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With so many meal delivery services on the market today, it’s been hard to sift through them all to see which are really worth the price. It’s true, $60 for three meals for two isn’t cheap, but if you calculate it in comparison with ordering take out on busy evenings, this becomes much cheaper. Blue Apron is the first meal delivery service I’ve tried where you cook your own meals. I like the idea since I do love to cook, yet still giving me three nights off from meal planning. All of the meals are listed as two portions unless you purchase a larger package, however I’ve found that some of the meals do give me enough to feed three. Blue Apron will hold your credit card information on file and you choose which weeks you would like to receive the delivery. You enter into the site, go to the Delivery Schedule section and can choose to skip one or all of the upcoming deliveries. You have until one week prior to finalize your selections. This gives you enough time to review the upcoming menu and decide if you’d like it to be delivered. I’ve been a member of Blue Apron for a few months before I took the leap, as I just wasn’t sure if I’d like the concept. They did not ever charge me anything for any of my skipped weeks.
There are not many ways that you can customize the menu, you choose if you are vegetarian (at this time there is no vegan option) or if you eat meat, pork or seafood. However you can review the menu before ordering for that week, so you are able to skip that delivery if there are ingredients you do not like or have allergies to. Jessica and I shared this delivery, she prepared the Summer Saute, while I prepared the Potato Rosti and the Quinoa Tabbouleh & Fairy Tale Eggplants. All the ingredients were easy to split between us, so this is an option to split with a friend or family member. The box arrives via courier with ice packs to maintain freshness. You will need to refrigerate the ingredients as soon as possible, but it does stay fresh for a few hours after delivery.
All of the ingredients will be labeled with what they are (i.e. carrot, eggplant, basil, spice mix) and some will be inside paper bags with the recipe label (i.e. summer saute). You will also receive three recipe cards that have pictures and legible, easy to follow, step-by-step directions on how to prepare each meal. You simply read the card, choose the ingredients needed for that recipe and follow the detailed instructions. The two meals I prepared, the Potato Rosti and the Quinoa Tabbouleh & Fairy Tale Eggplants, took less than 45 minutes each to prepare, and that was with photos and notes in between to make this review. I can easily say that each could take only 20-30 minutes from start to finish if I hadn’t stopped in between.
This is a great option on hectic nights, as usually it takes just as long to decide on a restaurant, order and pick up a take-out meal. The meals were very healthy, delicious and even my meat loving fiancé loved them, he especially liked the Potato Rosti. The Quinoa Tabbouleh & Fairy Tale Eggplants was only enough for two servings, however the Potato Rosti would have been enough for three to have a nice meal. Overall I think this is a great option for those hectic weeks where I know I’ll be tempted to order take-out or delivery. I loved that the ingredients are fresh, whole ingredients, which is a much healthier alternative to many hectic mid-week meals as well. With each meal averaging about 500 calories, I could definitely see this as an accompaniment to a weight loss plan. Thanks Blue Apron for letting us try out your service and I look forward to ordering again in the future!