Dinnertime with Hello Fresh

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I love meal planning and I've shared many recipes and some of my meal plans before. Lately I've been in a bit of a rut and have been struggling to find new recipes to try. Enter Hello Fresh!

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I've actually been doing Hello Fresh off and on for about 6 months now. I usually only order from them 1 or 2 times per month. I typically order from them when I am really interested in multiple recipes, as you have to order 3 meals, and when I know that I'll have time during the week to make the meals. If I'm having an extremely busy week I'll opt for crock pot meals or some of my easy standbys like a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, but if I feel like I can spare 30 or 40 mins a few times a week, I love trying out new recipes. I also love that they are pretty healthy meals and use simple fresh ingredients. Perfect for a clean eating lifestyle. They also have gluten free, vegan and dairy free options, and recently have started offering a breakfast option (which I'm super excited to try!).

I've shared some of my meals on Instagram stories, and my friends and family are always asking me about the service, so I thought I would share my thoughts and some of my favorite meals.

When you sign up, you pick a day of the week for your delivery. I originally choose Wednesday because that was Rick's day off and I knew he would be home during the day to accept the delivery. We have to decide by Friday which meals we want, or if we want to pass for the week. Our delivery shows up around 4:30 pm and is in a large insulated box with large ice packs. So even if we cannot get it immediately in the fridge, the food is cool and safe for at least a few hours.

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Once you open the box, there are 3 smaller boxes that have the portioned out ingredients for each meal. The meats are in the very bottom of the box under the ice packs, to keep them really cool. I like how everything is organized and easy to store in the fridge. Then when I'm ready to cook one of the meals, I just pull out one box and everything is included.

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Each meal includes a recipe card with a large color picture of the meal, with the cooking time and calories on the front, and all of the instructions on the back. I love that I can keep these recipe cards and make the meals another time if I really like it, I just need to purchase the ingredients myself.

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The recipe cards break down the recipe step by step, and the recipes aren't too hard to do. Every once in a while I come across a recipe with a new cooking technique I've never tried before. I've also learned about interesting things like Potato Rosti (crispy potato pancakes, made the Swiss way), and Gremolata (a condiment made of parsley, lemon zest and garlic)

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I love using the Hello Fresh app, which I have downloaded on both my phone and my iPad. This makes it really easy to choose my meal selections when I'm meal planning and I can also easily reference back to my previous recipes and favorites. I can also go about 6 weeks out and decide if I want to skip for the week. Right now I tend to go ahead and mark skip as far out as I can just so I don't accidentally forget to skip. Then I can go back in and unskip when I'm meal planning. The only issue I have with the app is that it is always logging me out, so I have to log in every time I go into the app. But I like that I have it on my phone as well so I can reference recipes when I'm out shopping.

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One thing to think about when trying Hello Fresh: Each recipe takes about 30-40 mins of active cooking time. So they are not a quick prep and then throw in the oven and multi-task type of recipes. You will spend the full amount of time actively cooking.

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The majority of the recipes we have tried we have both loved. Some of my favorites include:

Lean Mean Chicken and Greens

Meatloaf Balsamico with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

New York Strip Steak with Truffled Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans Amandine

Mustard Pork Chops and Potato Rosti with Green Beans

New York Strip Steak with Balsamic Reduction over Polenta, Blistered Tomatoes and Green Beans

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The puppies love when I'm cooking Hello Fresh meals because usually there are a few stray veggies that fly off the counter.

I'm trying a few new meals again this week, and will be sure to share everything on my Instagram stories, so make sure the follow along. I also have a few discounted and free meals that I can share so if you are interested in trying Hello Fresh, feel free to email me at lifeloveandpuppypaws@gmail.com and I'll send you a code.

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