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Green Chef is BACK (A giveaway)!

That’s right, I took a little break from ordering weekly boxes of Green Chef, but it’s baaaaack and I want to share it with you! But, details on that in a bit.

You see, when I moved to Texas almost two years ago, I ventured to the oh-so-popular H.E.B. But what I found is a lot of people who don’t have a grocery list, so they are left wandering aimlessly through the aisles and even forming LINES at the milk fridge.

My anxiety just couldn’t handle it, so I signed up for a meal delivery kit: Green Chef. I picked this one in particular because it’s the only one that’s truly organic, and I’m not a fan of eating pesticides. Since then, I pretty much ate my Green Chef meals until I felt ready, and even a little excited, to get out to the grocery again.

If you’re not familiar, many meal delivery kits such as Green Chef, send fresh ingredients right to your doorstep. My Green Chef plan sends enough of the good stuff to make at least six meals (two meals per included recipe) – but often, it’s enough food for extra meals, depending on how hungry you are.

Originally, I chose the “Carnivore” plan, which included all sorts of different meat and fish. However, I recently switched (you can switch at any time) to the vegetarian plan, as I have moved to a more plant-based diet.

I skip the meals that include tofu or tempeh (I’m just not a fan), but have had some delicious meals along the way. And this is why I’m so excited to share a free week of organic meals with FOUR of you!

There really is no fee, and no obligation to continue the service, just accept your free box, and then cancel the service if you don’t want to continue. If you decide to keep the service, remember, you can skip weeks at no charge – I skip all the time, and it’s really no problem.

So, if you want to win a free box of organic food, simply follow me on Instagram @OrangeJulius7 and fill out the quick form below. If you win, you’ll receive an email with your Green Chef code.

Easy enough, right?

If you have any questions about the service in general, feel free to comment on the blog – I’ve used it long enough I should be able to handle it 🙂 Happy contesting!

What I would cook for Patrick Cantwell.

You may have recalled my mention of the Mr. Patrick Cantwell after I attended my first Round Rock Express game over Memorial Day Weekend. Cantwell is a fine, fine looking catcher and isn’t so bad at batting, either. He’s 26, from New York, and I wouldn’t mind cooking him dinner… more than once.

Sure, I bet he lives in the Austin/Round Rock area and could get a delicious meal just about anywhere – there is a Salt Lick right outside of the stadium, afterall. But who doesn’t love a good, homecooked meal?

And that, my readers, is what I’d like to give away today: organic ingredients for meals delivered right to your door, for FREE! I’ve been ordering from Green Chef for six months now, and I love it. You get to choose how many meals (by meal they mean serving) you want delivered, and set your preferences. You can change your food preferences as often as you want, or skip weeks if you’re not feeling it, and there’s NO penalty for it.

I generally have my preferences set on “omnivore” and I get ingredients for 6 meals each week; however, most of the time, it ends up being enough ingredients for 9 meals. Usually the box (which is right on my doorstep and packed with ice packs) has two recipes with meat, and one vegetarian. Some of my favorite meals I’ve gotten so far include:

  • Shrimp Fettucine Alfredo with Tomatoes and Snap Peas
  • Poached Tuna Salad, with Spinach Salad and Olive & Red Pepper Couscous
  • Chickpea Shawarma Salad, with Cucumber & Tomato Millet, Olives & Pine Nuts
  • Sweet & Sour Chicken with Black Quinoa, Edamame, Ginger, Pineapple & Pepper
  • Greek Gyro Flatbread with Baba ghanoush, Ground Beef, Tzatziki & Feta
  • Pumpkin-Stuffed Shells with Spinach & Walnut-parsley Pesto, Orange-chard Salad

So, you’ll get the ingredients and then you cook the meals at your leisure. All of the ingredients are pre-measured, and organized with color-coordinated labels. Some of the ingredients are even prepped for you (chopped, mixed, etc.), so it makes the meals pretty fool-proof. But seriously, no catch with the free meals – I really just want other people to try this delicious stuff!

I have one free gift to give away, so if you’re interested, shoot me your email address using the form at the bottom of this post. I’ll draw numbers tonight at 10pm Central time, and the winner will get an email from me with your code for the free meals.

In the meantime, I’ve got the recipe for this fantastic burger I’m going to make for Patrick Cantwell on our fantasy date, where of course, he’s going to fall madly in love with me.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 ounces grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 whole-wheat hamburger buns
  • 2 slices nitrate-free bacon
  • Onion & shallot
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Honey-mustard balsamic vinegar
  • Slaw dressing
  • Carrots & cabbage
  • Scallions & celery

DIRECTIONS

Place carrots and cabbage in a medium bowl. Thinly slice scallions at an angle; discard root end. Small dice celery into about ¼-inch pieces. Add scallions and celery to bowl. Drizzle with slaw dressing to taste. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.

Cut root end off onion; remove peel. Cut into about ¼-inch thick slices. Heat about 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 4 minutes, or until edges brown, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 8-10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut ends off shallot and remove peel; mince. Halve grape tomatoes. Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add shallot to hot pot; stir. Cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to soften, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place ground beef in a large bowl. Add mozzarella cheese. Season with about ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Mix to evenly distribute cheese. Form into two patties, about ½-inch thick. Halve bacon widthwise.

Add honey-mustard balsamic vinegar to pot with tomatoes. Fill container halfway with water; pour into pot. Stir. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by at least half, stirring occasionally. Gently smash tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat about 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add burgers to hot pan. Add bacon to pan around burgers. Cook burgers 5 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness. Cook bacon alongside burgers until crispy, flipping as needed. Transfer bacon and burgers to a paper towel-lined plate.

Meanwhile, turn oven to high broil with rack 6-8 inches from the top. Cut whole-wheat hamburger buns open. Place on a baking sheet cut-sides up. Broil 2-3 minutes, or until toasted. Crumble (or roughly chop) bacon. Add to bowl with slaw. Toss to combine.

Divide caramelized onion between bottom buns and top with Memorial Day mozz burgers. Spoon tomato jam over burgers. Finish burger with top bun. Serve with bacon slaw on the side. Enjoy!

When I cooked this meal for myself, I ended up putting the bacon on the burger, instead of in the slaw – because bacon on a burger was just a match meant to be. So, enter the giveaway – and, if you don’t win, you can still get a HUGE discount on your first Green Chef order by using my link here.

 

What I would cook for Brody Jenner.

Oh so handsome.

Oh so handsome.

On Friday, I heard Brody Jenner got engaged, and although this isn’t the FIRST time he’s been seriously in love – we all knew that whole Avril Lavigne thing wasn’t going to last… or at least, we really hoped it didn’t, and thank God it didn’t. But this one, this engagement to the gorgeous blonde model Kaitlyn Carter, seems like it’s pretty real. Because of course.

And yeah, I have always thought Brody Jenner was fine as hell. So, to ease the pain, let’s talk about food, and… do a food GIVEAWAY! Hells yeah!

But first, Brody. And the fact that once they get married, his wife’s name will be Kaitlyn Jenner. Hmm. Awkward.

Jenner got his TV start on “The Princes of Malibu” which starred him, and his brother, as well as his mom Linda Thompson and his former stepdad, David Foster… as in, the David Foster, who just dumped poor Yolanda. Like… I totally did not know this relationship ever happened.

And then he was on “The Hills” and I guess dated Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad, although he said in a later interview that he never slept with anyone on “The Hills”…erreeeeaaallly? He was also dating Playmate Jayde Nicole while on later seasons of “The Hills”.

And then came Avril, and that was two years of complete oddness, and terror when she moved in and stole our hearts and our hot guy. Why you have to go and make things so complicated, Avril?!

Then in 2014, he started dating Kaitlyn, and was really open with the press about how great their sex life was, because she’s open to threesomes. Le sigh. THIS IS WHY IT’S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN FOR ME.

But that’s besides the point. Let’s say Brody Jenner is still single, and he’s coming over for dinner, what would I cook for him? I’m going with Beef Picadillo from Green Chef.

Delish!

Delish!

I made this recipe about a month ago and was pleasantly shocked at how delicious it was, given it’s array of different ingredients. I know Brody has probably had some high-class, fancy shit on his plate, but I get the feeling he’s open for just about anything. So, we’re going with it.

INGREDIENTS

    • Organic grass-fed seasoned ground beef
    • Organic garlic, onion, poblano chile & green bell pepper
    • Organic raisins & almonds
    • Organic green olives & capers
    • 1 15-ounce can organic fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
    • Chile seasoned masa
    • 10-12 sprigs organic parsley
    • 1 ounce Cotija cheese, crumbled
    • 1 organic zucchini

Mince garlic. Cut root end off onion and remove peel. Small dice into about ¼-inch pieces. Medium dice poblano chile and green bell pepper into about ½-inch pieces. Cut ends off zucchini. Medium dice into about ½-inch pieces; reserve. Destem parsley. Roughly chop leaves; set aside.

Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan (with lid) over medium heat. Add garlic and onion to hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally. Add poblano and bell pepper. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add seasoned ground beef to pan with veggies. Stir to break up. Cook 5 minutes, or until browned, stirring frequently. Roughly chop green olives and capers. Add to pan. Cook 2 minutes.

Add fire-roasted crushed tomatoes to pan with picadillo. Add raisins and almonds; stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer 8-10 minutes, or until liquid reduces by at least a quarter, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, place chile-seasoned masa in a medium bowl. Add about ½ teaspoon salt and ⅔ cup water. Mix thoroughly until a stiff dough forms and pulls away from sides of bowl (see Pro Tip). Form dough into four patties, about ½-inch thick.

Pro Tip: If dough is too dry to come together, add water in tablespoon increments to reach ideal consistency.

Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add masa cakes to hot pan. Cook 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini to hot pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Divide beef picadillo between plates. Pile sautéed zucchini next to picadillo. Shingle two masa cakes on the side. Sprinkle with parsley and Cotija cheese. Enjoy!

And that, my friends, is what I’d like to give away today: organic ingredients for meals delivered right to your door, for FREE! I’ve been ordering from Green Chef for about four months now, and I love it. You get to choose how many meals (by meal they mean serving) you want delivered, and set your preferences. You can change your food preferences as often as you want, or skip weeks if you’re not feeling it, and there’s NO penalty for it.

I generally have my preferences set on “omnivore” and I get ingredients for 6 meals each week; however, most of the time, it ends up being enough ingredients for 9 meals. Usually the box (which is right on my doorstep and packed with ice packs) has two recipes with meat, and one vegetarian.

So, you’ll get the ingredients and then you cook the meals at your leisure. All of the ingredients are pre-measured, and organized with color-coordinated labels. Some of the ingredients are even prepped for you (chopped, mixed, etc.), so it makes the meals pretty fool-proof. But seriously, no catch with the free meals – I really just want other people to try this delicious stuff!

I have two free gifts to give away, so if you’re interested, shoot me your email address using the form at the bottom of this post. I’ll draw numbers tonight at 10pm Central time, and if you win, you’ll get an email from me with your code! If you don’t get an email from me, you can still get 4 free meals from Green Chef, using my code here.

What I’m eating this week…

I’ve been eating 90% of my meals from Green Chef for the last few months (catch a recap of how much I love it here). To say the least, it’s really convenient, delicious, healthy, and affordable. I’ve really come to rely on that box of ingredients at my doorstep every Friday evening.

But last Friday, I wasn’t going to be home (or all weekend), and I waited too long to tell Green Chef, so I had to skip my week’s delivery altogether. Major bummer!

While my deliveries will resume this Friday, this meant I was actually going to have to go to the grocery store and buy enough stuff to eat this week. I usually go to the grocery once per week, even when I’m getting the deliveries, because I still need breakfast items, wine, and cases of La Croix. But I haven’t dug through my recipe stash and actually planned meals in so long.

I was a little stressed over it, to be honest. But, I was relieved when I saw all the yummy recipes in my collection – I rip pages from Real Simple magazine. I settled on two recipes, one from Real Simple and one from Red Book magazine; both recipes vegetarian (I do eat meat, but I find it’s the most difficult thing to find good quality meat, so I skipped that this week).

For lunch, I wanted to make “Better-for-You Hummus Wraps” and for dinner, “Quesadillas with Poblano Peppers and beans”

Once I got to the grocery, I was not surprised to see that most of the ingredients I needed for the wraps, such as collard greens and alfalfa spouts weren’t available. This is when you’ve just got to get creative. So, instead of wrapping the hummus and veggies in the collard greens, I got whole wheat pita pockets.

I also got arugula, white bean hummus, tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, red onion, and avocado to fill the pocket. I got grapes and string cheese to have with it, for my lunches at work. Easy, delish, and healthy!

Luckily, I was able to get all of the ingredients for the quesadillas, no problem, and they ended up being really easy to make. For these, you’ll need:

  • tablespoons canola oil (I used organic coconut oil)
  • poblano peppers—halved, seeded, and sliced
  • large white onions, sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 115.5-ounce can low-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
  • 10-inch flour tortillas

I actually used 6 tortillas, with the same amount of filling, just an FYI. Get the simple cooking directions here. These have been yummy, and not as spicy as you may think. If you’re into spicy stuff, you’d either need to add heat or keep a few of those poblano seeds in tact.

