tacos & other between-holiday meals

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, Food & Fitness40 Comments

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron.  All words and opinions are, as always, honest and my own.

I do enjoy cooking, but I have a threshold.  If I am spending the better part of the day baking pies and prepping food to get ready for a holiday dinner, I don’t want to have to think about tonight’s dinner.  And it’s nice to have easy meals waiting in the wings for when the leftovers run out, too.

My Blue Apron box arrived just in time to give me some meal options to work around Thanksgiving.

And that box is filled with farm-fresh ingredients, carefully packed to survive transit and possibly sitting at your front door before you get home from errands or work.   I was busy helping the boys with their homework when this package arrived, so it sat for a while before I had time to unpack it.

I made the Ancho Beef Tacos first.  It was Tuesday, after all.

Now, I will confess to being a habitual eater.  I have the things I like and I tend to just stick in that circle.  I can eat the same thing over and over again and it takes me a long time before I get sick of it.  I’m not opposed to trying new foods, but it’s just easier to stick with what I know I already like.

Besides, it gets expensive experimenting with new recipes when you can’t buy just one tablespoon of a certain type of mustard or one cup of a specialty cheese.  Everything in the Blue Apron box is perfectly portioned for each recipe, so I don’t end up with an entire jar of a rarely-used spice hanging out in a cabinet until it finally expires

The taco recipe involved using a cut of beef I hadn’t used before and they were topped with radishes, so I was definitely stepping outside of my usual.  Not sure about radishes on tacos, but I’ve learned that I just need to trust the recipe.  They have been created and tested by very talented chefs after all!

I just follow all of the directions step-by-step.  The Blue Apron instruction cards are even better than having a recipe, because each one gives precise times and tips, so the food is well prepared and I add new skills to my culinary repertoire in the process.

The other thing I love about some of these recipes is all of the little inside, chef-y secrets you learn –

Like radishes are better marinated in lime juice…

…and sauces can be quick and easy to make at home, but taste like high-end restaurant food…

…and a sprinkle of cheese puts baked potato rounds over the edge.

I wish I had a better “beauty shot” of these, but I really did make these tacos for dinner and it gets dark depressingly early these days.  But, here is the end result…

I also learned that lime-marinated radishes are the bomb on tacos.  It gives that crunch you normally get from lettuce, but it brings even more crunch and flavor to the party.

When I last posted about Blue Apron, a few readers expressed concern over the potential waste from the packaging and fridge packs, so I wanted to mention that they have a recycling program.  You can ship all packaging back to Blue Apron via USPS for free or they will help you locate local recycling options to utilize.

A few other things I like about Blue Apron

  • Each menu is between 500-800 calories per person, so all of the meals are reasonable to fit into a healthy diet.
  • Servings start at $8.99/person, which certainly beats what you’d pay for a plate like this at a restaurant.
  • All meals can be cooked in 40 minutes or less.  Very important when you’re not good with time.  Like me.

Are you interested in giving Blue Apron a try?  Or perhaps gifting it to someone who needs a little help in the dinner department?  (Husbands, be careful with that one.  Offer to cook it, too, and then you’ll be a hero.)

The first 50 readers who sign up will get their first three meals FREE!  And, don’t worry.  There is absolutely no commitment.  You can skip meals or cancel at any time.  So, if you really just want it to help you get through a the busy holiday season, you can do that.  And if you just want meals for certain weeks, you can do that, too.

Just click HERE to sign up!

tacos & other between-holiday meals

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40 Comments on “tacos & other between-holiday meals”

  1. $8.99/person seems awfully high to me. Sure it’s less than a restaurant meal but I pride myself on keeping most of our weeknight meals on an average of about $4/person. Maybe a once in awhile treat but certainly not affordable for me on a daily basis!

    1. Yes, I use these meal services as a “sometimes thing”, but it does get expensive if you do it all the time. It’s nice when you get stuck, though, want to try new things, or just need a few meals in a week that you don’t have to think about.

