Thinking up interesting meal ideas and shopping for ingredients is a time consuming process, and probably the last thing on your mind if you’re like me and work full time. It’s tempting to order takeaway meals at these times but imagine how much easier (and healthier) your life would be if someone brought fresh ingredients to your door, with easy to follow recipes to cook delicious meals. That’s where HelloFresh comes in handy – this innovative global company creates a range of tasty and nutritious recipes for customers to choose from and then delivers the ingredients for free, all pre-packaged in the exact portions to cook meals for 2, 4 or 6 people.
I thought this was a brilliant idea as I fall squarely into the target market of being a time-poor and amateur home cook who is still learning the ropes. To show you guys how it works and how easy it all is, I trialled out one of their Classic Boxes for a week:
Contents of the box
Lamb Tagine with Couscous
First up I tried out the Moroccan flavours in the Lamb Tagine recipe, which is served with a side of fluffy couscous. Everything that is required for the recipe is included in the HelloFresh pack, except for Olive Oil and Red Wine Vinegar. Luckily I had some Olive Oil in the pantry but didn’t have the vinegar, although the resulting Tagine was still tasty enough without it. The recipe was easy enough to follow and involved a reasonable amount of slicing and dicing of the vegies, but thankfully no overly complicated steps.
Lamb Tagine with Couscous
All up the preparation time took around 30 minutes with a couple of hands on deck in the kitchen, and we ended up with a hearty stew cooked with lamb sourced from Haverick Meats, vegetable stock, diced tomato, sweet potato, chunks of carrot and seasoned with an exotic chermoula spice blend provided by HelloFresh. The serving was meant to be for 2 people, but the flavours and textures in the Tagine were quite heavy and we were able to share this serving between 4 people. The only downside about this recipe would be that the lamb ended up being quite tough.
Fragrant Fish Curry
I have never cooked a curry from scratch before and was intrigued by this recipe as it didn’t involve any particularly exotic ingredients apart from the HelloFresh fish curry blend which was again provided in the pack. The recipe did call upon some familiar ingredients to flavour the curry – red onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander, as well as a whole tin of diced tomatoes and a generous amount of coconut milk to give the curry its distinctive colour and consistency.
Fragrant Fish Curry with rice
Overall, the curry was relatively easy to cook and the final product was a bit bland at first and required a sprinkle of salt to add some extra flavour. After the salt was added, the curry was quite tasty and comforting, with a runny consistency that made it a wonderful sauce to drizzle over a bed of rice for a complete meal. But I noticed while prepping the Crimson Snapper Fillet pieces sourced from DeCosti’s by HelloFresh that there were still bones tucked inside the flesh of the fish, which is a hazard as I generally assume that the fish has been thoroughly de-boned when it is cooked in a curry.
The Cabbage Quesadillas were a bit more challenging to cook as the quesadilla pastry cooks quite quickly and you have to be careful not to burn it on the pan. I found that their recipe overestimated the amount of red cabbage required for the dish (1 whole red cabbage) which literally turned into a mountain when it was cut into shreds. I only used about half of the cabbage for the quesadillas as any more would have made it very difficult to flip the quesadillas over in the pan, since the cabbage and red onion went in between 2 quesadillas to form a filling.
Cabbage Quesadillas and Guacamole
I also added in extra cheese to help the quesadillas stick together – once when first putting the quesadilla and cabbage filling together on the pan as the recipe calls for and then again when I flipped the quesadilla over to cook the other side. The end result was an interesting crispy pancake-like dish with cabbage and red onion sandwiched inside it. I had also added in the HelloFresh Mexican spice blend to add extra flavour to the cabbage filling but couldn’t really taste it in the final dish. The serving included in the pack was for 2 people and contained enough to make 3 quesadillas – not quite enough for a solid meal.
The recipe also includes a side of guacamole which was a breeze to make – simple and tasty, and a perfect tangy complement to the quesadillas when eaten together. The guacamole recipe makes for a great addition to my repetoire of go-to recipes for easy snacks to make for guests, with the fresh chunky avocado, tomato, parsley and lemon also going well with crackers or corn chips too.
Overall, my experience with HelloFresh was quite positive. They take the hard work out of thinking up foolproof recipes and then source the fresh ingredients for you, partnering with well known suppliers such as De Costi’s for seafood and Haverick Meats. HelloFresh claims that you can cook their meals in 30 minutes or less – with my amateur skills it took slightly longer, but not too much more and there were definitely no tricky steps involved in creating these recipes. At a starting price of $9.94 per meal, it’s a great alternative to takeaway meals and much healthier too – so next time you feel that grocery shopping is a chore, remember HelloFresh can help you save some time and energy.
HelloFresh changes their recipes regularly – check out HelloFresh’s website to see what their boxes are filled with and to order one to try for yourselves!
Special thanks to HelloFresh for sending the Classic Box over for us to trial