Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Food Subscription Box Comparison Review

Almost all the food subscriptions have introductory offers. So we decided to try out a few to see what we thought. We have tried out Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Plated. All of the subscriptions let you choose your choices from six meal options. However, Blue Apron limits what combinations you can have. 

The first subscription we tried was HelloFresh:
I signed up for a Groupon for $69 for two weeks of three meals for two people. Regularly cost $69/week. I was really excited to learn that one of my favorite chefs Jamie Oliver has joined the team and is curating some recipes. The first meal we tried was "Jamie's Super-Speedy Steamed Salmon with Jeweled Couscous and Yogurt"
We really enjoyed this recipe! It introduced us to a new way to quickly cook salmon. I loved the jeweled couscous and the yogurt topping was very complimentary to the dish.

The second meal was "Lemony Chicken Paillard with sweet potato wedges, Arugula Salad, and Chimchurri"
I really enjoyed this meal. The chimchurri was great on the chicken. The sweet potato wedges were very tasty. I am not a salad eater but i even ate this salad. 

The final meal was "Italian Meatloaf with Sundried Tomatoes, Roasted Green Beans, and Garlic-Basil Mashed Potatoes"
I didn't get a picture of this meal. I was really excited for it, and it was okay. The sun dried tomatoes created a weird texture in the meatloaf. The mashed potatoes were really good. Overall we liked Hello Fresh but were not blown away. The meals tasted good but were not something that we would have to make again.

The next subscription we tried was Blue Apron. I purchased a Groupon and paid $39 for a week with three meals and it is regularly cost $59.94. The first meal was "Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice with toasted cashews and Sambal and Oelek"
This meal blew us away. It tasted amazing. It had a light citrus taste and great consistency. The shrimp was the perfect combination for this meal.

The Second meal was "Creamy Lemon Linguini with Caramalized Onions, Chard, and Walnuts" 
I was really excited for this meal because I love anything and everything lemon. This meal however, was a disappointment. It was waaayyy too lemony. The lemon overwhelmed the entire dish. It could have benefited from having a meat in it as well. 

The third meal was "Tuscan Ribollita Soup with Soft-Boiled Egg and Lincinado Kale"
This was a really tasty soup that we were pleasantly surprised with. We learned how to soft boil an egg from this recipe. 

Blue Apron was really hit and miss. The Shrimp and Pineapple fried rice was something that we will recreate again. 

The final subscription we tried was Plated
Plated was one of our favorites from the past. We got $40 off for the introduction special. plated is the only one that allows for a minimum of two meals in a week versus the others that are a minimum of three. Two meals cost $48 + $6 shipping. 

The first meal was "Philly Cheesesteaks"
We loved this meal. The bread was fresh and the garlic mayo sauce was amazing. Overall we loved this meal and it was simple enough that we could recreate on our own. 

The second meal "White Buffalo Chicken Pizza"
This meal was amazing!!!!!!! The crust was high quality and the buffalo chicken had the perfect kick to it and the yogurt sauce was a perfect mix. 

Plated was by far my favorite of the subscriptions because quality was much higher than the others and the meals feel more gourmet. Overall, we really enjoy the food subscriptions. It is super convenient to have meals planned for you and to have all the ingredients delivered to your doorstep. It saves on time and helps you stay on track with healthy eating. If we are rushing to make meals last minute they are usually not as healthy. These subscriptions also introduce us to new meals and cooking methods. While it cost more than going to the store and planning meals, I find that the savings on time and grocery store trips makes them worth it. I think Plated is the best one for us because the meals are gourmet and typically not something we would attempt to make ourselves without guidance. I also enjoy that we can opt for two meals instead of three unlike the other two plans. Hello Fresh was mediocre. The meals are not the tastiest but I feel they are pretty healthy. We did have an issue with their instructions not being as complete and found some information missing. Blue Apron was my personal least favorite because they actually limit the combinations you can have which was deceiving to me. I found three perfect meals that i loved but couldn't have them all. I think we are going to keep Plated and HelloFresh. All the plans allow you to skip weeks but you have to remember to go on and skip!