As a kid, I hated vegetables. We had a family rule that we had to eat three bites of vegetables at dinner time. When I was five, we went out for dinner, and I devised a perfect plan. I asked the server for three peas. She complied. I then proceeded to put one pea on my fork and ate it. I repeated that step two more times, thus satisfying the three-bite rule. (Unfortunately, my mom didn’t agree with my logic.)
Even as an adult, I wasn’t a big fan of vegetables. In an effort to be healthier, I joined our local CSA and had fresh, local vegetables delivered for a summer. Unfortunately, we didn’t eat all the produce, (but we composted what we didn’t eat.) Although the farm had a website that included recipes, a lot of them were bland. We were also serving our vegetables as a side dish, secondary to the main course, which was usually chicken or fish.
I want to be kinder to animals, cut down on global warming, and be healthier. I knew that moving towards a plant-based diet would help all those things, but I still didn’t really like vegetables.
On January 1, 2018, our family New Year’s resolution was to eat significantly less meat in 2018. It didn’t take me long to realize that my vegan and vegetarian repertoire was pretty small. So we bought a great vegan cookbook and expanded our dinner choices. There are many things in life that I enjoy, but meal planning and cooking nightly, do not fall in that category. We don’t have the budget to eat out regularly, so I’ve been the primary meal planner and cook for more years than I want to mention.
My daughter recommended HelloFresh, saying that it was an excellent way for her to eat healthy meals after a long day of work. She sent us a coupon to try HelloFresh for free. In case you aren’t familiar with HelloFresh, it is a subscription meal plan that comes with the ingredients for three (or four) meals per week. You choose the meals from a menu, and it varies each week. There are always at least three vegetarian options, as well as recipes with chicken, beef, pork, and seafood. Currently, the meal kits are available for two people or four people. The servings are generous!
About the same time, I was already enjoying the convenience of a dog food subscription service. Their food is healthy, and I love not having to run to the store to buy dog food.
We decided to give HelloFresh a try. Naturally, Theo thought it was for him.
The meal kits have most of the ingredients in them. Typically, you need to provide salt, pepper, olive oil, and occasionally butter or sugar. For the past 18 months, we’ve chosen vegetarian meals, and all of them have been delicious.
As a Type B personality, I know this might stress out all you Type As, but frequently I decide what is for supper about 20-45 minutes ahead of dinner time. HelloFresh is a great way to know that I have everything I need before starting to make supper.
Since we started HelloFresh, my husband is more willing to start cooking dinner. Probably because he knows he has everything he needs in that bag. Although the majority of the recipes usually say 10 minutes prep time, we aren’t skilled chefs, and it takes us longer than that to cut the vegetables (and not our fingers!) For us the prep time for us is generally closer to 15 minutes.
Theo never abandons hope that I’ll drop something when I’m cooking.
HelloFresh is flexible, it is easy to skip a week or change the number of servings that you want. You can even have it delivered to your vacation destination. Just let them know the week before your scheduled delivery. Although most of the vegetarian meals do have some dairy, it is pretty simple to use vegan substitutes or skip the cheese/sour cream altogether. I made a vegan version of the Veggie Chile Rellenos by preparing one without cheese and crema.
There was a time when I wondered if we could ever move successfully towards a plant-based diet. I thought that a vegetarian lifestyle might mean endless salads instead of delicious, satisfying meals.
Having grown up on meat and potatoes, neither my husband nor I were sure we could exist happily with less meat. Thanks to Hello Fresh vegetarian recipes, it is easier and tastier than I thought possible!
Thanks to Alice G Patterson for the photos!