Even though I’m enjoying my own meal ideas this week, I’d love for YOU to be able to try Green Chef for one week, entirely free (seriously, no catch here), to see how you like it! If you’re interested, shoot me your email, and I’ll draw a number tonight around 10pm central time. If you’re chosen (I only have one free week to give away), you’ll get an email from Green Chef with the details.

The free week will provide you with enough organic ingredients to make 6 meals (I can usually get 9 out of it, but that’s just me). If you want, you can get 4 free meals free, just by clicking here.

So, shoot me your email and maybe you’ll win some free food! In the meantime, let me know what you’re eating this week. I’m always looking for meal ideas, and I like to prep everything ahead of time so I don’t have to worry about it each night. Got a good method? Share it!

What I would cook for Matt Harvey.

Helloooooo! It’s been a hot minute since I featured two of my favorite pieces of this blog: “Celeb Crush” and a “Boyfriend Recipe”, so I figured why not combine the two for something steamy, plussss…. did I mention I have a giveaway? A FREE FOOD giveaway?! Yes!!

But before we get into that fun stuff, let’s pick up what hottie Matt Harvey is throwing down (baseball puns!). Let me paint the landscape for you: I enjoy going to baseball games, but mainly because I’m willing to do just about anything for a chili cheese dog and an icy beer.

I’m not a huge Mets fan, so I’ll be clear here… I had no idea who Matt Harvey was until I saw him on Watch What Happens Live. While it was revealed on the show that he “dates” a lot of models, he was also sexily coy and I pretty much loved every second of it.

Aside from the model-thing, the other downside to having a crush on Matt is his name. If you’re new here, welcome, and all you need to know is that I’ve dated WAY too many guys named Matt in my life and they are all complete douchers.

But that’s the glory of the celeb crush, right? We (me) get to suspend reality and dream on, like the fool that I am! So, a few fun facts about Mr. Harvey:

  • Birthday: March 27, 1989
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Went to college before being drafted by the Mets
  • Set a record during his debut game for 11 strikeouts
  • He is a huge hockey fan and loves the New York Rangers (le siiigggh)

So, what would I cook for Matt Harvey even though he can buy something that may taste a million times better? I would cook Harissa Steak Tacos with smashed beans, ginger slaw, and lime-dressed kale. I actually made this earlier this week, as all of the organic ingredients were delivered to me from Green Chef.

These. Are. Delicious.

These. Are. Delicious.

And that, my friends, is what I’d like to give away today: organic ingredients for meals delivered right to your door, for FREE! I’ve been ordering from Green Chef for about three months now, and I love it. You get to choose how many meals (by meal they mean serving) you want delivered, and set your preferences. You can change your food preferences as often as you want, or skip weeks if you’re not feeling it, and there’s NO penalty for it.

I generally have my preferences set on “omnivore” and I get ingredients for 6 meals each week; however, most of the time, it ends up being enough ingredients for 9 meals. Usually the box (which is right on my doorstep and packed with ice packs) has two recipes with meat, and one vegetarian. Some of my favorite meals I’ve gotten so far include:

  • Poached Tuna Salad, with Spinach Salad and Olive & Red Pepper Couscous
  • Chickpea Shawarma Salad, with Cucumber & tomato millet, olives & pine nuts
  • Sweet & Sour Chicken with Black quinoa, edamame, ginger, pineapple & pepper
  • Greek Gyro Flatbread with Baba ghanoush, ground beef, tzatziki & feta
  • Pumpkin-Stuffed Shells with Spinach & walnut-parsley pesto, orange-chard salad

So, you’ll get the ingredients and then you cook the meals at your leisure. All of the ingredients are pre-measured, and organized with color-coordinated labels. Some of the ingredients are even prepped for you (chopped, mixed, etc.), so it makes the meals pretty fool-proof. But seriously, no catch with the free meals – I really just want other people to try this delicious stuff!

I have three free gifts to give away, so if you’re interested, shoot me your email address using the form at the bottom of this post. I’ll draw numbers tonight at 10pm Central time, and announce the winners in tomorrow’s blog! The Green Chef email with the free meals will be delivered to the email you provide, so keep that in mind.

In the meantime, I’ve got the recipe for those fantastic Harissa Steak Tacos I’m going to make for Matt Harvey on our fantasy date, where of course, he’s going to fall madly in love with me.

