Meal Delivery Kit number two...and already I'm deviating from my review criteria. In my original post I stated that I would try each service for two weeks, however....As soon as I ordered from Hello Fresh I was disappointed. Here's why:
Hello Fresh has three meal plans: Family - which is for four people (two many for us), pronto - which does have two people plans but is more expensive because all prep is done for you, and veggie which also has two people plans and doesn't come fully chopped and prepped and ready to go. I decided to go with the vegetarian option. I entered all my information and noted on the site it let me know I could change meal options after check out (which is how Good Food worked). BUT the vegetarian box only has three options. So there is nothing to switch to.
I tried to change the plan (minutes after ordering) but was only give then option to change the plan for the following week.
I immediately canceled my account and when asked to provide additional information about why I was cancelling I let them know why and have still not heard anything, at all, from them. (Note: I've received two extremely pleasant emails from Good Food after I cancelled their service). Customer Service goes a long way in my world. I did see on Hello Fresh's facebook that people had asked why Veggie only has three options and have learned that it is a new box so they are still building other options. Seems like a good piece of info to put front and centre on their site instead of leaving customers frustrated and digging for answers to their questions.
A positive to the ordering/website - they do have PayPal which I appreciated.
Delivery and Presentation
Hello Fresh does give an option of several days for delivery which was great - I received my order early in the week which was great.
Initially I liked that the meals were in a paper bag folded over and sealed, like a take out order. It looked great in the box and the over all appearance made me smile. Then I realized that because it is in a paper bag you can't see what is in the bag. I didn't open each bag (because who has time for that) and late in the week realized I had refrigerated tomatoes (which was not great for them) and stored some leafy greens in the regular part of the fridge instead of the crisper which is also not ideal.
I have to say I did like that Hello Fresh provided clear instructions on recycling a lot of their packaging, including the ice packs - and offer a service where they will pick them up. What was in direct contrast to all of this though is that several items came in individual, not recyclable packages (like 6 individual packets of mayo) or things came packaged that could have easily not been - like pre-chopped and peeled sweet potato in a plastic bag(why not just send a whole potato?)
A cool thing that Hello Fresh does though is listed out all the ingredients and indicate what type of allergen they are (ie wheat, egg, dairy) right on the recipe card. We don't have any allergies but would find that useful if we did.
Grilled Halloumi Burger
Quick and Simple, this is something we would likely make again, although my daughter did sum up the burger pretty well...she called it empty. Fried (not grilled) Halloumi with tomatoes and greens on a bun with a side of home made baked potato wedges was quick and easy to make so we'll figure out one more component for the burger and make it again.
This took slightly longer than the 30 minutes that it said it would - mainly because of the wait for the oven to come up to temperature. Actually cooking & prep was pretty close to 30 minutes.
Roasted Root Veggie Medley
This was the meal that I was planning on swapping for something else because I know it would be a hard sell to get my daughter to eat it (and I was right). It did make terrific work lunches though, and I enjoyed learning how to make candied pecans (so simple!) and didn't even mind the chèvre (goat cheese) that was included as an extra topping. This dish did seem a little low on protein, but maybe farro (the grain) has a lot of protein?
This recipe took just over 30 minutes to prepare which is pretty close to what the recipe card said it would.
Fragrant Aloo Gobi
An easy to prepare vegetable curry. I didn't follow this recipe exactly because we have a rice cooker and I just make a big pot of rice to go with this, instead of the 3/4 cup of rice cooked in a pot on the stove that the recipe card instructed. I also let the pot simmer for a bit after adding the coconut milk, instructions said to add the milk (after everything else has simmers and built flavour), heat until it comes up to temperature (about 2 minutes) and then serve 0 but this just made it taste like coconut milk. I let it simmer for an additional 5 or 10 minutes to allow the rest of the flavours to blend.
I might make this one again, it was a good Saturday evening, not in a rush dish and left enough for leftovers.