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April 29th, 2012

HELLO FRESH – assisted home cooking for busy people

 HELLO FRESH   assisted home cooking for busy people

Recipe Card @Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh “ is the smart way to prepare easy and healthy meals for yourself and your family. Say goodbye to unhealthy fast food and repetitive meals and rediscover the joys of cooking.”

Curious?  I shall explain to you how Hello Fresh works:

1. You get a box of ingredients with recipe cards delivered to your door once a week (you can choose a 3 or 5 meal plan and also a vegetarian option is available)

2. All the ingredients are measured for the respective meal, so there is no wastage at all (apart from plastic wrappings that is)

3. All you have to do is the chopping and the cooking, and there is your home-cooked meal without having to think about what to prepare or having to go shopping before.

Hello Fresh send me a free 3 meal package (retail price 39.00 with free shipping) to try.  It is very exciting when you receive the box with all the fresh ingredients and the surprise recipes…

 HELLO FRESH   assisted home cooking for busy people

What is going to be in the box?Â

I cooked the 3 meals on 3 consecutive days and was overall impressed.  I love the concept of Hello Fresh.  It is for people like me, who are very busy and are not very confident in the kitchen but enjoy delicious home-cooked food.  My boyfriend was happy too, I cooked in a week what I usually just about manage in a month…

A welcome aspect of the Hello Fresh experience is that I have tried different recipes that I would not usually cook (for example, I never made a burger before) and I attempted new techniques. Being pushed out of my culinary comfort zone has certainly increased my confidence levels when cooking and I have a lot of  new ideas for my own creations.

The Ingredients:

  • As the name suggests, they were good quality and very fresh and indeed kept for almost a week, as advertised on the website.
  • There is a lot of plastic wrapping, I wonder if at least some could be replaced with recycled (and recyclable) cardboard?

The Recipes:

  • Inventive and mostly healthy (not sure about the wholesomeness of the burger…) recipes taking inspirations of different ethnic cuisines, all accompanied by at least one or two for your five a day.
  • On the downside, you can’t choose your recipes and you have no idea what to expect.  If for example, one week the recipe would contain peppers, pineapples, celeriac and dill I would be screwed. Totally.
  • The recipes were overall easy to follow, although there were scattered mistakes and some the cooking steps were not very clearly explained. I don’t think the small pictures that you can hardly see are necessary, I would prefer a more clear description of processes.  It would also help to e.g. mention in the beginning of the recipe to preheat the oven…
  • I felt the Asian style dishes were to adapted to the British palate.

 

 Day 1 – Stir-fried Pork and Prawn Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms

This was the first dish I tried because it sounded the best to me. This noodles stir fry was however the least successful of them all and definitely needed some extra zing.  It was supposedly Vietnamese, or at least Vietnam inspired (it had fish sauce…) but tasted too mild and ended up being too dry.  The chilli that came in the box was mild and should really have been spicy.  I would have used double the amount of fish sauce and some Asian cooking oil should have been added to the recipe, as cooking with olive oil for a stir fry is somehow weird.

 HELLO FRESH   assisted home cooking for busy people

The ingredients for Day One

The dish was certainly edible and with some tweaking I would cook this recipe again.

 

 HELLO FRESH   assisted home cooking for busy people

Stir-fried Pork and Prawn Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms

 

Day 2 – Chorizo and Toasted Pine Nut Burger with Red Onion Marmalade

I really enjoyed the recipe that I cooked the next day, a Chorizo and Toasted Pine Nut Burger (recipe below, with some adaptation).  My boyfriend is American, which means that he was born with the ability to cook the perfect burger.  He liked this Hello Fresh recipe but strongly criticised the lack of fresh lettuce in the burger.  He almost had a heart attack when the recipe suggested to cook the corn for 15 minutes.  I learned that fresh corn should not be boiled for longer than 2-3 minutes and if it’s a bit older 5-6 minutes are the maximum. I cooked the corn for the recipe for 5 minutes and it was perfect, I don’t even want to imagine what a 15 minutes cooking time might have done to this poor vegetable…

