It’s Saturday night and in most households the delivery guy is currently knocking on your door. As much as I would love to be in some of your shoes, I actually am happy cooking this HelloFresh meal. HelloFresh has once again come to the rescue. What is this heaven sent company you may ask? Well they are one of the many companies out there that offer meals packed to perfection and delivered to your door once a week. I decided to take them for a two week spin and this sadly is the last meal in week number two. Let’s take a look what’s in this box, shall we?
Since it’s only hubby and I in the house, I opted for three dinners a week for two. Above is an example of what a box looks like.
As I spread out the contents in the box (other than the chicken, which is packaged separately) you can see that everything is portion controlled. I’m thanking the portion gods above but hubby is wondering where the rest of the chicken is. More on that later.
We begin with fresh basil which was not extremely fresh. It was already withering however in HelloFresh’s defense, this box was delivered Monday and it is Saturday. Basil if not stored correctly can wither rather quickly in the fridge. Basil actually does better at room temp! Place in a jar with water just like you would flowers and keep on your counter with a plastic bag over it. This may help keep your basil fresher longer. I noticed others commented on the not so fresh basil on their Instagram page but they always respond and offer to make things right. You go HelloFresh! Next we have some Herbs de Provence which is basically a mix of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and other herbs said to be a typical blend from the Provence region of southeast France. Last but not least in this picture we have Farro. Farro is a grain with a taste similar to brown rice. It has that nutty taste and can be boiled which is how I cooked it or soaked over night before being cooked. Below is a close up of it uncooked so you can see the texture and shape.
Below is the chicken for the meal.
Placed on the plate so you can see the size. It’s important to note that this is not a full size plate. It is a salad plate.
Next we have the tomatoes, shallot and mozzarella cheese. For those that do not know what a shallot is, it is part of the onion family and does not carry as much of a bite as a white or yellow onion would. In this salad, they mixed perfectly and considering the fact that the recipe called for them raw in the dressing, they were not strong at all. My husband hates raw onion and he didn’t even notice the shallot was raw in this dish.
Lastly, we have balsamic vinegar and honey. Again perfectly packaged and ready to use.
Let the magic begin! One of the best things about HelloFresh recipes is that they can usually be done in 30 min. So far, all the recipes I have cooked have been done in 30 min or less. I began by cooking the Farro as this is what takes the longest (20-25 min). In the meantime, I washed and chopped the produce. Then I chopped the shallot and cut the mozzarella cheese into cubes.
Then it was time to butterfly the chicken and season it with kosher salt, pepper and the Herbs de Provence.
I drizzled the pan with some olive oil and heated it up so I could saute my chicken. Once I placed the chicken on the pan and it started cooking, my kitchen smelled of herby goodness!
While the chicken cooked, I prepared my dressing. Before you could say supercalifragilisticoespialidoso, the dressing was done! The little bottle of balsamic vinegar, the mini jar of honey, 1/4 cup of shallots, oil, salt, pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
While I was mixing together the dressing, the timer for the farro went off. The instructions called for me to drain the farro once done cooking, but I barely had any water left to drain. This worried me a little bit seeing as this was the first time I cooked farro, but it was tender just like it’s supposed to be. Thank you Lord!! I know we are all human, but didn’t want to have to explain on my blog why the recipe was missing it lol. Next, off the heat, I added my tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and half of the dressing to the cooked farro. Below is the end result of the beautiful farro salad.
Next order of business was the chicken which was now perfectly browning on the outside and juicy on the inside. I have a thing for perfectly cooked chicken so I always check the internal temperature (165 degrees) with my handy dandy digital meat thermometer. I purchased mine during one of my IKEA market trips for only $11. Let me tell you, that little gadget is one of my favorite things in the kitchen and has never steered me wrong. It has resulted in perfectly cooked chicken, red meat and the dreaded lamb which if overcooked, tastes like rubber. It was then time to plate my food. After plating, you can drizzle the remaining half of the dressing. Below is the end result.
I ended up cubing the chicken after the picture to disguise the portion for the hubs. I said I would speak more to this, so here goes. Drum roll please!
The final critique:
HelloFresh has done it again. The dish was delicious! The chicken was seasoned to perfection with a beautiful hue of green from the herbs and very juicy inside (thank you IKEA thermometer). The farro salad was divine. The sweet and vinegary taste was a great complement to the cheese and tomatoes. The basil gave it that extra sweet herb taste and as previously mentioned, you could barely tell that the shallot was there but it still gave a nice light crunch. Everything came together beautifully. The portion for me are perfect. I tend to like a light dinner. As for my hubby, cutting the chicken did wonders. I gave him an entire bowl of farro salad with chicken and he still had some left in the pan.
Next let’s talk convenience and cost. This is the perfect meal plan for someone who doesn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen or wants to learn how to make an easy delicious meal. It’s also perfect for the cook who is always on the go. You can pick the meals you will receive and also have the option to pause your box for the week. This is great for the cook who doesn’t like to commit. I give it a 10 for convenience, however as much as it pains me to do so, I give it a 7 for cost. Without my $25 off I received a week for a total of two weeks ($50 off for two weeks), the box would come out to $11.50 a person for three dinners a week for a grand total of $69 a week for two people. This includes home delivery. Now if you are a regular at the market and plan your meals, you know $69 can go far and would not be limited to just dinner for three nights a week. This price goes up for a family of up to 4. Let’s be real though, you are paying for the convenience of the meal and fresh good quality ingredients. Let’s take it a step further and venture to say you are saving on gas to the store and of course that precious little gift we call time. If you are okay with spending that amount of money, then you can count on delicious convenient dinners every week.
To learn more about HelloFresh and what they have to offer, visit them on www.hellofresh.com They always offer discounts on your first box. Don’t forget to tell them you heard about them on thecookingcritic.com
Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and send us your recipes if you would like to be featured. Keep in mind if it is chosen, I will cook and critique it. Challenge accepted?