Meet Crystal from Virginia. In January of 2016, her food resolution was to continue on a weight loss journey by cooking with Blue Apron. But when we spoke with her recently, she also shared with us her passion for the many ways our lives can be changed through home cooking. In 2016 , she cooked a whopping 270 Blue Apron meals and explored 18 different cuisines in the process!
Check out a few of our favorite moments from our chat with Crystal below!
Q: What was your dinner routine like before Blue Apron?
Crystal: Everything that I ate before was processed, and I didn’t know how to make anything fresh. We probably stopped somewhere and picked something up, or made meatloaf. My oven rarely got used – I’ve used it more in the last year than in the 5 years I’ve owned it. It definitely wasn’t varied or healthy!
Q: How have you reinvented your cooking life outside of Blue Apron? What does cooking mean to you now?
Crystal: It means that I have different options. I have not touched a box or can in forever. In fact, I cleaned out my entire cabinet and donated most of it to the food pantry. There’s not a need for that stuff anymore – I can get whatever I need fresh, and do it fresh. It’s kind of revamped the entire way I shop.
Q: You’ve mentioned joining a CSA and farmers’ markets – how has your relationship with food shopping changed?
Crystal: It’s not only going to farmers’ markets. In the past, when I went through the produce aisle first, I would never pick anything up. When I do have to go to the grocery store now, it takes me a lot longer to go through the produce section because I’m actually getting things. I had never bought brussels sprouts on a stalk before!
Q: What has been your favorite new ingredient or flavor that you’ve gotten to try?
Crystal: My favorite ingredient that I had never heard of until I got it is celeriac. I can’t get it where I live – it’s just not in stores here. When I went to training in DC not too long ago, I went to a grocery store there and found one celeriac root and brought it all the way home with me! It was awesome because I used the same [Blue Apron] recipe in which I had it before.
Q: Looking back on 2016, do you feel as though you kept up with your resolution?
Crystal: I’ve definitely done it, and I’ve definitely gone beyond it. While I didn’t reach all of my goals, I expanded my options for fresh fruit and vegetables by joining a CSA. That’s something I never would have done before because I never would have known what to do with anything I got. But now I do!
Q: Now that you’re looking towards the new year, what are your next steps?
Crystal: My goal is to find a local farmer or farmers’ market that I can go to and get what I need, and to continue on the weight loss journey! I’m really OK with whatever happens as long as it keeps going in the right direction.
Q: If you had one challenge or tip you could share with the Blue Apron community, what would that be?
Crystal: Don’t stop – even if it seems like you can’t do it, really you can. And if you mess it up, it’s still gon’ eat! Just keep practicing because it will get easier. Those skills will come faster and easier the longer that you practice them.
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