Thursday, September 1, 2016

Blue Apron = Life Changing

I’ve read a lot of reviews about the various meal delivery services that are now offered, so I thought I too would weigh in. When I see the words “life changing” I can’t help but agree! We’ve been getting Blue Apron now for about 5 months. We received our first shipment completely free thanks to a code from a friend who was already a customer. We were hooked and now it is rare to have a week where we don’t get a box from them. Each week, there are 6 meals to choose from. We do the 2 person plan so we get to pick 3 meals. The only issue is that sometimes the exact 3 meals you want might not be available in your area. So on those rare weeks where nothing is appealing to us we skip it. You can plan out as long as a month ahead, so you know what you will be getting each week. Seriously, I love this service so much that I am thinking of joining another site so that the weeks Blue Apron doesn’t entice us, we can order from somewhere else!
We get our deliveries on Wednesdays, and everything is packaged nicely with freezer packs. You get the exact amount of what you need for each recipe, so no waste! And the portions are perfect, so again, no waste and you are not left feeling hungry. Now, some things have been so amazingly good though I wish we would have had seconds! The recipes are easy to follow and have all been delicious! I can only think of maybe 2 that we haven’t enjoyed as much, but certainly nothing that we felt was inedible.
There are so, so many reasons why we love this. Grocery shopping can be stressful enough, so it has lightened my load in knowing that for 3 nights of the week, my meals are planned! And planned with fresh, clean foods! And no waste!!! We are both trying new things constantly, which, for anyone who knows me I can be labeled a picky eater. Jon and I are picky about different things but I think we’ve both done a good job and trying everything we have made. If there is a meal I picked that Jon absolutely doesn’t want to try, I just pack it up for my lunch at work. As we sat down to one meal in particular, I said that first of all it's something I would never order out and if it were served to me I probably wouldn't try it. But since I made it, and I saw exactly what went into it, I am more apt to give it a go. Isn't that weird? It has made me enjoy cooking again, whereas before it was just another thing that needed to be done at night. I am even learning new tricks and techniques. There is a plan for families but with the ages of our kids we feel it best to have it just for us for now. I know, I know I have already ruined my kids because I was not giving them worldly foods at 6 months old, but try not to judge me too much.
I haven’t seen any repeats yet, although we would certainly order some things again and again! Here is what I have noticed though….. you will zest a lot of lemons and limes. I appreciate the added natural flavor but have never done this so much!!! Be prepared to eat a lot of kale, collard greens, zucchini, cucumber…. Those are the most repetitious ingredients that I can think of right now. I am curious to see if they change as the seasons do, or if they are used simply because they are hearty enough to pack/travel. You make most everything on the stove top, even meat, which is unusual for us because we either cook our meat in the oven, grill or crock pot. So as you can imagine, my stove top is a complete mess of splattered oil! In order to layer/enhance the flavors, you will use the same pan for the entire meal. You might have several steps of sauteing with the meat being last so by that time, the pan/oil is so hot there is no working around the mess. But, I will deal.
We have remade some of the recipes, and they have turned out just as good! Such as:
Grains of Paradise-Crusted Steak with Mashed Plantain, Collard Greens and Ginger Peanuts - I am obsessed with Plantains now!

And the Ginger Pork Burgers with Black Bean Mayo & Furikake-Dressed Green Beans - Cucumbers on a burger???? Who knew? 
Some combinations may have you scratching your head, like potatoes on pizza? Corn on pizza? But, just try them - they know what they are doing! Both of these pizzas were excellent and now we have new ideas for pizza toppings. We have long made our own pizza and the dough Blue Apron sent was so good I asked them what brand it was. We are happy to hear we can find it at Whole Foods.
 Mushroom & Potato Pizza with Fontina Cheese, Spinach & Garlic Oil
 Sweet Corn & Tinkerbell Pepper Pizza with Fontina Cheese & Baby Kale
 Aaannnnddddd, a couple of meals that I sit and daydream about since they were so good and want to remake soon. A sandwich? Trust me, any sandwich we have gotten from them has been beyond expectations, starting with the bread they use! The chicken sandwich.... something about the sweet slaw really makes this one!
Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwiches with Endive & Marinated Cucumber Salad
 Chicken & Buttermilk Biscuit Sandwiches with Shredded Collard Green & Carrot Slaw
We certainly have modified some recipes too. There were a couple of occasions where we got pasta dishes which we added things to (although, they would have been wonderful as is). I obviously cannot say enough good things about this service! Want to try for yourself? I have 5 offers for someone to get their first week free! Just comment your email and I will send it along.
First photo my own, all others courtesy of Blue Apron

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