A Review of the Meal Service
Earlier this year, I gave a review of my first week with Blue Apron, a service that delivers recipes and precisely measured ingredients to your home. Since then, we’ve done several more weeks with the service, and I have mixed feelings about the process.
- No meal planning. I don’t mind cooking, but sometimes the planning and shopping just kills me. On Blue Apron weeks, I only have to hit the supermarket for basics — milk, eggs, yogurt, fruit, etc. — but I don’t have to be creative. This is huge.
- Minimal shopping. There are some weeks where I’m struggling to find any free hours. If I can spare myself the hassle of driving to the distant, better supermarket, and just grab staples closer to home, that’s a huge time savings.
- Variety. The Husband hates having the same old meals over and over, so the variety is a huge selling point for him.
- More vegetarian meals. If I make a vegetarian meal on my own, everyone grumbles. If Blue Apron sends a vegetarian meal, they think it’s fantastic. So on the whole, we’re eating less meat. I think that’s probably a good thing.
- Cooking time. I’ve come to realize that their time estimates account only for the active cooking time, not the prep time. So, for example, a recipe may say that it takes 20 minutes, but that’s not the start-to-finish time. It doesn’t include how long it takes to cut a turnip into matchsticks, for example, or even the basic lead time of how long it takes to boil water for pasta. So if you think, “Oh, I can roll into the house and have dinner on the table in 20 minutes,” you’ll be sorely mistaken. There are some nights where it takes me more than an hour, start to finish. I don’t like those nights.
- Not everyone loves the ingredients. You know how some people have a powerful aversion to cilantro? Personally, I think that the bitterness of kale and chard are more offensive than cilantro. Blue Apron loves kale and chard. There are some days that The Assistant and The Husband like a meal, but that bitter greens flavor makes me want to gag. I know, you’ll all be revoking my grownup palate card.
Now that we’ve entered baseball season, a.k.a. slow cooker season, I’m probably going to have to put Blue Apron on a hiatus. I don’t have an hour or more to cook dinner after practice or a game, so we’re going to have to rely on the Crock Pot to get us through. I’ll let you know if we go back to it after the season is over.
If you have any specific questions about the service, let me know in the comments.