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 ounce grass-fed sirloin steak
  • 6 organic corn tortillas
  • Organic red cabbage slaw
  • 1 tablespoon organic harissa spice blend
  • Organic lime, jalapeño & red bell pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic cannellini beans
  • 4-5 leaves organic Lacinato kale
  • 3 tablespoons organic pepitas
  • Organic creamy ginger dressing

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pat sirloin steak dry with a paper towel. Season both sides with harissa spice blend, salt, and pepper. Set aside. Zest half of lime with a microplane (or on small holes of a box grater) into a small bowl; reserve. Cut lime into wedges.

Remove center rib from Lacinato kale. Roll leaves into a large “cigar” and slice across into about ¼-inch wide ribbons. Place in a medium bowl. Squeeze juice of one lime wedge over kale. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Massage kale with hands (or tongs) to break down fibers. Salt and pepper to taste.

Place red cabbage slaw in a large bowl. Drizzle with half of the creamy ginger dressing. Add pepitas. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cut jalapeño in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and stem. Small dice desired amount of jalapeño (or omit) and red bell pepper into about ¼-inch pieces.

Heat about 1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add bell pepper and desired amount of jalapeño (or omit) to hot pan. Stir. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until peppers have softened, stirring occasionally.

Open, drain, and rinse cannellini beans. Add beans to pan with peppers. Add reserved lime zest. Squeeze juice of another lime wedge over pan. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mash about half the beans with the back of a cooking spoon. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm on back of stovetop, off heat.

Place corn tortillas on foil. Sprinkle with water. Wrap foil over tortillas. Warm in oven 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat about 1 tablespoon cooking oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add steak to hot pan. Sear 4-5 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness. Transfer steak to cutting board and let rest at least 3 minutes.

Cut steak against the grain into about ¼-inch thick slices. Pile beans and slaw on each plate. Serve three tortillas each. Place kale in each tortilla and divide steak between tacos. Drizzle remaining creamy ginger dressing over tacos to taste. Garnish with lime wedges. Enjoy!

Pic of the Week.

A few weeks ago, I signed up for Green Chef, an organic food supplier that delivers fresh, ORGANIC ingredients right to your doorstep, along with instructions on how to make delicious meals.

Well, I got my first delivery Friday, and it has proven itself to be a 15-pound box of organic goodness! I have been thinking about signing up for a service like this because the grocery stores in Austin are insanely busy. Busy as in, you can’t reach the broccoli because there’s a line to get to it. It gives me anxiety, and I’m not really down for it.

So, after researching several services, I chose Green Chef because it was all organic (non-GMO, fools!) and the price was on-point. You can choose what type of meals you want: vegetarian, omnivore, pescatarian, or paleo. And you can change your meal preferences at any time.

I chose omnivore, and asked for enough ingredients to make 6 meals each week, meaning 6 portions, 3 different recipes. It’s $80/week, which is pretty good considering I just took a trip to the grocery for almond milk, soda water, and wine, and it was $60.

So, my box arrived and it was completely insulated and packed with ice packs to keep everything fresh. And ALL of the ingredients were separated into ziplock bags and clearly labeled. It also came with colorful menu guides for when I cook my meals.

My box contained all of the ingredients to make pumpkin-stuffed shells (served with orange-chard salad), chicken couscous soup (served with carrot ribbon salad), and steak & beet panzanella (with steak fries).

The other cool thing about Green Chef? Obviously the opportunity to make foods I’ve never cooked before. But, there’s really NOT much cooking to be done. All of the sauces are pre-made, and stored in cute little containers, so the prep and cooking times are all around 30 minutes or less. Works for me!

So, Saturday night, I decided to have a date night with myself (because, that’s just how cool I am), complete with John Green movies, wine, and my homemade steak & beet panzanella, with steak fries.

The meal calls for grass-fed sirloin steak, organic balsamic vinaigrette, horseradish crème fraiche, organic golden beet, organic lacinato kale, organic potato, marble rye bread, organic onion, organic chives, and rosemary tomato aioli.

Then, there’s a colorful, picture-guide, explaining the 8 steps to complete the meal. Overall, it was easy to make because most of the prep-work is done for you. And in the end,  the meal was delicious!

I’m looking forward to trying all of the other meals delivered right to my door! If you’d like to try Green Chef, I’ve got a code that will give you 4 meals for free! I’d love to see what you think of it! Cheers!