November 17, 2015

My first Hello Fresh experience

A friend of mine from high school days recently shared the concept of Hello Fresh with me. And she offered me a discount code for $40 off so I decided I would give it a shot. After all 3 2-person meals for $29 (originally $69) seemed like a pretty good deal.

So last Wednesday I signed up, made my 3 meal choices, and started to feel excited to try something new since I've been in a major rut lately. Then I showed the meals to my husband. He wasn't quite as excited. He deemed them all "too fancy" but oh well that just means more for me, right?

Want to try Hello Fresh for yourself? Feel free to use this code to get $40 off your first box: 99482G

Anyway, today I got my first box! It was waiting for me on the front step when I got home! This is the first time I've ever done any sort of box subscription so I was super excited!

First thing I found was a very nice booklet with a welcome letter and all three recipes I'd chosen. Each recipe shows a really nice picture, ranking of difficulty, the time it should take, and tiny pictures of all of the ingredients included. The only ingredients I had to supply were water and oil! Then on the back you find the list of ingredients and quantities and also a nutritional breakdown. And last but not least the step by step instructions to make the meal.

When I opened the box I found 3 smaller boxes. I was really impressed that they were still cold and also that I didn't have to try to figure out recipes from a huge box of ingredients. Then beneath the white boxes I found the meat under two huge still frozen ice packs. And the ice packs are reusable! (Not that I have room in my freezer...)
I decided to make the "Ras el Hanout-Spiced Chicken Thighs" tonight. This recipe was supposed to take 45 minutes and be a level 3 difficulty.

Here is everything from the little box and the 2 chicken thighs all out for you to see.

As I mentioned, this recipe is a level 3 difficulty. Honestly it wasn't hard to make but it did involve using the oven and two stove top burners all at the same time and all for different lengths of time. But I followed the directions and I did fine. Their timing of everything worked out very well and nothing was getting cold while something else was cooking so I considered that a success!

If you are looking for something with NO prep then this probably isn't the plan for you. I did still have to halve the tomatoes and slice the onion. I also opted to peel the fava beans because I prefer them that way.

Things were going well until I went to make the chicken and realized the box didn't have the "ras al hanout" spice in it that I was supposed to use to season the chicken thighs. So I just made them plain. Then when I went to put together the freekeh salad I realized my box didn't have cumin in it either. That I did have in my pantry so I added my own.

Even though I did end up missing the main spice for the recipe it was still a good experience. I found myself excited to try a new recipe and to basically have the groceries handed to me almost ready to go. The recipe took almost exactly 45 minutes to prepare but went fast because I was doing 3 things at once. I'm not sure I would make freekeh again but I would try this recipe with brown rice probably. I'm also not sure I would use chicken thighs again because they ended up being fairly greasy.

*UPDATE* I emailed customer service to let them know they had left out two spices and they gave me some credit back in my account and apologized for the missing items. And it was the fastest customer service response I think I've ever received.

finished product plated! I was so proud of myself that it looked so good! oh and I thought it tasted good too even if my other half didn't appreciate it.

This review is NOT endorsed by Hello Fresh. I chose to write this review all on my own and purchased the discounted box myself. I will be blogging about the other two meals in the box throughout the week so stay tuned.

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