I’ve read quite a few reviews of Blue Apron over the past few months. And to be honest, half of the time I rolled my eyes and complained to my husband that the service was stupid, and a waste of money. $60 for three meals, that you still have to prep & cook yourself?
No thank you.
Then I read Jen’s latest review of the service a couple of weeks ago, and I signed up. The food looked good, and I’ve been in such a food rut since G left, so I thought “why not”. She offered a code to get two meals for free, so it came up to $40, and since I spend way more than that at the grocery store, I had nothing to lose. So, I signed up, picked which meals I wanted from that weeks options, and anxiously waited.
Once the package arrived, I was excited to unpack it, and make my first meal.
They send you one box, per two people, so if you’re on the larger, family plans, you’ll get more boxes. Inside is a refrigerated bag, cold packs, and all of the food you’ll need to make your three meals.
The recipes sound complicated, but they’re not. You don’t need any special skills or fancy equipment, but I’m not going to lie: having it helps. Most of these recipes say they take about 35 minutes to prepare. Some have, and some have taken about an hour. The first recipe I made, the steamed turkey buns with a quick cucumber radish kimchi came together VERY quickly once everything was prepped, but thinly slicing the veggies took forever. Someone not good with a knife would have found this process horrible. I *am* good with a knife, and I was tempted to go buy a mandolin.
Another of the dishes was pasta with arugula pesto. It called for finely chopping the arugula. I threw it in the food processor & it came together very quickly.I’ve really enjoyed most of the meals I’ve created (I did not care for the pasta), and I love that I’m trying flavors I’ve always assumed I didn’t like. Like mint. I’ve never liked mint. And so far it’s been used in two of the recipes that I’ve made, and both of those dishes have been absolutely delicious. I’ve never tried crème fraîche, and with it I made quite possibly the best potato salad ever. It was just as delicious as potato salad made with mayo, but so much lighter.
I love that they send you (almost) EXACTLY what you need for each meal. It hurts my heart to throw away food, and I throw away SO much. Especially produce. I’ll buy a bundle of herbs for a recipe, use what I need, and the rest goes bad. I’ll buy a jar of a spice or a bottle of a special vinegar, use it once, and it sits in the pantry for years. The lack of waste & excess is what I love most about this service.
So, what don’t I like:
It really annoys me that they don’t send olive oil. That annoys me, because every recipe calls for it. Whether in the pan to cook the meat/fish, or in the pesto, it’s always there and they don’t include it. These boxes are supposed to include everything you need to make the dish, and excluding olive oil (and salt & pepper…) is freaking annoying. I also don’t love that you can’t put together exactly the menu you want. When you pick one meal, it automatically takes a few off of the list and tells you “That combination is not available”. For example:
Surprisingly, one thing I don’t have a problem with is the price. I went to Kroger the other day to buy cereal, and I decided to price out everything that I would need to make all three dishes.
The items highlighted in pink are items I couldn’t find. The first column is priced as if you would need to buy everything (even things like flour & sugar). The second column is what I personally would need to buy for each recipe. Either way, Blue Apron isn’t as overpriced as I once thought it was.
So. Overall, I am a big fan of Blue Apron. And while I won’t use it every week, I will use it a couple of times a month. I like that it’s introducing me to new flavors, teaching me new skills (their method of zesting a lemon is my new favorite), and I like not having to worry about meal planning & grocery shopping for myself (since G isn’t here, six meals takes care of my dinners all week).