Monday, June 30, 2014

Have you heard about... Blue Apron.

It's been a while since I've done a "Have you Heard About" post, and never before have I dedicated an entire post to 1 "you-must-know-about-this" item, but guys, this one is that good! So... have you heard about Blue Apron!?

I first read about Blue Apron HERE and then it started popping up on other blogs and in my social media feeds. My curiosity was piqued so when I saw a deal on Gilt City I decided to go for it. Here's the scoop:
- Blue Apron is a delivered-once-a-week subscription service for meals. The delivery you receive includes all the ingredients you need to make 3 meals, already divvied up into the right proportions (e.g., 6 oz salmon, 3 tsp paprika, 1/2 cup rice, etc) plus a colorful, step-by-step recipe card.
- You can order your 3 meals for 2, 4 or 6 people
- The cost of a 2-person Blue Apron delivery is $59.99 per week (aka, $10 per person, per meal)
- There is no additional delivery charge and you set your exact delivery day/time on the BA website (delivery map HERE). The box is insulated/contains ice packs so you have wiggle room before you need to get it into your fridge
- There is no commitment. The service sets you up to receive a box each week, but you can cancel any time before the weekly cut off and you can skip as many weeks in a row as you need.

My first delivery arrived promptly as scheduled and I was amazed at how neat and well labeled everything was:
Life does not come more self-explanatory than this

I cooked on Mon, Tues and Sunday last week. Here are the final results in all their "hellz yeah I made that!" glory:
Beef & Bulger-Stuffed Squash w Caesar Salad

Pan-Seared Salmon over Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous
with Fava Bean-Olive Relish

Chicken Thighs with Caramelized Fennel and Onions
& Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
They even guide you on how to plate everything to make it look extra purdy!! 

So ok, Blue Apron final thoughts:
* Pros
- Delicious! All 3 of our meals were awesome and far more fancy and inventive than anything I typically prepare. 
- The recipes are incredibly easy to follow, plus you get to start a collection of these laminated cards for future re-use.
- Diversity. In 1 week we ate beef, chicken and salmon. Niiiice.
- Everything was fresh and tasted it!
- The portion sizes were perfect. Fills you, but not stuffed, definitely not skimpy

* Cons
- BA definitely cuts down on food waste, but not packaging waste. All the little zip lock baggies and containers had me feeling more than a little bad for the environment.
- You can't select exactly which 3 meals you want from the weekly "On the Menu" page. BA selects 3 and if there's something you don't like, you go to your preferences and say "No fish", then they auto-select a different 3, cutting out the fish. Unfortunately this means you may lose the chance to try another recipe that you did like because BA decides which 3 create the best compliment to one another. My fingers are crossed they change this policy soon.
- It is SUPER easy to follow these recipes, but they are definitely more complex than my usual weeknight meals (more ingredients, more prep, more things to clean after). That said, the food is way tastier/more inventive than my usual fare and I don't think it's more than 20 extra minutes spent (plus Dr. H has been helping more which is fun!)

This is the PERFECT subscription for people who like to cook, but need to make the process as streamlined as possible. From a cost perspective, I would have a hard time doing better at the grocery store buying all these ingredients and from a final product standpoint, I couldn't have been more pleased with myself for preparing 3 delicious meals last week. PLUS, Blue Apron makes an awesome wedding gift (nothing says newlywed like cooking together) or maybe use it when you're planning to host a dinner party? The possibilities are endless, so I highly suggest you get your Blue Apron on today!

Reader's Note: This is not a sponsored post, I just loved me some Blue Apron THAT MUCH!

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