Meals Made Easy: Blue Apron

Meals Made Easy: Blue Apron

Meal Service Name: Blue Apron

Description: Originally worn by apprentice chefs in France, the Blue Apron has become a symbol of lifelong learning in cooking. Complete meals with 500-700 calories per serving, take on average 35 minutes to prepare, ingredients are pre-portioned to save time and reduce waste, and easy to follow beautifully printed recipe cards. Recipes focus on ingredients that are in season from artisanal purveyors, fresher than the supermarket, and specialty ingredients are provided that are hard to find in any old grocery store.

Experience: The recipe I chose to make was a seared salmon with preserved lemon and a quinoa salad. I’ve cooked salmon many times before, but when making this dish it came out absolutely perfectly! It could have been the quality of the fresh salmon, the hotness of my pan, or a number of other details but the skin on this salmon came out perfectly crispy and the fish was cooked through, but wasn’t dry.

The salmon on this dish had an interesting topping, a preserved lemon rind. First I cut the lemon into small bit sized pieces and soaked in a brine of sugar and salt. I think this condiment would have turned out a little better if I would have let it sit for a bit longer, but I was hungry! I’ve done a little bit of pickling in my cooking adventures but I had never thought of topping salmon with preserved lemon tidbits. I liked that Blue Apron introduced me to a new technique!

Something that would have been useful in the recipe that wasn’t there was a tip about how to cook quinoa. Quinoa is similar to other grains in that you always double the amount of water. For example, this recipe used ½ cup of red quinoa, so I used 1 cup of water. This way you never have to drain your grain!

I liked that the quinoa salad used pea tendrils. This is a green I haven’t really experimented with before and was less peppery than the arugula I usually do my quinoa salads with. I also enjoyed the simple preparation for the dressing that went along with the quinoa salad.

What I loved best about Blue Apron and this menu and was that it was approachable and people inexperienced in cooking would find it easy to put everything together. Blue Apron also has a ton of choices when it comes to their available menus each week and people from multiple skill levels are able to enjoy their recipes. Some recipes are harder to make than others, and experienced cooks will find these more complicated recipes tasty and rewarding to make. I also like how you can view the full recipe and ingredients before ordering! I would definitely recommend Blue Apron to someone who wants to make beautiful and delicious meals but doesn't want to spend extra time grocery shopping for specific ingredients and doing all the measuring and prep themselves.

Meal Plan: On average $10/person, the price is right!

Founder/Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NYC

Menu Examples:

  • Albondigas Mexican Meatball Soup
  • Chopped Shrimp Salad
  • Black Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas
  • Cauliflower Steaks with Spinach Gratin

Delivery: Always Included in meal price

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  • A similar service launched in Chicago this Summer. Relished Foods is a weekly meal delivery service - chef prepared recipes, fresh ingredients and step-by-step instructions delivered to your door.

    http://www.relishedfoods.com

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