Last night I prepared our first Hello Fresh meal, the Lemony Shrimp Risotto. If the meal prepared by me turned out to be half as yummy as the picture sent in the package then we were in for a real treat. I’m going to separate the review into categories to try to cover all of the things that were important to me.
Packaging– Just how did Hello Fresh Manage to mail all of the these ingredients and keep them cool and fresh? I give Hello Fresh 5 stars in this department. The cardboard box was thick, the insides were insulated in a thick silver material, there were two large freeze packs at the bottom and when I opened it up all of the ingredients were cool. When it was delivered the temperature outside was 90 degrees.
The package we ordered contained three meals. The meat was below the freeze packs and each meal’s other ingredients were packaged in separate recyclable bags clearly labeled with the name of the meal.
Ingredients – How fresh are the ingredients? Again I give Hello Fresh 5 stars. I couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately I forgot to put the shrimp in this picture.
Directions– Were they easy to follow? I would say yes, but in this department I would give Hello Fresh 4 stars. They sent a nice sheet with instructions that have pictures, and an estimate on how long it should take to make. This meal’s estimate was 45 minutes. The reason I give it four stars is because the rossitto could have done with one cup less water and I chopped all the veggies first to try to save time. This meal actually took me an hour because I was trying to figure out how to fix the issue with too much water in the rossitto.
Flavor– How did the end product taste? I had heard from reviews that meals from Hello Fresh were bland and needed adjusting. In this department, for this meal at least, I would agree and give Hello Fresh 2 stars. I really don’t like giving such a low rating, but the texture of the end product was that of porridge, and from their picture I can tell they grilled the shrimp, but the recipe had you put the shrimp right into the risotto to cook it. The recipe also said to put in the whole unstripped branches of the thyme and they said that a few leaves will come free. All of the leaves came free, which I don’t mind, but I wasn’t able to retrieve all of the stems and had to fish the ones I had missed out of my food while eating. The recipe also called for a few squeezes of the lemon, but due to the bland taste I squeezed the whole lemon in there and still ended up with just a hint of lemon flavor.
Nutrition– Was the meal healthy? For this category I would give Hello Fresh 4 stars. They sent a sheet for all of the meals offered that week which included their calories and other information. I had hoped Hello Fresh would have been lower in calories than Blue Apron, but they turned out to be pretty close to each other. The plan we chose was for 2 servings a meal, but this meal turned out to be 3 servings. This is nice if you want to take left overs to lunch the next day, but if you aren’t into left overs then this was a waste of food. Thinking positively, by taking out the extra serving, it was easy to transform this meal into an appropriate calorie count for the meal.
Overall the experience was a positive one. No shopping, no meal planning, just take out the bag and directions for that meal and get started. This was also my first time making rossitto, so perhaps the mishap with the texture was partly my fault. I’ll be making another meal tonight and will keep my mind open.
Before I go, here is a side by side picture of their picture of how the meal looks, and what it looked like after I prepared it.