Last week, a big package arrived at my door. I love big packages! What could it be?
FREE FOOD! I love food, but free food is even better. It was a gift, arranged by my friends Heather and Adam in New Jersey. They’ve become rabid fans of Blue Apron, and when they were given the opportunity to send food to someone, they chose me. How kind!
Blue Apron is a company that ships fresh food every week to their customers. It’s very clever – they come up with recipes and they send you all the ingredients you need to make the recipes, and only the amounts you need for the dish. You can make restaurant-quality food in your own kitchen, and everything you need (with the exception of salt, pepper, and oil) shows up at your door.
This box had everything needed for 3 dinners that each served 2 people. The recipes are health-conscious – range from around 500-700 calories per serving – not bad at all. Over the course of the week, I made all three.
Inside the box were lots of veggies, all portioned into individually labeled bags:
Proteins were fresh (not frozen) and in vacuum-sealed pouches:
There were 2-sided recipe cards that included lots of pictures and easy-to-follow directions:
And my favorite part was the bag marked “knick-knacks.” This contained the odds and ends. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve modified recipes because I didn’t have an ingredient on hand, and didn’t want to buy a big bottle because I needed 2 tablespoons of it. Blue Apron sends only what you need, so this bag had things like a tiny bottle of 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and a container of 3 tablespoons of roasted chicken demi-glace (and I’m not even sure what that is):
I ended up trying a couple foods I’ve never tried before, and the recipes were all very manageable – they took about a half-hour to prepare, on average. Because everything was at my fingertips, this was the first time in years that I followed recipe almost to the T. Almost.
The first dish I made was a seared trout with peach and arugula salad. The trout were entire fish, de-boned and butterflied, and I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a whole fish like that before. Nor have I ever used fresh tarragon, either, but some sprigs were in the box, and it was a winning combo.
This was 550 calories per serving, but it was so good and I was so hungry so I ate both servings back-to-back. Shhhhh. (My version probably had a little less than 550 calories, because I left the olive oil out of the salad dressing and seared the fish with Pam instead.)
The Fettucelle Bolognese had baby rainbow carrots (and I do love an oddly-colored vegetable!), and this recipe made a ton. I had a friend for dinner, and we each had a big serving and there was enough leftover for my lunch the next day. 700 calories a serving.
Finally, the jerk-spiced chicken. The jerk seasoning had a great kick, and even though I overcooked the chicken a little bit, it was still fantastic. 710 calories. This also made three good-sized servings, easily:
All in all, it’s a pretty remarkable service. The box that was delivered to me costs $60, which equals $10 a serving. You can cook at home for a lot less, but I think having access to the right quantities of specialty ingredients and the convenience of delivery makes it worth it. It makes me want to have more people over for dinner!
Blue Apron just recently expanded to the West Coast, and while they aren’t nationwide, they now deliver to a lot of the country. You can learn more about Blue Apron by visiting their website.
Thanks, Heather and Adam, for sending a week of healthy meals to my door!
Keep it up, David!