Blue Apron is a subscription box for making great meals at home. If you’re like me, you periodically find yourself in a serious cooking rut. You make the same things every week, but the thought of researching a recipe and acquiring all of the ingredients is just too much work. Blue Apron is the solution! Each week, Blue Apron sends you a refrigerated box with all the fresh ingredients you need to make the included recipes. You can select the 2-person plan – 3 meals a week of 2 portions each – or the family plan – 2 to 4 meals a week of 4 portions each. The menus are set, but you can ask Blue Apron to avoid ingredients you don’t eat – shellfish and lamb, in my case.
We got the Family Plan for 2 meals. I set the delivery date and it arrived right on time, securely packaged in a heavy-duty box. All of the ingredients are wrapped in an adorable insulated blanket and cooled with ice packs. Mine took a day to arrive and sat on my porch for 3 hours, and everything was perfectly cool inside.
Pricing: 2-Person Plan – $59.94 for 3 recipes. Family Plan (serves 4) – $69.92 for 2 recipes, $139.84 for 4 recipes.
This summer, Blue Apron is bringing you recipes that work on the grill or the stove, plus the normal assortment of Mediterranean and celebrity-inspired meals.
DEAL: Save $30 on your first order! Use this link – no coupon code required!
The meat is at the bottom, surrounded by still-frozen gel ice packs. I’m happy to say that all the meat was double-bagged in zip-top baggies. Because no one likes leaking meat juice.
Our first meal was the “great for grilling” recipe, the Seared Steaks and Parsley-Caper Butter with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Zucchini. Beef in general and steak in particular is a treat at our house.
As usual, all of the ingredients were included, even a wee pat of butter and a tiny bag of capers. It’s great to be able to try a recipe without having a 7/8ths-full jar of capers sitting around until it expires.
The meals come with nutrition info and ingredients. Know what you’re eating!
This prep was easy to handle on a Monday night after work. The produce was all in good shape this month. Given the Monday-ness of our prep (and, ahem, that we don’t own a grill), we went with the stovetop method of cooking.
Not much in the way of mis en place this month, just a bit of chopping. And, yes, that’s a Blue Apron wine subscription bottle over there, because, Monday.
The meat was in great condition, and the time advice for medium-rare was about right. When in doubt, though, use a meat thermometer.
Compound butter is always a delicious addition to your meal. You probably want to mince the parsley a little finer than the “rough chop” this recipe calls for, unless you like chewing leaves in your butter.
This all turned out nicely. The honey and vinegar “dressing” on the zucchini didn’t add much value, especially if you cooked it with the delicious meat juice left in the pan. Add a little milk to your potatoes if they’re drier than you prefer. Everyone liked this one.
Our second meal was the Za’atar-Roasted Chicken with Pear Couscous and Sesame Dressing. Ah, good old za’atar to spice up your chicken. This one is Mediterranean-diet-inspired, so you can feel good about your cardiovascular health.
Pretty simple ingredients for this one, except for the spice blend.
This was another fairly easy recipe to put together on a weeknight. I don’t love coring those tiny peppers–the same amount of work as a big pepper, but less pepper to show for it.
Each recipe comes with these easy-to-follow instructions. I really liked that the majority of this could be prepared on an easy-to-clean-up sheet pan, though 450 is too hot for my oven–I went with 425. Also, keep an eye on your couscous–it’ll cook in 4-5 minutes, not the stated 14-16.
I could have done with more veg, as usual. This is a bit short to feed four people.
Nutrition facts are good for you. If sodium is a concern for some of your family just go lighter or hold off on the za’atar blend when you cook some of the chicken. You’re the boss of your kitchen.
The end result was as good as a Mediterranean-diet meal typically is. The chicken was great, and perfectly cooked (meat thermometer, natch) at 175 degrees. We liked the raisins in the couscous. The tahini sauce was… weirdly bitter and not great. Thinned hummus (just add a bit of water and pepper and stir) would be great with this dish.
That was our month! Two fine dishes this time, and my heart-conscious husband appreciated the Mediterranean-diet option.
Hey, did you know that Blue Apron has a wine program now? It’s super easy to match your wine to your meal, like the tasty Monastrell we had with the steak.
It’s nice to not have to decide “what’s for dinner” all the time. Overall, Blue Apron has been enjoyable and gets us out of our boring dinner routine. Honestly, you can forget how fun cooking can be. Interesting ingredients, easy recipes, and delicious food. We can’t wait to see what we get next time!
What’s your favorite summer grilling item? Let us know in the comments below!