A few years ago, Charlie and I decided to upgrade our date-night ins with Blue Apron meal boxes. For more than two years, we enjoyed cooking dinner together every Thursday night and trying new foods and flavors.
While we discontinued our weekly Blue Apron subscription about a year ago when co-parenting times shifted a bit, I love adapting those fun meals to enjoy today.
This meal is full of Mexican flavor and is a great way to get more vegetables on your plates, too. It comes together in 30-45 minutes, so add this one to your week-night meal rotation!
Adobo Beef with Roasted Vegetables and Fresh Salsa
adapted from Mexican Beef Bowls recipe by Blue Apron
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 3 tablespoons of Mexican spice blend, see recipe below
- 2 carrots, halved lenth-wise and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
- 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeños, diced (less or more, depending on your heat preference)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 lime, halved
Mexican spice blend: 1 tablespoon each of Adobo chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika. 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Mix together and store in airtight container.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine carrots and broccoli. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat. On an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan, arrange carrots and broccoli in one layer. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the Mexican spice blend. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until vegetables are browned.
- While the vegetables roast, add rice, 2 cups of water, and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan on high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on low until water is absorbed. Remove rice from heat, fluff with a fork, and cover until the rest of the meal is prepared.
- While the rice cooks and the vegetables continue roasting, combine quartered tomatoes, juice from 1/2 of lime, and diced jalapeños in a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- In a large saute pan, brown ground beef over medium heat, breaking into smaller pieces. Drain fat from the pan and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of Mexican spice blend. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir to combine. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
- While beef cooks, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and juice from 1/2 lime in a small bowl. Whisk to create a Baja sauce for drizzling or dipping.
- Serve rice alongside beef with roasted vegetables and salsa on top. Finish with a drizzle of Baja sauce and sprinkle of cotija or parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for a quick, healthy alternative for lunches or light dinners, I’m here for ya, sister. In my family, we pull together a big batch of this delicious pasta salad for family vacations every year. Mix it all together in a large tupperware bowl and you’re set!
Garden Pasta Salad
- 16 oz. rotini pasta
- 1 medium cucumber, sliced
- 16 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup Balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 cup Italian dressing
- Parmesan cheese, for garnish
- Cook pasta to ‘al dente’ according to box directions. Rinse with cold water in a colander until pasta is no longer warm.
- While the pasta is cooking, add vegetables and dressing to a large bowl. Stir to combine and place in refrigerator to chill.
- Once pasta is cool, add to vegetables and dressing and mix thoroughly. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
This easy, one-pot meal is perfect for weeknights. Dinner will be ready in about an hour and a half, but most of the cooking time is inactive, giving you time to tidy up, help your kids with homework, or sit by the fire and unwind like I did tonight.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 bunch green onions, sliced thin
- 3 raw boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 1 4-oz. container vegetable cream cheese
- 1 10.5 oz. can golden mushroom soup
- 1 1-oz. package dry Italian dressing mix
- 4 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 lb. spaghetti, uncooked
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, melt butter on medium heat. Add green onions and sauté until tender.
- Add chicken, cream cheese, soup, dressing mix, and chicken broth. Stir to combine, cover, and simmer on low for one hour, stirring occasionally.
- Break spaghetti into thirds and stir into sauce. Cover and simmer until spaghetti is al dente, approximately 15 minutes.
- Garnish with grated parmesan and serve.
Trees dropping their leaves, green grass fading to gold, winds picking up… fall is happening here at Crangle Hall, though it seems to be moving at a snail’s pace.
Among my favorite recipes for the ‘ber months (you know, September, October, November…) is hot mulled cider. We pour ours over an ounce or two of bourbon, but hot mulled cider is great without the booze, too!
Hot Mulled Apple Cider
- 1/2 gallon apple cider
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 orange, sliced
- In a large pot on medium-high heat, combine all ingredients and stir.
- Bring to a boil and drop heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Serve warm in a glass mug with a cinnamon stick for garnish.
Growing up, my sweet Momma made homemade bolognese and spaghetti for dinner almost every Monday night. I try to do the same, but if I’m being honest, most Monday nights I’m reaching for marinara in a jar. And I am decidedly feeling no shame in my game!
This Baked Penne dish comes together quickly, and you’ve probably got most of these ingredients sitting in your cupboard. It calls for minimal ingredients preparation, which frees me up to spend time with my kids or enjoy a cold one on the porch instead of sweating it away in front of the stove after working all day.
- 16 oz. penne pasta
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 t. onion powder
- 1 t. garlic powder
- 1 1/2 t. salt
- 1 t. black pepper
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 24-oz. jars marinara sauce
- 12 slices provolone cheese
- In a large pot, cook penne pasta to al dente according to package directions.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9×13 inch baking dish.
- Brown ground beef over medium heat and season with onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Once cooked through, add sour cream and stir to combine. Lower heat to low and add one jar of marinara sauce to the beef and sour cream, stirring occasionally until heated through.
- Once penne pasta is cooked to al dente, drain and place back into the large pot. Add marinara mixture and stir to combine.
- Next, layer half of pasta, 6 slices of provolone, and half of marinara in baking dish. Repeat layering one more time and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.
- Allow to stand for at least five minutes before serving. Enjoy!