Disclosure: Blue Apron sponsored this post. All opinions are my honest thoughts of the product.
I tried Blue Apron, and I’m hooked. I really didn’t know if it would be something that would fit my grilling and outdoor lifestyle, but it does in more ways than I could have imagined.
I was given a free box to try to write a Blue Apron review and was told I could cancel the service at any time. I was prepared to cancel right away, but I didn’t. I was pumped for my next delivery to arrive.
- Blue Apron is great for camping and cooking outdoors.
- Blue Apron is a heck of a lot cheaper than culinary school.
- Blue Apron may help me lose weight.
I’m planning my 2017 camping agenda, and advancing my culinary skills and losing weight are always New Year’s resolutions for me, so 2017 is bound to be awesome with Blue Apron.
What is Blue Apron?
You’ve probably seen the commercials for Blue Apron. It’s a home deliver food service. The company boxes up fresh ingredients and ships them directly to your house.
Each box comes with three full-color, step-by-step recipe cards and all of the pre-measured ingredients you need for that recipe. We’re talking about organic, hormone-free meats, fresh veggies and healthy grains.
You can choose to receive a box to feed 2 or a family pack to feed 4. The cost per meal is less than $10 per serving, and the meal quality is as good as a nice restaurant – better really because you made it. They even offer a wine pairing service, so it’s like you have your own at-home sommelier.
There is a new menu each week. You can choose to receive a Blue Apron box weekly, or you can skip weeks if you don’t like what’s on the menu or if you’ll be out of town. Right now, I’m averaging 2 boxes a month because, as you know, I still like to grill brisket, pork butt and cowboy ribeyes every couple of weeks, too
Why is Blue Apron good for grilling and camping?
Blue Apron is awesome for camping because everything is pre-measured for you. And each box comes with two huge ice packs that will stay frozen in a good quality cooler for days.
When most people pack for a camping trip, they probably don’t bring their full spice cabinet. It’s just too cumbersome. That can result in boring dishes of hamburgers and hot dogs. Wouldn’t you rather be enjoying seared chicken with sage gravy, mashed potatoes and grilled garlic carrots? It’s totally possible with Blue Apron.
Anytime a recipe calls for a sear, you can do that on the grill. Instead of adding oil to a pan, drizzle a little oil onto the meat. Then, place it on a piping hot grill and follow the recipe cook times.
The only exception to this would be if the recipe calls for the pan juices from the seared meat. For instance, the chicken sage recipe used the drippings (fond) to make the gravy. No problem, you can pull out a cast iron skillet and cook it on a grill or over the campfire on a grill grate. I used an aluminum pot on the grill to cook the potatoes.
If the recipe calls for roasting, set your grill to whatever oven temp the recipe states. If you’re using a gas grill, consider adding a foil pouch of wet wood chips. For even better flavor, grill the meat in a charcoal grill.
If you want to grill the veggies but are afraid they may fall through the grill grates, place them on a foil-lined pan or in a veggie grill basket.
Bottom line: if it can be cooked in the kitchen, it can be cooked outdoors, and cooking outdoors is so much more enjoyable.
Why is Blue Apron like culinary school?
I’ve attended some short courses at Le Cordon Blue in Paris, and I’ve considered attending a full culinary program to earn my degree, but the cost is more than $20,000. Ouch! That’s so hard for me to justify, since I already know how to cook.
One of the main reasons I want to attend a program is to learn new culinary techniques and to improve my sauces and sides repertoire.
Imagine my surprise when my first Blue Apron box checked those blocks for less than $60. Along with the chicken with sage gravy, my box had a recipe for seared salmon (that I grilled) with marinated oranges.
I’ve gotta be honest. I’ve never marinated an orange, nor have I ever thought to. But holy Batman, were these babies awesome. It was a simple combo of oranges, shallot, olive oil, white wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Each pop of orange elevated the juicy grilled pork to a whole new level.
I’m looking forward to receiving future boxes to see what other new combos I’ve yet to discover.
Will Blue Apron help me lose weight?
It’s definitely possible. I have a habit of eating a lot of processed carbs, and I hardly ever eat the recommended serving of veggies every day. The Blue Apron recipes are balanced meals of protein, starch and veggies – and we’re talking about veggies that touch every color of the rainbow.
The salmon recipe was served with a side of beet millet. Again, I would have never thought to combine shaved beets with millet. I honestly can’t even remember if I’ve cooked millet before (it’s a grain by the way). But the beets and garlic flavored the millet so well I didn’t even need to add butter.
The meat portions are smaller than I’m used to eating (said the girl who loves cowboy ribeyes), but because the dish is balanced with filling side dishes, I’m satisfied after every meal.
Even my picky husband who doesn’t like “froufrou dishes” ate his whole plate of beet millet without complaint. He also loves that the box usually comes with a more traditional meat and potato meal.
After one week, I received a special surprise – I was able to gift a free box to a friend. My sister enjoys cooking, but doesn’t cook enough to buy a jar of fennel seed or a bottle of white wine vinegar, so I knew Blue Apron would be perfect for her. All she needs to have on hand are salt, pepper, olive oil and water. No problem.
If after reading this, you’d like to give Blue Apron a try, I’m happy to gift you 3 free meals, as well. Just click the image below to sign up.