I got a discount offer to try the Hello Fresh home meal delivery program. They send all the ingredients and a large illustrated instruction card for each meal. You have to do the cooking, but everything is provided except salt, pepper, and oil. I signed up for three meals for two people, resulting in six meals for just me.
A big attraction was having the groceries delivered to my door by UPS. I forgot I’d have to pick it up off the mat and carry it in. The food plus the hefty freezer packs were quite heavy for me (degenerative joint disease). I got it inside without hurting myself and opened the box. It was like that dramatic moment on Chopped when the competing cooks open the mystery food basket.
The non-meat ingredients for each recipe were in a bag labeled with the recipe name. The vacuum-packed meats were all at the bottom of the box where it’s colder.
The packing was very skillful. The tomato for the Frico Cheeseburger with Broccoli survived shipping with no bruising. I was impressed. The creating chefs thought I was going to stand at the stove stirring chopped onion with vinegar and sugar to make onion jam. That’s too much for me, so I just sliced the purple onion to put on the burger raw. They also thought I was going to bake round piles of shredded cheese to make crispy “fricos.” That’s probably great, but I just sprinkled the cheese over the oven-roasted broccoli. The ground beef was excellent, and the bun reasonably interesting. Roasted broccoli pieces taste much more interesting than boiled or steamed.
Next, the pork roast with oven-roasted vegetables. Again, oven roasting makes far more interesting vegetables than water-based cooking. The small potatoes looked okay on the outside, but about half of them were rotten on the inside. The tomato was underripe and mealy. The purple onion and zucchini were great. The pork roasts were high quality and delicious. Each of their servings was two servings for me.
The chicken quesadillas called for lots of chopping and mixing. I skipped making separate pico de gallo and just put the ingredients in the tortilla with the cooked vegetables and chicken cubes. I thought the pineapple with the cooked onions and peppers would taste odd, but it fit right in once cooked together in the seasonings. I didn’t understand why the instructions called for cubing and cooking one boneless skinless chicken breast and do whatever you want with the other one. Why put in two? What I did with the other one was threw it out because it was a funny yellow color and rough texture, though it smelled okay.
This program costs more than twice what it costs me to buy and transport groceries myself. It’s almost twice as delicious. The super thing about it is not having to decide what to cook and make sure I have all the ingredients. Most of the thinking was taken care of, but because of my physical limitations, I had trouble with parts of the cooking process.
I enjoyed the discount trial, but to continue wouldn’t be frugal.