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The older I get, the more I realize my mother is superwoman. There’s this assumption that most stay-at-home moms have it easy - that outside of taking care of their children, they don’t have many responsibilities or much going on. Although this extremely flawed and inaccurate perspective has been debunked by many, it still lingers in the air and in the minds of those that grew up with that dominant narrative. As I’ve aged, growing closer and closer to motherhood, I reflect on my childhood and simply cannot understand how my mother did it all.
Apart from all the hard work of taking care of 3 children and working on the side, I wonder most about how she had the time to take care of herself - to ultimately maintain her happiness. And I’ve realized that she probably didn’t. I mean, I’m in my mid-20s, struggling to maintain a job, a social life, a healthy lifestyle in terms of sleeping, journaling, eating a balanced diet, doing skincare and exercising, etc - and in doing all of this and more, any time for myself to meditate, to self-reflect but also just to rest, gets lost in the process. Being happy is expensive, and I’m at a point in my life where I’m open to considering ways to lessen the amount of things I have to think about to maintain my happiness, as a way to ultimately prioritize myself. So when I came across Blue Apron, I felt like I had found an opportunity to do so.
Blue Apron is an ingredient and recipe meal kit company that encourages you to practice self-care in all facets of your life, but most importantly, to take that energy to the kitchen. Their goal is to provide healthy, affordable, gourmet meals that will help you embrace your culinary curiosity while learning new cooking skills but still treating yourself. Just what I was looking for.
- Healthy, delicious & affordable food prep that saves you time at the grocery store & in the kitchen!
- Accommodating to all dietary restrictions, offering great substitutions & vegetarian + vegan options.
- The step-by-step instructions make a sometimes intimidating activity very easy.
We don't like
- You can only order meals that come in 2 or 4 servings, so I had so many leftovers! This is great if you’re cooking for 2 or more people, but living alone you'll probably end up eating each meal twice.
- The meals change on a weekly basis! This allows you to try a variety of foods BUT you won’t be able to make the same dish twice. If you’re someone who isn’t always open to trying new things, this could feel restrictive!
TAKING SELF-CARE TO THE KITCHEN
The meal kit that puts quality first, Blue Apron focuses on developing better standards for higher quality ingredients. They recognize the struggle of being at the grocery store, and not necessarily being able to tell whether foods are of high quality and/or sustainably grown. So as a way to solve this issue, they’ve partnered with the foremost sustainability experts to create better standards for growing food and raising animals. This means better outcomes for our environment, guaranteed markets for our farmers and higher quality ingredients for all of us at-home chefs.
With the overall goal of making the cooking experience one with quality produce and specialty ingredients that are accessible to everyone, no matter where they live or how busy they are, Blue Apron now sends over 4 million meals per month to home cooks nationwide. Each week, you can choose from 60+, affordable and delicious options within different categories such as Wellness, Fast & Easy, Ready to Cook, Family Friendly, Premium, Heat & Eat, and many more. The company’s sustainable seafood is recommended by Seafood Watch®, their meats and fish are not fed antibiotics or hormones, and all ingredients are non-GMO. With 5 decades of top restaurant experience from their professional chefs, and fresher ingredients coming directly from their producers, Blue Apron makes a point to put flexibility first, allowing you to receive your food boxes on schedule, but also to skip, pause, or cancel them anytime. And the cherry on top is the fact that they’re a carbon neutral company, working towards building a better food system. They’re aware that the way in which food is grown and distributed is complicated and problematic, so they consciously focus on creating a distribution system that delivers ingredients at a better value and by investing in the things that matter most: our environment and our communities.
BECOMING AN AT-HOME CHEF
Blue Apron was kind enough to gift me 3 different meals of my choice. I chose a variety, filled with ingredients I knew I would enjoy, and I have to admit I really loved them all. The meals arrived all together, along with easy to follow directions that even had pictures added next to each step. I was relieved that everything was already measured so I didn’t have to worry about whether or not I was using the right amount of each ingredient.
Although every meal was different to the next, each one was healthy and filling - I felt like I got just the right amount of carbs, veggies and flavor.
The first meal I had was the Oven-Baked Turkey Bolognese. When ordering, I was always able to request any substitutions in terms of dietary restrictions, so I replaced beef with turkey, as I don’t eat red meat. In addition, the meal included pasta, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, seasonings, etc, and even a single use aluminum tray, which was incredible because I was left with absolutely no mess to clean up. It took me about 50 minutes to make this dish. I tried this meal first because I thought it was the most comforting out of the 3, and who doesn’t want a delicious, cheesy pasta dish on a cold night in? Lucky for me, it totally did the trick and I even had some leftovers for lunch the next day.
The second meal I tried was the Togarashi Tilapia & Garlic Rice. This was by far my favorite meal! I love anything with fish and the seasoning made this one absolutely divine. The ingredients were very much in line with my taste preferences, and included long grain white rice, cucumbers, rice vinegar, mirin, ponzu sauce and more. This dish was perfectly filling, although I almost ate the whole thing at once because it was just that good. It took me about 20-30 minutes to cook and unfortunately, this time around, I hardly had any leftovers.
Last, but not least, the third meal I got to sample was the Za’atar Chicken Bowl, which came with farro, green beans, carrots, feta cheese, labneh and more. Once again, so many of my favorite things to eat were thrown into this dish, but I was generous enough to share it with my roommate. It was the perfect amount for the two of us, being enough for 2 servings. Za’atar is one of my favorite spice mixtures to ever exist, so I honestly knew I’d love this one before I even made it.
It was such a treat to be able to try out these dishes. I’m glad I chose the route in which I was provided the ingredients and directions for cooking, but I still felt like I was learning something new. It’s truly the perfect balance between saving time and energy at the end of a busy day and prioritizing more time for yourself to unwind, whilst still being productive and gaining a new perspective on what foods you like and don’t like.