‘What’s for dinner tomorrow night?’
I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard that question. As much as I love food and cooking, there are honestly evenings when the idea of cooking a healthy, balanced meal after a long, exhausting day makes me want to bash my head on the pantry door. I could possibly make this, but I’d have to drop by the supermarket and get more of that, or even worse, I have no idea of how to combine the leftover ingredients in my fridge into something remotely edible. Strawberry yoghurt and half a cabbage, anyone?
I was intrigued when I was invited by HelloFresh Australia to a lunch at their Paddington pop-up store to celebrate their first birthday. I did some research into what HelloFresh exactly was and discovered that it’s a weekly delivery of delicious and nutritious recipes and the exact ingredients needed to prepare them in 30 minutes or less.
But wait a second, you say, isn’t this thing supposed to be saving me time from cooking?
Well to be frank, if you really wanted to save time from cooking, you’d be getting takeaway from down the road or microwaving a frozen meal from a cardboard box. What this saves you is supermarket-shopping time, as well as deliberating-what-to-cook-time. You get your menu the week before your box arrives, box arrives with recipes and fresh ingredients, and what you do get to do is the fun part of cooking (maybe not the washing up).
Anyway, so I headed over to Paddington and met the lovely Managing Director of HelloFresh, Tom Rutledge, who was also a 2011 MasterChef Australia contestant. Before our very eyes, he unpacked a box and proceeded to make two dishes for us: Cauliflower Dhal (one of the vegetarian menu options) and Thai Beef Salad. And needless to say, they smelled absolutely amazing while they were cooking and looked divine when plated up!
Guests to the lunch were invited to take up the offer of sampling a box themselves, and being a cooking enthusiast, of course I agreed to have a go! My box arrived on Monday at 5.30 pm, which is normally around the time they deliver to make sure people are home from work when they arrive.
What’s in the box??
I had the three meals for two people, and my menu for this week was: Fish tangine, mushroom gnocchi, and pork with beetroot and cabbage. I decided to cook the fish tangine first while the bream was freshest, and also decided that as I had never ever made (or tasted) a tangine before, it would be the best test of the recipe.
The garlic cloves that came in the box were peeled. PEELED. That saves time already! I do feel sorry for the person who sat there peeling them though haha.
While it’s advertised that the recipes only take 30 minutes, it took me a while longer with my prepping as I like to play around with my fancy set of knives. The Sister is also a finnicky eater and so I had to chop my onions a little more finely and dice the carrots and sweet potato into one by one centimetre cubes. Eventually however, I got it all together and the smell while it was cooking was del-i-cious!
Picture perfect? I think so 🙂
Teamed with couscous, it was rich, filling and chock full of vegetables and tender pieces of fish. A wonderful meal to start the week! I was a bit surprised as to how much the meal actually made, giving us five servings of the tangine overall (although only enough couscous for four servings!). Therefore it not only gave us dinner, but gave The Sister and I lunchboxes to take to work the next day!
I was so buoyed by my success that mid-week I tried the mushroom gnocchi, as I’ve had one scarring experience with home-cooked gnocchi many years ago.
Well, I can tell you now that those scars have been healed 🙂
What a week of meals! I haven’t gotten around to the pork quite yet as I’ve been out and about these past few nights, but I know it’s just waiting for me in the freezer!
Has my narrative of my experiences sparked your interest? My photos tempted your taste buds? Well, here’s my first ever GIVEAWAY for my Sydney readers! In celebration of HelloFresh Australia’s 1st birthday, I have four $20 vouchers to give away to be used in purchasing your first box. The first four readers to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) their full name and postal address will be sent one. Simple as that! You didn’t even have to write 25 words or less. If you’re one of the lucky four you will get a confirmation email from me 🙂
Keep your eyes peeled mid-week, lovelies! I will have my recipe up for my Mojito Macarons – a gorgeous combination of zesty lime and refreshing mint – a perfect farewell to summer. Until then! xx
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