Blue Apron

Friends, 
I’m about to make your Thursday. 
A few weeks ago, a dear friend gifted me a few Blue Apron meals to try out.

What is Blue Apron? So glad you asked….

Blue Apron is a new concept in grocery delivery, built around incredible cooking experiences.  We offer a once-a-week subscription service where we deliver all the fresh ingredients you need to make 3 meals, in exactly the right proportions.  We’ve designed our service to teach you fun new recipes, save prep time and also reduce unnecessary waste.  By letting us shop for you, we can bring you fresher and higher-quality food than you can get on your own in the supermarket, and for better prices!

So basically, they send you ALL the ingredients for 3 gorgeous, well-crafted meals (including the meats, the veg, starch and condiments). For those of you skeeved out by “meat in the mail” – they source locally and sustainably when possible and the whole delivery comes packed in ice packs.

So here’s the deal:
– You select the types of meals you want: Meat and Fish or Vegetarian.
– You pick how many people you’re serving (2, 4 or 6)
– You select delivery day (Thurs or Sat)
– You select delivery frequency:  Every week? Sure. Or pick and choose weeks ; they often post the following week’s menu ahead of time,  I see what’s available before selecting delivery.
– Wait for the magic to arrive!

My Blue Apron delivery:
I selected the two person option, and the cost for the three meals was $60
(roughly $9.99 per person, cheaper than Panera, folks).

IMG_5418As you can see, EVERYTHING is packed neatly and securely in a cold-pack box in the right proportion for 3 meals to serve 2 people each. Meats/Fish packed on the bottom with extra ice packs, veg/starch/condiments on the top.  IMG_5419

What I love about the presentation is that if you need 2 tbs of something you don’t use everyday; you just get 2 tbs without having to be stuck with a huge jar of something random, like corn starch (ahem, box that’s been in my pantry since summer 2011 when I made this).

For those of you who are seething with the packaging waste  – please know that I personally recycle my baggies and little bottles. If some almonds came in a little baggie? I’m using it again to pack another snack. The little bottles? Perfect for dressings from home.  I recycle the un-savable packaging (ie meat/fish packaging).
IMG_5420You also receive the full, step-by-step instruction sheets for the recipes. In my particular Blue Apron shipment, I had received the recipes and goods for the following:

-Chicken Mole Enchiladas
-Blackened Tilapia with Cheddar Cheese Grits and Pea Shoots
-Merguez-style Brochettes with Cauliflower “Cous Cous” and Salsa Verde

Um, kind of amazing. Nothing on this list has been part of my cooking repertoire EVER; yet every recipe was easy to follow and came out perfectly. Real talk.

I know what you’re thinking….
-I hate Mexican food!
-I don’t eat cauliflower!
-I don’t know what a pea shoot is!

Here’s the awesome part about having individual ingredients….don’t use them. I mean, yes, this defeats the purpose of Blue Apron overall, but if you hate Enchiladas, um don’t make them . You still have chicken, flour tortillas and vegetables….make roasted chicken sandwich wraps for lunch! Hate cauliflower? Great, make rice from your own pantry and feed the cauliflower to the dog! Don’t know what a pea shoot is? Blue Apron is broadening your culinary horizons, try it, you might become pea-shoot addicted? See, don’t fear the individual ingredients, EMBRACE them.

To kick off my Blue Apron meals, I had my friend over for dinner to test out the Chicken Mole Enchiladas. I did make a salad to go along with it; and served the enchis with some Greek yogurt, Avocado slices and diced scallions for topping.
IMG_5449

The verdict?  IMG_5450Awesome. I’m an avowed mole-hater and I wasn’t sure I was going to make the recipe to spec; but a friend, who also gets Blue Apron told me to TRUST the magic of Blue Apron.IMG_5451She was right. I was nervous to make my own mole sauce (chocolate? cumin? help). But again, the perfectly portioned ingredients made the sauce idiot-proof and the step-by-step instructions proved to turn out a perfect result. The sauce was deliciously savory and not at all gritty or sweet (my fears with mole); the chicken was fresh and tender and I loved that they sent whole wheat tortillas. My own toppings of greek yogurt and avocado were great; but not necessary.

The other two recipes proved to be equally easy and delicious (and I’m currently making the salsa verde from one of the recipes to put on um, EVERYTHING.

Blue Apron, you complete me (well, you complete my dinners).

Not a paid advertisement for Blue Apron. I just received a shipment from a friend, loved it and wanted  to share. Check it out! http://www.blueapron.com

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