warm squash, parsnip, + kale salad w/ pomegranate dressing / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

not that long ago i was in the kitchen of a lifelong friend of mine, and since a large portion of my life is all about food these days, it was super interesting to see how she was generating dinner that night, along with how she organized her kitchen, and i even found myself curiously peeking at the condiments in her fridge.  she totally confessed to me that she can feel anxious at the thought of what to cook for her and her husband, how to prepare and cook various kinds of ingredients, how to store fresh produce, and how to eat less take-out, and more healthfully.   i could completely relate to the part about planning a meal, because while i may work with food all the time, some days it's nice to not have to think about what to make for dinner.

recently we met for brunch and inevitably the topic of food came up again.  i asked how her cooking quest was coming along and she began telling me about a food delivery service she started using called Blue Apron.  she told me how they offer chef-designed meals with step-by-step instructional recipe cards that are all delivered to your door already proportioned so you don't have to deal with a trip to the store, or have any unused product afterwards.  she said her and her husband use the 2-person plan they offer at $9.99 per person per meal, always with free delivery, once a week of 3 meals for them.  she was really impressed that they have fresh produce from local farms and utilize whole grains, seasonal veg, and healthy fats.  she mentioned they even offer a family plan, which i later looked up is only $8.74 per person per meal and adds some options on delivery and has family style meals as well.

i was super intrigued by all the things i heard my friend tell me over brunch, so a few days later when Blue Apron happened to contact me about trying their service,  i was certainly excited to see what it was all about.  i learned they add 6 recipes every week and cover 80% of the country, so I know i'll have to let my family who lives in LA + north carolina know about them too.  i was impressed when i got my package with so many fresh ingredients in a refrigerated box so nothing was even close to wilted.  there was fresh, local product from farms in upstate new york, as well as from one of my favorite nyc bakeries, hot bread kitchen.  i'm also looking forward to gaining inspiration from Blue Apron's cache of recipes, including this quinoa and tofu "fried rice", and this cozy tuscan ribollita soup with farm eggs!  

you can find the recipe for this lovely squash salad here, where i substituted the farro for sprouted quinoa :)  by the way, the pomegranate molasses dressing in the recipe was a complete revelation, and it's totally making a comeback in my kitchen asap!

this kind of service certainly strikes a chord with me as i know a lot of people don't cook because they can feel intimidated or apprehensive about where to start, just like my friend did, and how so many people fall back on take out and fast food, even though they really want to be eating more healthfully.  so, in the spirit of getting people back in the kitchen, Blue Apron was kind enough to give the first 25 readers 2 free meals on their first order, just click here.  happy healthy! xo

*this post is in partnership with Blue Apron, all opinions are my own.