I’m bringing blogging back!
First things first, I wanted to apologize for my absence from the blogosphere! Between finishing up graduate school and starting a new job, things have been just a liiiiittle bit hectic – but now I’m back, and hope to keep up with this little old blog. The real shout out for this post goes out to Cara of Blue Apron and Big Girls Small Kitchen. When she emailed me asking if I’d like to try out her new food delivery service I knew it was the perfect opportunity to get back into blogging.
Blue Apron is perfect for the home cook who is in a time crunch (this totally resonated with me). They send you a box stocked with all the necessary ingredients to make three mouth-watering recipes. From the protein to the spices, they don’t leave anything out. The portion size is also perfect, making just enough for two people (or one, with leftovers!). For those who are watching their figure, each recipe also provides calorie counts per serving. It takes all the work out of cooking, and is something I can’t even begin to express how much I love (and no one paid me to say this**). The ingredients are also of great quality, an amazing feat given that they’re all sent in a cardboard box.
For my first recipe I made za’atar shrimp and green beans with lemon yogurt over couscous. It’s a fantastic recipe with a fancy name and it’s deceivingly easy to prepare. With all of the ingredients pre-measured, it only took me about 30 minutes to make from start to finish, and I really can’t ask for much more when it comes to eating delicious food!
Za’atar Shrimp & Green Beans with Lemon Yogurt over Couscous
- 8 ounces green beans
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch mint
- 1 shallot
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
- 3/4 cup couscous
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
- 10 ounces shrimp (the shrimp Blue Apron provides is already peeled and de-veined!)
- 1 tsp za'atar (a combination of thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, and sumac)
- First, prepare all of your ingredients. Wash and dry vegetables, trim stems off green beans, peel and mince the garlic and shallot, cut tomatoes in half, and remove mint leaves from their stems.
- Using a small pot, heat 1 cup water over high heat until boiling. Pour in couscous, remove from heat, and cover with a lid for about five minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed.
- To make your lemon yogurt, combine Greek yogurt, half of the garlic paste, and the juice of half a lemon. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Drizzle tomatoes with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- In a large saucepan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook for one minute. Reduce heat to medium, add green beans, and cook 4-5 minutes until bright green.
- Add shrimp to saucepan and the remaining garlic. Cook 1-3 minutes until shrimp is pink and fully cooked (I found that covering with the saucepan with a lid and letting the shrimp sit worked well). Sprinkle the za'atar and squeeze the remaining lemon over the shrimp. Add half of the mint and remove from heat.
- Divide couscous evenly and top with shrimp and green beans. Top with lemon yogurt and devour!
If you’d like try out Blue Apron, visit their website using this link and it’ll get you a 30% discount! I promise – it’s well worth trying out! You can also sign up for the Blue Apron newsletter here.
**As a disclaimer, Blue Apron sent me a free box to try the product. All opinions expressed here are my own and I received no other compensation.
I told you I would bring back Must-Make Mondays!
I’m short on time, so my love of Iowa Girl Eats might not be adequately expressed in this post, but I can assure you, this is one blog you must check out! Kristin’s blog has been one of my favorites since my food blog reading obsession began about a year ago. She’s your go-to-girl if you’re looking for quick and easy weeknight dinners, and her step-by-step photos make each and every recipe so enticing! Just check out these chicken gyro sliders or this spinach and artichoke dip chicken. While recipes for sweets are less common, she won’t steer you wrong with those either. Case in point: these raspberry lemonade crumb muffins.
They’re light and fluffy and scream spring/summer with their lemon flavor and juicy raspberries. I dare you to eat just one (disclaimer: it’s not possible). These photos just don’t do them justice, so pop on over to Iowa Girl Eats for the recipe!
With grad school wrapping up and a new job around the corner, my meals have become two things: quick and easy.
Despite all the shortcuts I take for my meals (can you say canned tuna on a bed of lettuce?), one shortcut I refuse to take is with store-bought granola. The minimal effort it takes to make your own is worth the peace of mind knowing exactly what went into it. Taking 30-45 minutes to whip up a big batch ensures I’ve got enough granola to top my morning yogurt for at least a couple weeks.
This particular granola comes from one of my favorite blogs that I’ve mentioned in the past, How Sweet It Is. I’ve mentioned Jessica before in my Must Make Mondays post (that I’ll reinstate one day, I promise). Her recipes are creative, her photography is gorgeous, and you better bet I’ll be one of the first people in line to buy her cookbook when it comes out.
So in the style of the brown butter queen, I took a page from her book and added it to this granola. It adds a level of complexity that is unmatched. Add in some almonds, ground flax, and dried cranberries and you’ve got a healthy granola that totally negates the impact of the minimal amount of butter.
- 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1/2 ground flax seed
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 heaping cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, whisking constantly until butter begins to brown. Remove from heat and stir in honey and vanilla extract.
- In a large bowl, stir together oats, almond, ground flax, cinnamon, and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until mixture is fully coated.
- Spread granola over parchment or silicone baking mat-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, then bake for another 10 minutes. From this point forward, stir every 3 minutes until granola is light brown (this took 6 minutes for me). Let cool completely, then stir in dried cranberries. Serve as desired (over yogurt, like cereal with milk, etc.)