One of the most ridiculous things to come out of a ridiculous White House budget following that giant corporate tax cut (reminder: all individual breaks are temporary) has to be Mulvaney’s idiotic claim that giving poor people boxes filled with a mix of canned and shelf-stable foods is “Blue Apron.”
First of all, Blue Apron is expensive. If you buy those ingredients in-store and adjust for price per equivalent volume I guarantee the store is cheaper. People don’t shop at Blue Apron because it’s cost efficient, people (at least, me) use it because it’s convenient, doesn’t result in leftover ingredients, and the recipes are easy.
Second, Blue Apron is pretentious. This isn’t totally bad – I got to try black garlic and a number of other heirloom varietals – but it absolutely drives a stake in the heart of Mulvaney’s BS about creating quality and saving money.
And, finally, the reason I’m not a regular consumer of Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or any other system that does meal kits: choice. When you have any sort of dietary restriction – even before introducing severe allergies into the mix – it’s unlikely that there are going to be options every week. The one person I knew on food stamps had a severe allergy to most nuts. I can’t see that ending well.
And keep in mind, these boxes do like, three meals a week (multiple servings). That’s not seven days of food for even a single person. Imagine having to plan all of this for every single one of the people on food stamps in this country, pack each box accurately, and deliver it in a timely fashion.
It’s enough to make you wonder if Mulvaney has orchestrated anything besides a government shutdown in his entire life.
After being surrounded by Blue Apron ads on the CTA, I couldn’t take it anymore so I caved in and decided to try it once.
Now, these ads are fancy as shit. They are all about heirloom products or fresh noodles or local sourcing, so I figured I should be ready to Google half their instructions. This wasn’t helped by an email I got explaining that they were sending snow peas instead of English peas this week, because who the hell knows the difference?
When I finally got the box, I felt a lot better, because this was on top:
It’s arugula! That shit is everywhere!
And then I read the actual instructions and realized that the target demographic for this kind of stuff is people who feel morally obligated to cook once in a while, but not to a) find recipes online or b) go to the grocery store themselves, and who were also probably raised in a household where potatoes or broccoli are the daily vegetable.
So, anyway, I’m pretty sure this pasta thing is going to be delicious although it could use about seventy more cloves of garlic, but the one thing you guys should know is there’s a much easier way to zest a lemon than the thing says.
Step 1: find your grater. This is going to be tricky because you probably haven’t used it in weeks.
This is not a grater.
Step 2: wash your citrus fruit with soap and water.
Step 3: grate gently on the small side. Pith is rumored to taste like ass, so I err on less, ending with something like this:
The particular flavor I have out is the Curry Bliss. I sampled like all their flavors at last year’s Green Festival (they’re skipping Chicago this year so if Veganmania hasn’t completely morphed into an animal rights psycho party I will be there instead) and this was either a recommendation or a personal preference, maybe a little of both.
Anyway they’re not capsaicin-spicy but they definitely have a good hint of turmeric and other delicious spices that are hella familiar to me. There’s a tiny bit of a greasy undercurrent but compared to regular chips it’s nothing. Also, the texture is light and airy, so these aren’t sitting in my stomach like potato chips would.
The pieces are optimally bite-sized.
And the best part is, these are made right out of the SW suburbs, minimizing the travel footprint for anyone else who lives out there.
…and am very surprised to discover my favorite is HEMP70.
I’ve had a fair bit of Vega’s various flavors, another vegan protein blend, PlantFusion, and at least a couple other things, but somehow the one I’ve liked most is the HEMP70 vanilla (aside from Naked’s banana chocolate protein drink, I’m just not a fan of chocolate-flavored mystery protein). The only downside is that it’s clumpy as hell, more so than the other ones.
As to nutrition values…I don’t actually read that stuff. Yes, I’m trying to put on more muscle, but ketone bodies ew.
The other product I have enjoyed a lot is the Athletic Superfood powder, which mixes with water to create a weirdly delicious green thing.
I love seitan.
I have no idea whether or not it accurately represents some sort of meat, and that’s fine. It’s great as a food by itself, and that’s what I care about. The first time I had it was “Mongolian BBQ Seitan” at some small restaurant in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, and it was perfect for what it was supposed to be. (more…)
I picked up the Vegan Cuts snack box at Chicago Veganmania 2013. First item on the list, this savory nutrition bar! (more…)