Hello kitchen; where have you been for the last 10 years?
I’m kidding, of course. I’ve been in my kitchen daily, but I haven’t been using it to its fullest potential.
So I’m happy to finally break out the pots and pans and cook something! Something usually delicious and unusual (for me at least). What’s the secret? I signed up for one of those mail order meal plans.
Yep, a good friend sent me a free box from Hello Fresh and after procrastinating for weeks, I took action when the email said “this is your last day to order free food.” OK, the free food was great but what made me push the YES button was the “last day” information. I don’t want to miss out (which is exactly what the marketing people count on).
So I did it…and was pleasantly surprised. The food was actually pretty good. And with all the ingredients in one place and at my fingertips, it was painless to whip up a couple of cherry glazed pork chops or some grilled salmon with pearl couscous.
I was a bit put off by the amount of packaging that arrived with the food. I mean, if you’re gonna send meat and fish, you need some way to keep them cool. In this case, a thick box and two huge ice bags. Until recently, neither were recylable. But HelloFresh just redesigned the box and its contents, so there is a bit less waste.
Not much, though. Because HelloFresh sends everything except salt, pepper and cooking oil for each recipe. Even to the point of sending one TEASPOON of baking powder in a brown paper bag (I could have handled one myself, thank you).
After the free box (three meals for two of us), I thought I would cancel but another box arrived too quickly to stop it (and yes, I had to pay for that one).
But I kinda liked it. My cooking has pretty much been stuck in a rut for years. I make and eat the same old stuff over and over. Chili. Pizza. Salmon from Costco, Grilled chicken. Plain veggies. Pretty boring, right?
The recipes from HelloFresh kicked me out of my culinary comfort zone. (I’ve never used so many fresh limes unless I was making guacamole.) Yet I liked it. The flavors seemed to tantalize, even when I was sure the combination would be disgusting.
Do I like every recipe? No. I am learning to be more discerning with my choices. We just aren’t hot and spicy food folks, but I can adjust the heat by leaving out some ingredients. And I really don’t want to see another chickpea as long as I live unless it’s in hummus. (Did you know that when you bake chickpeas they explode like popcorn? True fact.)
Most importantly, I skip a lot of weeks and therefore don’t pay for them – vacation, lots company, travel – I am not always up for slinging food around the kitchen even if it only takes 30 minutes. (You’d be surprised how many dishes can get dirty in a half an hour.)
Don’t know how long this infatuation will last. And I have read reviews from people who absolutely hate HelloFresh and swear by Blue Apron (my son uses them every week).
For now I am happy. I am eating better and it seems to satisfy my hunger better (goodbye 20 pounds?).
HelloFresh has a deal where you can give people $40 off their first box and I get $20 back too. Win-win, I’d say.
So I will put my HelloFresh link in here if you want to try it and get $40 off (that includes shipping by the way). Know that you WILL have to input your credit card info and if you want to cancel, do it quickly so you aren’t charged again.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to enjoy my fish tacos with cilantro, pickled carrot slaw and tilapia. Yum!
(Does this sound like a sales pitch? Not meant to be. I truly think this service can help ADDivas like us IF we use it wisely and cautiously — both from a $$ point of view and an energetic one. You may disagree. OK. No biggie. We each get to decide for ourselves. Ah, the beauty of being an adult!)
Here’s the link: