Testing Out Blue Apron

Blue Apron….thankfully it was a gift…

So my beautiful, talented and funny friend Soley gave me a gift certificate for Blue Apron for my birthday. I waited way too long to use it (my excuse was I needed the website up to blog about it…so kind of a valid excuse) and I finally did in March. I knew it would be a quieter week so I would have time to dedicate to do it right.

You will have to read through the bottom of the blog to find out my true feelings. I do 100% thank Soley for the gift, it was perfect for a wanna-be chef to test out recipes.
Pros:
When you set up your profile you can tailor it to your dietary needs and taste preferences. I chose only land protein options (we take left overs for lunch and no one wants to the “that person” at the office microwaving fish the next day – YUCK).

I also upped the plan for a family of 4 so we would have left overs. I was a little worried that the portions would be small. I was pleasantly surprised that they were not. These are real adult size portions. I would definitely recommend that 4 plans for leftovers or a 2 plan for just a simple date night dinner set up. Yes, I agree this little set up from Blue Apron would be a great stay-in date night if two people wanted to cook together as an activity. FYI my hubby is banned from the kitchen…he hates to cook and I don’t need anyone in my happy place – it’s a good balance.

The box magically appears on your door step on Sunday so you can get set up for the week. Everything is beautifully packaged and labeled. Be sure to remove and review all of the ingredients (I missed putting the butter in the fridge, but thankfully that worked out). They have EVERYTHING in the box labeled, packed up and chilled to perfection. Heck, there was even two tablespoons of flour in a small bag. I think the only thing you need in the house is salt, pepper and olive oil.

It’s all beautifully presented and it makes you want to get cooking! The lovely recipe cards have big, bright pictures that help guide you through the process. Read them carefully before you start to cook or when you decide to cook what meal when. They should give you an idea of the prep and cook times to help you plan ahead.

The directions seem pretty foul proof. As someone who does cook often and has the basics down it was very easy. If you are a kitchen virgin this may take a bit more time. You can under estimate how long it takes to chop up some veggies and do the prep.

Cons:
So much packaging! While they tout being environmentally conscience with locally sourced produce and sustainable proteins the amount of waste product is scary. If you live in a small apartment or someplace that does not allow you to put out a large around of trash you are going to be having a big box of Blue Apron crap hanging around.

Dishes, dishes and more dishes. If you follow the directions to a T you’ll do being a lot of washing up after the meal. From the prep work to the main event there are multiple pots and food storage. We know I am obsessed with my one pot wonders but these multi-pot events make for lots of work, when I believe Blue Apron is meant for those on a busy schedule.

The taste….leaves a lot to be desired. My husband is not a spice fan and I am guessing he would qualify as the “middle American spice level” they use as a base line. The first night of cooking was Creamy Beef Ragu & Elicoidali Pasta. I assumed this would be a luscious beefy dinner, and as side note for the calorie and fat content on this meal I should have be blown away by the taste. It was kinda blah. They provided some red pepper flakes and lots of good cheese, beef and basics but the dish was very flat.

The second night was Shrimp Etouffee. We both love shrimp, rice and Cajun seasoning…this should have been a home run. It was awful….I mean take a few bites and put it down bad. I followed the directions to a T. There was nothing Cajun about it. The dish was dull, mushy and bland. The portion was huge and we barely put a dent in dinner. I used all the spices they gave us and it was tasteless. This dish had a much better calorie count, but it was so terrible I didn’t eat much anyway.

ba 1

Overall:
I would give Blue Apron a C. It is extremely convenient and be a better judge of the food I would need to do more testing, but these two were so bad I wouldn’t waste the money. I see why it is a draw for many people: no fuss cooking and no shopping required. I think I would use it again if I knew I couldn’t shop that week but still wanted to cook or just to change it up a bit. I think this is a great gift for people to try and enjoy. If you have foodie friends they may not be 100% sold, but the testing of recipes is fun.

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