Disclaimer: I purchased this product on my own and have no affiliation with Blue Apron. This review is based on my personal opinion of my recent experience with this company.
After Christmas, I began getting my act together with my diet and got back to my weekly meal planning. I happened to open up an e-mail from Groupon that was offering Blue Apron at a discounted rate. One of my co-workers orders from Blue Apron regularly and raves about it, so I figured it was a good time to try it out.
Blue Apron is a meal delivery service. You choose from an assortment of recipes and can get three meals per week delivered to your door, based on a plan for a two person household. They have options for families where you can get more or less delivered each week. You receive all of the ingredients for each meal and the recipe, but it’s up to you to prep and cook the foods. Even with having to chop the ingredients, the whole process of prepping and cooking each meal was under 30 minutes.
The Groupon I came across was offering a weeks worth of meals for $39. I had a $10 off coupon for any Groupon, so I was able to purchase this for $29. $29 for three meals (each feeds two people) is pretty good, considering the types of meals I would be receiving (salmon, chicken, pork). It’s cheaper than eating out so I figured, “Why not?”. I know how to cook and meal plan on my own, so really this was about it being a good deal and something fun to try.
I wish I took more pictures, but my delivery was set for Saturday, January 16th. You could choose Monday-Saturday for your delivery and don’t have to be home to receive it. Your food comes packed neatly in a medium sized box. Inside the box is a silver insulated bag made of bubble wrap, and the bag contains all of your food plus two enormous ice packs (score!! I will re-use those for sure). If I wasn’t home to receive this, I would feel comfortable leaving it packaged this way for a whole day and not worrying about it spoiling. According to my shipping information sent to me via FedEx, they had my delivery early Friday morning (12am) and I opened the box on Saturday around 1pm. The ice packs had not even begun to melt when I received my food.
The recipes on the menu for the week were: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with an Endive and Blue Cheese Salad, Seared Salmon and Salsa Verde with Orange, Spinach and Farro Salad, and Korean Tteok and Spicy Pork “Ragu” with Baby Bok Choy. The protein comes in vacuum sealed bags, and every item is clearly labeled. Each recipe comes with a “knick knack” bag containing all of the little extras you may need, like random spices and seasonings. You do need to keep the basics at home, like olive oil, salt and pepper but they give you everything else.
Meal #1: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with an Endive and Blue Cheese Salad (610 calories/serving)
I didn’t take pictures of this one, but I wish I did! I chose to make the Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches for dinner on Sunday. It’s probably the least healthy of the three and I am more lenient with my diet on the weekend. I was concerned that it wouldn’t be enough food as I unwrapped the items: there were only two rolls for two sandwiches, and the portion of meat seemed small. Everything was measured out so I coated the chicken with the mixture provided, and pan seared according to the directions. I prepped the lettuce and the endive, and made the vinaigrette following the recipe provided.
First of all, my food looked exactly like the picture. It was perfect. And second of all, you put two pieces of chicken on each sandwich and it was a PERFECT portion. I was stuffed when I was done. There was one endive that was cut up and dressed with the vinaigrette and added blue cheese to – what a delicious, simple salad. The vinaigrette was a mixture of champagne vinegar, minced shallots, salt, pepper and olive oil. They gave you the champagne vinegar in the cutest little one serving bottle!
If I had to list a negative, it was the quality of the rolls. I expected something a little nicer, but these were just plain old potato buns. They were fresh and not squished, but I thought some nicer rolls would have put this meal over the top.
Meal # 2: Korean Tteok & Spicy Pork “Ragù” with Baby Bok Choy (700 calories/serving)
This was a super easy one, and I remembered to take pictures. I didn’t know what tteok was before this, so I was most excited to try this meal. Korean tteok is really just a chewy, steamed rice cake. It kind of reminded me of mochi – and I love mochi, so I loved this dish.
First, I assembled the ingredients:
Then, I opened the little knick knack bag…
Seriously, how cute is that little soy glaze bottle! All of the knick knacks are already measured out for you. It’s totally like cheating. The next step is to check out the recipe (the actual instructions are on the back):
And after prepping and cooking, about 20 minutes later, mine looked just like theirs:
Mine is on the left (my retro yellow countertops in my temporary kitchen, yeaaaahhhh!) and theirs is on the right. I think they used more of the Gochujang sauce because you can tell that theirs has a little more color, but I added a little while cooking and then added more after. It had quite the kick so I figured you could add more, but not take it away. This meal was outstanding, easy to prepare and clean up, and we really enjoyed it!
Meal #3: Seared Salmon and Salsa Verde with Orange, Spinach and Farro Salad (525 calories/serving)
Oh my gosh you guys. This was incredible. Every single bite I was going, “Mmmmm! Mmmmm!!” I love all of the ingredients in this recipe, but it’s not a recipe I would have chosen to make on my own. I would shy away from it because of the farro (trying to follow a Paleo-ish diet, this wouldn’t fit), the capers, and the orange. Not that I don’t like any of those flavors, I just don’t usually pick recipes with those items.
First, the ingredients:
The knick knacks…
The finished product (less than 30 minutes later)
I wish the picture did it more justice, because the spinach/farro/orange salad was actually a HUGE portion. And the quality of the salmon was spectacular. It seemed like it was a king salmon or a sockeye salmon, not the less expensive, farmed Atlantic salmon varieties. It. Was. AWESOME.
My husband liked the Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches the best, but I liked the salmon the best. Honestly, I would gladly eat any of the meals again and loved the convenience of this service. I deactivated my account because they will automatically charge you and ship you more food, but I plan to order from them again when I have busy weeks with little time for meal prep. And if I come across a coupon, I will absolutely be ordering up a week of meals. It was very simple to cancel the service, not like one of those charges on your credit card that will not stop showing up.
I really liked that it forced me to cook with ingredients that I usually pass up. It gave me some great ideas for sides during the week, which is what I usually struggle with. Even just a simple endive salad with quick homemade vinaigrette is a great idea, but something I wouldn’t think about. If you get the opportunity to try this service, I highly recommend it!
Have you ever tried a meal delivery service? What are your thoughts on this type of business? I’m obsessed!