Reviews of Blue Apron's Smoky Seared Cod w/ Potatoes & Dates, Miso-Butter Chicken w/ Freekeh & Carrots, and Pork & Cabbage Tacos w/ Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

Blue Apron Box Review: By Land, Air, & Sea

I know I always say this, but BLUE APRON I MISSED YOU SO MUCH! For real, it seems like every time we take a week off from meal kit deliveries, I feel totally wiped out and ready for someone else to do the thinking and shopping for me again. This time at least I can blame SXSW and spending my weekend volunteering on my feet for the masses. It’s so draining to have entitled tech ~professionals~ (and college kids pretending to be them) yell at you for 6 – 8 hours a day.

Anyway, I survived, with blissfully few horror stories to share. And I finished caulking the bathroom tile project! Woo! So that’s even closer to being done and I am feeling preeetty good about myself. I even baked banana bread muffins to really amp up the domesticity factor this weekend.

But here we are on the other side of that and it’s high time that Blue Apron comes back to the rescue. This week we have a little bit of everything: chicken, pork, and fish, and flavors from home and abroad.

Enough dilly-dallying; let’s get into it!

Smoky Seared Cod: Cod in the Middle

Blue Apron Smoky Seared Cod Review
This is a first but I think my plate looks better, tbh!

“Do I like cod?” I asked myself upon opening the box. The answer is, “Sorta?” This recipe had a pretty simple format and approach. You pickle some onions, you season and sear your protein. Bake some potatoes! And it was fine, really. It plated up real nice and felt like a healthy way to finish the day, especially coming from my upside-down yoga class (amazing.)

But was it great? Nah. Not really. The “spice blend” for the cod was actually just paprika and rice flour, so it wasn’t very smoky and fell flat. Cod is such a dense, neutral fish that I found it to be really lacking in this preparation. The thickest pieces (with the smallest amount of seasoning or sauce, relatively speaking) felt extremely “meh.” Oh, and the slices of potato were super awkward to eat. Pretty, but awkward! This is definitely a B- recipe overall, and a little bit of a disappointing return to our friend, Blue Apron.

Paired well with: A glass of 2016 Vinyasa Muscat Canelli from Winc. (PS, Grab a bottle yourself for free by using this link!) My sister gave me this bottle for Christmas and it’s a terrific post-workout wine. It was lovely with the fish and the bright acidity of the salad. I hate to say it, but the wine may have been the best part of the meal!

Miso-Butter Chicken: Getting FREEKEH

Blue Apron Miso Butter Chicken with Freekeh Review
I swear I put this on a plate and not directly on my countertop…

I didn’t know what freekeh was, so I was nervous that it would be tough and grainy like some grains Blue Apron has introduced us to. Not so! It’s actually nice and more closely aligned with rice in terms of soft chewiness. It took the flavors of the miso and butter quite well!

The chicken in this dish was a bit of a surprise as well. I’ve NEVER had pre-chopped protein from Blue Apron before (it seems like a very Home Chef thing to do) but this chicken breast arrived chopped up and ready to go. It was kind of nice, honestly, to not have to worry about that prep work on top of the veggie prep. The flavors from this dish SEEM simple, especially during the construction, but their layers add up to more than the sum of their parts. The soy sauce gives an umami depth for the miso and butter to dance upon. It’s very savory and reminiscent of your favorite takeout, but with more exotic textures mixed in.

This is a very solid B+; I wouldn’t make it exactly again or seek out freekeh on my own, but I enjoyed every bite! I’m also now on the hunt for some good miso paste!

Paired well with: a Barre workout because I treated my body like garbage all during SXSW. Actually, just kidding (not about taking a barre class, but), this paired really nicely with some ginger kombucha “soda” that I got for free from work. So try this dish with ginger ale (or ginger beer if you like some kick!) It was a great complement to the miso and soy flavors of the dish.

Pork & Cabbage Tacos: Ta-co? More like TA-GO!

Blue Apron Pork Cabbage Tacos with Pineapple Jalepeno Salsa Review
That salsa just screams “put me on the actual taco, plz”

Like any good Texan, I love me some tacos. I saved these for our Thursday dinner (RIVERDALE! Oh wait, jk bc actually The Vampire Diaries ended A WEEK AGO! And the CW has the gall to make us sit through a retrospective after the fact anyway. Instead of giving us the sweet, sweet dose of Riverdale that we crave. Cool. Cool story, CW.) because it was clear that this recipe would be stellar.

