If you follow me on Instagram (@llatham0306 – I actually update Instagram on a regular basis. You can blame it for the demise of this blog.), you may have seen me posting delicious pictures of food. Which I made! After Christmas, Andrew and I decided to try Blue Apron. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about our experience and I recently wrote a President’s Letter in our building newsletter about it. Without further ado…
The most frequently asked question I remember my mom asking my dad, sister, and I was, “What do you want for supper?” If we did not respond or responded indifferently, we always received a big sigh. I did not understand the burden we put on my mom until I had to start planning meals with another person. My mom was also responsible for grocery shopping; a dread which I also did not comprehend until adulthood, especially living downtown and feeling like we should trek either North or South each week to a grocery chain even though we had a perfectly great one, albeit a bit more expensive, a block away. Unlike my family, who could not just order takeout or go to a restaurant due to living in a town the size of a few KC street blocks, we started taking advantage of the awesome restaurant choices around us. After a while, though, we were in the same rut and the question changed to, “Where do you want to go eat?” Downtown living, we found, does not entirely solve the dinner problem.
If you walk out of our building on a Saturday morning, you would notice the Blue Apron boxes that are piled on top of the security desk. One of those is for us and as cliché as it might sound, it has totally changed our lives. We both enjoy to cook and it is an activity that we enjoy doing together, but had stopped entirely because of the hassle of prepping to do the actual cooking. Removing the two things we hate about preparing to cook, planning a menu and shopping for that menu, is exactly what services like Blue Apron do.
So far, we have been very satisfied with Blue Apron (they are not paying me to say this), but I have heard great things about similar meal kit services including Hello Fresh, Plated, and Home Chef. There have also been specialty services pop up for specific types of cooking such as Peach Dish for a Southern flavor, The Organic Dish, Purple Carrot for vegans, and Green Blender for superfood smoothies.
Every Saturday, we get fresh, quality, farm-sourced, proportioned ingredients in entirely recyclable packaging for three balanced and unique meals for just under $60. We have had over 75 meals and some of our absolute favorites have been Chicken & Garlic Chive Meatballs with Quick Apple & Brussels Sprout Kimchi; Apple & Blue Cheese Panzanella Salad with Smashed Purple Potatoes’; Cod & Potato Brandade with Watermelon Radish Salad & Garlic Toasts (picture below); Sweet Potato & Collard Green Hash with Sunny Side-Up Eggs, Molasses Butter & Biscuits; Acorn Squash, Brussel Sprouts & Farro Salad with Crispy Pepitas & Cranberry Agrodolce (picture below); Kimchi & Barley Miso Ramen with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Asian Pear (pictures below); and Hoisin & Shiitake Burgers with Miso Mayonnaise & Roasted Sweet potato Wedges (picture below). In all, there have only been a few meals where I would probably pass if I had the option to make it again, but there has not been a single meal that I did not eat.
Not only have we enjoyed cooking together again and eating the delicious meals, but we are cooking with ingredients we probably would have never used, some which we have never heard of before. Farro, for example, has been a key ingredient in a few of the meals. It is extremely easy to prepare and is a great alternative to rice. Also, I discovered that I do not like the taste of kale or Swiss chard, but collard greens are fine. Andrew and I made an effort to try the vegetarian option to see if that lifestyle could work for us and we have loved discovering the different ingredients that can be used in vegetarian meals. We were not picky eaters before, but our experiences have definitely been expanded over the last few months.
If you struggle with the same thing my mom and Andrew and I have, then I would recommend giving one of these meal kit services a try. There are usually options for delivery days and number of servings per meal, multiple meals to choose from weekly, and vegetarian options. You can usually skip a week if needed, too. Many offer a discounted or free trial; I have freebies to give away and would be happy to share.