Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
Picture this: it’s 4:30 PM. You’re running the kids from soccer to dance to guitar, then back to dance because your daughter left her backpack in the studio. And then you have to feed them. Sure, ordering pizza or Chinese is an easy option. But, we all know that home-cooked food is a much healthier choice. Unfortunately, meal planning and grocery shopping can be a pipe dream in the whirlwind of a modern family’s everyday activities.
Now there is a new option for families that want the convenience of delivery with the healthfulness of home-cooking. Three companies, HelloFresh, Blue Apron, and Plated–recently launched to help busy people who don’t have the time to plan and shop for meals. Once a week, these companies ship recipes and fresh ingredients for a fixed number of meals right to your door. All that you have to do is cook and enjoy.
- Three meals per box, choose from classic or vegetarian
- Each meal serves either two or four people
- Delivers to the entire East Coast
- $129 per classic 4-person box, $109 per veggie 4-person box
- For more information, visit hellofresh.com.
- Three meals per box
- Each meal serves any multiple of two
- Delivers to the western third and eastern half of the U.S.
- $120 per 4-person box
- For more information, visit blueapron.com.
- Two, four, or six plates per box
- Each plate serves one person
- Delivers to 80 percent of the U.S.
- $15 per plate
- For more information, visit plated.com.
All ingredients are pre-portioned, eliminating food waste. And to spare your sanity, meals vary–no more “chicken, again?” protests. Another perk: all of the companies allow cancellation at any time. Sadly, clean up is on you.
Obviously, services like this cost more money than simply planning, shopping, and cooking for yourself. But, if time is more precious than money at this point, a meal delivery service could be the difference between a health family dinner and the drive-through.
Image: Groceries via Shutterstock.
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Friday, November 8th, 2013
“When my daughter wakes up, she opens her eyes and asks ‘What’s for dinner?’”
“I wish I was kidding,” Alex Guarnaschelli laughs. ”By the time she’s eating breakfast, I better have an answer for her.”
Like moms everywhere, this Food Network star faces The Dinner Question. (And thus, trips to the market and food storage tasks.)
Alex, the author of Old-School Comfort Food and mother to a 6-year-old, is the executive chef at Butter in New York City. Last year, she became one of Food Network’s Iron Chefs, and she is a regular judge on Chopped.
Every morning Alex goes to the kitchen to plan her entire day—breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Making a plan of attack on your groceries will save time, money, and cut back on waste, she says, which is why she partnered with Glad for the Save It Sunday campaign. The movement, which encourages participants to protect and preserve food, centers on the Sunday ritual of grocery shopping.
“It’s the one day of the week when you can commit to setting aside time: for shopping, cooking ahead meals, and storing other items—it’s about starting the week on the right foot,” she says.
Alex does a lot of her cooking on Sunday, which is why the pledge really speaks to her. But it also goes a step further.
“Ironically, the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook—because I’m doing it all day everyday and by mid-week I’m fried,” she says. “Taking that time on Sunday, and getting joy from it, is wonderful.”
A proponent of reducing waste, Alex is extremely conscious of the issue both at work and at home.
“When I talk to my team about how to prep and store 100 pounds of beans for the restaurant, the same thing applies when I go home and make braised short ribs for my daughter,” she says. “You have to be very proactive.”
According to a 2012 study by the National Resources Defense Council, the average American household throws out 25 percent of the food purchased—roughly $1,500 worth each year.
Try Alex’s tips for saving time, money, and reducing food waste:
• Make a meal plan.
“Figure out what you are going to do with everything you buy,” she says. “It’s a pleasure to have an agenda—you’ll feel like you’re pulling a fast one on everybody because it’s so easy!”
Read the Parents meal-plan guide to get started.
• Stop thinking about leftovers as, well, leftovers.
“Instead of looking at packaging as something that lets you recycle and throw back in the scraps no one ate, think about it as a new beginning,” she says. “And, by making a plan, you’re actually ensuring there aren’t any leftovers.”
Plus, “leftovers” can be better than the first time around: “Growing up my mom would make a big batch of meatballs and sauce and, to me, the sauce tasted better two days later,” she says. “It’s not a leftover—it’s something you created that got better with age or other ingredients.”
• Don’t be hard on yourself.
“Some weeks, I don’t have my act together,” she says. “As a busy working mom, there are nights when I have to say, ‘Guess what kid, it’s fried eggs tonight.’ And that’s okay.”
• Reorganize your fridge.
“The crisper can be the kiss of death. Don’t put your fruits and veggies in there,” she says. “Instead, fill it with club soda and put your produce on display. My favorite thing to do is put herbs in a jar of water on the top shelf, or sometimes right on the kitchen table.”
