In an effort to expand our dinner options and to make weeknights a little easier when it comes to meal planning, we decided to try out a variety of meal delivery services. First up was Blue Apron.
Blue Apron offers meal options, including vegetarian, which is what we were looking for as a means to expand our vegetarian options on our plant-based blue zones journey.
The meals arrived beautifully. They were dropped off right at our door and each recipe was easy to understand with pre-measured and labeled ingredients. You could easily take the recipe cards and make this again on your own - although we agree, you would end up spending more if you had to purchase everything at a supermarket!
Miso Ramen with Soft Boiled Egg
Curry Chickpea Pitas
Fontina & Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Notes on the meals:
Miso Ramen: We used hard-boiled eggs instead of soft because neither the adults or the kids are huge fans of a soft yolk. The ramen was beautiful and fresh. The bok choy was the slightest bit wilted, but it didn't matter much because it was getting chopped and going into soup anyway! The broth was tasty, but we may have added a bit too much water because it seemed less flavorful than it should have been. When serving, we made sure to skim just the broth over the kids noodles - they are not fans of green floating in their soup, but this is something we are working on! Overall: 3.5 stars (out of 5) - the adults enjoyed it and finished it. The kids at least ate several bites.
Curry Chickpea Pitas: Instead of creating these like pita pizzas, we opted to cut the two pitas into triangles and served the salads (grated carrot with vinaigrette salad and cucumber yogurt salad) in little piles on each plate. We accompanied the salads with the roasted chickpeas in the center and then each of us used the pita triangles to scoop up the salads and chickpeas. It was a very visually appealing way to serve new foods for the kids. And, who doesn't enjoy dipping pita into yummy salads! Overall: 4.5 - simply because the adults loved the flavors and the kids got a kick out of the new meal style. I ate the leftovers for lunch today and they were still delicious!
Fontina & Apple Grilled Cheese: Yum! Who can say no to a grilled cheese sandwich? The fontina added a slight sharpness which was mellowed by the sweet apple. The sandwich also included a whole grain mustard and chopped chives. Overall a hit! It was served with roasted broccoli and golden raisins, which came with ingredients for a dressing but we ended up not using the dressing. Score: 4.5
So, if you are a family with kids, Blue Apron is a great place to start if you are interested in a meal delivery service. However, we did find that the recipes are geared to more mature palates and there are limited vegetarian options. Basically if you get three meals a week and you want all vegetarian, you get whatever three vegetarian options there are that week.
Blue Apron is working to add more options to their menus so hopefully soon they will have more vegetarian / plant-based recipes.
Note: if you are vegan, this is probably not the service for you: You would really only have had one option out of the three we tried because of the cheese and the yogurt used in the cucumber salad with the chickpea pitas.
Our Blue Apron week is over, but stay tuned - we are trying out Green Chef next!
For more information or to sign up for Blue Apron: www.blueapron.com