There are so many services nowadays offering meal delivery – whether it be fully prepared and ready to eat, oven-ready meals, recipes delivered to your inbox, or (new to me) recipes with all necessary ingredients delivered for yours and your family’s enjoyment. These services range in price, quality, and ability to personalize. My coworker introduced me to Blue Apron – a recipe/ingredient delivery service that encourages plant-based eating while bonding with loved ones over cooking a healthy meal. This sweet coworker of mine offered to send me a free delivery since she has been such a loyal customer, so of course I said yes! The idea of having meals planned out, shopped for, and ready to go in my fridge is almost as good as them being delivered hot at my door. I do enjoy cooking, so this unique opportunity was right up my alley.
Once I received the link from my coworker, I was able to specify if I had any (very basic) food preferences, like if I were a vegetarian or not. For my purposes, I opted to have a vegetarian meal plan sent to me, but I was unable to specify that I was gluten free. That was disappointing to me, as I was sure I would have to give away or donate at least half of the ingredients.
The site allowed me to choose if I wanted to feed 2 people per week or 4. Since it’s just my (ultra busy) husband and I, I selected the 2 person option. Still, this allowed me to choose from 3 meals to feed 2 for an entire week. With our schedules, 1 meal can feed the both of us for at least a week, so I was pretty excited to see what would be delivered to us.
I’m sure there is functionality to choose which meals you would prefer making the coming week once you are a regular customer, but I was given a set menu for my first (free) delivery. We got recipes and ingredients for Cauliflower Steaks with Roasted Vegetables, Miso Soba Noodle Soup, and Kale Canellini Stew with Parmesan-crusted baguette. Super delicious-sounding recipes, but again.. Not able to eat most of it.
I set aside the ingredients I was not able to eat (I predicted correctly – it was about half), then I started brainstorming on what I could make with the remaining recipes/suggestions and ingredients. I invited my culinary expert friend over and we ended up making a fantastic meal. Again – NO COST to me, as this was a free, promotional delivery from Blue Apron given to me by a coworker.
With the ingredients we had on hand, my friend and I made Cauliflower Steaks over Quinoa with Roasted Turnips, Leeks, and Acorn Squash. Oh heavens. I can honestly say that – no matter how restrictive and difficult it may be – a gluten free vegetarian diet forces you into experimenting with different, exotic flavors. I almost don’t want to share our exact recipe because it was so phenomenal. Thank you food delivery service + my complicated dietary needs + my culinary genius best friend.
I don’t have any plans on continuing with Blue Apron, simply because they do not yet have the capability to only send gluten free, vegetarian meals. The cost is not that bad, however, For two people – 3 meals per week – it is only $69, I believe. When you consider not having to go to the grocery store and having leftovers for a few days, it’s definitely worth the money. I am excited to explore other food/ingredient delivery opportunities in my area. Sure beats meal planning and grocery shopping!