Hello Fresh! Meal #1

About a week ago Calum got a voucher through in the post which gave him £25 off of something called a 'Hello Fresh' box. Unsure what it was, we went on the website and found that the idea behind it is similar to that of a Graze box, apart from this one sends you the ingredients to make a number of meals. You can choose a box for two or four people, and whether you would like meat in it or not.
With the voucher, we ended up paying £11 for a 'veggie' box, to feed two people, which had three meals in it. Of course, being the sad foodies that we are, we went for it.

Our gorgeous ingredients delivery
The box took about a week to arrive; they tell you your delivery date so you don't miss it, incase your produce goes funny. When it came it was like food Christmas, a cardboard box absolutely full of delicious looking fresh ingredients, spices, pastas and tins. The ingredients come with recipe cards so you know what you're going to be making. We ended up with seasonal rigatoni, with porcini mushrooms and pecorino; paneer curry with aubergine and brown rice; and quesadillas with tomato and corn salsa.

The prospect of cooking recipes I wouldn't normally be able to find/afford all the ingredients for was very exciting indeed, and so yesterday we decided to try the rigatoni. Here's how we got on... Whilst I obviously can't take credit for these recipes, I thought I would trial them to see if they are as easy/tasty as they claim to be, and so you can adapt them yourselves if you fancy!

The recipe cards they send with you are great. They give you a list of ingredients as well as instructions as to how to assemble the dish, complete with pictures. The quantities you need are already measured out; it should be as foolproof as it's possible to be in the kitchen.
The ingredients for the pasta were wonderfully fresh and seasonal, we couldn't fault the freshness and quality of the produce, even the creme fraiche came from a British farm and was of a higher standard than the stuff I normally get in Tesco.

Ingredients -

  • 250g rigatoni
  • A handful of asparagus
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas
  • 1 tbsp dried porchini mushrooms
  • 2/3 cup leeks, slices (I just used the whole leek they sent)
  • 5 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 1 tbsp hard italian cheese (they send pecorino) grated
  • 1 tbsp parsley, finely diced. 

  1. You start off by finely chopping your parsley, and soaking the dried mushrooms in a cup of hot water until they have softened, then chop them too. 
  2. Snap the ends off the asparagus and chop into 2 inch pieces, then slice the leek in half lengthways, wash, then slice thinly widthways. 
  3. Boil the asparagus and peas in a pot of boiling water for two mins. Immediately remove them and run under cold water for about 30 seconds. The recipe card tells me that this 'refreshes' the vegetables, and sure enough they are still crunchy and fresh when the meal is complete. 
  4. Cook the pasta in the water you boiled your vegetables in, until al dente, for around about ten mins. 
  5. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil (or butter), and add the peas, asparagus, leek and mushrooms when it is hot. Toss the veggies around in the pan for about five minutes. 
  6. Add your creme fraiche and cook for 1 min. When your pasta is done, add it to the pan with the sauce and mix. 
  7. Stir in 3/4 of the parsley. Then, serve with a sprinkle of the pecorino cheese and the rest of the parsley to garnish!
Done! The recipe was simple and easy to follow, everything did what it was meant to and the result was great. 
I would recommend putting some ground black pepper through the sauce and maybe some cheese. Me and Calum felt it was lacking a certain something, and the sauce needed something other than the creme fraiche to give it a bit more flavour. 
However, other then that there were no complaints. We had some leftover which made a great supper and the pasta had so much lovely green veg in it that it was as filling as it was healthy. I will definitely be recreating this recipe on my own, whether with the same ingredients or not. 

The next recipe I am going to try is the Quesadillas one, which I am really looking forward to cooking. I don't often make Mexican food, but because of my new found love for it, I want to start. Hopefully this will be an easy introduction.

So Hello Fresh, so far so good. Let's see how we go! 

Lindsay x


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