I’ve seen so many great reviews, celebrities preaching about it on their social media accounts, and success stories with Blue Apron customers and now I understand why. I’ve always been curious on how it works, if the food is fresh, and if it’s really worth the money, so I contimplated on making the purchase. When Blue Apron reached out to me to try their box, I was super excited because it put the contemplating to an end and gave me a verdict! I love the Blue Apron meals and I cannot wait to sign up for my next box.
I use a lot of basic ingredients, stuff you’d find in almost anyone’s house. I get comfortable with the same foods and find it hard to venture out, which is why Blue Apron is perfect for me. In the meals I cooked below, you’ll see how the chefs introduce me to so many new ingredients that I’ve never cooked with before, and they taught me how to cook some familiar ingredients differently. I never knew that radishes tasted so good cooked and never heard of celeriac, but I’m already planning new recipes with it as the base! I actually ate mushrooms! You all know how much I hate them and I didn’t even mind that they were in the dish because they tasted so good!
My boyfriend and I are out and about a lot and it makes it hard for us to cook meals when we are together. We don’t have time to plan meals, time to run to the grocery store, and time to actually do the cooking on top of all of that. Blue Apron takes away the hassle of deciding what to make, grocery shopping, and lets you enjoy the fun part, cooking! It’s a great date night idea, or teaching kids how to cook, perfect for bonding with your mom on mother’s day, or for just a regular ole dinner night!
I absolutely love that the ingredients are farm fresh and you don’t have to run to the grocery store for anything, unless you don’t have oil in the house!
If you’re worried that it’ll be too complicated to follow, don’t! It’s almost like having a personal chef in your kitchen with you. You’ll get recipe cards that cover everything you need to do! They explain a little bit about the dish, tell you which ingredients you’ll be using, and the instructions. They also have picture tutorials which are perfect for people like me who need visual directions. If you’re struggling in the cooking department, this may be your key to success!
They sent me their two person plan! It has three meals for two people every week at only $9.99 per meal per person! I spend way more than that grocery shopping or dining out. They also have family plans at $8.47 per person per meal for a family of four. I also can’t believe their shipping is free and send their boxes to almost 80% of the country! (shipping map). A man in a van pulled up Friday morning and dropped off a refrigerated box with all the ingredients inside. I waited about three days before making any of the meals and they all stayed fresh.
Not only do I like to cook, but my mom loves to cook. I knew she’d get a thrill out of helping me make all the meals, trying them out and taking pictures for the post. We also had two of the best taste testers, an Italian man who loves food, my boyfriend Nick, and a Scottish Irish New Yorker, my father! They both aren’t shy about telling you how it is.
First up on the menu, Laotian Larb Gai with Sticky Rice, Peanuts, and Mint.
Laotian larb gai is a well known dish in Northern Thai cuisine, but I had never heard of it! I haven’t been introduced to many Thai foods, so this box was kind of a blessing. It reminded me of the lettuce wraps at PF Changs, but much healthier.
After you pick out all the ingredients for the recipe, flip the card over and follow the directions! The first step has you prepare your ingredients by washing, defrosting, chopping, zesting, or peeling.
Ingredients: 10 Ounces Ground Chicken, ½ Cup Sushi Rice, 1 Lime, 1 Persian Cucumber, ½ Pound Green Cabbage, 1 Red Onion , 1 Bunch Mint, 2 Tablespoons Golden Mountain Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Coconut Palm Sugar , 1 Serrano Chile Pepper, and ¼ Cup Peanuts.
1. COOK THE RICE: In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 cup of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 15 to 17 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat. Fluff the finished rice with a fork.
2. PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS: While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Thinly slice the cucumber on an angle. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Cut out and discard the cabbage core; slice the cabbage into 1-inch-wide strips. Roughly chop the peanuts. Cut off and discard the serrano pepper stem; thinly slice the pepper into rounds. (For a milder dish, remove and discard the ribs and seeds of the pepper, then thinly slice.) Wash your hands and cutting board immediately after handling the pepper.
3. COOK THE CHICKEN: In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one),While the rice continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground chicken. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan.
4. MAKE THE LARB GAI: In the same pan used to cook the chicken, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and as much of the Serrano pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the lime zest, palm sugar, Golden Mountain sauce, cooked chicken and the juice of 2 lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat.
5.PLATE YOUR DISH: Divide the cooked rice and larb gai between 2 plates. Top with the peanuts andmint. Serve with the cabbage and cucumber on the side. Garnish with the remaining lime wedges!
The cooking steps are so simple and quick. This recipe only took about 45 minutes to make, not that time mattered to me, because cooking is meant to be an event. My boyfriend comes from a very Italian family; cooking is sacred to them. Cooking is about spending time with family, tasting all kinds of foods, and making memories. We need to remember to not let busy schedules stand in the way of our lives. I loved cooking these meals with my mom as a way to bond and enjoy the moment.
Preparing the plate and styling the ingredients is so fun and my favorite part! You can use your own creative style instead of making it look just like their image, although theirs is pretty too.
