Blue Apron Meals and Other Good Eats

beet pasta with goat cheese

Over the last couple of years, I’ve been writing a collection of my Good Eats where I share some some of the great foods I’ve enjoyed but were previously undocumented. I ate plenty of delicious things in June. This latest installment includes a kind of pasta that I never thought I would like, a few gourmet chocolate bars, healthy snacks, and a couple of local dishes.

If you can guess from the photo above, that beautiful dish is fresh beet pasta, which I tend to shy away from. I’ve confessed before that I don’t really like beets – I’m a little wary of it tasting too earthy (like dirt) and I don’t like the texture. The only beet dish I like is the beet tatziki at Sofra Bakery (the hot pink hue lured me in). But now I can say I actually like beet pasta! Especially beet pasta with swiss chard, goat cheese, and walnuts. Mmm-mmm.

I wouldn’t have thought to combine those flavors, and I guess I didn’t really have to think about it – because the idea and the ingredients came courtesy of Blue Apron, a delivery service for fresh, pre-portioned ingredients. The ingredients arrived in my doorstep in a carefully-packed refrigerated box, and it contained everything I needed to prepare some healthy meals, along with easy-to-follow printed recipe cards. By everything, I really mean everything – from the olive oil to the protein, salad greens, condiments, garnishes. And they were all pre-measured! It’s essentially a box of mise en place, and for organized cooks like me, that’s a dream come true.

blue apronsalmon with asian saucewatercress saladbeet pasta
The box that I received contained all the ingredients for maple and ginger glazed salmon, a watercress salad with orange and parsnip, the fresh beet pasta, and Korean-style scallion pancakes. My family was still here when the box arrived and my parents were actually the ones who cooked most of it. I could tell they really enjoyed it, and so do I. I definitely recommend Blue Apron -  it’s so convenient, everything is fresh, and the recipes are pretty good (each complete meal is 500-700 calories per serving, and the cost would come out to be $10 per person per meal).  They’ll plan the meal for you, take care of the ingredients, measure everything, and deliver right to your door. All you have to do is cook.

chuao chocolate

And speaking of deliveries to my doorstep, this box from Chuao Chocolatier was a very welcome sight. Chuao Chocolatier (pronounced chew-WOW) is the first Venezuelan chocolatier based in the US. I really like the creative flavor combinations and the smooth, creamy chocolate. It was hard to choose a favorite from all the bars I tried (tough life) but if I had to, I liked the Pretzel Toffee Twirl the most – crunchy mini pretzels and buttery toffee in dark chocolate. So good, I thought about hiding it in the back of my fridge so I didn’t have to share… But I didn’t. Instead I just placed it straight in my mouth.

GE Greek Yogurt Covered Pretzels

More mini pretzels! Greek yogurt-covered pretzels from the CVS Gold Emblem brand are pretty addicting. I like transferring the entire pack to a mason jar and keeping it chilled in the fridge, them just grabbing a handful (or four) when I want a small snack. I have to admit that I used to only go for yogurt-covered pretzels when chocolate-covered pretzels are not available (or better yet, plain pretzels dipped in Nutella…) But this gives the chocolate versions a run for the money. It has a slight tang from the Greek yogurt but the coating is still sweet and creamy, which pairs well with the salty little pretzels. CVS generously sends me products for sampling so I got this bag for free, but as soon as I finished it I went right across the street to my trusty neighborhood CVS to buy another bag and keep my mason jar filled.

KIND bars

I also received this giant supply of snacks from KIND – the bars have been a staple in my cupboard, office drawer, gym bag, and everyday purses ever since I discovered this brand. I absolutely love the bars  – not only are they very healthy and made with all natural whole nuts, fruits, and whole grains, but they taste sooooo good. My favorite flavor is Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew – I’ve had it countless times for a quick breakfast or a snack (perfect for pre- or post-workout). KINDSnacks recently came out with new flavors and products, and they sent me some bars and bags of granola. A lot of the the flavors are very dessert-like, which you can all guess made me very happy. And I really like the philosophy of the company: do the kind thing for your body, your tastebuds, and the world. How can you not love that?

dumpling room

This is just one of the dumpling plates that I tried at Patty Chen’s Dumpling Room in Central Square. I believe these were the pan-fried mini pork bao dumpling, filled with pork and cabbage. All the dumplings are hand-made from scratch everyday, and I have to say that they are all pretty tasty and a far cry from the other mass-produced ones I’ve had. I liked the spicy kimchi dumplings the most, so much so that I didn’t even have time to take a picture because I just dove right in.

