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Meal Delivery Services: the best and worst of Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Green Chef

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start being more adventurous in the kitchen. It might be {the end of} July, but better late than never, am I right? A few weeks ago Dustin and I decided to try out meal delivery. I had heard so many good things about several different companies and wanted to try them all! Thanks so a few coupon codes (HOLLA), we tried 3 different companies and rated them on taste, preparation, cook time, ease, and cost.

The first box to arrive was from Blue Apron. I had several options for the meals and chose the ones that sounded most appetizing to me: Salmon Dill Burgers, Thai Steak Lettuce Cups, and Honey Rhubarb Chicken. We had a discount code for $30 off, so for the three meals it only cost us $29.97 (Regularly $59.94). Disclaimer: my phone decided not to save any of my Instagram story pictures, so I only have pictures on the menus for this one, but mine looked just a good, I promise ;).

We made the Salmon Dill Burgers first, and let me just tell you, they were GOOD! Dustin was not so sure about mashing up perfectly good salmon filets to make a patty, but they turned out delicious. There were marinated cucumbers to go on the burger and we were eating them plain because we liked them so much. We made new potatoes to go with the burgers and they were also very good. This was not the healthiest meal ever, but for a Friday night with a glass of wine, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Salmon

Next up were the Thai Steak Lettuce Cups. This was our least favorite meal in the box. The prep was not too difficult, but the wraps were a little bland and the bibb lettuce just fell apart when we tried to eat them. It would have been more productive to just make it into a salad. Don’t get me wrong, it was still tasty, but not very easy to eat. There was also a significant amount of rice leftover, which I found a little odd.

Steack

Lastly, we made the Honey Rhubarb chicken. This was very tasty. I had never cooked with rhubarb before and it certainly won’t be the last time! The sauce was so tasty and paired perfectly with the chicken. This meal came with fingerling potatoes and asparagus, which I slightly overcooked, but they were still good! There was a significant amount of prep in all of these dishes. They took around an hour for each. The ingredients were all fresh, but all had to be prepped.

Chicken

Overall, I give Blue Apron a 19/25. Taste: 5 Prep: 3 Ease: 3 Cost: 4 Freshness: 4

Our next box arrived from Hello Fresh. We had a $40 coupon code for this box, giving us a total of $19.94 (Regularly $59.94). In this box we received: Chicken Parm Salad, Juicy Lucy Burger, and Very Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin.

One of my biggest problems with Hello Fresh was…umm… the freshness. The potatoes and some of the lettuce included were going bad. Both were for the first meal we had too, so it wasn’t like it sat in the fridge for a few days.

I decided to make the chicken part salad first, and despite the yucky looking potatoes, it turned out really great! The salad consisted of the lettuce, roasted potatoes, the chicken that had a parmesan mixture on top, and a creamy lemon dressing. Normally I like my salad full of veggies, so this was a little different. I would definitely make the chicken again though, it was so yummy! The dressing was really light and tasty as well.

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Next up was the Juicy Lucy burger. Oh my gosh, y’all, this thing was insanely good. It was topped with a tomato onion jam, which was amazing. Also, it was stuffed with cheese, so I mean, you can’t go wrong. It was served with an arugula salad, which we actually put some of the jam on to give it a little extra flavor.

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This one deserves two pictures….

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We saved the teriyaki pork for last. Dustin is a big fan of any type of Asian food and we make stir fry pretty often in our house. This dish turned out great. The flavor was amazing and it was actually fairly simple to prepare. The asparagus were cooked very well and tasted great in the teriyaki sauce. Again, we had a little extra rice.

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Hello Fresh gets a score of 18/25 Taste: 5 Prep: 4 Ease: 4 Cost: 3 Freshness: 2

Last, but certainly not least, we received our box from Green Chef. This was actually our second box because our first scheduled delivery never showed up. The very nice people at Green Chef not only refunded my money, but offered me a free box as well. On my original order, I had a coupon for a free box. I only had to pay $9 in shipping. Green Chef is by far the most expensive, regularly priced at $80.94.

In our box, we received Maple Roasted Chicken, Hoison BBQ Pork, and Corn Pesto Flatbreads. I was unable to customize which meals were sent, as that is not an option through Green Chef. However, I was excited to try all three.

We first embarked on the Maple Roasted Chicken. One of my absolute favorite thing about Green Chef is that all the ingredients are color coded for each recipe and many of the vegetables are already prepped. To me, this cut down on time as waste. They gave me just enough onion and the perfect amount of maple syrup. No measuring is a-okay with me.

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The chicken was roasted in the cast iron with a maple glaze. While that was roasting I made a carrot salad that turned out quite nice. I am a little nervous about shredding carrots (I had a bad experience as a child grating cheese at my aunt’s house in Louisiana), so I had to get Dustin to help me there.

The carrot salad was served over black quinoa and was very tasty. When the chicken was finished, it was topped with a turmeric tahini sauce.

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Next, I decided to make the Hoisin BBQ Pork. This dish was served with roasted vegetables and potato salad. This was a little harder to prepare than normal because the only instructions given were for grilling. Living in an apartment in Charlotte that doesn’t allow grills made this impossible. So I decided to cook the pork in the cast iron and roast the veggies. They still turned out great and the meal was very tasty and filling!

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Lastly, we tried the Corn Pesto Flatbreads. Of the three meals, this is the only one I was unsure about. My carnivore of a husband was also unsure of the vegetarian option, but we gave it a go. This meal was so simple to prepare and smelled great the entire time.

The flatbreads were served with a frisee salad. I am not a huge fan of olives or cannelloni beans, so it was not my favorite, but the flavor was great. The dressing was a mustard-caper vinaigrette that was incredible.

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Green Chef gets a score of 20/25 Taste: 5 Prep: 5 Ease: 5 Cost: 1 Freshness: 4

Overall, these three are all great options for meal delivery. There were good and bad about each vendor. Dustin and I thoroughly enjoyed this process and would like to continue to try out meal services. Stay tuned for a part II later this year!

Also, I’d love you for you to try these as well! Check out the coupon codes below to get started. Happy cooking!

Hello Fresh

Green Chef

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