Life has been crazy these last few weeks. I have been in and out of Doctor’s offices trying to figure out what the heck is going on with my life. (I have been losing a lot of hair and having awful back pain). Super long story short I have an autoimmune thyroid disease (essentially an underactive thyroid), a large nodule on my thyroid that will need to be removed if medicine doesn’t shrink it, and I need my gallbladder taken out next week. I guess you could say we got to the bottom of my extreme hair loss and back pain. Anyways, I have been feeling so lazy that I didn’t want to think about meal planning. Typically I make 3 separate dinners (I know, I know–that’s crazy). I make my daughter an early dinner because she can’t wait until 6:00 when my husband gets home from work to eat. I am a vegetarian, and my husband is not. I typically will make the same sides for everyone, I just make a different meatless option for myself. One of my girlfriends tried HelloFresh and loved it, so I decided it was time to give it a try. She had a coupon code that gave me $40 off my first week of meals. It was valued at $60 for the 2 person plan (3 meals each). After the coupon code it made the classic option cost only $19. This was cheaper than going to any grocery store and having a delicious healthy meal. They have a vegetarian box option but I feel like you get the most bang for your buck with the classic option. I just substituted a vegetable as my meat for each dinner. Doing this also allowed Sean to have an extra protein for 2-3 nights since I don’t eat it. Let me tell you, EVERYTHING was delicious! Sean and I said we would do it once or twice a month, but after our first week I’m pretty sure we will be ordering every week. The convenience of getting the food delivered is enough reason for me to order, but we waste so much food and this helps with not having ANY waste! I haven’t thrown out anything in my fridge in over two weeks! That’s a big deal for us, guys.
In our first box this is what we received: Cherry-Drizzled Pork Chops, Southwestern Steak Tacos, and Cheese-Filled Mediterranean Tacos.
Let’s begin with night one- the pork chops. We (clearly) love tacos so we wanted to save the best for last. We were so wrong, these were ahhhmazing. I was worried that the cherry pan sauce was going to be too sweet but it wasn’t at all! In fact, I wanted more. It was so good and complimented the lemony couscous perfectly. I substituted a cauliflower steak for the pork chop (roasted for 30 minutes at 400 degrees with EVOO salt and pepper). I also substituted mushroom broth for the chicken broth. We will be making this again, my husband said it would be good on chicken too, so we might switch things around. The portion of couscous was huge, we had an entire serving left over which was even more delicious the next day.
Night two- Southwestern Steak Tacos with avocado and kiwi salsa. Nothing pulls on my heartstrings like a fancy taco. My husband isn’t huge into food, if you put something in front of him he’ll eat it. If you spend all day making him something in the kitchen, don’t expect him to notice- in fact a good ol bowl of ramen noodles will get the same reaction as something I could be making all day. However, I’m pretty sure he wept when he took a bite of these tacos. He looked at me and said “I want to see you take a bite because you’re probably going to say MMMMM while you’re eating.” He wasn’t wrong. I “MMMM’d” through my entire taco and I have no regrets. I substituted a portobello mushroom for the steak in this meal. I made the mushroom the exact same way the recipe said to make the steak. The salsa was creamy and had a touch of sweetness from the kiwi, everything was SO good!
Night three- We saved the Mediterranean Tacos for the last night since they were meatless. I was most excited about this meal since I didn’t have to do any substitutions. Aside from tacos, cheese holds a special place in my heart. I can always count on it for a good snack or to enhance my sandwiches. When I saw cheese tacos on the menu I knew the good lord himself created this dish for me. The cheese was Mediterranean grilling cheese. I have bought Halloumi cheese in the past and grilled it. It was delicious on the grill, but this recipe called for cooking it in the pan. I died and went to heaven. The cheese got so crispy on the outside and was warm and chewy on the inside. It almost tasted like a super fancy mozzarella stick even though there was no breading or frying involved. The chili-honey oil would have been delicious on it but I pretty much made mine inedible. The recipe comes with a pack of red chili flakes and you are supposed to heat them in a drizzle of olive oil then mix in the honey. I missed the part where it said add the chili flakes to taste, so I poured them all in. I couldn’t drizzle the mixture over the taco without getting 85,000 chili flakes per bite. I managed to scrape a little on each taco so I could get the spicy/sweet combo. Regardless, these were delicious! For me, they were the most filling. It was hard to put all three tacos down the hatch, but don’t worry I managed.
My husband voted the steak tacos to be his favorite, and said it was a close call between the pork chops and cheese tacos, but the pork chops came in second place. For me, choosing my favorite is like picking which dog is my favorite. I think I know, but I’m not confident enough to say it out loud. I will say that I would remake everything again and aside from the honey oil, not change a thing. I would definitely encourage everyone to at least try HelloFresh out! I was so excited to try it, but I didn’t realize how much I’d actually love it. If you have never tried it before, you can use my referral code JESSIDONNE or click the link below so it automatically discounts you at check out. Look at all the menus and decide which is best for you and your family. If you don’t see anything you like, you can skip through the weeks to see what is coming up.
Let me know what your favorite HelloFresh meals have been! I am so excited for Monday so I can get my next box!
PS- Who are these parents with the cute kids that are so happy to be sitting in boxes? Sophie acted like I was ready to ship her to the factory. Maybe they were tears of joy? Maybe she was just mad that it looks like she needs to go get a shave from all the black beans she shoved in her face? We’ll never know.
*Note- I am not endorsed or sponsored by HelloFresh in any type of way, I just love their product.*