Did you know that Aldi’s has a cult-like following? I’m a member of a Facebook group that talks about new products and gives reviews and recently folks were talking about Meyer Lemons. Ohhhh they’re so sweet! You can eat like them like an orange! Ohh magical lemons! I’m totally down for some miraculous citrus so I buy in. I picked up a bag a couple weeks ago and one night I peeled one of these mysterious fruits and took a big bite.
I had a very bitter surprise that these things are NOT in ANY WAY sweet. In fact, I found them to be more bitter than a normal lemon (which I will eat raw when served as a garnish. Don’t judge). I made probably 50 various bitter/tart/sour faces before I could get up and do something different with my life. I felt personally victimized by the Aldi cult. And was stuck with a bag of lemons. You know the saying, when life gives you (or an Aldi group tricks you into buying) lemons, make something.
I thought about making a lemon curd to go with that cheesecake I made last week (which, update: was delicious. Even the kiddos who typically claim to ‘not like’ cheesecake were fans. It’s be requested again for our next get together. I feel vindicated from that minor crack!) but ran out of time. I figured since my bffl is coming over for a late Christmas hang out that I’d use them for dessert. I decided to make lemonies? Which is kind like a brownie texture with a thick glaze on top. They smell delicious. They will be 100% better than just biting into a lemon, so win? The only thing I did differently was adding a little finishing salt to the top because the icing is intensely sweet.
It was a long week filled with lots of good things-I had dinner with a good friend and lunch with another. I finally got to try our Blue Apron x WW meals and they were a huge hit! We had three meals: seared pork chops and salsa verde with kale, radishes, and sweet peppers; smoky seared cod and lemon-date sauce over potatoes and kale; and roasted chicken and jalapeno-orange sauce with sautéed cabbage and mashed potatoes. I don’t have great pictures of any of these recipes but I was wildly impressed with all of them.
To say I was skeptical at first is an understatement. We had purchased another food box subscription several years ago and were seriously disappointed with how bland and overall terrible the recipes were-so Blue Apron was already facing an uphill battle with me. I’m a pretty proficient cook but sometimes I don’t have it in me to think out meals, prep, and cook them every night. Typically, that’s when I’d revert to the easiest thing possible-either at home or by eating out. Blue Apron x WW gives me another option when time and energy are at a premium.
The seared pork chops was our first go and I was concerned about the flavors they were throwing together. Also, pork can be pretty meh unless you know how to do something fun with it. However, this was a surprise hit! The salsa verde was a mix of capers, roasted red peppers, rosemary, lemon, garlic, and olive oil and was so good! I cannot wait to make this again. I was also shocked how delicious sautéed radishes were? Who knew. Even the kale wasn’t terrible.
Next up was the roasted chicken with a jalapeno-orange sauce. I gave up my skepticism and gave into the flavor that Blue Apron was bringing. This dish was probably my favorite of the three and I’m already looking forward to making the chicken again. The chicken was baked with a smoky spice blend (sweet paprika, smoked paprika, ground mustard, garlic powder, and onion powder) and the sauce was added when plated (pickled jalapenos, honey, orange juice, and garlic)-it was delicious! The mashed potatoes were a little dry (I fixed that though) and the sautéed cabbage was a little so-so, but that chicken? One of the best baked chicken breast recipes I’ve found.
Our last meal was the smoky seared cod. I was excited about the lemon-date sauce (lemon juice, dried Medjool dates, garlic, shallots) but the rest seemed a little lacking. The cod was good (it had the same smoky spice blend as the chicken) but I was hoping for a little more from the sauce. The kale salad was fine (it was served with a simple vinaigrette) and the roasted potatoes (which we served on the side, not mixed in with the kale) were just your normal roasted potatoes. A solid meal.
I look forward to our next two boxes from Blue Apron x WW! I hope that as they continue to grow with WW that they will focus on using more of the 0 point foods and keep boosting the flavor profiles. If you are looking for new recipes and need meals delivered to your door-give Blue Apron a try. I don’t know how cost-effective Blue Apron is for a family bigger than ours, or to use every week, but I am grateful for the option at the touch of a button (the app is super friendly and allows you to not only choose your meals for the week, but also skip weeks with ease) when I need something to help keep me on track.
Have you tried any food boxes? Thoughts?