I tend to feel my best when I stick with a diet of healthy grains, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and the occasional chicken and fish dinners. Unfortunately though, when you’re living with someone who enjoys their steaks, burgers, bacon, and roasts (and also cooking for two), it can be difficult to keep up with this type of meal plan. Personally, over the past few years, I’ve found myself incorporating way more red meat into my diet than I would have liked, all thanks to the boyfriend’s wandering eye as soon as we hit Whole Foods’ meat department…
Of course, back when we first signed up for HelloFresh, there was no debate – we started off with the Classic Plan (aka ‘omnivore’ Plan) and stuck with it for several months (you can check out my reviews and meals here). But somehow, perhaps out of boredom, or because of some strange alignment of the stars, we decided to try out the Veggie Plan for a week.
How do the two plans differ? While HelloFresh‘s Classic Plan comes with a variety of meat, fish, and seasonal produce, their Veggie Plan comes with plant-based proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and veggies – there’s no meat or fish. The Veggie Plan is also only available for 3 meals a week, while with the Classic Plan you can choose to get 3 or 4 meals a week. (Why they short you the option of an extra meal per week, I don’t know. We would have gone for 4 meals if we could.)
One thing to note is that some of the Veggie recipes include milk and egg-based products, so they’re not all vegan. Though some are very easy to make vegan simply by removing 1-2 ingredients like cheese toppings (I’ve included examples in my meal reviews below).
Bountiful Barley Bowl
- Ingredients: barley, brussels sprouts, honey, pepitas, dried cranberries, shallot, balsamic vinegar, arugula, feta cheese
- Prep time: 10 minutes, Total time: 35 minutes
- Calories: 690
- What we liked: This made for one huge bowl of healthy grains and veggies that completely filled us up in the end (I could barely finish mine!).
- What we didn’t like: This definitely wasn’t the tastiest dish out of the four. With the arugula, brussels sprouts, and barley being at the center, it had a whole lot of earthy-ness to it. The added honey, cranberries, and feta wasn’t quite enough to balance it out for those who prefer sweeter salads.
*Can be made vegan by leaving out the feta cheese.
Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto
- Ingredients: yellow onion, garlic, veggie stock concentrate, parmesan cheese, sage, butternut squash, arborio rice, pepitas
- Prep time: 10 minutes, Total time: 50 minutes
- Calories: 650
- What we liked: All the various textures – from the creamy, chewy rice and soft butternut squash, to the crunchy pepitas topping.
- What we didn’t like: It could have used a little something extra in the spice department.
- Rating: 3/5
*Can be made vegan by leaving out the parmesan cheese.
- Ingredients: gnocchi, green beans, pesto, lemon, button mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese
- Prep time: 10 minutes, Total time: 30 minutes
- Calories: 530
- What we liked: This was by far the easiest and quickest dish to put together – it took almost no time to make since we had the gnocchi, green beans, and mushrooms all cooking at once (instead of following the directions and streamlining pan and pot usage – it means more clean-up afterwards, but hey, we were hungry!). I also loved the idea of tossing in veggies and mushrooms (I typically eat my gnocchi plain with a salad on the side, so I’m happy to have picked up some tips for next time!).
- What we didn’t like: Since I’m a cooking newbie, I would have preferred to make the pesto sauce from scratch. (Though, I know that involves using a blender – one thing they never require you to use to make their recipes.)
- Rating: 4/5
Overall, I really enjoyed trying out HelloFresh‘s veggie option for a good part of the week. The meals were all surprisingly tasty, filled us up (with the occasional leftovers too), and were much quicker and easier to make than most of the ‘omnivore‘ meal options (I’m still such a noob when it comes to cooking steaks and pork!). I also feel like the choice of grains, extra veggies, and addition of nuts put them on the healthier side of the HelloFresh meal spectrum.
If it were just me living on my own again, I would absolutely continue the vegan option. However, the boyfriend was missing his red meats by day two, so we’re going to have to figure out a compromise! Either way, I now have three new recipes to make for lunch or dinner throughout the week, and I picked up a few tips for enhancing my otherwise boring pasta and salad dishes, so I’m happy! 🙂
Have you tried HelloFresh or another food delivery service? What did you think of the meals?