Blue Apron or Hello Fresh?

I said I would give my review and here we go! I honestly don't know why I chose to sign up for Blue Apron first but I did, probably because they were the first to tempt me with a promo code or a FREE box! Haha They must know my trigger words. I love to cook and sometimes I get into this rut where I cook the same things. Also, since my daughter turned 2, she began to boycott naps. Yes, please feel sorry for me! With that being said, no naps means she gets extra hairy around 4pm, the exact time I start to prep and cook dinner since my hubby gets home around 5:30. Again, I like to cook, so for me it is a process that I enjoy to start early, have time to prepare and throw in extras to see what flavors I can create! But.....when you have a child crying at your legs because she can't watch a show on TV that is not on at that time, the dinner struggle becomes what can I cook with the most amount of ease?? I love my crockpot but seriously get tired of the same old stuff and I try to cook healthy and the crockpot for me screams comfort food, just like the meals my mother made! Yes I know you can make healthy dinners in the crockpot, but we all know that we have our recipes that we cook over and over again because they work, and our kids eat it without complaining. Because who wants to slave over cooking a dinner only to listen to your child or husband scrape the fork on the plate separating the green things from the white things and what are those red things? Am I right or am I right?

Ahhh so you suggest I get on Pinterest? Well I am already on there and I have like 3 different tabs for food that I NEVER cook! 1.) Because I don't have all of the ingredients on hand or 2.) Because when I go to the store I do not want to buy another cabinet full of things I will never use again. 3.) Because see when I actually do go buy all of the things for a new recipe from Pinterest I forget why I have coconut milk in my cabinet and never make the recipe. So hello Blue Apron. Thank you for joining the party, or am I?

Blue Apron was my attempt at trying new recipes without the stress. I bought it with some promotion and honestly you should never buy anything like that without a promotion because they are everywhere!! I just received another $30 off code in my Zuilly shipment! So once I signed up, I was able to choose which day I wanted it to be shipped on along with how many meals for how many people. I chose 2 people 3 times a week because that seemed to be the best "fit" for us. Well not really because a few times a week we have my step children and then we have 4 but the other days we have 2, but we always have a small child who doesn't really eat an adult portion but I am tired of sharing everything I have....kidding. Sort of. And then you check the calendar to make sure you are going to be home at least 3 meals for the week and not eating out or gone. You get the point, signing up and making those decisions was stressful enough! Haha. My first box was delivered and I couldn't wait to open it! My 3 recipes were Seared Chicken and Fregola Salad, Mexican Beef Quesadillas, and some Teriyaki salmon thing. Out of the 3, I chose to cook Seared Chicken and Fregola Salad first since it was just the hubby and I eating and it looked yummy! Everything arrived in 1 big box with small tiny brown paper bags with small labels to which recipes, although you had to decipher how many green onions went with each recipe as there wasn't a "box" within a box. The first meal is always fun to cook because you have time and you are excited to make something new, but realizing the chopping, peeling and sautΓ©ing and switching of pans is creating more dishes than you want to clean up, but you press on. Recipes were fairly easy to follow but with foods I have never heard of (Fregola salad), you really have to read and pay attention instead of just throwing crap in a pan :)

After all of the steps, it was ready to eat! It was delicious!

 I honestly struggled to find when I was going to make the next recipe since we had things that popped up so I ended up making the Mexican Beef Quesadillas when my hubby was on call at work, but good lord they were to die for but I felt like gut rot after as I did not drain the grease like I maybe should have!

 The anxiety of the whole thing was the worst part for me because I felt like I had this fresh food in the fridge and if I did not cook it, it would go to waste and I didn't want to do that since I paid for it! A few more days passed by and I finally decided I would make the last recipe and it was more work than I thought and it was not good, we both did not eat it and ended up eating popcorn for dinner! It even looks like poo plated πŸ™ˆ

Needless to say I was NOT in a rush to order anymore boxes or order from another similar company even though that was my intention! I wanted to try both companies and compare and then eventually subscribe to 1 or the other! My first Blue Apron came August 26th and I did not order Hello Fresh until January 11th! Haha. I wasn't kidding.

