The Blue Apron Experience

by Bella Rum

The Arrival

Our Blue Apron adventure arrived on our doorstep in a big box on Friday afternoon. It contained three meals. An ice blanket was in the bottom of the box, and the ingredients were on top. We chose Creamy Red Rice & Cauliflower Casserole (with spinach and rosemary) for our first meal.

As a main course, the portion size was just enough for two people, but H wasn’t going to eat only a meatless casserole for dinner, so we added some leftover salmon from the fridge to the meal, and served the casserole as a side dish. That way we had leftovers. We both liked it very much, and it was a nice complement to the salmon.

The Ingredients

Everything you will need to make your meal is in the box. Everything was fresh and beautiful, all tip-top quality.  I will say that the ingredients are meticulously measured. Someone is watching the bottom line. Nothing is wasted. That’s for sure. The way they packaged and labeled the ingredients cracked me up. There was an itty-bitty packet of red pepper flakes, and the smallest head of cauliflower I’ve ever seen. H laughed at the cauliflower, saying he didn’t know a head of cauliflower could be that small, but it turned out to be just the right amount for the recipe.

I helped with some of the prep, but H did most of the work. When the dish came out of the oven, everything was balanced: the flavors, the texture, the portions. And why don’t I use rosemary more often? More herbs in general?

Blue Apron’s Photo of Creamy Red Rice & Cauliflower Casserole (with spinach and rosemary)

How it Works

The kids gave H a gift certificate that was enough for six meals for two people. You choose three meals per week, and your box of goodies magically appears on your doorstep on the agreed upon day. If you’re going on vacation, or for any reason don’t want to receive your meals on your chosen date, you can skip to the next week with (I think) 6-days’ notice. Nutritional facts, and directions with colorful pictures on how to prepare your meal are included so you can make your recipe again with your own ingredients. H says he may do an extra one or two because it was fun.  As some of you have said in the comments, it is expensive, and when they say “for two” they mean it, no leftovers.

All in All

I view Blue Apron more as a creative gift idea for a special person, or maybe a splurge for yourself, but not as a regular way of getting your dinner. It’s too expensive (we were lucky to get to try this for free :)). I enjoy gifts like this, gifts that are experiences more than things that end up in landfills, or something you have to store, or a sweater that’s the wrong size. Books (audible now) and tickets to a play are great (both of which the kids have given us); I keep thinking about golf lessons for H. When the experience is over, you still have a fun memory. And it’s a bonus when someone gives you a gift that you enjoy, but would never get for yourself. This is that kind of gift. It definitely beats plaid Bermuda shorts. It takes a little time and a few steps: chopping, sautéing, boiling, grating. Not bad really, but it’s for people who like to cook. If that’s not you, order take-out or give a gift certificate to a restaurant. My only problem with it is that it’s pricy, and I hate for the kids to spend so much on us. Bottom line: this was fun, the food was tasty, it’s a unique and tailor-made gift for the right person… and it has a beat you can dance to!