Recently, we had the opportunity to try Blue Apron. We’ve ordered the meals a few more times and we’ve come to a decision. If the box contains meat, we are likely to pass or at the very least seriously inspect the recipe associated with it. Now, we haven’t had any extreme quality issues, but we’ve had chicken that is extremely fatty and not something we would normally buy, or a recipe that uses top round without any marinating resulting in an extremely tough, barely edible meal. On the plus side, many of their meals we’ve really enjoyed and we’ve liked a lot of the flavor profiles they’ve come up with. This week in fact, we ordered all vegetarian meals and they’ve been delicious.
Blue Apron has many competitors, and since we’ve liked the convenience of this type of service, we thought we would try another to see if the quality of meat matches more what we would normally purchase.
Hello Fresh is similar in that you can set your delivery date, and a box of food arrives. They are a bit more expensive than Blue Apron, but in many ways I think it is worth it.
One thing I really like is everything for your meal comes in a little box that easily slides in the refrigerator. Time to make the meal? Grab the associated box of ingredients and go. Blue Apron tends to spread out in our fridge.
What I’ve really liked even more, is the cut quality of meat. The chicken dish was a nice boneless chicken, the salmon was amazing, and the steak was in a recipe where they wanted you to marinate it – resulting in a much better texture. I also grabbed a vegetarian option and the resulting roasted acorn squash with southwestern stuffing was excellent. One small compliant is one of their dishes was featured topped with an egg, but didn’t come with any eggs. While I don’t mind suggestions for add ons to the meal, if you’re going to feature it topped with something, send it!
The downside Hello Fresh (for me) is the web and mobile interface. Blue Apron does an excellent job of queuing up deliveries and allowing you to make decision up to a month out. With Hello Fresh, you have to wait until the week before to make any selections. That’s a bummer for planning purposes. A reason I liked Hello Fresh, was you could choose any of the meals available (BA has more restricted options) but if you have a much smaller window to remember to make your selections, if you’re like me, you’re likely to just pause boxes making it more likely you’ll skip a week.
What I plan on doing now is keeping both services. It’s been a real treat to have the meal planning and shopping done for me, and to eat different meals without having the calories of a restaurant meal. With both services you can pause all deliveries, and it will just be a matter of setting a calendar invite to review both upcoming weeks and see what service has the better menu.
Want to give Hello Fresh a shot? Use this link to get $40 off your first box! www.hellofresh.com/raf-helloshare/?c=EQ9N56