I eat out a lot. In addition, I buy food with the intention of cooking mid-week nights and making lunches and then the following weekend I have to throw food away because I either went out after work or decided going to Freshii and spending $13 was better than what I put in the office fridge for that day. This means I spend and waste a lot of money on food.  If I were to do the math on what I actually spent on food in a month, it would likely shame me terribly.

As we were having this philosophical discussion and my food spending shame, a colleague was talking about Blue Apron, which of course I had heard of as it is on a million Facebook ads and probably one of the first “proper” food/recipe home delivery ideas to really hit the national market.  She had a free week to give to a friend so offered it to me.  I thought why not give it a try.

Blue Apron is a fresh food home delivery service with pre-packed and perfectly measured food and ingredients.  This is not a frozen dinner, there is serious work involved in actual cooking.  So if you are like me and feel guilty eating a pre-made boxed dinner and you consider yourself a reasonably good cook with a knowledge of cooking terms this is good for you.  If you are an absolute cooking novice it may be a bit of work.  For example, I had a colleague say they didn’t know what zesting means.  Luckily most people have access to good old Google.  It is actually great for those who want to learn to cook.

So, I went online and set up my first order.  I deleted red meat as I don’t eat it but that is really as far as it goes with upfront options.  If you have an allergy you need to check the ingredient list of each recipe and perhaps eliminate the whole meal, which you can do in advance (about 2 weeks) and switch it out.

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Ingredients for Chicken Fried Chicken with Baked Potato & Collard Greens

A downside of Blue Apron and in fact many of these types of companies is that they do not cater to single people, which is quite frustrating.  The meals are $59.94 for 3 meals for two each week or $139.84 for four people.  The good thing is you can skip as many weeks as you want or cancel at any time. 

I had completely forgotten about my order so when I got home last Wednesday at 7.30pm a box was left on my doorstep.  Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was cook but I was excited to see what was on offer for me, so I eagerly unpacked it and went about deciding which recipe I was going to make.

Everything in the cool (chilled) packaged box was perfectly proportioned to the recipe.  My first recipes were…

Dukkah-Spiced Cod with Warm Beet, Carrot & Arugula Salad

Chicken Fried Chicken with baked Sweet Potato & Collard Greens

Orecchiette Pasta & Roasted Chickpeas

Each recipe comes with a very detailed step-by-step recipe card with photos.   

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My Dukkah-Spiced Cod with Warm Beet, Carrot & Arugula Salad

I decided to make the Dukkah-Spiced Cod on Wednesday and honestly could have kicked myself.  It took a lot longer than the recipe card said of 25-30 minutes.  Peeling and boiling beets on a Wednesday night was probably not the smartest decision :). 

Around 8pm my friend called me to catch up.  I said you need to come over for dinner and I will open a nice bottle of wine.  It was Wine Wednesday after all.  We finally sat down at 9pm, which is a bit nuts mid-week for me. 

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Chicken Fried Chicken recipe card

The plus side was that this dish was surprisingly awesome.  Not only does it look great as its very colorful, it was truly tasty and everything is made from scratch so there is a sense of accomplishment in eating it.  That said, I think I would have preferred the beets and carrots pre-chopped for me or perhaps that was just my frame on mind at 9pm on Wednesday?   I will absolutely be keeping this recipe card and making this dish again.  The warm salad would go with any protein.  

I needed a night in on Saturday so decided to make the Chicken Fried Chicken, which took me about 45 minutes to make.  Not the healthiest of chicken recipes but fabulously yummy.  I had never made sweet potato before as I have never been a fan of this root vegetable; however with the scallion-yogurt sauce it was excellent.  The downside is I have a lot left over, which I suppose I can have tonight, but I tend to want to lean towards the healthy dishes again starting Sunday.   Perhaps I can have the chicken for lunch tomorrow with some salad and not go out and spend money on lunch?

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Chicken Fried Chicken with baked Sweet Potato & Collard Greens

I will make the orecchiette mid-week sometime. 

They also do wine deliveries and will pair them to the recipes you have for you upcoming week’s delivery. 

My topline opinion is that this is a great service but not one I will do every week, maybe once a month.  I am not sure it is really worth the money.  If you think about what bag of pasta, a can of chickpeas and a bunch of kale really costs, it is definitely not $15.  Overall, it is certainly far cheaper than dining out every night and it is great for couples and friends to come together in the kitchen to make something together.  I suppose if I really discipline myself to bring in lunches it will save me a fortune with making meals for 2 and having one for dinner and one for lunch the next day.  

I didn’t have time to cancel my delivery for this week so this is what’s coming for me.

Blue Apron

Tracey-Cheers