Cooking with Cleia | Hello Fresh April 2018

Cooking With Cleia | Hello Fresh April 2018Hey everyone! I wasn’t supposed to get another Hello Fresh box so soon… I’ve been planning on ordering one every month or two when the recipes appeal to me but I totally spaced and forgot to skip a week. Imagine my surprise when I got a notification that a box was on the way. Oops! It seems that I have a couple more meals to share.

Hello Fresh March 2018

About Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh is a weekly food subscription offering three different subscription plans. Ingredients are sourced from local producers and shipped straight to your doorstep on the day of your choosing. All packaging is recyclable, even the ice packs!

Plans: Pronto, Family or Vegetarian
Price: $10+ per serving. Our Vegetarian plan costs about $70 a week for three meals with 2-4 servings. (It says 2 servings but there’s almost always enough for four!)
Frequency: Weekly
Customize: Only the Pronto & Family Plans get meal options
Skipable: Yes

*Note: This post contains referral links

Though it is a bit on the expensive side I justify staying subscribed because sometimes when I’m working a lot of evenings it’s just terribly convenient having all the meal prep taken care of. It’s like a culinary adventure with every meal. I learned how to bread and fry tofu properly to use in stir frys, I’ve made tzatziki and risotto for the first time.. A lot of these things have daunted me in the past so when I get a meal box I feel like I’m learning new things. This week I learned how to char vegetables Ecuadorian style!

Hello Fresh Ecuadorian-Style Tofu Stir Fry

Ecuadorian-Style Tofu Stir Fry

I wasn’t actually looking forward to this meal when I found out I was receiving it, but it turned out to be my favourite of the three. It contains quinoa which I’ve been told I should love as a vegetarian but it’s just not my cup of tea. Peru also ruined it for me because when we were Hiking Colca Canyon we were served warm quinoa juice. It was atrocious.

The quinoa in this stir fry however wasn’t bad. The recipe had us cook it in a pot of boiling water like rice. I made sure to let it cook extra so it wouldn’t be crunchy, I don’t like crunchy quinoa salads so I knew a crunchy stir fry wouldn’t sit well with me.

The recipe then had me bread some tofu in cornstarch & spices and pan fry until cripsy. Next I marinated it in a lime juice mixture. I think it may have been better to soak the tofu in lime first and then bread and fry to keep it from getting soggy. I also charred vegetables over medium high heat. Basically I just didn’t stir the vegetables so they charred/burned slightly on each side before flipping.

Lastly I had to pickle onions as a garnish. I didn’t care for the pickled onions, so I left it off my plate.

Hello Fresh Mushroom & Leek Linguini

Mushroom & Leek Linguini

This is the recipe I was most excited for, probably because it was the most familiar to what I know. The leeks came spiralized so they were easy to cook with them. I’ve never cooked with fresh linguini so that was interesting to me. I only had to boil it for three minutes before it was ready.

The sauce threw me off. The recipe recommended adding 1 cup of boiled pasta water to the vegetables and mixing with a small packet of cream cheese. Then I added a handful of parmesan cheese and let everything melt. It wasn’t what I expected and the cheese seemed to melt but then harden around the leeks so I wound up with chewy cheesy leek balls. That sounds so gross when I put it that way, it really wasn’t that bad but I’ve had better pastas!

Hello Fresh Golden Halloumi & Ratatouille

Golden Halloumi & Ratatouille

The ratatouille was easy to make. I roasted a bunch of vegetables in the oven and crushed up the roasted garlic with some oil to make a spread for the ciabatta buns. Next I toasted the ciabatta buns in the oven with the garlic spread once the vegetables were done.

I had no idea what halloumi was prior to this box. It’s apparently a cheese!  I cut the halloumi into slices and fried it in a dry pan for about two minutes on each side. It’s an interesting cheese, it doesn’t melt like I expected but it still has a cheesy flavour. It was also rather chewy, it squeaked against my teeth when I chewed it O_o

All in all this meal was good, but it didn’t feel very special to me. I can easily make the grilled vegetables on my own without a food subscription. The cheese was the only thing that was truly interesting about it unfortunately.

Hello Fresh Ingredients

All in all I was disappointed with this box. It’s my own fault, we all have different meal preferences and I should have skipped the week ahead of time. I can generally tell if I’ll like something by reading the recipe so I just skip the weeks that don’t sound good to me. If I had looked at this one prior I would have known that this week would be a miss. I have actually enjoyed most of my Hello Fresh recipes, this is my fourth box from them and so far the only disappointment. You can check out my last box Here, which I did enjoy.

Would you make any of these dishes from Hello Fresh?

If you’re interested in signing up for Hello Fresh you can get $40 off your first box with my link Here!

Thanks for reading another Cooking With Cleia post, I’ll see you in the next one! Don’t forget to like & subscribe <3



  1. April 17, 2018 / 10:22 pm

    Thatโ€™s neat that you can skip weeks and that you basically get all the ingredients for your meals and you also basically get to try something new. I wouldnโ€™t get a box like this, Iโ€™d be afraid to not like anything lol.

