Monday, September 28, 2015

REVIEW: Blue Apron Meal Delivery Service

So this isn't an official review in the sense that the company provided me anything in exchange for a review, but I did try out the service, so I figured you might be interested on my take in case you are looking at signing up. But I'm getting ahead of myself, let's start at the beginning.


A sweet friend of mine, Elise, has been using Blue Apron for a little while now. Blue Apron is a meal delivery service, which delivers fresh ingredients and original recipes right to your door. Since she has been a valued customer, they give her coupon codes from time to time that she can share with others to get them to try out the service. I was one of those lucky friends who got a coupon code for a free week's worth of meals (which included three 2-person meals).

I have to say, I was pretty stoked to try it out. I was even more thrilled that they actually had vegetarian options in their menu! Let's be honest, I am not the most creative cook. I have a few signature meals and we mostly just rotate them once a week - I know, I know, it's pretty boring, but it works for us (or at least, it works for me and the hubby knows he better not complain). I would consider myself more of a "preparer" than any type of cook.

Ryan and I are sort of traditional in the sense that I am normally the one who makes the food, mostly because I am home before he is so I can have everything ready at a normal meal time. With that being said, Ryan still LOVES to cook, so if there are opportunities for him to be in the kitchen, he tries to take full advantage of it (another reason why I let him do the majority of the cooking when we go camping). I knew when I signed up for the service that I would HAVE TO wait until Ryan got home from work to start the process or he would have been bummed he missed out (which, although it meant we would eat later than I would like, I had a happy hubby and that makes me a happy wife!).

When I signed us up, you are able to select the meals you would like (from a limited list of course) and the day of the delivery. Blue Apron then ships you everything you need (in the correct portions so you aren't wasting food) in a refrigerated box to keep everything fresh upon arrival.

Thank you for making the packaging ECO-FRIENDLY!
You better believe we recycle EVERY SINGLE PIECE!

The "refrigerator" with the recipe sheets

Our meals were delivered on last Wednesday night. I had the Bzees + Athleta event, so we couldn't cook anything that night, but jumped on it starting Thursday night (I am not 100% sure, mostly because I didn't look into it, at how long everything is good for, but we still wanted to use it all ASAP).

The three meals I chose

First up was the Fresh Linguine and Roasted Fennel Pasta (we really didn't have a preference of which one we tried first, but since I had a long run Friday morning I figured we should probably try one that I knew would sit well in my tummy). As the video above mentioned, Blue Apron tries to stick with food that is in season, so I was interested to try out the fennel. I appreciate that the service helps me step outside my box when it comes to what I am preparing or eating.

The ingredients

Chopped, sliced, and ready to go!

Ryan and I both gave this meal an 8 out of 10. We didn't really use the castelvetrano olives, but I guess that is one nice thing about the directions - you are still able to tweak it slightly to fit your needs and tastes. The lemon was pretty strong and I had to add a decent amount of pepper to give it a bit more flavor, but overall it was delish (and the breadcrumb addition was great!).

The final product

Next up was the one I was least excited for (just being honest), the Thai Green Coconut Curry. Curry is not my jam (I actually am pretty repulsed by the smell of curry powder), but the hubby likes it and I figured I would at least give it a try. Since we had a high school football game to go to Friday night, we ended up making this for lunch on Saturday.

Quite a bit of prep work, but we made it fun!

Lots going on on our stove top :) Good thing I am a decent multitasker!

I have to say, it wasn't as terrible as I was worried it would be! I know, that probably isn't the review you were expecting, but I thought it was pretty great that I had more than a few bites and didn't want to spit it out. Maybe it was the fact that the curry was in a paste and not straight powder, who knows, but it was decent (and Ryan gobbled it down). [AND the pungent smell didn't stick around too long after which was definitely a win for someone who doesn't prefer curry.]

The final product! And I almost ate all of mine ;)

Last but not least was the Mushroom and Fontina Grilled Cheese with Sweet Pepper and Roasted Cauliflower Salad. I am definitely a mushroom gal, so I was excited for this one (well, not so much the salad, but you gotta roll with the punches, right?!). We made this for lunch Sunday after church. Ryan had a 12.5 mile run on his calendar earlier that morning that I joined him on, so by the time lunch came around we were both pretty hungry.

Doesn't that just look amazing?!

This meal seemed to have the least amount of prep work (which we were very
thankful for... because we were HUNGRY!)

Cooking the onions so they could pickle!

The sandwich was a little salty tasting (not sure if it was the Fontina cheese, the oyster mushrooms, or maybe we added too much salt during the process) and the side salad was not my favorite (the roasted cauliflower was yummy, but the pickled onions, currants, and sweet peppers I could have done without).

Look at all the color in that salad!

Ours might not have looked like the picture, but it doesn't
mean it wasn't tasty...

All-in-all I think this was a super successful Blue Apron experience. We did cancel the service after our free week, but Ryan and I have chatted about possibly asking for it from our family for Christmas or something. We loved the idea, but I guess I am a little pickier of an eater than I expected. Maybe if they had options where you could select the side that goes with the entree or maybe a way of listing some ingredients you would not like I might be more apt to sign up and spend the $60 a week (but then again, I would probably just pick things I am used to and not ever really try new foods or flavors).

PS Thank you for not critiquing my pictures too harshly. I am so not a food blogger (just a food eater), so I realize my presentation is less than stellar. Not to mention, the lighting in our kitchen isn't amazing so it makes for rough photos.

Oh yeah, and remember how I said I normally stick with my go-to meals? I think some of that is because I am not thrilled about the prep work that comes with most elaborate meals. I mean, if it takes longer to prepare the meal than it does to eat it, I am pretty over it ;) Thankfully with Blue Apron, the prep work was kept to a minimum (although, most of the directions said 10-15 minutes for prep and I think they definitely underestimated that - unless we are just really bad at getting everything ready ;) ).

Have you ever tried a meal delivery service?

1 comment:

KookyRunner said...

I have two good friends that sent me a week of meals for free so I'm trying it out soon. Based on your review, I am pretty sure I will like it!