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Cooking is my all-time favourite hobby. There's nothing more satisfying than finding a new recipe that I can add to my repertoire.
But sometimes scouring the internet for recipes can be a real hassle because you never really know the hits from the misses until you try them.
Not to mention the process of shopping for ingredients that are budget friendly, which takes up so much time.
That's why, when I got the chance to try these dishes from HelloFresh's new menu, I was so happy to skip the grocery store.
As one of Canada’s most popular meal-kit delivery services, HelloFresh offers a selection of exciting meal types to accommodate all sorts of preferences like family friendly, veggie and discovery (for the home cooks who want to try new cuisines).
Right now, you can also get up to 20 meals free by using the code NAR20 when you order your first box.
Even though I love to cook, I have to admit I'm still a newbie. Add to that a family with specific tastes, and the family-friendly meal kits seemed the way to go. And so began my culinary adventure.
Receiving My Order Was A Breeze
Once my HelloFresh box was on its way, tracking the delivery was super simple. They sent me a text the day it was expected to arrive, alerting me both 10 and five minutes before.
My driver was super sweet and delivered my order with a smile, which gave me a much-needed confidence boost.
I was like a kid during the holidays, giddy for the chance to unwrap a shiny new toy. In this case, the toy was delicious food — which is even better in my opinion.
I received three separate meals, each with four servings. This was perfect for my family of three, and we had a good amount of leftovers.
The meals arrived in a 100% recyclable box, wrapped up in their separate bags, with the meats packed securely underneath with ice packs. The ice did its job well, and everything was still nice and cold when I unpacked it.
Luckily all the ingredients were pre-measured, so there's zero food waste. This was helpful because I wouldn't know what to do with a huge bag of potatoes.
BBQ Beef Meatballs, Smashed Potatoes & Garlicky Broccoli
I was excited about this meal because I've always wanted to make homemade meatballs. My grandma is a wizard at it, so I had to make her proud.
If you get any recipes that use a particularly large amount of fresh ingredients, I suggest making those first. If you wait too long, your fruit and veggies might not be in their best shape by the time you cook them. For me, I did have to discard some of the broccoli when I was preparing this recipe.
While listening to some smooth dinner jazz, I was easily able to follow the instructions. This recipe made 16 meatballs, but I managed to get 17 out of the mixture (an extra for the cook, of course).
I especially liked the little tips on the recipe cards, like the one that told me adding an egg would make for firmer meatballs. I never stop to think of things like that, so having those hints was super helpful.
The best part about making the meatballs was not having to sear them before baking, which takes extra time. These meatballs developed a beautiful crust right in the oven.
They were firm (thanks, egg) while also being juicy and flavourful thanks to the barbecue sauce and seasoning.
I loved the rustic feel of the smashed potatoes, and the broccoli was super garlicky — just the way this girl likes it.
Saucy Tikka-Style Chicken Sandwiches
Indian food is high on my list of top five cuisines, so you can imagine my excitement when I got to make this recipe.
Again, the recipe was really easy to understand, and cooking was a breeze. Though I did make the mistake of forgetting the parchment paper for the fries. Don't be like me unless you like turmeric stains.
The recipe card used chicken breasts, with thighs as an option. I received thighs and, to be perfectly honest, I was happy I did because of how much more flavourful they are.
To serve, the chicken is sandwiched between two buns with a refreshing cucumber salad that helped cut through the rich spiciness of the tikka sauce.
I was surprised by how flavourful the sauce was, and the chicken tasted like it had been marinating for hours.
Don't even get me started on how delicious the tikka mayo was. I could use it as a dip for anything and everything.
Will I be making this again? You bet. Do I wish I could get the secret to HelloFresh's Indian spice mix? Absolutely (pretty please?).
Hawaiian Fried Rice With Pineapple & Green Onion
Fried rice is the sort of comfort food you just can't go wrong with. You can add anything to it and make it your own, and that's what I loved most about this meal.
For example, this recipe combines pineapple and bacon for a sweet-and-salty combo that's irresistibly delicious.
I had a blast prepping all the veggies. There's something therapeutic about chopping away and seeing all the gorgeously vibrant colours of the fresh ingredients.
This meal was the easiest to make out of the three, but don't let that fool you — it packs a mouthwatering flavour punch. The pineapple came pre-portioned in halves, and my goodness was it ever ripe.
I'm not the biggest fan of bok choy, but it was fresh and added that perfect crunchy bite.
The recipe only called for about one clove of garlic, but I added a second because you will always find me using more than what a recipe calls for. It was a good idea (it always is).
I may or may not have let my rice sit a tad too long in the pot, causing it to clump a bit, but it’s the trial and error that makes cooking so much fun. I’ll know for next time.
Sure, my finished product may not have come out picture-perfect, but it was just as yummy as it sounds, and way better than takeout.
Meal planning can feel like a chore, especially if the most common answer to "what's for dinner?" in your household is "I don't know."
With a wide selection of dishes to choose from, you're sure to find something to satisfy the whole house.
Although products were provided for free in this review, the author's opinions are genuine and do not reflect the views of Narcity Media.