And it is! The pork is spicy and tangy, the pineapple “salsa” is awesome, and the marinated cabbage provides zip and crunch. The only issue I can take with this recipe (which was way easy to work through, btw) was the plating. The “salsa” is silly to have if you’re not going to give me chips. So, of course, we just put it on the tacos as soon as I was done taking the picture. It’s okay if there’s no side dish, Blue Apron. ILY anyway. A for the pork & cabbage tacos!

Paired well with: a slightly non-traditional margarita! I picked up some tequila-based almond liqueur ages ago because I’m a sucker for everything almond. I’ve been using it bit by bit for about two years now and I’m ready to see it GONE. I use it in lieu of triple sec in a traditional margarita recipe, as it’s quite sweet, and it gets the job done! Just 2 oz tequila, 1 oz almond liqueur, and the juice of one lime shaken with ice and poured (ice and all!) into a glass. Boom! Makes the pineapple even zippier and neutralizes the jalapeno’s burn. 

Up Next… Home Chef!

So there you have it! All of the proteins and none of the fuss. It’s back to Home Chef for a box or two next, especially while I’m alone at the house. No husband to eat with equals a HIGH probability of dinners composed entirely of snacks. Why yes, popcorn, cereal, crackers, and a protein shake DO count as dinner if you eat them over a long enough time period! Xx

Raspberry Green Tea Banana Bread

Raspberry Green Tea Banana Bread

Let me level with you: I have a shopping problem. Well, not really a problem, maybe more like a pattern. I read about something cool then I immediately start doing research on this cool then. THEN, I buy the thing if the research pans out even a little. (Research consists 99% of Amazon review-reading.) This pattern is how I came to be the owner of a 2 lb bag of matcha powder after reading that it is good for your skin. It’s bitter AF and tastes like sad grass, and I’ve been trying to use it up for three years. I’ve hit my limit of seeing it in the pantry, so I’ve been making green tea everything to try and use it up. This is how we get to today’s recipe: raspberry green tea banana bread. Continue reading “Raspberry Green Tea Banana Bread”

Home Chef Box Review: Welcome to Sauce Town

The apocalyptic cold season of February seems to have abated. (Thank God.) I feel like I lost about 4 days, just gone, to being sick. Definitely one of those weeks where having Home Chef take care of the bulk of meal planning and shopping is ideal! I was again surprised and impressed by their predominantly meat-and-veggies options for this week’s box:

Continue reading “Home Chef Box Review: Welcome to Sauce Town”

Bone broth + classic throat remedy ingredients and a little spice build in flavor for this hearty broth/tincture guaranteed to help you feel better.

Feel Better Broth

Boy, the mid-winter germs are out in full force! Even though it has been like 80 degrees almost every day this month, cold and sniffle season is heating up all the same. Almost everybody I know, from family to work, has gotten some kind of illness in the past few weeks. It finally hit me this week. I went to a ladies basketball game (Go Ladyhorns!) on Monday night and screamed my heart out (especially for the dancing dogs at halftime). When I woke up on Tuesday my throat was killing me. I chaulked it up to yelling, but by Wednesday night I was still in so much pain that I had to listen to my body. Poor body was sick. And when I’m sick, I go for my tried and true “feel better broth.” Somewhere between a tincture and a soup, this elixir soothes my throat and helps me rest so my body can recover. Continue reading “Feel Better Broth”

Paleo Cake Smoothie - A creamy and delicious paleo cake smoothie that will satisfy your cravings for cake and ice cream using Whole30 compliant ingredients!

Paleo Cake Smoothie

Y’all. I’ve had a tough week. Well, really I had a tough Thursday morning last week and everything since is just fallout. Suffice to say I found myself in need of some real comfort food but I didn’t want to break my Whole 30. This is why I let myself “bend” my Whole 30 and give in to the need for a comforting milkshake (a cake smoothie, to be exact) to soothe my wounded body.

Continue reading “Paleo Cake Smoothie”

A Whole30 and paleo kale salad with blueberries, pepitas, and coconut.

Whole30 Kale Salad with Coconut & Blueberries

Hello, January! Hello, feeling great again! We have been planning this January round of Whole30 since last September. Knowing that it was coming, we really indulged around Christmas. Cookies for breakfast, beers at noon, sure! Do it all! That was fun, and it was neat to eat and drink whatever, but boy, were we ready for January 2 to start fresh. One of the first things I wanted to make was my favorite Whole30 kale salad, a yummy fun dish with blueberries, coconut, and pepitas! Continue reading “Whole30 Kale Salad with Coconut & Blueberries”