 

 HELLO FRESH   assisted home cooking for busy people

Day Two @Hello Fresh

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 200g mince beef
  • 50g Shredded Chorizo
  • 15g Pine Nuts
  • 1 Baby Gem Lettuce
  • 1 Corn on the Cob
  • 100g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 150g (1 medium sized) Red Onions
  • 15 g (1) Spring Onion
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp of Ketchup
  • 1 tsp of Dried Oregano
  • 1 Ciabatta Loaf
 HELLO FRESH   assisted home cooking for busy people

Ingredients

1. Chop cherry tomatoes in half, coarsely chop baby gem lettuce and cut spring onions into diagonal slices.  Cut red onion in half through the root and then cut it into very thin, crescent-shaped slices.  Lastly remove any skin from the chorizo and chop really finely.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on low heat in a non-stick pan.  Add in the red onion with half a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. After 10 minutes, ad in two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and continue slow cooking for around 20 minutes until you have prepared the rest of the meal

3. To make the burgers, simply mix together the mince meat, pine nuts, a quarter of a teaspoon of salt, the dry oregano, the shredded chorizo and the ketchup.  Work the mixture thoroughly with your hands for a few minutes.

4. Bring a pan of water to boil, add your corn and a pinch of salt.  Gently boil for about 5 minutes, drain and keep to the side.

5. Divide burger mixture into 2 portions and gently press each one into burger shape.  Heat a non-stick pan with some olive oil and cook burgers for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on your liking.

6. In a bowl, mix together 2/3 baby gem lettuce, the spring onions and 2/3 of the tomatoes (keep some aside to put into burger if you like) before drizzling over two teaspoon of olive oil and balsamic vinegar/

7. Cut the ciabatta in half and then slice each piece in half again so that you have four burger baps.  Put these in the toaster (or under the grill if they don’t fit into your toaster) to lightly toast them.

8. Serve the burger with the side salad and top with sweet slow-cooked red onion marmalade (as well as fresh salad and tomatoes, mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard – however you like).  Chop corn in half  and serve with a knob of butter and sprinkle with some salt.

 HELLO FRESH   assisted home cooking for busy people

Chorizo and Toasted Pine Nut Burger with Red Onion Marmalade

The last recipe will be presented in a different post, it was lovely…

More bloggers’ opinions on Hello Fresh from Bread et Butter and Love Leluu.

 

 

7 comments to HELLO FRESH – assisted home cooking for busy people

  • Hannah

    Oh wow, the dishes look really yummy. I think I will try to cook the Chorizo and Toasted Pine Nut Burger with Red Onion Marmalade – my boyfriend will love me for it ;-) You also made me really curious about the last recipe since you even do a different post!!!! I’m still thinking about to give Hello Fresh a try. Would you subscribe for it?

  • Ute

    @Hannah – I think I would subscribe to it, not for every week, but once in a while when I know I will be in a lot. It’s the food but also the fact that I just love receiving parcels and surprises :)
    Let me know what you think about the burger, I thought it was really lovely…

  • Hannah

    @Ute That’s indeed true!!! I get so many bills so it would be really nice to know that I could also receive every week a parcel with lovely food ;-) I will cook the burger in the weekend when I have a bit more time and depending on how successful this will be, I subscribe or give it a try.

  • Sara

    Yeah this looks great. I think I should give it a try. I also came across foodybag.co.uk today so not sure which one to go with now?!?!?

  • Ute

    @Sara – haven’t tried foodybag, but looking at their site/recipes it seems to be more ‘traditional’ while Hello Fresh has a lot of world cuisine. I prefer the latter, but let me know should you try foodybag!

  • Sara

    @Ute, Actually i decided to order a trial bag from Foodybag so will get delivery this coming Sunday. I also asked one of my friends to try Hello Fresh so that we could compare the services/food/recipes :) So will let you know how it goes.

  • Ute

    @Sara – oh cool, good idea! definitely let me know who wins :)

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