Monday, August 17, 2015

Blue Apron—a review

Warning—lots of photos ahead

Have you heard of Blue Apron? You can read about it here, but basically it’s a subscription food service that delivers the ingredients for three meals ready to be cooked. My friend Magpie was given a week’s worth of service from Blue Apron but she forgot to cancel so ended up having it for a second (maybe third) week. So Blue Apron gave her a week of free meals to give to a friend; when she asked around, I raised my hand.

The recipes this week
Kent and I have talked about the rut we tend to get in when planning meals. Neither of us have much energy during the week to cook involved dishes, even though we both like to cook a lot. So we will cook several meals on Sunday and then fill in with quick hits like omelets (which I learned to make like a champ from my grandmother) or something similarly quick. They're tasty meals and fill us up just fine but after a while, we’re bored. When we’re bored is when we order carry out sushi or just flat go out and that’s not necessarily good for either our budget or our bulges.

So the idea of Blue Apron interested us both. Our delivery came Friday and Kent’s cooked up two of the meals today—we just finished one and the other one is in the fridge for later this week. We still have a third meal to fix, spiced meatballs with garlic toast and summer squash salad.

All the food
First thing: You get everything you need to make the three dishes, and the food is fresh. The produce looked amazing as did the salmon and chicken. The Thai basil was wonderful, and the paper bags have tiny plastic bottles with screw top lids that hold the red wine vinegar and ponzu sauce.  Our three meals are:

  • Spiced meatballs
  • Stir-fried ginger basil chicken
  • Seared salmon and panzanella

The food comes slightly prepped. For example, the salmon had been skinned and the chicken for the second dish was diced, and everything was already measured. You still need to chop, cut, etc. but that's only to be expected. Kent—who is quite handy in the kitchen—thought that some of the prep time given might be a little optimistic. The chicken dish prep time was listed as 15 minutes but took more like 20. We'll see how the meatball dish goes.

Tonight we had the salmon and I would change only one part of it. The salad portion has croutons in with the tomatoes and corn but to my mind it wasn't needed. In fact, Kent only made half the croutons which still seemed like a lot, and we ate the rest of the bread (which had been baked with olive oil and then rubbed with a clove of garlic) as a side dish.

We got to try some things we haven't been able to get here before, like the Thai basil. The peppers in the salmon dish were shishito peppers, which neither of us have heard of and they were perfect for the dish. Also heirloom cucumbers, which we've wanted to try but can't get here.

More photos:

Chicken stir fry

Salmon dish ingredients

Salmon dish salad

Net/net, we like this well enough to try a few more weeks. Thanks, Magpie!


D Russell said...

My daughter and son-in-law used a service like this, called Plated, when they lived in New York state. They loved it as a way to try new dishes, and get some interesting new recipes. My son-in-law has tweaked the recipes to suit their tastes, but has liked a lot of the recipes well enough that they are things he now cooks all the time. Enjoy!

Jen Shear said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I've checked into it twice, but am hesitant about using it for a family of 5. I like that they do the thinking for you and you still get to cook yummy food.

Kerry DeBauge said...

Oh I'd like this! I follow a weekly subscription called Fresh20, and I've been hooked for a few years now. They send a meal plan, recipes and shopping list via email on Fridays. There is a prep-ahead guide that I follow over the weekend. The work is heavy on the front but it keeps us eating fresh and healthy foods all week.