I know I’ve written about Blue Apron on here a couple of times. I think we originally signed up for it over two years ago or something. I still love it. (Also they deliver wine!) But there are a whole host of companies that do similar meal/recipe deliveries now. And I think I’ve tried most that deliver to the Seattle area.
Blue Apron seems like the originator, or at least the first one I remember, but we’ve also tried HelloFresh, Plated, SunBasket and MarleySpoon. They’re all basically slight variations on the same thing. HelloFresh and Plated were boring enough for me to cancel after the first week, but here’s a few thoughts on the others.
Blue Apron was the first one I tried. I like it a lot, but it’s not perfect. A few of their meals seem complicated for the sake of appearing more complicated. I think that’s because their original mission was to teach chef’s skills to home cooks, but I feel like I already know how to cook so I guess I don’t appreciate that aspect of it. Also I don’t love that you have to be an omnivore, pescatarian, or vegetarian. They have six meals per week but you can’t just choose which three you want. I like choices! But I think BA is the most reliable for us in terms of recipe time estimated and us enjoying the meals. A friend of mine has mentioned their recipes can get a bit repetitive sometimes, and I suppose that’s true, but I guess I don’t really mind or even notice that much because my own dinner creativity went out the window a long time ago. So as long as I don’t have to think about what we should eat for the week, I’m happy to let Blue Apron send me as many tacos as they want.
These spiced pork tacos with crema and eloté were easy and delicious. The cheesy stuffed peppers we got two weeks ago were also easy but a bit boring.
SunBasket is, I think, only available on the west coast and I think the big advantage I’ve noticed with it over Blue Apron is that it has more options for specific diets – in addition to vegetarian they also have paleo, gluten free, soy free, etc., which seems helpful for a lot of people. My biggest complaint is that I definitely thought their meals were a bit more boring. But that probably depends on your specific tastes.
Above: Seared Salmon with Lemongrass-Coconut Curry and below: Seared Steak with Arugula Pesto.
SunBasket tends to pre-make all the sauces and such. So while Blue Apron might send you the ingredients to make the arugula pesto, SunBasket just sends you a container of the pesto already made, which makes the recipes quick and easy but also less interesting to me.
Marley Spoon (this is the weirdest named one) is one we just tried for the first time a couple weeks ago. Some of the meals have been hits, but some have definitely not. I feel like Marley Spoon, in my opinion, has recipes that are the closest to what most busy people want to cook. There are a lot of one-dish meals and super easy assembly.
The other food kit we get is our monthly Foodstirs kit, which Cormac and I both have fun with. Yesterday, with record high temperatures, I decided we should lock ourselves in the playroom in front of the portable AC and have a movie day. To accompany our movies, we dove into our Foodstirs popcorn cupcake kit.
I thought these were adorable and definitely not something I would have thought of on my own.
Cormac loved them, obviously. Total win.
But seriously, maybe I’m just not a bargain shopper when it comes to groceries (Brent will totally be the first to make that claim), but at this point in my life, going to the store for dinner ingredients will nearly always cost more than $20. And that’s just if I make it to the store with these two crazy boys running me ragged! I love the convenience and the not having to come up with what’s for dinner aspect of it, but I like actually cooking, so for us the meal delivery kit idea is a winner. Especially since we have virtually no delivery options over here in Issaquah.
Oh, and Blue Apron and Marley Spoon both allow me to give free trial weeks to friends and family, so let me know if you’re interested in trying one of these services!