My First Blue Apron Experience (+Reader Discount!)

My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers!With the exception of freak weeks when I meal plan and prep on Sundays, I can be pretty all over the place—sometimes going to the grocery store twice in a single day. Woof. So it goes without saying that I was pumped to try out Blue Apron, the meal delivery service that ships fresh ingredients in the correct portion to your home so that you can make chef-designed meals throughout the week.

How Blue Apron Works

My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers!There are two types of plans: 2-Person and Family (feeds four people). The 2-Person Plan (what I did) comes with three meals and can be delivered once weekly. Cost comes out to $9.99 per person per meal. With the Family Plan, you have the option to receive it once or twice a week and it comes with two meals. Cost comes out to $8.74 per person per meal. Shipping is free and there’s no commitment—you can skip weeks or cancel the service at any time.

Each meal is between 500-700 calories and can be prepared in 40 minutes or less. I’m always skeptical when I see the preparation time on recipes because it always takes me way longer, but I actually was able to make all these dishes in about 30 minutes.

My First Blue Apron Experience

So I kinda messed this one up. You can specify certain dietary restrictions so that you get meals that fit you, and I could have sworn I set my preferences so that I’d only get vegetarian and fish dishes … but I must not of because when I opened up my refrigerated delivery box I saw chicken and beef. At first I was totally bummed, but Joe likes meat so I decided to look at it as a culinary learning experience. I’m awful at cooking meat because I do it so infrequently, so I was excited to pick up some new techniques. My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers!

For each meal, you have a beautiful recipe card with step-by-step instructions. I found them super easy to follow and appreciated the thick, semi-glossed paper they were on as I spilled ingredients everywhere while cooking. :)

Let’s look at what I made…

Salmon Burgers with Crème Fraiche Sauce, Arugula & Potato Salad

My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers! My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers! My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers!This was the first meal I made, and Joe and I LOVED it. I’m always excited to try non-beef burgers and these were so flavorful! You can find the recipe here.

Chicken Piccata with Fresh Linguine Pasta and Garlic Chives

My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers! My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers!I was excited to make these because I’m so painfully uncreative when it comes to cooking chicken. I never really branch out with flavor combos or preparation techniques, so this is definitely one to add to my arsenal. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I ate pasta, so this was a delicious way to shake things up for dinner. Recipe can be found here.

Arepas de Carne Molida with Avocado & Pickled Jalapeno

My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers! My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers! My First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers! I really wanted to have an open mind and give these a try, but as soon as I smelt the raw beef my stomach turned and I bailed—I just can’t do red meat. Instead I just ate them without the ground beef, which was still pretty satisfying. Even though I didn’t eat all of the recipe, I still had fun making them—I mean when else would I buy masarepa at the grocery store?! The pickled jalapeno topping was delicious, and definitely a technique I’d use again when cooking! I want to try a similar recipe to these but using fish instead of beef. You can find the recipe hereMy First Blue Apron Experience (Review) + a discount for readers!

Obviously you can’t beat the convenience of having the ingredients delivered to you in perfect portions, but Blue Apron also posts their recipes on their site so that you can go back and make them again. I’ve got my eye on their Hearty Sweet Potato, Broccoli & Quinoa Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing & Goat Cheese and the Seared Cod with Spring Vegetables & Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette.

I loved my first Blue Apron and would totally use the service again—making sure to select vegetarian and fish dishes only! Especially during the summertime with frequent weekend trips out of town and a total lack of routine, it’d be so helpful to get meals delivered to the apartment. I’ll keep you guys posted when I use BA again!

READER DISCOUNT

Ok now the best part of this post—the first 25 P&I readers to sign up for Blue Apron will get two free meals on their first order! Just make sure you use THIS LINK.

Have you tried Blue Apron? What’d you think?

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. While I was compensated, all opinions—as always!—are my own. Keepin’ it real, yo.

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DIY Taco Seasoning

DIY Taco SeasoningJust popping in quickly today to share this “recipe” for a Mexican spice combo perfect for seasoning tacos, fajitas, etc. I mentioned in my meal prep post last week that I forgot to pick up a packet of taco seasoning for the chicken I was going to make in my crockpot so I whipped up my own. Obviously buying the mixture is way easier, but if you’re ever in a pinch, just combine the spices you already have in your pantry!

Pin now, make it next time you space out at the grocery store. 😉 DIY Taco Seasoning

DIY Taco Seasoning

Yield: Roughly 2 tbsp

DIY Taco Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper (only ¼ if you don't want it super hot)
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.

Notes

Store excess in a plastic baggie or small container.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/06/14/diy-taco-seasoning/

Enjoy your Sunday! I’m subbing at BURN this morning if any of you Bostonians want to sign up last-minute for a class! :)

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Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls

Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls (you pick your favorite flavors!)All you 13-year-old boys reading this post are probably having a field day with the title. No? Just me? Ok… 😉

Immature humor aside, there are probably at least a trillion ball recipes floating around Pinterest by now. I personally have an entire board dedicated to them because for some reason, bite-sized anything just melts my heart.

       Follow Nicole | Pumps & Iron’s board Balls & Bites on Pinterest.
Instead of giving you an exact recipe, I wanted to share a loose framework for putting together a yummy nut butter protein ball that allows you to easily customize with your favorite ingredients. When I’m making balls, I usually just wing it these days, tossing in whatever I have on hand. As long as the dry-to-wet portions are right, you can really have fun with the details. Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls (you pick your favorite flavors!)

Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls

Yield: 10 balls

Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c quick oats (grind them up in a food processor)
  • ½ c nut butter of choice
  • ¼ c protein powder of choice
  • 2 tbsp liquid flavor of choice (maple syrup, honey, lemon juice, agave, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp- ¼ cup add-ins of choice (shredded coconut, hemp seeds, raisins, nuts, dates, spices, etc.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional, but I always add it)

Instructions

  1. Put everything in a food processor until combined. If you want to add in raisins or nuts, you can omit those ingredients from the food processor and roll them in afterwards to give the balls a chunky texture.
  2. If the mixture is too dry, add in a little more of your favorite liquid ingredient. Too sticky? Add in a little more oats or protein powder.
  3. Roll into two-bite balls. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2015/06/09/customizable-nut-butter-protein-balls/

Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls (you pick your favorite flavors!)I’ll leave you with three combination examples I’ve made recently:

Lemon Coconut Almond Butter Protein Bites

  • 1/3 c quick oats, ground
  • ½ c almond butter
  • ¼ c vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut (+a little for coating)

Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls (you pick your favorite flavors!)

Basic Protein Almond Butter Bites

  • 1/3 c quick oats, ground
  • ½ c almond butter
  • ½ c vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds

Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls (you pick your favorite flavors!)

Cinnamon Raisin Almond Butter Protein Bites

  • 1/3 c quick oats, ground
  • ½ c almond butter
  • ½ c vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ c raisins

Customizable Nut Butter Protein Balls (you pick your favorite flavors!)

What are your go-to flavor combos for these types of snacks?

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