Gail and I both immediately said something along the lines of, "Well...it's edible," when we first tasted this dish. That's not a big endorsement.
The biggest problem, I think, is that the dish has too many strong flavors all competing for attention. I'd never seen or heard of a "sweety drop pepper" before, and while they look adorable, they have a very strong flavor. Not a bad flavor.. but it is definitely a little on the weird side. Combine that strong flavor with basil pesto, spinach, and lemon, and it's like a battle going on in your mouth.
It was decent enough to eat, but neither of us would ever order it again.
This was the first time I cooked a Home Chef meal. While the instruction card is very similar to the Hello Fresh cards, I found the directions to be slightly less understandable. Granted, most of the directions were simple enough, but as an example, it said to "garnish the dish with the basil pesto" once plated. Now, maybe I have the wrong idea about the word "garnish" but to me, that means sprinkle a little something on top. There was a whole lot more pesto than I would consider worthy of "garnish", so I really didn't know how much to use. Was I supposed to just plop a few drops on top, spoonfuls, mounds of the stuff, or what? In the end, I went with drops, sort of all over. Who knows if that was right or not...
Oh, and also, after cooking the risotto, it said to reserve one cup of the water before draining. It was impossible to dip a cup into the pan to get water out, without a ton of risotto also getting into the cup. So if you look at the photos above, you'll notice I resorted to trying to drain the risotto on top of a cup. It was a little weird and a bit messy, but all in all, I managed to get almost enough water into the cup. If you're going to tell me to do something like this, I need either more instruction or a photo showing how.
Some things I liked about the recipe cards included the fact that it told me I should cook this meal within 7 days, and it listed which ingredients would be used more than once. Those are both useful tidbits of info.
I mentioned when I first unboxed this order that I wasn't sure if the clear plastic meal kit bags would hold up if I used them to throw the various meal trash items into (discarded veggie materials, cartons, wrappers, etc.). It turns out that they are plenty sturdy and serve the purpose of meal trash bags quite well, so that's a good thing.
At the moment, Hello Fresh is winning, but I've only had this one meal, so perhaps the next few meals will convince me otherwise. We'll see...