Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Blue Apron Introduction & Meal #1

After watching many YouTubers talk about this service, I finally caved and decided to try out Blue Apron on a $20 off deal. So instead of paying $59.99, I paid $39.99 for the first week. My first delivery arrived on this past Saturday.  Blue Apron is a weekly subscription box of sorts where you can get either 3 meals for two people or 3 meals for a family.

They send you all the ingredients proportioned for the recipe and full color recipe cards. Blue Apron totes that they never repeat a recipe within 1 year, so I found that very attractive. As a self proclaimed foodie, this could be my chance to try a lot of unique things with good ingredients that I don't cook with regularly. I also thought that this could also expand my husbands taste-bud horizons. Plus not to mention, I usually cook 3-4 nights a week already, so this has cut down my trips to the store and our grocery bill. Obviously you don't need to buy as much when you're cooking using these meals.

I decided to go with the Omnivore option since my husband and I enjoy beef, chicken, pork and fish/shellfish. We have some pretty interesting meals, I selected Orange Beef Lo Mein with Gai Lan & Napa Cabbage, Chicken & Sage Biscuit Pot Pie with Cremini Mushrooms & Purple Top Turnip, and Shrimp Po' Boy Sandwiches with Butter Lettuce & Apple Salad.  Blue Apron suggest that you cook the fish/shellfish meals first so they are the freshest, so we started off with the Shrimp Po'Boy Sandwich meal.

When I started to unpack the box I was impressed with all of the exact amounts of ingredients. I like the fact that it's a waste-free way to cook.  I also liked that the calorie count for the meal was also included. That really takes the guess work out of what your eating.

Overall I was impressed with how they packed all of the food.  My only complaint was some very soggy butter lettuce that I received. I had to clean and separate out the bad leaves and I put the good and decent leaves between layers of paper towel to preserve them until I was able to cook the dish.

On a side note, I sent Blue Apron a Facebook message with photos of the lettuce and I got no reply.  I could have emailed them as well, but I guess I didn't feel like hunting someone down. From my point of view, for the ticket price of $10 a meal, I expect all of the ingredients to be fresh at time of delivery.

As I mentioned earlier, we started off with the Shrimp Po'Boy Sandwich meal. I cooked this last night,
As I started to do the prep work for this meal, I was concerned that there wouldn't be enough shrimp, but there was! It was a perfect amount actually.

My problems with the meal itself were as follows. First, the bread. It was really very chewy and almost too brown on the bottom (before I warmed it). Second, I didn't not like the salad dressing recipe, it was plain and the salad itself was plain as well. It really needed a 4th ingredient besides lettuce, parsley and apple.  It's just not to my liking. 

Now for what I liked about the meal. The seasoning on the shrimp was on point.  It was tasty and spicy and was near perfection. The amount of seasonings provided for the shrimp covered it really well.  I also liked the mayo/dijon mustard topping that was made for the sandwich. It was really good and accented the shrimp wonderfully.

In summary, the sandwich was a hit and the salad was a miss. Would I pay $10 for this in a restaurant? I could totally see being charged $10 or more for this meal in a restaurant.  The recipe card said that it would take 15-25 minutes to make. I'm a experienced home cook and it took me 20 minutes for prep, which is a little longer than I'd like, but not bad. The only thing that could make it any quicker is if everything was pre-cleaned and chopped (but I'm sure that would raise the price). Including cooking time and plating, it took me a hair under 35 minutes to get this meal on the table.

I'd rate this meal 3.5 forks out of 5, but since I don't do half ratings, I'll round up to 4.  Have you tried this meal? If so, let me know what you thought of it.

I'll be doing more reviews of Blue Apron meals, so come back soon to see what other recipes I'll be cooking.

Happy eating,

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