Just a heads up, this post is sponsored by the folks at Blue Apron. This should go without saying, but all opinions are our own and came straight from our own noggins.
Life is as newly-minted small business owners is as busy as ever. And while we’re keeping our kids clothed and fed, it’s not quite the quality we’d like a lot of the time. Sally’s hair gets thrown up into a quick pony tail, Winnie’s barefoot more often than not, and oftentimes they end up with a half-hearted dinner made by yours truly. We’d love to sit down together each night and have quality family meals, but the time to plan, hunt for budget-friendly deals, grocery shop, and cook just isn’t there like it used to be.
To help ease the stress of meal planning while still having quality, home-cooked meals, we’re teaming back up with Blue Apron to take care of some of our home-cooked meal woes. When Johnny and I first tried it in November, we did the 2-person plan as a yummy, healthy meal to eat once the girls were in bed. But this time, we decided to try the family plan, which delivers two meals a week for a family of four. We wanted to try our hand at getting some meals that would provide an excuse to use our dining table and have a nice family dinner together.
In a nutshell, Blue Apron delivers all the ingredients in pre-measured amounts to our door, with the recipes and detailed cooking instructions included. We actually weren’t home when our package arrived, but it was all in a refrigerated box, so the ingredients stayed fresh. It was exciting to know we had two delicious, healthy meals to look forward to. And while each meal is chef-designed and not our typical mac and cheese fare, one of our favorite aspects is that they spell out all of the cooking instructions so that even the most novice of cooks can put together a first-class meal. I know that first-hand because Johnny prepared both of them all by himself! Despite Johnny’s limited cooking know-how, they turned out just how the recipe showed. It wasn’t one of those “Hmm, this looked way better in the picture” situations. And it was delicious!
Another big draw for us was that we could choose a healthier option that costs less than our family of four getting take out or eating at a restaurant. I want at least some of our children’s memories of eating dinner as a family to have taken place in our own home, and this is one way to make it happen. From start to finish, all of Blue Apron’s meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less, which makes it very doable for this busy time of our lives. Even better, we ended up having leftovers for both meals, which we enjoyed for lunch the next day.
Something I really liked about the family plan is that though the meals were unique and new, they were still something our very picky girls Sally and Winnie were willing to eat. One of the meals was Roasted Pork and Spinach-Farro Salad. Johnny and I had never had farro before — didn’t even know what it was. But it was familiar enough that the girls ate it the way they would rice. Cooking the meal opened our eyes to other possibilities for future meals. One of the yummiest parts was the roasted carrots, which we simply sliced, sprinkled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and thyme, and cooked in the oven. It was so simple, yet we’d never cooked carrots that way before.
Blue Apron has been a really awesome option for us to fall back on when life gets super busy. I stress over our kids’ nutrition so much, and on especially busy weeks, this takes that stress away. We can skip or cancel the service at any time, which means I can pick and choose which weeks we want it, and there’s no contract (hallelujah!). We enjoyed this experience just as much as the first time around. And the very best part? Johnny loves cooking their meals, so I just get to take the girls to the playground and come home to a hot meal on the table. Win-win.
If you’ve been flirting with the idea, this will help sweeten the pot. Blue Apron is offering two free meals to the first 25 OFB readers who make their first order! Just click here to snag it!