Sunday, March 6, 2016

My Blue Apron Experience (Part 1)


I had been wanting to try Blue Apron for a while, but the cost scared me a bit. When a dear friend of mine had a few free trial offers to share with family and friends, I was thrilled to give it a try!
I started a new account and selected my options. I chose the family plan with 2 deliveries per week. I was then able to select what types of meat would not want. I could opt out of beef, pork, shellfish, lamb, or fish. Apparently everyone must eat chicken as that was not a meat you could decline. I was disappointed this was the only customization options. I eat a mostly Paleo diet myself, and there was no Paleo option. There was also no gluten-free, dairy free, peanut free, or any other option for those with food allergies and / or intolerances - or if you simply do not like something. (My son HATES cheese. Weird, right? We do live in Wisconsin…)

Once you go through the registration process, your meals are chosen. If you don’t like what is coming, you can choose one other menu plan. We were getting the Chicken Milanese with Arugula, Potato, & Radish Salad and the Baked Eggs & Cheesy Garlic Bread.

About a week later our gourmet dinners arrived! I wasn’t home to snap pictures, but the items came cold with long-lasting ice packs that kept everything nice and chilled. Here is what I got!





Everything was packaged rather well, however there was a hole in the bread package. The bread seemed OK. The arugula was a little wilted but everything else was fresh. The items that came in a package or container was labeled clearly. Just in case you don't know what eggs are or you have never seen butter.


Even the eggs in these adorable little containers arrived safely! These cute little plastic containers do not close. All three of them were open when I took them out of their little boxes. They were wrapped in brown paper inside the box and that kept them free from harm on their journey.


I decided to make the Chicken Milanese with Arugula, Potato, & Radish Salad first since the arugula didn’t look like it would last another day. I received an 8.5x11 heavy card-stock paper with photos of tonight's dinner, a history and description of the meal, ingredients list, calories per serving (580) and prep / cook times. (If you take pictures after every thing you do - it takes longer...) On the back there was detailed instructions with pictures. Easy as pie chicken, right? I did also need olive oil, salt, and pepper which were not provided. These are very common kitchen items that everyone should have on hand.

Time to get cooking! Potatoes were first. Chopped them up, drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Done and done. In the oven these babies go!


Next up, radishes and lemons. The pictures have cute little prep bowls. I love the idea of prep bowls. I also hate how much room they take up in the dishwasher. No prep bowls here.


Time to bread the chicken. I was worried there would not be enough flour. I was also very surprised how much chicken was actually in that package!



The chicken was first dredged in the flour, then took a dip in the egg, and finally it went into the breadcrumbs. You have to press the chicken into the breadcrumbs to get a good coating. There was more than enough breadcrumbs and there was just a bit of flour left when I was done. Beautiful, right?




Next these little beauties went into a pan with oil heated to medium high heat. The pan I wanted to use would only fit 3 chicken breasts. I cooked the fourth chicken breast after. I quickly realized the medium-high heat the directions called for was way too hot. Bummer. I reduced the heat down to medium.



While the chicken cooked it was time to make the dressing and assemble the salad. That is pretty much as simple as it sounds. I was unsure about potatoes in a salad - with dressing?? I combined the radishes, potatoes, and dressing. There was a lot of dressing left.


The other side of the chicken cooked much better on the lower heat. Phew! Dinner is saved!!!


And... the finished product!

The chicken was a hit! Juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It wasn't spectacularly flavorful, so it is great for picky eaters. My son said it was the best chicken ever! He wouldn't try the salad, so I should have left some roasted potatoes out for him before I put them in the salad. My husband and I enjoyed the greens, and my worries about potatoes in a salad were not warranted - it was delicious.

The lemon... was a waste. It is simply for garnish. My son said since we were having such a fancy dinner, we needed to have our water in wine glasses and when he realized the lemons were not being used he decided to add lemon to our water. Not a bad idea.

This was not enough vegetables for us as we normally have two vegetables with our dinner. It was nice to have everything in front of me and pre-measured while cooking. The meal cost was approximately 3x more than our normal dinner budget and it just barely served 4 with no leftovers. I did not like not being able to choose a grain-free and dairy-free meal. Hopefully that will come in the future. I also did not like that the sour cream and breadcrumbs did not have an ingredients list. We normally cook enough dinner for Mr. Incredible and I to have for lunch the next day. I had to make something else quick for us to take to work.

I will be making our second meal soon. Stay tuned for Part 2!

8 comments:

  1. I've heard pretty good things about Blue Apron, but for a family of my size (5) I'm not sure it would work. I would love to give it a try though.
    Happy Friday!
    www.mrsaokaworkinprogress.com

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    1. It may not, as like I said it would barely feed our family of 4. Maybe you can try it on a night the kids want to order a pizza or something?

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  2. I love the idea of Blue Apron, but sadly they don't deliver to Hawaii :( I love lemon in water so your son is RIGHT ON! :)

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    1. That is a bummer! And if they did I bet it would be crazy expensive.

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  3. I love the idea of prepared food but I'm vegan and like you said they didn't have many customization options. Glad to see your comment about the veggies too as I eat A LOT of veggies with my meals.

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    1. I found that very surprising also! Especially in this day where there are more and more people who have strong food and lifestyle preferences - not to mention those who have allergies and having to watch what they eat could mean life or death!

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  4. I have seen so many good reviews for Blue Apron, I think I might have to give them a try.

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