Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blue Apron

About a month ago, one of the bloggers I follow wrote a sponsored post for a new company called Blue Apron.  A subscription to their service gets you a weekly delivery of groceries for three different meals, recipes included.  At $10 per meal, it's about what I pay normally for dinner since I tend to eat out a lot during the school year.  I decided to give it a whirl to see if this would be a good option to cook more from home.

The Wednesday after I got back from San Diego, I found this waiting for me in the afternoon:

As promised, the box was refrigerator-packed and the food could absolutely sit on my porch for several hours without being compromised.

The recipes were on top, along with a weekly letter that talked about the three meals on the menu.  The tone of the letter was a bit overly enthusiastic, although I appreciated learning that in some versions of the Prometheus myth, a branch of fennel was at the center of the infamous flame.

Here are the full contents of the box:

I especially liked the packaged bags of "knick knacks"

which turned out to mostly hold spices.  Here are the beef ones:

And here are the resulting meals:

Roasted poblano peppers, rice and beef sautee with peptias and currants topped with lime-cilantro Mexican crema

Pan-seared salmon with marinated fennel root and an heirloom potato salad made with whole-grain mustard.  I added a bit of pain Greek yogurt on the side to cut the bitterness of the fennel.

Chicken sate with jasmine rice, marinated green tomatoes, and peanut sauce

The meals were tasty, healthy, and certainly more varied than I usually get.  I liked learning how to make peanut sauce, the green tomatoes in sweetened rice vinegar were a tasty discovery and my favorite food of the week, and I cannot describe how much easier it was to only shop for food for breakfast and lunch.  I signed up for the minimum order - 2 servings each of 3 different meals - and had enough to cover 6 dinners plus a couple of lunches.

The downside to the whole endeavor is the time - the fastest meal (the last one) took 40 minutes.  I've made a few more since this first week, and generally they clock in at 45 minutes-1 hour to prep and cook.  I don't mind that so much now, but I have my doubts about my willingness and ability to sustain this when I start getting home at 6:00.

P.S.  Blue Apron just notified me that I have earned credits to give away meals to three friends/family who haven't tried them yet.  Nice!  If you're interested, shoot me an email.

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