There are a lot of meal delivery services designed to make your life easier by bringing healthy meals to your doorstep. But which is right for you? We tested Blue Apron, a service that delivers fresh ingredients but allows you to be the chef. Our favorite meal: a seared cod recipe that is included below.
Best For…Someone who likes to cook.
Forget individual servings. With this service, you get a weekly box of food to prepare three complete meals for at least two people. The dishes are designed with healthy, fresh ingredients, but the portions are larger than may be appropriate for achieving weight-loss goals, if that’s your concern.
MISSION CONTROL: The only service that makes you the chef—but with no time spent on figuring out what to cook or buying groceries, Blue Apron is a time saver. You can specify preferences for and against different meats, and they decide from among their weekly options which recipes you’ll be cooking. You’ll likely learn some new ideas to add to your cooking repertoire.
SAMPLE DINNER: Tomato, peach and goat cheese salad with roasted purple garlic bread.
PALATE PLEASER: We received a pale tomato we wouldn’t pick from the market, but most of the groceries were high quality and the recipe instructions were suitable for beginners. Our best meal was a tasty trip to the Basque French-Spanish border region via a piperade.
VESTED INTEREST: About $10 per person per meal
Seared Cod Piperade With Roasted Blue Potatoes and Parsley-Almond Sauce
10 oz. blue potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 heirloom pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. Marcona almonds, finely chopped
1 large bunch parsley, stemmed and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar, divided
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cod fillets
1 tsp. piment d’Espelette
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place potatoes on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, tossing to coat thoroughly. Arrange in a single layer and roast for 24 to 26 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a medium pot, heat 2 tsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers, onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 14 to 16 minutes, or until vegetables are softened.
Heat a dry nonstick pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add almonds and toast, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer almonds to a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and enough olive oil to create a rough paste. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in a splash of sherry vinegar. Wipe out the pan used to toast the almonds.
Increase heat for the piperade (peppers) to medium-high. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant and dark red in color. Add remaining sherry vinegar and 4 cup water. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 to 45 seconds, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Pat cod fillets dry and season with salt and pepper and all but a pinch of the piment d’Espelette. In the same pan used to toast almonds, heat 2 tsp. olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add cod and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
Divide cod, potatoes and piperade between 2 plates. Top with parsley-almond sauce. Garnish with remaining piment d’Espelette.