Meals in a Box

At the end of May, we subscribed (at the urging of a friend) to Blue Apron.

I was excited.  The Hubs was skeptical.

The aforementioned friend travels a lot for her work.  As does her husband.   There’s just the two of them.   Although we don’t have as much work travel, I would compare our busy lives with them in almost every other way.   She sent me a “free meal” invitation and I was hooked.

Yes, it might be more expensive on paper, but for just the two of us, I think the price is balanced out with the fact that we don’t have any food waste.   I am not buying four pounds of potatoes at the grocery store (and then composting three rotten pounds a month later).  Blue Apron is sending me only one or two potatoes per recipe.

And, we are getting to try some delicious new ingredients.   Although I like to think I’m a bit adventurous when it comes to cooking, in reality I am kind of in a rut when it comes to seeking out interesting ingredients.   A lot of these ingredients I will be seeking out in the future at our local grocery store or international markets.

Here’s just a few things that we’ve been introduced to:

  • Ponzu Sauce (which we now have a full bottle of in our fridge.)
  • Quark Cheese
  • Calabrian Chile Paste (from an Italian specialty chile)
  • Fregola Sarda Pasta (toasted semolina pasta)
  • Korean Rice Cakes
  • Gai Lan (a Chinese broccoli relative)
  • Yu Choy (a skinnier version of Gai Lan)
  • Yakiniku Sauce (a Japanese BBQ sauce)
  • Gochujang (a fermented red chile paste)

I’ve tried to branch out with the meals I request and we have cooked some über fresh and delicious salmon and cod.  (I am not a big seafood cooker.)  

Although our main dishes have been delicious, I am most in love with the recipes for side dishes, vegetables and sauces.   I have a list of these that I will share later (after I modify them, of course).

The recipes.

Here’s what I’m working on, all inspired by Blue Apron recipes:

Cabbage and Potato Salad with Whole Grain Mustard

Chicken and Sweet Pepper Rice Bowls

Honey-Rhubarb Chicken

Squash & Sweet Potato Hash

Romaine Salad with Spicy Chile Dressing

Pasta Salad with Lemon-Caper Sauce

The Hubs is no longer skeptical.  We look forward to our Blue Apron box every week.   Although we order the two serving per meal plan, I have found that we can easily stretch them to three meals for one of our lunches the next day.

Everything is fresh!

All the ingredients for each meal are pre-measured and packaged.

We’ve only had one hitch in this subscription service and it was FedEx’s fault totally.  In fact, Blue Apron representatives were emailing me immediately saying that there seemed to be a delay in the shipment and kept me posted.  After we finally received the shipment—three days late—they credited my account.  I was able to save a can of tomatoes and some carrots out of that box only.   The rest went into the dumpster.

Please note that although I would love for Blue Apron to sponsor this post and send me some free meals, my writing today is totally unbiased and without sponsorship.

I would like to make an offer to a couple of my thousands of readers (sarcasm)  by doling out a free meal coupon to try.  If you are interested, just email me at and I will send you an invite to Blue Apron.  You’ll receive three free meals (but of course you will have to sign up to try a few others).


Have you tried any other meal subscription services?  If so, which one and what was your experience?


16 comments to Meals in a Box

  • No, I have never tried a meal subscription service..well, they are usually expensive over here. Nice that you can get Quark there..we love the stuff. And I miss Gai Lan!

  • I have not tried them yet, always mepted, but have not gone for it. i am also just 1 person. But cool to see a good review!

    • I think the appeal for us is that they do come in a two-person sized meal plan (which like I said we can stretch to three and sometimes even four meals).

  • mae

    Ponzu sauce used to be one of my favorite shortcuts to a quick salad or stir=fry, but I have not had any on hand recently. Thanks for the Reminder!

    best… mae at

  • I too was amazed at the fresh quality of some of the meal services! So creative and fresh. I love that you’ve been inspired by them to recreate some of the recipes!

    • Yes. We’ve only had that one issue with stuff having to be tossed and it was just because it was three days late. 🙁

  • Looks like you hit the jackpot with your first box. I’ll have to look into it. Looks for interesting.

  • I’ve never tried one of those meals in a box. Should probably give it a go one of these days — I do know about those leftover potatoes that don’t get used! Interesting read — thanks.

  • I tried Hello Fresh and it was good. It was a complimentary gift box and I only had a few meals but they were good. We still make a few of the meals today although I have adapted the recipes to suit us.

    My feeling was, the price wasn’t worth it for us. I’m a savvy shopper so I could do better price wise but the convenience of having everything delivered was cool.

    • I think that’s The Hubs’ take on it and why he was so skeptical. He does think we could do better with the pricing. I guess I am sold on the convenience and I don’t have to plan out meals (with sides and everything). I’m interested to use them once school starts. I think it will save me so much time.

      • I wasn’t against tryi it again but my choices from Hello Fresh had Brussel sprouts starring in too many meals. We don’t like them, at all, and I told them that was the problem so I didn’t ask for more boxes.
        But! It is a complete time saver as you have everything handy as soon as you are home. Oh, also part of our selection issue was I chose the vegetarian boxes and of course you are more limited there.