To change things up a little bit for Round Three of Thinking Inside the Box, I decided to review a subscription service that delivered weekly vs. monthly, Blue Apron. You’ve probably seen it all over the internet, but in case you haven’t, Blue Apron is a service that delivers recipes and ingredients for three meals to your door each week. You fill out a quick and easy form about the things that you will and won’t eat and then select the 3 meals you’d like from a list of 6. Each week new recipes are available.
We had some issues with our first order. Fed Ex delayed our package overnight and then delivered our box battered and bruised at the end of the day (where we’d been assured we’d get shipping priority). To top things off, they left our packaging outside in the 90 degree heat without ringing the doorbell or knocking. Fortunately, Andy and I were keeping an eye out, and we spotted the box.
On first glance, there didn’t seem to be much of a problem; the food was still cool (although not the refrigerated cool we’d been promised), and we quickly unloaded the contents so they could be stored properly. This is where we ran into the biggest issue. Many of the items had been damaged in transit. The container holding our seafood had been punctured and had leaked into the bottom of the box. Fortunately, the dividers had kept the rest of the crate from being tainted. The produce was nicked and bruised from the can (pictured), but luckily, only one item actually was too damaged to use. We bought a replacement so we could still try out all three recipes.
I will say the food was pretty good, and it was nice to cook with my husband, since it’s usually an either/or situation. The recipes were easy to follow and gave very detailed instructions, plus pictures, which I think is always helpful.
Spiced Shrimp & Pearl Couscous
This was the best meal of the three, and it helps me do something my doctor has asked me to do recently which is add seafood back into my diet.
* We’ve recently discovered I have some odd food allergies; my body has trouble processing beans/legumes, and it’s left me fumbling a bit for vegetarian protein options. I’m not exactly thrilled by this setback, but it’s temporary, and I’ve added more vegan meals into my breakfast and lunch to help me feel a little better about the situation.
Brown Butter Gnocchi
I loved this so much! I am going recreate it with a few minor tweaks maybe even later this week.
This last one I wasn’t a huge fan of, but Andy went nuts for it. He ate the rest of mine and the little bit left over in the pan. All and all, not a bad first week.
One thing that I want to make sure to tell you guys about is the amazing customer service I received after the delivery fiasco. I was really pissed with the way that the entire situation had gone down and was very close to calling this experiment a huge failure, and when the Blue Apron people reached out to ask me about my delivery, I sort of let them have it. Not in a bitchy way, just letting them know what happened and that I was really disappointed. Not even 24 hours later, I had an email from an actual person who was almost as upset as I was; he wanted all the details of everything that had gone wrong and after getting the list, I was issued a full refund and an additional credit on my account. And before you get all skeptical, I never once mentioned that I was a blogger or that I was reviewing the service.