This is a review of the 2-person, 2-meal subscription plan ($9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping, or $47.95 per week).
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-serving plan or a four-serving plan.
For the 2-serving plan (Signature, Weight Watchers Freestyle, or Vegetarian):
- $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.
For the 4-serving plan (for families, get-togethers, or meal-prep):
- Starts at $71.92 ($8.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for 2 meals per week,
- $95.88 ($7.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for 3 meals per week,
- $119.84 ($7.49 per serving + FREE shipping) for 4 meals per week.
The Products: Fresh ingredients and recipes for delicious, chef-inspired meals at home.
Ships to: The U.S. only.
September 2019 Blue Apron Review
My July delivery featured a pretty cool box redesign, but for August and this month, things are back to business as usual. I'd really like to see the redesign make another appearance!
It's back to the big silver cooler bag we go, which seals shut at the top with a little bit of adhesive. The top flaps are easy enough to pull apart. Inside, we find one large ice pack, beneath which is a cardboard shelf that holds the majority of the ingredients in one place. Speaking of ingredients, a lot of them come labeled in bags, 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 “knick knack” bag so they don’t get lost in the shuffle, and those bags are also labeled with the coordinating recipe title. The plastic bags are the same as the ones larger ingredients come in, and they are also recyclable.
Underneath the cardboard shelf is this month's solo protein—Beyond Burgers! I finally got my hands on some to review this month.
So, are you hungry yet? I know I am. Let's get into this month's dishes:
Calories per serving (as prepared): 710
Total cook time according to Blue Apron: 25-35 minutes on the recipe card
Actual time: 45 minutes
After unboxing all of the ingredients, I always take a minute to separate each meal into its own plastic grocery bag for storage in the fridge, so that way, I don't lose anything.
If you couldn't already tell, I was pretty excited to receive this recipe. Blue Apron started carrying Beyond products last month, and while I've enjoyed my fair share of Beyond Burgers and Impossible Burgers over the past few months, I have yet to attempt cooking any plant-based meat products at home.
This recipe began the same way as most Blue Apron dishes—by rinsing and drying all of the fresh produce. Right off the bat, I was excited about this nice array of color!
For prep work, I peeled and shredded both carrots. Then, I sliced up the poblano pepper, cored and chopped the purple cabbage, ran my knife through the pickled jalapeños, sliced up the Monterey jack cheese, and halved the buns. I was a little disappointed to see soft potato buns again as I find them to be more suitable for a lunch dish rather than a dinner. Plus, mine got a little mashed in transit.
In the bottom of a medium-sized mixing bowl, I whisked together the rice wine vinegar, sugar, and a drizzle of olive oil. The shredded carrots and chopped cabbage marinated in this mixture for a minimum of 10 minutes, and were then seasoned with some salt and pepper.
In my largest non-stick skillet, I heated a little bit of olive oil on medium-high heat in preparation to cook the peppers. The poblano slices went in first with some salt and pepper and cooked solo for 5 minutes until slightly softened. The chopped jalapenos followed until heated through for 1 minute. The pepper fumes were potent in my kitchen! I then moved this mixture to a bowl off to the side where it was covered to keep warm.
With just a little more olive oil in the same pan, I got started on cooking the Beyond Burgers. At a distance, they look like regular beef! However, upon closer inspection, they appeared wetter and had an interesting scent that lingered as the patties cooked. I couldn't quite place what they smelled like, but it wasn't reminiscent of actual meat. It also wasn't unpleasant, just unexpected. The marbling was a nice touch, as was the faux myoglobin. I cooked these on each side for 5-6 minutes until nicely browned. After the first flip, I layered on the cheese slices and covered the pan with a lid to get everything nice and melty.
The buns had a little time face-down in the pan to absorb some of the fond and toast up beautifully before serving.
