Hey guys, how is your week going? Things here are busy but good! Today I wanted to share my thoughts on Blue Apron. I've got a few great reasons to try it- as well as one reason not to. I do have some quick affiliate links in this post.
So, like many people, I have trouble coming up with ideas for what to make for dinner day after day. Totally normal. We all have our challenges with meal planning. Maybe it's the creativity, the time it takes to plan, getting to the store, or all of the above. Whatever it is, it keeps us from eating healthy, home cooked meals.
For me, it seems like a regular occurrence that the end of the day gets here and I feel that moment of panic when I realize I have to make dinner. Again. And I have nothing planned, I forgot to go to the store, we finished up the leftovers I thought we'd have, etc.
One day I was talking to LalyDad about this and mentioned Blue Apron, a service that delivers pre-measured, fresh ingredients for several meals.
This is right up my alley…I am not a very strong cook, I don't whip up a little something at a moment's notice and it's not usually something I do for pleasure. I feed us the basics to fuel our body in as healthy a way as possible. That's about it. LalyDad enjoys cooking and is much more likely to take on more complicated recipes. That was one reason this was perfect for us.
But wait, back up. Before I get to the reasons for and against Blue Apron, here is a bit about it for anyone who is not familiar.
About Blue Apron
The sign up process at Blue Apron‘s website was pretty easy. I started with the 2 Meals Free on Your First Blue Apron Order option. Typically when you order you can choose between a 2 person option or the family plan but I went for the 2 person option to start. That was perfect because I wanted to try it just for me and LalyDad. You also can opt for a vegetarian plan or deselect any meats you do not eat.
We got the ingredients for 3 meals, tightly packed into a special package with huge reusable ice packs. Everything was labeled and pre-measured. It came right on schedule and I popped it all into the fridge. There is nothing to send back, no fuss when you're done. You just have fresh, simple ingredients, ready to cook. You also have a recipe page that you can keep for any time you want to repeat a recipe.
If you like it, more will come, if not, you can cancel any time. You can skip while you're on vacation or take a break when you know you have dinner plans. The ingredients are all packaged very well too so it's not like you need to cook them all in the very next 3 nights.
Blue Apron Review
So what is the verdict? Did we like it?
Actually I was over the moon crazy about it. LalyDad liked all the meals too even though he has aversions to several foods. It just so happened that none of the offenders were in the recipes, so it was great.
Although I was able to complete all the recipes successfully, he said two of them were actually recipes he probably would not have attempted due to unfamiliar techniques or ingredients. I dare say he was a bit impressed! 🙂
I liked how easy it all came together as well as the step by step photos that came on the recipe pages. Having all the ingredients pre-measured was also a huge time saver.
All in all I loved it and will be sticking with it! Here are the three meals we received:
Steak and Eggs with Quick Kimchi Fried Rice – Here is a recipe that I never would have attempted but seriously loved. LalyDad is the one who cooks all steaks in our house. He grew up on a farm and knows how to cook meat just right every time. LalyDad said he never would have attempted it because of the Kimchi. He likes it, it just sounds like more work.
But *I* did it and we both agreed that it came out awesome. The steak was cooked just right and the kimchi fried rice was much simpler than expected based on the name. This was LalyDad's favorite, not surprisingly, as it is three of his favorite things in life.
Dukkah Spiced Cod – Another one we never would have attempted. We had no idea what that spice was but it ended up being incredibly flavorful and this was my favorite of the three meals. The tender carrots and beets are like my all time favorite thing and I love to make carrots in this style now. I was nervous to cook fish because I know it is delicate and the timing must be right but the recipe was spot on for me.
Chicken Fried Steak – LalyDad cooks recipes like this not infrequently. I never would have tried it because his usually involves a huge pot of fry oil. Not so with this recipe! I loved the the technique on this. I think next time I would add more flavors to the dredge. But the sweet potatoes in this recipe are another go-to preparation that I have in my pocket since trying Blue Apron. All in all it was a solid recipe, just had less of our favorite flavors than the other two.
7 Reasons to Try Blue Apron
Okay so now that you know all about it, here are seven reasons that I think you aught to give Blue Apron a try.
- If You Are Too Busy to Meal Plan – If you are always spinning your wheels trying to find new recipes or to just set a regular meal schedule, Blue Apron does the planning for you. You don't have to scour pinterest or yummly, you don't have to try to think up some new way to eat chicken. You just get the package and get cooking!
- If you Are Not a Confident Cook – I can cook, I just never think I'm all that great at it. The time crunch, the prep work, wondering if the recipe will be worth the effort… it just gets overwhelming. With Blue Apron I knew they were tested recipes. Each one tells you roughly how long it will take you to prepare and nearly all the prep work is done when you start. I was able to cook fish, steak and chicken in pretty impressive recipes and it all turned out GREAT. It was a huge bolster to my confidence to complete and enjoy each one. The icing on the cake was hearing LalyDad's compliments.
- If You Have a Hard Time Following Recipes – I feel like I have something I call, “Recipe ADD.” Now I know ADD is not a laughing matter, and I don't mean for this to be either. I really cannot get through a recipe very well. “Was that 2 tablespoons of baking soda or 2 teaspoons of baking powder?” I have to check the recipe over and over just to add one ingredient. It impedes my success in cooking and my desire to do it. I felt like the pre-measured ingredients and step by step photos of Blue Apron really cut through that.
- If You Never Have Healthy Food In the House – If you are constantly ordering takeout or living on the boxes of cereal in the pantry because you didn't have time to go shopping…this is perfect. It is delivered to your door. Boom. Done. Wholesome home cooked meals just waiting to be prepared.
- If You Always Make the Same Meals Over and Over – As I mentioned, I'm not a strong cook. I also don't mind eating the same meals over and over again. LalyDad hates repeats though. It makes it hard for me because I am nervous to master a new meal and I have to try to think of one we'd all like. The rotating meals from Blue Apron really helped bust out of our every day repeat rut.
- If You Want to Learn Easy Techniques – Rather than zapping some more frozen mixed vegetables, I now have a few simple side recipes in my pocket that can be done from memory. ME! Cooking something from MEMORY. It's fricking amazing and I love it. My favorite is the easy sauteed carrots. I simplified their recipe one step further and rather than slicing up carrots I can use baby carrots. But the other sides were easy too and yielded much better results than my standard preparations. We all really like this recipe and you could always mix it up by adding a new spice.
- If You Want to GetTwo Meals For Free to Try It – You really have nothing to lose if you want to try it. Just head here to get started: 2 Meals Free on Your First Blue Apron Order.
One Reason Not to Try Blue Apron
Okay so I super love using Blue Apron, and even LalyDad liked all the meals…and he's the better cook in our house. He can be a dot…”particular” about what we eat. He prefers recipes from trusted sources that really put effort into achieving good flavors and textures. I on the other hand could eat just about anything. (Except creamed corn- VOM!) But really, I could be served peanut butter on a spoon and still take the time to compliment the chef. And it shows in my cooking. I'm a simple cook.
But I happen to know an adult who is even more… particular about food and in fact, she will not budge on trying new foods. If this sounds like you…maybe Blue Apron is not for you? If you eat only macaroni and cheese, pizza or grilled cheese and will not try anything new (which is truly how this acquaintance is!) … You know what? Skip this. It's cool. Go subscribe-and-save some blue box. No judgies, we all eat it.
But otherwise…even if you have just the slightest inkling of a desire to try new foods…especially if you knew where it all came from what was in it, and you were the one making it. Well then. I say give it a try!