Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hello Fresh Trial

I have started up with the Hello Fresh meal service.  How this works is that the company assembles all ingredients and recipes for your weekly order, then delivers them in a box with cold packs.  I really liked what I saw with this first box.  We ordered the vegetarian box.  It gives you three meals to make.  Some are gluten-free, others can be adapted by making a gluten-free grain on the side to replace the pasta, etc., then using the sauce or other ingredients included in the recipe.  You can choose two servings or four.  We chose the four servings.  What's interesting is that if you order the four serving option, they are sent in two individual two-packs, rather than the four all together.  That way, if you are not particularly hungry or family members are away for the evening, you can just make a two-serving meal, and save the other for a night later in the week.  That's what we did tonight.  Kristin was at a dance rehearsal, and Julie was over, but not super hungry.

I made the Chinese Black Bean Sauté:

All of the ingredients, nicely packaged.

The meal was good, with the exception of the Chinese spices; there was star anise and fennel in it, which I do not particular like (along with cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns, and cloves, which I do like).  When I make the second one I will use my own spices.  But the meal all in all was good.  I also had to make some special adjustments.  Paul hates mushrooms, and that is one of the prime ingredients.  So I sautéed those separately.  Then I made some Morningstar farms veggie fake meat crumbles for Paul.  So we just assembled our individual dishes according to the "innards" we liked.   

What seems like will work out in a most excellent manner is that since the meals are packaged up and labelled, they simply can go in the basement fridge, and all I have to do is go grab a pack or two to make.  It doesn't take up room in our more compact upstairs fridge. With me avoiding gluten, I will have to adapt parts of some of the recipes; some I may need to not eat at all.  But tonight's meal was gluten-free.  The Barley and Avocado salad will require me to make a side of rice or quinoa to replace the barley in my own portion.  The others can have it with the barley as written.  The Cauliflower Mac and Cheese for this week will be something I won't have (although, perhaps I could make a side of gluten-free macaroni, and reserve some of the cheese sauce!), but I'm sure the others will enjoy it.  Next week's meals I can also make substitutions (gluten-free pasta for me to replace the orecchiette pasta the others will have with the sauce, and using gluten-free bread or a portobello mushroom for the Fig and Brie Grilled Cheese - interesting combo!).  

So, I'll see how this goes.  I'm hoping that this will help me with meal planning.  I like the idea of someone just telling me what to do, and having the ingredients all there for me.  I like to cook, but don't like the planning and figuring out ingredients.  Not sure why that is!

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