Trying On the Blue Apron

The Sauce tries out the new home-delivery cooking plan.

The Sauce and Sauce Spouse (that’s my husband, Alan) were not thinking about this blog when we signed up to try Blue Apron—a service the delivers fresh, seasonal, farm-to-table ingredients once a week to your home so you can cook your own meals without having to shop.

But since people consistently say, “Oh, I’ve heard of that, what’s it like?” when we mention it, I decided to share our thoughts on donning the Blue Apron.

First the facts: Everything you need to prepare three separate meals arrives at your home (free delivery) once a week on the day of your choice. The only ingredients you need to have in your kitchen are salt, pepper and olive oil. Everything is in the box or the adorbs little paper bag of “knick knacks” that comes with each meal.

 You can choose family meals for four, or meals for two. In both cases, the cost is $10 per meal, per person—certainly less than a restaurant meal and probably comparable to or less than similar artisanal ingredients from a grocery store. There is no option for the solo diner unless you want to cook three meals for two and have food for six dinners—not a bad idea. Recipes never repeat in the same year.

Probably in order to keep the price point down, Blue Apron does not accommodate special diets (gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, allergies). Because you are doing your own cooking, however, you can often leave out one offending ingredient, and the recipe works anyway. Still, since proteins are usually one fish, one chicken and one meat meal (beef, lamb, pork) this is not a vegetarian’s best bet. You cannot select individual recipes.

Because we like to cook together, we’ve had fun with this. Each recipe comes with a glossy color instruction sheet that works for the beginner or the experienced cook. The ingredients have all been top-quality, although in some cases the protein portions might be small for a big eater.

The sides and salads tend to yield larger portions than the proteins. If you are creative, you can figure out a good use for leftovers—the flavorful cabbage cooked with onions, honey and dried hops for the pictured Oktoberfest pork chop meal made a nice topping for our own chicken apple sausages on buns later in the week.

Recently Alan forgot to stop the weekly order while he was traveling, leaving me with three meals-for-two to cook on my own. One remains in the freezer—but a gal pal and I cooked the pan-seared salmon and farro salad together one night as an alternative to meeting someplace for dinner. Now we’re both buying farro (a nutty ancient grain) at Trader Joe’s—and I bought the ingredients myself to prepare this favorite Blue Apron dish later for a dinner guest.

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