I mixed up my mealtimes with HelloFresh and here’s what happened

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Stuck in a recipe rut? So was I—but not anymore, thanks to HelloFresh meal kits

Stuck in a recipe rut? These days, who isn’t? We’re all cooking at home more than usual, and that’s great! But let’s be honest: without the odd date night or family dinner out, that handful of fail-safe, go-to recipes is getting a bit, well… stale. I know mine sure are—I’m running out of ways to spice up spaghetti and heaven help me if I have to eat another chick pea. That’s why I decided to mix up my mealtimes with HelloFresh. It’s super easy: you just pick out recipes from the roster—there are new ones to choose from each week—and customize them to suit your lifestyle or preferences. The best part is, the meal kits come to you, when you want them to. Mine showed up on a Sunday afternoon, just in time to get started on an early-bird supper to close out the weekend.

HelloFresh basically did all of the dirty work for me: the planning, the shopping and even the prepping. All I had to do was bring the box in from my front porch, open it and decide which meal I wanted to try first. That might have been the hardest part to be honest, they all sounded so good. All of the ingredients—which are responsibly sourced, by the way—come pre-portioned, which means there’s no unnecessary food waste. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to compost past-its-prime dill or rosemary because I only needed a sprig or two for a recipe. And, in some cases, the ingredients have even been prepped already. When I saw that the onions were pre-sliced, I wanted to cry—tears of joy, for once. The recipes themselves are super easy to follow, even if you’re new to cooking. Each step is accompanied by a picture, so you can tell if you’re on the right track. I actually ended up saving my favourites and slotting them in my recipe binder so I can recreate them another time. As for mixing up mealtime, well I’ve roasted a lot of grape tomatoes for all kinds of recipes before, but roasted red grapes? I never would have thought to do that until HelloFresh suggested it. Mind, blown. They were absolutely killer with balsamic-sautéed onions and thyme-spiced chicken over garlicky mashed potatoes.

Have a minor diner at home? Well, I do—a teenager with a ravenous appetite but, ironically, a very picky palate. So far, however, the HelloFresh recipes have been a hit. The meals are familiar enough (steak sandwich, chili, BBQ ribs and grilled chicken) but with healthy vegetables and interesting ingredients here and there (miso, couscous, bocconcini) to introduce him to fun new foods and flavours. It turns out each recipe is designed and created by professional chefs and nutritional experts, so the meals are way more than just pretty plates—but they’re that, too, and I totally Instagrammed a couple of my finished dishes before digging in.

And I learned that HelloFresh meal kits are a great way to get kids off of screens and into the kitchen without the usual begging, pleading or deal-making. Here’s a pro-tip: For a smooth transition away from technology, tell your tot or teen to make an unboxing video of the meal-kit contents—they’ll know what that means, don’t worry—and then get cooking. My tech-savvy son had a blast with it, and he ended up being more invested in the meal because of it. In the end, it was more than just dinner—it was the entertainment, too.

With HelloFresh, I actually enjoyed stress-free weeknight cooking and followed it up with some much-needed downtime. I can’t remember the last Monday night I was able to chill out with a book and a glass (okay, two) of wine, but the meal kits just saved me so much time. I’m going to keep my subscription going, but it’s nice to know that I can place a hold on it—say, when I decide to make a week’s worth of mystery meals from what’s currently buried in my freezer—and then just pick it back up when I don’t feel like doing a big grocery run. It’s that easy. What are you waiting for?

Sign up for a HelloFresh today and get $80 off using the code TORONTOLIFE at the checkout!