Follow The Directions and Don’t Burn Down the House!

In an effort to eat healthier and also save some money, we signed up for Blue Apron! Blue Apron is a service that delivers fresh pre-planned meals for the week! About two months ago we signed up (honestly just to use the coupon a friend gave us) and have been hooked ever since. Every Monday we know a box will be left on the doorstep with three meals for the week. I was worried at first thinking “How long can it sit outside?!?! What if we are late coming home?!?!?  What if a neighborhood cat attacks the box and gets into our food?!?!? – all reasonable worries any mature adult can come up with in their heads – but we’ve had ZERO issues so far!  The package that arrives has an insulated lining that is carefully taped shut and inside are all of the ingredients clearly labeled and everything is kept cool with two large ice packs. They even keep the meat and poultry items packed between the two ice packs to keep the items at the correct temperature! My favorite part – they also include the meal cards for each of the meals you have that week. The cards are in full color and give you pictures of the ingrediates you’ll need (a nice reminder for us visual learners even though the items are listed as well).

For us – Blue Apron is about $60 a week, which breaks out into 3 meals for two – or $10 per individual meal. We can’t grocery shop for fresh food and create a meal under $10 each so this is a HUGE cost savings for us! We have also enjoyed the variety of menu ingredients and meals that have forced us to venture out of our comfort zones.

And even though we have had this life changing service for months now, tonight was the first time I accepted the challenge to make dinner… To set the scene- I am not a great cook. I would say I’m not even a good cook. I see not burning the kitchen down or not sending anyone to the hospital a “good meal” in my book.

So today, after a long work day and a late evening dentist appointment I dove into this weeks package and had to pick between the three dinner choices. We have a “Beef-Chicken-Vegetarian” menu selected each week, and I bravely chose the vegatarian option.

First thing to do: Separate the ingredients and make sure you have the correct pans, dishes, bows, pots, etc…
Just when I felt overwhelmed with the number of ingredients laid out in front of me, I opened the small packaged labeled “knick knacks” and my list of ingredients double! Oh boy…
Luckily we own this chopper (pretty sure that’s not what it’s called – but you get it) which helped me chop my garlic into the perfect little bits to blend into my tomato sauce! I even browned them on the stove and cut down my tomatoes into sauce size pieces!
I really enjoyed cutting the fresh produce! Cutting the lemon into pieces and then using the diffident halves into making the ricotta stuffing and then as part of the salad dressing really helped pair the two dishes together!
I was really worried about making the ricotta stuffing, but the directions were easy and I feel like I can repeat this recipe again!
Fast forward one hour from pulling the ingredients together we had a delicious meal thanks to Blue Apron – and a very underrated Chef (myself)! I’d say pretty close to the picture and two thumbs up in the taste department!

Things to keep in mind – you will use a lot of dishes in the process! You prep and prepare multiple things at once so be ready to have the oven preheating and water boiling while you slice and dice the veggies! I was very intimated to cook the pasta and roll my own cannollis (hence the lack of photos of that process) but the step by step ingredients really made it idiot proof (this time) and the end result was delicious! The ability to add salt/pepper/chili flakes/garlic allowed me to flavor the dish to the perfect intensities I wanted and it felt very gratifying to have some of the process up to me and not entirely laid out on paper.

If you can manage to be home for dinner a few nights a week (I’m lucky to get to enjoy 2/3 of the meals each week) then you should give Blue Apron a try! We love it and I look forward to helping out in the kitchen even more in the future! Blue Apron- my secret weapon to kitchen success!