Meal subscription boxes have been popping up all over and I have been dying to try one. I love the idea of not having to plan dinner or grocery shop and have something delicious on the table half an hour after my first thought about dinner. The other huge plus for me? Everything comes in the right proportions so I’m not guessing how much we need or letting half of the produce go to waste.
Hello Fresh offered to send us a week of meals and I said yes as fast as I could. Keep reading for the pros and cons and click here for $35 off your first box (use code Bella35).
- The quality of some food items was better than expected. All the veggies were very fresh, but I was most impressed with the meat. We love eating chicken, but I HATE cutting off sinews, and these were ready to bake right out of the package.
- The portions were bigger than I expected too. I find a lot of ‘healthy’ meals boast being low in calories when in reality they’re just very small portion sizes. These filled me up and had enough for me to to have a small portion again for lunch the next day.
- Making a new recipe was easy! I love the idea of adding new recipes to my cooking repertoire but I don’t make the time and when I do, I find it a bit overwhelming. One thing I really loved about the Hello Fresh meals was that I learned how to cook something I could easily make again with ingredients I pick up on my own. I had never considered the subscription box as a mini “cooking class” but think they would be really fun for date nights or someone looking to learn new recipes in a no-hassle way.
- You still have to cook. So I know, you’re like “Elisabeth, its a cooking box, of course you have to cook.” But, while Hello Fresh takes the hassle out of grocery shopping and meal planning (and it does make the cooking part straight forward), you still need to cook and clean up. One night we had a Hello Fresh meal in our fridge and I still opted for Chipotle (which comes out to the same price per meal, actually), because I was too exhausted with the idea of cooking + cleaning up.
- The ingredients are fresh. This is also a huge plus, but the drawback for me was I needed to make the meals within the week or the produce would go bad. It is good for forcing me to cook. It is bad for my lazy tendencies to opt for cereal for dinner.
- You’re paying for the convenience and quality. We try to keep our food budget below $70 a week (if it were up to Ben, we’d spend no more tan $50) so initially I was surprised by the pricetag on Hello Fresh meals. But, I realized you need to factor in the time you’re saving by not going to the grocery store, the high quality of ingredients (the meat is definitely more expensive than the kind I typically buy), and all the seasonings you’re getting in perfect proportions. But, in comparison to eating out, the food is better, better for you, and less expensive.
^everything comes in perfectly proportioned out and ready to cook (note: this is one meal for a family of four – I cooked everything together and we had enough for two full meals, and three for me)
^the instructions are really great (explaining what you should do while something else is cooking so you are as time efficient as possible)
What You’ll Need:
- 2 Chicken breasts
- 5 Yukon Potatoes
- 5 oz Spinach
- 1/4 Cup Panko
- 1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 3 Tablespoons Sour Cream
- 1 Lemon
- Olive Oil
What You’ll Do:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- In a shallow dish, combine the panko, cheese, garlic powder, and a pinch of a salt and pepper.
- Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes and toss on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through, and cooking until golden brown and tender.
- Prepare the chicken breasts by placing each between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken with a rolling pin until each is 1/2 in ch thick. Place the chicken on a lightly oiled baking sheet and spread each breast with 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Press the panko mixture onto the sour cream and bake in oven for about 15 minutes.
- To make the dressing, use the juice from half a lemon and combine 1 tablespoon of sour cream, a large drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Toss cooked potatoes with dressing and spinach.
- Serve the chicken on a bed of spinach and potato salad and garnish with lemon wedges.
P.S. We also tried a Korean-Style Beef Stir Fry that I liked even better than this salad (although Ben didn’t love all the ginger) and we’re having a Mushroom and Lentil Curry tonight so I’ll keep you posted.