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 18, 2018 / 12:36 pm

      The skipping weeks is definitely a perk. There’s no way I could afford to get a box every week!
      It’s the worst when I don’t especially love one of the meals, I make myself eat them anyway ๐Ÿ˜…

  2. April 16, 2018 / 11:36 pm

    I’ve been super curious about Hello Fresh ever since ads for it starting popping up on the podcasts I listen to! It seems pretty awesome, and I love that it teaches your new cooking skills and recipes. I am not the best when I comes to cooking myself, mainly because of time issues (grad student life). The only thing is that my landlord is notorious for holding my packages hostage, so there is potential for awkwardness and me having to track down food-sensitive packages lol. I LOLED at “it squeaked against my teeth when I chewed it O_o”. hahahahaha

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 18, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      This wasn’t my favourite box but I’ve enjoyedy others a lot more. I was only planning on getting 2 boxes for the sign up discount but then I liked the convenience of it all so much that I stayed subscribed ๐Ÿ™‚
      Lol really? Haha oh dear that could be awkward. Haha it really did squeak!! It was so strange ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  3. Makeup by Erin
    April 16, 2018 / 8:51 pm

    Oh my gosh! These look amazing! I’ve been wanting to try hello fresh for so long! I need to eat healthier and this would be a great way!

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 16, 2018 / 10:47 pm

      It is a little bit expensive but there are always referral codes for $40 off floating around, I think it’s worth it at least for the introductory price! It works out to about $35 with the $40 off code.
      It’s a good way to try new recipes without a lot of effort to put in ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Makeup by Erin
        April 16, 2018 / 11:32 pm

        Thatโ€™s not too bad! I might just have to take the plunge it and try it out. It sounds awesome.

  4. April 16, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    These meals look so yummy! I was actually going to try it some time because I keep seeing it everywhere! I recently tried Blue Apron – have you tried that?

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 16, 2018 / 10:45 pm

      They were decent this week, I’ve enjoyed other weeks better but there wasn’t anything that I didn’t like.
      I’ve heard of blue apron! I’ve never tried it, but I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually. I’ve been looking at miss fresh and chef’s plate too!

      • April 17, 2018 / 1:16 pm

        Oooo Ive never heard of those two before! I’m going to check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. April 16, 2018 / 12:48 pm

    Loved how detailed you were in this review, it’s really helpful. I’ve been wanting to try Hello Fresh for a while now. A few of my favorite YouTubers subscribe to Hello Fresh and a lot of the meals look tasty! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes meal prep can be the most tedious part of cooking so it’d be nice to have that done for me already ๐Ÿ™‚ Really enjoyed your review <3

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 16, 2018 / 10:43 pm

      Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚
      If you do subscribe just make sure you take a look at the meals before hand so you have an idea if it’s something you’ll like. It’s so convenient having most of the prep done, there are days when I work evenings but I can still come home on my break and make a meal kit before going back to work. It’s so nice!

  6. April 16, 2018 / 10:43 am

    I’ve been dying to get hello fresh, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I did actually use a hello fresh recipe in order create a dinner, and it came out pretty good too! The first one out of the meals you made looks the best to me too! Great post Cleia xx

    Melina |

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 16, 2018 / 11:47 am

      It’s nice that you can access the recipes through their website and try some out first! The first one surprised me, I didn’t think we’d like it as much as we did (minus the pickled onions)

  7. April 16, 2018 / 10:43 am

    I feel like the biggest reason I’d want to try this is to learn how to cook more healthy meals & it sounds like it’s helpful for that. good to know this is the first time you’ve been disappointed by it. thanks for sharing this!

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 16, 2018 / 11:45 am

      It does! I’ve learned a lot of different cooking techniques and I’m less scared to try new recipes now. I learned to cook bok choy, risotto, and quinoa for the first time which I probably never would have tried on my own! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. April 16, 2018 / 8:53 am

    Do you find that there’s enough food in the 3 meals to last more than 3 meals (ie leftovers for the next day)? We’ve thought about getting Hello Fresh but the pricetag has stopped us – it’s $80 for 3 meals for the non-vegetarian option, which is the same price we pay for groceries for 9 meals a week (5 lunches and 4 dinners). The meals sound really good though, and the friends we know who are subscribed to it seem to really enjoy it!

    I do love that it comes with all of the ingredients measured exactly though, and plus you get to keep the recipe – if you enjoyed the meal, you can make it again on your own.

    • AlwaysCleia
      April 16, 2018 / 11:42 am

      We typically have leftovers, there’s only been 1 meal so far that was only 2 portions. We for sure had enough for leftovers this time around, I have so much of the stirfry left still!

      It is expensive, you’re really paying for the convenience of everything being prepackaged. I try to only get a box once a month if I remember to skip!

      • April 16, 2018 / 11:50 am

        Hmm, good to know that the portions tend to be on the big size! That’s a good practice to only get one box a month, then the price is a lot more reasonable!

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