saving dinnertime with hello fresh

I’ve tried other meal services like this in the past and wasn’t very impressed. There was so much packaging, it wasn’t very organized, and the recipes involved too many steps and didn’t end up being very delicious.

It’s been a couple years since I last tried it and I was intrigued by a newer company, Hello Fresh. Their meals looked delicious, healthy, and like something I would normally eat during the week. I also had a coupon for $40 off so I figured I would give it a try.

We’ve now been using Hello Fresh for three weeks and have really enjoyed it. We get our delivery on Saturday and we order 3 meals. We usually make a meal Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday and then either eat out or from the freezer on Thursday/Friday. This schedule has worked out really well for us and make the beginning of the week so easy. We just make a quick grocery store run for some breakfast and lunch staples.

So far we have loved 90% of the meals we’ve ordered. The ingredients are freshly packed, one box per meal, which makes organizing the ingredients so easy. Most meals take less than 45min to cook and they are recipes that I would definitely consider making again. Additionally, there is no waste which is usually my main complaint when making a complex recipe during the week. The portions are generous for two people.

I would definitely recommend giving it a try. I also have a coupon that will get you $40 off your first box which means you’ll only spend $20 on dinners for three nights! Use this code: U4P23G when you checkout.

the easiest meal plan: food for the week with one slow cooker recipe

I’m currently head over heels in love with this new-to-me blog Hello Natural. I think I’ve pinned every single post since I discovered it. Last Sunday when I sat down to do our meal planning for the week, I pulled up this post for some inspiration. We have been really loving the slow cooker (except for a few recipe duds) and I especially love using it on Sundays. 
Meal Plan Outline: Pulled Pork
This base of these meals is the pulled pork that you’ll make on Sunday and let cook all day. I knew that most of my other recipes were going to have “mexican/bbq/savory” flavors so I chose a “spicier” blend. Here’s the basic recipe that I used. 
  • 2 – 2.5lbs pork shoulder (When I bought it, it weighed over 4lbs. By the time I had trimmed it, it was more like 3lbs. Additionally, you could also use pork butt. I think our pork shoulder cost somewhere around $15 so that’s a great deal for so much meat. You could also use chicken here – thighs or breasts just use bone-in ones for more flavor.)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup beer (Could also use wine or broth)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • lots of salt and pepper
Directions: 
Pat pork dry and rub spices, salt, and pepper all over. Heat some oil (I used grapeseed) in a large pan and sear the pork on all sides. Add onions and garlic to the slow cooker. Transfer meat to slow cooker. Pour beer in bottom. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours until meat is fork tender. Remove and shred. Place in an airtight container. Will keep for 5-6 days. 
Recipes
Naturally, since it was a busy week, I have exactly zero pictures of how these turned out but take my word for it, I wouldn’t post about something that wasn’t delicious! 
#1 Sunday Night
I kept it simple and just drenched the pork in our favorite BBQ sauce (you can get it at Whole Foods) and served on toasted rolls with roasted kale sprouts. It was delicious. 
#2 Lettuce Wraps
It may seem weird to use pork in lettuce wraps but this totally worked and it was delicious. Used this recipe as inspiration.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1/4 cup finely diced cucumbers (try to use the seedless ones)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • lots of salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Warm pork slightly on the stove in a bit of oil (or bacon fat!). Arrange romaine lettuce leaves on a plate and add some sliced cucumbers. Fill each lettuce cup with pork and top with sauce. Devour! 

#3 Carnitas Tamale Pie
I can’t take any credit for this one because I followed this recipe to a tee. The only difference is that I put the enchilada sauce on top of the pork since my pork was a little dry from being cooked in advance. This turned out AMAZING and I’ll definitely make it again. To make gluten-free, just sub AP flour for whatever GF blend you like. This also re-heated really well which meant it served as lunch or dinner for a couple days. 
#4 Thai Peanut Stir-Fry with Cauliflower Rice
This recipe came together totally by chance. I invented this on Saturday night realizing that we had a little more pork to use up and some other random ingredients in the fridge. As I was serving it, I told C that if it was horrible, we’d just order pizza. To both our surprises, it turned out great! We’ll definitely make this again. C actually completely forgot it wasn’t rice. This is a great low-carb meal option.
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups leftover pulled pork
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups tuscan kale, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
That Peanut Sauce
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp red chili paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
Directions: 
  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat. Whisk until everything is incorporated and sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat and set aside. 
  2. Place cauliflower florets in the food processor and pulse until it looks like rice. Melt coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add kale and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat and let cook for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower rice and garlic. Stir to combine. Let cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally. 
  3. Add pork to a separate pan. Pour some of the peanut sauce over pork and heat through. 
  4. To serve, portion cauliflower kale mixture into bowls. Top with pork and a little more sauce. For crunch add shredded cabbage and/or chopped peanuts.

{recipe} Honey Butter Beer Bread

It’s Sunday. I’m bored. So I made you bread. You’re welcome. 
Doesn’t everyone bake when they are bored? This recipe couldn’t be easier and it just so happened that I had everything on hand. You probably do too. I mean, you keep your fridge stocked with beer at all times….right? 
Also, I’m assuming that you always photograph your latest recipe out on your miniature back deck. Sunlight man. I’ll get it any way I can.

Something else I should probably mention…you need this beer. It’s like this amazing blend of beer and lemonade but not shockingly sweet. It’s still has a beer-y taste with just a little something extra. C is hooked on the stuff and luckily it worked wonderfully in this bread. It should be noted, however, that if you choose to use a “flavored” beer or a beer that you would consider to be sweet, use less honey (I used 2 tablespoons). 
No ants were harmed in the photographing of this bread. Well, except for one particularly courageous ant who tried to climb up on my perfectly styled cutting board. He was promptly squashed. 
It was love at first bite with this bread. It is so stinking simple to make. It takes all of 5 minutes. No kneading, no resting. Mixed all the dry stuff. Cracked open a beer. Called it bread. You must make this now.
Lightly adapted from this recipe.