Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: Cooking with Blue Apron

I was super excited when our friend sent us a trial of Blue Apron. Getting food sent to us and avoiding the hell that is grocery shopping in New York City (tiny aisles, tons of aggressive customers) is awesome in itself. But also getting the right amount of ingredients without any waste and easy-to-follow recipes.... I couldn't wait to get started!

The basic Blue Apron plan is $59.99 a week covering three meals for 2 people.  You can choose between vegetarian, pescetarian, and meat/fish meals. There are also options to feed more people, at $9.99 per person, per meal.
Our 3 meals came in a huge box with colorfully illustrated recipes.

The insulated liner holding all of the ingredients was monstrous. It's also biodegradable!

 All of the ingredients are included, down to the little bottles of vinegar and soy sauce.  And very neatly packaged!  According to the Blue Apron website, most of this can be recycled!

Seriously, all the labels and measured out ingredients...amazing.

I thought the quality of freshness was also impressive.  Not perfect, but comparable to what you see at the grocery store.  Which is insane because the stuff was in transit in a box for who knows how long.

Our first meal was the Chili-Rubbed Flat Iron Steak with Quick Kimchi and Tomato Rice. I am a beginner-level chef while my husband dabbles a bit more with cooking.

Although the quality of the ingredients got a thumbs up, I was a bit apprehensive about the quantity of food.  Would it be enough?

Sad face because I think I will still be hungry after all this cooking.

I started cooking (helping my husband) and got over it.  It was actually really fun being sous chef and drinking wine.  Those recipe instructions were pretty fail-proof and with the ingredients already measured out, it took the stress out of cooking for me.  

The quick kimchi is not something I would consider kimchi (and I'm Korean), but it was delicious and ....quick!  Definitely more quick than making real kimchi.  It got me pumped to try making the fast version on my own.

The results!  
 So remember my paranoia of not feeling satisfied with the amount of food from this meal.  It was actually quite filling.  I have an issue with overeating so I appreciated that the set amount of food forced portion control.  (Hello, smaller waist line!)

Here is the Pan-Seared Chicken Legs with Purple Smashed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts.  I mean, c'mon.  Our plates look pretty darn good, right?  And we aren't professionals.

Verdict:  My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our time cooking with Blue Apron.  It was a nice activity to do together, and all the "materials" were ready for us! The meals were tasty, and the ingredients seemed very fresh.  

As for value, for $9.99 per person, we saved a lot compared to dining out.  It may be a little more than if you bought your food at the market, but I'd argue that grocery shopping in the city may cost you more at times, depending on the meal.  I read online that some meals offered by Blue Apron may not seem like a great deal, ie. turkey chili.  In my experience, all 3 meals we cooked were a fantastic deal, especially when you add in the value of convenience.

I would absolutely use Blue Apron again. We canceled deliveries (very easy to do online!) due to being out of town, but I plan to start up again. 

If you like doing your own shopping and are just interested in the Blue Apron recipes, they are available online.  For example, the Pan-Seared Chicken Legs recipe is available here.  
Bon appetit!

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