We found out Tuesday that meal delivery service Blue Apron just raked in a ton of cash in new funding.
$US135 million to be exact. According to the company, Blue Apron has tripled its volume over the past six months and now delivers 3 million meals a month across the US.
Recently, I tried Blue Apron for myself and I absolutely loved it.
That’s thanks to the range of ingredients as well as the meal presentation that made me look like an expert chef.
It also put an emphasis on cooking tutorials and instructions online, so I really felt like I was improving my cooking skills with each recipe instead of just “painting by numbers,” so to speak.
So should you give it a try yourself?
My Blue Apron box had arrived by the time I got home. My boyfriend threw it in the fridge just in case, but the company says the contents will stay cold in the box for 'several hours.'
Blue Apron sends customers a break down on what they're cooking as well as some more information on the ingredients.
These are the three different recipes I cooked during the week: Turkey Kibbeh, Flat Iron Steak, and Rice Flake-Crusted Hake. Each meal also had a side.
Peeking inside the bag, you see all the greens at the top. Next are the dry ingredients and potatoes followed by the meats and some ice packs at the very bottom.
My least favourite thing about Blue Apron was how all the ingredients came en masse. They did not have individual labels explaining which recipe they went with.
For example, it would have been helpful for this label to say the mushrooms were for the 'Rice Flake-Crusted Hake' dish.
The only things that do have a label are the 'knick knacks' bags that are filled with the smaller ingredients. It was handy to grab this bag and know it was for the steak dish.
Now onto the cooking! I started with the Rice Flake-Crusted Hake dish which had 500 calories per serving and was supposed to take 25-35 minutes.
Within my knick knacks bag were these three little sauces, perfectly portioned and ready to use. The best part about a service like Blue Apron is that all the measuring is already done.
Also in the knick knacks bag was ginger as well as wasabi powder. Here's what your wasabi looks like before water is added to it.
The instructions for the vegetables in this dish were straightforward. Plus, cooking them made the kitchen smell amazing.
The fish, however, was another story. I put the 'rice flakes' on the hake and almost immediately they started falling off.
The recipe card warned this might be a problem and not to worry, but I still felt like a kitchen failure.
When plated, though, the dish looked and tasted great. I put some of the rice flakes back on for presentation and added a smear of wasabi to both plates.
Next up was the Flat Iron Steaks meal. With a side of shaved asparagus salad and fingerling potatoes, this meal was 520 calories per serving and had an estimated cooking time of 35-45 minutes.
I ended up going online to the recipe page to see how they were shaving and cutting the asparagus. I really love that Blue Apron has dedicated pages with advice on how to cook each dish.
Unfortunately, I did not have a peeler to get the asparagus shaved nicely. All the other prep work for the meal was pretty simple.
The best part of the Flat Iron Steaks meal was -- surprise, surprise -- the steaks. Blue Apron had me cook them in olive oil and butter which made them taste amazing.
The fingerling potatoes with ramps also came out really well and got some extra butter and steak flavour.
The asparagus salad was only so-so. In the future, I would have used less dill and maybe bought a peeler so I could shave the asparagus even thinner. The crème fraîche Blue Apron sent was delicious.
All in all, this meal probably took me about 45 minutes to make and was my favourite recipe of the bunch.
The last recipe was the Turkey Kibbeh. This meal seemed bigger than the other two and had 660 calories per serving and was supposed to take 25-35 minutes.
But the prep work on this meal took me almost half an hour alone. I had to cut and scoop the interior out of a cucumber, dice an onion, pick the mint and parsley off stems, and dice apricots.
That doesn't sound like a lot, but it took longer than I was anticipating. Plus I was cooking bulgur while this was going on.
But then I had to mix the aromatics with the ground turkey in a big bowl and make 12 sticky patties. My hands were covered in bulgur, turkey, and spices.
While those finished cooking, I mixed together the yogurt and the cucumber -- the easiest part of this entire meal by far.
Finally it was plated. Though the presentation on this dish was excellent, it took me roughly an hour and 15 minutes -- 30 minutes longer than Blue Apron said it would take -- before I was able to eat anything.
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