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.