Why My Family, Friends and Even Thieves Love Blue Apron (+Reader Discount!)

Seared Salmon with Spinach & Walnut PestoThieves? I’ll get to that story at the end of the post, promise! I’ve got another drool-worthy Blue Apron post for you today (can’t help myself with the gratuitous photos). Poor Joe eats cold dinner every time I get a delivery because I cook the meals at 3PM knowing the lighting will be best to photograph them in all their edible beauty. Brings to mind this hilarious Instagram Husband video (<– watch it immediately if you’re a fellow blogger). Browned Butter Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts

Even when I’m not working on a post with Blue Apron, I’ll order the service myself because I truly am so fond of it. If I have back-to-back weekend travel plans and know the week in between will be hectic, I’ll schedule a delivery on Monday so that I don’t have to stress about dinners. Because you can skip weeks whenever you want with no penalty, I just keep my account active and unskip weeks here and there when the menu looks particularly perfect for me.

That’s another awesome thing about Blue Apron–you can see the menu options weeks in advance. They’ll select three for you based on your dietary preferences, but you can still go in and swap out meals. It’s great for me and Joe because while I have my dietary preferences set to pescatarian, Joe enjoys all meats. We can look at the upcoming options and if he’s drooling over a chicken dish, swap it into the mix. I mean, he tolerates the unrelenting pictures of what he’s eating–the least I can do is make him the occasional chicken dish. 😉 blue-apron-food-pics-8 blue-apron-food-pics-9

Aside from the convenience of it, I’ve also seen an improvement in my cooking skills and knowledge. I find myself going back to old Blue Apron recipe cards when making my own meals. Often I’ll incorporate a technique or a flavor combo I particularly liked into a new recipe of my own creation.

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The pictures in this post are a mix of favorite meals from my last two deliveries (one complimentary, one I purchased). All recipes can be found here. In order of photographic appearance in the post, I had the Seared Salmon & Spinach-Walnut Pesto with Potato & Onion Hash; Crispy Brown Butter Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon & Brussels Sprouts; Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Tahini Dressing; and Cod Kedgeree with Basmati Rice, Eggs & Frizzled Onion (Joe’s favorite!).

The fish dishes are always a big hit in our apartment. Joe often doesn’t feel satisfied if a meal doesn’t contain some sort of meat, but I prefer a heavily plant-based diet … with the exception of seafood. We eat fish once or twice a week because of this common ground, and I am always looking to learn new ways of preparing it. Seared Salmon with Spinach & Walnut Pesto Seared Salmon with Spinach & Walnut Pesto Seared Salmon with Spinach & Walnut Pesto

I never would have thought to make pesto out of spinach and walnuts, but it went so well with the salmon in the above dish! Definitely will be making it again.

About Blue Apron

Roasted Broccoli & Fregola Salad with Hard-Boiled Eggs & Tahini Dressing

If you’re new to the blog and/or Blue Apron, let me break down the basics of this service. Blue Apron sends you a refrigerated package containing all the farm-fresh ingredients (in the exact proportions) needed to create three meals. They offer a 2-Person Plan and a Family Plan depending on your living situation. There’s a huge selection of recipes and new dishes are added to the menu every week. As I mentioned already, you can set dietary preferences, change your menu and skip weeks as you like. Browned Butter Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts

Blue Apron is working to develop a sustainable food system, and as part of that effort you’ll get seasonal, fresh ingredients sourced from quality supplier and artisans. They also offer a recycling program for your Blue Apron packaging (details here). As someone who gets a lot of package deliveries, I appreciate this.

Two Free Meals with Your First Blue Apron Delivery

Cod Kedgeree with Basmati Rice, Eggs & Frizzled OnionI’m excited to offer P&I readers two free meals on their first Blue Apron order! The offer is open to the first 20 readers to sign up. Use this link to redeem.

Way back when I did my first Blue Apron post, my mom took advantage of this offer and she’s still using the service today! I went home for a night last week and walked into my parents’ kitchen to this scene: blue-apron-food-pics-13

Love it!

