Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – December 2018
This is a review of the 2-person, 2-meal subscription plan ($9.99 per serving, or $47.95 per week). I normally cook for myself, but having meal kits delivered to my home has given me a way to lure friends over to help and enjoy the recipes with me. It’s so much more fun with a buddy if you can spare one. No buddies? You’ll have some leftovers then, so this doubles your value! In addition to their standard 2-person subscription plan, Blue Apron also offers a Family Plan that features kid-friendly recipes and family-style meals for four. You can now switch between 2 and 4 person meals easily with each delivery!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Blue Apron
The Subscription Box: Blue Apron
The Cost: You can choose from a 2 person plan or a family plan:
- 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 $71.92 ($8.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for the 2 meals per week, $95.88 ($7.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for 3 meals per week, or $119.84 ($7.49 per serving + FREE shipping) for 4 meals per week.
COUPON: Save $80 over your first 4 boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.
The Products: Fresh ingredients and recipes to make healthy meals at home.
Ships to: U.S. only
December 2018 Blue Apron Review
Blue Apron ingredients come packaged in a big silver cooler bag that’s a lot like bubble wrap. Along with the plastic-wrapped ice packs in the box, the bubble wrap bag keeps the ingredients cool while they travel. The produce was packed toward the top, while the meats were stowed beneath a cardboard divider in a nest of ice packs.
A lot of the ingredients from Blue Apron come in bags, labeled, but you have to check out the recipe cards to know which meal they go to. Smaller items like butter or sauces come in a *recently updated plastic* “knick knack” bag so they don’t get lost in the shuffle, and those are labeled with the meals name as well. The plastic bags are the same as the ones larger ingredients come in and are recyclable as well.
There were no advertisements or info cards in this month’s box, much to my surprise.
Anyway, let’s get these dishes started!
Meal #1: Sweet Potato & Jalapeno Quesadillas
Calories per serving (as prepared): 970 calories
Total cook time according to Blue Apron: 30-40 minutes
Actual time: close to 1 hour
As an avid fan of both sweet potatoes and quesadillas, I was pretty excited to whip this up. After unboxing all of the ingredients, I separated each meal into its own plastic grocery bag for storage in the fridge, so nothing got lost or accidentally incorporated into another dish.
To start, I pre-heated the oven to 450 degrees, started a medium pot of water to boil, washed and dried the fresh produce, and lined a sheet pan with foil. Then, I sliced the sweet potatoes into ¼” rounds, drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper, and coated them with the Mexican spice blend. The recipe said there may be extra spice leftover, and it was correct. I was very generous with seasoning the potato slices and still had about half the pouch remaining. When the oven was ready, I tossed the potatoes in for 18 minutes.
According to the recipe, the water for my brown rice should have been boiling by this point, but it was not, so I went ahead and skipped ahead to prepare the remaining ingredients. On the largest holes of my box grater, I grated the cheese, carrots, and radishes. I quartered the lemon but gave up on deseeding after repeatedly spraying myself in the face with lemon juice. Then, I roughly chopped the jalapenos. What a beautiful array of color! About halfway through this prep, I tossed my brown rice into the pot to cook pasta-style for 17 minutes.
When the brown rice was finished, I poured it into a colander and rinsed it under cold water. Then, it was returned to its pot.
After putting the rice back in its pot, the potatoes were ready to come out of the oven. They were a thing of real beauty. As they were cooling, I grabbed my trusty non-stick pan and began to warm up a few teaspoons of olive oil on medium heat.
I grabbed my four flour tortillas and layered the bottom of each with the grated cheese, some sweet potatoes, and jalapenos. There was a generous amount of each ingredient for the small tortillas! Quite a bit of jalapenos were leftover. The pieces of sweet potato that didn’t fit comfortably in the tortillas were quickly scooped off the tray and eaten by my boyfriend. In the future, I’d consider roasting sweet potato rounds in Mexican spices just to have as a snack! The blend of sweet, spicy, and smoky was too good.
Once the oil and pan were nice and toasty, I worked in batches of two, toasting the outside of the quesadillas (and melting the cheese inside) for about 3 minutes on each side. I usually don’t heat oil in the pan when toasting a quesadilla any other time, and sort of regretted doing so this time. The first two quesadillas came out toasted, but pretty shiny. The other two came out perfectly. Next time, I’ll go with my gut.
