My wife recently received a chance to try out Blue Apron. It's one of those services that sends you fresh ingredients and complete recipes for dinner. I had only seen Plated before but understood the concept right off and was impressed she managed to get the freebie.
On its face this is a great idea as my wife and I are constantly struggling to come up with ideas for dinner.
Seriously, this is a major issue in the Thomas house.
Anyway, here seems like a decent solution if not a pricey one at $60 for three meals for two people.
The box arrived and I quickly unpacked it. I was instantly bowled over by how everything was packaged. Many of the ingredients were individually measured and packaged separately. There's a lot of waste in terms of the environment going on and that's not even taking into account the large cardboard box and dry ice packets.
The idea that you've got everything measured out perfectly is a good one but that doesn't mean the preparation is easy.
The first meal we tried was Lentil-Crusted Salmon mainly because we figured it would be better to cook the fish first.
Even with all the little packets of stuff I still had to dice and mince garlic, ginger and dried apricots, taking quite a bit of time, and there were many steps. It probably took about 40 minutes though which isn't awful but a lot of that was re-reading the many instructions. This was true of all three meals.
Of course, the end result wasn't quite what was pictured.
The tamarind concentrate also burned into my pan, requiring a lot of time to clean off. My wife and I didn't think there was much taste to this one at all.
The second night was the only meal we liked of the three, an Asian dish with beef. We saved the recipe because we could easily recreate it with our own shopping trip. The recipes themselves come on nice thick, full-colored cards that look like they could last a lifetime. Not sure why they're not three-hole punched though.
The third meal was a chicken dish and I can't even remember it because it was so bad.
However, we thought the portions -- even though they were on the small side -- were probably appropriate/healthy and the ingredients were of the highest quality and extremely fresh.
Luckily, regular subscribers can skip meals that don't sound good to them. But because of all the time it took to follow the instructions, the price and obviously the fact that two of them didn't taste any good…these delivered meals just aren't for us.
*Before you bash my cooking and plating skills…please note these photos were on the fly. I wasn't planning on blogging about it until midway through the prep. Also, I've cooked plenty of meals from a recipe without a problem. I'm not a chef or anything but I've got a better than 33% average in executing a new recipe. Just don't ask my wife for what she thinks the average is...