So my husband and I decided to get a little more adventurous with our cooking. Thanks to a friend of his, we were able to try a 1 week free trial of Blue Apron. Basically, it’s a company that will send you a certain amount of meals a week, with all the ingredients (fresh produce, spices, meat, and the like) already all measured out, ready for you to chop and cook. Along with the ingredients are the recipes, with pictures included so you can follow along and make slightly fancier meals. I believe there is a 2 Person plan (3 meals per week) and a Family plan (2 or 4 meals per week). The 2 person plan is $59.94 (so about $10 per person per meal), and the Family plan which is apparently for 4 people, goes for $138.84 for 4 meals/week (20 $8.67 per person per meal), or $69.92 for 2 meals per week ($8.74 per person per meal). We are using the 2 person plan. Before I get to the recipes that we tried, people wanted to know if it’s “worth it.” I think the answer is “yes” and “no,” depending on what you usually do during the week. Price-wise, I think that it’s worth it if you go out every night, or at least go out a lot, and spend at least $10 on each person. However, if you tend to go grocery shopping and cook mostly, then I think that the price may not be worth it. My husband also stated that he was satisfied after each meal, but he was not substantially “full.” So if you like to be “full-full,” then maybe this isn’t for you. On the other hand, I was pretty full after each meal, so take that however way you want ;-).
Quality time wise, my husband and I planned to cook together and make this something like an activity/hobby for us to do. However, it’s really hard to cook together with a toddler running around like a crazy woman yelling “more! more! more” or “mommy! mommy! mommy!” She does sleep by 7:00- 7:30, but we try to have our cooking done before then because we are just too tired to cook after putting her to bed. Anyway, I think that it’s kind of nice to follow a new recipe together and just kind of cook together, so quality time-wise, it may be worth it. Adding to that, is that once you sign up, you can see the menu a week or two ahead of time, and if it’s something you’re really not interested in, you can opt to not get anything those weeks, and they won’t charge you for that week. So that’s always nice to have that option.
Anyway, on to our adventure. The first thing we tried was the “Seared Pork with smashed potatoes and sauteed spinach”. This was a pretty easy recipe to follow and quite easy to get the ingredients at a regular grocery store. I was able to do this by myself while the hubs entertained our toddler. We waited to finish the last part of the recipe (cooking the spinach) until after we put her to bed so that we could eat it in peace and it worked out pretty well! The portion size was not too big, but it was definitely enough for me. We both thought that this meal was delicious and would definitely try again with larger portions. The pork roast they provided was a really good cut. I wasn’t sure if it was the way we cooked it, or the quality of the meat that made it taste really good but the hubs thinks it was the quality of the meat. If it was, then we can attest that Blue Apron gives great quality meat then.
The next night, we tried the “Pan-seared Cod with curried basmati rice, snow peas, and mint”. Someone enjoyed this one because the carbs made it heartier. He also loved the curry rice that went along with the cod. For this meal, we tagged-teamed. Since we both got home a little earlier than usual, I was able to chop up all the veggies/produce/spices before we got out toddler from the sitter. Then after we picked her up, he cooked everything while it was my turn to entertain her. We were even able to eat together as a family since we were done cooking before her bedtime. Our little one tried the rice and veggies, but we were greedy and ate the cod by ourselves. ;-). She didn’t seem to mind. See pictures below 😉 The produce for this dish can also be found easily in grocery stores, but the blend of spices they provided may be a little harder to find. This dish tasted pretty good. I forgot to add salt and pepper to the rice while cooking it, so the rice was a little bland, but the veggies and the cod turned out pretty well.
The last dish we tried, we put off until the weekend. Along with our toddler, we also had our niece and nephew with us over the weekend so we didn’t start cooking the dish until after we fed all the kiddos their dinner. So while she slept, and my niece and nephew ate popsicles and watched TV, we cooked our last meal, “Turkey Steam Buns with quick cucumber-radish kimchi”. The ingredients for this dish can probably be found easily in asian markets, but may be harder to find in a regular grocery store. This was a pretty easy dish to cook, but completely impossible for me to put together. So our dish didn’t exactly look like the picture but oh well. It was kind of a korean-american fusion dish with the pseudo-kimchi toppings. But it was pretty good. I was full after eating two, so the hubs was only too happy to eat my last one. I think he was full after that, but I must mention that he did have a cheeseburger from McDonalds and 3 pieces of chicken nuggets before it. What can I say? The man can throw it down when it comes to food. =)
All in all, I think that it was kind of nice preparing food that we haven’t tried before. And because the recipe is set and all the ingredients are given, it’s kind of nice to cook a semi-fancy meal without worrying about what to cook and what to buy at the grocery store. Since there is that option of saying no to some weeks, we’ve decided to maybe try it once a month, or twice if we see recipes we would just love to try another week. Not really sure if it’s worth it price-wise, but since the hubs and I are foodies, it was nice to have a few date nights in the comforts of our own home =).