Posted in Food

Upgrading From Ramen, The Journey.

I have been feeling nostalgic lately and started playing a few Wii games that I enjoyed in junior high. Cooking Mama was obviously a must. I came to the realization that I have not fulfilled my potential as a “cooking mama” pro in real life. In fact, I only prepare freezer meals or bowls of ~gourmet~ cereal.

The point is, I’m lazy. Having to methodically plan out meals and then remember to actually buy ALL the ingredients at the store is a hassle. Another struggle is living in a small town with limited access to a wide variety of fresh ingredients.  So.. I am taking a leap into adulthood and beginning a journey to better food!

Hello Fresh is my source of food for week 1 of this journey.

I only cook for myself during the week, so from Hello Fresh, I chose the smallest amount of food: 3 meals that are made for two people…… so basically all the meals I will need for the work week!

Monday

*Delivery* The big ol’ box arrived at my desk before lunch, and everyone at work was so intrigued that we had to open it up and check it all out! Each meal was separated into small shoebox size boxes, and the meat was individually packaged and placed between two huge ice gel packs.

*Cooking Time* I have not been this excited to cook in quite some time. The delivery made it super simple, so I did not have to scrounge around my cabinets attempting to find all the ingredients or hope that I actually bought the right thing. As for measuring utensils? I only used a measuring cup and a tablespoon.

The instructions are in full color with photos and easy to follow. The “cookbook” that came with the order is magical. You can tear out the page you need with ease, and the front of the page shows the finished product and lists every single ingredient you will need.

*Mega Plus* Not only do I have amazing food to make this week, but I have new recipes for life!

Seriously, I am obsessed with the recipe cards. They are printed on thick cardstock and covered in some type of magical force field. No matter how much random oils, food, water, etc. I dripped on the card, I was able to wipe everything off, leaving the card looking good as new.

Okay, enough fangirling about packaging. For Monday’s dinner, I feasted on Argentinean style cod on a bed of rice, covered in chimichurri, and served with roasted tomatoes and zucchini!

Tuesday

For lunch on Tuesday, I used the leftover oils and covered the fish in tin foil and popped it back in the oven for ten minutes. Somehow this fish made even better leftovers. That dang chimichurri sauce was to die for. I ended up mixing the rice and veggies together and ate the chimichurri with some chips for an afternoon snack.

I had made dinner plans with friends on Tuesday, so I actually cooked the next meal during my lunch break on Wednesday!

Wednesday

I felt like I was on some type of cooking show with a strict time limit! 

Attempting to cook a full meal, walk my dog, and make it back to work within an hour proved to be a hefty challenge. Luckily, I chopped all the veggies and herbs before work Wednesday morning.

The meal for the day was upgraded steak and potatoes. The Hello Fresh website hit the nail on the head with their description of the meal;” This stunner of a dinner comes together with seared steak, a decadent herb pan sauce, and a colorful pairing of sweet potatoes and green beans. There’s even a French flair in there with a sprinkling of crunchy slivered almonds, also known as amandine”

By the time I was finished cooking, I looked at the time and accepted my defeat, packed my deliciously fresh lunch into a togo container, and saved the rest for an oven-reheated dinner.

Thursday

I had a lunch out with coworkers, so I did not have to attempt be America’s next top chef in 45 minutes.  

Once 5 p.m. came around, I went straight home, preheated the oven, walked Shiner and got to cooking! Creamy mushroom pork chops with roasted Brussels sprouts and crispy potatoes. Wow! Who knew cream of mushroom soup could make a bomb sauce!

Believe me, if you asked Lauren 5 years ago what vegetables she enjoyed, the response would be “normal potatoes (red potatoes are not normal) and corn.” Fast forward to today, and my response would have to be “I can’t name a vegetable I don’t like.”

With past and present Lauren in mind, there are still some lingering feelings of vegetables need lots of extra flavor in order for them to be delicious, I am learning with Hello Fresh that this mantra is far from true. Just by simply sprinkling some olive oil, salt, and pepper, vegetables can truly shine and release their very own delicious flavors. The crispy Brussels sprouts and golden-edged potatoes paired so perfectly with the pork chops covered in a savory sauce with tons of mushrooms.

Friday

Attempting to reheat pork chops was interesting. Earlier in the week, my steak was pretty rare so reheating it in the oven only made the steak better and a perfect medium! I had cooked the pork chops pretty well done the first time, because lighter meats freak me out when they are not cooked all the way. This made for very dry leftovers, but a wet paper towel over the food in the microwave helped keep some moisture in the pork chop. The paper towel also helped from causing the veggies to overcook. After a minute and a half, I added the mushroom sauce on top for 30 more seconds of cooking *Bellissimo*

If you want the recipes I tried for this blog click this link and go to the Hello Fresh folder!

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