It feels as if the good Lord above has just “pressed play” on life again. For the last- well I might not reveal how many years it took me to finish college- but for the last long-amount-of-time I’ve ,every day, had the excuse : “I need to study”. I need to read this chapter or cram for that test or listen to this podcast or go to that class. I feel as if freedom has just wrung it’s big brass bell in celebration of liberation from having to be tied to an assignment in one form or another.
Hence why this blog post is being tip-tapped away under my finger tips at this very moment.
The last month was the highest priority as I was preparing to take the credentialing exam for my Dietetic Technican registration. I put all relationships on a bit of a “rain-check- until –further-notice” stance and began spending countless hours tucked into my big fluffy douvet pouring over flash cards, old worn nutrition books and chugging down unthinkable amounts of dark caffeine concentrated coffee.
I won’t drag the anticipation out much longer- I passed!
Praise the good Lord himself- I was a nervous nelly the day of.
I could not be more grateful for the patient friends, family, professors and mentors that walked me through this process. They gave me grace in my absent mindedness as I shared with them facts about foodborne illnesses instead of listening to their life updates, they were understanding in my inability to attend social function after social function in my friend group, they spoke words and prayers of encouragement over me and lastly provided easy meals to prep when life got busy.
A best girlfriend of mine reached out sometime a few weeks ago with notice that she’d sent me three meals from Blue Apron- knowing I hadn’t the time nor juice in my brain to come up with delicious meals of my own during that time and was mostly living off of protein laden bars and shakes.
I was near beside myself with excitement as I perused the meal delivery site’s pages. The meals all looked like they’d come straight from some high end foodie’s instagram account. Dotted with sauces and herbs, rich in unusual ingredients and tempting combinations.
I chose a variety of vegetarian options -3 recipes that would prepare 2 meals each -and had them delivered the following Friday. As I drug my tuckered legs up the stairs that Friday I was elated to find a hefty sized box perched at my front door- the words “Blue Apron” dazzling across all sides of it’s cardboard exterior. I scooped the oversized package into my arms and hoisted it onto the kitchen counter for inspection. As I slit open the taped edges the interior began to reveal itself. The food all tucked into a big silver insulated bag. The ingredients were lovely- the presentation spot on. Each ingredient labeled and measured out in just the perfect amount. I emptied all of them into my fridge and waited impatiently for the supper hour to arrive.
The first meal I dove into was a Smoked Mozarella and Cabbage Pizza- I told you the ingredients were unusual. I can’t say I was tremendously excited to place a head of cabbage upon the yeasty delicious dough they’d sent me but I figured they knew what they were up to at this Blue Apron place and trusted the process.
The pizza was simplistic to assemble- some of the steps surprising me along the way but making perfect sense in the end product. The flavor was rich, smokey and tangy with the capers found peaking through the cabbage and hunks of gooey smoked mozzarella.
The recipe and ingredients are below for you to have a go at- I promise it won’t let you down. Despite how much you may not dig cabbage- anything is good when it’s draped upon a fluffy round of pizza dough and then covered in cheesy goodness.
Thank you Blue Apron for the study break of a lifetime- dinner was everything I imagined and more. I look forward to many a more gourmet dinner out of a box.
- 1 Pound Plain Pizza Dough ( you can make this from scratch, buy Pillsbury or some smaller pizza chains will sell you a serving of pizza dough)
- 7 Ounces Smoked Mozzarella Cheese
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- ¾ Pound Green Cabbage
- 1 Tablespoon Capers
- ¼ Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Siracha for dipping- if you’re into that sort of thing.
1.Remove the dough from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 475°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut out and discard the cabbage core; thinly slice the leaves. Peel and mince the garlic. Small dice the cheese. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; halve the leaves crosswise. Core and thinly slice the apple.
2. In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cabbage and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes, or until softened. Add the capers and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.
3.While the cabbage cooks, lightly oil a large sheet pan. On a clean, dry work surface, using your hands and a rolling pin (or a wine bottle), gently stretch and roll the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. (If the dough is resistant, let rest for 5 minutes.) Carefully transfer to the prepared sheet pan; rub the dough into the pan to coat the bottom in oil.
4.Evenly top the prepared dough with the cooked cabbage and cheese, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, rotating the sheet pan halfway through, 16 to 18 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes.