Here at Coach we firmly believe that cooking for yourself can make your diet much, much healthier, because you can control the content of any meal you make. That doesn’t mean you have to make every part of every meal from scratch every time, but the more you do prepare yourself, the harder it is for hidden sugar, fat and salt to sneak into your meal.
Recipe box service HelloFresh makes it easier to cook for yourself, delivering all the ingredients you need along with foolproof instructions. It cuts out the time involved in shopping and expands your culinary horizons – most of the meals I’ve made with HelloFresh have been things I’d never made before.
The new Rapid Box from HelloFresh aims to save even more of your precious time by only including recipes that take 20 minutes or less to make. As someone who is far from a culinary whiz I was sceptical, but I stopped the clock at under 20 minutes for each of the three recipes I made, with everything cooked successfully. Well, cooked and consumed without incident, at any rate.
Those recipes were red Thai prawn and green bean curry, beef tostadas, and lemon and garlic pork with lentils. As you’d guess from the time constraints, they were all pretty simple recipes with minimal chopping, but all were tasty, filling and basically impossible to mess up. You don’t need to rush to cook them in 20 minutes either – there are six steps to follow and you can take each at a gentle pace.
The only criticisms I have of the Rapid recipes is first that they necessarily have to rely on some pre-made ingredients like curry paste or fajita mix, which isn’t so much the case with HelloFresh’s longer recipes. Pre-made sauces and pastes are often the main hiding places for unexpectedly high amounts of sugar and salt, but obviously they make things quicker and easier, and HelloFresh gives the full nutritional info of every recipe so you can decide for yourself if it’s a trade-off worth making.
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I’d also be keen to have more vegetables included with every meal, but there’s enough spare time during those 20 minutes to make a bit of broccoli on the side.
The three recipes all arrive in one delivery on a day of your choice, with the ingredients for each of them in separate, colour-coded bags (the colours match the recipe cards) which can be popped in the fridge until required.
Bad luck for vegetarians short on time in the evening, though – the Rapid Box doesn’t offer meat-free recipes, unlike HelloFresh’s Classic Box.
At £34.99 for three meals for two people, HelloFresh’s Rapid Box may not be the cheapest way to make dinner, but it is extremely convenient, delicious and certainly healthier than opting for a takeaway or ready meal. Cooking for yourself, even if it is under very close instruction from the recipe card, also means you add a few new strings for your culinary bow with each box. Tostadas all round.
Order on hellofresh.co.uk
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.