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Run Oregon Test Kitchen: Hello Fresh Food Box

My Hello Fresh box arrived with tons of fresh fruits and veggies, with meat in the chill pack; along with the attractive recipe cards.

Unlike Geli (who is a Pampered Chef rep), Marilyn (who can make wheat puffs taste good), or our other bloggers who know their way around a kitchen and aren't afraid to try new things, I suck at cooking. I rarely try new recipes and am not likely to try a new ingredient ... like jicama ... without detailed instructions. Even picking food out at the store can be tricky; how do you know when eggplant is ripe? So I was pretty excited to give food box delivery companies a try and share the results with Run Oregon readers. The first company I tried out was Hello Fresh. It seems that everyone I know is aware of food box delivery companies, but not very many of my acquaintances subscribe. The three questions I got from nearly everyone were:
  1. Was it good?
  2. How much was it?
  3. Would you order it again?
And in short form, the answers are Yes; About $9-$10/person per meal; and Yes. Learn more and order your deliciousness from Hello Fresh online here.

I also like to know about the companies that I shop from, so I looked up a little about Hello Fresh. One of the first and quite possibly the largest of this type of business, Hello Fresh stresses fresh ingredients that can be sourced as locally as possible to their customers. That means that your fruits and veggies are more fresh – and that they can safely send you refrigerated items, including meat. Founded in Europe, this Berlin-based company is run by co-founders Dominik Richter and Thomas Griesel. They started serving customers in the U.S. from their stateside operations in 2014, and as of this posting, they have serve more than 7.2 million meals to subscribers per month.

Brussels Sprout-Apple Hash in process.

The offer three types of boxes: The Classic Box (for omnivores), the Veggie Box (for vegetarians), and the Family Box (similar to the Classic Box, but for 4 people). I tried out the Family Box. I probably would have been just fine with the Classic Box, because my kiddos are (almost) 4 and (almost) 1; but I wanted leftovers because I bring lunch to work nearly every day. Let me tell you, I probably could have gone with the Classic Box and still had leftovers! It was definitely a good serving size. I am going out on a limb here and saying that it was because the food was healthy and therefore you could eat more of it, feel more full, but still eat fewer calories than my usual home-cooked dinner.

The recipes that I cooked were delish. We got three recipe cards: Chicken Yakitori, Stuffed Zucchini Boats, and Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Tenderloin. Each recipe card has a photo of the finished recipe, a description, and labeled photos of each ingredient (which was nice, because I could see myself just completely using the wrong item. Before this box, I couldn’t have described a shallot for you. Now I can! Each card also had icons to indicate the amount of time you’d need for that recipe, the “level” (how hard), and icons to show if that item was gluten, dairy, and/or nut free.

The finished product: Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Wedges and Brussels Sprout-Apple Hash.

What I liked most about Hello Fresh was that each recipe was not just for the main item. So instead of looking up three recipes for Brown Sugar Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potato Wedges, and Brussels Sprout-Apple Hash, everything was all on one recipe card. I liked this because the main reason I shy away from cooking is knowing how to coordinate and time the process of making a complete meal.

I won’t say that my dishes all turned out perfectly; I did something horrible to the Yakisoba noodles. It’s also important to note that if you order the Family Box, you’ll need to have the proper dishes lined up. I think that the Yakisoba disaster was due to my wok not being big enough. It still tasted fine, though.

One last note: even though I insisted that I get to do all the hard work, I did let my husband assist when the kiddos “needed” mommy. My husband is a great cook and knows things like “technique.” By looking at the recipe cards, he could immediately see some modifications that would be possible if you wanted to make something spicier or didn’t have a specific ingredient on-hand. So, if you are a decent cook, you’ll be able to put your own stamp on these clear, easy-to-follow recipes.

About Kelly Barten (1105 Articles)
I started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because I felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. I also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support LOCAL race organizers. I'm a Creighton Bluejay (undergrad) and an Oregon Duck (Sports Marketing MBA), and I live in Tigard with my husband and two kids. My "real job" is working for an incredibly awesome math textbook company doing marketing and production.

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