Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Escaping a meal rut with Blue Apron

by Meghann on December 10, 2014

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.

I’ve been a meal rut lately. Let’s face it; I’m always in a meal rut.

I wish I could be one of those super organized meal planners who walks into a grocery store with a plan and knows exactly what she wants. That person can deliver unique, delicious meals day after day, week after week, and never let a thing go to waste. Every once in a while I turn into that person and feel awesome. I have a plan, I have my meals, and I know what I want. Then I get lazy, go back to my old ways, and turn into the person that returns home with a car full of groceries, yet still has no idea what to make for dinner that night. Womp. Womp.

The reality is most of our meals are thrown together haphazardly and we eat a lot of one-pot dishes. It’s not that I don’t love to cook – I love cooking! – it’s the prep work and creativity that goes into meal planning that throws me off.

That’s why I was excited to partner with Blue Apron and try their subscription meal planning service last week. Blue Apron delivers all the farm-fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. No trips to the grocery store and no waste from unused ingredients.

The timing of our first delivery could not have been more perfect. We returned from Switzerland late Monday evening, after a full 14+ hours of traveling. We were both exhausted from our trip and had to immediately jump back into our regular work routine the next morning. Neither of us were in the mood to go grocery shopping or even begin to think about planning meals for the week. Our Blue Apron box arrived the next day; which was a huge weight off our shoulders.

Blue Apron sends three meals per week – for two or four people. Meals are $9.99 per person with free shipping and each menu is between 500-700 calories per person. The meals vary week-to-week and it’s generally a surprise on what you’ll receive. Unfortunately they do not offer any gluten free options, but I was able to easily tweak all the recipes to make them gluten free for Derek.

Our first meal was Chicken Schnitzel with Watercress, Apple, Beet & Red Walnut Salad.


I followed the step-by-step directions and easily worked my way through all of the fresh ingredients in the box.


By the way, you can find all of the Blue Apron recipes on their website. So even if you do not use their meal service, you can still recreate their delicious meals at home.


The recipe took a little longer to create than I was expecting, but still easy to follow. I substituted the panko bread crumbs with cornmeal to make the recipe gluten free.


The overall dish was tasty. I really enjoyed the sweet and tart beet salad.

Next up was the Beef on Weck Sandwiches with Heirloom Potato Salad.


Derek helped with this meal. He really enjoyed how each item was neatly labeled. Whenever Derek helps, he generally has to double check what certain items are, so it was nice to have everything labeled for his benefit.


I thought the meal was delicious. Everything was easy to cook and easy to assemble. Derek ate his sans bun to keep his gluten free.


Our final meal was the Shrimp & Mustard Green Laing.



This meal was probably the quickest to make. Once again, it utilized fresh, simply ingredients that came together to make a fabulous meal.


Overall I really enjoyed the Blue Apron experience. It was a great a way to ease back into the kitchen after our big trip, especially since I didn’t have to go to the grocery store. It was also a great temporary distraction from my current meal rut. Yes, the amount of packaging involved with each meal is a lot, but it’s also easy to recycle and reuse all of the little containers and baggies.

If you’d like to try the service for yourself, Blue Apron is offering the first 50 Meals and Miles readers two free meals on your first Blue Apron order! Click here to get started.

Blue Apron also makes a great gift for the hard-to-shop for this holiday season. Click here to learn more.

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