Blue Apron Whole30 Meal Kit Review + Coupon – January 2018
Blue Apron takes time on their box to point out that they source non-GMO and sustainable products, and have plenty of instructions online for recycling your packaging material. Creating unnecessary trash is a big concern for me with meal boxes, so I was happy to see that Blue Apron does a good job with minimizing waste.
You’ll see the recipe cards right on top when you first open your box. These are standard 8.5″ x 11″ sheets, but they’re sturdy enough to stand up to any mess in the kitchen while you’re cooking (and I’ve definitely saved some of these cards after cooking, too, for dishes I really loved.)
Under the recipe cards, you’ll find a foil bubble-wrap type bag designed to keep your food at a safe temperature as it travels.
Just like at the grocery store, they take care to pack the more delicate veggies on top, with denser vegetables and pantry goods underneath. And under the veggies, you’ll find a cardboard divider:
Any meats are underneath, kept safely on top of an ice pack.
This is a review of the 2-person, 2-meal subscription plan ($9.99 per serving, or $47.95 per week). For this review, only Whole30 recipes have been selected.
We received this box for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
What is Blue Apron?
The Subscription Box: Blue Apron
The Cost: For the 2 person plan, it’s $47.95 ($9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping) for 2 meals per week or $59.94 ($9.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for the 3 meals per week.
Family plans start at $69.92 ($8.74 per serving + FREE shipping) for the 2 meals per week, $104.88 ($8.74 per serving + FREE shipping) for 3 meals per week, or $139.84 ($8.74 per serving + FREE shipping) for 4 meals per week.
COUPON: Get three 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: U.S. only
About the Blue Apron & Whole30 Program
Blue Apron has partnered with Whole30 to offer their customers two meal options a week that are fully Whole30 compliant. This program so far is available for the first 8 weeks of 2018, but there may be a chance they’ll continue to offer these options regularly – we’ll see!
One thing to note about this program is that it is limited to two recipes a week, so if you prefer a three dinners/week plan or don’t like the Whole30 selections that week, you’re kind of out of luck.
If you’re not familiar with Whole30, it’s designed to be a low-carb elimination diet that focuses on removing processed foods and sugars from your diet. It also removes some common allergens like dairy, gluten, soy, and peanuts/legumes… the 30-second explanation is that on the diet, you’ll only be eating meat, vegetables, and fruit, and you’ll be reading lots of food labels to avoid certain ingredients. You can read the guidelines on their website here.
Whole30 Chicken & Orange-Kale Salad Review
Serving Size: 2 Servings
Estimated Time for this recipe: 25-35 Minutes
Actual Time: 41 Minutes (Although, my toddler was “helping” so I’m not too surprised it took a little longer!)
This was the first recipe I tackled when receiving my box. Since starting Whole30, I have made a lot of basic “chicken with salad greens” type of dinners, since it’s super easy and doesn’t require a lot of meal planning. I love eating salad but I do really hate making it– it always feels like so much work for a cold dinner!
In addition to everything shown above, I just needed to add olive oil, salt, and pepper in order to complete this meal. Everything is already perfectly portioned and just needs prepped and cooked!
The first step was to cut and roast the yellow potatoes in the oven with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I didn’t preheat the oven ahead of time, so that is another reason this recipe might have taken a bit longer than the suggested time: I had to wait for it to come to temperature.
While we were waiting for the oven to preheat, we pressed on and washed our veggies, then assembled the dressing. This is tahini, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and some chili paste (I used the whole packet, but they mention you can adjust to taste).
My little helper loves to help stir!
The recipe card makes it easy to follow the directions since they’re presented in a specific order. Kale is pretty tough, so marinating it is key for eating it raw– Blue Apron made sure we prep the tahini dressing first, then slice the kale into thin ribbons, and massage and let sit while you complete the rest of the meal:
After the kale prep, we got the chicken going on the stovetop with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
While waiting for the cooked ingredients to finish, we prepped our other raw veggies by peeling and slicing the orange, slicing up the radishes, and slicing the avocado (and tossing it with some vinegar to keep it from browning). I kept my avocado separate because my husband can’t eat them, but the orange and radish went right into the bowl with the kale.
I get nervous getting ingredients like avocados in meal kit boxes, because I feel like there is a huge risk it might not be ripe. But I’ve been eating a ton of avocado this month, and this one was absolutely perfect! Maybe just a touch bruised in this photo, but taste-wise it was great.
