You know when you’re scrolling through food blogs and your mouth starts to water just reading the description? It happens to me all the time. But then I get to the ingredient list and read through the instructions and I hit no-go territory. Now, I’m not the type of person that can just whip up a dish with “stuff” laying around (my husband is great at this), but I can follow a recipe like nobody’s business. Even so, some of the recipes out there are more like food novels and require hours and hours in the kitchen. I love food, but I like to eat the food a lot more than I like to prepare it. Which is eventually what led me to HelloFresh.
I actually tried the meal subscription box after getting fed up with the crazy weeknight routine and lo and behold, I ended up loving it. I had been hesitant for the longest time because I thought that there was no way the food could be prepared quickly and taste great as well. Looking back now, that seems kind of silly.
I wanted to see just how good these meals could get though. So, I asked a couple friends who use HelloFresh about their favorite meals and ordered a couple of the site's Hall of Fame dishes to see if they lived up to the hype.
Black Bean and Green Pepper Flautas
I totally get why this one is a Hall of Famer and was my favorite out of the three. This dish is some serious comfort food and while it did take me a bit longer to make than it was suggested it would, the ease of actually making it and the taste definitely made up for it. I absolutely loved the homemade black bean mash that is spread on the tortillas and it was super quick to whip together. You just add half the included black beans with some of the leftover liquid from the box and add in a tablespoon of butter. Once it's cooked up, you mash it to your desired texture and it’s done! The rest of the dish is really as easy as chopping everything up and adding it to the pan to cook up before putting it in your tortillas. The most time consuming part of this recipe (for me at least) was chopping everything up. If you’re a quick dicer, then you should easily be able to get this done in the 30 minutes allotted.
The dish mentions that it is spicy, but I didn’t taste much spice on my end. If you prefer your tongue to be a bit heated while eating, then just be sure to have your favorite hot sauce on hand. I’m usually a big spice person, but these were incredibly flavorful and I ended up not adding any.
You can make this with blackbeans, chicken, or beef to give it an extra protein boost. They added a pack of chicken to my box this week, so I actually went ahead and added that to the black bean mixture while it was cooking. The only problem I had doing this was I now had too much filling! I ended up saving the extra in a Tupperware container to use later for regular tacos.
I also recommend following their tip on the recipe card and pinning these with toothpicks. Since I added the chicken as well, my filling was overflowing and I needed three in each flauta to keep it together. Thankfully, the toothpicks worked great and once they were fried up, they stayed together nicely.
Overall, I’m honestly shocked at how easy this recipe was to follow and still tasted as great as it did. I will definitely be ordering this one again!
Firecracker Meatballs With Roasted Green Beans and Jasmine Rice
If you’re in the mood for a refreshing Asian twist on the usual meatball dishes, then this one might be right up your alley. Another Hall of Fame favorite, this is one of the easiest meals to make and yet it’s jam packed with flavor.
The ginger is probably the hero of the dish here (yes, I totally stole that line from MasterChef), as it adds a fresh flavor and a bit of a zip to the meat. Combine this with the soy-sriracha-cream sauce and you really have a great marriage of flavors.
This would make a wonderful lighter dinner for summer or even a great lunch anytime of year. And the fact that it’s incredibly easy to make (you pretty much just dice up a couple pieces of produce) makes this all that much better. The only con to this dish is I thought the green beans could have used a little bit extra flavor themselves, so I used extra sauce on the top of them for a little extra oomph. This made it perfect!
Roasted Chickpea Caesar Salad
Ok, this one isn’t technically on the Hall of Fame list, but it came highly recommended to me and now I know why. The roasted chickpeas take the place of chicken for your protein boost and the slightly tangy/spicy caesar dressing makes this a great dish any time of year.
The dressing is made from mayonnaise, honey dijon mustard, sriracha hot sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, and lemon juice. I doubled what the recipe called for with the hot sauce (I used the whole package instead of half) and added another teaspoon of soy sauce. But I like my salad dressing with tons of flavor, so if you prefer your dressing to be on the lighter side, then just follow the recipe as is. The dressing is creamy with citrus notes and a tiny bit of spice that lingers on the tongue. It’s not overwhelming, though, so even if you don’t like spice, you should be good with this dressing.
The chickpeas were also fantastic and had a slight crunch on the outside while still being a bit soft in the middle. Just a heads up….don’t shake your chickpeas in the middle of roasting them. I did this as I was pulling them out to put the bread on and they literally all popped and flew at me like Fourth of July fireworks. I lost a handful, but was able to salvage the majority. The homemade croutons were actually what surprised me the most. They were super crunchy and had tons of flavor….all from a little mini baguette! Why have I never made my own croutons before!? It’s so easy and added a ton of crunch and flavor to this salad.
Honestly, I was really happy with this dish. The taste was phenomenal and it was incredibly fresh. The prep and cook time is estimated to be 30 mins, but I would say it was closer to 40-45 for me. That is from pulling it out of the bag to sitting down to eat. So definitely still within my own personal allowable time frame.
Are They Worth the Hype?
Well, I’m impressed to say the least. They aren’t going to taste like you spent six hours in the kitchen because well…you didn’t. But they taste pretty darn close to it! And considering I didn’t spend any more than 45 minutes cooking any of these, I’d say they have easily earned the Hall of Fame awards…at least in this house! Not only are they easy to make, but the Firecracker Meatballs and the Black Bean Flautas are almost foolproof kid-friendly meals! I say almost because...well, kids. Next time these are offered on the HelloFresh menu, grab them and then let us know what you think! Did they make your family's Hall of Fame!?