Last June, we started experimenting with deliveries from Blue Apron. I’ve been stretched too thin to research new recipes and wanted to occasionally minimize some of my decision fatigue on the weekend while not blowing our budget (and our waistlines) by eating out all of the time. So far, I’ve received 3 boxes and have been very happy with the service.
Here’s how it works: You set your meal preferences and they use them to determine which 3 of each week’s 6 meals you will be sent. You pay $60 and receive a box with 3 meals for 2 people (6 meals in total, or about the price of a 6 Chipotle steak bowls with guac, if you, like me, use Chipotle bowls as a unit of measurement).
They send you 3 recipe cards with detailed directions and pictures and all of the ingredients you need to make them. You basically just have to have a knife, a few pots and pans, salt, oil, and water. The recipes are well-balanced from a macronutrient perspective (the non-vegetarian options have protein + carb source + veggie and some good fats) and are substantial enough for both Michael and I to leave the dinner table full. This is no small task, as we are NOT light eaters.
A sampling of a few things we’ve received and made…
(Yeah, we fancy.)
At present, there’s minimal customization. It’s not set up to cater to people with serious dietary sensitivities, but it works great for those of us who are semi-no-holds-barred eaters and adventurous. And it’s not going to be guaranteed grass-fed/free-range/wild-caught/organic – this is part of the way they can offer something this robust at this price point. But even if these things are deal breakers for you, you can still get a taste of Blue Apron, because they post their recipes on their website for free! It’s often hard to find interesting recipes for two people, so I’ve definitely taken advantage of this. I don’t always have all the ingredients they call for, so I adapt and overcome. Here’s one of our new favorites:
Adapted from Blue Apron (and doubled to have leftovers! Cut in half for one dinner for 2)
- 1-2 T. olive oil (or other cooking oil)
- 1 lb. ground chicken or pork
- 1/2 large or 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2″ piece ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 serrano chile, minced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks (or use a julienne peeler!)
- 2 Persian cucumbers (slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds, then slice into half moons)
- 2 Kaffir lime leaf
- 3 T. Ponzu sauce
- 1 bunch mint, leaves removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch Thai basil, leaves removed and coarsely chopped
- fish sauce (optional)
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 lime, sliced into wedges (optional)
- Coconut rice
putting it together
- Heat a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Add 1-2 T. oil and swirl. When oil is warm, add in chicken or pork and season with salt and pepper. Cook 4-6 minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally to break up chicken/pork.
- Add the red onion and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, lemongrass chunks, serrano chile, and lime leaves. Cook a few minutes or until garlic and ginger are fragrant and softened. Stir in the carrot and cucumber. Cook for about 1 minute or until carrot is slightly softened. Then add the brown sugar and ponzu sauce and stir to combine.
- Remove from heat and stir in half of the mint leaves, half of the cilantro, and half of the Thai basil. Squeeze in the juice of the two lime halves and stir until well combined. Season with fish sauce, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Top with additional mint leaves, cilantro, and Thai basil as garnish. Serve with coconut rice and lime wedges.