Tag Archives: cooking

Trying Out Blue Apron

I actually enjoy grocery shopping.  Let me rephrase that.  I enjoy grocery shopping when I’m alone or when Jason is with me to wrangle an almost-toddler who wants to do nothing more than turn around in the grocery cart to get to all the groceries are and throw them on the ground.  But what I don’t enjoy (other than that) is meal-planning.  I have a ton of recipes pinned and I do make a good bit of them, but I never really know how to put things together to create a well-rounded meal.  We often have just an entree.  Sometimes a side veggie if we’re lucky.  But a starch too?  Ha.

So for that reason, Blue Apron appealed to me.  I asked some friends’ opinions of it on Facebook and there were mixed reviews.  The most common was that the food was really good but it took a long time to cook.  I was still on the fence until Brittany offered to send me a coupon code for a free week of food.  Sold.

The food arrived on Friday afternoon in a box cardboard box with some ice to keep it chilled.  I opted out of receiving beef or pork but everything else was fair game.  They sent me the ingredients for miso-roasted chicken with spring peas and jasmine rice, seared salmon and preserved lemon with red quinoa and pea shoots and spring pea gnocchi with parmesan and garlic scape sauce.

There were a couple of issues.  I didn’t see any rice, I was missing some peas and I had a random bag of Chinese spinach.  But mostly my issues were timing-based. My mom was visiting and I just didn’t get around to cooking until later in the week.

First up was the gnocchi.  This was fairly easy to cook and not very time consuming.

Gnocchi

I liked this well enough.  Jason said it tasted “too fresh” meaning that the peas weren’t cooked enough.

Next up was the chicken.  This was not a quick meal.  I don’t even really know why, but it wasn’t.  Fortunately, I made it over the weekend so I had some time.  I just used rice that I already had in the house.

Chicken miso

More peas.  I thought this was okay, but the miso was really salty.  Too salty.

And I never did get to the salmon.

I liked the meal ideas and I liked not having to buy a whole package of an ingredient when I only needed a little bit.  At first, I thought the portions looked really small, but they ended up being fine.

However, I don’t see me doing this on a weekly basis.  It’s pretty expensive, it doesn’t make enough for leftovers and you don’t get to pick your meals.  Though, the recipes are all available for free online, so I might use it as a resource every now and again.

Tastes Like Taco Bell

I made these tacos last night and Jason said they tasted like Taco Bell.  I think that was supposed to be a compliment!

Tacos

Boca and Bean Crunchy Tacos

adapted from Mommy I’m Hungry

1 bag Boca Meat Substitute
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 16 oz can fat-free refried beans
8 oz tomato sauce
1 cup shredded mexican cheese
12 hard taco shells

Preheat oven to 400.

While oven is preheating, spray a large pan with cooking spray and heat Boca meat (from frozen) on medium. When meat is defrosted, add spices and mix together for about a minute.

Add tomato sauce and refried beans to meat mixture and stir to combine.

Fill taco shells with boca/bean mixture and place upright in 13 x 9 baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.

 

Meals We’ve Enjoyed

Remember once upon a time when this blog was food and workout focused?  Umm, yeah, that’s what happens when you have a kid.  I’m not saying I’m not into food and workouts still, because I am, but taking pictures of everything I make?  Aint nobody got time for that.  (Using a semi-antiquated pop culture reference – something else that happens when you have a kid.)

So even though I haven’t been taking many pictures (and retouching them in Photoshop like I used to?  That’s totally out.), I’m actually pretty proud of myself for the way I’ve been cooking and eating.  Meal planning is always something I struggled with.  I don’t know why.  It’s like I’d get really overwhelmed when I was trying to figure out what we’d eat and then end up not picking out anything, buying random stuff at the grocery store and not having anything for dinner.

So what I started doing was starting off with a list like this:

Monday – Meatless
Tuesday – Leftovers
Wednesday – Chicken
Thursday – Mexican
Friday – Pizza

And then from those categories, it seems easier to pick out recipes, make a grocery list and actually have things for dinner.  Thursday changes – sometimes it’s Asian – but the others tend to remain the same.

I guess I never really addressed the chicken thing.  Basically I didn’t really have a reason for not eating it.  I just didn’t.  I realized that if I did, it would open up a lot of options for meals that Jason and I could have together.  I still mostly eat vegetarian meals, but chicken does make a weekly or bi-weekly appearance.

Here’s some stuff that we enjoyed over the past week or two:

Salmon tomatoes

This was salmon baked in foil with marinated cherry tomato salad.  I have a really hard time making salmon at home.  While this was decent, salmon never tastes quite right when I cook it.  Suggestions?

Spinach artichoke chicken

This isn’t the best picture but this Spinach and Artichoke Dip Chicken was good too.

Baked ziti

And you can’t go wrong with Baked Ziti.

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been eating.  Now maybe one day I’ll write about working out again.  Maybe.

Food Lately

Despite the whole “no time” thing, somehow I’ve managed to do some cooking.  Not a lot, but some.  And I have a backlog of pictures to prove it.  And for full disclosure, I have been eating some chicken.  It’s just been easier and there wasn’t any real reason that I wasn’t eating it except that I just wasn’t.  So yeah, that.  But no photo evidence yet.

Enchilada rice

This was enchilada rice.  I used soy crumbles instead of beef and I only used half the cheese and it was absolutely delicious.

Kale fried rice

More rice.  This time kale fried rice.  It was also really good but more of a side dish than a main dish.  I could have added some protein though to fix that.

Stir fry

I honestly have no idea what this was.  Something with rice.  I sense a theme.

Quinoa lasagna

And a non-rice dish – quinoa lasagna. Jason, who claims to be an avid quinoa hater, thought this was really good.  I did too.

A Post About Frosties

I haven’t had much in the way of pregnancy cravings.  During the first trimester, I had a brief love affair with bagels and cream cheese, but that’s long gone.  There’s only one craving that still really gets me:  a Wendy’s Frosty.  I’ve only had a couple so far and always get the smallest size, but when I start thinking about them, I just need to have one.  This afternoon, I was checking Facebook and saw a picture that Lindsay posted of her kids eating a Frosty.  Suddenly my gym workout got about ten minutes shorter than normal and i found myself driving to Wendy’s.

But this might be the end.  Because I made two crucial mistakes.  One, I went inside the restaurant.  The drive-thru line was really long and I had to get back to work (I was on my lunch break) so I figured that going inside would be faster.  And it was.  But the restaurant smelled so strong.  It was like fast-food greasy smell times a thousand.  It was gross.  But my second mistake was even worse.  I decided to try the vanilla flavor instead of the traditional chocolate.  Now, I’m normally a much bigger fan of vanilla than chocolate stuff, but not this vanilla.  Bleh.  Chocolate all the way.

Maybe it’s a good thing that today’s Frosty experience was closer to gross than great because I felt much more inspired to come home and make something healthy.  So I made Tex-Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole.

Tex mex spaghetti squash

It was good and totally cancels out the Frosty, right?

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