May 20, 2014

8 Tips for Using Blue Apron + Special Discount!

Blackened Drum with Blue Apron Meals

Last week I received a big box from Blue Apron, the online meal delivery service that sends recipes with pre-measured ingredients for three delicious dinners straight to your doorstep. Even though I do most of my own cooking from scratch, I was excited to try a service that promised to breathe new life into my weekly repertoire. Lately I’ve been in need of fresh inspiration for the new season so this was the perfect time to give it a whirl.

Blue Apron has proven popular with lots of friends of mine and after a few days of cooking from it I can see why. Here are are a few things I learned about Blue Apron, as well as some tips for using them as a source for feeding your family:

Blue Apron Meal Ingredients

1) What it Delivers: Blue Apron is a great service if you don’t have a lot of time to grocery shop, don’t like measuring ingredients, but still love to cook. The food is not ready made to slide into the oven. Everything comes raw and requires preparation. The recipes are clearly illustrated and easy to follow so there is almost no guesswork when you are cooking.

2) Keep Your Knives Sharp: Over the course of three days I made Blackened Drum with Grits, Kung Pao Chicken Tacos, and Roasted Sweet Potato Pizza. The dishes were amazing, but there was a lot of prep work involved. I mostly found I needed a sharp chefs knife, a solid cutting board, and lots of prep bowls.

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos

3) Practice Makes Perfect: Fresh ingredients require preparation so you end up getting a lot of knife skill practice. It is kind of cool to be forced to do so much chopping. You really get better after each recipe! I also appreciated the step-by-step instructions with accompanying photographs. Visual aids are always useful when cooking, especially if you are working on a technique that is new to you. I hadn’t stir-fried in a while so I was grateful for the extra help!

4) Excellent Variety: Since the new menus are released weekly you never know really what is on the docket until a day or two before the ingredients arrive. If you feel you need more variety in your diet, you will love this service. No two weeks are ever the same so it will constantly keep you thinking outside the box.

5) Diet-Friendly: Blue Apron is sensitive to the cuisines you prefer and can customize your box for you. I opted out of dark meat since I really don’t like it that much. I liked how our box had a vegetarian dish, as well as a fish and poultry recipe. That is the perfect balance for us. You can choose what suits your needs and change it up as you go.

Blue Apron Instructions

6) Kick-Start Your Cooking: As I said above, I’ve been in a little bit of a dinner rut lately so this was the perfect thing to get me inspired again. My daughter reminded me that she likes it when I make her homemade pizza (it has been a while!), and the blackened fish reminded me of a cod recipe I’ve been meaning to try. These new Blue Apron recipes were the kick in the pants I needed to get cracking!

7) No Grocery Shopping: My personal favorite luxury about Blue Apron is that it doesn’t require grocery shopping. The groceries come straight to you. I relish the days when I don’t have to tackle the grocery store with two cranky kids in tow. Having ingredients arrive on my doorstep totally pre-measured ends up saving so much time and removes the stress of shopping from my routine. Nice!

Squash Pizza with Blue Apron

8) Try it!: There is no long commitment if you think you want to give Blue Apron a try. You won’t be wrapped up into some weird long service contract that you can never get out of. Promise! To help you along Blue Apron has generously offered TWO FREE MEALS to Naptime Chef readers when you sign up for a trial. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP! *No long term commitment necessary

(Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make The Naptime Chef possible)