Mrs. Carla Monti

Mrs. Carla Monti

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Blue Apron: Part 2

In my last post, I reviewed the Blue Apron service after receiving our first week's worth of meals. Since then, we've had two more weeks and there were some definite winners in those boxes.

Since Blue Apron deliveries won't last forever in my household, I am going to start keeping track of what I did not like about the recipes, and suggested modifications for my future grocery shopping and meal planning.

Spiced Catfish & Poblano-Cheddar Grits with Stewed Collard Greens

Notes & Modifications:
  • The poblano pepper didn't do anything for me - I would not include it in the future.
  • The grits were great, and it was the first time either of us had cooked them. The only issue was the tiny chunk of cheddar cheese and butter that was included to add to the grits - the grits had zero flavor! Next time, I will add massive quantities of butter, cheese, and milk - I know they will be delicious!
  • I had not eaten collard greens prior to Blue Apron, and I think we've had them come as part of three separate meals by now! Mike has discovered that he really enjoys them, so I will be sure to add them to our veggie repertoire. 

Ribeye Steak with Mushroom & Potato Hash

Notes & Modifications:
  • This was another meal which worried me in terms of portion sizing, once I looked at the (raw) ingredients. ONE russet potato?! But somehow it worked! The potato hash, with sauteed mushrooms and rosemary, was delicious! 
  • The steak was good too, but a bit chewy. I think Mike and I generally go for a better cut of steak anyways.

Chicken & Garlic Chive Meatballs with Quick Apple & Brussels Sprout Kimchi

Notes & Modifications:
  • I was so intrigued about this one. I know that kimchi is a spicy Korean type of coleslaw from extensive Food Network watching - I have certainly never tried it before. I was blown away by how much I liked the granny smith apple, marinated in sesame oil and kimchi spicy blend. I didn't care for the Brussels sprouts, but I would absolutely make this again, with the same tart granny smith apple, and substituting butter or romaine lettuce for the Brussels sprouts.
  • The meatballs were very hard to make, shape-wise. Ground chicken is SO sticky! These were good, although I don't think I would make them again.
Chicken & Udon Noodle Soup with Napa Cabbage & Dried Lime

Notes & Modifications:
  • This one became one of my favorites! I definitely prefer the soups/stews side to Blue Apron, mainly because portion-wise, they work out pretty great and provide 4-6 portions.
  • The soup is very flavorful - but I did substitute a can of chicken broth for some of the water called for to make the soup.
  • The fresh udon noodles were thick and delicious! I can't speak for how much flavor the dried lime (such an odd looking thing) imparted on the soup, but perhaps it lent a more subtle flavor. 

Seared Cod & Date Vinaigrette with Browned Butter, Quinoa & Spinach Salad

Notes & Modifications:
  • After one bite, Mike professed this dish to be his favorite thus far. I was less than convinced.
  • The cod was absolutely delicious - I inhaled my portion in a few bites. The quality of the fish was perfect!
  • I enjoyed the red quinoa, baby spinach, almond, and date salad under the cod - but I did not like the diced radish or minced shallot. I would leave both out next time, and make a more simpler vinaigrette of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and the diced dates. 
  • It was so interesting to cook the radish and almonds in brown butter - I had never made brown butter before but it was very easy, and the house was perfumed with it's sweet, nutty scent for hours after. I would definitely make that again, to sautee almonds and possibly the spinach next time. 
  • As a side note, I am learning about so many other types of grains through this program. With the kale/meatball stew from the first box, we ate faro, and now red quinoa. I really like learning about these healthy grains that are so packed with protein. 

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