I have a slightly different post for you guys today, which is all about the Hello Fresh cooking boxes. You may or may not have heard a bit about these or seen them in the supermarket. But, in case you’re new to the whole thing.. the concept behind Hello Fresh in short is: it’s a box with all of the ingredients that you need to make the meal on the recipe card/cards that come with the kit. Typically these dishes would serve 2 people and you’re provided with the exact quantities of the ingredients needed to make them, as well as a step by step recipe guide showing you what to do.
I was lucky enough to be invited to go along to the Hello Fresh HQ for an afternoon of cooking up a storm in the kitchen, followed by some pretty epic feasting on all of the dishes that we’d been making. I just want to start by saying that the Hello Fresh HQ was the absolute dream kitchen! The test kitchen was filled with beautiful kitchen islands, surrounded by floor to ceiling windows and really cool rustic style interiors. In fact, the whole building was pretty epically decorated and you could tell that each and every aspect of the decoration had been carefully thought through. You might be wondering why I’m talking to you about the interior design of the place, rather than just getting straight onto the food? I am of course going to get onto that in a minute, but I wanted to mention how I really admire a business that pays attention to these kinds of details and works hard to create a really beautiful environment for it’s employees to work in. Working from home and spending 90% of my time in my kitchen, I know how important the work environment can be and the effects that you’re surroundings have on productivity and how you feel in general. This also gave me some serious food for thought regarding my own kitchen and I’ve concluded.. I need a much larger kitchen!
We were each able to select one of the new Hello Fresh Go boxes to cook from and had to follow the given recipe cards to prepare our dishes. These boxes are a new edition to their range and you can now pick them up for yourselves at Sainsbury’s. They’re a little bit different from their usual boxes because you can now buy them in the shops and it’s a kit for one meal, as oppose to the weekly packages in the usual boxes. I think they’re a great idea if you’re perhaps someone who would typically reach for a ready meal in the supermarket or get a take out, because they’re just as easy to pick up from the shelf and don’t require any meal planning or lots of shopping; but still enables you to enjoy a fresh, home cooked meal! Everyone had something different, which we then brought together at the end to create an amazing banquet of lunch time goodness to feast on!
Right, onto the actual review. I want to try and make sure that I’m as honest and open as possible here and hopefully give you guys all/most of the information that you’d like to know about these products and my experience. I’ve split the review up into a few sections, based on some key points that I thought would be most helpful to read about.
Seeing as food blogging and recipe creation is what I now do as a job, following recipes is something that’s actually quite new to me- as I’m usually experimenting in the kitchen and coming up with my own wacky creations! I do sometimes find following recipes quite difficult, however this one was fairly straightforward and well presented. Everything was set out in simple, easy to follow stages, so would be great if you’re new to cooking or even a very accomplished cook.
Something that I do really like is that you’re given the exact amount of the ingredients that you will need.. so there’s no need to start weighing things out and nothing goes to waste either. I don’t know about you, but I really hate it when you need to buy something for a specific recipe and it then ends up at the back of the cupboard for the following 6 months! I was also really impressed with the quality of all of the ingredients that I’ve worked with and everything was really fresh.. clue is in the name I suppose haha!
Although I spend the majority of my time in the kitchen and cooking is my job and probably favourite hobby; I’m all about speed when it comes to making my actual meals and don’t want to be waiting around for an hour whilst something bakes in the oven- when I’m hungry, I’m HUNGRY. From what I can see on their website, most of the recipes take between 30-45 minutes to make.. which isn’t too bad from start to finish really! Personally, I often make myself stir fries with some king prawns and a tonne of fresh veggies, which take literally 10 minutes- but to cook a really hearty and delicious meal for two in half an hour is generally pretty good time wise. It also saves you time on your shopping which I suppose makes up for it!
This is pretty much always the most important part of any sort of foodie review that I do.. how the food actually tastes! The dish that I was given to prepare was pan cooked salmon with cous cous and a fresh tomato salsa. Overall, the whole thing was really delicious and so easy to make as well! It’s definitely something that I would make again, however I can’t really digest gluten very well, so I’d probably sub the cous cous for quinoa or maybe brown rice. One of the other dishes that I particularly loved was the halloumi and sweet potatoes! Two of my favourite things paired in one delicious dish! What I did like about the Hello Fresh Go boxes, was that all of the dishes were really different and they have a good variety to choose from. I hate it when you feel like lots of items on a menu are really similar.
Hello Fresh offer a vegetarian box selection, as well as their regular boxes and some of the dishes are also gluten free as well. Personally, I don’t feel that great after eating food containing gluten; so this cous cous dish was perhaps not the best choice for me, but I really fancied the salmon so just couldn’t help myself!
So overall, I did really like the new Hello Fresh boxes and think that the concept behind the company and trying to encourage more people to get into the kitchen and cook food from scratch is a great one. If you’re new to cooking or don’t have a lot of time to spend on food shopping, this can be a great way for you to be able to prepare innovative and creative dishes, with very little hard work required. It’s also a nice opportunity to try lots of different dishes and step out of your comfort zone. The ingredients are really high quality and everything tastes pretty delicious too. Would I use it on a regular basis? Personally, probably not on a weekly basis, but from time to time or on special occasions then yes I would. This doesn’t mean that I don’t like it.. It’s just, I love to cook and it’s my job, so I don’t really tend to follow recipes. I love food shopping and my fridge is always jam packed with ingredients and leftovers from that days recipes testing, so Hello Fresh isn’t really something that would fit into my daily routine; but I think it might be nice for special occasions or date night dinner. Another thing that I noticed, was that the meals weren’t the most macro friendly ones of these kind of food boxes that I’ve come across. Now, I’m a firm believer that macros aren’t the one all and end all and you definitely don’t HAVE to track macros to get results, but if that is something that you do, then this might be something to consider if you’re thinking of ordering the boxes. In general, I love the ethos of the company and concept behind the Hello Fresh boxes and anything that promotes cooking from scratch and incorporating more whole food ingredients into your lifestyle gets a big thumbs up from me!