Wow, these recipe + ingredients delivery services are really taking off! I wrote a review of Grubkit last year–a service that lets you choose a recipe you want to make and they send you a kit that consists of pre-measured non-perishable ingredients and a simple recipe. All you need to do is buy the fresh ingredients and make your meal. Blue Apron takes it a step further. It’s a weekly service that sends you the ingredients and recipes for three meals, for however many servings you choose. You can pick vegetarian or non-vegetarian meals. Unlike Grubkit, Blue Apron sends you everything. Aside from oil and salt, you are delivered every single ingredient you need for your meal.
I was very fortunate that my friend Lynda hooked me up with a free trial for Blue Apron. I selected the non-vegetarian option. The recipes for that week included crispy chicken chopped salad, roast beef with horseradish sour cream and carrots, and shrimp and asparagus fried rice.
I received a big, insulated box with all my neatly organized and labelled ingredients, as well as the three recipes printed on big cards with step-by-step photos and instructions.
I was pleased with the quality of meat, seafood, and produce. I love that they use seasonally inspired recipes, and I found all three to be fairly clean and nutritious. I mean I wouldn’t usually make breaded fried chicken, but when you control the amount and the quality of oil used, and it’s served on a massive plate of vegetables, I’m happy to call that a clean meal. All three recipes were pretty solid for the most part, but they were more everyday-eating as opposed to gourmet. When you’re churning out 6 recipes every week, I guess it’s understandable that Blue Apron doesn’t have time to develop well-tested, mind-blowing recipes. But hey, we don’t need gourmet everyday. My onlycomplaint was they suggested stir-frying with olive oil. No, no, no. At the high temperatures you’re supposed to be stir-frying with, you should be using an oil with a higher smoke point.
I think Blue Apron is a fantastic option for a busy person who still wants to prepare their own meals using fresh ingredients, and is willing to pay a premium for the convenience of having their meals picked out for them and delivered to their door. It comes up to about $10 per meal which is very comparable to take-out, and totally worth the extra effort of cooking it yourself because your meal will be far more nutritious and will probably taste better too. However, if you’re like me and like to do your own food shopping and meal planning, it might be a little restrictive and you would end up spending more than if you went to the grocery store. The good news, if you fall somewhere between these two personality types, is that you have the option of skipping future shipments at no cost if you don’t like what they’re sending you, or if you know you won’t be able to cook all three meals that week.
Final verdict: I’m a fan! It might not be the right option for me right now but I will totally consider signing up again if life gets busier and I need a little extra help in continuing to cook and eat clean, seasonal meals every week. Go check out Blue Apron and give it a try!
- $9.99 per person, per meal with free shipping (minimum order of 2 servings of each of the 3 recipes)
- Fresh, seasonal ingredients delivered to your door (no need to sign for package)
- Each serving is approximately 500-700 calories. Calories are estimated and printed on each recipe card.
- You can either pick three vegetarian meals or three meat/fish/poultry meals. As of right now, no mix and match.