I was really excited when I met someone from Hello Fresh Canada at Veg Expo a few weeks ago. I have loved the idea of having meal prep delivered since the first time I’d heard of it, but as far as I’m aware, its availability in my area is only recent. Since they had a show special that gave me $20 off for a couple of weeks, I decided to give it a shot. Since then, we’ve had three deliveries and I’m pretty happy with it so I wanted to spread the word – for their sake, but also for yours!
We are out of the house for sixty hours a week – and that’s only accounting for our day jobs. Add lacrosse for Kevin and freelance work for me and we’re home even less. Mix housework and gardening into our schedules and we are even shorter on time in the kitchen. A little help with meal prep is very, very welcome over here.
We chose the Veggie Box for two, but there is also an option for Pronto Box which includes meat and seafood based menus and Family Plan for four people. We’ve had three deliveries of three meals each and, though one recipe went slightly awry, it was still salvageable and all of them were quite good. Our meals have included:
- Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas
- Fattoush Salad
- Vegetarian Bibimbap
- Enoki Mushroom and Udon Noodle Stir Fry
- Smoky Black Bean Cakes
- Sicilian Caponata
- Open-Faced Mushroom Melt
- Roasted Cauliflower Biryani
- Zucchini and Asparagus Farro Bowl
The little fish bottles of sesame oil are my favourite
All of the recipes are very easy to make and I like that they give me some new ideas to mix into my regular routine. Each meal comes with a detailed recipe card complete with pictures to walk you through preparation step by step and includes ingredients so you can make it again in the future. Hello Fresh would be a great housewarming gift for someone who was living on their own for the first time or a birthday gift for someone who wanted to learn how to cook. Ingredients come prepared whenever possible – onions and celery are chopped, garlic is peeled – and premeasured. Practically everything you will need is in the box – the only things I’ve had to use from my own kitchen have been salt, pepper and olive oil. (One recipe I made suggested that a fried egg would be a good addition and that wasn’t included.)
Boxes are delivered by Purolator and arrive filled with ice packs. One week when we didn’t get ours on its original delivery day, the contents were still cool a day later. (Most of the time they are cold.) The boxes have FSC-certified sustainable cardboard insulation that can be recycled in household recycling and after you collect a few ice packs, Hello Fresh will arrange to have them picked up for reuse.
Smoky Black Beans that ended up more like a scramble than a cake
Here’s a breakdown of the highs and not so highs of Hello Fresh delivery service.
- Portion sizes are generous, but not too big. We always have enough without being too full or having leftovers.
- They use ingredients I might never try otherwise.
- Every meal is ready to serve in 30 minutes or less, start to finish.
- Each week comes with three meals which is a nice number. It’s enough that it takes a lot of the hassle out of meal prep, but still allows you to fit your household regulars in between. We usually use our Hello Fresh meals on busy weeknights and then cook for ourselves on weekends.
- Their customer service representatives are for real. I threw a few idiotic curveballs their way (accidentally, of course) and they dealt with them quickly, easily, and with what sounded like a smile.
- If you don’t like a menu or will be out of town or just plain old don’t want a delivery, you just choose to skip the week. The website is easy to use and menus are available two to three weeks in advance.
- A couple of times the pre-diced onions have looked a little…off. Instead, I just cut up an onion I had on hand. All of the other produce has been in great shape. (Including two perfectly ripe avocados!)
- There aren’t many vegan meals and the vegetarian ones aren’t always easily converted. Many involve cheese or mayonnaise or yogurt.
Thing (only one) that isn’t exactly perfect:
- Some of the meals we’ve received have had what I’d consider a pretty high calorie count. I usually reserve those of run days, but I’d prefer something a little lighter on the regular.
As you can see, the good far outweighs the less good and I hope it’s obvious that I am a BIG fan!
Have you tried Hello Fresh or another meal prep delivery service? If you’d be interested, let me know. I sometimes get promo weeks to giveaway to local friends or you can use this link to get $50 off your first box!