Blue Apron First-Timer Review: Empanadas

Last night, we made our first ever Blue Apron meal: Empanadas! This was also the first time we ever made empanadas, period.

Here’s how it went down. I arrived home after work to find this lovely box of goodies: Blue Apron had delivered!

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Eco-friendly packaging!

I did not waste much time digging in.

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Great refrigeration going on here! Plus ice packs.

I was quite taken by the darlingness of this tomato cup.

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Not to mention the double-egg carrier.

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With the 2-person plan, you get recipes and ingredients for 3 meals a week. Here’s the full array. If you’re wondering how much counter space you need, well, this is how much we have on this side, unless we want to angle and wedge ourselves awkwardly over the sink.

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Mental note: Buy new house with bigger kitchen

Yet it all fit, as these things tend to do despite one’s disgruntlement.

Here’s a close-up of the first meal we chose to make: The aforementioned empanadas.

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I kept that tomato cup, by the way

We commenced chopping, slicing, zesting, and dicing. I include this picture of the cucumber because it was the first time I’d ever alternately-peeled a cucumber just to add some pizzazz to a salad, and the first time I’d bothered to scoop out the seeds. Usually I eat ’em.

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Let me tell you, slicing a cucumber after de-seeding is an interesting experience

I started the meat while I was chopping and slicing, and my husband was chopping and zesting, and after adding more of the included ingredients, it looked like this:

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Yep. MEAT.

Then came the apex of our journey: Putting the empanada together without screwing it up.

The recipe recommended 1/4th cup of meat per empanada wrapper. I duly measured out 1/4 cup of meat, because what did I know?

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Then, the careful folding and fork-crimping that may or may not have pierced the poor thing in the process, but it all stayed together, so…

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Getting this thing off our cutting board to the baking sheet was a process in itself.

There were four total, with meat left over. And, through the magic of the internet, they are already done!

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This pan may have seen better days

Plated! With salad and lime crema on the side.

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Lest there be any doubt, the entire contents of this plate were et.

Taste:
Quite good. If I make this again, I will not add as many scallions. I am not an onion person in general, so the amount requested here could already have been too much for me and just fine for someone else. Otherwise, and overall, this was a nice blend of flavors and textures.

Prep time/angst:

Not bad. We have a tiny kitchen and both of us worked on things together. Naturally this took more time than bringing home take-out, but perhaps that was our perception: We’d still have to choose take-out and go out and get it, which takes time doing different things, but still takes time. I enjoyed cooking together. It made a good contrast.

Did it fill us up?

Yes. Goodness, yes. Two empanadas, plus salad, were remarkably filling. This didn’t stop us from coming up with dessert (all that prep work made us feel a bit hollow…or something).

Conclusions:

  • Acting on a recommendation from a friend, I had taken advantage of a discount offer on the Blue Apron website to get this week’s box. I am not sure I can afford to continue it at their regular price, but then again, I’m not sure I know that for sure, because:
    • I will need to do some serious food budgeting as well as look at our lifestyle realistically: How often do we go out to eat? How careful are we comparing prices in grocery stores? Do we EVER stick to our list? Are we exchanging our money for seriously good food, or not?
  • You can choose not to have upcoming weeks’ deliveries, or cancel outright. One of the problems we saw was that there were more choices that I favored than my husband did. This might not be cost effective unless both of us wanted the majority of available selections.
    • This is not to say that there weren’t loads of tasty options that appealed to us separately.
    • Or that we shouldn’t take another look.
  • But! This has spurred us to take a true, closer look at our dinnertime habits, and resolve to be more mindful about planning meals, shopping for them, and actually sticking to a budget and a list.
    • At least, that’s the plan.

And we have two more meals to make this week!

Have you tried Blue Apron? What do you think of these kinds of delivery services?

One thought on “Blue Apron First-Timer Review: Empanadas

  1. Pingback: Blue Apron: Sweet Chili Chicken | Turn the page

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