The thing is, grocery shopping is still not my favorite task, which is why HelloFresh is basically a heaven-sent solution for my new year's goals. The meals cost 25 percent less than takeout, don't require me to be a chef (which I certainly am not), give me pre-portioned ingredients (which helps to reduce food waste), and include nutritious options that fit my flexitarian lifestyle. Plus, everything gets delivered to my door so I can skip the extra trip to the grocery store, and the pre-made breakfast options from HelloFresh Market are clutch for allowing me to still maximize my sleep, even if I am (trying to) break up with the snooze button. (Shoutout to the microwaveable turkey sausage egg bites I got for free in my latest box through the free breakfast for life promo.)
"HelloFresh’s wide variety of foods can help diversify the nutrients you consume each week," says registered dietitian nutritionist and nutrition associate at HelloFresh Meghan Dillon, RDN. "When grocery shopping, it can be expensive and require quite a bit of effort to plan for and purchase different items for the week. HelloFresh addresses both of those barriers by providing many options and the capability to customize sides or proteins for some meals."
And options there were. The first week I tried the meal kit service, I had fun sorting through all of the meals of the week (over 45!), and it was hard to pick which ones I wanted when so many of them fit or could be customized to my diet criteria and taste buds. Most of my meals were on the lower end of cook time, with chicken or veggies being my main protein.
I'll admit it: When my first box arrived, I was still skeptical about how challenging it would be to make these recipes that looked like they belonged on a restaurant's menu. That is, until I breezed through making my first delicious meal of smashed black bean tacos topped with an easy slaw, pickled onions, and red pepper crema (seriously, I'm not a chef, but I felt like one).
"HelloFresh’s recipe cards are tried and true," Dillon says. "The step-by-step instructions are extremely easy to follow, helping even the most novice home chef impress their guests." As someone who rarely attempts to make anything other than sheet pan dinners or pasta, I can confirm that the instructions were clear and made cooking this scrumptious meal simple.
The smell of the tacos alone had my roommates leaving their room to ask what was being prepared—after they got over their initial shock of me actually cooking instead of working the microwave, that is.
For the rest of the week, I found myself settling into a relaxing routine of finishing work, cooking myself a HelloFresh meal—which, despite some dishes, I actually really enjoyed doing—and then boxing up the extra portion for my lunch the next day. Every recipe I tried was different enough from the others to keep me interested, while still being just as yummy as the last. My top three meals of the week? The smashed black bean tacos (obviously), spicy coconut curry chicken noodle soup, and cranberry-apple kale salad with garlic ciabatta. My stomach's growling just thinking about them.
In the past, one of my least favorite parts of cooking for myself was the leftover produce because I hate food waste. But, HelloFresh helps cut down on your food waste by giving you pre-portioned ingredients, so you're left with little to no food waste after cooking. In fact, Dillon says research has shown that customers waste 21 percent less food using HelloFresh, as compared to cooking your own meal from scratch with ingredients bought at a grocery store.
An added bonus to my newfound dinner routine was the easy-to-make breakfast options I could add to my mornings, including waffles, turkey sausage egg bites, La Colombe triple lattes, and cinnamon crumb muffins—all of which I can pop into the microwave, meaning I could start my day off right with a little extra sleep and a filling breakfast.
All of the options were delicious, but if you're looking for something you can throw in the microwave and still thoroughly enjoy, I'd suggest the turkey sausage egg bites or waffles, which I'll certainly be ordering in the future. Who would've thought that all it would take was HelloFresh to get me to start eating breakfast, ditch takeout, and kickstart healthier habits.
Want to try HelloFresh for yourself? Sign up now and get 16 free meals and free breakfast for life! Additional restrictions may apply. See https://www.hellofresh.com/about/termsandconditions for more details.
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