Hello Fresh have been around for 6 years and since its launch, it has delivered millions of meals to millions of customers. It promises to deliver healthy, tasty and easy to make meals and recently it made gluten-free recipes available for Classic Box customers. We put on our chef’s hat and got cooking!
I’ll admit, I’m already a fan of Hello Fresh (more about that here) – I think they’ve got it absolutely spot on with their meal creativity but it’s been a year since I made a recipe. Are they still as good a year on?
At home, we’re mainly vegetarian but if we do eat meat, it’ll be fish so I was pleased that our box was fishy (although we very nearly didn’t get it as the delivery person had left it outside our doorstep, which, when you live above a shop on a busy street gives it a 50/50 chance of being there when you return home). Our one box yields three meals and this specific week we had Thai Red Prawn Curry, Thai Massaman Rice with Roasted Aubergine and Chestnut Mushrooms and Easy Peasy Fish Pie. There’s a placemat-sized recipe card for each meal and a colour-coded brown paper bag containing most of the ingredients needed for that meal. I say ‘most’ because items requiring refrigeration are packed separately in a wool-lined bag.
Honestly, I couldn’t wait to get started. I LOVE Thai food and am pretty partial to a fish pie. Unpacking each recipe bag is like Christmas – even though you can imagine roughly what to expect, there’s something really fun about laying out all the individually-packed, pre-weighed and measured ingredients. It’s like painting by numbers, but for cooking. We figured if anything was going to spoil first, it would be the prawns, so we made the Thai Red Curry first. The recipe card said it would take 30 minutes and whilst they lie less about the time that’s needed to make it than Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals (seriously – has anyone who’s not a trained chef ever made his recipes in under 30 minutes even?!) it still took us about 15 minutes longer than it said. I very much wasn’t rushing but I wasn’t dawdling either. The instructions are incredibly easy and there’s no time wasted – whilst one thing is boiling, you’re chopping something else. Everything is measured out for you and you really only need to put minimal effort in to get fantastic results. To start, I did think the rice portion for 2 people was a little stingy but as it turns out, 150g rice in a bag looks very different to 150g cooked rice. In fact, the whole dish was really filling.
I also made the Thai Massaman Curry which wasn’t something I’d ever consider making but again, it was delicious and really easy. It had a pretty punchy chilli kick to it too, which was refreshing (so many meals aren’t ever as hot as they promise).
My husband, Tom, made the fish pie and it was a lot less stressful watching him make that than it had been watching him finish making blue cheese and leek pizza bread earlier that day (there was no swearing during the fish pie production and I hasted to add, the pizza bread was not a Hello Fresh recipe). Tom is very much about functionality so this way of cooking massively appeals to him.
The recipe cards are a pleasure to read – as well as the finished product, there’s photos of each ingredient so even complete cooking numpties don’t get confused. It also indicates how many portions of your daily veg requirements is in each meal.
With a 15 month old who takes up a lot of our time and energy, most of our meals are pretty rushed. We have an amazing chef friend who often sends us meals we can keep in the freezer but often, we resort to pasta pesto or food which we know our little one will eat (fish fingers, peas and mashed potato anyone?) When the Hello Fresh box turned up, I felt somewhat relieved that a) I wouldn’t have to work out what to cook b) fuss over whether we had the ingredients and c) that we’d eating healthy balanced meals. I think the Hello Fresh concept is fantastic, great value for money (from £34.99 for 3 meals for 2 people, which works out at just under £6 a meal or even less if you’re a first-time customer). My only gripe would be the amount of packaging required – whilst individually-packaged ingredients is fab, there is a lot of plastic. If they could get rid of that and maybe also add in a vegan box option for all my vegan friends (including my sister) then it would be perfect. Hello Fresh is a luxury for those who cook often and a necessity for those who don’t. Plus, it’s more nutritious and faster than ordering a take-away.
Who’s it for: Those who want the affordable luxury of fantastic tasting meals.
Where: Hello Fresh is available throughout the UK, as well as in the USA, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, Austria, Switzerland and Canada.
How much: Prices vary dependant on number of meals per box. The family box is the best value at from £4 per meal, but the Classic and Veggie box are the most popular and start from £6 a meal.