Thursday, April 21, 2016

Blue Apron Meal Delivery Service Review and Coupon Code

You may already know that I'm a big fan of meal delivery services. Blue Apron is one I hadn't tried before mainly because waaaaay back when I was looking at it, they didn't ship to my area. They've expanded a lot since then and I was excited to try their offerings.

WHAT IS BLUE APRON? 

Blue Apron is a meal service that plans three meals for your week and sends all the ingredients necessary to complete each one. Everything from the flour and fresh rosemary to the lemon and chicken breast. The only things you will need are a cooking utensils and possibly olive oil or salt and pepper. And a cooking source, of course. This week, I needed both the stovetop and the oven.

You'll also receive step-by-step instructions with photos so you don't have to guess if you're doing it right. The ingredients are all pre-portioned so you won't even have to dirty a measuring cup. It's a very easy way to make a good dinner.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Each week, you'll receive either three meals for two people or you can choose Family Style and receive 2 or 4 meals for four people.

The Cost: 3 meals for 2 is $59.94, 2 meals for 4 is $69.92, 4 meals for 4 is $139.84

Each meal is $10 per person (less for family plans). This is cheaper by far than eating out whether at a fancy restaurant or even fast food. It's the whole reason I love these so much. Plus they're much healthier and more balanced that something I would usually put together at home. And I love cooking!

After you purchase your plan, you can choose your meals for the week on the Blue Apron website. Each week, you'll get the opportunity to pick which meals you would like before they're shipped to you. If you're going on vacation or you don't like any of the meals that week, you can skip easily from your account.

Once you've done that, all you have to do is wait for your box to be dropped off on  your porch. Mine came fairly late in the day via Ontrac and it only took 2 days from shipping notice to arrival. That's important, especially as the weather warms up.

HOW DOES IT ARRIVE?

There are a few things I look for when subscribing to a meal service like Blue Apron. I want my veggies fresh and good looking (no wilting or browning), I need the meat properly packed and cold upon arrival and, last but not least, clear and concise recipes.
How did Blue Apron stack up? First, this was probably the most well packed box of ingredients I've ever received. The meat was packed between layers of ice packs and was cold to the touch. The catfish was still basically frozen.
On top of that were three brown bags of "knickknacks," the condiments and seasonings for each meal. Each bag is labelled according to which meal it goes with. The veggies were laid over those, individually bagged, with the heavier veggies on the bottom and the lighter, more fragile ones on top. Other subscriptions I've received have arrived with all the products for one meal in one bag which I don't like because vegetables like onions are good at crushing delicate fruits like strawberries if they're in the same bag.
The instructions for each meal are printed on large cardstock pages and include both written and photo directions (love it!). Everything you need for each recipe is listed out and portions are already prepared for you, so you won't need to measure much, if anything at all. It's one of the most time saving parts- not having to measure. It also helps with clean up. No extra dishes!

RECIPES

This week, I received Spiced Pork Chops and Mashed Potatoes with Kale, English Pea and Goat Cheese, Roasted Chicken and Mixed Mushrooms with Crispy Rosemary-Orange Salad and Chipotle Pan Sauce, and Crispy Catfish Sandwiches with Spicy Lime Aioli & Chopped Salad.

Now, I have no pictures of the Crispy Catfish dish because I lost all the photos on my phone when it broke. Trust me when I say, it was one of the quickest easiest dinners to make ever. I love catfish which is why I chose it. I appreciated the soft, squishy hoagie rolls and the fresh, green romaine that arrived with it. My husband and I scarfed it right down.
The Roasted Chicken and Mixed Mushroom dish was also delicous. Though it took about 40 minutes to make, it was still quick with a minimum of clean up. It just took longer (22 minutes) to cook the chicken. I was a little disappointed to see that the chicken was in the form of thighs, not breasts, but DH loves dark meat so he was totally fine with it. I chose this dish mainly for him anyway because he loves mushrooms. There were Oyster mushrooms and Criminis in the mushroom box we received which is awesome.
As for the Spiced Pork meal, I'm a big fan of pork chops. I also love mashed potatoes. This meal was a slam dunk before I even started cooking it! I've never eaten pork chops quite this way before, though.
Goat cheese and peas? Out of the ordinary and also quite tasty. The peas almost didn't make it to the finish line after I cooked them. I've never shelled peas before but it was fun. I like peas a lot.

VERDICT: This Blue Apron shipment was everything I look for in a meal delivery service like this. The perishables were so fresh they were able to hold up for an entire week. Some services, they haven't even lasted a day which is unacceptable. So Blue Apron definitely wins a lot of respect from me for that. The meals were quick to make, made a minimum of mess and were very, very good. Preportioned ingredients saves a lot of time, especially if you're tired and cranky after a day at work.

I also loved the variety of the meals I was allowed to choose from, the inclusion of healthy vegetables in each meal and the fact that the portions were big enough to feed both of us to the point of bursting.

If you're looking for a good way to save yourself some time after a grueling day, a way to get easy, healthy meals without having a fully stocked cupboard and refridgerator and have a little fun creating some new meals, Blue Apron is the way to go.

Sign up here for Blue Apron and get $20 off your first box.

Have you ever subscribed to a box like this? What did you think? I definitely enjoy getting them because it takes the guesswork out of what's for dinner. The only thing that can be difficult is making the meals fast enough. This Blue Apron box was great and the perishables were in perfect condition even though I had to wait a week to finish this up.

*This box was sent complimentary for review purposes. All opinions are mine. Affiliate links were used in this post.

1 comment:

  1. I've been getting Home Chef for a couple months and we love it! They offer more dinner choices (10 each week plus a breakfast, smoothie and fresh fruit if you're interested) and the meals are more... "nomal"(?) to me? I'm a little picky. I made a delicious salmon with feta last night thanks to Home Chef - and I'm NOT a cook - yummy!!

    My BFF gets Blue Apron and I've tried (eaten, not cooked) at least 5 of them. They were all pretty good but Home Chef is more to my personal taste.

    ReplyDelete