meal planning

Blue Apron Takes the Logistical Blues Away

One of the ways I have streamlined my lifestyle in 2014 is through a meal delivery service called Blue Apron.  I talk about it more on this post, but essentially it sends ingredients and recipes for three meals each week to your doorstep, and you can skip weeks whenever you want. Average cost is $10 per person per meal, or $60 a week. There is  a meat and vegetarian option.

Dec 29 2013 118

Dec 29 2013 119

I personally wouldn’t do more than two shipments a month, because our schedule tends to ebb and flow with busy-ness around dinner time.  Instead of being less stressed by Blue Apron, I’ve been more stressed during busy weeks because I was worried our meals would go to waste. It’s nice to take off-weeks and eat normal dinners, like cereal and hot dogs.

Here’s what I like about it:

  • You only need salt, pepper, and EVOO on hand to do any of the recipes. Everything else is shipped in the most adorable little baggies and packages.
  • Tristan likes the food and the program, and helps out with the cooking – bonding, aw.
  • I’m able to enjoy the cooking process and learn new techniques without the stress of meal planning and shopping.
  • The meals have only taken around 30 minutes to prepare and have had quite a range of flavors and formats.
  • The ingredients are all seasonal and fresh, some of which I would’ve had no motivation to explore if left to my own devices. A good example of this would be bok choy and treviso.
  • The recipes are easy to follow and well thought out – there are photos and a timeline; there’s not that panic at the end, when I’m cooking on my own and everything seems to be burning at the same time.
  •  The recipe cards are laminated with measurements so we can make the recipe again, if it was a hit. And call me old fashioned, but I don’t have a tablet and I’m real sick of trying to keep my cell phone from timing out every five minutes while I’m trying to follow a recipe. It’s been nice having the old-school recipe sheet.
  • They often have you use the same pan for multiple steps and everything comes in pre-measured packages, so there’s no ingredient waste and a lot less cleaning. A very high-ranking perk for us.

What I don’t like:

  • I mean, nobody wants to pay $60 a week for three meals when the afore-mentioned cereal will run you $3. But I will say, when I’ve tried new recipes in the past, a single ingredient can run me $7 (i.e. spices).
  • There can be a lot of chopping, depending on the recipe. Get a garlic press FOR SURE.
  • It’s despairing if you realize you forgot to skip a week online and immediately receive a shipment. Kiss those happy hour plans goodbye! You can skip several weeks at a time, though.
  • Some people don’t like seafood. There isn’t a way to select to receive specific meals, or omit the seafood dish from the meat option. It’s a prix fixe menu.
  • As mentioned, I looooove all the little packages and baggies the ingredients come in, but some of my eco-friendly Seattle neighbors might find all of the packaging wasteful.
  • I’ve had a few ingredients go bad by the end of the week, as fresh produce has a tendency to do. Nothing disastrous; I was able to salvage them all. But it’s as if I expect the produce they send me to have super secret life-extending powers (…and for $60, shouldn’t it?!).

We’ve made six meals thus far – here’s some photos:

Roast Beef with Horseradish Sour Cream & Grilled Treviso

Roast Beef with Blue Apron -

Chopped Chicken, Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Blue Cheese, Currants and Sherry Vinaigrette

Chopped Chicken Salad from Blue Apron

Cioppino Tagliatelle with Bay Scallops, Crusty Bread & Garlic Aoli

Scallop Dish from Blue Apron -

Scallop Dish from Blue Apron -

Minute Steaks with Picadillo-Style Sauce & Yellow Rice

Steak at Blue Apron -

Steak at Blue Apron -

Steak at Blue Apron -

Pan-Seared Cod with Soy-Maple Glaze, Baby Bok Choy and Rice Noodles

Cod from Blue Apron -

Cod from Blue Apron -

And, Tristan and I agree that this was our absolute favorite – Chicken Wedge Salad with Crisp Apple, Walnuts, and Lemon-Blue Cheese Dressing

Chicken Wedge from Blue Apron -

Chicken Wedge (15)


If you’d like to give Blue Apron a try, TODAY through Feb. 2 Gilt City is offering 50% off your first Blue Apron shipment when you purchase from the mobile app. A coincidence, being “Blue” Friday? I THINK NOT… Go Hawks!

Let me know if you decide to give it a try and what you think!