I have to start off by saying this is NOT a sponsored post. As you all know, I am always sharing little things that I find and love here on the blog, and this is another one of those. In this case, I fell in love with a product and I contacted the company to see if they would be willing to hook you guys up with a deal, but I’m not getting paid for posting this or even getting a discount for myself. I would never cheapen PSYWL by turning it into a paid sponsorship type thing, just so you know.
Have you heard about Blue Apron? Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t either. And then suddenly all of my friends were talking about it on Facebook.
Basically, Blue Apron is a food prep/delivery service. Each week, subscribers receive a box with the prepped ingredients for three meals along with recipes for preparing them. When I first heard about it, I thought it would probably be a good thing for people who don’t cook much, but I am a culinary school grad and it just seemed kind of…silly.
But then my friend Kate sent me a coupon code for a free box so I decided to try it. I mean, $60 worth of free food was nothing to sneeze at, right?
Our first box came three weeks ago. Right from the start, it’s hard not to be impressed. The packaging is thoughtful and effective. Everything was well insulated and each ingredient is carefully packaged and labeled. The produce included in each box has been top notch– there hasn’t been one ingredient that I would’t have selected myself if I were at the farmer’s market.
When I say everything you need for each recipe is included, I mean EVERYTHING. If a recipe calls for a tablespoon of butter, you get a tablespoon of butter. The only thing I’ve ever run across that wasn’t included was salt for salting something to taste, and I think once we had to use our own tablespoon of olive oil. Otherwise, if you need it, it’s in the box
Here are the actual ingredients for our first three meals. I will say, if I have anything negative to say about Blue Apron, it’s the fact that all that packaging makes me feel guilty. I’m not sure how else they could do it though, so I don’t have a solution.
Now, about the recipes. I am a bit of a food snob. It’s not something I’m necessarily proud of, but I would rather have an apple and a nice piece of cheese for dinner than eat something bad or even just okay. I can honestly say that we haven’t had a dud yet in the 9 meals we have prepared from Blue Apron. I can also honestly say that a few of the meals have really surprised me by putting together flavor combos that I wouldn’t have thought of. We all tend to get in our little cooking ruts and it’s nice to have someone else come up with the ideas for a change.
Now, I can’t personally attest to the quality of the recipes because (and this is the biggest surprise of this whole experience) Mike has completely taken over our Blue Apron boxes. He has cooked every single meal since we got them.
I think this is the beauty of the Blue Apron service. Mike likes cooking but doesn’t have a lot of time for meal planning or grocery shopping. With Blue Apron, He gets to concentrate on the part of cooking that he likes– the cooking. Mike says the recipes are all clear and easy to follow, even with minimal experience. And since everything he has made has been delicious and technically well prepared, I’m inclined to believe him.
Here are the meals we’ve had so far: (Sorry I didn’t take more pics! I wasn’t planning to blog about this in the beginning and also, I was hungry.)
Pan-roasted Salmon Ramen (this one was great!)
Center-cut Pork Chops with Beet, Heirloom Carrots and Hazelnut Salad (an example of flavors I wouldn’t have put together but it was my favorite so far.)
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Kumquat Relish & Freekeh Salad (I had never even HEARD of freekeh before)
Bouillabaisse-Style Fish Stew (this was amazing!)
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Maple-Glazed Carrots (Gabbi’s favorite so far)
Steak & Miso-Roasted Vegetable Salad
Shrimp Po’Boy Sandwiches with Butter Lettuce & Apple Salad (very good, especially the salad dressing)
Chicken & Sage Biscuit Pot Pie with Cremini Mushrooms & Purple Tops Turnips (this one is on deck for tonight)
So you are probably asking yourself, how expensive is this box of wonderment? Honestly, it’s not that expensive. We get the two-person box with three meals per week. It works out to a little under $60 (including delivery), or $10 per serving. Now that may sound like a lot, but we realized quickly that the convenience of having everything we needed on hand and not running to the grocery store for ingredients (and ending up spending a minimum of $50/trip) and not eating out cause neither of us has through about dinner means we are actually saving money with Blue Apron. (I may be a food snob but I am also cheap. Trust me, it’s a good deal.)
We are also eating healthier (each menu is between 500-700 calories per person) and throwing away way less food.
We are also now positively evangelical about Blue Apron, as you can see. Which is why I emailed the company and told them that I have a little yarn company and a little blog, and would they like to offer our readers a special deal?
They were just lovely about it and said yes. My first 50 readers to try Blue Apron will get two free meals with their first Blue Apron box. You have to follow this link to get the Juniper Moon Farm deal, though. ****
When you click the link, it will take you to the page screen-shot-ed above. Click on the orange “redeem offer” button to get the discount. (If you have trouble, let me know!)
So give it a whirl. And let me know how it works for you. If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer them in the comments, but you can find tons of info on the Blue Apron FAQs as well.
**** We have a new working link, y’all!