As we roll into summer, our garden is blooming and there is fresh produce everywhere. It is one of my favorite seasons for food because there are so many healthy seasonal options – like dinner salads, grab and go berries, and chopped veggies thrown on the grill. That said, this season is also BUSY – swimming lessons, gymnastics class, preschool play dates, family swim at the neighborhood pool, evening runs, weekends out of town, and much more. All really fun, wonderful stuff – but busy nonetheless.
And a lot of days, even when we have nothing officially on the schedule, we are drawing chalk garbage trucks or making homemade water slides in the backyard. It is the season of being outside ALL the time. Sun up to sundown, and before I know it it is 6pm and the kids are starving and I have no idea what I’m going to make for dinner. So I end up throwing together leftovers, or raw veggies and hummus, or other quick meals for them to eat at the backyard picnic table, and I tell Casey we will worry about our own dinner later. And on those types of weeks, I am so grateful for Blue Apron.
I’ve talked about Blue Apron plenty here before, so I won’t rehash all the details. Here are a few key points for those who are new, and a few changes for others who have used it in the past:
Refrigerated ingredients and beautiful recipe cards delivered to your doorstep – no meal planning or grocery shopping required.
Two types of plans: the 2-person plan and the family plan. I had originally hoped to switch to the family plan a few months back, but discovered there is currently not an all vegetarian plan for families. Hopefully soon!
All recipes available (for free!) online as well as seasonal cookbooks released.
Blue Apron just launched in Texas and now ships to most of the country!
We’ve been using the service for a year now, and we typically get one box each month – I choose based on how delicious the upcoming menu looks (I’m a sucker for anything with an egg on top) or if we have a super busy week on the calendar. I was so excited for last week’s menu, as all three meals looked delicious and not like anything I typically make.
Our first meal was the Seared Halloumi Sandwiches on Focaccia – OMG! What a way to kick off the week!
I would never typically make sandwiches for dinner, so these felt really fun and different. The combo of gooey cheese with roasted eggplant and bell peppers was ridiculous – so, SO good!
There was a nice little apple arugula side salad too, so I didn’t feel quite so badly about eating fried cheese and bread for dinner. :)
Like I said before, one of the best parts about living here is that this time of year we can literally just live outside. There is no humidity or bugs, and the temps are warm enough to be pleasant but mild enough that you aren’t (usually) melting. My favorite place in our house is this back patio we built last summer, and it is currently the main dinner hub for me and Casey as well!
Casey and I split the cooking duties on this one. He got it started while I was out running, and then I took over when I got home so he could finish up a few other things. Then we took our plates outside, along with drinks and music – the perfect way to enjoy a delicious dinner at the end of the day.
Note the ever hopeful pup looking to snag a bite – ridiculous!
Our second meal of the week was the Fresh Fettuccini Pasta with Sugar Snap Peas & Arugula Pesto!
I made this one while Casey tackled bedtime duty with the boys, and it came together really quickly and easily.
We took this one out back to the patio too, and it was the perfect amount of food. While I was cooking, I ended up adding extra snap peas that we had on hand in the fridge because they were so tasty and went so well with the yummy pesto.
A veggie pasta like this is such a step up from basic marinara, and is perfect for summer. I’m planning to make a lot more dishes like this over the summer, and I’ll definitely try making an arugula pesto again – so simple and tasty.
And last but not least, the Beluga Lentil & Asparagus Salad. Casey made this one while I went out on my final training run for my half marathon.
In addition to our patio area with the pretty twinkle lights, we also have an actual outdoor dining table. This is typically where we eat our family meals when we all eat together – I love the lights built into the umbrella and these amazing solar-powered mason jar lights I found at World Market.
But mostly I love sitting down with Casey after the chaos of the day and enjoying fresh air, all our pretty plants and green space, and a delicious meal that was fast and easy.
This dish was the perfect balance of fresh and filling. We eat a lot of lentils in our house, but I rarely turn them into a salad type of dish. I loved the pairing of blanched asparagus, thinly sliced radish, and piave cheese (something I would never typically buy!).
We ended up frying our eggs instead of poaching them because ours weren’t peeling very well. That’s the nice thing about these meals – you can add extras, omit ingredients you might not like or that you are sensitive to, and you can always change up a cooking technique. The work is mostly done for you, but you can still make it your own.
Next up – the Rock N Roll Half Marathon recap! Happy cooking!
This post is sponsored by Blue Apron. I have a limited ongoing partnership with them, but also pay for additional Blue Apron meals out of pocket because we really enjoy using the service. As always, thank you for continuing to support Daily Garnish.