Turns out that wasn't quite the end of things between us and Blue Apron, though.
We signed up about a month later, after constantly talking about That One Week and how great it was — not having to menu plan or shop for the weeknights, the different take on old standby dishes, the recipes we NEVER would have tried otherwise, the new ingredients the kids gobbled right up like it was no big thang.
We've been cooking with Blue Apron every week since, and you guys. I am so in love with this service I would write this post for free.
(I am not. But hey. Gotta pay for my Ricotta & Lacinato Kale Calzones and Chicken Hiyashi Chuka fix SOMEHOW, right?)
(Our full recipe stack of happy meals past. Pretty sure I'd save this in a fire.)
Every Saturday, our beautiful boxes of ingredients arrive — we do a meal plan for four people, which is PLENTY for our family, with lunch leftovers for someone the next day — and it's still a giddy thrill to unpack them. Look at all this produce I did not have to pick out myself, yet is magically farmers-market perfect! Look at this snipping of herbs that is portioned to JUST the amount I will use this week and will NOT end up rotting into mush in my vegetable drawer because seriously, I'm never going to use that huge bunch cilantro before it goes bad, Grocery Store. Look at these mushrooms! LOOK AT THESE MUSHROOMS!
(Hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, my personal favorite, which became a mole-spiced meatless taco that fooled my children AND satisfied my raving carnivore of a husband. There were no leftovers for this one, alas.)
(Ezra's lunch with a leftover nubbin of Chicken Banh Mi and some pickled vegetables. That I pickled. Myself. Did you know how easy that is to do? I honestly did not, and now I am a self-pickling fanatic.)
Every recipe includes something unusual — something I certainly don't keep in my pantry, and something I probably would buy full-sized at the store for ONE recipe and then never use again (side-eyes an ancient container of white miso paste in the fridge) — and usually more than one thing my children would consider "new." Or they did, until it showed up in enough Blue Apron meals because it was seasonal, and suddenly all sorts of proteins and vegetables are now eaten without protest or suspicion. You name it, they eat it, from kale to scallops to mushroom tacos, since 1) there is ZERO temptation for me to short-order cook for them anymore, so eat or don't, Mama's busy stuffing her face with this Congee and Caramelized Pork, and 2) there's also always something familiar on the plate.
Hazelnuts + couscous = my kids deciding chickpeas and eggplant are also pretty baller.
Thai Chicken Meatballs with Baby Bok Choy & Rice Noodles, Mom- and Ike-style presentations.
Jason (whose Facebook and Instagram is probably 99% Blue Apron food p0rn at this point) discovered that contrary to being a luxury service, we're now spending less every month on food overall, since we're no longer making multiple trips to multiple grocery stories, plus the farmers' market, tracking down the best produce/meat or specialty ingredients or just that one thing I discovered we were out of after I started cooking (while suddenly impulse-buying a dozen other things just because we're there). We buy fewer boxed/canned/jarred/packaged products. We're less tempted to order in or go out just because we're beyond bored to DEATH of the regular line-up of recipes. We waste less food, while the portion sizes (500-700 calories) mean we're taking in way fewer calories than we did while cooking on our own, when Jason and I would pack away a meal meant for four or six in a single sitting. So we've been able to keep the weight we lost off, while DEFINITELY not feeling like we're dieting or cutting out our favorite things to eat.
I'm going to shut up now. I need to get this post ready to publish and then head downstairs to start making dinner. Pan-Seared Salmon with Candied Orange Peel & Cranberry-Walnut Stuffing is on the menu tonight, and I CANNOT FREAKING WAIT.
This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. And now! A treat! The first 100 readers to sign up using THIS LINK will get two free meals on their first order. Go! Go now!