And before I end this post, I should explain this post title–and thank Blue Apron for sending me not one but two complimentary deliveries. My first delivery was actually stolen off the entranceway to my apartment building–what?! I get that I live in a city but I was shocked. It’s happened once before when a neighbor’s package was torn open and the contents stolen, but I never thought it’d be a recurring theme–or that the target of theft would be a refrigerated box of food. In a way though, I actually feel okay about food, if anything, being stolen because there’s a good chance that person was hungry and needs it way more than I do. Either that or there’s a black market for pre-portioned Brussels sprouts of which we’re all naively unaware …

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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Blue Apron. While I was compensated for my time, all opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that support this blog! 🙂

Back-to-Basics Pesto

Super easy pesto recipe | pumpsandiron.com

I’ve shared pesto recipes on the blog before, but never the no-frills combo I throw together when I want a simple pesto sauce and am feeling uncreative. The past few weeks I’ve been prepping a batch of this go-to pesto at the beginning of the week to have on hand for zoodles, breakfast skillets and other suitable meals I put together (I seriously put it on almost everything). Super easy pesto recipe | pumpsandiron.com Super easy pesto recipe | pumpsandiron.com

Back-to-Basics Pesto

Yield: a little over 1 cup

Back-to-Basics Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put everything in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. When you use leftovers, you may need to stir in a little extra olive oil to get the consistency right.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2016/03/04/back-to-basics-pesto/
Super easy pesto recipe | pumpsandiron.com Super easy pesto recipe | pumpsandiron.com

If you want to get fancy with your pestos, I’ve got these fun variations in the archives:

Enjoy your weekend! I’ve got a couple birthday parties I’m looking forward to tonight and a long run to tackle on Sunday. Should probably do my taxes as well, but if history is any indication, those will be put off until April 14th … 😉

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One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with Zoodles

One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with ZoodlesMy focus this year and moving forward with recipes I share on the blog is functionality–a weird word to associate with food, but better than “relatable,” which is the only other one that’s coming to mind. Approachable? Is that the word I’m looking for? I don’t know. Instead of sharing funky recipes using a bunch of unique ingredients that might be fun to make on occasion, but unrealistic to recreate frequently, I want to share simple dishes, snacks and cooking methods that you can make part of your weekly cooking routine. Think slow cooker recipes for weekly food prep; sauces, dressings and dips you can make in bulk and use all week long; one-pot meals like today’s; recipes that are easily customized; and my favorite, dishes where exact measurements don’t really matter (probably why I’ve never been a good baker haha).

As I up my cooking game, I hope to share at least one recipe a week here on the blog. But I know me, and those of you who’ve been reading for a while know me, so … no promises on that frequency. 😉

I don’t have a working oven (living the glam life over here!) so I’m all about stovetop meals. This one-pot curry dish is inspired by the Pinch of Yum recipe I shared last week. It’s easy to make and will leave you with minimal dishes to wash–double win! I realize I just told you I want to share recipes that don’t involve funky ingredients and this one has curry paste and fish sauce in it but we’re just gonna let that one slide … One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with Zoodles

One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with Zoodles

Yield: 4-6 servings

One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with Zoodles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 3 tbsp green curry paste
  • Splash of fish sauce (optional)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • Optional: ¼ cup peanuts and cilantro for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add in shallots and sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and sauté 5-6 minutes until shallots turn translucent and potato cubes start to soften.
  2. Whisk together coconut milk, veggie broth, curry paste and a splash of fish sauce. Add to the sauce pan and bring to an aggressive simmer.
  3. Add quinoa to the pan and reduce heat to low-medium. Cover the pan until quinoa is fully cooked, about 20 minutes depending on your stove.*
  4. While the quinoa cooks, spiralize your zucchini. Depending on the spiralizer you’re using, you’d just cut off the ends and crank it through.
  5. When the quinoa is fluffy and finished, stir the zoodles into the pan, shutting off the stovetop. Stir continuously, fully coating the zoodles in your sweet potato quinoa mixture. Let it sit on the still-hot burner for a couple minutes so that the zoodles soften slightly but still retain a little crunch.
  6. Optional: Top with some crushed up peanuts and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

Notes

*As the quinoa cooks, it’s going to absorb the liquid in the pan. If your quinoa is almost ready but there’s still a soupy consistency in the pan (excess liquid) remove the cover. This will allow the steam to evaporate and help dry out the quinoa.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2016/02/11/one-pot-sweet-potato-curry-quinoa-with-zoodles/

One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with Zoodles One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with Zoodles

This would be a great Meatless Monday option–it’s super filling! Packed with flavor and substance, a smaller portion than I’d normally take left me full and satisfied. It also reheats well. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat when ready.One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with Zoodles One-Pot Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa with ZoodlesAre you a curry fan? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

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