Mrs. Carla Monti

Mrs. Carla Monti

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hello Fresh Review!

My colleague at work ordered Hello Fresh, a food service very similar to Blue Apron, and sent me a coupon code. For 3 meals for two people, it would cost $29. That was a no-brainer - I put Blue Apron on hold for a week and ordered Hello Fresh, intending to try it once, and then go back to Blue Apron.

What I didn't like was that upon receipt of the box of food, Hello Fresh immediately charged my card $69 (the regular weekly price) for next week's box. I emailed their customer service people to complain, and they promptly refunded the charge. I merely intended to try the service at the much-reduced rate of $29, and certainly harbored no intentions to drop Blue Apron.

Here were the meals:

Pan-Seared Steak With Roasted Butternut Squash and Green Beans Almondine

  • This was absolutely terrible.
  • This was the third and final meal we made, so by the time we got to it (4-6 days after receiving the shipment), the green beans were rotten and had to be thrown away. Luckily, I had just gotten a small bag of quinoa at Whole Foods, so I made that to add to the almonds and roasted butternut squash.
  • I frequently roast cubes of butternut squash in the oven, so when I saw the package of diced butternut squash, I thought easy! WELL after the requisite time in the properly heated oven, they were STILL basically raw. Unfortunately I did not taste them before adding them to the quinoa and almonds, so it ruined the side salad.
  • The steak was a little tough, and the buttery thyme sauce had way too much thyme. 

Chicken Milanese with Crispy Potatoes, Mixed Greens, and Creamy Lemon Chive Dressing
  • This dish was okay. The chicken was nothing special, but I would leave out the creme fraiche coating ... it seems to stick together with the panko breadcrumbs and slide off my chicken while in the pan.
  • The crispy potato wedges were yummy.
  • When I mixed the dairy component with lemon juice to make the dressing, the liquids separated and looked disgusting. I threw away the dressing and dressed the arugula myself, with just olive oil and balsamic. 
  • I expected mixed greens, but it was just arugula which I don't eat, so hubs at the side salad.

Tuscan Sausage Linguine With Zucchini, Chilies, and Parmesan
  • This was my favorite from the bunch. The diced zucchini, small amount of tomato sauce, parmesan, and pasta all tasted great.
  • The pork was seasoned a little too heavily with Italian herbs for my liking (I am really not a fan of licorice-flavor in herbs or anything else), so I ate most of the pasta and veg.

Shrimp & Lemon Risotto With Roasted Zucchini and Parmesan

  • WOW this one was possible the best one yet. SO delicious!
  • I plan on visiting the Whole Foods bulk aisle to pick up a few cups of Arborio rice and making this at least once a month. The rice was so creamy and delicious,and the shrimp and zucchini just combined to make it a perfect dinner. My husband and I scraped the pot clean!

Concluding Thoughts

  • Overall, not a big fan. It was great to try a rival service, out of curiosity, but I am very happy to have gone back to Blue Apron!

Blue Apron: Part 3

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with Endive & Blue Cheese Salad
  • I don't eat blue cheese, so I put the crumbles aside in a little dish for hubby to scatter over his sandwiches.
  • This could've used more hot sauce - the teeny amount provided was barely enough.
  • I was a little wary of this one because I had never cooked with chicken thighs before, always breasts, but I was pleasantly surprised by how meaty and flavorful this was.

Juicy Lucy Burgers With Frizzled Onion & Romaine Walnut Salad
  • This dish instantly became one of my favorites. Inside the burger is melty cheddar cheese, and the salad looks elegant with its carrot ribbons! 
  • I chose to make the frizzled onion apart and hubs ate it atop his burger.
  • The burger was moist and flavorful, and tasted great with the simple salad as an accompaniment. 

Korean Tteok & Spicy Pork Ragu with Baby Bok Choy
  • Delicious! Another favorite.
  • Those chewy, yummy rice cakes were a new ingredient for us and I really liked them!
  • The ground pork was spicy and very flavorful.
  • Overall a winner!

Seared Salmon & Salsa Verde With Orange, Spinach & Farro Salad
  • This one was disappointing. I did not like the salsa verde at all - the spicy bite of the raw garlic was so overpowering, I scraped mine off my salmon.
  • The spinach and farro were delicious together, but I could've had it without the orange. The orange flavor was confusing, and I would definitely leave it out last time.
  • In my last poll, I was extolling the virtues of quinoa, and now I must add my love for farro. I am really discovering some wonderful new grains!