Cook With Me: Blue Apron’s Potato and Pepper Shakshuka

Cook With Me: Blue Apron’s Potato and Pepper Shakshuka

I’m excited to start a new series on my blog all about cooking! Those of you who know me know I have never been much of a cook, sometimes out of laziness and sometimes out of pure lack of knowledge. I’ve always wanted to make more of an effort to start cooking and learning new recipes, and I was finally given the perfect opportunity when my mom asked if I would want to share a Blue Apron subscription with her.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Blue Apron is a meal delivery service that sends you all of the ingredients, as well as the recipes, for healthy meals. We tried two of the recipes last week, and I was pleasantly surprised by how simple and delicious they both were! Blue Apron sends you everything you need, and the instructions were easy to follow (even for a novice like myself).

In today’s post I’m going to share photos and the recipe from the first meal we prepared: Potato and Pepper Shakshuka with Harissa and Pita Chips. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cage-free farm eggs
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 pocketless pitas
  • 3/4 lb golden potatoes
  • 6 oz carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 oz sweet peppers
  • 1 tbsp red harissa paste
  • 1 1/2 oz feta cheese
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp za’atar seasoning

Recipe

You can find the full recipe on Blue Apron’s website, but here is a sneak peak at the steps:

  1. Dice the potatoes, and cook in a pot of boiling water for 8 to 9 minutes.
  2. Peel and chop the carrots, onion and peppers, and chop the garlic.
  3. Cut each pita into 8 equal-sized wedges.
  4. Cook the veggies for 6 to 7 minutes in a large pan, seasoning with salt and pepper
  5. Add the tomato paste and harissa paste to the pan; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the cooked potatoes and 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes
  7. Create two wells in the shakshuka, and add the eggs, then bake in oven for 5 to 6 minutes.
  8. Drizzle olive oil and za’atar seasoning on the pita chips, coating on each side, then toast in the oven for 7 to 9 minutes.

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Full disclosure, I had never heard of shakshuka before, but I think it turned out really delicious! I think the only part I could have done better was the pita chips, which were slightly too crispy. Other than that, I think I managed to prepare a great first Blue Apron meal, with the help of my mom of course.

Have you ever eaten, or cooked, shakshuka before? Have you tried Blue Apron, or another meal delivery? Let me know in the comments!

My Plan for a Happy 2016

My Plan for a Happy 2016

Happy-New-Year-Resolutions-2016-

Hey everyone! I know January is already halfway over, but I figure it’s never too late to share my New Year’s Resolutions with you. My goals for this year all revolve around a specific desire to be happier than I was last year. Now, that’s not to say I wasn’t happy in 2015; last year was actually one of the best years of my life! But I think everyone is always striving to be even happier, so that is what I will attempt to accomplish in 2016.

With this in mind, I came up with a motto of sorts that I hope will define this year:

Take risks, and take care 

To me, this means that I want to focus on leaving fear behind me, and I also want to focus on self care and being more aware of how I am treating my own mind and body. I often feel frustrated or unhappy with my life, which I have talked about in past blogs. I want to take this new year to really take control of my own happiness and make changes in my life that I feel will improve my happiness.

I have separated some specific resolutions into two categories based on my new motto, along with a description for why they are my resolutions and how I hope to achieve them.

do-one-thingRisks:

  • Take an improv class

The idea for improv to be my new hobby came to me rather suddenly, and the more I think about it the more sense it makes. I used to love acting in middle and high school, and I took an improv class one summer and really enjoyed it. I think this will be an awesome way to get outside my comfort zone, meet new people, and pick back up an old passion. I signed up for a 6 week class already, and I’ll start in February!

  • Learn to cook

My inability to cook has actually been an insecurity of mine for a while. My mom and sister love to cook and I have just never followed in their path for whatever reason. I was always either too busy or lacking motivation to learn to cook in college, but now is the perfect time in my life to go for it! I put this in the category of “risks” because for me, it is a bit of a risk. I have always been scared to try new things, and cooking is definitely new territory for me. My plan is to learn to cook one new recipe per week this year. Wish me luck!

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Care:

  • Exercise regularly

I got really good at exercising three to four times a week for a while, but as soon as I started my job in November that all disappeared. While it used to be easy to work out in the middle of the day if I wanted to, I am now constricted to either early in the morning, late at night or on the weekends. Unfortunately I let this slight hurdle stop me from even trying. This year, I plan to find a yoga class or another type of class at my gym during weekday nights, and also go to the gym to work out on weekends.

  • Make time for friends

This one is very important to me. Spending time with friends brings me a lot of happiness, and I don’t feel like I make enough time for my social life as of now. It’s just too easy to go home and watch TV every night. I think making an effort to see friends at least 3 times a week, even if it’s just for a quick dinner, will make a huge difference.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my plan to have a happy 2016. I’d love to hear what some of your resolutions or goals or just general thoughts are for this year!