To me, dinner time is the most important part of the day. My family has always valued food, and eating, and has consistently treated dinner time as if it were a little celebration, night after night. I passionately believe in the importance of maintaining a formality for dinner- whether it be setting the table, lighting a few candles, or just simply carving out that special time to sit down and reflect on your day with the ones you love.
Lets be honest though, getting TO the dinner table is often the hardest part. These days it is becoming harder to come home on time, put your phone down, step away from the computer, or even just come up with a well balanced meal. Even when you love to cook, scrambling to prepare something after a full day can cost you a trip to the store, an expense on ingredients that barely get used, and on some nights, a big headache. Caving and ordering takeout or eating something quick in front of the television or at your desk has become more tempting than ever.
Blue Apron is a company that has set out to rid you of such temptation, and the concept they have devised in doing so is genius. Named for the color apron worn by apprentice chefs in France, Blue Apron is a subscription service that provides you with all of the instructions and ingredients you will need to make a delicious, low calorie meal in under an hour.
Featuring two person plans and family plans, Blue Apron will ship you a box with enough pre-portioned ingredients for three full meals, along with recipes and instructive images to guide you through your meal prep- eliminating the challenging aspects of cooking and putting you in the drivers seat to a successful dinner. The package options are competitively priced at $59.94 per week for a two person box and $139.84 per week for a box that will feed a family of four. But thats not the only good thing they have going for them. The best part about Blue Apron? Their unique recipes encourage you to expand your palate and start cooking with ingredients you would never even dream of buying- like cracked Freekah for example. When you start your subscription you can choose the type of food you receive and ensure your box will be tailored to your specifics likes and dislikes. Each week, Blue Apron releases a new menu and the ingredients and dishes you receive are generated at random based off of your preferences. There will always be something new to try, whether it is an ingredient or cooking technique.
Despite my love for cooking and being in my kitchen, even I fall into the occasional recipe slump and find myself giving up on dinner time. When I wrote to the folks at Blue Apron to see if they would let me test drive a weekly box, I was so in need of a new boost of motivation. Fortunately, that is exactly what I got!
This week I received ingredients for three meals, last night I started my Blue Apron adventure off by choosing to make Pan Roasted Chicken with Lacinato Kale and Purple Potato Hash.
The ingredients for this meal that were in my box were 2 Airline Chicken Breasts, 10 ounces Purple Potatoes, 1 Bunch of Lacinato Kale, 1 Granny Smith Apple, 1 Red Onion, 1 Bunch of Tarragon and then a bag of ‘knick knacks’, which included 3 Tbsp of Chicken Demi-Glace, 2 Tbsp of Butter, 2 Tbsp of sliced almonds and 2 Tbsp of Whole Grain Dijon Mustard. The only ingredient I had to provide from my own pantry was olive oil…which is pretty amazing.
This meal yielded two (generous) servings, was about 700 calories per serving and took under 45 minutes total to make.
I have cooked with purple potatoes before but would never have thought to combine them with granny smith apple. The hash was sweet, buttery and the tarragon (an herb I had not cooked with before) added a really nice earthiness. There was easily enough of the potato hash to feed four people, which I was impressed with as we do love our leftovers.
I experimented by letting Javi cook the chicken while I prepared the hash. He had never pan sautéed chicken before so I was anxious to see just how fool proof the Blue Apron instructions were. He followed the recipe for the chicken and pan sauce to a tee and what we ended up with was two perfectly seasoned, perfectly moist and juicy chicken breasts. He was very proud of himself and I was very relieved!
I think what I enjoyed the most about this first go with Blue Apron was that there was literally NO waste. There was just enough food for two portions and then two portions of leftovers, and we weren’t faced with knowing that we still had a bunch of kale in the fridge that would soon go bad, or one too many purple potatoes. What they give you is literally ALL you need- which is so helpful, because I had a tendency to over ball how much produce and herbs I will need for a recipe and then I end up throwing away expensive ingredients because I could not use them up in time.
I would rate this dish as a total home run. It was the perfect marriage of unique flavors and an otherwise ordinary crowd pleaser of meat and potatoes. Blue Apron has made dinner time enjoyable again by simplifying the process and providing you with everything you need to prepare a quick, healthy and delicious meal at home, to enjoy with family or friends.
Tomorrow night, is Crispy Catfish and Cracked Freekeh. I can hardly wait!
Happy Dinner time to all and thank you to Blue Apron for such an amazing product 🙂