  2. It would be a lovely gift for someone. You know like Omah Steakhouse………. I doubt if they deliver to
    Nowhereville, New Hampshire. lol Never say never and it would be a treat to try it at least once.

  3. So how many servings did that recipe make? Didn’t look like more than an appetizer for a man of the House.

    1. It made two servings and I’ve always felt satisfied after one of their meals (we even have leftovers usually). It does depend on the meal, though.

  4. We used Blue Apron for 6 months. I thought some of the recipes were too complicated for a weekday supper but we enjoyed the convience. My daughter tried Hello Fresh and wanted to give us a free week so I suspended BA. We really like Hello Fresh, and I started choosing meals after 3 months instead of just taking what they send. The recipes were much simpler and prep times more like 30 minutes. We’ve been getting it for 6 months. I’ve suspended it through the holidays. After the first of the year I’m going to try Home Chef. It’s a fairly new home delivery meal plan. I know one thing for sure…I will always have a meal delivery of some kind. Love it!!!

    1. It is really nice to throw into the mix of everyday dinners. I really have learned a lot and I hang onto the recipe cards and make our favorite meals again!

  5. I have a 8 1/2 year old rabbit who eats fresh herbs 2x daily, so I’m often at the grocery store / farmers market anyway. BA seems like a nice convenience though and looks yummy!

  6. I’ve been been using Blue Apron for about 6 months and made that same meal last week! Loved the radishes in lime juice! And the sweet potatoes with cheese were delicious! Since I live alone, I can often get 2-3 meals from each recipe so it’s quite economical for me and since they send just what you need, there’s no waste. I get a delivery every other week and love the convenience and variety.

  7. Looks yummy but I found BA to be too labor intensive and I really like to cook. Hello Fresh is just as good and much simpler

  8. I always put radishes on my tacos! They provide a peppery flavor and tons of crunch. I didn’t realize that it is a novelty.

    1. Totally new to me! But, tacos in my house growing up were made of ground beef (with taco mix), beans, cheese, sour cream, etc. As I’ve cooked more as an adult, I’ve come to love avocados, tomatillos, and now radishes! All kinds of fun things to make tacos even more tasty!

  9. I tried BA and liked it too! The portions were a bit small, but really liked it! We are now using Hello Fresh. Love it too and the portions are larger. I swear I feel like I am a chef now and since it is just my husband and I now that we are empty nesters it is perfect for us!

  10. At first I was impressed with Blue Apron several months ago but I feel like their offerings have not been up to par recently. For example, offerings like glorified grilled cheese, or something similar to a hamburger helper type meal in my opinion are totally not worth the premium price they charge. However, I love that the ingredients provided are precise and fresh. The last box we received included fresh kale in every mail, and that was a little bit of overkill. ( I didn’t preview the offerings that week, so didn’t realize the over abundance of kale. Yes, I know it is in season!!!). I love to cook and in the past have dabbled in catering, so I know my way around the kitchen pretty well. If cost is not an issue, I definitely think you should try some type of service like this, especially in the winter months when it is not easy to get fresh local produce.

    1. Yeah, that would be too much kale for me!! I think that’s a good point about using it during the winter months. I tried winter vegetables that I never really liked before, like brussel sprouts, and found I liked them when prepared properly.

      1. It’s just that time of year, to be honest. Everyone is trying to get their advertising in during the holiday season and, as a blogger, it’s an important time for income. I almost always end up with a lot of sponsored posts stacked up together in November and December. The sponsored posts are always disclosed, so you can feel free to skip over them if it’s on a product or service that doesn’t interest you.

        Please know, though, that I only work with brands I believe my readers will be interested in and that I feel good about promoting. Also, this is my job and it does need to bring in an income. I’m sure you can understand that.

        1. Was not trying to ruffle any feathers, just letting you know we miss your decorating and styling posts. Just saying not into all these advertising (sponsored) posts lately, which are an addition to the ones always on the side bar and between pictures and posts (totally understand these) .

