Wednesday, May 04, 2016

My Thoughts on Blue Apron (this is not an ad!).

 First and foremost....I'm not getting ANYTHING for telling you about Blue Apron.  I just decided to try it, and if you are like me, you've heard about it and wondered what it was all about, so...I decided to blog about it.  I don't feel any obligations to anyone but myself and anyone who is reading this and has wondered.
 Blue Apron is something you can set up online.  They send organic and fresh ingredients in a refrigerated box each week and recipe cards for the ingredients for you to use to cook up dinners.  You can chose a family plan (that feeds 4 and I think it's about 70 dollars and includes all the ingredients for 2 meals) or a couples plan (that feeds two, but you get three different meal for 60).  There is a place on the website to check off things you don't eat (shell fish, pork, fish, beef etc).  Each week there are six different meal options and you can adjust them SOME if you don't like the meals they are planning to send (based on your profile).  You can also skip any week you won't be in town/or doesn't sounds like something you'd want to enjoy.  Here's the one issue I have-I really wish you could just select all your meals....if you choose one others aren't an option with 'that combo'.  So...I find most weeks I really don't see three meals I want to try.  I don't eat fish, lamb, and I try to avoid pork.  BUT if you don't have these issues, you won't have as much trouble.
You choose from a few delivery days (I had mine delivered on Tuesday) and it arrives in an insulated box with three ice packs (see above).  
Each recipe card list all the ingredients needed for the meal and there are little brown bags with all the spices, butters etc for that meal.  The only thing they didn't provide you need a lot of is olive oil and salt and pepper.
The first meal I tried out was a steak meal.  I love it because there was even a little bit about where the ingredients were from/what country inspired the ensemble etc.  This one was from South Africa.
I have eaten a few plantains out and about, but I had never cooked one, and the trial spice in this go round was Grains of Paradise.  
 The card gives you step by steps on what to chop up and how.  The prep takes a bit of time, but I really enjoyed it because I was working with things I would not have chosen, and the instructions were clear enough I felt confident.
 The steak turned out really good.  I don't cook steak much AT ALL, especially via the stove.  I have also never cooked collard greens.  I think it had a little too much lime for my taste....I'm learning less is more when it comes to lemons and limes in cooking (though in baked goods, I'm a fan).
Meal two was chicken and purple potatoes, which I'd never cooked with before.  The one thing that impressed me was that the ingredients really were all 'the best' and in the end your vegetables took up half your plate, which I know is the recommended proportions these days.  I was even able to share a bowl of the potatoes, onions, and apple mix with my brother who is vegan because no dairy products were used in the set up of that part of the dish.  Side note: a lot of the options are vegetarian (not usually vegan).  
 Again, the apples in the mix threw me off a little, BUT if for no other reason, Blue Apron this go round was TOTALLY worth it for me because I learned how to cook chicken in a new way on the stove top and it was amazing...and it was nothing fancy.  I'll blog about that another time....it rocked my world.  The first two meals I tried were all totally made on the stove.  I needed a lot of prep bowls, a zester, and a skillet, but....not much else beyond that.
 Meal three was probably my favorite all around.  It was the only one that required baking.  I made a zucchini and spinach quiche.  The meal even came with two fresh mini pie crusts and two farm fresh eggs.  In this meal I got to work with a pink lemon and cream fresh....which I'd never worked with before.
The first week there is a coupon code to get 'one meal free'...basically 20 bucks off, so it was 40 dollars for three meals, which includes shipping.  I'll definitely try it again in the future.  I kind of felt like I was taking a cooking class.  I can't tell you that I'll make these particular recipes again, but I know more about food than I did last week.  I tried out things I've never tried (all ingredients are what's in season), and my chicken prep is forever changed.
One thing I'll say, if you are someone who likes home cooking, and wouldn't fall under the foodie category that loves experimenting and trying new foods-this is probably not for you.  BUT I felt like I was eating fairly healthy this week.  I enjoyed the prep and process.  I also got to skip the grocery store this week.  Winning.

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