I love to cook but the past 6 months or more, I’ve become very lazy and just didn’t enjoy the whole process as much as I used to. Cooking for one can be a drag right? My diet has been, to say the least, deplorable and I have the added weight gain to prove it. I needed to make a change, but still really didn’t want to go back to spending a full day in the kitchen on Saturday, preparing food for the following week. Enter Blue Apron –
I’d heard of services that will deliver food to your door on a weekly basis. All the ingredients you will need for each meal, all in neat individual containers. It seems to be all the rage lately. There are several companies to choose from, a range of delivery options, meal plans, competitive pricing and they all seem to include free shipping. I decided to give it a try. I chose the 3 meals a week for 2 people, (the smallest offering they have) with my deliveries on Fridays, for $59.95 this was reasonable.
I received my first box as promised on the date it was promised. It was indeed packed very well. The proteins (chicken, ground beef, shrimp) were packed on the bottom between 2 heavy ice bricks for lack of a better word, that were wrapped in a heavy plastic over wrap. The fresh veggies and the “Knick Knacks” as they call them were on top. The entire contents are wrapped in insulated packaging.
The Knick Knacks are individual paper bags, labeled for each dinner and contain the spice(s), butter, vinegar etc that you’ll need for a particular meal, as well as a Nutritional breakdown of each meal. You need to provide your own Olive Oil, salt and pepper, otherwise, they provide everything you need. Included in the box are also full page, heavy laminated recipe cards with a picture of the finished product, all the ingredients, step by step instructions and even what wine pairing they suggest. What could be easier right?
Yes, it is easy, what I take issue with is the time. This is strictly a personal thing!! I don’t know about you, but when I get home from work, I normally change clothes into my comfy stuff, sort any mail, feed the cat, little things. I don’t walk in the door and start cooking! So it may take 15 minutes to actually get into the kitchen. Then comes the cleaning of the veggies, chopping, dicing, mincing etc – the over all prep – to begin cooking. It can take up to 45 minutes before any actual cooking begins. Then the kitchen clean up and washing dishes after eating. Nope, gets to be too late, at least for me. Again, this is a personal preference.
As for the meals themselves, I have only prepared 2 so far and have frozen the 3rd (uncooked) meal of my first shipment and all 3 (uncooked) meals of the 2nd shipment. They state that any fish needs to be cooked within 24 hours, and all chicken, beef etc, be used within 4 days, or frozen. Each meal is supposed to be 2 servings, my first was enough for 4 servings. Since I don’t want to prepare each meal when I get home, My choice would be to cook all 3 meals over a weekend, but I would have more food than I could eat during the week. I would end up freezing so much every week at this rate. Again, this doesn’t work out for me, my freezer would end up overflowing with food.
How did it taste? The shrimp/spaghetti/broccoli was rather bland. One of the ingredients was Quark and I think had there been more of that, the sauce would have been a little creamier and a little more flavor. I didn’t feel adding more pasta water would have helped, it would have been too thin. I used more garlic than called for, and most of the red pepper flakes. The shrimp were very small but there were quite a few, they did taste fairly fresh. The dish was better the next day, the pepper flakes and lemon became more pronounced. Were I to cook this again, I would not have cooked the shrimp with the already cooked broccoli as instructed. Rather, I would have added the cooked broccoli to the dish at the end and just mixed it in.
Needless to say, I have cancelled my account. Everything I received last week, I immediately froze because I wouldn’t have the opportunity to cook everything in the suggested time. My suggestion is if you work from home? Are retired? Then this is a great option. But for me, the time spent in the kitchen for each meal just doesn’t work.
I will need to get back into the kitchen like I used to and start eating right. I would suggest that if you do cook and know your way around a kitchen, if you don’t agree with the order of their steps, make the recipe your own. I would have done a few things differently on each of the 2 meals I prepared.