I have never been one of those super organized people where I grocery shop Sunday for the entire week, it just doesn’t happen that way. I usually scour the internet daily according to my cravings, go to the store, workout, then run home and make dinner, take photos of the dinner for my blog, and finally, eat. Usually by this time my feet are tired, I am drained of all energy, and just ready to plop on the couch or my bed. This is my routine though, I love it. But, when Blue Apron approached me about receiving, and reviewing a weeks worth of meals, I was intrigued. (Keep reading to see my favorite recipe and your free meals code from them below)!
If you aren’t familiar, Blue Apron is a service that delivers all the fresh ingredients you will need, in the exact measured out proportions the recipes call for, all in a refrigerated box, and right to your doorstep! I had used a similar program in the past and was extremely disappointed – a different company sent me the ingredients for a fish dish, and the fish came warm, the ingredients were warm and soggy, and nothing looked fresh. I pretty much swore off these “prepped weekly dinner ingredient” services right then and there. I don’t know though, something about all the hype Blue Apron was getting lately intrigued me, and I thought, what do I have to lose? Let me be 100%, completely, and totally honest with you – I HAVE NOW SIGNED UP TO GET THE DINNERS A COUPLE TIMES A MONTH! My experience with just the one week was incredible – the recipes were so well thought out, simple, extremely tasty, healthy, impressive, and even more importantly, the ingredients were SO FRESH. If I didn’t have a food blog, and wasn’t constantly trying to come up with my own recipes, I would probably use it every day.
I will admit, I was a bit sad telling my boyfriend that these weren’t my original recipes, as he was very impressed with my cooking skills :). But, it was fun getting him just as into this program as I was. The 40 minute cook time per recipe was a huge score also.
How awesome are these step-by-step picture instructions! They make cooking so easy, and so comfortable for cooks of all levels to attempt. I love it.
Another important fact about Blue Apron, which is extremely important for all cooks, is the ingredients. They deliver all farm-fresh, high quality ingredients sourced responsibly. Everything I received was actually higher quality than I can find at some of my local grocery stores. I also loved that I was given the option of signing up between a 2-person plan, or a family plan, with a huge selection of recipes to choose from. This was HUGE for me. I always dreaded the idea of these meal service companies, because what if I got the package in the mail but hated the recipes? With Blue Apron you are given so many options, vegetarian, peskatarian, meat-lover, it doesn’t matter, they have options for you, each menu falling between 5-800 calories per person. If you want to check out some of these fabulous recipes to try at home first, click here (FREE BLUE APRON RECIPE DATABASE!).
Oh hey, here I am with my dukkah spiced cod & warm beet, carrot, & arugula salad…. no big deal… I just made that :).
I also love the fact that you get to learn to make new recipes and cuisines in a much easier, more controlled way. It’s a great way to get out of your dinner rut, because we all fall into them every now and then.
MY FIRST 25 READERS WILL GET THREE FREE MEALS ON THEIR FIRST BLUE APRON ORDER!! Thank you so much Blue Apron for providing my readers with this awesome experience! Simply click here and receive your first three meals free! HURRY UP! CLICK IT!
It was really hard to choose my favorite meal that I cooked from the Blue Apron box, so I am going to share two with you below :). Here was the start to the Cheesy Enchilada Rojas (recipe below). All the ingredients were already prepped, so I set them beside the stove with my handy photo instruction page.
After everything was sauteed, I rolled and placed the enchiladas in a pan and baked.
Voila! How gorgeous are these!? See what I’m saying? You don’t have to be a pro at cooking to make these gorgeous and tasty dinners.
- 6 Flour Tortillas
- ½ Cup Long Grain White Rice
- 15 Ounces Tomato Sauce
- 6 Ounces Monterey Jack Cheese
- 6 Ounces Mixed Mushrooms
- 6 Ounces Spinach
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 1 Lime
- 1 Bunch Cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon Mexican Spice Blend (Ancho Chile Powder, Sweet Paprika, Garlic Powder, Ground Cumin & Whole Mexican Oregano)
- Cook the rice:
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. In a large pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 cup of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
- Prepare the ingredients:
- While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Thinly slice the cremini mushrooms; using your hands, tear the maitake and oyster mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Quarter the lime. Grate the cheese. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves and stems.
- Cook & drain the spinach:
- While the rice continues to cook, in a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop; transfer to the pot of cooked rice. Wipe out the pan.
- Brown the mushrooms:
- In the pan used to cook the spinach, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Add half the spice blend and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the pot of cooked rice and spinach. Wipe out the pan.
- Make the sauce & finish the filling:
- In the pan used to brown the mushrooms, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, garlic and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato sauce; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. To the pot of cooked rice and vegetables, add half the sauce, half the cheese, the juice of all 4 lime wedges and all but a pinch of the cilantro. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish the enchiladas & serve your dish:
- Place the tortillas on a work surface. Evenly spread about ¾ cup of the filling into the bottom of a baking dish. Divide the remaining filling between the centers of the tortillas; tightly roll up each tortilla around the filling. Carefully transfer the rolled tortillas to the baking dish in a single layer, seam sides down. Evenly top with the remaining sauce and remaining cheese. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes. Divide ⅔ of the baked enchiladas between 2 plates (you will have extra). Garnish with the remaining cilantro. Enjoy!
And here is the recipe for this incredibly tasty Orecchiette Pasta & Roasted Chickpeas. I also love the idea of roasting chickpeas as a snack, which I learned from this recipe!!
- 6 Ounces Orecchiette Pasta
- 1½ Cups Chickpeas
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 1 Bunch Kale
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Tablespoon Capers
- 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Roast the chickpeas:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a sheet pan with a layer of paper towels. Drain and rinse the chickpeas; spread onto the paper towel-lined sheet pan. Using a second layer of paper towels, gently pat or roll the chickpeas to thoroughly dry; discard the paper towels and any loose chickpea skins. Drizzle the dried chickpeas with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange in a single, even layer; roast, stirring halfway through, 24 to 26 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and season with the smoked paprika; carefully toss to coat.
- Prepare the ingredients:
- While the chickpeas roast, wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves. Roughly chop the capers. Quarter and deseed the lemon.
- Cook the pasta:
- While the chickpeas continue to roast, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.
- Cook the kale:
- While the pasta cooks, in a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Add the kale and ¼ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until the kale has wilted and the water has cooked off.
- Add the pasta & make the sauce:
- To the pan of kale, add the cooked pasta, capers, butter, the juice of 2 lemon wedges and half the reserved pasta cooking water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring vigorously, 2 to 4 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish & plate your dish:
- Off the heat, add the seasoned chickpeas to the pan of pasta and sauce. Stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cheese. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges on the side, if you’d like. Enjoy!
(This is a sponsored post. All opinions are completely my own, based on my own experience.)