Sheesh. Life is B-U-S-Y. Between teaching 4 classes and finishing up the editing on my cookbook, plus clients and the boy, I feel like I barely have a moment to spare.
I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you’re in a similar position.
Our lives are pretty crazy these days–shuttling the kid(s) to after school activities, homework, housework, it’s no wonder dinner sometime feels like an afterthought.
I try to be prepared–before I went back to school, for example, I did a ton of batch cooking and prepped up a bunch of meals for the freezer, which we are still working our way through.
But I recently had the opportunity to try a local meal-prep service, and I wanted to share my impressions with you.
HelloFresh doesn’t deliver readily-made meals. What they do deliver is the ingredients to make them. Everything is pre-portioned, and they include recipes. The idea is, you can make the meals in about 30 minutes from beginning to end, and it saves time because you don’t have to shop for the ingredients, and some of them are actually pre-prepped for you, like for example the onions come already cut.
You can order different kinds of boxes as well. I got a vegetarian one, but they also offer meat options. The meals feature fresh, healthy, quality ingredients.
The 3 meals that came in my box included a vegetarian sloppy joe (made with Yves Ground Round) with a side arugula salad, lentil dal with naan bread, and roasted eggplant with feta and chermoula freekeh.
Those all sound pretty tasty, right?
Here’s what I liked about HelloFresh:
Flexibility: my box came with 3 meals, but you can order larger quantities, and you can also order boxes that feed a larger crowd. Mine was for 2, but a version that feeds a family of 4 is another option.
Speed: all three of them cooked up in about 30 minutes. In fact, the night we had the sloppy joes was a bit of a hairy one. I had a meeting in Kits at 4, and zoomed in the door at 5:30. Dinner was served at 6! I would consider that a success, in and of itself, but the kid actually really like the sloppy joes, as well. Bonus.
Sustainability: all of their packaging is recyclable. All of the boxes are cardboard, and just go straight into the blue bin. The plastic bottles and bags can be rinsed and also recycled.
By sending you only as much as you need of say, herbs or lettuce, you don’t have produce languishing away in the crisper drawer. I really hate throwing out food, but I do it sometimes, especially fresh produce that I didn’t use up fast enough.
Sourcing local: they also are committed to sourcing the ingredients as locally as possible, which means fresher ingredients, and more money going back into the pockets of local farmers, something I support wholeheartedly.
Trying new things: I get stuck in cooking ruts. We eat lots of stir-fries, pizzas, homemade mac ‘n’ cheese with Caesar salad. What I like about these kits is that they force me to try something new. I’m pretty daring in the kitchen. There’s not much I won’t try, and there’s probably less that I haven’t tried. But this kit exposed me to a few ingredients like a Mediterranean spice mix called chermoula. And freekeh, which was something that I’d known about for a while, and had meant to try.
I think it’s a great service–it would be really great for those who cook less from scratch, but even a more advanced home cook can benefit. I also think it would be a really fun date-night activity (I did one of mine with a girlfriend), or a great way to get your kids to help out more in the kitchen.
You can learn more about HelloFresh!, including pricing and meal plans, by visiting their website: hellofresh.ca.