Are Meal Kits Worth The Money? (Hello Fresh Review)
By Alex C
Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks
Alright, so at this point we are all well aware of the home kit meal delivery services as an option for home cooks. There are dozens of companies delivering cook-at-home meal kits like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, & Green Chef. They actually make up a $10 billion a year industry that's rapidly growing! Which is totally insane but my question is: are they just heavily funded and have a ton of marketing money that they can acquire customers with? Or is there actual value for home cooks like you to subscribe to one of these services?
I honestly don't know. So what I'm gonna do today is buy one of these boxes and try it out myself. Afterwards, with the same amount of money it costs to buy the box, I'll order the ingredients myself online to see what the cost breakdown is and really weigh all of the pros and cons of subscribing to a meal delivery kit. This is either gonna be one long ad for these companies, or potentially the exact opposite…
I purchased the 2 “Meat and Veggie” recipes per week for 2 people from Hello Fresh which totaled about $61 total. The two recipes I got were lemony chicken with zucchini spaghetti and meatloaves with creamy thyme sauce.
Next, I went to Fresh Direct to purchase the same ingredients to be delivered to my house. The only ingredients I was missing were spices & chili mix so I added an extra $3.00 to accommodate for that since I already had those. Making my groceries only .30 cent more. I picked two recipes off of Hello Fresh to follow which were the turkey couscous bowls and rigatoni rosa pasta!
I think HelloFresh has fantastic portions, delicious meals, great recipes, good layer building of flavor, and good utilization of ingredients in different forms throughout the recipes. Overall, I’m pretty inspired and happily surprised by their recipes! As for the store bought ingredients, the yield was slightly more than the HelloFresh meals and I was left with a bunch of ingredients that I used to make another two meals making it 6 meals total. These boxes can be a great option when you are a beginner or you are super busy but if you want to break free from recipes or have a tighter budget purchasing your groceries might be the way to go.
Turkey Couscous Bowl & Pork Sausage Rigatoni Rosa
Pork Sausage Rigatoni Rosa Ingredients:
6 ounces of rigatoni pasta
1 zucchini, chopped into ¼’ pieces
1 carrot, same as zucchini
½ lb of ground pork
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 clove of garlic, grated
1 teaspoon of chili flakes
1.5 ounces of tomato pasta
½ cup of chicken broth
½ cup of parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons of sour cream
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 cup of quick cook couscous
½ cup of water
1 cup of chicken stock
2 carrots, peeled & chopped into ½ pieces
1 zucchini, same as carrots
1 tablespoon of zatar spice
½ lb of ground pork
1 teaspoon of turkish spice blend
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 clove of garlic
¼ cup of almonds
3 tablespoons of sourcream
½ juice of lemon
Pork Sausage Rigatoni Rosa Instructions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook rigatoni according to the package.
While pasta cooks, heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and carrot and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cook the ground pork next. Remove from the pan once fully cooked.
Add in the lemon zest, grated garlic & chili flakes and toast for 1 minute. Add in the tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes.
Add in the chicken broth, parm cheese, sour cream, and cooked pasta. Whisk to emulsify and toss in the pasta to combine. Serve while hot!
To a pot, drizzle in some oil and add in chopped garlic. Add in the couscous along with water & chicken stock. Bring to a boil, lower the flame to low and cook for 15 minutes.
To a bowl, toss the chopped carrots & zucchini with oil, salt, and zatar spice. Pour out to a sheet pan and roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
Next, to a pan, drizzle some oil in along with the ground pork. Cook for 4 - 5 minutes and add in the turkish spice blend and soy sauce. Toss to combine and remove.
Drizzle in some more oil, and add in the chopped garlic and chopped almonds. After 1 minute, add in the sour cream and juice of a lemon. Cook for 1 minute.
Serve by piling on couscous into a bowl topped with the roasted veggies and ground pork. Drizzle over the creamy sauce and enjoy!
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