Momma Told Me: @BlueApronMeals: 3 Meals, Fresh Ingredients, Full Recipe Cards Delivered To Your Door!

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Saturday, October 5, 2013

@BlueApronMeals: 3 Meals, Fresh Ingredients, Full Recipe Cards Delivered To Your Door!

*** I received one week of Blue Apron for the purpose of this recipe series. No further compensation was provided. All photos contained below are copyright Momma Told Me Blog 2013.
Stuffed Red Peppers With Millet
Momma Told Me: A true chef is not limited by their ingredients.

It's not secret that I have an unhealthy obsession with cooking and food. The term 'foodie' gets thrown around a lot these days and has gained an unwanted reputation for being a cliche title for people who walk around taking Instagram pictures of their meals at restaurants and fairs. I take an obscene amount of photos of food- but often food I have actually cooked, or new and exciting ingredients I hope to work with. For me, being a foodie is being open to new culinary experiences, whether out and about or at home. This could be playing with new takes on a classic recipe (chicken sushi), pairing bold flavors (pomegranate and garlic), or playing with texture and color to create a visually exciting dish. For me, food is an adventure, and the very sound of my wok heating on my stove excites me.
I have no formal training when it comes to food. There was a time, just out of high school, when I considered accepting an application to Le Cordon Bleu (culinary education), but passed up the opportunity for computer programming and video game art design. As it turns out, like so many of my passions, I quickly realized I enjoyed them most when I was not being asked to create to another's specifications. That is to say, the creativity of drawing, photographing, and cooking, is most enjoyable for me when I'm not expected to produce a cookie cutter result. Interestingly enough, cooking, as an art, does require basic skills and training, paired with a creative palette and imaginative eye.

I spend a lot of my media time watching competitive cooking, or baking, shows where contestants are provided a box of random ingredients and are asked to create an original dish. Any woman who has ever tried to feed her family with the leftover watermelon, macaroni, and hot dogs in the fridge knows this mighty challenge. It's not a feeling I wish to encounter day-to-day when trying to feed my family, but, cooking for two, it can often feel like that. When it's just Jay and I, we often rely on smaller grocery trips and less fresh ingredients (which can be expensive if not bought in bulk, and wasteful if not all used). Naturally, when I discovered a program that would foster my culinary skills, and do all the footwork for 3 meals each week, I was intrigued.
Stuffed Red Peppers Prep
For just under $10 per person, per meal, Blue Apron will package up all of the necessary ingredients (from fresh produce to protein and spices) for 3 meals, and ship them directly to your door each week. Yes, you can whip up a box of hamburger helper for about $6/person, but these are professionally crafted recipes with wholesome ingredients, and between 500-700 calories a meal. Not savvy enough to cook professionally inspired cuisine? Blue Apron not only pre-portions all of the ingredients, they also provide a beautifully illustrated, photo comprehensive, recipe card with step by step instructions and tips for a photo-ready meal. And the average preparation and cooking time is around 30 minutes, so you can always fit a restaurant quality dish into your hectic lifestyle.
The first thing Jay said when I explained Blue Apron to him was, "Do you get a blue apron?" I had to laugh, because that's a wonderful idea for new customers, but, ironically, not part of the current program. Customers are encouraged to preview the upcoming month's menu each week online, and are not committed to any more boxes than their initial order. This means you are not committed to any recipes, and can order as often, or infrequent as you want. Right now, the limit is 3 meals a week, and customers may choose between a standard or vegetarian menu. Blue apron makes a great gift for any budding chefs, newlywed couples, new mothers, couples who want to learn to cook together, or even as a cooking aid when that vegetarian cousin is coming down for the weekend.
Millet for Red Pepper Stuffing
Blue Apron Meals
My first Blue Apron box featured 3 distinct recipes; Mexican Style Chopped Salad, Shrimp Spaghettini, and Stuffed Red Peppers with Millet. Part of the attraction of Blue Apron is the fresher than market produce, and rare seasonal and culinary specialty ingredients, you'd otherwise have a hard time hunting down locally. Not only do customers get to experience new tastes and ingredients, but the recipe cards walk them through the entire process step by step. I'd never cooked with millet before (it's a sweet and nutty grain often used in birdseed), and had never made stuffed peppers, so this was a great initial experience for me. Neither a fan of ground beef, or red peppers, I tackled the recipe with enthusiasm and an open mind. Step by step I executed the photo comprehensive instructions, prepping the fresh ingredients as instructed, and timing the dicing and shopping with the cooling of the millet.
Blue Apron Meals
Stuffed Red Pepper
It wasn't long before amazing aromas began to fill my kitchen, and my tastebuds eagerly anticipated the meal to come. The written instructions were very precise, even anticipating basic obstacles (like uneven peppers, and extra filling), which were offered simple tips to navigate. Gently slice the bottom of the pepper to stabilize it, plate any extra filling beneath the pepper for professional presentation, etc. I recreated the Blue Apron recipe right down to the last suggestion, and bubbled with pride as I stepped back. Not only did my stuffed red peppers smell delicious, but they looked just like, if not better than, the lead in photo on my recipe sheet. Even more impressive, I found myself scarfing the stuffed filling like it was gold- this recipe was beyond delicious, with ample flavor and texture.

