I believe I speak for everyone when I say that thinking about what to eat for dinner can be more stressful than actually making it.
Because meal planning isn't just cooking. There's plenty of perusing the web for nutritious eats then perusing the grocery store isles for the goods before you can actually turn on the stove and get chopping. Wouldn't it be just splendid to have healthy recipes and ingredients all laid out with step by step instructions and purty pictures? And what if it was all delivered to your door step? The madness!! I can't even.
I got to try HelloFresh for the first time a couple weeks ago and let me tell you, even as a dietitian and food blogger, it's pretty much heaven having someone else think about food for you. It allows you to whip up home-cooked, healthy meals from scratch without the hustle and bustle of planning, grocery shopping, and prep. It takes the guesswork out of the million little dinnertime decisions we face every night. What's not to love about that?
HelloFresh is the largest online "meals at home" food delivery service. Their chefs and in-house dietitian create and review tasty 30-minute meal options that make up the different box options, including the Classic, Veggie (my go-to), or the Family Box. The Veggie and Classic Box feed 2-4 people for 3-5 meals (you pick) and range in price from $9.90 to $11.50 per meal. The Family Box serves 4 people 2-3 meals ranging from $8.75 to $9.99 per meal and features adult and kid-friendly recipes. Then all the pre-measured ingredients and recipes are boxed up and shipped to your door. I love that they work with a handful of local suppliers to delivery high-quality ingredients you can trust. Bada boom!
I got a little taste of both the Veggie Box and the Classic Box, which my carnivorous boyf definitely enjoyed. My Veggie Box featured an Asparagus Tomato Bake, Black Bean Enchiladas, and Southwestern Tortellini. You can choose to customize the meals as you see fit to match your dietary preferences as well. For example, since I don't eat much dairy, I simply left off the feta in the veggie bake and the sour cream and cheddar in the enchiladas.
The meals were all truly delish, flavorful and simple to prepare. My kitchen always becomes a disaster within five minutes of cooking because let's be honest, I'm super unorganized. I never get out all the ingredients like I should when I start cooking. There's usually cinnamon on the stove, peppers in the sink, and pasta in my hair. The pre-measured ingredients were really convenient and helped me to be less of a maniac in the kitchen. I also really appreciated that the meals only took 30 minutes or less to prepare.
An unexpected benefit was that by providing me with recipes, HelloFresh actually inspired me to think of new recipes ideas! It got me to cook with ingredients I don't cook with on a regular basis, like poblano peppers, Israeli couscous, and even green beans. Why don't I ever make green beans?!
HelloFresh also helped me cut back on food waste. Already having exactly what you need to make the meals means no impulse buys at the store. Another perk is that their online recipe app has a huge archive of HelloFresh recipes, so once you find ones you love, you can make them on your own anytime. The best part is that you don't have to wonder if your recipes will taste good!
Now let's chat a bit about the cons. The negative of the pre-portioned ingredients is that there's lots of packaging. Also, since all the ingredients are picked before the box is sent, you need to make the meals quickly or the produce will start to go bad. My advice would be to start making the meals the day of for the freshest produce possible. The good news is that you can always swap in whatever you have on hand already.
Now let's talk about cost. HelloFresh is obviously a bit more pricey than making the meals by yourself at home, but you're paying for the convenience of having some one else meal plan and grocery shop for you. If you're a busy person like me (and who isn't busy?), then it is totally worth it!
Lastly, there isn't a vegan option, which is pretty common with these types of subscription boxes. That said, the recipes are very customizable. The catch is if you get something like tortellini, where you can't really take the cheese out. In that case, I just used whole grain pasta I had at home and followed the rest of the recipe.
Whether you're a busy mom, working professional, college student, or just simply looking for some new inspiration, I encourage you to give HelloFresh a try. Click here and use the code "Alexis35" to get $35 off your first box!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of HelloFresh. The opinions and text are all mine.