Meal planning give you the blues?

Can I hear an “Amen!” for Blue Apron?

Haven’t heard of Blue Apron? It’s a prayer answered for a cook who hates grocery shopping.

Like me.

My sister gave me a subscription to Blue Apron — touted as “a better way to cook and eat” — for my birthday, and I started enjoying the benefits back in February. I’m still hooked.

It’s part of my solution to weekly menu planning which, if you’re disciplined, you’re probably doing this fine Saturday morning. Before you head out to the supermarket, you’re figuring out what you’re going to serve for dinner in the coming week.

If you’re not disciplined, you don’t have a plan, you shop only at 5 p.m. every day and you end up eating out or dining on cold cereal.

I always intend to plan before I head to the grocery store. You know what they say about the road to hell.

With Blue Apron, an insulated box arrives on my doorstep once a week, and I’ve got the ingredients and directions for three complete meals for my Beloved and me (Blue Apron offers a family plan, too). This costs $59.95 (about 10 bucks per serving), but it’s worth it to save me the trouble of getting creative (never the same meal in a year!), shopping (remember, the closest supermarket worth visiting is 20 minutes away from my house) and the heartbreak of leftovers that never get eaten.

Here’s how Blue Apron looks when it arrives at your door:

blue apron packing

Underneath all the fresh produce is an icy compartment for the meat.

Here’s what the first two weeks of meals looked like:

To be fair, only one of these meals took less than 30 minutes to prepare. But I appreciate learning new tricks. I’ve made that seared chicken more than once, and the mapled carrots made a great side dish for guests. And who knew pita bread was an alternative for hamburger buns? Not me until Blue Apron introduced the idea.

Occasionally, we get weird stuff. My Beloved, for instance, refused to each the beet salad. In those instances, more for me!

And sometimes the weird stuff is an introduction to something yummy that I never would have tried. Earlier this week, we dined on pink lemon.

pink lemon

To prepare, I was directed to remove the peel, pith and seeds, then dice and marinate with olive oil, salt and pepper. Whodathunk? The result decorated the salmon on my Seared Salmon Salad. Delish!

Seared Salmon Salad with Arugala, Peas & Pink Lemon

If you’re interested in trying Blue Apron, I can hook you up. I have five invitations to share. You sign up, and you’ll get two meals for free (see? they have great marketing, too). Make a comment her (or on Facebook) to share your email address and you’re golden.

One response to “Meal planning give you the blues?

  1. I recently purchased a Groupon for Hello Fresh (same idea) and while I certainly couldn’t justify the cost every week, I think it will be nice for those weeks I know will be particularly challenging.

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