Friday, August 26, 2016

Freshly Review - Day 1 - Initial Impressions

So, with my health being so poor for so long, but now good enough for my spouse to go back to classes, we've decided to give Freshly a try.

If you aren't familiar, they are one of these new trends of  "meal box plans" by mail.  BlueApron and Plated are the more well-known, but they send you ingredients which you then have to cook.  Since in my case, the standing-long-enough-to-cook is the issue, we opted for Freshly, which is ready-made meals which you just have to heat up in the microwave.  You can choose from 6, 9, 12, or 21 meals.  We opted for 6 meals to give it a try before we committed to any more.  The meals aren't exactly "super cheap" (ranging from $10.75-$11.50 per serving depending on how many you get), but it's about equivalent to fast food, and looks to be a LOT healthier.  I do feel it's a tad overpriced for the serving sizes at full price, but not so much that it is a deal breaker by any means. Flat Iron Steak

Our box arrived right on time (and in fact much earlier in the day than expected.)  It was surprisingly heavy for just six servings, due to the three massive icepacks which keep the meals cold during shipping.

We were a bit worried when we looked at the meals.  They come in little black separated trays that look unpleasantly like a frozen TV dinner.   They aren't, however, frozen, just refrigerated.  We picked the Chorizo Mac'n'Cheese with Calabacitas and the Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Potato Hash and Creamed Spinach as our first trials.  Pop them in the microwave for two minutes, and they're ready.

First off, we placed the order for the next week before we'd even finished eating.  (In fact, I still have half my 'steak' dinner I'm munching on as I write this post.)  Was it like eating fresh in a good restaurant?  Well, no.  Was it like eating the frozen TV dinners they resembled?  Not even remotely.  As my spouse perfectly put it, it felt most closely like eating the leftovers from a meal at a good restaurant the next day.

The portions were a little on the small side for us, but that's much healthier than our usual 'eat one big meal a day and just lightly snack the rest'.  If you're eating three meals a day, they seem fine.  I have seen a lot of reviews that say that the breakfast portions are definitely too small for the price, but we didn't order any of the breakfasts, so can't really speak for that myself.

The Chorizo Mac'n'Cheese was too spicy for me (I have a sensitivity/mild allergy to chili peppers, so I can't take any heat from chilis; most people would just find it a nice kick of spice.)  My spouse, however, totally loved it.  One of the perks of Freshly is that they are gluten-free; we don't particularly care about gluten free, but it does tend to give me heartburn.  You really could not tell that the pasta was gluten free!  Taste and texture were both close enough to "regular" pasta as to not notice the difference.

Mine was equally scrumptious, with one caveat.  If I think of it as eating "a steak", it's pretty miserable.  However, if I just think of it as eating a portion of pot roast, it's fabulous!  The potato hash is a wonderful combination of savory white potatoes with a lovely sweet overtone from sweet potatoes, without going into the 'candy sweet' range, all seasoned amazingly.  The creamed spinach was definitely savory (I've been hating the 'sweet creamed spinach' fad), also with delectable seasoning and some actual texture to it - they used fresh spinach, not pre-frozen.  (I would have probably used a bit less nutmeg, but that's entirely a personal-taste thing.)  You could definitely identify the taste of the herbs in each dish - thyme, rosemary, the aforementioned nutmeg, etc.

If you're just wanting to skip the grocery store, or want to learn about cooking, this isn't the plan for you.  However, if you need "already ready already" meals that are healthy, tasty, and not just pasta-smothered-in-marinara, Freshly is definitely worth giving a shot.

(And if you follow my links, you can get 6 free meals to give it a try, and I get 2 free meals, too!)

Print this post

No comments: