Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blue Apron Subscription Box - Part 13, 14 & 15


Ingredients for Roasted Salmon, Fennel & Castelvetrano Olives with Cara Cara Orange, Farro & Salsa Verde


Recipe Results



Ingredients for Short Rib Burgers on Pretzel Buns with Hoppy Cheddar Sauce & Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds


Recipe Results



Ingredients for Spicy Thai Chicken Noodle Soup with Red Curry & Mushrooms


Recipe Results


This is the fifth box of meals we have received from Blue Apron. Last week was very impressive. This week they wowed us with the Roasted Salmon dish, satisfied & surprised us with Short Rib Burgers & spiced up our dinner with the Spicy Thai Chicken Noodle soup. Both of us chose the Salmon as our favorite, but Hubby chose the Thai Noodle soup as his second favorite and I chose the burgers as my second favorite.

Roasted Salmon, Fennel & Castelvetrano Olives with Cara Cara Orange, Farro & Salsa Verde

Wow this dish was so incredibly impressive! This has to be one of the best dishes I have ever eaten in my life. What makes that even better is that I made it all by myself! It was like having three incredible dishes in one and dining at a very fine restaurant where I would probably have a heart attack when I saw the bill. The salmon with the parsley, capers, garlic, almonds & olive oil paste on top was impressive all by itself. Oh my that topping was so delicious and went perfectly with the salmon. We eat a lot of wild caught salmon and sometimes it gets boring after awhile and this topping is the perfect solution for that. It's easy to make yet so impressive in flavor. Then the farro, Cara Cara oranges and orange zest made a surprisingly wonderful combination too. The onion, fennel & olives made the third wonderful combination in this recipe. On top of those three wonderful combinations was the fennel pollen! Wow, what a fancy dish! I soaked the farro for four hours before cooking it and cooked it for about twenty-five minutes instead of the fifteen they recommended. This way it was nice and tender and less earthy in flavor. I plan to make this dish again soon. While it was very time consuming, the incredible flavor sensation makes it worth every minute! We hadn't tried Cara Cara oranges before and they were so delicious that we bought a bag of them at Costco today to have as snacks.

Short Rib Burgers on Pretzel Buns with Hoppy Cheddar Sauce & Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

We were really looking forward to this dish since ground short rib meat is hard to find. I don't eat short ribs due to the messy sugary sauce and the bones. So this is the perfect alternative. The burger was really tasty but would have been better with more cheese sauce. I would recommend making the cheese sauce differently with more cheese and beer instead of water. You could even make a little extra to dip the sweet potato chips in. The sweet potato chips were ok, though I would have preferred sweet potato tater tots instead. It was a very enjoyable dish.

Spicy Thai Chicken Noodle Soup with Red Curry & Mushrooms

Hubby really loved this dish. I enjoyed it a lot also, it's just not my favorite. The recipe calls for red curry paste and we were sent green instead. I contacted them by email and was told to use half of the green paste that was sent. Hubby used it all, he loves spicy food and the hotter the better. I wonder how differently this dish would have tasted with the red curry paste instead. If we make it again we will add the green pepper later so they stay crisp. We also recommend adding more mushrooms. It was really nice that they sent us chicken that was already cut into cubes. Hubby enjoyed making it and was really pleased with the results of his cooking.

This was another impressive, fun and tasty week of meals from Blue Apron. We can't wait to try the next box of recipes. While at first glance one would think this would be a more expensive way of cooking, our grocery costs have actually gone down. We are eating out less and no food is going in the trash can. There is no more wondering what we will make then not being able to decide and landing up ordering a pizza or going to a drive thru or restaurant. More importantly we are eating healthier and having fun cooking.  I highly recommend Blue Apron. Have you tried one of these food subscription boxes before?

Check out the previous Blue Apron recipes that I reviewed:

Next week we are expecting the following recipes:

Chili Blackened Cod with Epazote, Avocado & Red Rice Salad
Navarian Style Lamb Meatball Stew with Pea Tips & Carrots
Pan Seared Chicken Verjus with Pearled Barley & Mushrooms à la Grecque

I also reviewed Plated & Hello Fresh which are similar food subscription boxes. So be sure to check those out before you leave. Also, don't leave before you claim your Free Graze Box & enter my Blue Apron Giveaway which ends in hours.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review - Part 10, 11 & 12


Ingredients for Tom Yum Style Shrimp & Noodles with Gai Lan & Thai Basil



Recipe Results 



Ingredients for Corned Beef Spiced Flank Steaks with Braised Cabbage & Buttered Red Potatoes (sent purple potatoes instead)



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Turkey Chili with Avocado & Cheddar Cheese



Recipe Results


This is a review of the forth Blue Apron box we have received. This was an especially enjoyable box! We loved all three recipes with the Tom Yum Shrimp winning first place followed by the Turkey Chili then third place for the Corned Beef Spiced Flank Steaks.

Tom Yum Style Shrimp & Noodles with Gai Lan & Thai Basil

Thankfully, Blue Apron used four ice bricks in this shipment, so the shrimp was still partially frozen when it arrived. We made it the same day it arrived to ensure that the shrimp was safe to eat. I've been craving shrimp for months so I eat it every chance I get. This dish had a very similar taste to Plated's Thai Coconut Khao Soi with Chicken & Crispy Noodles recipe. That recipe wins over this one but just barely. I would have preferred to receive the canned coconut milk rather than the dry powered version they sent. Maybe that's why the Plated dish wins over this one. We had never had Tom Yum noodles before and they had a wonderful texture and absorbed all of the flavors around them. This dish was so delicious and worth making again which I plan to do if I can find all the ingredients locally. Awesome dish!  This Tom Yum dish was yum, yum in tum tum!

Corned Beef Spiced Flank Steaks with Braised Cabbage & Buttered Red Potatoes

Blue Apron mistakenly sent us purple potatoes instead of red ones for this dish. While the purple ones were enjoyable, the red ones would have been better for this dish. They didn't hold up very well during the cooking process. The spices that came with this dish smelled so good I couldn't wait to make it! It made all the difference to the taste of the steak. I only ate half of the cabbage since I was worried about my stomach being upset. It had a pickled flavor which I love but not something my stomach likes. I have to be very careful when it comes to eating anything with vinegar in it and limit my portion or skip it entirely. This dish is worth repeating but I'm not sure of the measurements of the spices since Blue Apron doesn't tell us and that's what made this dish so delicious.

Turkey Chili with Avocado & Cheddar Cheese

Shockingly by the time we opened the bag of ingredients for this recipe, only three days after it arrived, the cilantro & celery had wilted horribly. Thankfully, we happened to have some cilantro & celery in our fridge that we had bought previously or that would have meant an extra trip to the store. I'm not a fan of chili, but since it's one of Hubby's favorites I thought I'd give it a try anyway. Wow, this dish makes me a fan of chili! This recipe is a winner! Hubby said he didn't even mind it including turkey instead of ground beef. The only thing I would change is to add some more cheese and perhaps even layer it with one scoop of chili, sprinkle some cheese, add another scoop of chili and then more cheese. This is a dish definatley worth repeating. Hubby added more spice to it since we like dishes quite spicy. He added some crushed red pepper and more chili powder & cumin. 

Well there you have it my review for the week. It was an especially yummy week of recipes from Blue Apron which made us very happy. 

Here's what will be arriving this week on our doorstep:

Roasted Salmon, Fennel & Castelvetrano Olives with Cara Cara Orange, Farro & Salsa Verde
Short Rib Burgers on Pretzel Buns with Hoppy Cheddar Sauce & Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds
Spicy Thai Chicken Noodle Soup with Red Curry & Mushrooms

We are especially excited to try the Short Rib Burgers. Two of the reasons I don't eat ribs are because of the bones and the messy sauce, so this recipe is the perfect solution to that problem. We are also excited to try the Thai Chicken Noodle Soup due to the use of red curry. We love curry!

Check out the previous Blue Apron recipes that I reviewed:


I also reviewed Plated & Hello Fresh which are similar food subscription boxes. So be sure to check those out before you leave. Also, don't leave before you claim your Free Graze Box & enter my Blue Apron Giveaway which ends in twenty four hours.

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Plated Subscription Box Review - Part 14, 15 & 16


Ingredients for Shepard's Pie with Ground Beef & Vegetables



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie Pies



Recipe Results (left pie is right side up and pie on right is bottom up)



Ingredients for Braised Chicken with Gnocchi & Artichokes



Recipe Results


This is the fifth Plated box we have received so far. I chose two dinners and one dessert instead of three dinners this time. The other meat dish I didn't care for and I'm not going to order their seafood anymore since they don't properly ship it. They were all delicious, but the Chicken with Gnocchi was our favorite.

Shepard's Pie with Ground Beef & Vegetables

One of my favorite dishes my Mum made for me when I was little was Shepard's Pie. She would use foil and shape it like little boats which held the cooked ground beef, then slices of fresh tomatoes and mashed potatoes on top which she would then bake. So very delicious! This recipe included parsnips which made me nervous because I usually don't like that vegetable but I'm happy to report they were very good in this dish. Shepard's Pie is a great comfort food and we really enjoyed this version so much so that it's worth repeating. When we make it again, we are considering adding some garlic and peas with some shredded cheese on top and more quantity of mashed potatoes. So very yummy & comforting, just thinking of it is making me hungry.

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie Pies

After the first Plated dessert recipe that we tried, I was nervous to try another since the last one was so awful. Thankfully, this one turned out yummy. It was easy to make and had the perfect portion size. Normally when I bake goodies we eat way more than we should, so this keep us from being little piggies. The changes I would make are to use Kerrygold Irish butter and Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips instead. I like to use the highest quality ingredients when I bake. It really makes a difference in the taste. I don't normally add salt on top, but I really enjoyed it in this recipe and I will be purchasing the English Maldon salt from Amazon soon. I was so happy they included this high quality ingredient since Blue Apron had recommended it and I really wanted to sample it to see if it was worth purchasing. These pies make for a very delicious dessert and it was the perfect portion.

Braised Chicken with Gnocchi & Artichokes

Oh my, this dish was so incredibly delicious and I'm not a fan of artichokes unlike my husband who loves them. Hubby was totally in love with the dish and was sad when he reached the bottom of the bowl. We will have to make this dish again soon if we can find the fresh gnocchi somewhere local. I would have liked a bit more chicken in it, but otherwise it was perfect. I would definitely resist the temptation to substitute chicken breasts in this dish since the thighs and drumsticks have more flavor. You must try this recipe, oh so yummy!

Check out the other Plated dishes we cooked:


We received the following dishes this week, I'll be reviewing them soon:

Shakshuka with Green Garlic Pesto
Peruvian Lomo Saltado Stir Fry with Potatoes
Tomato Braised Tunisian Chicken

We will be skipping the following week since I didn't like any of the meat dishes other than the seafood and that dish I have to skip due their shipping issues with seafood.  The following week after that we will be purchasing the following to arrive on April 8th:

Pork & Chive Burgers with Sriracha Aioli & Kimchi Slaw
Cheesy Beef Enchilladas with Avocado, Spinach & Black Beans
Chicken Tikka Masala

The following week I plan to purchase these dishes for delivery on April 15th:

Chicken Souvlaki with Spinach Feta Rice
Roast Beef Spiced Steak & Salad with Horseradish Dressing
Mustard Roasted Pork with Spring Pea Salad & Crispy Shallots

You can chose and order up to four weeks worth of deliveries at a time but I found out they charge you at the time you order. So now I wait till it gets closer to shipping time to order my shipments. You don't want to wait too long though because some of the dishes sell out. I wish they would charge us at the time of shipping instead.

I also reviewed Blue Apron & Hello Fresh which are similar food subscription boxes. So check those out before you leave and don't forget to enter my Blue Apron Giveaway & get your Free Graze Box. What do you think of our recipe results? 

Bargain Alert - $30 off your 1st box from Plated, click here.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review - Part 8 & 9




Ingredients for Pork Dan Dan Noodles with Watermelon Radish & Garlic Lime Peanuts (minus the cracked freekeh)



Recipe Results




Ingredients for Pan Roasted Chicken with Lacinato Kale & Purple Potato Hash



Recipe Results


This is a review of two recipes from our third Blue Apron box. I already reviewed the other dish in the box, Crispy Catfish & Cracked Freekeh with Kumquat, Thai Basil & Chilli Glaze. Out of the three dishes, we liked the Crispy Catfish the most followed by the Pan Roasted Chicken and then the Pork Dan Dan.

Pork Dan Dan Noodles with Watermelon Radish & Garlic Lime Peanuts

We enjoyed this spicy dish but it's not worth repeating. I usually don't like radishes but the watermelon version is less strong and was actually quite enjoyable. It's so colorful! It helped tone down the spiciness of the dish in my mouth. This one was so spicy that our lips were tingling afterwards. There really isn't much to say about it since the spice took over the dish and that's really all I could taste. We liked this dish the least. This dish had a very generous portion so much so that I couldn't eat it all.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Lacinato Kale & Purple Potato Hash

I rarely eat chicken skin so I was a bit nervous about this dish. But the way it was cooked it made the skin quite tasty and there wasn't much of it. My husband was a bit leery of the funny looking Kale called Lacinato but it landed up tasting good and it shrunk down quite a bit during cooking. I usually don't like tarragon, but surprisingly this was a nice little addition to this dish and I enjoyed it's flavor. This was yet another dish that used fruit, this time being apple and I've been really pleasantly surprised how fruit tastes in these dishes. We had not had purple potatoes before and they are very tasty. While we enjoyed this dish, this is not one we plan to make again. This dish had a very satisfying portion of food.

Check out the previous Blue Apron recipes that I reviewed:

Stay tuned for a review of the recipes we made last week:

Tom Yum Style Shrimp & Noodles with Gai Lan & Thai Basil
Corned Beef Spiced Flank Steaks with Braised Cabbage & Buttered Red Potatoes
Turkey Chili with Avocado & Cheddar Cheese

This week we are expecting the following recipes:

Roasted Salmon, Fennel & Castelvetrano Olives with Cara Cara Orange, Farro & Salsa Verde
Short Rib Burgers on Pretzel Buns with Hoppy Cheddar Sauce & Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds
Spicy Thai Chicken Noodle Soup with Red Curry & Mushrooms

The next week on April 3rd, we are expecting the following recipes:

Chili Blackened Cod with Epazote, Avocado & Red Rice Salad
Navarian Style Lamb Meatball Stew with Pea Tips & Carrots
Pan Seared Chicken Verjus with Pearled Barley & Mushrooms à la Grecque

Don't they sound delicious! We can't wait to try all of these recipes and we are having so much fun with this subscription box!

I also reviewed Plated & Hello Fresh which are similar food subscription boxes. So check those out before you leave. Also, don't leave before you claim your Free Graze Box & enter my Blue Apron Giveaway.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Plated Subscription Box Review - Part 11, 12 & 13


Ingredients for Beef & Pork Ragout over Pappardelle



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Pork Chops with Shallot & Rainbow Swiss Chard



