As I mentioned on Friday, I have been mildly obsessed about meal planning lately. I’m trying to lose weight and get control of my cholesterol through changing my diet and exercising more, while my amazing partner Q continues to have the fastest metabolism in the world, eating whatever he wants! It’s been a struggle for me to find a happy medium of making healthy options for me and enough filling meals for Q. Of course, he’s an adult and can cook his own meals, but after a long work day for him, he admits he’d much rather order a pizza than make a meal. And pizza ( and many sweets) are the things that challenge my willpower every.single.time.
So all that being said, I’ve been struggling with the meal plan stuff lately. Some of it is because my work days have been tough and many days I feel I have barely enough brain power after work to do more than boil water. I try to make a few things and prep stuff on weekend for the week, but again, sometimes life gets in the way and that doesn’t happen either. The other issue is I hate eating the same thing over and over again, so I try to mix up the meals with new recipes.
When I saw an offer for a discount on Blue Apron, I jumped at the chance. Three meals for the two of us, delivered right to our door!?! Genius idea. Even though I still had to make the meals myself, having all the ingredients and the thinking about what to make out of the equation was a huge relief to me.
But that’s pretty much where the relief ended.
To start, I wasn’t super impressed by the options for the meals the week that I chose to start, but kept an open mind. I was impressed with how they arrived ( FedEx, everything insulated and on ice), how everything was labeled and portioned out, and the recipe cards to explain it all. It was a steak dish with mashed plantains and greens, a vegetarian quiche, and chicken with potatoes.
It arrived on Tuesday night when I had to unexpectedly work late and there were 2 accidents on my way home, so by the time I walked in the door at 630, I was not in the mood to cook anything, considering all of them were going to take at least 30 minutes to cook ( never mind prepare all the parts). So last night Q and I, in a rare moment of kitchen bonding, decided to make the steak dish and quiche, saving the chicken for another time.
I feel I should say here that Q and I cook together fairly frequently, but more in a sous chef/chef relationship. One of us takes responsibility for the protein ( if it’s red meat, it’s almost always Q since he likes it a certain way) and the other chops all the veggies or does the side dishes ( usually me because I have pretty awesome knife skills, if I do say so myself). But the complexity of the meals we made, with so many parts and tiny little bits of ingredients, led to a few heated moments and more than a few curse words ( we’re all made up- hangriness is real!)
My review of Blue Apron: it’s a bit too fussy and involved for a weeknight meal for us. I liked the introduction to new ingredients ( creme fraiche in the quiche made it so deliciously creamy and we both really liked the mashed plantains), but mostly it wasn’t for us. Maybe we’re just simple folks who like a protein, veggies, and starch for dinner. Or maybe we just aren’t interested in that level of detail for a Wednesday night meal. I liked how Blue Apron portions everything out for two people, but when one of the two people has a huge appetite that usually involves a second dinner an hour after the first one, there definitely was not enough food for both of us. The steak alone was about the size that Q normally eats so if I was more of a meat eater, we would have had an issue.
Also, it involved way too many dishes and parts. This is the kitchen aftermath.
Overall, this foray into dinner delivery gave both of us some insights. One, we definitely liked the food delivery aspect so maybe we need to give the grocery delivery option a try. Secondly, we should just trust our instincts in the kitchen a bit more and with a little more planning and communication, our dinners might get back to the sweet spot where we both feel we’re eating what we want. And that I might be overthinking dinner too much. As my wise sister-in-law says, “it’s just dinner, not a dissertation.”
I was not compensated in any way from Blue Apron for this review. I purchased the service independently. All opinions my own ( well some observations are from Q).