Hello Fresh! vs. Blue Apron Round 1 (January 25, 26, 2017)
January 29th, 2017 by Katekoster

This week we wanted to have a cook-off between a box from Blue Apron and a box from Hello Fresh! (both meal kit companies).  We have tried Blue Apron in the past and had good results so we were pretty confident they would make a good showing.  Unfortunately they completely failed.  They didn’t even make it to the starting line…their box never showed up.  Their delivery service first said it was delivered and then told us it had been delayed so long it was no longer deliverable (since it had perishable foods).   Blue Apron did give us a refund and credit but still pretty epic fail.  (Maybe we will give Blue Apron another chance…what do you think?)

So even though Hello Fresh! won, just by showing up, we still wanted to review their meals.  And honestly, they were pretty good that they might have won anyway.  Here’s what we made with Hello Fresh!

Shawarma Meatballs with Bulgur & Sumac Vegetables (Alex)

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There are two really positive things about this meal: first it really didn’t take that long to prepare (less than 30 minutes) and there were lots of vegetables.  It also introduced us to some new flavors: sumac and a middle eastern spice mix.  Here’s what I did:

  • First I started the bulgur (put it in water with chicken stock and salt…a lot like cous cous)
  • Second, I cut the onions, tomatoes, and zucchini into strips, mixed with olive oil and sumac and put them in the oven to raost
  • Then I mixed the ground beef with panko, middle eastern spice blend, salt, and pepper. I formed them into small balls and sauted them in olive oil for 6-10 minutes.
  • Finally, I fluffed the bulgur with parsley and plated (bulgur on the bottom and veggies and meatballs on top…plus sour cream and the extra parsley)

Note I also made a few regular meatballs (with egg, Pecorino Romano and breadcrumbs) to do a taste test against the Hello Fresh meatballs.  Max said mine tasted better 🙂

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The only negatives about this meal: packaging (see photo below).  All the ingredients were tossed in a box so the tomatoes were a little bruised and the parsley packets opened up.


All in all though, I give this meal: A-. It was DELICIOUS…and we cooked with new spices.

Sweet Apple Pork Chops with Cauliflower Mash & Snap Peas (Max)

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I really liked the idea of this meal because we cook pork chops a lot and serve it with home made apple sauce, so having an actual sauce with apples in it to pour over the pork sounded like a good idea.  I didn’t like the idea of mashing the cauliflowers in with the potatoes though.  I think both are better by themselves.  Also the instructions were a little unclear: it didn’t say anything about peeling the potatoes before you cook them (which you usually do when you make mashed potatoes) so I did it anyway…  Here’s the steps:

  • Peel, cut and boil potatoes. (note the instructions didn’t say to peel potatoes but we did anyway.
  • Chop and boil cauliflower (note instructions said to boil with the potatoes but we wanted separate mashes)
  • Trip sugar snap peas and start roasting in oven
  • Sear pork chops in sauce pan with salt and pepper and thyme*, then finish in pan with peas
  • Peel, core and chop apples and sautee with butter and chicken concentrate (that’s your sauce) (note again the instructions didn’t specify to peel or not, so we did)
  • Mash your potatoes and cauliflower and plate with pork chops and snap peas; top pork with sauce

*Be careful with the thyme, we only used HALF of what they recommended but it was still too strong…THYME is a really strong herb.

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The negatives about this meal were that the instructions were a little unclear (to peel or not?), and called for too much thyme.  The thyme took away from the unique taste of the pork chop when you really want to bring that out. The apple sauce wasn’t as good as our own, and the combination of thyme with the apple sauce really tastes bad. The positives were that pork tasted great and we had lots and lots of sugar snap peas. Plenty of vegetables for all (unlike the meager portions of veggies usually found in Blue Apron).  All in all I give this meal a B.


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