There was finally a break in my laziness. You know, the laziness I referred to a couple weeks ago when I decided that having pre-measured ingredients, complete with recipes and pictures delivered to my door, was too much work for me. The laziness that ultimately wound up with a call for pizza. Sad, but true.
But, as with many things in life, there was finally a break in the “slack” that was my mood and I got around to actually using the produce and ingredients shipped to me by Blue Apron. Not familiar with this outfit? It’s similar to other services out there that provide customers with the option to select from a menu of recipes, and have everything dropped at their door and ready to prepare. The idea is that, for busy people and families, this service assures healthy, tasty, and ultimately easy meals will be available on those nights when you just can’t make yourself toss together yet another tuna noodle bake.
I’d heard so much about these services that I decided to give one of them a try. And a Groupon popping up in my email announcing a deal for this particular one? Done. And so it began.
The box arrived, and the ingredients and instructions therein looked truly intriguing. I felt like I’d been handed a license to eat like I was in a restaurant, but have it prepped in my own kitchen. Pretty cool, huh? The 3 recipes that arrived that first week were:
- Cauliflower Cheesesteak Sandwiches
- Hominy & Poblano Pepper Pozole
- Udon Noodle & Tastoi Soup
I’d never made any of these recipes before, and I also admit that I’d never worked with some of the ingredients included. I was excited to give these new flavors a try!
I showed them to my husband and let him pick which one we’d try first. The Cauliflower Cheesesteak Sandwiches were up!
Look at how cute the tiny little bottles are! That meant that I didn’t have to measure a gosh-darned thing. Just follow instructions (which I generally don’t do very well) and add the contents when the recipe indicated it was time. Easy, right?
Remember what I said just now about not following instructions? Yeah, I started by switching out the green pepper they provided. See, I can’t eat green bell peppers. Well, I can, but nobody wins when I do. Let’s just say that I’ve learned that the other colors of bell peppers are much kinder to me. So I swapped a red bell pepper in for the green. But at least I didn’t switch the main ingredient, which was the star of the show–the cauliflower.
I got the rest of the ingredients ready to go, and started cookin’. I admit that this recipe turned out better than I’d anticipated given that my husband generally shies away from anything with vinegar in it. But my hubby enjoyed it when we put the arugula and mushroom salad ON the sandwich rather than served it alongside as it was intended. Again, I couldn’t just do as I was told!
The flavors of the cauliflower with the peppers, onions and other items were really great together, and the best thing is that since the recipe cards are so precise regarding the ingredients and amounts, you can keep them on hand and make the recipes that worked best again and again.
Now for the part of this experience that I decided I didn’t like: the waste. Remember those cute little bottles of vinegar and sauce that I pointed out? Well, each and every ingredient is provided in its own container. Even those little plastic bottles. While I promptly recycled all of the packaging, it felt as if there was an awful lot of it to have to recycle. And even though it all went in my blue bin for recycling day, I felt like it was wasteful where it may not have needed to be. I understand from a safety and precision perspective that this is necessary. I get it, I really do. But all of that plastic…guilt set in even before I decided on the next recipe.
The other thing I found was that, strangely enough, I had nearly everything I needed for this particular recipe already on hand. It was duplicative. Not that Blue Apron could have possibly known that, but still.
Even with that commentary, we really did enjoy the Cauliflower Cheesesteak Sandwiches. In fact, there was enough for leftovers the next day at lunch. So even though it was technically portioned for 2 people, it really could have fed more than that. This was a bonus, so points to Blue Apron on that front for sure.
And that next recipe we landed on? The Hominy & Poblano Pepper Pozole. Stay tuned for how that turned out, as well as more of my witty commentary on this whole process.
You’re hooked now, right? I know. Patience, my friend.
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