How great would it be to have all the ingredients you need to make dinner waiting for you at your doorstep after a long day of work?
Say hello to Blue Apron, a meal delivery service that brings you measured out ingredients to make 3 meals to your doorstep, saving you a trip to the supermarket. My roommate Natalie (also a dietitian) and I were quite intrigued by this concept (who wouldn’t be?) and decided to give it a try.
As nutritionists, we love food, cooking, and health so we approached this experience with a health conscious mindset. Here’s what we thought about it, from calories and serving sizes to quality of ingredients.
On the menu:
Swedish Meatballs & Braised Kale with Lingonberry Jam and Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Chicken, Baby Artichoke & Spinach Casserole with Gouda Bechamel
Ginger-Soy Glazed salmon with Broccoli Rabe and Soba Noodles
Calories and Serving Sizes
The recipes indicate that it made 2 servings, ranging from 625-700 calories per serving. That’s a little high for us (ideally 400-500 calories) but we were curious because the recipes all had great ingredients, so we dug a little deeper to figure out why the calories were so high and what we could do about it. Turns out, the recipes ended up to yield enough for 3 people, (we actually had another portion leftover that we shared with a friend). There were things here and there that we could have tweeked but we both thought the serving size was the biggest factor affecting calorie count. If you divide the total calories of the dish into 3 servings, each serving would be about range in the 400- 500 calorie ballpark.
We thought it would have been helpful to have a section for tools listed in the recipe. On their website, Blue Apron indicates that “all you need are standard pots, pans and knives.” However, we needed to use a grater to grate the Gouda cheese, a strainer for the pasta and soba noodles, and a whisk for the béchamel. Figured these should be items in everyone’s kitchen but for beginner cooks, you would be lucky if you found a spatula…
Because the instructions are in paragraph form, it is a little difficult to follow. We are both used to a list (step 1, step 2, etc) and to be honest, we did look over a step (oops)….
Some items needed more preparation. We were under the impression that everything came already minced, grated, chopped for us and all we had to do was assemble it together but we did have to do some work such as grate the cheese, mince the shallot and mince the garlic. Maybe this was meant for home cooks to at least have some prepping done on their own? We love to cook and were happy to do it but for someone who just wants to put everything together and do dinner quick and easy, I could see how it would be a little surprising…
Despite our “health conscious” and user-friendly comments, we did have a ton of fun in the kitchen and our dishes looked and tasted great. Check out our Blue Apron meals!
We do have to mention the high quality of ingredients Blue Apron provided us though. They were fresh and kept in the fridge very well. Their mission to get more people in the kitchen is commendable and I know thousands of home cooks are developing a love for cooking because of Blue Apron.
This is a recap of our experience with Blue Apron, coming from a health conscious standpoint. Maybe in the future, they may start a “healthy” 400-500 meal line (a nutritionist can dream..). We will be the first to stand up to applaud.
Have you tried Blue Apron? What has your experience been like? Any other meal delivery services you like?
Natalie & Joanna