Solving the “six o’clock scramble”

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.

One of my biggest challenges as a mom has been getting dinner on the table every evening. It’s not that I don’t like to cook. I actually enjoying cooking and trying to new recipes. It’s the shopping that I hate. And the planning. I have somehow managed to avoid learning how to meal-plan . . . it’s a skill that totally eludes me. Add that to my total disdain for running errands, and it’s a bad combo. The difficulty of shopping with four small children doesn’t help. Grocery shopping has gotten easier as they’ve gotten older, but it’s still something I’d rather not do.

As a result, dinner prep is usually a chaotic affair. Here’s how it usually goes:
5pm: Feel hungry. Think about making dinner.
5:15pm Kids complain about hunger. Think about making dinner.
5:30pm Resolve to make dinner.
5:35 Check fridge. Realize I have 2 pita pockets, leftover brown rice, and a packet of carrots.
5:40 Call Mark and ask him to pick up Wahoo’s on the way home from work.
Over the past few months I’ve been hearing about this service called Blue Apron where they actually ship the ingredients for meals, along with healthy recipes, to your door. All of the meals are made of fresh, whole ingredients and between 500 and 700 calories. Everything is already purchased and measure . . . all you have to do is prepare it. When they asked if I wanted to try the service, I jumped at the chance.

The meals showed up at our house in refrigerated boxes. This is the ingredients for 3 meals for 6 people. (You can see why grocery shopping is a pain.)

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Everything was neatly labeled and organized. The way I wish my fridge would always look.

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The first meal I made was Pan-Seared Chicken & Tomato Salad.

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I have to say, I think this is one of the best meals I have ever made at home. It was good. So good. Perfectly seasoned chicken with a greek yogurt, tomato, and cucumber salad.

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Next, I made Cod & Pattypan Squash En Papillote. This meal was definitely a bit out of my comfort zone . . . I’d never even tried pattypan squash before, and I rarely make fish. It ended up being simple, and I like the way this pushed me to try something new.

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Our third meal was a Filipino-Style Beef Picadillo. Once again, a little push out of my comfort zone. Have you ever had a cheyote? Yeah, me neither!

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(As it turns out, they are sweet and crunchy like jicama.)

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I put Mark to work on the chopping. We actually had fun chatting over drinks as we prepared this meal.

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This was another hit. I don’t eat a lot of beef but even I liked this one. Really interesting flavors. Jafta took leftovers for lunch the next day and has asked me to make it several times since.

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Once again, one of the best meals I’ve ever made at home.

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Blue Apron, you complete me.

 For more information on Blue Apron, check out their website. Blue Apron sends three meals per week – for two, four, or six people. Meals are $9.99 per person with free shipping. Blue Apron is available nationwide, shipping to over 80% of the country. You can check to see if they deliver to your area here, and check out the Blue Apron cookbook here. Blue Apron is also offering a deal: the first 250 RATM readers will get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order! Click here to sign up!
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