Patty Chen's Dumpling Room on Urbanspoon

double awesome

And last but not least, this is the Double Awesome from Mei Mei Street Kitchen, my number one favorite food truck in Boston. I have a very special history with Mei Mei because (ahem) I named one of their best-selling salads. I went to their new restaurant near Fenway with Dan and we had a late lunch of the Double Awesome (a scallion pancake sandwich with local greens pesto, Vermont cheddar and two slow-poached then fried eggs), washed down with the Woodsman’s Refresher (a ridiculously good drink made with whole milk and maple syrup). Is there a better word for awesome? Because they deserve it.

Mei Mei on Urbanspoon

We went to Mei Mei right before catching the movie Chef, which I also really enjoyed. Have you guys seen it? Jon Favreau was great (and I only wish that Robert Downey Jr. had more screen time). If you haven’t seen it yet, be prepared to get hungry while watching the movie. And if you have seen it, do you remember that garlicky pasta dish that Jon Favreau prepared?? My mouth is watering just thinking about it. I really want to recreate it but right now I can’t imagine slicing up that much garlic. If any of you would like to make that for me, I will come over and bring chocolate and wine.  (Or maybe Blue Apron can put that on their menu?)

I’d love to hear about your latest Good Eats!

   

20 Responses to “Blue Apron Meals and Other Good Eats”

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    PassTheKnife posted July 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Wow I’m very impressed with Blue Apron, that would be a great gift to send to someone.. I would love to receive it!

    • Bianca Garcia replied July 7th, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Yes, it’s definitely a great gift!

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    Leah | So, How's It Taste? posted July 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Glad to read you enjoyed Blue Apron. I’ve been thinking about giving them a try!

    • Bianca Garcia replied July 7th, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      You should – it’s so convenient!

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    Megan posted July 7, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Wow. So many things to comment on. I love those Chuao chocolate bars, but I haven’t tried that pretzel one. It sounds amazing. Also love KIND bars and eat them all the time. They’re my go-to. The dark chocolate cherry one is definitely one of my favorites… but you have some flavors I haven’t seen yet. Dark chocolate mocha almond sounds really good. And I loved, loved, loved Chef! (The garlic pasta dish is so easy to make… I found a Lidia Bastianich recipe online that was so good. Satisfied the craving!)

    • Bianca Garcia replied July 8th, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Ok that pasta dish will be in my future soon!

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    Meghan posted July 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I have always been super curious about Blue Apron, and I LOVE Kind bars!

    • Bianca Garcia replied July 8th, 2014 at 10:54 am

      It’s so convenient and the recipes are actually pretty delicious!

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    Christina Orso posted July 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    oh my gosh, all of this looks silly good!! we really need to meet up soon!

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    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes posted July 8, 2014 at 1:17 am

    I’m with you – I can’t get over the texture of beets. I am teaching myself to like them, though! LOVE kind bars – we eat them every day in my house :)

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    Joanne posted July 8, 2014 at 7:24 am

    I love Blue Apron and if only it weren’t so expensive, I would use it more often!

    Beets and I have a very contentious relationship as well…but maybe I’d like them mixed into pasta dough also!

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    Daisy posted July 8, 2014 at 8:53 am

    the double awesome is on my to eat list, right at the top! next time i spot the mei mei food truck, it’s all mine!!

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    Melanie @ Bon Appet'Eat posted July 8, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Wow you got spoiled :) ! What a pleasure to have all of that on your door step!
    I visited Blue Apron website, it looks like a great thing to try!

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    Michelle Lahey posted July 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I need to try that Double Awesome! And I feel like all I’ve done lately is eat…but I had some amazing Fish & Chips at Joe Fish in N. Andover last night.

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    Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods posted July 9, 2014 at 12:25 am

    I’ve seen Blue Apron but wasn’t exactly sure what it is all about. Thanks!
    I still iffy on beets. The only way I like them is sliced thin and cooked under the broiler.

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    Juliana posted July 9, 2014 at 1:35 am

    Thanks for the post Bianca…I learned a lot about the Blue Apron.
    Have a great week :D

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    The Squishy Monster posted July 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    What a mouthwatering lineup of eats! I’ve been trying to like beets but so far no luck, lol.

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    Choc Chip Uru posted July 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Mmm, I don’t know which dish to start with first – deliciousness everywhere :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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    Alessandra // the foodie teen posted July 10, 2014 at 6:33 am

    That blue apron box is genius! I love setting out my mise en place (there’s a reason I have, hmm, 26 small glass bowls!), so it’d be perfect for me!

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    Molly Galler posted July 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    I have been wondering about Blue Apron. I’ve been served up their paid Facebook ads for weeks. I too hated beets until the beet spread at Sofra! I agree, that hot pink color is magnificent. Any day is a good day for the Mei Mei double awesome! So delish.

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