Stay Home and Cook

Second Hello Fresh Collage

Looking for a business model that will really prove its worth in these uncertain, touch-free times?  Maintain your social distance and give a meal kit delivery service like Hello Fresh a try.  My husband and I have been ordering from Hello Fresh for some months now – three two-person veggie meals per week for $52 to $74 Canadian – and I’ve long thought that it’s a nice (but perhaps not terribly cost effective) service for the at-home cook looking to shake up their usual kitchen customs.

Now I think it’s just this side of a necessity.  These meals, while not keeping us in total body and soul, are the loveliest little treats, and a backup for the dishes we’re making here at home out of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes, because everybody MUST be cooking with those items if they’re so persistently out of stock.  You just would NOT believe how well my three-tiered (and three-ply!) Isopropyl Cashmere Cake is coming along.

I think you’d go flat broke trying to feed your family if you relied solely on meal kits, but as a supplementary food service, or a replacement for the meals you’re not currently enjoying out at a restaurant, it’s a blessing.  There’s only so many boxes of KD you can stomach before your stomach says, “Yo!  Can we get a different flavour profile down here?”  To that end, Hello Fresh chooses its recipes – particularly the vegetarian ones – from a wide range of popular world cuisines, from Indian to Italian, Mexican to Middle Eastern, African to French.  Best of all, your meals – individually bagged and then boxed – are delivered right to your doorstep, with no signature requirement.  Smart.  Responsible.  Yummy.

Have I mentioned the yummy?  Because these vegetarian meals are SO yummy!  As well as creative, fun to prepare (get the kids involved!) and of really excellent quality.  I have no complaints.  I just hope Hello Fresh (and other meal kit services of its ilk) will be able to maintain their deliveries in the face of what is sure to be a massive new uptick in business.  Like all things these days, fingers crossed.

Curious as to the kinds of dishes you might enjoy on Hello Fresh’s veggie plan?  Take a peek at these tasty morsels we enjoyed some weeks back and set your taste buds revving:

Garlicky Mixed Mushroom Farrow Bowl with Goat’s Cheese and Candied Walnuts

Farrow Salad 1

Farrow is a kind of whole grain that looks and tastes like a cross between rice and barley.  In this scrumptious dish, it was mixed with a sweet balsamic dressing and then topped with sauteed mushrooms and garlic, leafy greens, creamy goat cheese, candied walnuts and chives.  This was a super filling – and wicked delicious – dish that reminded me in all the very best ways of this beet, goat cheese and candied pecan salad I used to love from the Manx Pub in Ottawa, Ontario (heh, Mr. Finger Candy and I enjoyed part of our multi-part first date there.) 🙂

Italian Mozzarella Panini with Herby Tomato Soup

Soup and Panini 1

Soup and a sandwich!  This was a tasty little lunch Mr. Finger Candy and I enjoyed one recent afternoon.  Actually, as I called him to the table, I thought, “You have turned into your grandmother,” a woman who was constantly calling my grandfather – who was probably off somewhere pruning a tree – in “for supper.”  My grandfather would have been horrified to have found such a meal waiting for him at the table – pesto-flavoured tomato soup that looks like a science experiment and a mozzarella sandwich with aruga-who-now? – but we thought it was pretty nummy.  A nice, light option for a midday repast.

Matar Paneer Curry with Green Peas and Yellow Potato

Paneer Curry 1

Paneer is a firm, mild cheese popular in Indian cuisine.  Owing to its high melting point, it can withstand quite a bit of cooking, and so it often shows up, cubed, in stew-type preparations like this one featuring tomatoes, peas and yellow potatoes.  The recipe actually directs you to add the roasted potatoes to the other vegetables, paneer and sauce, but I like how crispy they remain when you simply sprinkle them on top, like roasted potato croutons.

Beyond Meat Roasted Veggie Linguine with Garlic Tomato Sauce

Beyond Meat Linguine 1

As a lifelong pasta aficionado, I am always shockingly amazed at how delicious Hello Fresh’s pasta recipes are.  I truly thought I had eaten all the good pasta in the world.  This deceptively simple dish – just your basic tomato, onion, garlic and roasted veggie arrangement, enhanced with a bit of oh-so-trendy plant protein – was so friggin’ yummy!  Then again, I actually really like the taste of Beyond Meat.  Yes, it totally looks like cat food, but it’s versatile, it cooks well, and it adds a welcome shot of richness to your more basic vegetarian dishes.

Beyond Meat and Black Bean Tacos with Tomato Pepper Salsa and Crema

Beyond Meat Tacos 1

Beyond Meat strikes again in this dee-licious, but kind of unwieldy, taco dish featuring a fresh, zippy salsa and ear-splittingly tart lime crema.  Loved the flavours at work in this recipe, but the proportions here were way off – there was MOUNDS of filling to just three soft tortillas per person.  Things got very sloppy, very quickly!

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Creamy Garlic Sauce and Herby Goat Cheese

Butternut Ravioli 1

Another phenomenal pasta dish, this time sweet butternut squash ravioli enrobed – ENROBED, I say! – in a light, buttery sauce, with more roasted squash, chivey goat cheese and lightly toasted pepitas, which are a type of pumpkin seed.  Good golly, this recipe was GREAT.  I could have eaten triple the amount of this one, but that’s just me and pasta.  This dish, too, reminded me of a seasonal pasta I used to like to order from Panera.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether to give a meal kit delivery service like Hello Fresh a try, I’d say now is the moment.  There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now.  How you get some of your food and fun should not be two of those uncertainties.  So while you’re social distancing, maybe give Hello Fresh a try and see if they have any options that might work for your family.

Stay safe and healthy out there while you’re staying in, friends.

3 thoughts on “Stay Home and Cook

    • YES, that is precisely why I wrote it – because the “let’s just pop out for a few things” style of grocery-shopping does not seem to be a thing any more, let alone if you’re dealing with shortages. The grocery stores in my area are sparse-to-okay, but TP is still impossible to come by. I hope you’re able to find something that works for you; stay healthy.

  1. Pingback: Food For Fun | Finger Candy

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