Blue Apron: A Review

Coming clean here: I haven’t really cooked in eight years. Why? Well, eight years ago, Theo was born, and Chris and I embarked on our crazy schedule of attempting to work two full-time jobs while raising a family with no outside childcare. Which meant that when he arrived home from work, I handed him the baby and headed up to my office to work…leaving him with the cooking. And as it turns out, he’s a really good cook, and he likes doing it. So even when some six-ish years later we were able to give up the nutty schedule and have me work while the boys are in school, I just let Chris keep doing the cooking.

This isn’t as bad as it sounds, by the way. I do a lot around here—almost all of the laundry, vacuuming, garbage, most of the childcare and shuttling kids to/from school and appointments—but cooking just hasn’t been one of my tasks. Why mess with a good thing? Chris does it well!

But he has gotten tired of doing all the cooking, and I can’t say I blame him. So, being the somewhat nice person that I am, I decided to try to help out. However, I absolutely detest meal-planning and shopping for groceries. Inevitably, I forget something at the store and then I’m all crabby about having to go back out and get it. So when I heard about Blue Apron and poked around on their website to see what it was all about, I decided I wanted to try it.

I opted for three meals a week for two people. You can opt for meals sized for four, but let’s not push our luck here—it’s enough for me to cook for two of us; I’m not about to do all four! (Actually, it was more a money issue. Theo is a good eater and would probably eat whatever we made, but Sam is a stinker about eating, and there’s no point in paying for a meal sized for four if one of the four is going to turn his nose up at it and instead eat a cup of mayonnaise with a fork.)

Cost-wise, this works out to $20/meal for us. When I actually meal-plan and go to Safeway (the only full grocery store in our town) to buy the items to prepare a meal, I nearly always have to spend more than $20 to make a meal. So for us, the cost is reasonable. If we had more grocery options in town, it might be a different story. But I’m far too lazy to trek eight miles away to Costco or Target to buy food at a lower price, so Safeway is it…unless our local Grocery Outlet has what I need, and they are hit or miss.

And the meals, so far, have actually been really tasty and a nice change from our usual lineup, which was getting a bit tired. Every Tuesday, I get a nice little box delivered to my doorstep that contains everything I need to make three meals, all labeled nicely and measured out so there’s very little waste. (If you need 2 tablespoons of flour for a recipe, they might include 2.5 or 3 tablespoons in the baggie, but really, the waste is very minimal.) Everything is packed up nicely, with the cold items carefully sandwiched between biodegradable cold packs so I don’t have to worry about spoilage. It’s quite a lovely little system, really.

And you can customize what you like to cook/eat, so I have specified that my weekly delivery will contain materials to make vegetarian and/or seafood meals only. I don’t cook meat, so there’s no point in me ordering meals made with meat. We’ll let Chris do meat on his cooking days. 😉

So far we’ve had the service for three weeks. One week I had to donate our box because our kitchen was unusable due to our remodel. I found out about this too late to cancel the delivery, so I just bestowed it on one lucky person in our community who had been wanting to try Blue Apron. Figured at least it wasn’t going to waste that way! But the two weeks we’ve actually used the service ourselves, I’ve been quite pleased. Take a look!

The box cometh! The cat was interested.
The box cometh! The cat was interested.
Our three recipes for the first week. Mmmm!
Our three recipes for the first week. Mmmm! (The other cat got in the mix.)
Oooh, fun goodies!
Oooh, fun goodies!
The recipe cards are colorful and laminated, in case you're a messy cook like I am.
The recipe cards are colorful and laminated, in case you’re a messy cook like I am.
My first dish: seared salmon with green potato salad. It was tasty except I overdid the horseradish in the potato salad. I thought they had premeasured it for me, so I just dumped the entire little container in. YOW!
My first dish: seared salmon with pickled mustard seeds and green potato salad. It was tasty except I overdid the horseradish in the potato salad. I thought they had premeasured it for me, so I just dumped the entire little container in. YOW!
My second dish: a fancy mushroom and gouda grilled choose with roasted sweet potatoes with an arugula pesto. This was SO GOOD--my favorite of all the dishes so far! Honestly, it tasted like something you'd get in a good restaurant!
My second dish: a fancy mushroom and gouda grilled cheese with roasted sweet potatoes with an arugula pesto. This was SO GOOD–my favorite of all the dishes so far! Honestly, it tasted like something you’d get in a good restaurant!
My third dish: cavetappi pasta with fresh spring peas. I don't even LIKE peas, but this was quite tasty. Bright, fresh, lemon-y...it was a hit!
My third dish: cavetappi pasta with fresh spring peas. I don’t even LIKE peas, but this was quite tasty. Bright, fresh, lemon-y…it was a hit! The toasted breadcrumbs made the dish.
My recipe cards for the second week. More yumminess!
My recipe cards for Week 3. More yumminess!
I forgot to plate this Greek pizza nicely, but here's a picture anyway. It was really tasty, though the pizza dough was a PAIN to work with. I had to call in Chris, who has four years of pizza experience, to beat it into submission. But the toppings were delicious--I loved the pea shoots marinated in olive oil, salt, and pepper that were added at the end!
I forgot to plate this Greek pizza nicely, but here’s a picture anyway. It was really tasty, though the pizza dough was a PAIN to work with. I had to call in Chris, who has four years of pizza experience, to beat it into submission. But the toppings were delicious–I loved the pea shoots marinated in olive oil, salt, and pepper that were added at the end!
Second dish, week two: Udon noodles with fresh asparagus and mushrooms. I'm not a huge fan of udon noodles (too starchy for my taste), but the asparagus and mushrooms were delicious, and Chris really liked the fresh ginger.
Second dish, Week 3: Udon noodles with fresh asparagus and mushrooms. I’m not a huge fan of udon noodles (too starchy for my taste), but the asparagus and mushrooms were delicious, and Chris really liked the fresh ginger. (Notice the lovely new countertop and backsplash. That’s why I had to donate our Week #2 box!)
These were our favorite item from Week 3: Crispy cod tacos with avocado and fresh vegetable slaw. I may or may not have cursed at the damn cod when I was trying to cook it, because it was falling apart, but the result was delicious--light, tasty, flavorful. Definitely a hit!
These were our favorite item from Week 3: Crispy cod tacos with avocado and fresh vegetable slaw. I may or may not have cursed at the damn cod when I was trying to cook it, because it was falling apart, but the result was delicious–light, tasty, flavorful. Definitely a hit!

Oh—Blue Apron also lets you look ahead to your future deliveries and change them if you don’t like something. So far, I’ve just taken what they’ve planned for us, since I’ll eat pretty much anything that doesn’t involve onions. (I just leave the onions out when I’m cooking!) Next week, we’re apparently getting the fixings for seared salmon salad with English peas and arugula, red quinoa and black bean enchiladas with roasted tomatillo salsa verde, and spicy vegetable tteokbokki with asparagus, soft-boiled eggs, and ginger cashews. I’m intrigued by that last one—in the thumbnail image they show, it looks mighty tasty, and I never met an egg I didn’t like….

Anyway! In case you’re wondering, this is not a sponsored post—Blue Apron didn’t offer me anything to write it. I just wanted to share this fun, tasty new venture I’m working on. I do have a treat for you, though. If you want to try Blue Apron, I have three invitations I can send to friends and family so they can get their first delivery free. If you don’t like it, you can cancel any time. So if you’re intrigued and want to try it, let me know and I’ll send you an invite.

If not, you can just keep drooling over my food. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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