I'm a woman that's quite easily enthused.
I think it's a lovely quality, getting really really excited about things, whether it's salt on a warm dark chocolate cookie or finding out I just won a trip to Jamaica. But I'd also say I'm not the easiest person to please. There's a difference there. I get super duper jazzed about the things I love.
Okay, so. Blue Apron. I'd heard about it for years. Who hasn't? You guys know I'm really not one to review services; but when they reached out about their initiative to help people eat healthy and cook more at home in the New Year, I got excited about finding something to recommend to readers and clients that makes life easier. So I gave it a whirl!
Let's start with a little background info. Blue Apron allows you to create super tasty, chef-designed meals at home by delivering fresh ingredients in exactly the right proportions right to your doorstep in a refrigerated box. No meal planning, no grocery store trips, and no food waste. They offer two types of plans, the 2-Person Plan and Family Plan. You can choose from 8 recipes each week in any combination and they can all be prepared in 40 minutes or less. You can cancel any time---no commitment.
I wasn't expecting to looooove it, to be super duper enthused. I was expecting to like it, to think it was good. A convenient option to create chef-designed recipes at home sans a trip to the grocery store and time on the internet to whip them up. I had just finished cooking the third meal when Jeff walked in the door and I exclaimed, "Oh my god. This food is like, sooooo good. It tastes like restaurant food!!"
The best thing about my first experience with Blue Apron was how shockingly FUN it was. It was also amazing not have to think about what to make ahead of time. I'm not gonna lie, since I was squeezing cooking [and worse, cleaning], photographing, and writing about all three meals in one day, I anticipated it feeling like a normal day of blog "work." But this was different. I was mincing black garlic, crumbling fresh queso fresco, baking corn tortilla strips, boiling rice cakes, and pan-searing wild halibut with panko. I enjoyed it! It felt so good to cook DIFFERENT THINGS.
I love the food I make on a regular basis, but cooking new and exciting meals with yummy unique flavor combinations really was like having restaurant food in my own home. Another bonus was being pushed outside of my comfort zone when it comes to cooking methods and flavors!
I appreciated the little quality and sustainability notes too, like how the honey packaging indicated it was sourced from a family farm in California. I also like that the packaging is made from post-consumer waste and mostly recyclable materials.
I chose the pescatarian 2-person plan. You can choose between meat, fish, and/or vegetarian recipes, or a combo of all three. If you don't like a certain kind of meat or fish, you can de-select that option.
The three meals I had were:
- Katsu-Style Wild Alaskan Pollock with Cabbage Slaw & Rice
- Chipotle Roasted Vegetable Salad with Farro, Orange, and Tortilla Strips
- Soy-Glazed Korean Rice Cakes with Soft-Boiled Eggs
So interesting, right?! I'd never ever eaten Korean rice cakes or black garlic before. The rice cakes were delightfully chewy and absorbed all the savory sauce which paired perfectly with the broccoli and carrots. What I loved about the farro salad was all the different flavors--sweet orange, tangy queso fresco, crunchy tortilla strips, and smoky chipotle sweet potatoes + roasted broccoli. Hitting all the flavor and texture notes out of the park!
Each meal comes with a colorful step by step recipe card, including pictures. Very easy to follow! Our favorite dish was probably the Pollock because holy moly, the combo of the bright cabbage slaw, incredible black garlic mayo, and perfectly tender fish was just magical.
Overall, I really can't recommend Blue Apron enough. Considering you don't have to spend time meal planning or grocery shopping, I think it's a completely affordable option to enjoy new yummy, wholesome meals. I'm so excited to order again and keep it interesting in the kitch If you want to give it a whirl yourself, you can get $40 off your first two weeks through my link here!