It’s been quite some time since I last wrote a proper review of a HelloFresh box! I’ve gotten several more boxes since my last review, but I either forgot to take photos or the photos I took were crappy so I skipped reviewing the finished dishes. Suffice to say, my husband and I have been very happy with HelloFresh—MUCH more so than Blue Apron or Plated. And this week’s veggie box was another solid one!
Crispy Chickpea and Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Quinoa and Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Tortellini en Brodo with Shreddded Brussels Sprouts, Kale, and Parmesan
Jamie’s Baked Sweet Potatoes with Grated Salad & Sticky Seeds
The “Jamie” of the third recipe is none other than The Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver. He has partnered with HelloFresh to provide one recipe to subscribers each week (sometimes veggie, sometimes not). With every HelloFresh box sold, the company makes a donation to Jamie’s Food Foundation, which works with schools and communities to educate people on the importance—and joy—of cooking from scratch as well as growing your own food. Jamie is new to HelloFresh and this week was the first time I’ve received one of his recipes. I was super excited to hear about the partnership and to make one of his HelloFresh recipes for myself!
I kicked this week off with the Crispy Chickpea and Roasted Cauliflower Salad because I was not feeling quite ambitious enough to tackle Jamie’s recipe that evening. Here are the ingredients HelloFresh sent:
This salad was very easy to make! The time I spent actually cooking was very little—the majority of the process was spent prepping. Quinoa is very easy to make (so much easier than rice, which I always manage to fuck up), and roasting the cauliflower, carrots, and garlic bulbs was also a snap. The ingredients included a spice mix that I’d never heard of: ras-al-hanout, which I mixed in with the veggies and olive oil prior to roasting. Turns out it’s a North African spice mix that includes things like cumin, turmeric, red pepper, ginger, and more. And it’s very tasty.
The vinaigrette was easy to make; after roasting the garlic I mashed the cloves up with a fork to make a paste, then whisked it in with the juice of a lemon, one teaspoon honey, two tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. I will say that the vinaigrette tasted milder than I had expected. Roasted garlic usually packs quite a punch but I guess the bulbs I received were mild. The dressing wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what I expected. Regardless, the finished dish was good and I always appreciate a hearty, healthy, easy-to-make recipe:
You could really do an infinite variety of takes on this salad using different grains, veggies, and dressings. This recipe provides a solid base that you can improvise upon.
For recipe two I chose the tortellini en brodo, which I believe had the fewest ingredients I’ve ever received for a HelloFresh dish. The ingredient list literally had seven items, not including the kitchen staples (water, olive oil, salt, and pepper)! For contrast, the Jamie Oliver recipe came with 15 ingredients. I unfortunately forgot to take a pic of tortellini en brodo ingredients before I got to cooking. Whoopsie! I guess this Cheese Monster was just too eager to get started on a dish that included TWO cheeses: asiago-stuffed tortellini, and parmesan. 🙂
The tortellini en brodo is probably the easiest HelloFresh meal I’ve made to date, and I would absolutely make it again because not only was it incredibly simple, it tasted great. All you have to do here is prep the ingredients, saute the onion and shredded Brussels sprouts, then add water and veggie stock concentrate to the pot. Bring it to a boil, then add the kale and tortellini and cook for a few minutes until they’re tender. Pour in the parmesan and you’re done. So. Easy. YUM:
The only thing I’d say this dish lacked was one minced clove of garlic sauteed along with the onion and Brussels sprouts. Squeezing the juice of half a lemon into the brodo would brighten the dish up a bit, too. I’ll try both of these modifications next time I try making this dish and see how it turns out.
I saved Jamie Oliver’s recipe for last because to be honest, I was not looking forward to all the vegetable grating needed for the salad. If I had a food processor the job would have been super easy, but alas, all I have is a box grater. At least I remembered to snap a pic of the ingredients before I literally started shredding them to pieces:
Aside from all the grating, this dish is very easy to make…unless you’re like me and somehow manage to not fully cook the sweet potatoes. The recipe said to roast them for about 40 minutes or until cooked through. I roasted the sweet potatoes for close to an hour at 350°F and ended up leaving them in the oven even after I turned it off because we weren’t going to be ready to eat for another 45 minutes or so. Even with all that time in the oven, one of the sweet potatoes was just somewhat cooked through and the other was not really cooked. It wasn’t raw, but it wasn’t nearly cooked enough to mash with a fork like the recipe said to do. Obviously this is not HelloFresh’s fault; it’s an issue with my oven. Funny how I can’t seem to cook the most basic things like rice or baked potatoes.
The veggie grating was time consuming and messy, and I ended up wasting a fair amount of food due to bits and pieces flying everywhere. Also, I could only grate the veggies down so far before I started incorporating slices of my flesh into the dish, so the last bit of each veg went into the trash. I guess I could have sliced the remainders up very small, but at the time I just wanted to get the grating over with and didn’t think to do so. One more thing to note: I find that HelloFresh recipes call for a lot more onion than my husband and I like, so I usually half the amount needed. In this case I only grated about half the red onion into the veggie salad but it still ended up being entirely too much because the salad was raw. I actually should have just skipped the onion—I don’t think the salad even needed it.
Aside from the overpowering raw red onion and the not-entirely-cooked sweet potatoes, this dish tasted great. I LOVED the lemony spiced yogurt and the sticky seeds. I would eat those two items mixed up together in a bowl as a snack! The sticky seeds were so easy to make—all I did was toast them in a pan and then add a tablespoon of maple syrup and let it thicken. The yogurt was also very easy: juice half a lemon and mix it into yogurt along with a pinch of cumin and turmeric (actually, I added the whole packet of turmeric rather than just a pinch. Inflammation-fighting FTW!).
I’m no pro at plating or photographing food, but here’s a pic I took of the more attractive sweet potato:
You can’t really see the yummy yogurt underneath all the other stuff, but I promise it’s there!
Overall, both my husband and I were pleased with this week’s veggie box. The portions were very hearty and we still had some leftovers from the first two recipes I cooked. Interested in trying HelloFresh out for yourself? Read on to get a promo code for their January special offer!
Read My Previous HelloFresh Reviews
How does HelloFresh work? You sign up for a subscription and select the Classic Box, Veggie Box, or Family Box. The Classic and Veggie boxes contain ingredients and recipe cards for three meals that serve either two or four people apiece, while the Family box feeds four people three meals. The price for each box varies based on the meals—which change from week to week—and the number of people you need to serve. The Veggie box starts at $9.08 per person/meal, the Classic box starts at $9.90 per person/meal, and the Family box starts at $8.75 per person/meal. You pick a delivery date, and voilà—a box appears on your doorstep between 8am and 8pm that day! The subscription is flexible, so you can turn off your delivery for a week (or several) if needed. HelloFresh is currently running a January special: up to 50% off plus free shipping on your first box! Use code HF50WINTER at checkout to take advantage of this offer (good through 1/31/16).
Are you a HelloFresh subscriber? What’s the best meal you’ve cooked from the service so far?