I had a few people send me Blue Apron invites over the last year or so. I let them sit in my mailbox for a while. Once, I even went so far as to sign up, but didn’t follow through. It didn’t make sense. If I wanted to order dinner, I would order food that was already cooked. If I wanted to cook, I would then shop for what I needed and make it. Duh! But then, it was one of those Sundays. It had rained all week. I needed to go grocery shopping, and figure out what we were going to eat. Nothing in my usual rotation sounded good. That’s how I ended up finally pulling the trigger, and my two-week adventures with Blue Apron began.
Confession: I went into this deal reluctantly. A small part of me really wanted for Mau to say that these recipes didn’t compare to my culinary concoctions, and we don’t need this nonsense in our lives. And he did say something like this, but that’s because he is a good, good husband, and a very, very smart man. In truth, there was a lot I liked about Blue Apron and a few things I didn’t. But nothing is perfect.
If you’re debating on whether Blue Apron or a similar service is for you, I’ve summarized my experience below, along with some tips. Also, if you’re interested in trying out Blue Apron for free, look for a special link below!
No need to plan meals. The stress of figuring out what we are going to eat every week has been really getting to me. Some weeks, I’m totally excited to scroll through my Pinterest board or flip through a magazine for meal inspo, but some weeks it really feels like another chore. That was three nights of not worrying about what we are having for dinner. And that in itself was a treat.
Getting out of the comfort zone. Another bonus was getting out of our usual menu rut. I’ve been obsessed with making one-pan, easy dinners, which means, we’ve been eating the same things over and over, again. And no matter how much I love this salmon dish, having it every single week, typically on a Tuesday has become very boring.
Trying new things. We had West African Peanut Chicken with sautéed Kale and Rice —Mau really loved the sauce, I didn’t like it as much. We also had Orange & Mirin-Glazed Cod with Warm Barley and Broccoli Salad—and this is one of the meals I think I’ll make again. Our surprisingly favorites were the Beef Tacos & Radish Salsa, with Spicy Sweet Potato Wedges. I cooked with new spices, new ingredients and learned a few new things. Like when the Beef Tacos recipe had me mix sugar with jalapenos—deliciousness.
Everything you needed was in front of you. That gives me such a piece of mind. More than once I had to send Mau back to the store or wait until the next day to try out a new recipe, because I forgot one thing.
It’s affordable.You’re spending about $10 on a well-balanced meal made with fresh ingredients for two.
It’s fresh and good quality food. Though the meat and chicken we received were not organic, the steak was prime. The cod and salmon we had were wild caught. Produce was fresh.
The Not So Great
As I said, everything isn’t perfect, and with the good there is a little not so good.
We didn’t love all the recipes. Some of the dishes are too aspirational for how quickly Blue Apron wants you to make them. You can’t quite recreate the depth of flavor for a dish that would typically take all day to prepare. But they do come close enough.
I really recommend reading through all the instructions before you start. By night two, I was doing things in an order that maximized my time better, rather than the order Blue Apron suggested.
Don’t abandon your culinary intuition. After the first night, I started to improvise a little. Maybe you like more garlic than suggested, or you hate scallions and ginger. It’s ok. Cook the meal how you know you would like it, not how Blue Apron said to do it!
New recipes. As exciting as it was to try new recipes, there was new stress of trying a new recipe! Before each night, I would say something like, “Don’t blame me, this is Blue Apron.” Actually, maybe this could go under the good section. It was kind of nice to blame someone else if dinner didn’t’ turn out well!
Not enough greens. My sister mentioned that I would need to supplement the meals with a soup or a salad, because the meal portions weren’t enough. I agree. The protein and carb components were mostly portioned well, but the greens or veggies were not. One head of broccoli or three leaves of kale are not enough for us. We only got one sweet potato to go with the Beef Tacos—but I had a bag of frozen sweet potatoes from Trader Joe’s which went perfectly well! If you like your veggies, I would recommend adding to what you have coming.
The Bottom Line
What you really want to know is whether I would order Blue Apron again, right? My answer is “yes.” It definitely takes a few tries to adjust to the process, but in the end it’s a nice distraction from the typical. The best part is that you don’t have to commit, or stay loyal to just one company. ( I may try a few others out there, do you guys have a favorite?)
Also, Blue Apron app makes it easy to skip weeks, if you are out-of-town or just don’t like the recipes that week, or finally feel inspired to try a new Pinterest recipe instead.
If you’re interested in trying Blue Apron, they were kind enough to supply my readers with a special discount of Three FREE Meals for a Week! Leave your name and email address below and I will send you the special discount code!
If I haven’t answered a question you had, please don’t hesitate to ask!