• Elizabeth Richardson

HelloFresh: Week 4

Updated: Apr 8

Time for week 4 of HelloFresh orders! For the fourth week, I decided to try out some add-ons along with the meals. Here are the meals received for week 4:

Much like the crispy Parmesan chicken from last week, I just never had the energy to make southwest stuffed zucchini boats.


Packaging

This is the same as all of the previous weeks. The meals are packed in a cardboard box with bio-degradable and recyclable cooling packs on top of the food and at the bottom of the box. The non-meat ingredients are packed in their own separately labeled bags. The meat is packed in vacuum-sealed packs below the other ingredients. Along with the meals, the package includes marketing materials and nice instruction cards for each meal that you can keep for future use.


Rating: 4/5




Cost

Without discounts and coupons, the meals are about $9.99/serving with the smallest option being 2 servings. Ten bucks per person for a dinner is comparable to a meal at a restaurant for two people, but how does it compare to buying the ingredients yourself to make the same meal?

Just like the previous weeks, I'm going to look at buying the ingredients yourself at Wal-Mart. I'm sure if you live on one of the coasts, the price of ingredients will be higher, so HelloFresh might be a more affordable option.

I've looked up prices for the same items sent with the HelloFresh meal; the price can be higher or lower, of course, if you already have some ingredients on hand or find a cheaper option.

Meal 1: Southwest Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Since I didn't make this meal, I don't have a picture of the ingredients, but I can price them out still.


This one can be pretty expensive to make yourself if you don't have anything on hand already and can't find cheaper items than what I have listed. If you already have a hot sauce to use and the spices for the spice blend, you can easily cut about $10 off the price above, which would make it cheaper to make yourself. Given the limit of the servings due to the number of zucchinis and other veggie ingredients, you would get the same number of servings as the HelloFresh meal.

Meal 2: Chicken Sausage & Spinach Ricotta Ravioli


So this one is probably cheaper to make on your own. It seems to be really hard to find sweet Italian chicken sausage in my area, so a cheaper option, like turkey, might be an alternative that would also make it cheaper. The ravioli could be a challenge, too, depending on where you live. I was able to find Rana brand in this flavor at my local Wal-Mart. Overall, this is a fairly cheap meal to make if you find cheaper sausage and ravioli to use, and you would get more servings out of it, too.

Meal 3: Creamy Dreamy Mushroom Cavatappi



Wow. This one is way cheaper to make yourself even if you need to buy milk and flour. You'd also get more servings out of your own ingredients.


Add-On 1: Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli


This add-on costs $5.98 for a 2-serving pack or 9 ounces. I found the exact same ravioli online for $6.50, so HelloFresh is cheaper for the exact same package of ravioli if you were to order the ravioli online. For a different brand, like what I found in the meal up above, you can get a package that is twice the size for $5.92. So this one is kind of a toss up on price.


Add-On 2: Annie's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough


The add-on of the Annie's chocolate chip cookie dough is $5.49. At my local Target, the same item is $4.49. So it'd be a $1 cheaper in my area to buy this on your own. Of course, you can also buy a different brand of cookie dough that would be cheaper.


Overall, this week's meals would be significantly cheaper to make on your own by far with more servings The one exception would be spices and hot sauce in the first meal (and the exact same ravioli in the add-on), but most people would have those on hand or buy a cheaper hot sauce. The add-ons are cheaper if you buy them yourself at the store, too.

Rating: 1/5





Meal Variety

Just like the assessments for the previous weeks, there is a pretty good mix of meals available for selection with pork, chicken, beef, or vegetarian as options—about 20 meals available. There are also add-ons available to add to your delivery each week for varying costs: quick lunches, sides like bread, desserts, or extra protein items. If you want a specific diet, though, like low carb or keto, you're out of luck. Lots of the meals seem to be high in calories, too.

Rating: 3/5




Taste

Meal 1: Southwest Stuffed Zucchini Boats


The zucchini boats fell to the lack of motivation just as the Parmesan crusted chicken did. However, I have made zucchini boats on my own before, and they were pretty tasty.

Meal 2: Chicken Sausage & Spinach Ricotta Ravioli

This was pretty tasty. The sweet Italian chicken sausage was really good and had a good flavor. The ravioli had enough filling to make it a substantial meal. I got a couple of meals out of this one, so it matched the two servings. If you served some garlic bread or something with it, you might get three servings out of it. I would maybe add more tomato to it and maybe add some sour cream and shredded cheese on top if I were to make this again. HelloFresh includes really good quality ingredients in their meals, so I would do this one again if I were to continue their service.

Meal 3: Creamy Dreamy Mushroom Cavatappi


Despite the kind of stupid name, this was pretty good. It wasn't anything spectacular: it's a garlic sauce with mushrooms and pasta. Not really much to say about this one...

I would maybe add some more vegetables to this if I were to make it again, like maybe some zucchini and tomatoes or something.


Add-On 1: Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli

This is the same ravioli from meal 1, so I picked a weird week to add this on to my order. I just used a marinara sauce with the ravioli since that's what I had on hand. The ravioli itself is pretty good and has a good amount of filling.


Add-On 2: Annie's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

They're chocolate chip cookies....


They aren't overly sweet, but they are sweet. I suppose the texture of them will depend on you and your oven watching skills. I would buy these again if I wanted to spend $4.50 for 12 cookies.



Overall, this week was fairly average. Nothing really too memorable or exceptionally good.

Rating: 2.5/5






Ease of Prep

Meal 1: Southwest Stuffed Zucchini Boats

*shrug*


Meal 2: Chicken Sausage & Spinach Ricotta Ravioli

The card for this meal says five minutes for prep and 20 minutes total time. I would say this is pretty close. Cutting the onion, tomato, and lemon just takes a few minutes, and the rest of the time is spent cooking the sausage and ravioli. Overall, this was pretty quick and simple to make. How long it takes will depend on how long it takes the sausage and ravioli to cook.


Mixing everything together in the skillet can be a challenge if you didn't use a very big one. You also need to use some caution as to not bust open the raviolis as you mix.

The finished product doesn't look that appetizing in my bowl, but it was good.




Meal 3: Creamy Dreamy Mushroom Cavatappi

The card for this meal says five minutes for prep and 30 minutes for overall time. Cutting the mushrooms and the green onions doesn't take very long at all, so the five minutes of prep is pretty accurate.


Cooking the mushroom can take a little bit of time without burning them, but you can boil the pasta at the same time. The sauce is pretty easy to make, too. Then you just have to mix the pasta and the final ingredients together. Pretty simple.


It even doesn't look too bad in the bowl...I like cheese.


Add-On 1: Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli

You just have to boil the ravioli: doesn't get too much simpler than that.


Add-On 2: Annie's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Strangely enough, these come as little squares that you break apart and put on a cookie sheet. Pretty easy. You just need to watch the cookies and make sure you don't burn them.




This week's meals (that I cooked) and the add-on items were all pretty easy and quick to make.


Rating: 4/5





Overall Rating

So week 4 was another kind of weird week. Overall, it was average. The pricing for this week shifts the rating to the lower end. You can get more servings for the ingredients you purchase AND they would be cheaper to buy on your own. None of the meals were really that memorable, but they were still good.


Trips to the grocery store and meal planning were saved, but yet again, I just don't know if it's worth it.

Week 4 Overall Rating: 3/5


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