When Aaron and I first moved in together/before we moved in together and I stopped going home to my apartment for months at a time, we tried out Hello Fresh. Aaron is better at adulting than I am, so at first he would cook most of the meals, but I began to give it a try myself.
Then I started travel nursing and moved away, Aaron went back to clinical residency, and we stopped using the meal kit delivery service for a while. After all, we didn’t even really live in the same city!
When I finished my contract in Baltimore and came home, my mom gave me a code for Home Chef, which we had not tried before… so I figured, why not try it now? I also hadn’t started working quite yet and was planning to stay in San Antonio for a few months at least.
We’ve received three boxes from Home Chef now, so I thought I’d give a little review if anyone is interested in them!
The first box, we got lazy and only cooked two meals from it – shrimp with tiger sauce and charred sugar snap peas (above), and Aaron made the prosciutto and shaved brussels pizza with honey and ricotta. We also had a sun-dried tomato pesto spaghetti, but like I said, got lazy for one reason or another and never ended up making it. The shrimp was INSANELY easy (seriously only took me about 15-20 minutes), while the pizza was meh. I personally just didn’t really like the honey/ricotta sweetness on a pizza.
The second box, I cooked all 3 meals from, and I still think this is my favorite meal kit delivery service I’ve tried.
- Brown Butter Shrimp with smoked gouda grits
This was another super simple dish that really did take only 20-30 minutes to make! With Hello Fresh, there was usually a lot of produce prep involved which would add up to 20 minutes of “cooking time” for me – especially as a beginner cook, where I needed to look up YouTube videos explaining “mince” and “dice”.I’m also terrible and refuse help from Aaron because I want to prove to myself that I’m not TOTALLY worthless in the kitchen, so stubbornly figuring everything out myself adds time on too…
This was also, I think, my favorite dish from this box. The flavors were rich and it was super easy to cook perfectly. I was really nervous about the grits because it was my first time making them, and I was worried the gouda wouldn’t blend in well enough. But they were the perfect amount of cheesy. Shrimp recipes are 2/2 from Home Chef!
- Jerk Chicken Thigh-Stuffed Poblanos with pineapple and pickled red onion
So this recipe was ranked “intermediate”, but overall it wasn’t really difficult, there were just a lot of elements to worry about. There was also a lot of produce to prepare and chop, which made the total cooking time close to maybe 40 mins. I’m getting the hang of this cooking thing for the most part.
I really enjoyed this dish and thought it was super flavorful. The only disappointment was that the poblanos didn’t really roast? cook? bake? well in the oven and were pretty… flat when they came out. So it was quite messy trying to scoop everything into the poblanos because it wasn’t a simple little cup like the pictures lead you to believe!
- Korean Pork Medallions with sriracha and slaw
This was kind of a disappointing dish, especially compared to all our previous ones, but I don’t, like, hate that I cooked it/ate it or anything. I just randomly had a lot of issues while making it, ha.
I had to toss and marinate the medallions, and I honestly had no idea we had perfect tossing/mixing bowls until Aaron came home AFTER the fact. So everything got pretty messy because I was literally hand tossing these pork medallions. Sigh. I also was nervous about how much sriracha to add – I fucking LOVE sriracha, but I didn’t want it to be too spicy! – and felt as though I didn’t add enough. I also thought the suggested time for marination (is that even a word?) was too short, and the marinade wasn’t quite settled in enough by the time I took them out and cooked them. The slaw I was also pretty meh on, but I’m meh on slaw a lot of the time sooo…
The pork was very quality and tasty, I just wish the dish had ended up having a little… more to it somehow.
The ingredients received from Home Chef have always been fresh and flavorful. Their packaging is also 100% recycleable, which is awesome. I also like that you have the option to pick more/less meals for the week, as well as changing your delivery times to every other week, or even just monthly. Hello Fresh did not offer this option, and to skip a week you would have to manually go to their website or app and select the option to skip the delivery BEFORE the deadline. This led to a lot of build up of meals that Aaron and I never got around to cooking, so ultimately, wasted money.
Home Chef’s support has also been awesome and super on top of it! I made an error in the delivery date for my first box – for some reason it got scheduled while Aaron and I were going to be in New Mexico. I reached out to them because their system doesn’t let you skip or reschedule your first box, and they responded super quickly and got a new box delivered to me on an appropriate date. I also am signed up for delivery on Wednesday, and my first box didn’t arrive until Thursday. I emailed them about the issue and they responded within 24 hours, and all my boxes from then on have come in on time!
I’ve been really satisfied with all our Home Chef meals and plan to continue with the service. This week’s box has somewhat basic dishes – black bean enchiladas with poblano pepper, grilled pork chop with whole grain dijon sauce with red potatoes and green beans, and sirloin steak with white wine demi-glace and garlic-herb potatoes. But they still sound really delicious and easy to make.
This post isn’t sponsored at all, I just am not working and therefore cooking a lot, and have time to blog about it. Jokes.