This post was sponsored by Blue Apron.

Over the past four months, we’ve lived in a midst of a home renovation that involved not having a kitchen sink. Or counters.

As a result, we ate a lot of take-out and fast food. To say that we’ve developed some unhealthy habits would be an understatement. Our sink was installed a couple weeks ago, but we haven’t quite yet righted the ship in terms of getting back into the practice of cooking at home.

The kids went back to school last week, and I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and start making healthy meals again. The challenge for me, with cooking at home, is always around food procurement. 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. Meal-planning is a skill that totally eludes me. Add that to my total disdain for running errands, and it’s a bad combo.

Last year I had my first experience with Blue Apron a service that ships 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. The meals showed up at our house in refrigerated boxes.

I knew that Blue Apron was the perfect was to kick-start our new habits. On Tuesday, our blessed box arrived.

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Our first meal was a BBQ Roast Pork with corn on the cob, potato salad & quick pickles. I enlisted my kids to help.

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I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never actually made a pork roast before. It always seemed intimidating but this was SO EASY.

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The boys were thrilled, because they love pork. I think I will be using this recipe again.

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Another thing I’ve never tried: making pickles. I felt very Portlandia. “You can pick that.” This is another aspect of Blue Apron that I love. I have learned a lot of new skills, like braising chicken correctly and making the perfect roasted vegetables. Their recipes aren’t too hard, but they are just challenging enough that I find it really exciting and fun. I am making great meals, but I also feel like I am growing as a cook.

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Pickles in 15 minutes with only 5 ingredients. Who knew?

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This meal was a big hit, and I think I will make it again. (All Blue Apron meals are curated as recipes you can make later on their website. It’s a great free resource even if you don’t use their service, with everything from Hoisin Pork Burgers to Tomato and Goat Cheese Pie.)

The second meal was Sweet Chili & Basil Chicken with peppers, eggplant & coconut jasmine rice. At this point, Kembe has emerged as the kid with the most enthusiasm and skill in regards to cooking. He loves helping, and he’s actually helpful. And I’ll take it.

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Karis loves helping, too, but her “help” requires lots of supervision. Still, I love that my kids are excited about food prep.

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I wish I could make this post scratch-and-sniff because the garlic, ginger, and peppers? Like woah.
Smelled so good.

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Another hit. The coconut rice was delicious and the sauce was sweet and very mildly spicy.

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If you would like to try their service, Blue Apron is offering the first 50 readers two free meals on their first Blue Apron order.