          I do understand needing an income, I have always been a working wife and mom…..
          And I do believe you do want your readers to leave a comment, that is why the box is there in the first place 🙂

          1. Thanks for coming back and leaving another comment, Leslie. I didn’t take your comment as mean-spirited and I know you were just giving your honest feedback. And, you’re right, the comment box is there for you to share what’s on your mind and it doesn’t always have to be a pat on the back. 🙂

            I was trying to answer the question, more to let you know why there are more than usual. (Because there definitely are!) It really is just the season to advertise and I need to take advantage of that, because it falls off a cliff in the first quarter.

    1. Yes, I think it’s been a tad bit overly excessive recently too. I want the old Miss Mustard Seed back!

      1. She mentioned it’s a seasonal thing, so don’t fret. And there’s a plus side; knowledge is power, and you’ll be a more informed consumer in the end 🙂

  11. What did your children think about this meal? Did they like it? I have to consider my grandchildren’s taste.

  12. I am a busy working mother with 3 children. I can’t imagine being to busy to shop for our needs at the local grocery store. Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking at all and those are the days I say Pizza!! This meal delivery thing seems over the top to me. Maybe because I love cooking that I want to shop for my own ingredients and I love to can all summer and fall and enjoy using my own. I’m not saying its a bad thing, I’m saying I don’t understand it when people say they are too busy. Or prefer to have someone compile a dinner……….

    1. It’s not so much about being too busy, for me. I like these meal services to learn new cooking techniques and recipes and I like not having to think about dinner. I can cook it, but it’s all planned and ready to go in my fridge! It’s not going to make sense for everyone, though. 🙂

  13. Those tacos look delicious! I’ll be trying the radishes on mine. I cook from scratch most nights but I’m super busy so I tried BA (just me & my teenage daughter). PROS: The food was delicious, the recipes were rather involved but it was fine for me, we tried food we haven’t eaten before and it was quick to make. CONS: the delivery was a nightmare but I believe this was Fedex’s issue, both boxes we received were not packaged well with the ingredients rolling around which caused most of the produce to get battered, I can see how the involved recipes would be intimidating for someone who rarely cooks, its pricey, and the portion sizes were ridiculously small on some of the items.

  14. I love that you’re trying things that are “out-of-the-box”! Lol. I’m definitely going to try the radishes and the cheese on the sweet potatoes. You didn’t mention, or I missed it whether everything, including the meat comes in the box? Do you have to shop for some of the ingredients?

  15. I tried BA last time you blogged about it – the pros were that it really did taste very good (the shrimp po’ boys were delicious) and it was definitely enough food. The cons were it was ALOT of steps in the foods they sent to me and I had to hurry and make everything in three days as things were starting to spoil already. I love to cook, but with working full time, that about put me over the edge!! Also, when I received the box, it was smashed and VERY jostled so the chives and other things were strewn about here and there inside the box!!

    1. Oh man! I’m sorry to hear that. I received one box that didn’t fair well in the mail also, but I think that’s just a part of getting things in the mail. Did you let them know? Usually, they will compensate you in some way for the damage.

  16. What we know about your sponsored posts is that your heart is it. These posts showcase items that you truly benefit from, and in turn, you believe we would benefit from. I have gained so much knowledge, insight and inspiration from Miss Mustard Seed. Sponsored posts seem a small price to pay.

  17. Just a comment on the radishes. Years ago , 30 or more, when I lived in Calif. I had some Mexican friends, radishes where the norm on their tacos. So it’s not a new thing at all, just authentic Mexican I guess you would say.

  18. Replying late as I only getting to my emails now, sorry! Hubby and I get the New Zealand version – My Food Bag, and I will honestly never go back to buying my own groceries again. Both of us work full time and trying to think what to cook for dinner is such a chore. So we always end up getting take away with fresh veggies going off in the fridge. With the food bag, we don’t have to think about it, we just get home, take a recipe and make dinner – spending time together after a long day cooking together and then enjoying a lovely healthy meal.

  19. Never tried BA but it is in my thoughts. I appreciate all the comments and their evaluations . I had a stoke last year and need my husband to cook and do most everything for me. He often picks up takeout or thaws out something in the freezer. We have even done a couple crockpot meals.

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