I’ve never cooked with sticky rice before and now I’m a fan. It’s so much better than brown rice and I love the texture of it paired with ground chicken.
Overall this dish was so rich with flavor, citrusy, sweet, and spicy! It was one of the favorites of the three.
With the leftover lime, cucumber and mint, I made an infused water to go with the meal.
This was far from anything I would have ever made or chose from a cook book, and I’m so happy I’ve been introduced because I’m looking forward to making it again.
The next meal on the menu was the Dukkah-Spiced Salmon with Spring Vegetable & Oyster Mushroom Ragout.
This recipe taught me so much! It made me a fan of celeriac and taught me a new way of cooking my salmon. It was created by Executive Chef and restaurant owner in San Francisco, Melissa Perello. This is the dish that made mushrooms tolerable for me. This recipe was very earthy, fresh, and powerful.
Ingredients: 2 Skinless Salmon Fillets, 1 Fennel Bulb With Fronds, 1 Stem Green Garlic, 1 Lemon, ½ Pound Celeriac, 1 Tablespoon Pistachios, 2 Tablespoons Crème Fraîche, 1 Bunch Parsley, 5 Ounces Mixed Oyster Mushrooms, 1 Red Onion, 1 Teaspoon Dukkah Salmon Spice Blend (Za’atar, Coarsely Ground Coriander Seeds, Coarsely Ground Fennel Seeds, Coarsely Ground Cumin Seeds, Coarsely Ground Black Sesame Seeds & Fennel Pollen)
1. PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Cut the mushrooms (including the root ends) into bite-sized pieces. Pick off and reserve the fennel fronds. Cut the fennel stems and bulb crosswise into ½-inch-wide pieces. Cut off and discard the root end of the green garlic; thinly slice. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and medium dice the onion and celeriac. Pick the parsley off the stems; discard the stems. Finely chop the pistachios; place in a small bowl with the spice blend.
2. COOK THE MUSHROOMS: In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and crispy; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan.
3. COOK THE VEGETABLES: In the same pan used to cook the mushrooms, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the celeriac; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the fennel stems and bulb, green garlic and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the lemon zest. Transfer to the bowl of cooked mushrooms; set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan.
4. COOK THE SALMON: Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan used to cook the vegetables, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fillets and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat.
5. FINISH THE MUSHROOMS & VEGETABLES: Add the crème fraîche, half the parsley and the juice of 1 lemon wedge to the bowl of cooked mushrooms and vegetables. Stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
In a medium bowl, combine the fennel fronds, remaining parsley and the juice of 1 lemon wedge. Divide the finished mushrooms and vegetables and cooked salmon fillets between 2 plates. Top with the pistachio-spice blend mixture andherb garnish. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.
For my plate style, I topped the spring vegetable and oyster mushroom ragout with the cooked salmon and sprinkled the spice blend on top with a chunk of lemon and parsley.
The outside of the salmon was so crispy and the inside was so moist; just the way salmon should be! I’ve never actually panfried salmon before: I usually bake or grill it. This was so much quicker!
I loved loved loved the celeriac! It tasted like a potato! Great for those low carb meals!
The flavors in this dish meshed so well together. They were seasonal and complimented the salmon perfectly, so heart-healthy!
I paired the dish with some leftover lemon, mint and strawberry infused water!
The last meal on the menu was the Sirloin Steak Tips with New Potato, Asparagus, & Radish Hash.
This dish was very unique! I never would have thought of pairing Parmesan with steak, but it works! The Italian salsa verde was my favorite part of the dish. It was simple and I’ll be making it more!
Ingredients: 2 Sirloin Tip Steaks, 3 Cloves Garlic, ½ Bunch Asparagus , 3 Ounces Radishes, 1 Lemon, 1 Red Onion, 6 Ounces New Potatoes, 1 Large Bunch Parsley, 2 Tablespoons Capers , 2 Tablespoons Sliced Almonds, ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Snap off and discard the tough, woody ends of the asparagus stems; cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and large dice the onion. Quarter the potatoes. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Roughly chop the capers and almonds. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the radishes. Cut the radishes into wedges.
2. COOK THE STEAKS: Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned steaks and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium, or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan. Loosely cover the steaks with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 5 minutes.
5. MAKE THE SALSA VERDE: Combine the parsley, capers, almonds and Parmesan cheese. Slowly stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to create a paste; season with salt and pepper to taste
Instead of mixing everything together, I topped the hash with sliced steak and salsa verde!
I’m not used to cooking steak on the stove top and it was crisp, tender, and cooked to perfection! Sometimes the grill gets all the credit! The radishes were an awesome touch to this recipe and I’m so glad I was introduced to cooking them this way!
I was so impressed with all three dishes and it’s hard to really choose a favorite because they were all delicious in their own unique way. I do know that I had such a blast making the meals and Blue Apron made it easy! I learned so much!
Whether you’re trying to impress a mother in law, a boyfriend, or just to make the house smell like a top chef restaurant, Blue Apron is the way to go! I give it my five stars!