Blue Apron Meal Subscription review

I'm really getting into these services where you get a box of groceries and recipes to make. I tried Plated a couple weeks ago, and recently I tried Blue Apron, a similar service. Someday soon I will write a comparison of the two, but for now this will be just at review of the Blue Apron service. Blue Apron kindly sent me this box for review.

Blue Apron is a subscription box service that sends recipes and the groceries to make those recipes. The only things we needed to have at home for these were olive oil, salt and pepper. Otherwise, all of the food, down to any herbs, spices or condiments, is all included, in the exact portion size you need for the recipe.

Groceries
The groceries above made two portions of the meal shown here.
Chicken with Smashed Purple Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts
The recipes come on laminated recipe cards. The front has a description and picture of the dish you will be making, while the back has the recipe broken down into steps, with photos.
Example recipe card
I really liked the recipe card- it started off by telling you to prepare all of the ingredients ahead of time, and showed a photo of all of the chopped up items in little bowls. That's a great reminder, especially when you are trying a new recipe. You don't want to be scrambling around trying to get the stuff ready. The recipes in our box were really creative and flavorful as well.

We had a couple of minor complaints about the recipes- The chili-rubbed steak recipe said something about using as much chili as you wanted based on what spice level you wanted, but the type of chili used was a Korean spice I don't know, so I used too much. I would have liked to have more specific guidelines, like example amounts of the spice for different heat levels. Hubby thought the portions of a couple of the dishes were a bit too small, although in general I found them all to be OK portion sizes. 

Blue Apron has two options- meat/fish or vegetarian, and all subscribers in each category get the same meals in their boxes. The only options you have are to buy 2, 4, or 6 portions, or to skip a week. You have to choose to skip a week in advance of the shipment. The meals cost about $10 per portion, so price is around $60 for a box with two portions each of three meals. This seems reasonable to me considering the cost of the groceries involved and the convenience of having someone else think up and plan out your dinner. I do think if I were a subscriber, though, I would like to have the option of swapping out certain meals. But skipping is good option for those weeks as well.

We really liked all the meals in the Blue Apron box, but our favorite was this Provencal Fish Stew. This type of recipe was a revelation to me. It is basically a couple of pieces of fish, some veggies and olives, and a can of tomatoes, and only took about a half hour to make. Who knew you could make something this special on a weeknight?
Provencal Fish Stew

I frequently get into a rut when it comes to dinner, so having the Blue Apron fairy deliver ideas and the groceries to make them to my doorstep was really nice. I'm definitely going to make the Provencal Fish Stew again, and the other recipes both had ideas I will re-use. I can't see doing a service like this on a weekly basis, but it is definitely an option for maybe a once-a-month treat.

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