I did read the recipe several times over just to make sure…!).
Preparation was dead simple and the majority of the dishes took me no longer than forty-five minutes, which considering all were from scratch and using fresh ingredients isn’t a bad feat; the more seasoned cook would probably be able to churn out the majority of the recipes far quicker, but I’m not the world’s fastest chef – or tidiest, as it turns out.
The quality of the ingredients were generally excellent; HelloFresh pride themselves in using suppliers who are all about taste and freshness, which certainly comes through in the delivery boxes; James Knight of Mayfair provides HelloFresh with fresh fish and they also use a high quality butcher for their cuts of meat, which I should note is plentiful in portion size too. No obvious penny-pinching going on here I am pleased to say.
HelloFresh Dishes – The Result
It’s all very well and good having a box of high quality ingredients, but ultimately, the success of HelloFresh rides on how good the main output is – and that’s the meals themselves. Before summarising my thoughts on this, here are a number of photos capturing the majority of meals I produced:
I have to say that I have been most impressed with the meals I’ve put together thanks to HelloFresh and their recipes / ingredients. The flavours were all punchy, interesting and beautifully fresh (dare I say delicious), but then home-cooked food always tastes better. The portion sizes were all generous and I never once felt the need to bulk up my dinner with salad or more indulgent side.
My favourite dish was the fish curry, not something I would have normally have put together, but the fresh Tilapia was simply gorgeous; the roast chicken with pancetta was also really quite tasty and something I will cook again in the future.
HelloFresh Delivery Review: The Verdict
I set out on my HelloFresh mission with the objectives of:
- Finding convenience – which I did.
- Improving my cooking – which I did.
- Eat better nutritionally and fresher food – which I did.
So I’ll be carrying on with my HelloFresh subscription, right? Hmmm. Unlikely.
Yes, (at least in my experience) HelloFresh have delivered on their promises, enabled me to eat exciting fresh meals and vastly improve my cooking repertoire, but at £39 a box for three dishes, it becomes a VERY expensive method long-term to cook meals every night. Despite all the convenience and delicious meals, can I justify spending £13 per meal? Is that REALLY financially sustainable?
The HelloFresh service is genuinely fantastic but the work they put into the offer clearly comes at a cost – and it’s simply far too much for me.
I have grown in confidence in the kitchen from my fortnight with HelloFresh, picked up six new recipes to cook and feel ready to experiment with new recipes and try some new things. It’ll mean a few supermarket trips at the end of a long day or perhaps getting a little more planned over the weekend to shop for the week (you know, like everybody else), but I’ll save myself a tidy fortune in the process and probably enjoy it every bit as much as I did with HelloFresh.
Don’t let my HelloFresh review verdict put you off, however; HelloFresh are always running introductory offers and it’s definitely worth a go if you fancy it.