I pulled our potatoes out of the oven to find they were gloriously browned on one side and wasted no time combining them with the rest of the salad ingredients. This is a trick I’ll have to use again because these potatoes were delicious, and really helped make this winter salad more filling.
Once the chicken had cooked, rested, and been sliced, we were ready to plate it up and eat!
This salad was an absolute home run. The orange was deliciously sweet and was amazing paired with the creamy avocado and tahini dressing. My husband, who usually is not a fan of fruit in salads, loved it too and asked if I could make it again the following week!
I also have to say that something about this chicken was extra delicious, even being cooked so simply. It was very tender and flavorful, and generally just tasted better than the chicken breasts I usually buy from Aldi. This was one area in particular where I felt like Blue Apron’s commitment to sourcing quality ingredients was apparent.
Whole30 Steak & Warm Lemon Salsa Verde Review
I was excited to try this next recipe because I rarely cook steak at home and feel like I really haven’t gotten my technique down yet.
Serving Size: 2 servings
Estimated Time: 35-40 Minutes
Actual Time for this recipe: 40 Minutes
This recipe is how I typically prepare steak at home: a simple pan sear with a simple pan sauce and a veggie side.
Once again, the only ingredients I had to supply from home were olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Like the previous recipe, we prepped our veggies for roasting first and went ahead and popped those in the oven. I was a little confused about how big to cut the sweet potatoes, so I tried to match the photo in the recipe as much as I could.
Once the broccoli and sweet potato were in the oven, I diced up the garlic and shallot and set those aside for the pan sauce.
The recipe called for a couple teaspoons of zested lemon. I have a microplane zester, which is absolutely indispensable for citrus, so I went to town and zested the whole thing. 🙂
They also said to quarter the lemon, but having read the full recipe, they just have you juice it into the pan later. I opted to keep it in halves and use my lemon squeezer gadget instead because it’s way easier and less messy.
Then it was time to get that steak in the pan:
I didn’t realize until I was preparing the meat that it was actually a skirt steak. This is a cheaper cut of meat (usually used for things like fajitas) and can be a bit tough, but it does have a lot of rich flavor. The recipe instructs you to season with salt and pepper, but that is about it.
Once the steak is ready, you set it aside to rest and use the same pan to prepare the salsa verde. First, you gently saute the shallot and garlic until softened. I scraped up a lot of frond at this step (that delicious black-brown stuff that sticks to the bottom of your pan) and it was a bit unappetizing looking, but it really smelled delicious!
Off the heat, I mixed in the lemon juice and chopped parsley. I think it could have used a bit more parsley or other green herbs to be honest; this wasn’t a very “verde” salsa verde in the end.
Once the meat had rested, I sliced it thinly against the grain as instructed, and mixed the finished roasted veggies with the lemon zest. Here’s everything plated up:
While this one wasn’t quite as good as the chicken salad recipe, my husband and I both really loved the lemon salsa verde, so I’ll definitely have to try that again. I can’t remember ever having a lemony accompaniment with steak, and it was tangy and delicious! The skirt steak was just a little bit too tough for me personally, so next time I’ll probably marinate it and try slicing it even thinner.
The veggie side was delicious and filling, though. I LOVE roasted broccoli, and have never had it with lemon zest before– it was delicious prepared that way! And as always, the serving size for this meal was perfect and left me feeling satisfied.
I really enjoyed both Whole30 Approved Blue Apron recipes in this box! The chicken-orange-avocado-kale combination, in particular, was delicious and something I wouldn’t have tried myself. Since I opted to try this box later in the month, it really helped give me some new ideas for meals that were Whole30 compliant, and helped us shake up our routine a little bit. Both meals were good enough that I’m likely to cook variations of them again in the future, even once my 30-day adventure is over.
For the service itself, I did want to note that I had an issue receiving my first box, which was marked as delivered but never arrived. Blue Apron customer service immediately refunded me for the box when I reached out; I did have to wait until the following week to get a new box, though, because they aren’t able to issue reshipments since they don’t have those recipes in stock after they ship. Even though that delay was disappointing, I was glad they were able to make it right and I was able to get a box to review the following week.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Since Blue Apron menus change weekly and you must choose them ahead of time, you won’t be able to order these specific dishes unless they are offered again in the future. Whole30 recipes are still available for a few more weeks.
Coupon – Get three free meals on your first order! No code needed, just use this link
Value Breakdown: At $47.95 ($9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping) for this box, you’re paying $11.99 per meal.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you get from Blue Apron this week? Have you tried these meals?