I love that the recipe card has precise ingredient measurements, so I can recreate the dish in the future with my own ingredients. The card is water resistant, and perfect for filing away- my only suggestion here? Add hole punches, or re-size the cards, to fit a recipe book. Even better, pair a 'blue apron' with a recipe binder for new customers to preserve their recipes, and grow as a home chef. Keep an eye out for the remaining 2 meals we prepared with Blue Apron, and log on to the Blue Apron website to print out these recipes, and more (or sign up for weekly recipes in your inbox), absolutely free! Follow along with Blue Apron on Facebook for customer photos and a sneak peek at upcoming recipes.

What Daughter Says: Experience new techniques and ingredients in the controlled environment of your home, with hand picked ingredients and recipe cards, thanks to Blue Apron.

37 comments:

  1. Alas, they don't go to Montana. The land of no G, no one day air and no Blue Apron.

    Your peppers look like they were made by a pro!

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  2. yummy! these look really good and I love the fact that it comes ready to go with instructions as well..those peppers look amazing!

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  3. Okay, now THAT is truly awesome. I've seen a lot of subscription boxes popping up into existance lately, but one that sends FRESH ingredients to your door...I MUST try this for myself!

    I think you did an amazing (and from the looks of it delicious) job with what you were given :)

    I also love your definition of a foodie; couldn't agree with you more!

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  4. Those peppers look delicious and this is a great service! Oh, if only I could have it!

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  5. This would be a great gift for newlyweds and I liked you suggestion about the recipe cards. A few months worth of meals and a binder full of recipes and the newlyweds would be on their way to a happy life. Thanks for the review.

    trishden948(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  6. That does look good. It would be a good service for someone who didn't like to meal plan and shop.

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  7. I've never heard of this company and I dont know if it's available around here but those look awesome I am going to have to find out lol

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  8. This look so good!!! I love the convenience of it!

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  9. If they shipped a chef too, I'd sign up right now, lol! Seriously, it sounds like a great service, especially the fresh ingredients!

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  10. Ah that looks sooo good! I can't cook for the life of me haha

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  11. What an amazing idea! I could use something like that for sure, I would love to try new things and it's even better that they just bring it right to your door. Stuffed peppers, YUM!

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  12. They wont come to my area but I love the look of your red peppers. Not sure how I feel about millet since that bird feed but I would try it

    ellen beck on rafflecopter

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  13. well... I commented on this post about this topic already so... HEY! I start school next semester for simulation and game art design! and.... thats my biggest concern too. I majored in graphic design in highschool and quickly realized I have very little interest in creating other peoples art. That is, not having free reign of my work

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  14. Recipe cards would be such a nice gesture

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  15. I never had a real good stuff peppers idea, this is a good one

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

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  16. That looks delicious. I love that it has fresh ingredients...so much nicer than processed foods. For a family of 5 though it can get rather costly! This would make a great gift though. I have to keep this mind as a gift. They do deliver to Illinois too.

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  17. Such a great concept. I just made some new recipes last night and had to buy a bunch of ingredients that I only used a TINY bit of...and may never use again, because I didn't know if I'd like the recipe. I love that everything (almost) comes with the package.

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  18. Looks delicious & I love the step-by-step instructions and photos to walk you through!

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  19. This looks really good! Although,I've never had millet before I'm willing to try different things.It looks like it's not too hard to cook. I think I may give this a try.

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  20. what a great way to try new things and get adventurous in the kitchen.

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  21. This makes cooking a nice meal for your family so easy!

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  22. I can't believe I've never heard of this company before- they look amazing! This would be so perfect for those nights I just can't seem to pull anything together. I love that they include pictures on the recipe cards!

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  23. What a fantastic idea! We've been "toying with" going vegetarian...this might be the perfect way to experience food we would probably never even attempt otherwise! This looks like FUN!

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  24. Very interesting concept, I had never heard of it.

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  25. At first it sounded expensive but after reading it all it sounds like a great idea. I will mention it to one of the soccer moms who works a lot.

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  26. This looks and sounds so good, and made simple for anyone to do.

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  27. Looks yummy - I'd love to try this! Alas, not sure I could afford it right now. But it's a Fabulous idea!!! Great review....

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  28. ooh,I think I just found a great gift for my brother and sister in law! What a cool idea!I am also really craving stuffed peppers now,yours look amazing!

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  29. This is such a cool box or gift! Very creative...

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  30. This is awesome! For a special dinner or as a gift for an anniversary or wedding gift.

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  31. I love how colorful this recipe is! Yum!

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  32. Blue Apron is a really smart idea! I would love to try it. The idea of having all of your ingredients, fresh and ready would save so much time.

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  33. wow this would be great for our family

    lmurley2000@yahoo.com

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  34. Oh wow! I would love to have these! They look so yummy!!

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  35. I love this idea for subscription boxes!your stuffed peppers look amazing.I am going to sign up for this.thank you for telling me about this.

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  36. i need this. i rarely am in the mood to cook and when i do its never anything healty.

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  37. I love stuffed peppers so this looks delicious . I know my kids would love making it everything they like is in it too. This is a wonderful service would love to have it

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