As a food blogger I hate to admit it, but I’m not much of a meal planner. My excuses include an ever-changing schedule charged with an impulsive appetite. Can I really know on Sunday what I want for dinner on Thursday?
But the notion of a box of fresh food being delivered to my door with all of the prep work and decision making done for me was appealing, to say the least, so I decided to give meal-delivery service Blue Apron a try.
My week with Blue Apron included:
- Chicken Supremes with Forbidden Rice (amazing)
- Pan-Roasted Hake (hake was a new fish for me)
- Moroccan Beef Tagine (my favorite!)
Opening the box was like getting a mini-farmer’s market in the mail. There were herbs and spices, fish and forbidden rice, and something completely new to me, chicken and beef demi-glazes. The folks at Blue Apron were great about communicating via email with me, as I peppered them with questions about gluten-free ingredients and possible substitutions. While they don’t offer a gluten-free option, they were more than willing to provide info on their ingredients. Two of the grains were gluten, as was one of the demi-glazes but a few pantry subs was all it took to complete those meals.
I loved the recipe cards, which are printed on high-quality paper strong enough to withstand spills in the kitchen. Truly, though, my favorite part was that everything, every last spice, herb and protein, was perfectly proportioned so that I didn’t have to do a thing. And because all of the ingredients, including the fish, kept fine in my fridge for five to seven days, the process made me realize I could replicate the same prep work at home (if I could only plan ahead).
I also learned a new technique: pan roasting. Between pan-roasting and oven roasting, two techniques I rarely use, I learned that a complete, home-cooked meal doesn’t have to start and end with pasta.
I kept my account only for a week because, in the end, although I loved the food, I realized my schedule doesn’t allow three planned meals a week. Between sports and last-minute outings, I was afraid I’d let some of the food go to waste. I’ve been following their site, though, and have tried a few more recipes (check out their online cookbook here). Who knows? Maybe this will be the year I learn to plan. If so, I’ll be signing up with Blue Apron again.