Monday, September 08, 2014

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Blue Apron Meals

I received a free trial of Blue Apron Meals from a friend and was holding onto it for a few weeks before I decided on which delivery week to get. If you're not familiar with Blue Apron, they are a meal delivery company that will ship you a box of ingredients to make 3 different meals for $9.99 per serving per meal. I think it's a great idea for those who don't like to meal plan and go grocery shopping which I think is many of us. I usually don't decide what I'm making for dinner until the same day or sometimes even minutes before I start cooking, as I am looking through the fridge and cupboard to see what I can make with what I've got. I would definitely use the service more if they used organic produce and had gluten free options. Until then, I will keep my eye on the schedule and if anything I can't resist comes up I'll be sure to request it.

What I Liked:

  • Being able to choose which weeks I want and don't want to receive easily from the site.
  •  Getting email notifications with what is scheduled for the coming week and review the recipes beforehand.
  • The quality of the fresh produce was very good. Nothing was wilted or spoiled.
  • Photography and styling for the recipes is very well done and on glossy card stuck that is easy to clean if spilled on.
  • Everything you need to make the dish is included in the box in the measurements needed. Most of the fruits and vegetables however require washing and chopping yourself. 
  • Able to choose how many servings for your delivery (options of 2 or 4)
  • The recipes are available online whether you sign up for their service or not. Click the titles below to see the recipes for the three I received.
  • Vegetarian option is available. 
  • Delivery choices of Tues-Sat
  • A history of what you've received previously

What Could Use Improving:

  • Would love to see gluten free meal options.
  • Organic produce would be nice. I try to avoid inorganic and GMO produce as much as possible.
Below is a recap of the 3 meals that I received. Not all of them were gluten free but I chose a week with minimal gluten.

Chicken Satay

Chicken Satay Ingredients Chicken Satay
The chicken satay was probably my favorite of the three meals. I don't recall ever having green tomatoes before and it was fun trying something new and definitely something I would eat again. They had a nice crunch you won't get from a red tomato. The sauce had a lot of ingredients I don't normally keep in my pantry so this is where Blue Apron comes in handy. I wouldn't want to go out and buy a bunch of these ingredients and only use them once. Since they only provide the amount you need for the recipe it's no problem. For this recipe the chicken was not pre-cut and the instructions didn't seem clear that you needed to cut them yourself as it wasn't in the instructions. I would have realized that if I had read through all of the instructions before making it which is something you should always do. Marinating the chicken before cooking it kept it from getting dry after frying and it got a nice char on it. It's something I'd make again if I had all the ingredients on hand.

Pan Seared Salmon

Pan Seared Salmon Ingredients Pan Seared Salmon
This was a dish that didn't have any surprising or unique ingredients except maybe the tarragon and fennel which are usually easy to find. So I could have made this dish fairly easily without help from Blue Apron but the recipe was good and everything came out well. I was surprised by the quality of the salmon. I'm not sure what kind of salmon it was but the skin crisped up very well and I didn't overcook it which is very easy to do with salmon. That's why I like using my Sansaire to sous vide it and always get the perfect temperature every time.

 Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Stuffed Pepper Ingredients Stuffed Peppers
This was the last recipe I made and the least favorite of the three. Maybe because I am half Mexican, I expect more from Mexican food. If you like Mexican, I recommend Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless. He isn't Mexican but he's been around and it's good stuff. Anyway, the peppers didn't really hold their shape after roasting so it was difficult to get the stuffing to stay and it wasn't really that good looking of a dish compared to the other two. However, the Mexican Lime-Crema was a nice addition that helped save it. It could have also used a side dish like some beans or maybe a light salad to go with it..

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