Hello Fresh

I honestly felt like the ordering process was a little more user friendly here and this time around I went with the 4 people option and 2 boxes a week for only 2 weeks because now I have commitment issues! Haha So the first box arrives and again I am excited to break into it to see what our meals consist of and what they are like! I love that each box has everything into it's own box (except the meat, but that is a no brainer) although I can see them being too bulky and big for some people's fridge! I chose the most kid friendly meal to start with since I was going to be feeding a 3 year old and a 16 year old. The recipe was Beefy Taco casserole with a side salad. Well, I don't eat salads unless it is from a restaurant so this was a complete wasted ingredient for us. It was easy enough to make and yummy enough to eat! Easy to assemble but a tad messy to eat!

Our next meal was Honey Ginger-Glazed Chicken. Ok, how cute are those little fish bottles with soy sauce?? I love anything mini and have been known to hoard small condiments from hotels and airplanes! No shame in my game! So before the box came, I received and email notification that they could not send the chicken tenders so they sent chicken breasts instead and informed me that I should just cut them into strips as a substitution. Well, I didn't follow that direction and just left it as a breast, much easier that fondling a raw chicken breast.

Somethings, well a lot of things I found annoying about this "meal kit". 1.) Why can't the garlic come chopped or minced? 2.) Same thing with the ginger. 3.) Who wants to take the time to trim both ends of each sugar snap pea, especially when I don't even like them!? Ugh, but my hubby does so I pressed on to correctly complete this recipe.

In the above recipe on how to prepare your meal, you will notice it says "Pour in 3 TBSP white wine vinegar (we sent more)". Why would you send me more? Another step that I have to do that I don't want to do because I am lazy and that is why I bought this box. Why can't the exact amount be sent? Hmmmm maybe I am a little out of sorts as I am writing about this recipe after the fact that I happened to get "something" after eating this meal that gave me stools with ease ( if you catch my drift.) for 4 stinkin days and then out came the Imodium after I saw no end in sight. TMI? I am a nurse so you will just have to get over it! Haha I am not saying it was the meal, because my hubby ate the same thing and was fine but you know how it is when you think of the last thing you ate or drank before you became ill. No bueno. Nonetheless, it was very tasty with great flavors!

Our final week of meals was due to be shipped on Tuesday and we received an email that it would be delayed due to an ice storm that hit us here in the Midwest. I appreciate the heads up as it is no problem for me at all to receive it a day later! This weeks menu was Juicy Apple Pork Burgers and Ginger Beef Stir Fry. So I decided to go for the burgers because I had actually saw that a friend had made them a few days before and they looked amazing! 

Again with the salad, boo but the rosemary fries were spot on! I also failed to take a photo of the finished product and I can not remember why, but we all loved them! The zested apple in the burger mix was crazy good!

Since my box came a day late, I was so nervous that the meat would not be good since it was sitting out an extra day. I am sure it was fine but after the last fiasco, you can imagineI was a tad more cautious. Unboxing the last meal I was sooooo over it again. Why did I order this stuff again? Another freakin ginger box with SUGAR SNAP PEAS! If you look below, the ingredients were almost the exact same as the ginger chicken the week before and I thought maybe they would have noted what they already sent me and tried to hook me up with variety, nope.

So instead of using the sketchy beef, I substituted for Costco salmon, which is a favorite in our house. I trimmed and cut 1 bag of the peas again, cursing the entire time then tossed the second bag in the fridge for my hubbys salads at lunch. Also, instead of sending me those adorable little fish of soy sauce, they sent me like 10 packets of soy sauce. Ya know the kind you have to tear open at the restaurant with your teeth? Yep, I had to individually open each packet to get 4 TBSP of soy sauce. I may have laughed in disbelief, no, I am sure I did. The glaze that you make is delicious and I will probably keep that for salmon glaze again! The flavors I achieved with Hello Fresh was top notch! Probably my favorite thing about them because seasoning is key!

Overall, I have decided that I will not do either again and just stick with what we already love & cook or pull out Ina Garten recipes when I am feeling fancy! I just love her. I do feel that 2 meals a week was right for me as the pressure to cook them was not as intense and maybe I am the only one that feels this way, but remember this is MY review and I do know a lot of people who love both of these companies. Maybe I went into it thinking it was to make cooking easier and in some ways it does, but for me I want dump and go majority of the time or one pan wonders :) This has been fun and if you have any comments, feedback or suggestions I am open to them all! XOXO