I finally ordered a meal kit from Blue Apron and it arrived almost two weeks ago. In my order, I received all of the ingredients (minus oil) for three meals that each made two servings. Two of the meals included a protein while one was vegetarian. I am fairly certain they always do it that way. The items came in a sort of box/ice chest thing with some massive ice packs to keep everything cold. My first impression of the ingredients is that they are high quality and organic.
The second meal I made was a Persian chicken with crunchy rice. Again, absolutely incredible and exotic. Just like the steaks, this was a restaurant quality meal. The ingredients are high quality and they already have everything pre-measured so the chef's only job is to follow the instructions. All three of us enjoyed this meal as well!
The final meal was supposed to be creamy lumaca rigata pasta with spinach and asparagus. Unfortunately, I waited so long to make it (about 12 days after receiving the box) that my vegetables had gone bad. I could have gone to the store for replacements, but decided just to make the pasta by itself. Even without the veggies, it was still amazing!
These recipes are not one-dish meals like I am used to cooking. I dirtied several dishes plus one or two cutting boards with each meal. They also called for me to do things I would never dream of doing in my normal cooking. For example, the pasta meal wanted me to blanch my asparagus (boil it and then put it in ice water). For the Persian chicken, I cooked the rice and then took half of that rice and baked it in the oven to make it crunchy. This provided extra texture to the meal but I would probably not go the extra mile in my normal cooking. Maybe these are things you are used to doing in your day to day cooking, but the meals I cook are always much simpler. Each meal also had a little topping to make. For example, the topping for the steaks was made of oil, garlic, and some other spices. These toppings were another little touch that I would not normally do in my cooking but really added to the flavor of the meal.
Overall, I had a great experience. The meals are high quality and delicious. The ingredients are amazing. As far as the cost of the meals (about $10/serving), you will spend less than eating out at a nicer restaurant. Heck, we spend more than $10/person when going out to something as simple as Panera Bread. Of course you have to do the work yourself, but that's part of the experience. I seriously cannot emphasize just how delicious these meals came out. And none of it is due to my cooking skills. Blue Apron pre-measures everything and provides the instructions and amazing ingredients.
But with a little child running around at my feet, these meals required a lot more from me than I am used to doing day to day. I cannot imagine doing three of these meals every single week as I just don't have the time and energy in this season of my life. I do not expect to order from Blue Apron too often, but I imagine I might order from them on occasion if I feel I have the time that week to devote to the meals. The goal is to get through all three meals in one week. It took me almost two weeks to get through my box which is why my veggies went bad before I cooked the pasta.
If you want some delicious meals delivered to your door and/or you want to stretch yourself as far as your cooking skills go, definitely try a box. And don't pay full price -- search around for some first timer discounts and you should be able to get as much as 50% off your first order.