I have always been proud of the fact that my mom taught me how to cook. When I was little, she would give me small tasks like peeling lumpia wrappers or peeling hard boiled eggs for pansit. As I got older, I learned how to chop vegetables and begin every meal by frying onions and garlic.
Now that I am an adult living on my own, I enjoy experimenting on my own in the kitchen, but I have also noticed that I generally stick with the same ingredients and rotate the same meals. I may have a little bit of variation (Ex: Do I want lemon chicken or lime chicken? Should I fry or bake my pork chop? Should I pair this with a Caesar salad or just have a bowl of greens?)
When I first heard about Blue Apron, I was a little bit skeptical. Would it really be safe to have food delivered to me in the mail? Would the ingredients be fresh? And most importantly, would the resulting meal be any good?
About a month ago, they were offering a deal, so I decided to give it a try. I chose the two meal plan, which sends you three meals, enough for two people once a week. The process itself was pretty simple. I went to the website which offered six meals each week, and you’re supposed to pick three. The one gripe I had was that they were only available in certain combinations. You might want three meals, but you weren’t guaranteed that you can get those three together. After consulting with my fellow foodie best friend, I selected Crispy Catfish Ramen, Chicken Meatballs with Braised Kale and Spicy Celeriac and Chili Rubbed Steak with Quick Kimchi and Tomato Rice.
All of the ingredients came packed in a large insulated box, well labelled and yes, fresh. After unpacking the box and making sure that I had everything, I encountered advantage to Blue Apron #1: I would NEVER consider using some of these ingredients on my own. In fact, I had never even heard of celeriac, but it turned out to be quite delicious with the chicken meatballs! When cooking on my own, I also run into the problem of a recipe only needing a teaspoon of a particular spice and then having to buy a whole jar that eventually ends up losing its potency on my spice rack. I did also learn, however, that because the produce is fresh, you have to use it pretty promptly or you run the risk of it going bad. I suggest cooking the meal that has the most perishable produce first to avoid this problem.
I loved how the directions were so easily laid out. Each meal comes with an easy to understand recipe card that outlines everything from chopping ingredients to plating. They’re especially helpful for beginning cooks. (In fact, Blue Apron was named for the blue aprons that beginner cooks wear when they start culinary school.)
But of course, the most important thing was the end result. Were the meals good? And I have to say that yes, they were!
It’s hard to even pick a favorite, but I especially enjoyed the blend of flavors and textures in the catfish. Another plus is that while the meals are supposed to be enough for two people, I could usually get three portions out of them. And don’t they look great? They were equally as tasty!
So, the overall question: Is it worth the money?
As a single woman, I wouldn’t commit to a weekly subscription, but it is something that I would enjoy once a month. The convenience of receiving three meals with all the needed ingredients at your doorstep is pretty convincing, and Blue Apron meals would make a fun stay in date night. There’s nothing quite like bonding over food. My take: give it a try when they’re holding special promos. Decide for yourself if it’s for you. If you’re not interested in the deliveries, I would at least strongly suggest trying the recipes on the website at www.blueapron .com