Recipe Results



Ingredients for Skate & Papas Bravas & Paprika Aioli




Recipe Results


We were excited to receive our forth box from Plated but unfortunately there were some issues with it. First, we ordered the Chicken Larb dish and received the Beef & Pork Ragout instead. We received the correct recipe card, but the wrong ingredients. Second, the box only had one ice block so the Skate fish they sent was no longer frozen or even partially frozen. That was especially disappointing because we have never tried Skate fish before and were looking forward to it. So we had to go out and buy some Flounder from Costco to substitute. We weren't able to get to the store until the next week, so it was inconvenient. Third, the red wine had leaked a bit and partially ruined the shallots it was sitting next to. Forth, the shallots were a bit smushed by the can of tomatoes. I emailed them and didn't receive a response after several days, so I called them to complain. They need to purchase noise canceling headsets for their customer service reps or do something about the background noise since it was very hard for me to hear him and he had a hard time hearing what I was saying. He hung up before I was able to ask a question also. The conversation was very rushed and I was not pleased. He gave me a store credit for the wrong dish and the unfrozen fish. I appreciate that but I really wish they would use more ice packs in their boxes like Blue Apron does. I really hate to see food go to waste and tossing it in the trash makes me sad. Dry ice would be best for the frozen foods. So since this is the second time we received fish unfrozen, sadly I won't be ordering anymore of their seafood dishes. Out of the three dishes that week funny enough our favorite was the dish that was sent in error, followed by the pork dish and lastly the fish dish.

Beef & Pork Ragout over Pappardelle

This dish was so delicious that we didn't mind receiving it instead of the Chicken Larb dish we were suppose to be sent. The noodles smelled so good when they were cooking, they smelled almost like a croissant! They must have had a lot of butter in them because there was a strong butter scent coming from them while cooking. I hope we can find the Pappardelle noodles at a store around here so we can make this recipe again. This was a generous portion and I could have saved one third of it for lunch the next day but I couldn't resist eating it all and I shared some with our four dogs. I love receiving fresh pasta in these boxes! Fresh pasta tastes so much better than dry and the texture is so much better. It takes me back to Italy where they only serve fresh pasta. Yum!

Pork Chops with Shallot & Rainbow Swiss Chard

I purchased this dish for my husband who loves pork. I'm not a big fan of pork so I wasn't very fond of this dish, while my husband really enjoyed it. This took quite a bit of prep time cleaning and chopping the produce. The shallots were a bit damaged in shipping, but I was able to peel the 1st couple of layers off them and dispose of the damaged part. The swiss chard stems were so colorful with a rainbow of colors. This was an easy recipe to cook and had a good, healthy portion size. While we enjoyed this dish we won't be rushing to remake it anytime soon since there are other Plated recipes that we loved so much.

Skate & Papas Bravas & Paprika Aioli

If you click on the ingredients photo for this recipe, you can see up close that the Skate fish looks like it's not safe to eat. It wasn't shipped at the proper temperature so it arrived with a lot of juice around it from defrosting.  Notice the color of the juice and the discoloration of the fish from white to pink, yuck. I wish they would have shipped it with more ice packs. What a waste of food. We went to Costco and bought some flounder to substitute. I wish they hadn't had the fingerling potatoes in two dishes for the same week. This dish was ok, not really worth repeating well maybe the dipping sauce. Capers are very salty, so remember not to salt what you are serving with them. This is the first time we had tried sunchokes and we loved them though it did cause stomach gas for me.

Check out the other Plated dishes we cooked:


Our fifth box included the following dishes which I will review next:

Shepard's Pie with Ground Beef & Vegetables
Chicken with Gnocchi & Artichokes 
Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie Pies

We are looking forward to receiving the following dishes this week:

Shakshuka with Green Garlic Pesto
Peruvian Lomo Saltado Stir Fry with Potatoes
Tomato Braised Tunisian Chicken

I also reviewed Blue Apron & Hello Fresh which are similar food subscription boxes. So check those out before you leave and don't forget to enter my Blue Apron Giveaway & get your Free Graze Box. What do you think of my recipe results? 

Bargain Alert - $30 off your 1st box from Plated, click here.

Follow Me on Pinterest, Google+ and/or Instagram 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:


Have a PEACEful Day!