As I’m sure many Mums will agree, it can be pretty hard to keep everyone fed and happy and clothed and clean. And as I’m sure many Mums of active tots will agree, it is sometimes hard to plan the day ahead, let alone the week.
As a full-time working Mum, dinner is something that causes me a daily stress. Indeed, the majority of the texts between me and my husband during the week are centered around dinner. They usually go a little something like this…
“What shall we have for dinner?”
“What do you fancy?”
“I don’t know. What do you fancy?”
“I don’t know. Up to you.”
“Ok, I’ll go to the shops, is there anything we need?”
“Milk, I think? And nappies. Get some eggs too…”
No matter how much we spend on food, there never seems to be anything in the fridge! Pair that with the fact that I’m also not particularly talented or creative in the kitchen (my recipe repertoire pretty much consists of lasagna, shepherd’s pie and the odd salmon steak here and there), you can pretty safely say that I find mealtimes a chore rather than a pleasure.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy food. I LOVE food, but I leave the fancy meals to my culinary ‘master chef’ husband (aka weekend Gordon Ramsay) who enjoys to leisurely cook with a glass of red. However, with him currently refusing to quit his day job to cook for me fulltime, weekday meals are my forte. Yay.
I was super excited then when a friend, having read my recent post about my New Year’s Resolution to plan better meals, recommended Hello Chef to me! Trying it out last week, we had a lovely week of healthy, home cooked meals that took minimal time to prepare and were enjoyed by all of us, including my little chicken-monster (aka Zachy).
Hello Chef is basically for anyone, like me, that finds it hard to plan meals ahead. For anyone, like me, that spends a small fortune each week in the supermarket buying all the ingredients that they might ‘possibly’ need for the week ahead. For anyone, like me, who ends up chucking the majority of those fresh ingredients out having left them to fester in the bottom of the fridge for a couple of weeks underneath a new batch of ‘possibly needed’ groceries.
Hello Chef is for anyone that regularly asks the question “what’s for dinner tonight?”
Hello Chef is also for anyone who enjoys eating fresh, quality food, but generally lacks the time to plan, buy and cook the food on a daily basis.
In a nutshell, Hello Chef is a grocery and meal plan service that delivers the exact quantity of ingredients to your door every Sunday, meaning the need to plan meals ahead is cut out as everything is sat waiting for you when you get home. Absolutely wonderful!
So, How Does It Work?
The ingredients for a series of scrumptious (and healthy) dinners are delivered to your door on the first day of the week, covering the four days that generally cause the most stress (Sunday – Wednesday). Each of the daily dinner ingredients’ are separated into bags (labeled ‘Day One’, ‘Day Two’, etc) and correspond to a recipe booklet that comes with the delivery.
What I loved the most is that each day has the perfect amount of ingredients, meaning there is no wasted food. This also includes things like spices, which are provided in exact quantities. Being a small family we enjoyed the service for ‘two people’, but there are also options for four people and six people, depending on how large the family is.
What Did We Eat?
Meal: Scandinavian Fish Soup with Hearty Garlic Bread
Ingredients delivered: Salmon, potatoes (x4), dill, leek, carrot (x2), all spice, small baguette, garlic (x5 cloves), vegetable stock, bay leaves (x2)
Meal: Crispy Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli
Ingredients delivered: Chicken thighs, sweet potato, onion, broccoli, orange, chili spice
Meal: Beef and Pepper Tortillas with Black Bean Sauce and Cucumber & Avocado Salad
Ingredients delivered: Minced meat, onion, pepper, black beans, garlic (x3 cloves), wraps (1 pack), lime, cucumber (x2), avocado, coriander, red chili, paprika
Meal: Lemon and Chick Pea Pilaf
Ingredients delivered: Basmati rice (200 gram bag), lemon, vegetable stock, check peas, carrots (x2), onion, garlic (x2 cloves), ginger, raisins (x1 tsp), cumin seems (x1 tsp), cardamom pod (x2 tsp), parsley, lettuce, orange
Who’s Behind It?
The lovely Olivia Manner is the founder of Hello Chef. Bringing together her passion for food, her degree in Hospitality Management, and the fact that she is a mother of a two year old and a four year old, she has the knowledge and understands the needs of busy people who desire to eat healthily, but lack the time.
Asking Olivia what inspired her to start Hello Chef, she replied: “After having had kids, life all a sudden got busier and gourmet cooking took a back seat. Now it’s all about variety, nutrients and simple flavours with a twist. This kind of food makes me happy and I try to give my kids similar memories from around the dinner table as my childhood. Now, with the support of my family and friends I am on a mission to make life better by providing a simple solution for the busy people of today. Cooking at home has multiple benefits relating to physical and mental health and I just know that it can be easy and enjoyable even after a long day if fresh ingredients arrive to you ready to cook!”
I couldn’t agree more with Olivia about how cooking should be easy and enjoyable. I had a really lovely week cooking for my family since, fundamentally, the stress of sourcing and measuring everything for the meal was removed and all I had to do was peel and prepare the fresh ingredients provided.
On average the meals took around 20 minutes to prepare and I found the recipes very easy to follow (something which is truly beneficial when you have a toddler hanging off your leg wanting “up up”).
The meals were also delicious and something new and exciting to enjoy over the aforesaid lasagna and shepherd’s pie dinners that my husband is regularly subject to. My favourite meal was the Crispy Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli (the orange zest on the chicken was absolutely delicious), while Zachy absolutely devoured the Scandinavian Fish Soup!
What I found exciting too is that week by week the recipes change, so there is always something new to look forward to. I also loved that it might help me learn more recipes – I am absolutely most definitely a domestic goddess in the making!
What’s The Cost?
We did the math – it’s highly cost effective. My husband and I spend a lot of money popping to the shops ‘for a few bits’ several times each week, with half of it being wasted since the food we buy is not always utilized. With Hello Chef, we found that we didn’t need to make regular trips to the shops, since the exact ingredients for mealtimes were sat there in the fridge ready and waiting for when I got home. No wasted food = no wasted money.
There are three options available, depending on the size of your family:
Portion for two: AED 280 per week
Portion for four: AED 410 per week
Portion for six: AED 560 per week
How To Order?
You can set up an account and order online on the Hello Chef website: www.hellochef.me
Orders must be place before 12:00pm each Thursday for the week ahead. Your lovely bag of Hello Chef ingredients will be delivered via driver to your home before 5:00 that Sunday. It was literally so exciting to get home and find a big healthy bag of food waiting for me!
Well worth it! The food is lovely, Olivia is lovely, it’s great to support small local businesses, and I can’t wait to watch Hello Chef flourish alongside my culinary skills! We will most certainly be frequent users of the service.
Do you fancy winning a week of delicious evening meals for you and a friend from Hello Chef? Follow this link to learn more…
Terms & Conditions:
- Open to UAE residents only aged 21 and above.
- The prize is a four-day supply of Hello Chef (quantity two people) for the winner + a friend (TOTAL VALUE = AED 560).
- Competition will run until 01 February, 2016.
- The winner will be chosen at random and notified by 02 February, 2016.
- This competition is being run by The Son And The Moon (the promoter).
- There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
- Only one valid entry per person will be accepted.
- No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
- Winner will be announced on the promoter’s Facebook page on 01 February 2016. If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim the prize within 2 days of announcement, the promoter reserves the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
- No cash alternative to the prize will be offered.
- The prize is not transferable.
- The promoter shall not be liable in any regard in relation to or in connection with any use or mis-use of any prize item.
- The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
- By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
- The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
- Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
- This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to The Son And The Moon and not to Facebook. The information you provide will be used for this competition only.