09 November 2014

..::Product Review::.. Blue Apron

My Review of Blue Apron

What is it exactly?

     From the website. . .
"Blue Apron allows you to create delicious, chef designed recipes at home. 

We deliver all the fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. 

No trips to the grocery store and no waste from unused ingredients."


I was sent a box of (3) meals of my choice that feed (2) people from Blue Apron to review.  
The price for this box of Blue Apron Box is $9.99 per person per meal.  Shipping is free.  My box cost $59.94 total.

You are also able to skip boxes if you do not want one that week.

Packaging & Presentation of Blue Apron

Blue Apron is shipped in a large box that is labeled with 'Blue Apron' so you know what it is.  It's kind of important to know this because the food inside needs to be taken in right away and refrigerated.

The box is flip-top, which is really nice.  There are printed 'Handling & Storage' directions on one of the flaps.  There is also an 'eco-friendly packaging' note.

When the flaps are lifted, you are presented with a welcome letter outlining a few details and a little interesting history behind each meal that is presented in the box.  Under the welcome letter are the (3) recipes cards.  These cards are printed on heavy, glossy card stock.  They hold up well if you spill a little bit of food on it.  The cards are also printed in full-color and provide step-by-step preparation instructions and an ingredients list.

After lifting the papers, there is a silver cooler bag.  This bag is sealed to keep the ingredients super fresh.  

After taking out the ingredients of the box...

...you are left with a cardboard grate that separates the ingredients from a bunch of ice packs.  These packs are reusable.

The ingredients are all clearly labeled so you know which ingredient goes with which meal.

My Personal Experience with Blue Apron

I've purchased other 'food' boxes in the past, but what really attracted me to Blue Apron is that their food looks gourmet and delicious.  I love cooking gourmet, but I always am a little apprehensive when it comes to trying new flavors.  What Blue Apron ships me is what I cook, so it's really easy to get to try new things.  I'm a vegetarian (my husband isn't), but he likes to experiment new flavors with me.  I chose the vegetarian box, and the meals that were sent to me were:  Cannellini Bean & Parmesan Soup, Thai Pumpkin Curry, and Caramelized Fennel & Kale Bucatini.

Trey wanted to try the Cannellini Bean & Parmesan Soup for starters, so that is the first meal that I created.  The first thing I did was read the recipe card completely so I knew what to expect during preparation and cooking.

Next, I selected my products out of the silver cooler bag that I stuck in the fridge, and made sure that I had everything ready to go according to the card.

Oh!  Each recipe has a 'knick knack' bag which gives you a little extra flavor for the recipes.  Things like spices, cheese, demi-glace, etc.  These came wrapped in a brown bag.

Next, I prepared all of the ingredients. I chopped up the veggies and put each ingredient in its own bowl so I knew what was where and I didn't miss anything.

This particular recipe includes a side of Taleggio-Rosemary Toast, so I prepared that while the soup was cooking.

This made (2) servings at approximately 600 calories per serving.  Here is what it looked like when it was done:

This recipe was really, really fun to make.  Out of the entire box, it was my least favorite tasting, but I really enjoyed making it.  The toast was delicious and flavorful, but the soup lacked something-- I couldn't place my finger on it, but it was really bland.

The next night, we decided to make the Thai Pumpkin Curry.  Like the previous meal, I began with reading the recipe card.

There were a lot of ingredients in this meal, and a lot of preparation was necessary.  I chopped up a pumpkin (I've never ate pumpkin before, nonetheless chopped one up!), de-stem mustard greens, zest a lime, etc.  It was a lot of work before the actual cooking part.

As I made the curry base, I roasted the pumpkin in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.

It didn't take long to cook at all.  One thing that I do want to mention is be careful with curry.  I may be the only person in the world that wasn't aware that this is a super spicy paste, so I added the entire cup of it.  Good thing I love spicy food, or I would have been in a world of hurt. The forbidden rice was awesome, and I just love Thai basil, so everything came together well in the end.

This dish was strange, but lovely.  It combined sweet, salty, spicy, tropical, and earthen flavors to create a meal that sent my taste buds on a ride.  This meal makes (2) servings at approximately 650 calories per serving.  This was my second favorite meal in the box.

Lastly, on the third evening, Trey and I made the Caramelized Fennel & Kale Bucatini.  If you couldn't already guess-- I began with the recipe card. 

 This meal didn't have very many ingredients, so I got what was left out of the silver cooler bag. 

It was very easy to prepare, and I learned something while making this.  I had no idea that you could use all parts of the fennel bulb for one recipe.  I used the bulb, the stems, and the fronds for this recipe.  The preparation step probably took about 8-10 minutes, but I cheated and used the Slap Chop.

Here is the final product-- fancy and delicious!

This meal was my favorite out of all of the recipes. I will definitely make it again.  

This recipe makes (2) servings at approximately 700 calories per serving.

Pros of Blue Apron
  • Convenient-- recipes are shipped to your door.
  • Exciting-- you get to try new flavors and new meals that you normally wouldn't.
  • Bonding-- you can experience cooking with your spouse or kids.
  • Inexpensive-- you spend more at a restaurant in one night than the cost of this box that makes (3) meals.
  • There was enough food that my husband and I were able to have second helpings.
  • The quality and freshness of the food was unmistakable.  
  • Each meal was easily prepared in under 40 minutes.
Cons of Blue Apron
  • Menus are limited.  If you want a box, you choose from their menu, not what you want in specific.  For example, if you want lemon-pepper shrimp one night, your box probably will not contain that exact meal, so you have to keep your mind open to trying new things.
  • I think it would be neat if Blue Apron offered the option to add dessert to your box for a nominal fee, say $3.99 per person per dessert.  It would be totally optional, but I'd love to try some gourmet dessert to complement my meal!

        The Blue Apron box was so much fun to review!  It's not just about the food. It's about the experience.  Everything is pre-measured, and it's shipped right to you.  You can choose the size of your box-- anywhere from 2, 4, or even 6 people!  You can save some money and stop going out and spend time at home cooking with your family.  Everything is done for you, you just have to put it together!  Lastly, I wish Blue Apron would consider adding a dessert option in the future.

        Are you wanting to try Blue Apron, too?  Click the link below, and order away!  

        Click HERE to get TWO FREE MEALS with your first order!! (No coupon code necessary, sign up & you automatically receive two free meals in your box.)

        For further information, please visit Blue Apron on:

        DISCLAIMER:  I received the product mentioned above complimentary for review and testing purposes. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  All opinions stated above are solely mine, and have not been influenced in any way.  I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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