Even though school has started, the daytime hours are not the whole bonbon-eating experience they’re cracked up to be. Here at the Jolly Tomato house, we’re up to our ears in permission slips, carpool charts, volunteer requests, parent/student contracts, PTA forms, playdates, homework help, and work work on top of all that.
That’s why, when a friend gifted us recently with a Blue Apron dinner, we were immensely grateful for the opportunity not to have to think about dinner. It was just there waiting for us…or almost there, with a certain amount of prep work. We had never tried Blue Apron before, so we went in with an open mind and a hungry stomach. (Note: We have no affiliation with Blue Apron. We simply received a box as a gift from a friend.)
Our dinner package was for Seared Salmon and Salsa Verde with a summer quinoa salad. We were pleasantly surprised when we opened the box to see that the ingredients were very fresh, had survived the shipping well, and seemed to cover all the bases (including a teeny-tiny bottle containing one tablespoon of red wine vinegar). Oh, and the salmon was gorgeous. If I had seen it at the store I would have happily purchased it.
The recipe gives step-by-step instructions that are very easy to follow. Probably even the most cooking-challenged person could handle this recipe. There did seem to be a lot of prep work involved, though. Good thing we had kids on hand to help peel and mince the garlic, shuck the corn, mince the shallots, chop the tomatoes, etc. All in all, dinner was done in about 40 minutes (give or take a few minutes) and it was certainly a very attractive meal.
And for the taste test? Two big thumbs up from the adults. (The salsa verde was amazing.) The kids enjoyed the salmon and were so-so on the quinoa. They supplemented their meal by sharing a small plate of leftover pasta – and in doing so, one of the kids discovered that the salsa verde was delicious on pasta. Who knew?
Overall, it was a very tasty meal, easy to make, and generous on portions (we had at least a meal’s worth left over for the next day). What we also liked was that it brought us out of our usual cooking routine and got us working together to try something new. I’m sure I never would have come up with that particular salsa verde on my own, and it was a great touch.
Also – extra bonus – According to Blue Apron, each serving would clock in at about 500 (high-quality) calories. That’s just about perfect for dinner, especially for those of us who are watching our weight and don’t want to overload in the evening with a lot of empty calories.
Blue Apron meals cost about $10 per person per meal (slightly less if you are ordering for a four-person family). Delivery is free, and you can customize your meals to your dietary preferences. Plus, you can skip your delivery at any time if you’re on vacation or have other plans that week. The meals are packed with enormous ice packs, so if you’re not home when the delivery comes by, it’s safe to sit there, chilling, until you get home.
So, to recap:
Blue Apron Pros: Convenient, very fresh, easy to cook, delicious, something new, generous portion sizes, diet-friendly, flexible.
Blue Apron Cons: Expensive for most families, lots of packaging, only partial appeal to kids.
Do you have any experience with Blue Apron? Let us know what you think!