Recently, our team had the chance to try HelloFresh’s new dinner kit options-a fresh meal sent straight to your door. With generous servings and high quality, fresh ingredients, HelloFresh is your answer to, “What’s for dinner?”
Here’s what we made and ate, and our opinion on the sample box they provided.
Cardamom Spiked Shrimp Pilau
Our first dish was the Cardamom Spiked Shrimp Pilau (aka, rice pilaf), with toasted cashews, lime, and a fresh spicy-sweet red chili pepper. One of the nice things about HelloFresh is, although their recipe only calls for a certain quantity of specific ingredients (in this case: the cilantro, onion ginger and chile peppers were all MORE than enough), many times they provide whole items-allowing for adjustments in spice or flavor to your liking.
The curry spices in this recipe are so simple, but entirely delicious. The turmeric was fragrant and fresh (old turmeric will add color, but not much flavor-fresh spices are always best), and we ended up cracking open the cardamom pod and crushing the tiny seeds within, to add even deeper Indian spice flavors to the dish.
Although we ended up adding 8 more shrimp to the recipe, the quantity produced was a total of 4 servings-twice what the original recipe promised, and more than enough for lunch the next day. We also ended up with enough extra ginger (nearly 2 tablespoons worth) to toss it into the next day’s morning juice recipe. Time to make: less than 30 minutes from stove top to table.
We paired this dish with Mud House Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – a perfectly refreshing white wine from New Zealand with notes of grapefruit, lime zest, and gooseberry – a nice compliment to curry and Indian dishes.
Crave Local is giving away a HelloFresh box for 4 to one lucky winner! Sign up for our newsletter here, and be entered to win! If you can’t wait to try them, use coupon code HELLOCRAVE for 30% off your first order!
Our second dish was the Butternut Squash & Split Pea Stew. Many have complained that fresh delivery meals still require a lot of prep work. Not the case with HelloFresh. Yes, you still had to chop the tomatoes and garlic, and slice the lime in half, but the toughest part of the dish-chopping and peeling the butternut squash-was done in advance.
We did add an additional 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth to the dish-in part to cook the lentils a bit faster, and also to hydrate the dish to our liking more (dried split peas need to break down to release their full flavor), but in the end, the result was a hearty, delicious (also turmeric based) vegetarian curry dish sure to please.
Servings created: 3 full sized dishes. Time to make: less than 30 minutes.
A buttery, tart (lower oak!) 2011 Chardonnay from Rendez-vous winery (see our wine review here). Tropical, delicious, and perfect with this dish.
Our third and final dish was the Grilled Cheese Pasta with Broccoli and Pepitas (otherwise known as pumpkin seeds). The ingredients included an entire block of ‘grilling’ cheese (easy to find at your local Hispanic produce market or grocery), a large head of broccoli (at least 16 oz), a large white onion, and the rest of the ingredients in the recipe.
We were initially intimidated by the presumed calorie count on the recipe (627 per serving!), but then realized that included the entire 8 oz block of cheese. We used just over half of it, and ended up with leftover cheese to use for other recipes during the week. The directions called for grilling or pan searing the cheese right in with the onions and spices. The cheese browned and crisped up on all sides, with melted centers that gave you that perfect ooey, gooey-ness that you’d expect in a ‘grilled cheese’.
End result: comfort food with a Spanish twist. Servings created: 4 very large dishes. Time to make: less than 20 minutes!
The time to make this dish should make moms worldwide stand up and cheer. Dinner for 4 in less than 20 minutes? This calls for margaritas or caipirinhas! (And that’s just what we had with it for dinner the next day.)
What We Liked
HelloFresh lets you see on their website what dishes are coming up for next week, as opposed to letting you self-select and pick from a long list. This cuts down on waste at their headquarters, and also encourages subscribers to try something new for dinner. Don’t see something you like? You can work with what you’ll be getting, or wait till the next round, and jump right in.
The quantities are generous. Instead of paying $14+ plus per serving like you would with many fresh dinner kit delivery services, our total-even with the addition of a few extra shrimp and vegetable broth, came out to less than $6.00 per serving. When you dine with someone who always asks about portion size when ordering out, and they’re still happy-you have a winner of a meal!
Everything HelloFresh sent was top-notch quality. We’re talking fresh ingredients here: herbs, citrus, ginger, and fresh tomatoes, not frozen bags of veggies and herbs that had been turned into tubular things no longer resembling, well – food products.
Does your spouse or significant other need a little help learning their way around meal planning, or understanding what spices work with what dish? With ready to cook fresh meals like HelloFresh, this can be just the trick to give that special someone his or her “kitchen wings”.
Final result: full bellies, a reasonable price for the time and effort you save, and well worth trying the next time your schedule starts getting a bit too hectic to cook at home.