A few months ago Laurel brought up the subject about meal services. In particular the meal service Blue Apron. Laurel was given a coupon to try our first shipment from Blue Apron and asked what I thought about such a meal service. Being I have been listening to podcasts for a while, I had heard of Blue Apron as one of the sponsors to many of those podcasts. About at the same time, our local television station did a story on the different meal services. The TV station tested three services and rated each of them very well. So Laurel one day placed our first order to Blue Apron. The weekly plan we chose was for three meals for 2 people. The weekly cost for this plan is 60 dollars or 20 dollars for a nightly meal for two. At first, the cost seemed high but Laurel and I talked the pros and cons of such a service.
We first compared the cost of dining out at a chain restaurant in our town. Ten dollars per person is a standard price for a meal in our area. Our favorite Lenten Friday night fish fry at the local Catholic church is eleven dollars per person. With the pricing comparable to a night out, I guess we will have three date nights at home for the week. Blue Apron stated we didn’t have to receive a shipment each week, but we could choose the weeks we wanted the meals delivered. This was a great bonus to their service. There would be weeks where we would be on vacation or have a busy schedule in the evenings keeping us from home. We made the mindset to purchase at least one week of meals per month. So far that seems like, a good plan.
Each week we go to their website and choose 3 of the 6 meals that we would like to receive. If you don’t make any choices, Blue Apron has a standard set of meals for the week. You don’t have to fear to receive the same meal week after week, on one of the podcast it was stated meals don’t repeat for a year. That’s over 300 different meals to choose from over the year. Maybe one small negative is if you see four great meals one week you might have to forgo one of your choices and maybe not have an opportunity is select that meal in the future. After you make your choices, sit back and wait for the Fex Ex truck to arrive at your door. Our delivery day here at Prickly Ash Hill is on Wednesdays.
One day our first shipment arrived to our front door. Laurel was home that day and sent me a photo of our box. She opened the box and pulled the food from the box putting most of the food in the refrigerator. When I finish work I drove home and Laurel showed me the prized ingredients from the box. I looked over the ingredients and wondered what was Laurel going to eat for dinner. The quantity seemed awfully meager for feeding just me let alone both of us. I was already planning what to snack on later in the evening.
(This weeks shipment of meals)
The first night was Southern Italian Cod Stew with Pizza Bianca. The cod stew had potatoes and whole tomatoes spiced with pepper flakes and capers. To us it was a different way of making a fish meal. The Pizza Bianca was basic baked pizza crust. The recipe card stated 15 minutes for prep time and 25-35 for cooking time. Thus in 45 minutes we should be seated and enjoying our first Blue Apron meal.
Laurel took the chef reigns first and I went outside and did some chores. She followed the step by step recipe card and the timing was perfect! Blue Apron took the time to measure the timing of each step. As the time for baking the pizza crust was ticking away she was boiling the potatoes for the stew. Each step didn’t seem rushed nor have open standing time. When she got to the final step and plated the meal the pizza crust was baked and the stew was completed and ready for a bowl.
Then came the taste test and critique of our first Blue Apron meal. The stew was a great variation for a fish meal. Laurel didn’t add a lot of red pepper flakes because she didn’t want to overpower the dish. I could have had more pepper flakes for a spicer dish or added a few drops of pepper sauce. The dish was very enjoyable and full of flavor. The Pizza Bianca was a cracker like bread and left us a little disappointed.
We had two more meals for the week. Seared Chicken & French Lentils and Spiced Beef Pitas & Garlic Lebneh. These meals were also fabulous. Easy instructions and finishing with a meal with great flavor. Since that first week we have purchased a few more weeks of meals and went to their website and downloaded a few recipes and gathered the ingredients ourselves for those meals. We also tried a meal kit from HyVee, a grocery store, and ordered from Hello Fresh. Their meals were a little more plain on flavor but still good. Blue Apron is opening our vegetable experiences thru their meal ideas. This year we also signed up for a CSA from a local farmer instead of having our own garden. The CSA is offering a few vegetables we wouldn’t have grown and with Blue Apron we are finding ways to prepare those vegetables.
Are we happy with Blue Apron as a meal service? The answer is yes! We have enjoyed each meal we have prepared. We find ourselves full and satisfied after each meal, with a calorie count around 600-800 calories. The meals are full of real and whole foods that grandma grew in her garden and raised in the barnyard. The type of food she used to make her meals for a hungry family.