A guide to meal planning with a family! We all want a satisfying and nourishing meal, but shopping and prepping can be a daunting task. For those hectic days why not have all the ingredients measured out and delivered straight to your home! I would like to thank Blue Apron for sponsoring this post. All of my opinions are my own.
Raise your hand up high if you’re interested in meal planning made easy! You know I love cooking dinner for my family on a weekly basis, but being a busy working mom gets overwhelming. When I think of prepping a week’s worth of meals on my Sunday afternoon, I’d much rather be enjoying my day off on a hike or with my feet up on the couch.
I recently found one of the easiest ways to add a little fun and spice into my meal planning regime, and it’s taking advantage of a food delivery service. I had the opportunity to try out Blue Apron for a week, and I must say, it was super convenient! I know you can appreciate the thought of someone else grocery shopping for you and thinking up creative recipe ideas. And nothing is better than getting farm fresh ingredients right at your doorstep so you can just grab, cook and devour.
Let’s take a break from the boredom of our usual weekday meal rotation, and I want to share my Blue Apron experience with you.
As a foodie, I was curious and excited to open the Blue Apron box of ingredients. It contained a variety of chef-designed meals to make throughout the week. What I found were colorful and straightforward instructions to create three recipes:
I was pleased to see all the ingredients portioned and labeled, so I didn’t have to measure out or waste anything. When I’m cooking on my own, I usually have an excess of produce that sadly doesn’t get eaten if I don’t use it all within the week, or my spices end up sitting out for too long and lose its flavor.
As a Food Scientist, food quality is a concern I have. Thankfully Blue Apron is developing a sustainable food system by partnering with farmers to provide the highest-quality ingredients. The company is setting standards for things like using sustainable seafood, meat with no added hormones or subtherapeutic antibiotics, and non-GMO ingredients, regenerative farming practices, and reducing food waste is a plus!
Benefits of A Meal Planning Delivery Service
Here are the advantages of using Blue Apron that I experienced:
Choice: Depending on the size of your family, you can choose a 2-person (3 recipes) or family plan that serves 4 (2 or 4 recipes), so you have enough to satisfy those hungry eaters. I found that the 2-person plan worked well for Jason and me, and it even provided enough to share with our toddler James. If you have any dietary restrictions, let them know and it they will take it into consideration for your personalized menu. If you are interested in nutritional information, each serving ranges from 50 to 800 calories.
Convenience: Everything you need gets shipped right to you in a refrigerated box, so in case the delivery gets there while you’re out and about it will still stay fresh. Very important from a food safety standpoint! The ingredients are labeled, and smaller items come in cute “knick knack” bags with step-by-step instructions for each recipe. No need to make trips to the grocery store to gather ingredients, a huge time saver! Plus all meals can also be made in 40-minutes or less.
Cuisine: The Blue Apron service has a variety of recipe options while adding new choices and menu changes each week to keep your taste buds excited. You can preview the menu online for the week and see if the ingredients and method is something you want to try. There is also a helpful video for tips and techniques, and recommendations on wine pairings for each recipe.
Cost: One of the biggest factors is balancing the price value of a meal delivery service versus going to a grocery store yourself. With Blue Apron, the cost per serving is between $8.74 to $9.99. For comparison, I usually spend at least $25 on ingredients if making something from scratch for two people.
As a big thank you for reading my blog, Blue Apron is offering three free meals to 25 of my readers on their first Blue Apron order! The best part is there is no commitment, and you can skip or cancel your service at any time. So why not make life easier and try some delicious meals!
Cooking My First Blue Apron Meal
I asked Jason what recipe he wanted to try first, and his eyes lit up to the site of the chicken meatball recipe. I had never tried Fregola Sarda pasta before, and I was looking forward to the combination of kale and skillet-cooked chicken meatballs in a Sicilian tomato sauce.
With a quick rinse and chop, the kale was ready to be wilted down and combined with some garlic, pink lemons and finished with some creamy mascarpone cheese.
I had never tried pink lemons before either. Surprisingly, it was very low in acidity and just had a very ripe flavor. I love experimenting with new ingredients, and I was pleased to get the opportunity to try something new right off the bat with my first Blue Apron meal.
The mini pearl shaped Fregola Sarda pasta just needed a quick boil until tender. It reminded me of the texture of couscous. I like that the pasta was lite enough so that the chicken meatballs and kale shined through the dish. Our family loves a little bit of pasta whenever we have Italian food, so we didn’t have to miss out.
After browning the meatballs in a saute pan for added flavor, the protein simmered in a sweet and spicy Sicilian tomato sauce. I never thought to add raisins for sweetness, and capers for pungency to a tomato sauce, but it worked! My compliments to the chefs on that one.
By the time I was ready to plate up dinner, my family was getting anxious, so I had to do it quickly! My husband is Italian and very picky when it comes to meatballs, I was thrilled to get the thumbs up. Jason even asked for me to make these again, and our toddler James ate a meatball or two.
I found it to be a breeze to follow the instructions and to quickly grab whatever pre-portioned ingredients I needed to make the recipe. Having a road map with step-by-step instructions and great visuals helped to get a tasty meal on the dinner table in just a short period of time. This was a mom mealtime win!
Between working full-time, blogging, and now working on an exciting cookbook project, my time has become extremely limited. I love the fact that Blue Apron’s meal delivery service makes family meal planning effortless while mixing in recipe testing for the blog. I would definitely recommend giving Blue Apron a try if you need some new mealtime inspiration. They’ll provide you with all the ingredients you need for a convenient and tasty dinner experience to share with your loved ones!