Friday, 26 September 2014

Hello Fresh Review

When I was off sick last week I heard a knock on the front door. Excited it would be a package for me (I always assume this, not sure why as it's never happened), I opened the door to two sales guys flogging a discounted 'Hello Fresh' subscription.

Having been taught by mum at a young age to avoid scams, and having in the past dated a sales man for 3 years, I know all the tricks of the trade and usually shoo them away. Maybe it was my illness, maybe it was the fact that the sales guy recited a poem to my housemate, maybe I felt immediately guilty for telling them 'salesmen are bad people' - whatever the reason, I signed up to it. 

The premise is you choose a package (I signed up for 3 meals for 2 people), and they deliver a box containing the exact amount of ingredients you need for 3 meals, including the recipes for each meal.  They were doing a promotion and my first two boxes would cost £29.95 (25% off) and I can apparently cancel after 2 boxes.

I am the kind of person who never knows what I am doing after work for dinner, and often end up popping into the poorly stocked and expensive local Co-Op to buy a ready meal, forgetting I already went to Asda on the weekend and did a weekly shop.  Therefore this sounded interesting, potentially less wasteful and could perhaps improve my cooking skills.

My first delivery arrived on Monday.  I had signed up to the 5pm-9pm slot, and so was annoyed when I had a text message from the courier saying it was delivered at 3pm.  Worried it would be nicked from my front door/the food would all be warm and spoiled, I rushed home and discovered the package had been hidden from sight behind my front wall.  On opening, the cold stuffs had been packed in an insulated bag with ice packs, and was still fairly cold, so disaster averted.  However if I hadn’t got home until much later I am pretty sure the ice pack would have melted.

My Meals:

Bedouin Chicken and Rice
Salmon fishcakes with citrus salad
Mushroom cheese burgers with wedges.

What's in the box?

The box was neatly packed as below.

Opening the box
Ingredients included for the 3 above meals consisted of:

1 x pot sour cream
1 x pot greek yoghurt
1 x portion of salmon trimmings
2 x slices of cheese
2 x brioche burger buns
1 x pack of pea shoot salad leaves
2 x chicken breast
1 x portion of panko bread crumbs
1 x portion of basmati rice
1 x portion of minced meat
1 x pot of chili seeds
1 x pot of coriander seeds
sachet of mustard
small pot of honey
sachet of ketchup
2 x courgettes
1 x lemon
1 x lime
1 x portion of mushrooms
1 x HUGE onion
3 x potatoes
1 x pack of coriander
1 x pack of dill
2 x spring onions
1 x stub of ginger
1 x portion fresh peas

Cat and dying house plant not included
The box also contained the recipe cards, a £10 voucher for some other subscription thing, a welcome book and a free tea pigs sample.

free tea!

Recipe cards (recipe on the back)

How easy is it to cook?

My first guinea pig was my man friend. I was hoping/guessing he would go for the burgers but to my surprise plumped for the fishcakes (he’s been overindulging on holiday and wanted something healthy - I failed to tell him that the fat and carb content of the fish cakes was actually higher than the burgers!). 

I am not very good at following instructions and I am very impatient, so I didn't do things in the order I should have, opting to do some steps whilst things were cooking.  The instructions were easy to follow and clearly laid out, and I produced the below:

I also had some ingredients left - panko breadcrumbs and dill, which I will use for something else perhaps.

The fishcakes were nice but they did seem like they lacked a little something...I had seasoned everything at the given times, so not sure why the taste wasn't that great.  They were a little flat, I blame the man friend as he squished them down when frying them - I also thought it odd that you were meant to use sour cream to roll the cakes in for the breadcrumbs to stick to, I would have thought whisked egg would have been better.  Perhaps they don't give eggs away in their packs incase they break.

My second guinea pig was Francesca, who came over for a Breaking Bad session.  We opted for the burgers as I didn't want the buns to go stale.  THEY WERE DELICIOUS!!!! Hands down the best home made burger I have had.  The meat was minced beef but it was more 'together' than the mince you buy from the supermarket, and was SO tasty.  However it said to cook the potatoes for 20 minutes - ours needed about 45!!

Sorry for the lame photo - my food photography is pretty poor to say the least

My third meal hasn't been cooked yet....I was out for dinner on Thursday and tonight I am out drinking...oops! Hopefully it'll still be OK to cook tomorrow for lunch.

I forgot to cancel my box for next week, which is annoying as I am out for dinner on Monday, Wednesday and have people over on Friday - though I could just combine all the meals into one huge weird dish and cook them all for my Friday guests....

Anyway I guess to sum up, I like the idea.  I think it's a bit pricey, I added all the ingredients up in the Waitrose online shopper thing (I chose Waitrose as I think the quality of ingredients is comparable) and that came to £38, and the box without discount costs £40 (I think).

But I guess for the convenience, ease and pure joy and excitement of coming home to a parcel of food on your door step means it's worth it at least once.  I will continue with next week and the week after as I have another discount to use up, but I don't think I will continue if I have to pay full price or I don't end up cooking the meals because I am out and about.

I have a discount code if anyone would like to try - go to and sign up, enter in this code PNJ2SB and you'll get a lovely £20 off your first box (I'll also get £12 off mine!)

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