You guys, this is my favorite time of the year. I can finally sleep in sweatpants and a sweatshirt, but I’m not so cold that I need to wear socks to bed. That’s the perfect sleeping situation for me. I know a lot of people who hate wearing a bunch of clothes to bed, but for me, it is absolutely heavenly. I like to feel like I am wrapped up in a million blankets when I crawl into bed, so last night, I finally zipped up a hoodie and threw on some of my most comfortable sweats and tested out the waters. It’s been a touch on the warmer side at night so far, so I’ve been denied my beloved sweattire (that’s sweats + attire). I wish we could sleep with our bedroom window open, but our conveniently located apartment is both a blessing and a curse, as it is on the same block as a subway stop, so there’s always a lot of traffic or people yelling or talking outside, and we’ll be woken up countless times if we even leave the window open a crack at night. Anyway, because of that, our room remains a bit warmer than it would if we were living somewhere peaceful enough to sleep with a window open (do people do that?). So forgive me if I am way too excited about the temperature of my bedroom, but it’s finally happening. It’s officially fall when I can sleep in a hoodie. And you know what that means: stews, soups, slow-cooked meats, and, of course, chili. Lots and lots of chili.
When I was approached by Blue Apron to create a post for them, I wasn’t sure it made sense at first. I create recipes, and sure, I share a lot of recipes from creators that I love, but did showcasing a product like Blue Apron make sense? After thinking about it, I decided it did. I’m always looking to share the best ways to cook, eat, and enjoy food at home, so why not add Blue Apron to the mix? All of the meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less, they’re all 500-700 calories a piece, and they send fresh, quality ingredients for you to cook with every week. I’d heard good things about it before, so I was excited to give it a try myself. I’ll be honest – I was impressed! I received a week’s worth of food on their two-person plan, and I received a steak and potatoes dish, a catfish dish, and this turkey chili and chickpea dish. I thought that was a nice array of different kinds of proteins, and enough variety in types of dishes to keep my husband and myself interested enough to cook three nights in a row. I mean, yeah, we cook almost every weeknight, but it’s mostly easy stuff like frittatas or stir-frys or whatever, nothing super composed and pretty like these dishes were. It was easy, too. I don’t typically follow recipe instructions line-by-line, but I did this time to get the full experience, and it reminded me that I am terrible student, but the step-by-step pictures helped. Another bonus is that Blue Apron has a recycling program for the packaging its products come in, which honestly is a lot more than most other companies can say – they’ll give you a free label to ship back your packaging if there are no convenient options in your community. All in all, it was really fun to relax and let someone else tell me what to cook instead of having to think about it myself, but I still felt like I knew what I was eating and was knowledgable about what I was putting in my body.
If you’d like to give Blue Apron a go yourself, the first 50 readers will get two free meals on their first order by clicking here, so I hope you try it out! Some other recipes include crispy ricotta pierogi and pressed chicken tortas, so there’s lots to choose from. Happy cooking!
Part of this project included getting photos of myself making the Blue Apron recipes, which I am clearly very comfortable with, as you can see from this photo. Thank you, Kramer, for helping take some photos of me looking incredibly awkward!
Dice your pita.
Toast it in a hot pan and set it aside.
Dice your eggplant and get it cooking.
Add in your ground turkey and cook until browned.
Dice your red onion.
Add it to your pan with your spices, tomato paste, and garlic.
This is what it looks like when I have to follow a recipe.
Add your chickpeas and water, and let simmer for 10 minutes or so.
Zest your lemon.
Season your labneh.
And make your chermoula.
Now it’s time to plate.
Here, look, it’s food – now stop taking pictures of me.
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 piece of pita bread, cubed
- 1 pinch kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 eggplant, cubed
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons labneh cheese (Greek yogurt is a great substitute)
- juice of ¼ a lemon
- 1 small bunch cilantro leaves, minced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of ¾ a lemon
- 1 small pinch salt
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- First, toast your pita bread. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pita and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned and toasted. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.
- In the pan used to toast the pita, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the eggplant. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the ground turkey and cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.
- Add the onion, salt, spices, tomato paste and garlic to the pan of eggplant and turkey. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant and the onion is starting to soften. Add the chickpeas and 2 cups of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- While the chili cooks, in a small bowl, combine the labneh cheese and the juice of ¼ of a lemon. Taste and add a little salt and pepper, if needed. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the cilantro, lemon zest, minced garlic, juice of the remaining lemon, and salt. Stir in enough olive oil to create a thick paste.
- To serve, divide your chili into two bowls, drizzle with the labneh, sprinkle the chermoula on top, and scatter the pita croutons over the top. This can be made up to two days ahead and re-heated for lunch or dinner.