meal planning

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To read about my Just Add Cooking April meals, click here.

As I mentioned last month, Just Add Cooking has generously offered me a week of meals a month for three months to review the service. If you read about my first experience with Just Add Cooking, you’ll know that I was hesitant to try meal delivery services but then completely changed my mind once I tried it.

One thing that keeps standing out to me is how many local ingredients Just Add Cooking uses. It’s my favorite part of getting the box, diving in and seeing what companies I recognize locally and which ones I need to learn more about. I also really love that everything is portioned out and ready to go. Being primarily responsible for meals and having a busy day job means dinner burnout, and having this delivery on a Sunday takes away a lot of the thinking, prep, and urge to just order something over GrubHub! It makes healthy, quick meals easy and also really takes the guesswork out of cooking for novices in the kitchen. Below I have reviewed each recipe we cooked last week, also sharing photos from the Just Add Cooking website, since mine are not as pretty. . . Click on the photo to get the recipe!

Seared Prawns with Salsa - Just Add Cooking

Nola's Fine Foods Salsa shrimp and salsa recipe

Seared Prawns with Salsa – I thought this recipe sounded really interesting, and we love prawns, so we went with it. I was delighted that salsa from local company Nola’s Fine Foods was included. . . I could (and um, did) eat this salsa out of the container with a spoon. It’s SO delicious. Olive Connection in Brookline carries it!

This recipe was super quick and easy and filled us both up while also leaving some of the rice for the next day. I loved the contrast of the tang and spice in the salsa with the raisins. This is a dish I would definitely love to make again. I would probably double my salsa portion. In case you didn’t know, salsa is one of my favorite foods and would be prominent in my last meal if ever I had to design one.

 

 

 

Beef Burger and Green Beans- Just Add Cooking

Beef Burger and Green Beans – I didn’t get any photos of this one because mine turned out really un-pretty. As with the burgers we had last month, I thought these were missing a binder like bread crumbs. The flavor in them, however, was excellent, with a nice bite of earthy oregano. The real stars of this dish were the plentiful veggie sides. Fresh green beans with completely addictive fried onion sprinkles and carrots with caraway seriously filled our plates and made for great additions to lunch salads the next day. After my first experience with the brand, where I wanted more veggies, they have definitely responded by adding them in, which makes the meals even more complete.

 

 

Bondat Foods seasoning

Joe's Kitchen Chickpeas

cauliflower and chickpea tacos    

BBQ Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos

BBQ Cauliflower Chickpea Tacos – I was definitely most excited about this one, because, tacos! The green beans that came with didn’t make it to dinner; we snacked on them raw while we prepped because they were so good. The Massachusetts-made Bondat Foods taco seasoning mix added amazing flavor to chickpeas from Joe’s Kitchen in Vermont and yummy roasted cauliflower. The tacos were stuffed with a creamy coleslaw, which I actually made with purple cabbage we had that was about to go bad. We used the cabbage provided in the box for another coleslaw later in the week though! This was a seriously filling dish, and the mix of cauliflower and chickpeas made it a really hearty vegetarian option that my meat-loving husband could get behind.

All in all, another win for Just Add Cooking in our house! I think ordering the service will be particularly handy for those beach and boat weekends where we just want our meals to be easy and for the ingredients to be delivered to our doorstep.

 

My May Just Add Cooking delivery was provided free of charge in exchange for a blog post. I have been provided with the opportunity to share an affiliate code for new orders, where I receive compensation if the code is used. All opinions are my own.

Place your order using code TRAVEL, and I will donate my affiliate proceeds to Boston’s Forgotten Felines.

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Tags: cooking, dinner, Food, Just Add Cooking, meal planning, recipes

I’ll be donating any affiliate income this month to Boston’s Forgotten Felines to help with the crisis of abandoned and feral cats on the streets of Boston. There are LOTS of them!

 

I’m excited to be working with Just Add Cooking again for the next couple of months to review their meal delivery service. I first tried Just Add Cooking in October and absolutely loved it, so I was excited when they contacted me to work together again. As part of our partnership I received three meals for two this month as well as an affiliate code for my readers to order. Scroll to the bottom to find that!

It was actually hard to find a week in April that I would be home for dinner for three days, between our trip to Maine, family visiting from Ireland, events, and general busy-ness, but I did it! Though my husband doesn’t think it’s dinner without meat involved,  I am trying to help us live longer and be kinder to the planet, so I went with one vegetarian meal (Lentil and Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie), one meat meal (Sliders and Gorgonzola Salad), and one fish meal (Cod with Broccoli and Orange).

Just Add Cooking

Just Add Cooking has much better photos than mine.

Just Add Cooking

I was excited to see our Just Add Cooking box when we pulled up to the house (Placed in the shade, thank you, delivery person!) and tucked right into to see what was inside. As I mentioned in my past post, the packaging is minimal and is recyclable or reusable. The cold bag it came in is even compostable! It’s mixed in with my compost as we speak. And I am using the paper bags and little cheese cups for planting seedlings. The box itself is a cat hideaway.

