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Trying On My Blue Apron (Review)

Ok, quick update and then we are going to talk about food, because food makes me happy. 

Injury Diagnosis and Update

As I mentioned yesterday, I went to the PM&R (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) doc yesterday (thank GOODNESS they had an 8 AM appointment). By the end of Monday, the only way I could walk “comfortably” would be to supinate completely–roll my ankle all the way in–and kind of peg leg it around. The doctor (Maria Reese–totally recommend) was great, and we chatted, did a full exam, and I demonstrated to her that my ankle/foot was generally fine to the touch, only reacting to some pressure in particular areas. But the mere thought of hopping on the ba***rd stopped me in my tracks. X-rays were clear, though–no fracture to be seen, so I am diagnosed as a stress reaction and am in a walking boot (so sexy) and going back in 2 weeks. I can walk pain free in the boot, except for shin pain because of the boot itself (reminds me of ski boots, lol). So swimming, water running, strength, and spin are all up for grabs, but only if they can be done without pain. So epic a reprise of this awesomeness:

BE GREAT

BE GREAT

Now for foods.

Blue Apron Review and Thoughts

Saturday afternoon, Alex and I received a shipment from Blue Apron, thanks to the generosity of my lovely lady Erin!

blue apron box

What Blue Apron offers:

  • Original Recipes created seasonally by the culinary team and guest chefs. The recipes are not repeated in the same year, are about 500-700 calories per serving, and about 35 minutes to prepare.
  • Ingredients are seasonal, often specialty, and pre-measured so that you don’t have to waste anything when you try them out. 
  • Many of the ingredients are sourced from local or small family businesses.
  • Delivery is free nationwide, open to a day of your convenience, and come delivered in a refrigerated box for freshness.
  • Recipes are demonstrated in step-by-step guides delivered with the recipes as well as via interactive recipe card and how-to videos that demonstrate technique and the recipes themselves. 
  • You can also purchase the same equipment used in the videos via their store.

Plans and Pricing:

  • 2-person plan provides 3 meals per week, $9.99 per person and $59.94 per week.
  • Family plans offer 4 meals ($139.84) or 2 meals ($69.92) per week portioned for 4 people ($8.74 per person).
  • Shipping is free, you can skip weeks and cancel any time.

Options and choices:

  • You can stipulate your meat preferences (seafood, pork, poultry, lamb, beef, vegetarian).
  • The weeks before, you can mark which recipes you would prefer to receive of the selection offered.

What was sent to us:

I made the Piri-Piri Chicken.

I did good, huh?

I did good, huh?

The step-by-step instructions were spot on (the only thing I forgot to do was flip the chicken thighs in the oven, whoops), and my other change to the recipe card with regards to creation was that the collards didn’t need as much time to stew as they said. But the result? Delicious!

But here is my caveat: I had to, as usual, make changes and substitutions to the recipe in order to make it work for me. My changes? I used cashew milk instead of the coconut milk for my plantains and I used a chicken breast for myself (because a) there wasn’t enough protein for the two of us and b) I don’t like chicken thighs).

It was a lot of fun to try out something different and to have the thinking taken care of for me–I NEVER follow recipes, I just make it up as I go, and this was a great switch up, showing me that I can still have fun in the kitchen with minimal effort!

Pros:

  • Variety of tastes and techniques–a great chance to try new things!
  • Tying into the last, the steps were very straightforward and easy to follow that shows you that you really can cook fun food from scratch.
  • Health conscious without being overly so–the almond crusted cod comes with butter for you to cook it with, for example–and the ingredients are seasonal, simple, and fun. Think Seasons 52 approach to cooking.

Cons:

  • Portion sizes: No where near enough protein for both Alex and myself. It worked out for us because I don’t like chicken thighs and had a chicken breast at my disposal. But for the other recipes as well, there was only about enough protein for Alex.
  • Inability to specify certain dislikes/food issues. For example, I don’t really care for noodles, so that meal with just totally be for Alex. I don’t like chicken thighs, as I already said. You can’t specify gluten free (though I would imagine many of the meals are in fact gluten free).
  • Inability to substitute or tweak ingredients–like chicken thighs, etc.
  • You get 3 meals a time, and you get those ingredients–so if you don’t want everything in that shipment, you are still going to be paying for it. But that is why it is great that they have the skip a meal option, and you still have access to the recipe cards.

I don’t feel that I will be making the Almond Crusted Cod a) because I’ve already cooked the cod my own way (makes it easy) b) we eat a lot of quinoa so I know Alex would like a break and c) I like almonds but nowhere near that much. I will be making the Pork Mazeman, but for Alex to take to the hospital. 

Ultimately, I am divided on whether I will be continuing with Blue Apron. I might give myself the challenge of taking one of the recipes each week and doing it myself–I have quite a bit of the spices and such on hand, and that will allow me to make it the way I need to. I also have great accessibility to products thanks to nearby grocery stores with great selection. 

So is Blue Apron (this time around) perfect for me? No, but I don’t think there is a company that is, lol. But I love the ease, the approach, and the quality of the Blue Apron service and meals. I would definitely suggest giving it a try!

Thank you, Erin!

Have you tried Blue Apron, or a make-your-meal delivery service before? What are some of the pros and cons that you see?

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