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Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – July 2016

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BlueApron-July-2016-Box

Blue Apron is a subscription meal delivery service. Every week, they send seasonal recipes created by their culinary team and all of the pre-measured ingredients you need to make them at home.

Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!

BlueApron-July-2016-Inside

In addition to their 2-Person Subscription Plan, which features seasonally-inspired meals for two, Blue Apron also offers a Family Plan that features kid-friendly recipes and family-style meals for four. (Note that this is a review of the 2-Person Subscription Plan.)

Blue Apron also offers a monthly add-on wine subscription. You can find a review of that subscription here.

It’s easy to skip deliveries and cancel your subscription through the Blue Apron website.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

BlueApron-July-2016-Contents

The Subscription Box: Blue Apron

The Cost: $59.94 for 3 recipes on the 2-Person Plan, $69.92 for 2 recipes on the Family Plan, $139.84 for 4 recipes on the Family Plan.

COUPON: Get two free meals on your first order! No code needed, just use this link

The Products: Fresh ingredients and recipes to make healthy meals at home.

Ships to: US

Check out all of our Blue Apron Reviews and find other meal boxes in the Meal Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

BlueApron-July-2016-AllRecipes

When I placed my order with Blue Apron, I was automatically assigned 3 recipes; however, it was easy to go back into my account to pick new ones. Certain combinations of dishes are not allowed, though, so depending on which recipes I selected first, certain other recipes became unavailable.

BlueApron-July-2016-Newsletter

Inside each box, Blue Apron includes their newsletter, “From the Farm.”

Unlike many meal boxes, Blue Apron doesn’t group their ingredients by recipe. I like that this limits packaging, but it does slow down the meal preparation process slightly. (I also try to quarantine the Blue Apron ingredients in my fridge, so I don’t use a recipe ingredient for something else by mistake.) The “knick knacks” for each recipe are bagged together, though, which helps.

Unfortunately, when I was unpacking this box I noticed that some of the produce I received was in less that ideal condition. I received some wilty cilantro and an eggplant that was way past its prime. (You can probably see in the above photo that it arrived with lots of bruises and bad spots.)

Recipe #1- Spiced Shrimp & Pearl Couscous with Sautéed Zucchini

Calories: 685 per serving

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15-25 minutes

BlueApron-July-2016-ShrimpCard

Pearl couscous was produced in the 1950’s to help combat rice shortages in Israel. The tiny pasta-like balls are toasted, and they have a delicious, roasty flavor. I really enjoy cooking with peal couscous, and this dish looked great!

BlueApron-July-2016-ShrimpPrep

I prepped for this dish by slicing zucchini, mincing garlic, and chopping some parsley.

BlueApron-July-2016-ShrimpZucchini

I cooked the zucchini and garlic in some olive oil, and then added tomato paste, verjus, and water to make a sauce.

BlueApron-July-2016-ShrimpCouscous

While the dish simmered, I boiled the couscous in salted water.

BlueApron-July-2016-ShrimpCooking

After the sauce started to thicken, I stirred in shrimp and the provided spices. I finished the dish by adding a little butter, stirring in the cooked couscous, and a bit of the couscous cooking water. I seasoned the dish, transferred it onto plates, and topped each one with some chopped parsley.

BlueApron-July-2016-ShrimpPlated

I liked this dish a lot! The spice blend (ground fennel, turmeric, and Aleppo pepper) was flavorful, and it was kind of like summer comfort food- warming and satisfying without being too heavy.

Recipe #2- Brown Butter Gnocchi with Summer Squash, Almonds, and Soft-Boiled Eggs

Calories: 650 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

BlueApron-July-2016-GnocchiRecipe

Gnocchi is another of my favorite ingredients. (Can you tell I have a major appreciation for carbs?)

BlueApron-July-2016-GnocchiPrep

Blue Apron sent everything I needed for this dish- even eggs! (Often, other meal boxes will ask that you provide your own because they can be difficult to ship.)

BlueApron-July-2016-GnocchiCooking

I began by cooking butter in a sauté pan until it started to brown and smelled rich and nutty. I then added the summer squash, cooking it until it softened, followed by chopped almonds and some lemon juice.

In a separate pan, I boiled the gnocchi. When it was ready, I strained it and stirred it into the squash mixture along with some creme fraiche. I split the gnocchi between two bowls and topped each one with chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, and a soft-boiled egg.

BlueApron-July-2016-GnocchiPlated

As I mentioned above, I absolutely love gnocchi. Unfortunately, though, this dish didn’t quite work for me. The tart flavor of the lemon juice didn’t complement the nutty caramel flavor of the brown butter, in my opinion. I love gnocchi with lemon and I love gnocchi with brown butter, but the flavors together worked in opposition, not harmony.

Recipe #3- Eggplant Tagine with Couscous, Chickpeas, and Feta Cheese

Calories: 785 per serving

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

BlueApron-July-2016-EggplantRecipe

All of the bad produce I received was for this dish. I replaced the bad eggplant with one I had in my fridge, but I didn’t have any cilantro on hand, so I omitted it.

BlueApron-July-2016-EggplantPrep

I sliced the eggplant, a shallot, garlic, and I chopped some almonds.

BlueApron-July-2016-EggplantSpices

In a small dutch oven I sautéed shallot in olive oil with the provided spices.

While the shallot cooked, I boiled some water in a separate pot and cooked the couscous.

BlueApron-July-2016-EggplantChickpeas

Blue Apron sent a can of chickpeas for this recipe, and I rinsed them thoroughly with water and smashed half of them with a fork.

BlueApron-July-2016-EggplantCooking

After the shallot softened, I added in the eggplant and cooked it until it softened. I then added honey, vinegar, chickpeas, water, lemon juice and seasoning. I plated the eggplant mix over couscous and topped it with feta and almonds.

BlueApron-July-2016-EggplantPlated

I really enjoy Moroccan-inspired flavors, and I thought this dish was tasty. I might make it again and add in some dried fruit, perhaps some chopped dates or golden raisins.

Verdict: This was a pretty good box from Blue Apron. My favorite meal was definitely the Spiced Shrimp with Couscous, but I liked the Eggplant Tagine, too. I’m disappointed that some of the produce arrived in bad shape, though. That’s never good to see. Value wise, Blue Apron is competitively priced (about the same cost per meal as Hello Fresh and cheaper than Plated), and I do feel that the ingredients they send are high quality. The biggest issue for me is with their meal variety. While they technically have 6 meals to choose from each week, not all meal combinations are available. I would love to see them offer a more diverse selection.

Do you subscribe to Blue Apron?

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

3 Comments

  1. I love BA! We also received the shrimp meal & it has been the only thing that we have thought was completely gross so far. We each threw half our meal away. The shrimp we received were not deveined all the way & they didn’t give us one of the ingredients (I think it was a type of vinegar) so it tasted like a fishy tomato soup. They did credit us $9.99 because they forgot to send that ingredient. Everything else has been amazing though!

  2. Did you email them about the bad produce? My box had a cracked egg, and when I emailed they gave me a $20 credit on my next box – just for one egg!!

    • Agreed, they are really good with crediting you the entire meal when something goes wrong!

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