Since my boyfriend and I are constantly working, we don’t have a lot of time on our hands to go to the grocery store and cook. So, we decided to try the meal delivery service Hello Fresh. We signed up for the vegetarian plan that ships three meals for two people. Once a week, they deliver all of the ingredients (sometimes not all of them) along with nicely printed recipe cards. The different meals are separated in labeled brown sacks.

Upon receiving our first box from Hello Fresh, we were both very impressed. All of the ingredients looked fresh and the pictures on the recipe cards looked delicious; although, the amount of instructions necessary to prepare one meal was a little intimidating. We ended up finishing our first recipe (see below) probably in about 45 minutes. By the time we had finished cooking, we were more than ready to eat, but it was definitely worth the wait. It was probably the best meal I’d eaten within the past 2-3 weeks. We both thought we’d made a great decision by trying Hello Fresh.

Za’tar- Crusted Grilling Cheese w/ Sumac Roasted Veggies

Fast forward to next week, and my boyfriend and I are getting ready to cook one of our meals. However, when we opened one of our Hello Fresh packages, we noticed one of the ingredients looked pretty gross. We got a package of basil that had leaves which were going bad (see below). So, we took a couple pictures and looked up how to send them to Hello Fresh’s support. Come to find out, there is no way to actually send Hello Fresh pictures when you have problems. We found a way to chat with a support representative from the Hello Fresh mobile app. The experience we had with support was great – they refunded us over $8 for the basil. After that, my boyfriend and I began cooking our meal, just without basil.

Fast forward to the week after that, we open up another sack which has wilted asparagus in it. So once again, we contacted Hello Fresh and they refunded us.

Fast forward another week, we open up another sack and find a zucchini that looks like it had been chewed on by a rodent. We contacted Hello Fresh once again. We were refunded and told that they were going to contact the kitchen responsible for preparing our meals.

Gross Zucchini

Another week later, we open a sack to find an ingredient missing: ginger. At this point we didn’t even contact Hello Fresh because we were tired of having to do it, and we also didn’t want them to think we were just trying to get money out of them. So, my boyfriend and I just ended up using some other spices we had on hand, ate dinner and called it a day.

Another week goes by, and we open a sack to find that we’re missing tomatoes – which sucked because the recipe we were using them for was Zucchini and TOMATO Flatbreads. We contacted Hello Fresh again, and they refunded us and apologized for the inconvenience. Luckily, we had a can of diced tomatoes on hand to use instead.

Next week came and we had no problems, other than a really skimpy green onion, but that was whatever. But then, once again, next week comes along and we get another zucchini that looks like it had been chewed on by some kind of animal (see below), and that was the tipping point. We cancelled Hello Fresh and haven’t used it since. It makes me kind of sad. The vast majority of the meals we tried were fantastic, but having to constantly deal with bad and missing ingredients was very disappointing. If we’re paying $59 a week, their quality control should be much better.

Bad Zucchini

Overall, Hello Fresh, has some really great recipes and the service itself is a great idea, but for me, it wasn’t worth the amount of prep & hassle, along with the inconvenience of missing/gross ingredients. It was fun while it lasted; my boyfriend and I had fun cooking the meals together, but it wasn’t worth it.

While I do not use this service anymore, I would like to share what some of the best recipes I tried were:

  1. Garden Quesadillas with Pico de Gallo and Chipotle Mayo
  2. Chickpea-Powered Mediterranian Couscous with Zucchini and Heirloom Grape Tomatoes
  3. Easy-Peasy Ravioli Gratin with Spinach & Thyme
  4. Salsa Verde Enchiladas with Poblano Pepper, Black Beans, and Monterey Jack Cheese

While I don’t think I’ll be going back to Hello Fresh anytime soon, I will probably try a couple more food services. Right now I’m currently looking into Purple Carrot, Green Chef, and Sun Basket since they all offer a vegan meal plan, while Hello Fresh currently only has vegetarian available.

***UPDATE***

My boyfriend & I decided to order from Green Chef. Upon receiving the box, we noticed that the food was packaged almost exactly like Hello Fresh. So we went to google to see if Green Chef is affiliated with Hello Fresh – and it is. Hello Fresh is the parent company of Green Chef. Upon finding this out, my boyfriend got pissed and went to cancel our subscription. He then got notified that Green Chef had already began preparing our food for next week, so they ended up sending us another box and billing us $70.

Upon making the first meal of this new box, Porcini Mashed Potatoes, we found that an ingredient was missing – the porcini mushrooms. It was like the Zuchini Tomato Flatbread situation all over again.

It really is unfortunate that these companies can’t seem to get their ingredients sorted out properly. I liked the Green Chef recipes even more than Hello Fresh’s, but the fact that they are incapable of sending out the ingredients their recipes call for is beyond disappointing.

For a full review of Green Chef, try visiting this page later for a link.

If you or someone you know has used Hello Fresh or another food delivery service, drop a comment and let me know what the experience was like!