This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.
We skipped three straight weeks of Blue Apron during the kitchen remodel. We didn't want to, especially since each of those weeks would've included at least one of our all-time favorite meals from last year, plus something new that we were dyyyyyyying to try. (Queso and pepper arepas, anyone?)
But, you know. NO KITCHEN.
We took a couple weak stabs at using the grill, but even that only worked if the meal required little to no prep work, which we were doing on the dining room table, surrounded by clutter and construction dust. Dirty dishes piled up in the bathroom, I rinsed cutting boards off in the bathtub upstairs, and all the drains were getting clogged by even the most minuscule bits of food. We started eating out or getting delivery, or buying whatever packaged/pre-prepared food options we could find most nights instead.
The results: Immediate and somewhat drastic weight gain for both me and Jason (I jumped close to seven pounds over my goal/ideal weight). AND OH MY LANDS MY CHILDREN LIVED ON NOTHING BUT PIZZA. To the point where if we dared go to a restaurant that didn't have pizza, they'd whine and protest and be absolutely miserable over the thought of having to eat chicken fingers or mac and cheese instead.
(Don't even get me started on the Mexican restaurant we tried, just in hopes they'd venture out and order a freaking TACO instead of pizza, but ha ha ha guess what the children's menu had on it. This was during week three and I was SO DONE with their pickiness that I declared that pizza was off limits that night, I didn't care, we were not at a pizza restaurant so help me God just order something else.)
(They ordered hot dogs. HOT DOGS.)
These are kids who, just a few weeks before, had lost their minds over Spiced Turkey & Chickpea Chili, even requested the leftovers in their lunchboxes the next day. Kids who declared these Eggplant & Mozzarella Paninis to be the best grilled cheese sandwich I ever made for them.
Meanwhile, Noah was freaking out over restaurant grilled cheeses that contained any cheese besides American and made me cut off anything excess that he deemed "too melty." Old texture issues reared their ugly heads, as did digestive problems.
Ike would go on a nightly hunger strike if he was offered anything other than pizza or a hamburger with fries. (And I was HAPPY he would at least accept that one alternative.)
Even Ezra -- Chef Zah, my most adventurous eater -- would look appalled at the very THOUGHT of ordering salmon (his favorite!) and was rejecting foods all over the place. He'd make "yuck" faces at the table and turn his nose up at anything green.
I spent the entire month futilely trying to avoid carbs and sugar, ordering dumb salads that left me hungry and prone to late-night snacking, or just being like, "screw it, let's order Indian food again at least it'll fill me up NOM NOM I WILL EAT ALL THE BREAD AND RICE."
Needless to say, we started Blue Apron back up as soon as we possibly could. The kitchen wasn't done but I had a stove and a working sink. That was enough. We were so, so done with pizza and spending money on mediocre food that I could cook a million times better myself.
We're almost a full month back on Blue Apron. I dropped the extra pounds almost immediately and am back where I want to be, and Jason is pretty close. Screen-free family dinners are back on the menu (I admit I tend to hand the electronics over pretty quickly when dining out), and oh my God, I just feel so much better. BA isn't Paleo or Atkins or a cleanse/fast or any kind of "diet," just fresh, whole ingredients, portioned correctly, prepared simply.
This was dinner last night, Chicken Khao Soi Soup, with yellow curry, lots of kale and crispy wonton noodles:
Perfect for a cold, rainy day. Filling and completely satisfying, while still only 600 calories. The kids loved the noodles (obviously) and ate all the chicken and green stuff without protest.
We're officially back on track. Now we just need to never remodel a kitchen ever again.
Ready to give Blue Apron a try? Choose between the Two Rerson or Family Plan, customize your menu, and bam. Get cooking. Skip or cancel anytime (although I certainly don't recommend that).
Great news from Blue Apron, for anyone who doesn't have a comprehensive or convenient recycling program in the area: You can now return all meal packaging (box, bags, ice packs, etc.) back to BA for recycling or reuse, for free via USPS. Learn more about Blue Apron's Packaging Returns Program here.