My good friend Lori recently asked me if I'd like to try Blue Apron. She had a free trial she could send me via email. I was skeptical. I've had fresh produce delivered to my home before, and although I loved it, we had to cancel the service. On nights when I wasn't home to cook, things like bok choy and sunchokes went bad because my husband didn't want to cook with them. What would happen if an entire meal was delivered to our home and I didn't have time to prepare it?
The smallest plan you can sign up for is 2 meals a week, and with a family of four, that's 69.92 each week, or $8.74 per person each meal. Now I realize that eating out costs more than this, and you don't always know what you're actually consuming. However, I'm pretty good at making dinner for around $10 for the entire family, sometimes less, and we only budget to eat out once-a-week on average. Since it was a free trial, we caved and signed up.
This is what was delivered. Yes, my new running shoes snuck into this pic, but only for scale. Seriously.
Everything is packaged in a refrigerated box, so if you forgot it overnight, or weren't home, it would be fine for a bit. We received the ingredients and recipes for Dukkah-Crusted Catfish with Sugar Snap Pea & Couscous Salad and Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Mozzarella & Spinach-Zucchini Pasta. You can indicate if you don't eat a particular food, but my family is easy so we were wide open to trying whatever. The instructions recommend cooking fish first, if part of the menu for the week, to ensure freshness. We made catfish for our Sunday lunch. Here is the instruction card.
My favorite part of the entire experience was that all of the ingredients were there in the proper amount. There was no waste, and it was all "whole foods."The only things I needed other than cooking implements, that were not included in the box, were: salt, pepper, and olive oil. Anymore, almost all American kitchens have those three ingredients, so I didn't feel that was a miss on Blue Apron's part.
Here is my hubby making the yogurt sauce. We really enjoy cooking together, and I will say that having everything delivered and laid out for us almost made this feel like a date (we may need to get out more).
I loved that the red onions were sliced. For some reason I almost always chop or dice my onions when cooking, but the red onion slices were very pretty.
Here is the finished product.
The adults loved the catfish, both children ate it, but didn't like the crunch of the almond-spice crust on the fish. My husband liked couscous for the first time. I think because it was a larger grain than I usually buy. My daughter refused to eat her couscous, and my son had three helpings. Overall, I think the meal was a success, and at 590 calories per serving it's not shabby for all the butter and oil needed. We're going to make the Chicken Parm on Wednesday, and have already decided to pay for at least next week's delivery. We read what the recipes were, and they had us at "Pizza Burgers..."
I'm a not-for-profit worker that loves food, both healthy and indulgent. I've eaten the 12 egg omelette at Beth's Cafe: toast, hash browns, and all. Take that Adam Richman!