Ta da, here's the finished dish! Not too shabby, eh? As you can see, I topped each burger with some guacamole before serving. I didn't care for the side dish at all; the cabbage and carrots kind of tasted like the ground with a little bit of sugar. My dinner partner didn't mind, but I wasn't impressed, though I can understand the choice behind including it as the side. My guess is, it has something to do with mitigating the cost per plate given the Beyond patties were the star ingredient. As for the burger itself, it was delicious! If you've yet to try a Beyond Burger, it's not a 100% replica of a beef patty, but it's pretty darn close. The flavor and texture were delicious, especially when dressed up with the melted cheese, the spicy peppers, and that cool guacamole. I can certainly see myself ordering more Beyond dishes in the future, though I will provide my own side if another cabbage and shredded carrot moment is on the menu.
Calories per serving (as prepared): 770
Total cook time according to Blue Apron: 35-45 minutes on the recipe card
Actual time: 47 minutes
Naturally, I kicked things off by washing and drying the produce. All that green makes me really happy.
The prep work was pretty simple and straightforward. To start, I preheated my oven to 450 degrees. Then, I zested the lime and cut it into quarters, gave the zucchini a medium dice, and roughly chopped four or five cloves of garlic instead of the proposed 2 cloves. My immune system could use some help these days, so garlic overload is a must. I also gave the purple onion a medium dice and chopped up the poblano before combining them in a mixing bowl.
Apologies for the blurriness on that first photo! Rather than cook the rice on the stove and run the risk of messing it up, I let my rice cooker do the work for me. I added one cup of water and a big pinch of salt to the rice before closing the lid and letting the cooker do its thing. It finished up in no time, and upon completion, I stirred in the lime zest along with the juice of two lime quarters.
Once the oven was piping hot, I lined a large baking sheet with foil before drizzling each side of the tortillas with olive oil. They also got some salt and pepper. I baked them for 8 minutes until they were puffed up, golden brown, and crisped to perfection
In a large, deep, non-stick skillet, I heated a little bit of olive oil on medium-high heat. The zucchini was supposed to cook for 3 minutes undisturbed until lightly browned before continuing on, but my pan wasn't hot enough when I introduced the veggies, so I let them cook for 6 minutes with some salt and pepper before resuming stirring for another 4 minutes until slightly softened. The zucchini was then transferred to a bowl off to the side and was covered to keep it warm.
Because we love a one-pan dish, I cooked the diced onion and poblano in the same skillet for 5 minutes with some salt and pepper. Then, I added in half of the Mexican spice blend. Now, if you've read any of my other meal kit reviews, you know I am a firm proponent of using everything included in the box and leaving nothing left over, but a whole tablespoon of spice blend seemed like way too much for the amount of vegetables in the pan, so I only used half. My principles! Once everything was combined and warmed through, I transferred the veggies to the same bowl that was holding the zucchini.
To the bowl of cooked vegetables, I stirred in the mayo and the juice of the last two lime quarters. It made for a really tasty sauce.
Another beautiful dish! Admittedly, I was more excited about making the burgers than I was this dish, but that excitement was misplaced upon tasting the final product. The lime rice was bright and delicious, while the tostadas were a crispy, excellent vessel for the creamy, spiced veggies topped with salty cotija cheese. The portion size was perfect for dinner and overall, this meal was really easy to put together. I didn't have a dinner guest to share this with, so I had the leftovers for dinner the following night. They reheated incredibly well. Color me impressed!
Verdict: Blue Apron this month was great! I was very pleased with the Beyond Burgers, and the tostadas were fantastic. The only real miss was the cabbage and carrot slaw, but considering how good everything else was, I'm willing to look past it. I'm consistently impressed with how elevated Blue Apron's meals look and taste as well, and I think that gives them an interesting perspective when compared to some other meal kits on the market. Both dishes felt more than worth the $11.99 cost per plate, and would far exceed that value if I ordered something similar from a restaurant or as takeout.
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 from a whole new crop of meals.
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!
What do you think of these Blue Apron recipes?