• Buy different ingredients.
“Challenge yourself to use new items—like a bunch of thyme or mint—by taking one little step each day for a week. In order to use it up, you’ll find creative ways to add the ingredient to dishes.”
To join the #SaveItSunday movement, visit glad.com. If you pledge, you’ll be entered to win a meal prepared by a personal chef.
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alex guarneschelli, cooking, expert advice, family dinner, food storage, food waste, glad, going green, grocery shopping, how-to, meal plan, meal planning, reduce waste, Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo, save it sunday, save money | Categories:
celebrities, Doing Good, Food, GoodyBlog, Green, Solutions, Your Life
Thursday, October 25th, 2012
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
Many celebrity moms can afford to have their “people” get their groceries and cook for them. But some A-listers actually hit the grocery stores themselves, proving to the public — and the always-present paparazzi — that they’re just like us! Celebrity Baby Scoop takes a look at 5 celebrity parents who shop for groceries on their own.
1. Jennifer Garner
Jennifer Garner is often spotted shopping for her family’s food at Gelson’s Market in Los Angeles. And she even takes the kids! The Alias alum is also seen most weekends at her local farmers’ market getting fresh produce for their home cooked meals.
And according to her movie star husband, Ben Affleck, Jennifer really knows her way around the kitchen. “My wife cooks…she’s a great cook,” he said. The superstar couple are parents to daughters Violet, 6, Seraphina, 3, and son Samuel, 7 months.
2. Jessica Alba
With her re-usable shopping bags in tow, Jessica Alba is often seen getting groceries with her daughters — Honor, 4, and Haven, 1 — at Whole Foods in Los Angeles. The Fantastic Four star recently created her own eco-friendly website, Honest.com, to inspire parents to re-use, recycle, and consume/use healthy products.
3. Jenna Fischer
The Office star Jenna Fischer and husband Lee Kirk recently took their 1-year-old son Weston grocery shopping at Ralph’s in Los Angeles. And they got charitable while they were at it. After leaving the store, they ran into a family in need and asking for help. The nearby paparazzi caught some images of Jenna and Lee taking the time to talk to them, and reaching inside their grocery bags to help out.
4. Robin Thicke
And dads get into the spirit too! Duets co-host Robin Thicke and his 2-year-old son Julian are often spotted in Beverly Hills grabbing groceries. The adorable duo were recently seen picking up some groceries and fresh flowers at their local Bristol Farms. As they left the store, Julian threw his arms up in the air while the Magic crooner toted his sweet tot and pushed the buggy.
5. Milla Jovovich
Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich was spotted doing some grocery shopping with her 4-year-old daughter Ever in Hollywood earlier this year. Working in showbiz since she was a child, Milla said that motherhood has helped create a sense of normalcy in her life. “My daughter has really changed my life,” Milla said. “She has taught me that it doesn’t have to always be about the work. With Ever I learned to slow down, enjoy the fruits of the past.”
More Celebrity Mom & Baby Stories from CelebrityBabyScoop:
Tinseltown Tots Go Trick-or-Treating
Tori Spelling Thought She Was Dying From Placenta Previa
Liam Neeson on Wife’s Death, Teen Sons
Celebrity Baby Scoop is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on Celebrity Baby Scoop.
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Monday, August 6th, 2012
LaLa Lunchbox can be just what your picky eater needs to develop a healthy lifestyle. The app, developed by mom and health-care professional Gillian Fein, is a fun way to guarantee your child’s lunch will end up in their tummy.
“As a mom of two young kids, I know that getting children to eat balanced meals is invariably a struggle for all of us at some point,” Fein says. “But when kids have a say in their meals, they feel empowered and less food is wasted and unwanted.”
LaLa Lunchbox comes with an easy-to-use functionality. The app lets each child create a lunchbox that is personalized by a cute monster avatar; he or she then drags the icon of their preferred food item in each of four categories—fruits, veggies, proteins, and snacks—into their avatar’s mouth. While the app comes with a predetermined set of food options, families can add or remove their own choices to and from the appropriate categories. Each lunchbox, or list, is complete once it contains a variety of four to six items.
Additionally, a calendar function allows the parent to designate each lunchbox to specific weeks, as there’s no doubt your kid will want to switch it up often. A task list feature even lets you check off each item after you drop it into the cart at the grocery store.
Make eating fun for your family today—the app is available for $1.99 on iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
For more information, visit www.lalalunchbox.com or follow @LaLaLunchbox on Twitter.
Image: Young girl holding packed lunch in living room smiling, via Shutterstock
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