My week of trying Blue Apron Meals: Haute Eats

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This past week I got my first Blue Apron delivery, courtesy of a friend who has been doing it for some time and sent me a free trial week.  After listening to her cooking up some awesome sounding meals, I had to try it.  I got the vegetarian option since I was sharing my plates with other vegetarians in the house.  Now I will note that a week is not enough to get the full Blue Apron experience, but I thought I would comment on some of the things I liked and didn’t like about my trial week.

meal 1 - tofu fajitas with guacamole and sour cream

meal 1 – tofu fajitas with guacamole and sour cream

First of all – what is Blue Apron?  It is a meal delivery service, similar to other competitors like Plated, which sends you all the ingredients to cook fresh meals at home.  They partner with local farms (in NY/NJ) and producers to get the ingredients they can, and source the rest elsewhere.  They also partner with innovative chefs to get cool recipes, which are easy to execute.  But the end goal is that you do the cooking, and end up with an awesome meal.

meal 2 - roasted fennel with fresh linguine and lemon ricotta

meal 2 – roasted fennel with fresh linguine and lemon ricotta

Why Blue Apron rocked my week: (this list is long)

  • Even though I knew the menu, I was really excited to get my box and to see all the goodies inside.  I guess this is foodie-ness at its max when you get excited about a box of ingredients.
  • It really got me excited about cooking these meals, all of which I had never had before. The best part was not searching for what you need, cause everything comes all perfectly portioned and ready to go.
  • The recipe cards are awesome, really user friendly, and can easily be punched and placed into a binder to create a lovely cookbook. I wonder if Blue Apron markets custom binders for these, that would be very cool.
  • The ingredients are local (like local to NY, and only when possible) and low calorie (also when possible)
  • The cuisines range across the globe, so it’s a great way to learn about some different styles of cooking.
  • Most of the recipes can be easily replicated on your own, but you have to do the grocery shopping on your own.
  • You can choose between 3 or 5 meals/week, and 2 or 4 servings, depending on your needs and schedule.
  • You can maybe stretch the servings out a bit, especially if you are a light eater.
  • $10/pp/meal is not a bad deal, even for cooking at home.
  • You can choose to skip a week, or multiple week, by logging onto their site.  And the BlueApron.com site is pretty user friendly, and is a great way to keep up with their recipes, even if you don’t join.
  • Customer service was very helpful, and replied to an email I sent within the day, which is great.

 

meal 3 - chickpea "chile" soup with m'smen bread

meal 3 – chickpea “chole” soup with m’smen bread

 

What wasn’t so rockin about my Blue Apron experience:

  • Lots of packaging – I think this is a complaint many people experience when they get their box, and is probably due to healthy and safety concerns, but there is a lot of waste.  I would be interested to see how inventive they get in the future with their packaging. Compostable maybe? Returnable? Just some ideas.
  • My menu for the week was just ok, meaning I was more excited about meals I had heard about on other weeks, but since it was a free trial, I didn’t skip it.
  • I had to doctor some of the recipes to my taste, i.e. adding some veggies and spice to the fennel pasta to kick it up a bit. Not a negative, but just very mild in flavor.
  • While not unhealthy, I would not say the recipes I have tried and tasted were particularly healthy.  Using fresh ingredients is best, but this can be hard if you are watching calories, fats, etc.  I suppose you can always modify here when possible.
  • The price – it’s not bad – but it’s the same for vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, which seems odd since most meats add $$ to your grocery basket.

If you are trying, will try or have tried a meal delivery service like Blue Apron, please feel free to chime in here.  For everyone else, hope this gives you a minor bit of insight on how it went down for me.  If this fit into my non-traveling-all-the-time lifestyle, I would seriously try it for longer than a week cause it was good, and haute eats.

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