So I got a super coupon for blue apron and thought i'd give it a try - as Jeff and I both work/study long hours and don't always make the best choices for food if it isn't pre thought out during the weekend time. So, I signed up, picked my recipes and sure enough, it came the next Friday on my door step, all packaged up cute and cold from being in the elements.
For those who pay full price (and I would have had to after the first delivery), it's $60 a week (there is also a more expensive family option for four) for three meals that serve two people - granted they would probably serve three - but remember that Jeff walks 12 miles a day as a USPS man and eats a million calories.
I thought - hey - if I like it, I'll get it every other week (at $60 - which yo - I do not spend that much a week normally - THANK YOU SAMS CLUB) and then it will all be mindless - waiting for me to unpack at my doorstep.
Here's a snap of what was inside:
It seemed all fine and good, but looking at the quality of the produce, I was a bit disappointed. Maybe I'm just spoiled by our great chain of grocery stores, Hyvee and Sam's Club, that have excellent and fresh produce with a wide variety. But my veggies were a bit wilted and sad looking - dull colors and sad, moist and cold leaves.
Included for each recipe are recipe cards, with infographics of how to prepare the meal, and "knick knack" packs with some small assorted things they didn't want to pack alone.
Interestingly, as I used the knick knacks a lot of it was just store-packaged food. For example, one recipe used tomato paste and it was literally a can of tomato paste *that I could have bought for $.48 or something like that*. The mozarella was in the same packaging as I would have bought myself at Hyvee.
I conveniently took photos of each recipe so you could get a glimpse at the recipes included.
The first was a mushroom and spinach stromboli (which btw I don't like mushrooms).It took about 35 minutes to prepare the dough, cut up all the stuff, make the sauce while the stromboli was cooking, etc.
The left is their recipe card photo and the right is mine *I didn't include the sauce in the photo - oops*. Ok, so I didn't do so bad, right?!!?!?!
One - I don't like mushrooms, so it wasn't that good for me *Jeff liked it*. No protein included in this meal (you get two protein meals and one without per week). But remember if I paid full price this would have been a $20 meal. hmmm.
The second was Chicken Paillard with potato fennel meyer lemon sauce - which was made with a fennel bulb - which I have never even heard of. It was really good roasted though. I added onions to the recipe, a bunch of extra potatoes because the amount provided NEVER would have fed Jeff - and this photo doesn't include the chicken in it - which was suggested to pan fry, but I never do that so I baked it instead. Now, granted this was supposed to include olives - which I can't stand (Do I seem picky?? I swear its only mushrooms and olives). So I didn't include them. It seemed like a pretty basic recipe and didn't seem all that flavorful considering, though it ended up being ok.
Remember - $20 meal - most expensive part would have been the two chicken breasts. Took about 35 minutes to make because yo, i had to cut a lot of veggies and roast that fennel.
Again, I didn't do so bad, right?? It kind of looks like the pic ;)
Last but not least, the Bucatini Bolognese with brussels sprouts - again a $20 meal - most expensive part would have been the ground beef (which there wasn't that much of) and the tomato paste came in the store can. This one was pretty yummy. It took about 30 minutes to make.
But is it truly worth $20 a meal, still having to prepare it myself, wash and chop the veggies, follow a recipe because I don't know what I'm supposed to do with their ingredients and pray it turns into something that I actually like? Can't I do that on my own with my own recipes (including the ones available on their website), fresher and better produce, for a significantly lower price with the help of Sam's club and hyvee (where I also gain gas money for certain purchases I make)? - Now I am a poor medical student that has little time to be cooking and doing what I call extraneous life tasks (lol) - but seriously - Hyvee offers an option that allows me to get my groceries delivered for $4 if its an order under $100, or free if over $100. So I can literally choose 8 recipes for two weeks, peruse and select my grocery list online in my downtime between hospital and class, and have it delivered at a time convenient to me and still get to select what recipes I actually like and novel recipes I want to try out, with fresh produce, in quantities that Jeff can eat - at an extremely cheaper cost. I'm no Rachael Ray, but me and my crockpot, PC Deep Covered Baker, and InstantPot are really good friends.
Ok - this may not seem like a novel Ideal - something that practically everyone does already (buy their own groceries and cook their own recipes) - but Blue Apron is raved about and thousands of people use it. Maybe if I was rich and wanted to try a diverse menu that I don't select myself?
What do you think? Have you tried a food service like Blue Apron and have a different experience?
For me - nah. I'll stick to my cheap 'ole convenient but fun crockpot recipes, my zoodles, and try the (cheaper) novel things when it's convenient and selected by me :).
M3 at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine