Up until a few months ago, my husband often teased me that I cook twice a year — whenever I host my book club — and that wasn’t all that far off. I actually like to cook (and bake), but I like working from a recipe and making things from scratch, which usually means a couple of hours. As I prioritize my day, particularly weeknights, that never makes the top of the list. Plus, unlike my biochemist husband, I do NOT have a talent for scanning cupboards and the fridge and pulling something together with perfect timing ala science experiments. At the end of an exhausting workday, JUST TELL ME WHAT TO DO. Enter meal prep delivery…
A friend’s testimonial for HelloFresh piqued my interest, and I’ve been hooked for the past two months. We’ve switched between HelloFresh and Blue Apron a couple of times, and I like both options. There are a ton more out there, and we’ll likely try some others that seem to fit our interests.
We’ve been going with family meal options and order two meals a week with four servings each. We get to pick from a few different recipes for our delivery box and the whole family helps to choose our meals. The family meal options feature dishes that are kid-friendly without dumbing down recipes. Our weekly delivery box comes on the weekend and each meal kit is in a cardboard container. We recycle most of the packaging. When it’s time to cook, we reference the play-by-play recipe for a perfectly timed meal and sometimes the app for video tutorials.
I’ve been walking a little taller as a mom and wife so I want to share what’s making me feel like I’m doing something great for my family (and picking up some fun skills along the way).
I’m feeding my family healthy meals
We’ve been choosing services that include meal options around 500 calories with fresh ingredients. Our kids are trying new things and surprising themselves with what they like even if we do get the occasional stink eye for serving dishes that seem a little strange at first from a kid’s perspective (chive mashed potatoes…seriously).
I’m learning to cook
I really like taking cooking classes, even if I don’t do it often. I love that each recipe teaches me something new or a tip about an ingredient that I might love from a restaurant dish but never tried to make on my own. The recipe pictured above is zucchini parmesan-crusted chicken and included grating a zucchini into a crunchy topping for the chicken. I had never tried a preparation like that before and I loved the result.
I’m spending less on lunches out
During nights that our kids don’t eat full servings, I’ve got a gourmet meal to pack up for lunch the next day. Before trying meal kit delivery services, I ate lunch out almost every day. While our weekly delivery options aren’t cheap, we are spending less grocery shopping too.
We’re making one dinner vs. a separate meal for the kids
Even though our kids don’t eat everything every time, they are still trying new meals and we’re feeling less like short-order cooks. When they try and like something that they didn’t expect to enjoy, it’s pretty magical.
I feel a sense of accomplishment
When I serve up one of our meals to my family, often I feel like it’s my best accomplishment for the day. What’s better than trying something new, filling our bodies with healthy food and sharing it together? As the kids get older and show interest, I’d like them to become even more involved with our meal prep.
Mom or not, if you’re in a weeknight cooking rut, give one of these services a try. Bon appetit!