This summer I was doing a lot of traveling for work and really started to miss having home cooked meals for dinner. However, in the past, I have tended to fall into cooking "ruts" where I just make the same couple recipes over and over again. Mostly because I'm pretty tired after work and I don't feel like coming up with a new, creative recipe every night. So, it's either cook what I know or order takeout.
Enter, Blue Apron grocery delivery service. I had heard about both Plated and Blue Apron and read reviews on both, so I decided it would be a fun service to try when I was back home. I really liked the idea of all of the necessary ingredients for easy, but delicious, recipes being delivered right to our door. The Blue Apron website also allows you to skip or pause your deliveries at any time and select from six different recipes available for each week, which I found a really fun feature. I also found their website very easy to navigate which is a definite plus. For this week we selected the following three recipes:
1) Cumin-Sichuan Beef & Noodles
2) Southern-Style Chicken Cacciatore
3) Sautéed Shrimp Sandwiches
We received the first shipment of Blue Apron yesterday, the food arrived in a large box and was packaged with recyclable materials, including ice packs to keep the food fresh until it was able to be unpacked into the refrigerator. One of my biggest fears when signing up for the service was whether or not the ingredients would actually be fresh. Well, if you decide to get Blue Apron for yourself do not worry about this. All the produce was perfect, no bruises, no spots, and was very fresh.
When I got home from work I decided to make the Sautéed Shrimp Sandwiches as my first recipe of the week. I love a good seafood roll (especially lobster rolls from Luke's Lobster on 17th in Center City) so I was excited to create my own. Here is the recipe in case you'd like to try whipping up the sandwiches for yourself.
Blue Apron's pre-portioned ingredients made the prep so easy, and I only ended up using a knife, cutting board, a couple of bowls, two spoons, and a frying pan to create the dish (which made clean-up a breeze). The entire recipe took me about 30 minutes start to finish to prepare and when I was done, the end result did not disappoint! I actually really enjoyed the side salad, which was actually more work to prepare than the shrimp rolls (it involved chopping up all the ingredients which was the most time consuming part of the recipe). The salad was dressed with lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. So easy right? However, I probably would never of thought of it. I'm definitely going to be dressing more of my salads with that combination.
So overall first impression? Really enjoying the service so far and excited to expand my culinary knowledge by trying three new recipes every week. The only negative I can think of so far is there are only six recipes to choose from each week, and sometimes if you choose certain recipes you can't combine your choice with some of the other choices (for example sometimes if you choose two of the meat dishes you have to get the third meat dish and none of the vegetarian dishes will be available to you). This doesn't really bother me as I'm not a picky eater in the slightest, but people with pickier palettes might have a more difficult time.
Last added bonus: I am pretty excited to not have to wait in long lines at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's and lug my groceries back home each weekend.
Have you tried a grocery delivery service? What did you think? Any favorite Blue Apron recipes?