The holiday season is officially in full swing, Hanukkah starts in less than a week and Christmas will be here before we know it. Cue the craziness (and fun)! I love this time of the year, but with all the hustle and bustle just getting dinner on the table every night can be a little overwhelming. Last week Isaac and I had no trouble with this because we were sent a Blue Apron box to test out.
If you haven’t heard of Blue Apron before, it’s a meal delivery service that allows you to create delicious, chef-designed recipes at home. They deliver all the fresh ingredients you need, in exactly the right proportions so you’re ready to start cooking. No extra trips to the store and no waste of extra ingredients! Pretty convenient.
Last week I received an email the day before our delivery with a sneak peek of our menu.
Maybe it’s the food blogger in me, but as soon as I saw the menu I started to get really excited about trying all the recipes! They all sounded so good. The next afternoon our refrigerated box, equipped with everything we needed to create three meals, arrived on our doorstep.
The Blue Apron menu changes each week and they have tons of different seasonal recipes so you never get bored. When you set up your account, you can specify your dietary preferences. I eat meat now, but not very often so I requested pescatarian and vegetarian meals. Gluten-free isn’t an option at this time, but it worked out okay for us because Isaac still eats gluten.
Here’s what our menu included:
- Shrimp & Mustard Green Laing with Jasmine Rice
- Orecchiette Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Capers & Garlic Breadcrumbs
- Butternut Squash & Brussels Sprout Hash with Chestnuts, Apple, Goat Cheese & Crispy Sage
We made the shrimp and mustard green dish the first night the box arrived. The recipe was really easy to follow (I loved having pictures of each step) and the dish turned out to be really tasty. You can see the final creation on my Instagram account. 🙂
Since I wasn’t going to be eating the pasta dish, I decided to make both the hash and the pasta on the same night. Alyssa came over for dinner so she and Isaac got in on the Blue Apron prep.
It was fun having them in the kitchen with me.
We got started with the butternut squash & brussels sprouts hash first and then started working the pasta since it took a little less time.
The hash was packed full of colorful produce including Maitake mushrooms and roasted chestnuts, two ingredients I’d never worked with before. As an aside, I was really impressed with the quality of the fresh items included in our Blue Apron box. All the ingredients looked perfectly ripe and tasted fresh.
From start to finish, each meal only took about 30-40 minutes to prepare and they were all unique (like nothing I’d made before) and super flavorful.
Time to dig in!
This hash was my favorite meal of the three. There were a ton of different flavors and textures, but it all tied together really well — especially with a little goat cheese and crispy, fried sage on top. It was warm and comforting — perfect for a cold evening. The recipe is posted online so I can definitely see myself making this again sometime soon.
Alyssa and Isaac really enjoyed the pasta dish as well. I tried a few pieces of the cauliflower before it was mixed with the pasta and breadcrumbs and thought it tasted delish so I’m sure it was divine with the pasta.
Another thing I should note is that each meal contained two servings, but we had at least one portion of leftovers with every meal. I know that meal size is a common concern with meal delivery services and I have to say that Blue Apron definitely offers generous portion sizes. And if calories are something of interest to you, each Blue Apron menu item is between 500-700 calories per person. Not too shabby, especially given the large portion sizes.
Overall, I was really impressed with our Blue Apron experience. Even as someone who is always in the kitchen experimenting on my own, it was really fun to try new recipes and break out of the dinner rut we tend to get stuck in sometimes. An added bonus was not having to go to the grocery store last week!
I can see us doing Blue Apron again, especially for the weeks when we’re super busy and don’t feel like meal planning or shopping. I also think it would make a great gift idea for friends and family. I’m not going to mention any names (since they might read this) but I think I might have a few people on my holiday shopping list who would really enjoy getting a Blue Apron box.
If you’re interested in trying Blue Apron, you’re in luck because they’re offering a special deal for EBF readers. The first 50 readers will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order!! Just click here to claim the offer.
This post was sponsored by Blue Apron, but as always opinions are my own.