Spice-Rubbed Pork Medallions + Blue Apron Review & Giveaway

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I’m super excited to bring you this new recipe today.  While I know I bring you new recipes every post, this one is special.  It’s a Blue Apron recipe…

Blue Apron sent me a complimentary box of theirs to review.  For those of you who have never heard of Blue Apron, I’ll give you a brief introduction.  Blue Apron is a once-a-week grocery subscription service.  They do the meal planning and grocery shopping for you, all you have to do is cook it.  Each week in your box, you receive detailed recipe cards with step-by-step pictures and fresh (pre-measured) ingredients for three meals.  They send you all the ingredients you need, expecting you only to have a couple of pans, oil, and salt and pepper.

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Even though I am a food blogger, I don’t always enjoy doing all the preparation work of meal planning and grocery shopping. (Just like I mentioned here).  Needless to say, I was thrilled to receive my Blue Apron box, skip the meal planning and grocery shopping, and just start cooking.

I received three recipes in my box: Spice-Rubbed Pork Medallions, Cod with Crispy Kale, Roasted Tomato & Fregola Sarda, and Lemon Basil Chicken with Corn & Shiitake Mushroom “Risotto”.

To be perfectly honest, I was skeptical about whether we would like the meals or not.  My husband saw the pork and was thrilled.  I think maybe we eat to much chicken…time to branch out a little more!

A quick review of the 3 meals:

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Spice-Rubbed Pork Medallions with Peach Salsa & Cilantro-Green Bean Rice: My husband’s favorite meal, he loved the pork even without the peach salsa – who knew he loved pork so much??  I thought the pork was delicious and the salsa similar to mine.  The salsa added a wonderful flavor to the meat.  My only criticism is that the rice was a bit bland.  I realize that this could have been helped by adding more salt, but I don’t like to add much salt to recipes.  All-in-all it was still really good. (And we even had leftovers – a bonus in my book!)

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Cod with Crispy Kale, Roasted Tomato & Fregola Sarda: My husband liked this meal (minus the tomatoes).  He especially loooved the kale.  That’s odd because this was probably my favorite meal (you can’t go wrong with fish in my book), but I really didn’t like the kale.  It wasn’t the recipe, I’m just not a fan of oven-baked kale.  I thought the fish topped with roasted tomatoes was divine and loved the fregola sarda, which was quite the novelty since I’d never had it before.

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Lemon Basil Chicken with Corn & Shiitake Mushroom “Risotto”: Once again, both of us really liked this meal.  Actually, while I was cooking it, I got worried we wouldn’t like it and wished I’d just made sandwiches.  Once I tried it though, I gobbled it down and there was nothing left for the next meal.  It was surprisingly delicious and kept me coming back to empty the pan. I’d never tried radishes before and actually really liked them.

As with any review, I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t let you know the things that disappointed me.  I’ll give you a hint: the list is short.  My dishwasher was broken when I received the Blue Apron box, so I was really excited about it and hoping this would mean less mess and dishes than my normal meal planning. (Actually our dishwasher wasn’t broken at all.  It turns out that I had accidentally flipped the power switch to the dishwasher without realizing it.  Please tell me I’m not the only one who has ever done this!) However, since these weren’t one-dish dinners, they weren’t any less messy than my normal meals and actually required using several pans.  Also, I would add a bit of extra prep time than what they suggest, unless you chop all your fresh produce ahead of time.  These things considered, I still really, really liked Blue Apron box and was thrilled with the variety of fresh produce.

Fun Facts about Blue Apron:

1. Fresh, locally sourced (when possible) ingredients.  I received so much fresh produce in my box, it definitely made it worth the money. (As an aside, I have tried other grocery subscription services that I was less than impressed with.  In those boxes, I received canned veggies and bouillon cubes.  Compare that with Blue Apron where I was happy to receive fresh corn on the cob instead of canned and chicken broth instead of bouillon cubes.  Way to go Blue Apron!)

2. Affordable pricing: just $9.99 per person, per meal (meaning $60 per week for 2 people). (Also, they are offering my readers 30% off) It may seem like a lot for a meal that you have to cook, but you would be hard pressed to find a meal this fresh, healthy, and gourmet for this kind of price.  Plus, we {usually} had leftovers, which translated into another meal for us the next day.

3. There is a box for everyone. For the carnivores – a meat & fish box. Turned off by meat?  No problem, Blue Apron has a vegetarian box for you.

4. Your box of groceries and recipe cards are delivered right to your front door for free.  How’s that for convenience?

5.  They have a blog that has all sorts of useful tips, such as this video teaching viewers to dice a potato in 15 seconds. (I think I need to re-watch that!)

6. Finally, if you sign up for their newsletter, they’ll send you a menu with free, full-color recipe cards every week.  (Don’t forget to like them on facebook and twitter too!)

Now the good news for you: not only did they send me a free box, but they want to send a free box to one of my readers too.  As if that’s not enough they are also offering a 30% discount to all of my readers.  Use the promo simple widget directly below the recipe to enter the giveaway. (You may have to wait a minute or two for it to show up.)

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Spice-Rubbed Pork Medallions with Peach Salsa & Cilantro-Green Bean Rice

Source: Blue Apron
Yield: 2 servings (we found it to be at least 3 servings)
3/4 cup jasmine rice 
6 ounces fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch lengths
2 fresh peaches, pitted and diced
2 sprigs basil, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lime, zested and halved
1 red onion, minced 
12 ounces pork tenderloin
1 1/2 Tablespoons pork spice rub

Directions
*1. In a saucepan, bring rice, 1 1/2 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.  Fluff with fork.
2. For the salsa: In a small bowl, combine peaches, juice of the lime, and basil.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Mix thoroughly.
3. Slice the pork crosswise into 1 1/2 inch thick medallions.  Pour the pork spice rub into a small bowl.  Coat each pork medallion thoroughly in the spice rub.  In a skillet over medium, heat about 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Once oil is hot, add pork medallions and cover pan loosely with foil.  Cook for 4-6 minutes on each side or until thoroughly cooked and no longer pink inside.  Remove from pan and keep warm.
4. In the same skillet, heat another Tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the minced onion, garlic and green beans.  Season with salt (generously) and pepper to taste.  Cook for several minutes, or until the green beans are tender-crisp.  Stir in the cooked rice, cilantro, and lime zest and cook for one minute longer or until heated through.
5. Serve pork medallions topped with peach salsa and cilantro-green bean rice on the side.
*If I was making this again, I would probably cook the rice in low-sodium chicken broth instead of water to give it more flavor

Blue Apron delivers to most of the country, but please check here before entering the giveaway to make sure you are within their delivery zone

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Comments

  1. says

    This looks delicious Laura! And I love the idea of having everything planned out for you and the box in the mail! I just might have to try that!
    Thanks for posting!

  2. says

    I love that recipe cards are sent along, in the event that you wouldn’t know what to do w/ what is mailed. I also, haven’t heard of this company so thanks for the info, I will check into it further!

  3. Lyndee G says

    I have never heard of them, I love how it is local and fresh food. The kale looks really fresh and crisp. Was it bitter at all?

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