Today’s the day!
Today I get to share my Blue Apron experience with you, and I’m pumped. Why? For a couple of reasons: 1) Food. 2) I got to eat the food. 3) I got to take pictures of the food and mess around with my schmancy new camera. 4) I got to try something new.
Honestly, I was a bit skeptical of Blue Apron, as I am of most things. First of all, a refrigerated box? OK, Tesla. Real fancy. Second of all, I’m a picky eater, and what if I didn’t like it, huh?
But I decided to try it anyway. I got a great deal through my Acorns (personal investing app) account in which Blue Apron would reinvest $30 in my account for trying it, plus I got $10 off the first box. Already, I’m playing with house money.
So my first box came just before Memorial Day weekend so, as I was heading out of town, I didn’t get to jump right in. The good news was that all of the ingredients still kept over the long weekend, and I was ready to get cooking starting last Tuesday.
First, the box itself is not refrigerated, which is what I was kind of envisioning, but the food comes in a box lined with an insulated wrapping and packed between ice packs. It was still very cold when it arrived, with no signs that the packs had started to melt. Very impressive.
I’m on the two-person, three-meal plan, but since Kyle is still away, I got to eat one portion of the meal for dinner and then have the second portion for lunch the next day. The perks of having a deployed boyfriend! (I am so joking.)
On the menu for my first box: Meatballs & Tomato Sauce with Asparagus and Creamy Rice; Spicy Korean Style Chicken; and Spiced Cod & Summer Squash Cakes.
Tuesday: Meatballs & Tomato Sauce with Asparagus and Creamy Rice
I chose to cook this meal first because I was certain I would like it. Who doesn’t like meatballs? Or creamy (cheesy) rice? Probably Vladimir Putin, that’s who. And I don’t want to have anything in common with Vladimir Putin.
Still, I did deal with some ingredients I’m not used to, namely Castelvetrano olives and golden raisins. I am not a fan of olives in any form, and it never occurred to me to add raisins to a meatball, but I told myself I would try each recipe as written. Turns out, once you cut up three olives and toss them in tomato sauce, they’re hardly noticeable.
As expected, this turned out to be my favorite meal of the bunch. The combination of flavors was excellent, and the unexpected touch of lime in the rice gave it a nice kick. It also kept well overnight and made for a great next-day lunch.
Wednesday: Spicy Korean-Style Chicken with Pickled Enoki Mushrooms & Roasted Vegetables
This one scared me the most. Mushrooms? Pickled mushrooms? Ordinarily I’d say no thanks, but I committed to trying all of these recipes as intended.
And you know what? I actually really enjoyed this. I probably wouldn’t eat the mushrooms again (and I didn’t when I had this for lunch), but I was a big fan of the rest of it as a whole. I was worried about how spicy the chicken would be, but it wasn’t terribly spicy at all, thanks to the addition of honey to balance out the sauce.
And my hypothesis that all vegetables should be roasted was once again proven correct because, turns out, when you roast cabbage, it doesn’t taste like complete ass. I was bracing for bad things with the cabbage, but it was actually great. This was my second-favorite meal of the bunch.
Thursday: Spiced Cod & Summer Squash Cakes with Dates & Baby Greens
Confession: I thought I would like this much more than I did, but it just fell flat for me. It was still edible, of course, but it wasn’t as interesting as the other dishes. The fish (ostensibly “spiced”) was pretty flavorless and the squash cakes were pretty soggy (probably a failing on my part, but still). Interestingly, I liked the baby kale I served with it, but otherwise I might skip out on future seafood purchases.
Overall, I loved my first Blue Apron experience. You get exactly the ingredients you need for the meal and no more, which means less food waste. I am always throwing out unused produce, and this is a nice solution. Plus, none of these meals took more than 40 minutes to make, which is key for me when I want a great meal and am short on time (a lot of the time). A great, interesting, easy meal? Sign me up!
I’ve decided to continue with Blue Apron for now as much as my budget and schedule allows. The great thing is you can opt out at any time and even skip deliveries if you need to. I’ve already skipped some either because it didn’t fit into my budget or I knew I was going to be out of town. But I’m getting my second box today, and I can’t wait to dig into this next round of meals.
This post is NOT sponsored by Blue Apron because I literally just started this blog five minutes ago underneath my troll bridge. I’m just really enjoying the product so far and am happy to recommend it. If you want to learn more about their pricing/options, click here.