This post is sponsored by Blue Apron, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
When it comes to dinner-time, I’m someone who keeps things pretty simple. I like to create quick and healthy meals and have been known to repeat the same things over and over again. Well ladies and gentlemen, leave it to Blue Apron to introduce me to a whole new world of cooking techniques, flavor profiles and dinners. Today, I’m going to tell you a bit about my experience using this service, and then you’ll find a discount code at the end to get two free meals from the service to try it for yourself.
Blue Apron is not a meal-delivery service, it’s a service which gives you all the tools you need to create your own innovative meals in the comfort of your own kitchen. Fresh ingredients and step-by-step directions are delivered right to your door, so you can do the cooking and admire your work. And you don’t have to know how to cook to be able to create these dishes. You just have to be able to read!
I signed up for the service about two weeks before I wanted to receive my Saturday delivery, for two. A couple days before the delivery arrived, I received an email telling me what was on the menu for the meals that would be included, and my excitement grew (as did Dave’s, because he kept asking what we could expect to be eating days leading up to receiving the email!). The food box came in the middle of the day, I pulled everything out and popped it in the fridge, and just like that, Dave and I had dinners for much of the week in one place, without even going to the grocery store.
What it really looks like to cook a Blue Apron meal at home
The first meal we created was the Matzoh-Crusted Chicken with Orange, Fennel & Golden Beet Salad. I had never even eaten matzoh before, and certainly never used matzoh meal as breading on chicken. It was totally fun to use new-to-me ingredients and get my hands dirty in the kitchen, outside of my normal and simple go-to dinners.
Here’s a look at everything included in this meal …
- 2 chicken cutlets
- 1/2 cup matzoh meal
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 golden beet
- 1 red onion
- 1 navel orange
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
This serves two, with approximately 665 calories per serving.
Dave and I worked together to create this wonderful meal. I did much of the chopping, handling the salad and pickling, while Dave managed the chicken. A team effort indeed, which took about an hour from beginning to end. Although, we did stop from time-to-time to wipe things down and take a couple of pictures, which just may have slowed us down.
We followed the step-by-step photo instruction sheet and even accessed the directions on a tablet, which is a helpful visual aid offered by Blue Apron, in case you’re not into the hard-copy recipe how-to.
The cooking process
1. Wash and dry the produce. Then peel, slice and cut the onion, beet, fennel, parsley and oranges. Create the mustard using the mix and water.
Chop, chop, chop …
2. Pickle the onions, by combining sugar, vinegar, onion and water in a sauce-pan.
This part smelled so good …
3. Coat the chicken in the matzoh meal, adding the mustard-water mixture.
Breading is incredibly easy …
4. Cook the chicken cutlets in a pan until golden brown.
Things got real at this point, because that pan was sizzling when the meat hit it …
5. Make the salad, using a portion of the pickling liquid on top of all the fruits and veggies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I mean, how beautiful are these fruits and veggies all mixed together?
6. Plate the dish. Garnish with parsley.
Yes, this was officially the first time I’ve garnished a dish with parsley. But let’s hope it’s not my last.
7. Serve and enjoy.
That was it! Both Dave and I liked smelling and touching all the veggies and felt quite fancy cooking something with “fennel” at home.
Here’s a close-up of the finished product …
Blue Apron’s Matzoh-Crusted Chicken with Orange, Fennel & Golden Beet Salad prepared by Chefs Ashley and Dave. Yummy!
Overall, this was a fun process, and at the end, we got to eat a super tasty meal, which we thoroughly enjoyed on a warm spring night in the Bay Area. We opened a bottle of wine and the windows and dug into our home-made masterpiece at the dinner table. So proud!
We also cooked the Beef Dukbokki with Quick Kimchi & Fresh Peas (totally tasty traditional Korean dish) and the Lentil-Crusted Salmon (who doesn’t love salmon?) that same week. We had never made any of these types of meals at home before, and we both loved that variety. And at first, we thought the food portions looked small, but the strong flavors and flavor profiles make them all surprisingly filling.
My thoughts on the Blue Apron service
I love the fact that everything is fresh, sectioned off and just enough of what you need. There’s nothing I hate more than wasting food, and the folks at Blue Apron take the guess-work out of that for you by sending you only what you need.
I also love the fact that Blue Apron introduced me to some new methods of cooking. I’d never pickled any onions before, nor breaded chicken, so that was pretty cool.
The downside? Although Blue Apron says the meals can all be completed in 40 minutes or less, Dave and I both found that these meals took a good hour to make. While maybe our chopping skills are not up-to-par, I’d imagine others would agree with this, so make sure you have the time to do the prep. Also, the calorie counts are pretty high for small plates of food, but of course, I still found I was full after all of them, as did Dave. Nonetheless, if you know you have a huge eater in your house, you could always throw in some extra brown rice or veggies to fluff out the plate.
Overall, Blue Apron is perfect for someone who wants to learn to cook, or who just wants to create delicious and diverse meals at home, without the hassle of looking up recipes and purchasing a ton of ingredients.
And by the way, if you’re single and always cooking for one, you could totally do the two-person plan and take the second meal with you for lunch the next day. I’d say, Blue Apron is for everyone!
The details on Blue Apron delivery service
- You can order a two-person plan, which has three meals-for-two, for $9.99 per person, per meal. This is delivered once a week.
- You can order a family plan, which has two meals that can feed up to four people, family-style, for $8.74 per person, per meal. This can be delivered once or twice a week.
- Shipping is always free on every order.
- All the fresh ingredients you need to make each meal are delivered in a refrigerated box — labeled, measured and packaged separately. You don’t have to be home to receive the package, because it stays cold for a few hours.
- You can cancel your service at any time.
- New meals are created by top chefs and added to the line-up every single week.
- Each meal is between 500-700 calories and can be prepared in less than 40 minutes.
- You can select meat or vegetarian preferences when placing your order, but will always be surprised by the menu emailed to you just before your delivery arrives.
- Blue Apron ships nearly everywhere in the U.S., and you can find out if it’s available in your town by checking here.
Get two free meals from Blue Apron
Because Dave and I had such a good time using Blue Apron, I’m really excited to offer you all a discount to try the service. The first 50 readers who sign up using this link will get TWO free meals. Check out Blue Apron today and become a master chef, like I did.
I’m definitely interested in cooking some more Blue Apron meals, and have my eye on Pir-Piri Chicken with Coconut-Smashed Plantains & Stewed Collard Greens and Shrimp and Pineapple Soft Tacos with Creamy Cabbage Slaw & Crunchy Romaine Salad. There are just too many to choose from!
Alright, friends! I hope you have a lovely Tuesday and Cinco de Mayo. Today is a busy one for me. I’m teaching a couple of classes at Orangetheory Fitness in the early morning, working at the studio, writing, blogging and then heading to 24 Hour Fitness to teach a BODYPUMP class tonight. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for some more talk about food. Peace out!
**Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Blue Apron, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Questions of the day
Which recipe from Blue Apron would you most like to prepare?
What types of food have you always wanted to cook at home?
Do you have any plans for Cinco de Mayo?