There is something called as the Cook’s Block. Yes, much like the Writer’s Block. When the Cook’s Block hits, you can find yourself staring into space, mulling over what to cook. Regardless of how great you are in the kitchen, you are unable to make sense out of the tomatoes and bell peppers you have in the fridge. You can’t seem to remember whether you have cumin or paprika in your stores. You are confused, or plain and simply, lazy as hell to google recipes, decide on menus or to even THINK on what to cook and feed your family.
I’m familiar (perhaps, a little too well) with situations like that. When the already slow senses are further numbed by lethargy. That is when services like Hello Chef comes to help. All you need to do is simply tell them how many members you are and if you prefer vegan, non-carb or family-style, and voila, a package consisting of related recipes arrives, complete with all ingredients needed to cook it up!
I COOKED TODAY!! Probably the first proper meal in the last 3-4 months that was stirred, sauteed and simmered by yours truly, thanks to @hellochefme (yes, I took my pregnancy to mean that I should be completely unproductive at home 😐). The dish is a Fresh Salmon Pasta with carrots, zucchini and lime and took me minimal time and efforts to "make". The box delivered to me had all the ingredients needed (from fresh, cut, neatly packed salmon to sour cream and paprika powder) and well explained recipe page with pictures of step instructions. The little girl ate it up for her dinner tonight and the rest will grace our lunch boxes tomorrow. Three more dishes to go in the days to come and I must say I'm looking forward to it. Oddly enough. 😄 #foodkissed #mediacollab #hellochefme #pregnantindubai
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The concept is simple. You are saved from all efforts of meal planning – from the stressful “decision-making” to the strenuous grocery shopping. As long as your need is clear, ie, how many people need to be fed and what kind of regime, the rest is taken care of by Hello Chef. They have weekly menus planned for all 3 categories – vegan, non-carb and family (balanced mix of veg, meat & fish). So based on what you have chosen, the menu for that week gets delivered to you, with detailed step-by-step instructions (with pictures) and all the ingredients (except water, salt & pepper I guess).
The ingredients are packed well and sourced responsibly. Wherever possible, they try to source locally. They have tied up with tried, tested & proven brands, bringing in a huge element of trust. The vegetables I received in my pack were all fresh & lush. Tomatoes were beefy, Chicken was fresh, store items of good quality.
The recipes are numbered on the basis of perishability – the most perishable ingredients are recommended to be cooked first. My weekly menu consisted of:
- Roasted pumpkin, spinach & feta cheese wraps
- Fresh salmon pasta
- Fried chicken in tomato coulis
- Smoky sausage, vegetable & rice skillet
The recipe page contains picture of the dish, with step-by-step instructions, list of associated ingredients, ingredient quantity for 2/3/4 people, cooking time & calories/carbs/fat/prot calculations.
Did I like the service? Yes. I think the concept is fabulous for people like me, who are not the wisest and most creative in the kitchen, but who wants to cook and feed the family (and act as if we have done the world a favor). With these guys delivering recipes and grocery to the doorstep, there really isn’t much to do except chop and cook. Convenience is the keyword. So is healthy. The recipes are all super healthy and calls for nothing that is bad for the body.
The negatives? Some recipes can be boring to your palette (depending on your palette). For instance, my family loved the fried chicken in tomato coulis, and the smoky sausage, vegetable & rice skillet was thoroughly enjoyed. The same can’t be spoken of the salmon pasta, and the pumpkin, spinach, feta wraps faced tough rejection. Easy to make and healthy, yes. But the flavors were not rich enough to capture their senses. Oh, and there was a lot of chopping involved, which didn’t agree with my knife-skills. Or lack thereof.
Will I recommend them? Yes. Hello Chef was a good experience. The package delivery is exciting, the unboxing has a Christmassy charm to it. Items are good quality and more often provided in excess. The recipes are detailed and easy to follow. What I would advice you is to check their menu first. See if it excites you, and then take the trial that week. If you liked the action, you can very well continue playing, can’t you? Not only do you save yourself from the trip to the grocery, only the things you REALLY NEED arrive at your home, ensuring least wastage. I got my box for free on a trial basis, but I see strong sense in this if you are a working mom who wants to cook for the family and who can do with some help to menu plan and provide. Check out their website for more details: https://www.hellochef.me/
Dish #2 from the @hellochefme box was Fried Chicken in Tomato Coulis with Roasted Potatoes. While I had help to get the potatoes chopped, everything else was pretty much done by these 👐 and I can safely say that it was quite an easy meal to make. The recipe asked to flatten the chicken breast with a rolling pin and since that's the kind of thing I usually DON'T bother with, that's what I DIDN'T do either 🤷What I liked about this meal box was that the recipe came for 2, 3 and 4 people quantity- so I knew just exactly how many garlic and tomatoes to add if Im making the dish for just 2 people or for 4 people. No guesswork needed! What I did not like- there seemed to be something amiss with the fries, maybe the baking technique specified, for it was a little too drier than I would have liked. #foodkissed #hellochefme #mediacollab #servicereview
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A walking epitome of food-lust, permanently craving for chicken, cheese & chocolates of all and every form. A marketing and content writing professional living in Dubai with my husband, who has learnt to be the perfect side-kick in food explorations around the world. If you find me raiding the fridge at ungodly hours, I'm just inspiring my tummy.