Well, hello! After reviewing Sun Basket a few months ago, I had several readers mention that they use Hello Fresh. I decided that would be the next meal delivery service to try.
It did not start out so well, but that was NOT the fault of Hello Fresh. I placed an order for delivery on Monday, August 21, 2017. On that day I anxiously hurried home to see what had arrived. Nothing had arrived!
Tuesday I expected the delivery, and again I was disappointed. I checked the tracking and learned that the box had been destroyed in shipping and was thrown away. I emailed customer service to see what would happen next. Would they send another shipment or refund my money?
I had chosen an upgraded meal that cost an additional $10. They refunded the $10 and told me I had a credit for 3 meals. I was to contact customer service when I was ready to order, and they would place the order for me.
We got busy so I delayed reordering until December. By then, I thought it might be too late. I emailed the guy that I had worked with in August thinking I might receive an undeliverable response. A different guy responded, but he took care of it without problems. I did order an upgraded meal, and they billed me for $10 again.
I had arranged for the delivery to occur on Monday, December 4. It did! The food was well packaged. There were three packages of meat and three brown bags full of the veggies and condiments needed for the recipes.
The recipes were on large cards which made reading them easy. The cooking process on each card were bundled into six steps. They showed what was to be included, what wine (which they now sell) would go well with the dinner, what pots and pans to get out, etc.
Our recipes were for roasted pork tenderloin with lemony potatoes and zucchini, sweet-as-honey chicken with green beans over jasmine rice, and fig and rosemary New York strip steaks with fingerling potatoes and asparagus. As far as the food selection, I had an easier time finding three meals both Mike and I would enjoy than I did with the only other service I have tried, which was Sun Basket. However, I recognize that this may just be the weeks that I was shopping.
The first recipe I tried was the pork tenderloin. It was supposed to take me 40 minutes to prepare, it took me a little over and hour. The meal was delicious! However, the pork was not real tender (which could be the cook’s fault) and it appeared to be dark meat (which I always avoid). It made more than enough for Mike and me. I really thought I might save half for lunch the next day, but Mike and I were talking, and I poked it all down my throat!
On Wednesday night, I made the chicken dish. Again it took me about an hour to prepare what they said would take 35 minutes. I do have a large kitchen triangle (in my kitchen, the distances between my sink, fridge and stove are long), so maybe I spend my time walking around!
It too was very tasty! The chicken was tender, the green beans had a few bad spots, but so do the green beans in my local stores! Included with the veggies were two small packets of honey, a little plastic fish full of soy sauce, a packet of chicken stock concentrate and a tiny little bottle of white wine vinegar. They were all packaged so cute, which has nothing to do with anything, but it did make me smile!
I was a bit concerned with the steak because, if you have read my blog before, you know that Mike is an amazing steak chef, but he always cooks them on the outdoor grill. These were to be cooked in a small amount of olive oil on the stovetop. I was fearful I would make some tough steaks! The balsamic fig sauce had me totally intrigued. I think it would work on any protein!
As it turns out, the steak (or the cook) had a problem! I could not get them to cook on the inside. I cut the steaks in half lengthwise in order to put the middle on the heat. They finally hit medium well, but they were a bit tough. However, the potatoes, asparagus and balsamic fig glaze were amazing!
I do not recall with Sun Basket, but I will say I felt like I made a lot of dirty dishes with Hello Fresh. But again, that might just be me. There is such a convenience in not having to shop for the ingredients or not having everything you need. Basic pans, oil, salt and pepper is all I have had to provide with the Hello Fresh meals.
Between the two services, I like both Sun Basket and Hello Fresh. There is nothing in particular that would lead me to say one is better than the other. Although I doubt I will be a regular subscriber to any meal delivery service, I do like the idea of maybe one week a month using such a service. It is great way to get me out of a rut, try some new recipes and really plan dinners for the week.
I would say that if you have picky eaters in your family, read through the recipes carefully. We loved the more exotic offerings of Sun Basket, but I could see that a picky eater might not want to try something different. Of course, the offerings we saw might just be the week we shopped their service.
With a $30 discount code, I paid $29.94 for three meals, each of which feed two people. I did have the upgraded meal which cost an additional $10.
I will keep on my journey of trying all the major meal delivery services out there, so stayed tuned!