Review: Blue Apron!

For WEEKS I have been trying to successfully receive my free trial box of Blue Apron Delivery (thanks, Tina!) 

The first two times my delivery was supposed to come, it never showed up! I was convinced it was stolen from the lobby of my building. 

Luckily, both times, Blue Apron Customer Service was phenomenal - putting a new credit on my account so I could try again. 

Well it turns out I had the wrong address inputted into my account settings, and someone at that address received two complimentary Blue Apron deliveries. Oops! 

But before I figured that out, I had changed my address to have the third box delivered to me at my office. It arrived, and it was embarrassing. A giant box with giant ice packs filled with food that I had to take out and refrigerate in the tiny little pantry refrigerator. I then transported all the ingredients back home over the course of two days. 

So - the moral of the story is this:
1) Make sure you have the right address in your account. Duh, Lauren.
2) Blue Apron Customer Service is wonderful
3) Probably best to have the delivery sent straight to your apartment 

I was amazed at how well organized and labeled the shipment was. There's really no way to mess this up. 

(Everything in its own little package with labels!)

The first night I got home and realized I had failed to bring ANY of the tomatoes home with me (the featured ingredient in all three recipes). 

Luckily, they weren't really necessary for two of the recipes, so I powered through without them. 

First up were the Thai Chicken Burgers with Hoisin Mayo & Roasted Potato Wedges. 

Each meal comes with a recipe card with a lovely description of the meal, a list of the ingredients (and calories per serving), and step by step directions (with pictures!) 

Of the three meals, Peter and I liked this one the best. The hoisin mayo was tasty and there was a lot of flavor to the burger. Looking back, I probably would have made three patties with the meat instead of 2 - the burgers were huge! 

(Thickest burgers ever!)

That night, I also whipped up the Crispy Catfish & Freekah with Corn-Cherry Tomato Saute and Marjoram so that Peter and I would have meals ready to go on Wednesday night - he was heading home to Long Island to feed his kitty and I had work at the running store. 

(Just an excuse for Leo to make an appearance on the blog)

While making crispy catfish sounded intimidating, it was surprisingly easy! They forgot to send me the recipe card for this - but all of Blue Apron's recipes are online as well so I just looked it up there. 

My Corn-Cherry Tomato Saute was just corn saute, and I discovered that I DETEST the taste of marjoram. You know how some people CAN'T eat cilantro? I was immediately repulsed by the taste of marjoram and had to pick every piece out of my Tupperware. 

Other than that, it wasn't the best meal ever, but it was definitely better than a pita, hummus and an egg which is probably what I would have thrown together otherwise. 

The last meal included in this delivery was Seared Steaks with Romesco Sauce and Roasted Potatoes. Peter helped me with this one - we discovered that finely chopping roasted veggies into a sauce consistency is very time consuming and that leaving it chunky tastes just the same ;) 

Another cool feature is that people comment on all the recipes with tips - and after perusing them, I noticed a lot of people saying to go light on the sherry vinegar, which I did. 

This was my first time cooking steak - it was definitely a little tough but I'm not sure if that was just the pieces of meat they gave us, or my lack of skill. 

Again - my mind wasn't blown away by the taste, but I definitely enjoyed it! 

(My favorite part were the crushed pistachios on top! My not favorite part was attempting to chop the pistachios without them shooting off the cutting board and all over the kitchen. Proper nut crushing technique - help?)

Final thoughts: 

-I'm not going to tell you to milk the system, but...when I signed up, I was given three codes to give friends free meals - you can definitely use another email address to make a new account and I plan on sending one to Peter so we can use them. 

HOWEVER - you need to stay on top of this. Once you make an account, Blue Apron automatically schedules deliveries. You  need to actively go on and skip deliveries in order to avoid charges. 

Each delivery of 3 meals (with 2 servings per meal) is $60. When you think about it, that's $10 per meal, which really isn't awful! 

-I originally thought I would use Blue Apron during busy weeks when I didn't feel like thinking of dinners. But after trying it - I would definitely not suggest Blue Apron on a busy week. It's time consuming to cook all of the meals! Not overwhelming, but definitely more enjoyable if you don't have to rush around. That's how I did it, and I made a complete mess of my kitchen (not to mention a LOT of dirty dishes to clean). 

-I love knowing exactly what I'm putting into my dinner. And not going to lie, knowing the calories is a good thing too. It helped me decide if I really needed to eat alllll the potato wedges. All the fresh, real ingredients are the way I like to eat. 

Plus, there's no doubt it makes you feel like you have your shit together when you sit down to eat a meal that you cooked that has fancy names like "Steak Romesco." 

"NBD, whipped up some Crispy Catfish and Freekah for dinner." "My laundry is overflowing and I desperately need to clean my room, but my Thai Chicken Burgers were really bangin'."

-Make sure you have olive oil! It's the one thing included in the recipes that Blue Apron doesn't provide you with. 

-I've heard that if you select the vegetarian option, you end up getting a lot of pasta based dishes. 

-I love that you can look at the weeks ahead and see what the three meals are before deciding if you want them delivered or not!

I know there are a ton of other services like this out there - I'm curious, has anyone tried some of them other than Blue Apron? What did you think? 

Happy cooking!