Good beer and good food go hand-in-hand but it murders my finances to go out every week. I bought a house in October with an adorable kitchen and felt the need to learn how to use it. Also…mortgages are freaking expensive…I HAVE to cook. I can’t afford to go out that much.
So in January, I made my New Years Resolution to cook 30 different dinners this year. After a couple of months of Pinterest recipes, I was getting exhausted buying new ingredients for every dish. (But dude, I have so much Crock-Pot, hair braiding, and essential oil knowledge now.) I stumbled upon a review of Blue Apron and fell in love. I love the portions, the produce quality, the variety, and the EXPERIENCE. I felt the need to evangelize this service…
First of all, I am an entry level home cook. I still don’t know how to chop a tomato properly or what temperature to bake a potato. It’s not uncommon for me to microwave potatoes and put cheese on top and call it dinner. I do that about once a week. But thankfully the steps Blue Apron lays out on the recipe sheets are really easy to follow. Don’t kid yourself though, it will take you 45 minutes to an hour to cook the dish. My significant other often comes over to help (but most importantly, eat) and it speeds up the process.
The produce has been extremely fresh, so fresh that I had to bake the avocado for the tacos for 15 minutes to soften it (Pinterest trick, hey!). The fish and chicken have been great too. No complaints. You DO need a lot of olive oil and I suggest using half the salt & pepper that the recipes require. They ask for it at almost every step…
The only thing I feel guilty about is all the packaging. I recycle almost all of it but it still makes me feel bad for all the plastic compartments…I guess you still buy things in plastic compartments at the grocery store but when I see a giant pile in my recycle bin from ONE dinner, I feel bad. I hope every Blue Apron user recycles. Jesus.
The other downside is the $60 a week price tag. This is a total steal, don’t get me wrong; I used to spend $40-$60 per meal before I started Blue Apron. It’s just that I can scrape by on a $50/week grocery bill for myself…but that’s the whole microwaving-a-potato-for-dinner diet thing. For those on a budget, I suggest signing up and only confirming one or two deliveries a month on Blue Apron’s delivery schedule. If you are cooking for yourself, divide the meal in half (or sometimes thirds) have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Here are my favorite meals:
Salmon with arugula, potatoes, radish, peas and a pink lemon/olive oil glaze.
Crispy cod tacos with a chipotle, cabbage slaw.
Seared chicken with purple potatoes, green apples, and kale in a dijon mustard sauce.
And a great vegetarian option: Black bean and quinoa enchiladas with roasted tomatillo and poblano pepper salsa.