As the first batch of quesadillas was toasting in the pan, I whipped together the lemon yogurt sauce. Somehow, the yogurt leaked a bit in the knick-knack bag, which made the other ingredients and the nutritional info pretty wet. It wasn’t a big deal, though. In a small bowl, I combined the 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt with two lemon slices, salt, and pepper. Easy.
Nearing the end of getting this recipe together, I mixed the shredded carrots and radishes into the cooked brown rice, then tossed in some salt, pepper, the juice of two lemon slices, and some olive oil.
Here’s the finished product! The quesadillas themselves were really tasty. It’s a recipe I’ll definitely try to recreate later on because it was so easy, spicy, and hearty. As for the vegetable rice side dish, I was pretty disappointed by it. It was on the bland side, even after being generously seasoned with salt and pepper. Plus, the yield was enormous for sub-par rice. Cooking rice like pasta was a new technique I learned from this recipe, so not all was lost with this one.
Meal #2: Cilantro-Miso Noodles
Calories per serving (as prepared): 710 calories
Total cook time according to Blue Apron: 20 minutes
Actual time: 35 minutes
I love ramen, I love miso, and as of recently, I’m really into cilantro. Ordering this dish was a no-brainer.
To get things started, I filled a medium pot with salty water to boil the eggs. When the water was ready, I gently placed the eggs in the bottom to cook for about six minutes.
At some point, a loud bang was heard from inside the pot. One egg had formed a little crack, likely from how violently the water was boiling. Oops.
While the eggs were creating their own chaos, I quickly washed and dried the bok choy, chopped off their root ends, and sliced them thinly. Then, I cleaned off the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and sliced them. Lastly, I whisked together the miso paste, cilantro sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Before starting, I read the comments on Blue Apron’s site for this dish, and one suggested leaving the miso paste out to warm at room temperature so it would mix more easily. It was a good tip!
I finished the vegetable and sauce prep just in time for the eggs to come out of the water. I gently scooped them out with a slotted spoon, and carefully transferred them to a strainer, where they were rinsed with cold water for about a minute to halt the cooking process. They hung out there for a while as I cooked the veggies. I kept the water boiling on the stove in preparation for the noodles.
In a non-stick pan on medium-high heat, I drizzled in a little bit of olive oil and tossed the mushrooms in for about four minutes. Once they were browned, I sprinkled in half of the red pepper flakes, some salt, and some pepper. It was another few minutes before the mushrooms were cooked to my desired doneness. Then went in the bok choy with some more salt and pepper for about 3-4 minutes.
After throwing the bok choy into the pan and giving it a good stir, I separated the noodles with my hands before putting them into the boiling water previously used for the eggs. It was pretty fun playing around with the noodles for a moment. They cooked for 3 minutes, then were transferred to the strainer and rinsed with cold water.
With the noodles relaxing in the strainer, I turned down the heat on the vegetables and peeled my eggs. The one that cracked in the pot was a little funny looking, but I kept it upright and seasoned them both with salt and pepper.
To finish the dish, I combined the cooked noodles with the vegetables and the sauce, then seasoned it all with a little bit more salt and pepper.
Ta-da, here’s the outcome! I topped each bowl with a seasoned egg and the black-and-white sesame seeds. The flavor was light and fresh with a lot of savory depth. I’ve never had anything quite like this before. Plus, the sauce was really abundant, which I appreciated. Even though my egg tried to blow itself up in the pot, it managed to hold itself together well, and the yolk was perfectly done. The portion was also great. I almost didn’t finish mine! If you see this one on the Blue Apron menu in the future, I highly recommend it. It was my favorite of the two.
Verdict: My experience with Blue Apron this month was split down the middle. Though I loved the sweet potato quesadillas and the cilantro-miso noodles, I was pretty disappointed by how odd and bland the brown rice side dish wound up being. The yield
for the rice was huge, and I felt bad just tossing it at the end of the night because I wasn’t into it. Overall, I wouldn’t substitute Blue Apron for a weekly grocery trip, but I will continue to use it to shake up my meal rotation every now and again.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Recipes change every week, so these are gone for now, but popular ones always come back in the future. Sign up today to choose for a whole new crop of meals.
Coupon – New customers, save $50 off your first two boxes! No code needed, just use this link.
Value Breakdown: At $47.95 ($9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping), you’re paying $11.99 per serving.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
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