I try to put mealtimes at the centre of our family life. Getting together to share the details of our day with our evening meal is important to our family. But after a day at work, the school run, deadlines and appointments, I don’t mind admitting that sometimes it’s a struggle to get something healthy on the table. So I was delighted when I had the opportunity to try out the meal delivery service from Dubai-based Hello Chef.
The idea behind Hello Chef is simple. You still cook the meals, but someone else takes care of the meal planning, the shopping and all that boring preparation. Hello Chef deliver the fresh ingredients and recipes for four healthy, balanced meals each week, meaning that all you have to do is the fun bit – cook! I like to think of it as having your very own commis chef!
Our “Family” Hello Chef box arrived on a Sunday, and included recipes and ingredients for:
- Chicken souvlaki with tzatziki and pitta
- Italian beef sausage casserole with green beans and polenta
- Fish and spinach curry with rice / cauliflower rice
- Black bean tacos with avocado and tomato salsa
Straight to our door
Mr More Organised and Mr 5 were just as excited to open up the box and explore our menu plan for the week. The strong, recyclable cardboard box was kept refrigerated on its journey to us, and the food arrived in perfect condition. Each day’s ingredients were packaged in a separate bag, clearly labelled with the recipe number corresponding to an easy-to-follow recipe sheet. The recipes were easy to prepare, and introduced us to some different meals and ingredients. Mr 5 particularly enjoyed making the chicken dish with his daddy on Sunday. He did all of the cooking apart from pan-frying the chicken pieces. That evening, I came home to find my little chef cleaning up and my supper ready on the table. I could definitely get used to this!
On Monday we had unexpected guests, but I easily accommodated them by defrosting a pack of sausages and throwing them into the casserole. I boiled up some rice to serve up alongside the casserole and polenta, but there would have been enough polenta for all of us. I think this was my favourite dish – polenta has never worked for me before, but I was really pleased with the result. We’ll definitely add this to our repertoire now that we know what we are doing.
The Thai fish curry on Tuesday was just as simple to prepare, and a new favourite. We kept the black bean tacos until Thursday, for my boys to prepare for lunch while I went out with friends. I left them confident that I had provided a quick and healthy lunch, although a bit disappointed that I wasn’t going to be there to try them out for myself!
I’m a bit of a control freak and was at first a little concerned that someone else would be choosing our menu. In fact, it was totally the opposite. Once I saw the freshness and variety of the ingredients supplied by Hello Chef, I was delighted that someone else had taken over the menu planning for the week. One less thing for me to think about, whilst keeping totally organised – what’s not to love?
The service provides four meals, which means a flexible day (or salad day) during the week, and freedom to eat out or entertain at the weekend. As we experienced, it was easy to bulk up a meal to include extra people around the table, and the recipes were simple enough for our five year old son to follow. Next time I have a busy week ahead, I’ll definitely be calling for Hello Chef, rather than reaching for the takeaway menus.
While I received a complimentary box to be able to write a post about this service, all opinions, words, and new found love of polenta are totally my own! (And Mr 5’s)