  Fresh Box Farms

One of the most fun things about digging through the Just Add Cooking box is seeing what local farms provided ingredients for that week’s meals. I love recognizing names like Fresh Box Farms for my greens and Vermont Creamery for my butter, and I was thrilled to see Red’s Best fish in there as well! I have been a huge Red’s Best fan ever since I went to an event they held years ago.Vermont Creamery

First up was the cod, which was a “hard” recipe. It basically had three components, prepping the couscous, broccoli, and fish separately, but I didn’t find it difficult. I love how Just Add Cooking times the recipe for you so everything is ready at the same time. I also loved that they definitely listened to my feedback. Last time I mentioned that I wish there were more vegetables, and sure enough, we had tons! I even had broccoli left over for an omelet the next day. The orange sauce was so yummy, and I loved the couscous in yogurt with chives. So easy and flavorful! The cod, of course stole the show. It was fresh and perfect.

Red's Best Cod Next up were the Sliders on a Gorgonzola Dressed Salad. This was a very easy one and also provided leftovers. The gorgonzola sauce was heavenly, and I loved the greens and addition of black beans for fiber and even more protein. The only downside in the recipe was that the burgers needed more of a dry binder, maybe some panko crumbs or something, to hold them together. I was really full from this dinner, which was great, because I wasn’t rooting through the cabinets at 10:00 pm looking for a snack!

sliders recipe salad

The third dinner was the easiest of all. We love Shepherd’s Pie, and this lentil version definitely gave the traditional meat option a run for its money. Mushrooms and red wine added an earthy, heartiness to the lentil mixture, and the mashed potatoes had goat cheese from Narragansett Creamery in them. How good does that sound?!

I’m obsessed with asparagus this time of year and loved the simple lemony preparation. Side note: did you know that Hampshire County in Western MA has the world’s best asparagus?

lentil shepherd's pie

This meal also left plenty of the pie behind for leftovers and was even better the next day.

Having three meals already planned and proportioned out made my life a lot easier and took one worry off my list this week. I love that the company is Boston-based (Dorchester shoutout!) and that the food is so good.

Ready to try Just Add Cooking? They’re offering special pricing for your first box, starting at just $39 for a 3-meal, 2-person box! To claim your trial box, create an account on Just Add Cooking and enter TRAVEL in the coupon code field.

 

About Just Add Cooking

Voted Boston’s Best by the Improper Bostonian, Just Add Cooking is Boston’s only

LOCAL meal kit delivery company. They make home-cooked weeknight dinners fun,

easy and delicious. Every week, Just Add Cooking offers seven different recipes,

including vegetarian and gluten-free options. You log in, pick your recipes and they

deliver all the ingredients you need, right to your door.

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This is the week, the week where I lace up my running shoes again, the week where we don’t go out for drinks and apps after work every single night. It’s time to stop feeling icky and lethargic and spending tons of money just because it’s cold and dark all.the.time.

I packed my running backpack in NOVEMBER, and the outfit inside has gone unworn. My intention was to take a couple of weeks off after the New York City Marathon to rest but then to start up running again so that I could capitalize on all of the training I did for my best marathon time ever. What actually happened was I got a week-long stomach flu five days after the marathon. The “I can eat whatever I want because I just ran a marathon” attitude went out the window, because I could eat nothing. Once that was over, Thanksgiving and house buying and work weekend events and a nasty fall on the ice happened. And then it was Christmas and family visiting from Ireland. . .

Now it’s just me recognizing my bad habits and hoping I can turn them around. I crave energy and vibrancy, and I hope I can make some good, healthy changes back toward moderation.

 

Monday

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Vegetables

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage - I'd love to add some bell peppers and broccoli to this. It would be a perfect, healthy comfort dish.

(Source)

I want my meals to be healthy but also food that I actually want to eat. I’m so tired of things being healthified with powders and potions to the point where they are too gross to stand. I think a few veggies, like red peppers and carrots, added to this pasta would make it a great, healthy and filling meal.

 

Tuesday

Roast Chicken with Grapes

Roast Chicken with Grapes

(Source)

I have seen this recipe all over lately, and I think it would be delicious wit baked sweet potatoes on the side.

 

Wednesday

Cranberry Jalapeno Salmon Melts

salmon melt

A nice, melty sandwich is perfect for a cold night mid-week. I think these would go great with a spinach side salad.

 

Thursday

Dinner at Beat Hotel! I have been to Beat Hotel for a delicious dinner and again for their great wine list, and I am excited to bring a new friend and wine PR maven there to check it out.

 

Friday

Pizza! I really like Shaw’s Culinary Circle brand pizzas, and a thin crust Margherita with a glass of red and a fire is the perfect way to wind down the week!

 

In addition to the above, we’ll try to get five veggie/fruit smoothies in this week. We have been good about drinking maybe three and then slacking off as we near the weekend. I love the burst of energy I get from smoothies each morning, and heaven knows my body needs the nutrients. Chia pudding will also be thrown into the breakfast mix. Here’s to hoping a refreshed outlook on eating and exercise keep away sickness for the rest of the winter!

What does your meal plan look like for the week?

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Tags: comfort food, Food, healthy comfort food, healthy eating, meal plan, meal planning, menu, recipes

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