A friend of mine recently gave me a free trial of Blue Apron. Blue Apron is one of a number of delivery services that have popped up that provide you with recipes and all of the ingredients that you need to cook them. In this case, you get three meals, all selected by Blue Apron. The only choice you have is whether you want that week’s meal, if you want meat/fish or vegetarian, and how many servings you want. If you are paying for the service, it is $9.99 per person per meal.
Most important conclusion: the food was fresh and all of the recipes tasted good. Of the three, one was good but I wouldn’t want again, one was good and I’d be happy to eat it occasionally, and one was good enough that I actually plan to use the recipe card again.
The week that we chose had a fish, a pork, and a chicken dish. All of the ingredients and the recipes were shipped to us in a cooler box. The not as perishable items were on top and the meat and fish were on the bottom, right on top of cooler packs. Everything arrived cold and in perfect condition.
Meal 1: Kumquat Lime Glazed Tilapia: EXCELLENT! This has been added to my recipe file.
Meal 2: Center Cut Pork Chops: Good, but the flavors didn’t quite mesh perfectly.
Meal 3: Chicken Potstickers: Very Good, but a lot of work and a little too much like an appetizer
What I liked:
- I didn’t have to think. All the food was delivered, I didn’t have to figure out what I wanted to make, I didn’t have to go to the grocery store, I just had to cook it.
- It got us out of our food rut and made us try some new meals.
- The quality, freshness, and taste was all very good to excellent. Even the ingredients for meal that wasn’t made until five days later (I did freeze the meat for that) were still fresh and full of taste.
What I didn’t like:
- The recipes involved quite a bit of prep work. The potsticker meal took me over an hour. There was no indication on the recipe sheets of how long to allow for prep time. I can’t imagine trying to get these meals done after a long day at work.
- Too much starch, not enough veggies. Each meal was plenty generous and we would have been fine eating just what was sent, but in every case, we felt the need to add something and ended up with leftovers of the starch. But that’s just us – if we have a bread/pasta/some other grain at a meal, it tends to be a fairly small portion with a lot of veggies next to it.
- The overpackaging. I know that the whole point was to make things simple for the end user, but I didn’t need to separate teeny tiny bottles of rice vinegar. And some of the ingredients are so common that it seemed stupid to get them delivered.
Would I do it again if I had to pay for it? I might. It’s a little on the pricey side and I totally trashed the kitchen each night that I cooked one of their recipes, but the food was quite good and it was nice to have someone tell me what I was making and hand me all the ingredients. I do like that I have a new recipe to add to our rotation as well. I told Beer Geek I’d probably do it again when I start to feel in a food rut, which seems to happen every few months.
I know there are other companies out there, so I’d love to hear if you’ve tried one and what you think!
Thanks, Jenn, for another week of WIAW!
Disclaimer: I got the free meals from a friend. Blue Apron has no idea I exist. All opinions are my own.