You've seen the ads- they're everywhere! They tell you about their fresh meals on Facebook, Instagram, Sirius XM, even good ole' fashioned TV ads. So… is it really worth it?
Well Mark and I are putting them to the test, and I thought I'd share our first few thoughts from our first two meals.
Before I get into the food, let me tell you how easy and painless getting set up was-
There are a lot of apps and services out there where the set up is a pain. Even recently, dealing with Citi Bank for a new credit card was an ABSOLUTE HASSLE!
This was not the case while getting Blue Apron's delivery service enrolled. Within a few minutes I had a new profile set up, letting them know food preferences, allergies, frequency, and number of household members. As soon as the basics were entered, we could see a large variety of meal options available to customize our first order.
For our first box, we chose a vegetarian-friendly pasta dish, a salmon dish, and a chicken dish. Once the account and shipping preferences were all confirmed, BA let us know we would be all set for our first delivery the very next week. Sweet!
Okay, so we had a small blunder here, but this was not really BA's fault. The carrier, laser ship, rather than bring the box directly to our apartment door, decided it would be safe to leave the box on the first floor by the mail slots. I would probably have been more okay with it had they not left the box right next to the garbage can…. that's right. Our first delivery was left near the trash.
Everything's all individually sealed on the inside of the box, so whatever. But what if someone assumed a box next to the trash was, well, trash?
It's all good, I'm not dwelling on it, I've moved passed it… let's get to the fun part!
Here it is! Our first box! Let's open it up…
The box is well laid-out. The entire box is lined with an insulated bag. On top they layer fresh and fragile items like herbs and vegetables. Under this layer is a flat cardboard divider which ensures the items are well-supported and kept separate from the items that need more direct refrigeration. Under the cardboard divider are two ice packs that are fairly large! They say right on them that you can re-freeze and reuse them just like you would a cooler pack. We're thinking they could be handy for beach trips. 🏖 Under the cooler packs were things like the salmon and chicken.
We were pleasantly surprised with the amount of STUFF you get! You literally need nothing else from the store to make these meals. Cookware, some salt/pepper, cooking oil, and utensils- thats all you have to provide!
I liked that every single piece came labeled, and specifically stated if it needed to be refrigerated. That made putting everything away a breeze!
The first meal we tried was the Salmon & Freekeh
Mark said he really enjoyed cooking this meal. The instructions were easy to follow, and everything came out exactly as we expected! We added the croissants of course. The Salmon tasted very fresh, and didn't have a 'fishy' smell, that you often get with overly-preserved seafood.
Fresh Cavatelli and Spicy Corn
This was of course the vegetarian friendly pasta dish we picked. We added crescent rolls again since we had a few left, and this was a very tasty combination of flavor!
As you can see, our presentation was a bit more separated than the layered look in the recipe card- we simply kept the mushrooms separate. I will say that the pasta came out a little chewier than I expected, but Mark thinks that was on our end for not boiling it long enough. I'm usually one to feel hunger pangs even an hour or two after a meal, but this dinner really hit the spot!
Blue Apron is a wonderful service, with quality, fresh ingredients. Their recipe's are simple enough for a kitchen novice, but with enough variety to keep well-practiced home chef's interested. I think the main attraction to this service is the convenience. Finding recipes of foods that will be easy enough to make, where you have all the right ingredients, and enough vs too much of each ingredient, can be overwhelming and stressful. Blue Apron takes all of that hassle out of the equation. The price is just right. It ends up equating to about $10 a plate. Certainly cheaper than ordering a salmon dish at a decent restaurant, but not too much more than the cost to make on your own.
Who's this best for?
My honest opinion is that this service is best for smaller households. I think if you're dating someone or have a significant other, this is PERFECT for a household of two. I also think those that travel a lot, like my parents who are on the road for 6 weeks at a time, this is a great service because you maintain full control over which weekly shipments go out, and you can adjust the menu to your liking up until 2 days before it ships. Mark and I both work full time, so our evenings are our only time to unwind during the week. We've been just as guilty as so many others of just saying we're tired, let's order pizza or chinese. Having fresh ingredients with recipe cards waiting for you when you get home really changes the game!
If you have any questions about our experience with Blue Apron, or have your own experiences you'd like to share, be sure to comment!