Solution in a Box

It’s amazing how quickly time moves when I’m not paying attention. Has it really been three weeks since my last post?

More recipes are coming soon, but this week is a shout out to revived inspiration. If you’ll recall, my last post was about food boredom, which led to lack of inspiration for blog writing. I’ve found a solution to both problems in the past month, and it all came from a Facebook ad.

Many of my friends have been complaining about Facebook ads recently, but for whatever reason, I’ve been targeted with only useful (or at least relevant) ads. One of those was for a company called Blue Apron.

Maybe it just appeared at the right time, but it essentially came as a solution in a box. It’s a food delivery service, with a few key things that work especially well for me. I started by customizing the deliveries based on food preferences/allergies, number of meals I want to make, and the number of people I’m feeding. Then, once a week, they deliver a box with fresh ingredients and recipes for those meals.

Here’s a list of the top five things this service solved for me:

1) Creativity: Having someone else decide what I’m making means I don’t have to. But unlike going to a restaurant or getting pre-packaged food, I still have options on how I prepare the food (as you know, I consider recipes guidelines more than strict rules), and I still get all the joy of cooking. It’s also giving me an opportunity to try things I probably wouldn’t have even thought to try.
2) Convenience: Okay, I’ll admit that I actually like going to the grocery store, but sometimes I don’t get around to it. This is getting delivered to me on a weekly basis which means one less thing for me to worry about (or worry about forgetting).
3) Cost: It’s only $10 a meal (and maybe even less if you don’t actually eat the full portion size, which seem a little large to me), which is generally  less than I would pay for groceries or dining out.
4) Calories: Or at the very least, portion control. Each recipe card comes with caloric info and portion sizes, so I know what exactly what I’m dealing with. Since they’ve done all the planning, the meals are well-balanced. The ingredients are also fresh and sustainably sourced, so I know I’m getting a good product. I’m also not worrying about food waste. Have you ever had a recipe call for an ingredient you rarely use, so you go and you buy a package of whatever it is only to use it once? I’m often cooking for one, and sometimes it just doesn’t seem worth it to get a huge (fill in the blank) when I know I’m only going to need a part of it. As I’ve said before, grocery stores don’t really cater to single people. Technically, neither does Blue Apron (the smallest order they allow is two people, three meals a week), but it’s still a whole lot better than I would be able to do at the grocery store. For example, they had one recipe call for a piece of fresh ginger, and that’s literally all they sent!
5) Commitment: There is no long term contract, so I can cancel or skip a week if it suits me. They let you know the recipes a week in advance, so I have time to browse and decide if I want the box that’s coming.

I’ve only tried this for a couple of weeks, but so far I’ve loved the recipes. If you’re thinking of trying it, they even let you browse the coming recipes and there’s a email newsletter that will send you the recipes.

Are there other similar services that you’ve tried? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

 

Same Old Stuff

Have you ever experienced a time where none of your favorite meals sounds appealing? I’m in a mood this week where all of my usual standbys and favorites seem boring. From carbs to veggies, nothing that I can think of to eat sounds remotely appealing.
Since I still have to eat, I find that this is a good time to do three things: 1) eat things that are really healthy but that I might otherwise find unappealing, 2) try new dishes, cuisines, or restaurants, and 3) vow not to eat the same thing more than once a week.
The first two are pretty easy to follow; being unable to follow the last one is how I end up with this problem to begin with. When I love a particular food, I’ve been known to eat it everyday until I just can’t look at it again. My sister likes to warn me to switch it up to avoid having to give up one of my favorites when my body rebels at having to eat the same thing again. It’s good advice that I often don’t follow. The good news is I’ll have a whole list of great new recipes to try. The bad news is that there are some really good ones that I may have to put away for a while.
What are you eating this week? I’m very open to ideas!