Meal in a Box

My neighbor is a meal kit subscriber and a strict adherer to born on dates. If she doesn’t have a chance to make her meals by their recommended date, she knows that my house eats anything, born on dates be damned. And that is exactly how I came to try out the meal service delivery company, Blue Apron. For $70/week, you get two meals delivered to your house. They ship all the raw ingredients, you are just on the hook to assemble and cook. That $70 option serves a family of four, but once on their sight you can adjust the number of meals per week and serving size.

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The meats come vacuum sealed and frozen; the ingredients, neatly measured and packed. One stalk celery, 1/4 cup butter, a tablespoon of capers…all right sized for your recipe. (Elimination of food waste is one of the company’s major selling points. They aim for only 3% food waste compared to 40% for the average supermarket buy.)

Our first meal was Catfish Meuniere, creamed spinach, and rice. The second: Lemon Butter Shrimp with tomato rice and arugula orange salad. The third: Roast Pork with smashed potatoes and apple goat cheese salad. All come with a laminated recipe card and detailed, easy to follow instructions. There are even photos of each step, for you visual learners.  All three meals were really yummy and most importantly, got me out of a recipe rut. I never think to buy arugula or shrimp and have NEVER made creamed spinach.

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Perfectly packaged and measured Blue Apron ingredients.

Blue Apron delivers about 5,000,000 meals a month. The are in a category with the likes of Plated, Freshly (gluten free), Purple Carrot (vegetarian), Peach Dish (Southern Food), Green Blender (smoothie ingredients), the list goes on. Basically, you can find a service that caters to every dietary restriction of the American eater.  We don’t have any crazy dietary restrictions at my house, but I was impressed by the quality of our Blue Apron ingredients. Hormone and antibiotic free pork, wild Cod, and locally grown produce from one of Blue Apron’s many farm partners. They supervise their supply chain from start to finish. While this isn’t exactly farm to table, it is pretty darn close.

Not sure what has kept me from subscribing myself. Maybe just the stress of knowing these meals will be delivered every week and I am responsible for making them, regardless if I am in the mood for what Blue Apron is cooking. (You can adjust your meals and choose what they deliver at the start of the week. But sometimes on Monday I’m not sure what I’m going to feel like eating on Thursday. I can’t be alone here.) And, the meals were definitely more complicated than most I make during the week. If I make a fancy fish dish, I assure you I’m not also julienne cutting an apple to add to my arugula salad. It was a lot of work, and in some cases a lot of clean up (the pork/potato meal used 3 pans… thats a lot in my book).  Perhaps if I could buy one or 2 meals a month, without signing up for a weekly subscription plan I’d be more inclined to do it, but that’s not an option. So for now, I will have to rely on the hand-me-downs of my generous and slightly anal neighbor.

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Our Lemon butter shrimp, tomato rice and arugula orange salad meal.

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