I know y’all have seen the commercials for Blue Apron on tv. You know – the commercials with smiling people cooking dinner together in the kitchen. It’s basically a service where you get fresh ingredients and recipes shipped right to your door for you to make your dinners.
I’ve always been skeptical to try it because I didn’t think I wanted/needed it. But I decided to give it a try and let you all know how it went. So, here’s the scoop:
I signed up online (it’s incredibly simple and their website was easy to maneuver.) And, on Wednesday (delivery is always on Wednesday) this little box was waiting for me. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t at home exactly when they delivered it, because it came in a refrigerated box. Cool (literally.)
The delivery included ingredients and recipes for three separate meals. All the ingredients were labeled so you knew exactly what everything was and what meal it went to.
My hubby was feeling particularly spunky one evening, so he decided to cook our first meal. I, on the other hand, was exhausted from a particularly grueling workout, so I opted to mostly drink wine and supervise.
We decided on a Fettucine Pasta with Porcini Mushroom Bolognese for our first recipe. Each meal has a menu card that walks you exactly through how to make the recipe (complete with pictures) and step by step instructions on what to do.
I was a bit worried that since the ingredients were coming to me in the mail that they wouldn’t be fresh – wrong. This stuff was super fresh. The meat is packaged, shipped cold and actually looks great. And, they include almost all ingredients you need (they even sent eggs and butter.) The only thing we had to use out of our kitchen was olive oil, salt and pepper. (Which is good, because sometimes, that’s about the only food in our house….) 🙂
From the time we set out the ingredients to the time “we” (using that pronoun loosely) plated the dinner, it took 35 minutes. Not too shabby. This let all of us sit down to a dinner at the table together – which rarely seems to happen nowadays.
The first meal (and all the others we’ve made since) was very flavorful. The pasta was a little heavy on the mushroom taste for me, but that being said, I cleaned my plate. The other thing that was a bit suprising for me was the serving sizes. They were HUGE. We opted for the delivery of two servings. But, we easily got three full servings out of each recipe. Which leads me to my next point…
Now, I was a little nervous when I saw the calorie count on these dinners. They ranged 500-600 calories per serving (which is a little more than I normally eat for dinner.) But, when we ended up getting three servings out of the meal, it took the calories under 400 a serving – definitely doable. *Note: the three servings probably wouldn’t be enough for three high school football players, but they were large servings.
We have cooked a total of four Blue Apron meals so far. And they’ve all been really good. One thing I like about this (and there are several things) is that these aren’t recipes I would normally choose to cook. Meatball Ragout with Swiss Chard? I’ve never made meatballs before….or eaten swiss chard. But, it was delicious.
Here’s pictures of all the meals we’ve made so far:
The recipes aren’t difficult, and they’re easy to follow with the step-by-step instructions. And, each of the meals had a lot of flavor – always a plus in my book.
- Easy to Use – The food and recipes come straight to your door. There’s no finding recipes or running to the grocery for ingredients. The recipes are easy to use and flavorful.
- “Makes” You Cook – I am guilty of falling into the trap of eating the same thing every night for dinner. This made me eat different foods. And, instead of saying, “I’m too busy/tired to cook” I actually cooked the meal – and usually enjoyed it.
- Try Different Foods – All of the recipes we have received are recipes I would’ve never chosen out of a cookbook. But, they’re all good. It was nice to mix it up and step out of my normal eating/cooking habits.
- Not a Ton of Pots and Pans – Everything we have made has required very minimal kitchen equipment. Which is great because it makes for very little clean up.
- Fun – We had a lot of fun cooking. We turned on music, poured a glass of wine and even got my daughter, Elinor, involved in the cooking.
- Cost – The cost per serving is a little under $10/serving. Not too bad considering I didn’t have to fight the grocery store mob or spend all day online surfing for a recipe. And, if you consider we were getting three servings per meal, it takes the cost down to less than $7/serving.
- You Have to Cook – Even if you’re tired or busy, this makes you cook. No ordering pizza or “make your own sandwich” dinners. You had to bust out the pots and pans.
- Subscription Service – Blue Apron has you sign up for delivery every week. So, you have to “opt out” of the service if you don’t want it that week. But, you can cancel at any time. It does take a little planning (and remembering to do it) if you don’t want to receive your shipment that week.
Here’s a bunch of pics of us cooking. We had a great time.
Now, if you’re local in Cynthiana, the Prizing House offers a similar service in the fall and winter. They offer healthy, gourmet meals for pick up in town. The benefit to these are that they are already cooked (taking the cooking time out of dinner completely.) I’ve subscribed to the Prizing House dinners for a couple of years now and they are delicious, healthy and easy. Check out their website for details (www.theprizinghouse.com)
Bottom line: If you enjoy cooking, want to cook more or find yourself saying you’re too busy to cook, give Blue Apron a try for a week. (Heck, we liked it so much, we already singed up and received our second shipment of Blue Apron.) Our little family has had a blast cooking, laughing and eating together.
Lift Big, Eat Well!
**Click “Follow”to get the blog emailed to your inbox every morning.
**Like the “Cynthiana Strong” page on Facebook.