Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Blue Apron Review {Part 1}

Do you get home from a busy day and stand in front of the fridge trying to decide what to make for dinner, like I do?  I have a fridge full of groceries that I just bought and I still have no idea what to make for dinner!

I've tried the whole meal planning thing -- plan my grocery list, plan my dinners for the week -- and that usually works most of the time.  I'll spend a couple of hours on Sunday or Saturday perusing Pinterest for recipes (because I can never remember what I made in the past and liked) and going to the grocery store.  So, it works out well when I have the time to do that.  But with the weather getting warmer, and Spring/Summer weekends getting busier I think it will be harder to find the time to meal prep each week.  

Last Summer, I tried Green Bean Delivery, hoping this would help save some time grocery shopping and meal planning.  Not to mention, I love having fresh fruits and veggies in the house at all times.  But even with all those fresh ingredients, I still felt a little stumped on what to do with them sometimes.  

When I saw this company called Blue Apron that ships all of the ingredients of a complete meal to your doorstep, I really wanted to try it out!  So, I contacted the company and they sent me all of this yummy food to try! 

My schedule is usually all over the place.  I can have meetings until 8:00 at night or be home and done working by 5:00.  So, no matter what my schedule is, I don't even have to think about what I am making for dinner with Blue Apron!

So, what is Blue Apron and how does it work? 

Blue Apron is pre-portioned, fresh ingredients to cook a meal at home, delivered straight to your door.  There is never a repeated recipe within a calendar year.  The recipes are seasonal, so you are guaranteed fresh ingredients from local farmers.  All meals are under 700 calories and always ship for free.  You can choose a family style plan for 4 people or the 2-person plan and recieve 2-3 meals a week.  You don't get to choose your meals, but you can specify items you don't like.  All of the meals figure out to be under $10 a person -- that's your meat and side items!  Watch this short video for all the details!

My first meal with Blue Apron...

I chose the Family Plan with family style meals for 4, receiving 2 meals a week for a total of 4 meals.  You can also have the option of the Family Plan and receive all 4 meals in the same week.  It was a little confusing figuring out the differences between the Family Plan and the 2-Person Plan.  I was provided the Family Plan with 2 meals a week for the review, so that is what I went with.  It worked out great because it left us with delicious leftovers the next day.

All of the ingredients come labeled and portioned so there is no waste.

There is some prep work.  So I had to dice and chop all of the fresh ingredients.  Thankfully the beef was already chopped into small slices because I kind of hate cutting raw meat!  I only used half of the fresh mushrooms because my husband doesn't like them, but he didn't even notice they were in there.

A cute little bottle of soy sauce!  All of their packaging is reusable, recyclable or biodegradable.  

I cooked the veggies separately and then placed them to the side on a plate.  Cooked the meat.  Then just mixed everything together with the soy sauce and black bean sauce.

 This was seriously SO delicious!!  I don't normally cook a lot of beef, I am more of a bird and fish eater, so this was a nice little treat for my husband who loves beef.  He said it tasted like something he would order from one of our favorite restaurants Kona Grill.  I was pretty proud of my fancy looking dish I whipped together in 30 minutes.  I actually think I could make this again.  They send you a recipe card that I will keep for future reference.  All of the ingredients are easy to find, nothing I would have to search high and low for and it was super easy to throw together with their tips.

We ate almost all of the 4 servings of the beef for dinner because it was that good!  And my husband ate the rest for leftovers the next day and he said it still tasted good!!!

My second meal with Blue Apron...

They sent us both of these meals together in one shipment.  Which is perfect for saving on packaging.  No need to pack them separately.  We received our shipment on a Thursday, which I didn't love.  I don't cook on the weekends, so the food had to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days.  I didn't take as many pictures during the prep of this meal because I was also entertaining our guests we invited over to enjoy the meal with.  We were discussing what "mole" meant and I just read that "mole" just simply means "mix" in Spanish.  So the Mole sauce is a mix of ingredients!

I wouldn't have thought to have sweet potatoes as a side to a traditional Spanish chicken dish.  But that's what I love about this.  They send you new ideas for dinners and ingredients I wouldn't typically cook with.

Chocolate with my chicken!?!?  Now we're talking!! :)

"Queso Fresco" means "Fresh Cheese" in Spanish.  It is a mild, light cheese comparable to feta cheese, goat cheese, or ricotta.  Used as a garnish on enchiladas, grilled items, or salads.

I love that they call this little brown bag packed with the small ingredients -- spices, chocolate, agave nectar -- Knick Knacks! :)

I pretty much HATE cutting onions!!  So, I never cook with them.  I cry every time and even wear my sunglasses sometimes when I do cut them!  

I threw in a salad as well, since we were feeding some extra mouths.  I wanted to make sure we had plenty of food and I just like having a salad with all of my dinner meals. 

Another delicious meal!  I will say I didn't love the mole sauce, even with the chocolate.  But what I did love was that we had something different for dinner for once besides our usual turkey burgers, chicken tacos, lettuce wraps, pork tacos, pasta, salads.....

I will for sure make these sweet potatoes again!  I never would have thought to garnish with diced avocado and this fresh cheese, but this was my favorite part of the meal.  The chicken mole was just okay I guess.  Overall, the four of us gave it two thumbs up!!  

I have two more meals arriving tomorrow that I will be cooking up next week.  I am super excited for the sausage and pasta dinner.  It looks delicious -- and simple.  Nothing crazy.  Simple is good sometimes.  

I am pretty adventurous when it comes to food, I don't mind trying new things, but I don't know about that second meal.  It will definitely be out of my comfort zone!  We will have to see how it turns out!

Have you ever tried Blue Apron or a food delivery service like it?

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