HelloFresh vs Blue Apron
Order’s Up: Meal Kits for People Who Love Fast Food
Can most of your meals be super-sized? Does your car have multiple scratches sustained navigating drive-thrus? Do you consider “fried” a food group? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you may just be a big-time fast food fan. Even if you didn’t, there’s just something about the ease, speed, and taste of fast food that keeps us coming back for more.
Now there are some killjoys out there who might try to argue that fast food isn’t healthy for you and is bad for the environment too. Well we are here to tell you that… actually they’re right. There’s really no way to sugar-coat it—most fast food isn’t what would be considered part of a healthy diet and the fast food industry leaves a carbon footprint that can’t be ignored.
No need to get your curly fries in a bunch though—with today’s top meal kit companies you can find ready-to-make meals that will have you feeling like you’re at the drive-in at your own kitchen table.
For Burger Lovers: Try Home Chef
Jalapeno Popper Burger with Chipotle Mayo and Fries
$9.95 per serving
Calories 1006, carbohydrates 78 grams, fat 57 grams, protein 44 grams
Jalapeno poppers are more work of art than snack food and in this creation they adorn a seasoned hamburger patty covered in cheddar-jack cheese and chipotle mayonnaise. On the side you’ll have some thick-cut french fries, seasoned well and ready to take the edge off the heat and send your taste buds sailing.
About Home Chef:
With 18 meals offered per week, Home Chef is all about options. Think of it like that sprawling dollar menu at your favorite burger joint, just with delicious—and nutritious—home cooked meals row after row.
With Home Chef you can also add smoothies and fruit baskets, so you can make your own healthy combo meals that won’t have you feeling the “meat sweats” afterwards.
And alongside fare like Japanese Sirloin Steak and Avocado and Beet Poke Bowl, you also get options like the Jalapeno Popper Burger, which seems like it was created by an algorithm that pieced together all our cravings.
For Your Stir-Fry Cravings: Try Sun Basket
Speedy Mongolian Beef and Spinach Stir-Fry over Rice
$11.99 per serving
Calories 670, protein 44 grams, fat 19 grams, carbohydrates 78 grams, sodium 1,400 mg
This probably won’t come as a surprise—especially to busy parents—but it’s amazing what you can accomplish in 20 minutes. This recipe from Sun Basket is a 20-minute meal that is as fast and easy as it is delicious.
This homemade dish comes with 10 ounces of top sirloin steak strips, white rice, scallions and onions, spinach and coconut sugar, and a sesame-garlic-ginger sauce brings it all together. *Chopsticks and fortune cookies not included.
About Sun Basket:
Sun Basket has built its brand on healthy cooking that uses organic recipes and super fresh produce. You might not think that’s a recipe for fast food style shindigs, but like a guy saying “oh I’ll just have one french fry,” you’d be sorely mistaken.
Along with the high-quality ingredients, Sun Basket also has great variety—with 18 recipes per week on the classic menu and 6 on the family plan.
For Taco Bell Fans: Try HelloFresh
Southwestern Beef Tacos with Bell Pepper, Lime Crema and Pepper Jack Cheese
$8.99 per serving
Calories 810, protein 36 grams, fat 47 grams, carbohydrates 52 grams, sodium 860 mg
Made right, with fresh ingredients and a little TLC, the humble taco may just be the world’s greatest handheld device.
With this recipe, you get 3 tacos piled high with seasoned premium ground beef, pepper jack cheese, sour cream, cilantro and bell peppers, with some lime and jalapeno giving it an extra spicy citrusy kick. High in protein, this is a delicious and healthy way to get your taco craving satisfied—for the time being.
HelloFresh is all about keeping things simple, with 30 minute recipes that only have 6 steps. Convenience isn’t the only coin of this realm though—with HelloFresh you can also sign up for a vegetarian plan, and once a week you can try a “hall of fame meal” or tasty breakfast.
What about the ingredients? Well, it’s sorta in the name. While you probably don’t know where that frozen patty at the burger joint was shipped from, with HelloFresh, all of the ingredients are responsibly sourced with a real emphasis on quality and freshness.
For KFC Addicts: Try Plated
Crispy Chicken Sandwich with Creamy Mustard and Pepperoncini
$9.95 - $11.95 per serving
Calories 730, protein 36 grams, fat 43 grams, carbohydrates 46 grams
A southern-style fried chicken cutlet served up just right on warm potato buns with a tasty layer of creamy mustard and mayo spiced with cayenne. On the side you’ll have a refreshing mixed salad to bring it all home. Getting this meal from box to plate shouldn’t take you more than 30-45 minutes.
Plated is all about helping you make the sort of high-quality, often exotic fare that you’d usually expect to get when you eat out.
The company uses only fresh organic produce, sustainably caught fish and seafood and meat that is hormone and antibiotic free.
Ah, but what about the recipes? This is one of the places that Plated really sets itself apart from the pack, with 20 recipes and 2 desserts available every week.
For Pizza Aficionados: Try Martha & Marley Spoon
Veggie Taco Pizza with Frijoles Refritos
$8.70 - $9.50 per serving
Calories 850, protein 28.5 grams, fat 41.5 grams, carbohydrates 88 grams
Tacos or pizza, tacos or pizza… why not both? Taco pizza is the sort of fusion cuisine that America does well, and in this incarnation by Martha and Marley Spoon, you get a crispy, piping hot pizza piled high with cheese, sour cream, refried beans, onions, and jalapenos.
It’s also a fun way to try your hand at making and rolling your own pizza dough at home, and with only a few steps, it should be ready in 30-45 minutes.
About Martha & Marley Spoon:
If we’re putting money on the table, then we’re betting that it’s probably been a while since Martha Stewart pulled through the drive-thru lane and made off with some bacon cheeseburgers and a few orders of chili cheese fries. That doesn’t change the fact that she’s a one-woman design and lifestyle icon who knows a thing or two about cuisine and how to make your home truly shine.
How does Martha and Marley Spoon use this know-how to create unique and healthy fast food replacements? The company draws from over 18,000 recipes from Martha Stewart’s publications to craft unique selections week after week, all of them using top flight produce and proteins.
Order’s Up, Pull on up to the Window
Everybody gets the appeal of fast food—it’s cheap, fast, easy, and there is quite a bit of magic you can put together with enough grease, salt and sugar.
Still, life is short and it’s best lived to the fullest, with an eye towards eating healthier. With today’s meal kit companies you don’t have to forsake that fast food trinity of grease, crunch, and salt. You can have all the fun at home, while eating healthier and also learning how to be a better cook.