This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.
I’m all about Sunday food prep as a way to help our family eat healthy. If nutritious food is prepped and ready to go, we don’t have an excuse to order take-out or eat cereal (or ice cream) for dinner. And now that we have a toddler, we don’t have a ton of time to make elaborate meals, so when it comes to dinner, I like to have a game plan and most of the ingredients prepared. That way, dinner comes together quickly and we can enjoy dinnertime together as a family.
Last week, I had the opportunity to work with Blue Apron again (love them), so I wanted to share how my usual meal prep fit in with using a meal delivery service. Spoiler: It made it even easier. If you’re unfamiliar with Blue Apron, here’s the deal”¦
Blue Apron delivers all the farm-fresh ingredients you need, right to your doorstep, in exactly the right proportions. There are no trips to the grocery store needed and no waste from unused ingredients. Basically, you order your meals online (there’s a huge selection and Blue Apron adds new recipes every week) and then they’re shipped for free right to your front door. (Your recipes are delivered in a refrigerated box so ingredients will stay fresh even if you’re not at home when your package arrives.) You just need to cook them up, which, of course, is the best part!
Blue Apron offer two types of plans: The 2-Person Plan and Family Plan:
- The 2-Person Plan will set you up with one delivery a week, each with three inventive meals for two. Each week, the culinary team creates six new recipes for this plan, and you will be sent a curated menu of three recipes based on your dietary preferences.
- The Family Plan is perfect for feeding a family of four. With this plan you can opt to receive one or two deliveries per week, each delivery consisting of two meals to be served family-style.
There’s no commitment””you can skip or cancel the service at any time””and Blue Apron now ships to most of the country! And (this is really great) Blue Apron now has a Recycling Center!
I know a number of you guys expressed concern about the amount of packaging that goes along with a Blue Apron shipment, but now there are two ways to recycle your packaging: Use the recycling locator to find recycling options in your community OR return 100% of your packaging for free to Blue Apron to recycle or reuse! And this so easy to do: You just request a return label and pick-up online. It really couldn’t be easier. Blue Apron has partnered with the USPS to use existing delivery routes, so there’s no additional carbon footprint to your return. How cool is that?
Ok, here we go. Let’s talk about prepping once to eat delicious meals all week!
MEALS + GROCERY LIST
Grocery shopping was such a breeze this week. The majority of what we needed was delivered right to our front door via Blue Apron, so I only had to buy our usual staples (bananas, eggs, milk) plus a few ingredients for dinner on the non-Blue Apron nights (chicken, lime, broccoli). Thanks to Blue Apron, I was in and out of the grocery store in no time, which is especially awesome with an active little guy in tow. (Toddler moms definitely know what I’m talking about!)
- Spicy Korean Chicken Wings with Rice Cakes & Baby Bok Choy
- Sumac-Spiced Steak & Honeynut Squash with Pickled Onion & Apple-Walnut Salad
- Brie & Pear Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Brussels Sprout, Arugula & Hazelnut Salad
- Chicken Ole with Brown Rice
- Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Steamed Broccoli
While Quinn was napping on Sunday afternoon, I went to town in the kitchen, food prepping like a champ. Blue Apron’s meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less, but I wanted to make dinnertime even faster. Plus, I prepped a few things for breakfast to make our mornings at bit more streamlined. It took me about 2.5 hours to prep everything, but it was well worth it in the end. Dinnertime was easy-peasy this week!
Top left to right: Sweet Potato Breakfast Potatoes, shredded Brussels sprouts, baked acorn squash, baked butternut squash, chicken wings, Bok Choy with rice cakes (Blue Apron recipe), Crock-Pot Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oatmeal, roasted garlic, sliced red onion, and Breakfast Potatoes with green bell pepper and onion.
OUR WEEK OF DINNERS
We had an epic week of meals… truly epic (I’d even call them gourmet), especially since they came together so quickly during the work week. I loved having that extra time to hang out and relax with my boys, especially when a glass of wine was involved! That said, here’s a recap of our dinners this week!
Spicy Korean Chicken Wings with Rice Cakes & Baby Bok Choy
I cooked this meal on Sunday afternoon while doing my food prep for the week. When dinnertime rolled around, I just reheated everything in the microwave. Dinner done. The wings were insanely easy to make, and I learned a new way to roast them that makes them taste even more delicious. (Just cook on 475 degrees F for 22-24 minutes, then brush on the glaze, and roast for another 6-8 minutes.) They turned out so well””sweet and savory with a spicy kick. On the side, we had some chewy Korean rice cakes (they reminded me of pasta) and baby Bok Choy. It was an all-around awesome meal, and I really loved how the wings turned out””so much, in fact, I put wings on our menu for next week!
Brie & Pear Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Brussels Sprout, Arugula & Hazelnut Salad
Yum, yum, yum! So many of my favorite foods in one meal! Rich, creamy Brie with sweet, juicy pears? Sign me up! It was a fun twist on a classic grilled cheese sandwich. Mmm! I really loved this one and it came together in no time thanks to my Sunday prep.
I still needed to assemble and cook the sandwiches, which I suppose I could have done on Sunday, but I wanted them to taste as fresh as possible.
And, truthfully, it only took me about 5 minutes to layer the Brie, pear, and sage on the bread. It was quick!
Cooking the sandwiches took another 6-7 minutes, so I whipped up the salad while I waited.
It literally took me 30 seconds to make since I had already prepared the ingredients.
Ta-da! Dinner is served! It seriously couldn’t have been easier!
I’m on a cheese kick lately, so I was eyeing the Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese with Crispy Sage and the Smoky Gruyere Grilled Cheese with Fried Eggs & Butter Lettuce Salad for future meals. Both look incredible!
Sumac-Spiced Steak & Honeynut Squash with Pickled Onion & Apple-Walnut Salad
Another winning recipe! With this one, Blue Apron put a spin on the traditional steak dinner by serving it with roasted honeynut squash (a smaller, sweeter cousin of butternut squash), pickled onion, and a salad made from feta, apple, mint, and walnuts. At first, I thought the flavor combination was sort of strange, but it worked so well together. Seriously. Mal and I couldn’t stop raving about the complimentary flavors as we ate this meal.
This meal required a tiny bit of work (cooking the steaks + making the apple salad), but it honestly took me 10 minutes or less to get everything together. (I made the salad while the steaks cooked.)
Chicken Ole with Brown Rice and Steamed Broccoli
Mal’s Chicken Ole was crazy-easy to make. I had mixed up the marinade ahead of time, so all I had to do was put the chicken breasts in a baking pan and pour it over before popping it all in the oven to cook. A few minutes before it was finished cooking, I nuked the rice and broccoli in the microwave. Boom. Dinner done!
Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Leftover Veggies
When the Chicken Ole was in the oven, I cooked a couple of extra breasts for chicken salad sandwiches the following night. We had some extra arugula salad and broccoli from our previous dinners, so I added those on the side. It wasn’t the most exciting dinner, but it was definitely a quick one!
Question of the Day
What’s your biggest challenge at dinnertime?