Lately, I've been spending more time with my city friends, and everyone's been talking about HelloFresh, the meal delivery service that sends you simple preplanned dinners in a box. They discussed how much they were enjoying cooking, and how great the food tasted. Everyone agreed it improved their lifestyle, and was much less expensive than ordering in. I was eager to try it because my husband and I could never decide what to have for dinner, besides Corner 94, our tired old go-to takeout spot.

When I got home from work last Tuesday, I saw my first HelloFresh box sitting at my door. Excited, I opened the box to find an upbeat welcome packet with easy to read menus and recipes, and clearly labeled ingredients for three nights of dinner. "Crispy Chickpea Tacos!" I exclaimed to my husband, Zack, who was totally on board.

Chickpea Taco night included roasted red bell peppers, lime, avocado, and all the ingredients needed to make a fabulous homemade guacamole. I would never think to pick up the added ingredients and spices in a grocery store, but after I followed HelloFresh's recipe, I had a delicious dish that was made with crisp, colorful veggies ― similar to what I find in the farmer's market in the summer ― much fresher than what I get at the supermarket. I found the recipes to be stress-free as each spice, vegetable, and grain is measured with precision to get each dish just right. It quickly became easy to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes prep to plate.

On Thursday, we prepared the Garlicky Shrimp Scampi, which was not my first choice because I'm not too keen on garlic and spicy ingredients. The recipe called for chili flakes, shallots, and garlic to liven up the dish. I had no idea how to zest a lemon, but the easy-to-follow recipe book taught me to shave off the bright yellow outer skin and leave behind the bitter white rind when zesting with photos and language I could understand. The shrimp was flavorful and savory, served over linguine with caramelized bell pepper, and was better than any Shrimp Scampi I've eaten out. The shrimp was similar to what I'd expect to get from a fish market, and once prepared, it was a restaurant-quality meal we were able to make ourselves!

I'm a foodie at heart, but my schedule hasn't permitted me to cook at home as much as I'd have liked to. HelloFresh is proving to be a much better option, while answering the proverbial question: "what should we have for dinner?" It's nice to come home to a planned dinner with high quality ingredients ready to go. They do a great job cutting prep time down to about a half hour leaving you with only the fun parts of cooking, and I love skipping the added trips to the grocery store. You can select from their diverse menu options on their website, and pause and resume delivery whenever you want, which makes HelloFresh the perfect compliment to my busy lifestyle.

Update: The folks at HelloFresh are extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to get your first 3 meals free!