What is a WW Recommended Meal?

Turkey kofta, a ww approved meal
These turkey kofta are WW Approved

As you look through upcoming menus, you might notice a WW Recommended badge on some recipes. Blue Apron and WW have joined forces to create nutrient-packed dishes that will help you reach your health and wellness goals—without sacrificing taste.

If you’re not familiar with WW, the brand offers a holistic approach to weight loss and well-being through its new myWW+ program. “Rather than uprooting your lifestyle or taking away the foods you love, we help guide you toward healthier eating patterns,” says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, head of nutrition and wellness at WW.

How? All foods are assigned a PersonalPoints ® value— one easy to understand number that distills down complex nutrition science to help simplify eating healthfully. That means nothing is off-limits. Desserts, rich dishes, and everything else can all fit within an overall healthy pattern of eating.

Whether you’re a WW member or not, these meals have been designed with the PersonalPoints system and overall stress-free, intuitive eating in mind. But what does that really mean? Here’s a closer look at what you’ll get when you dig into Blue Apron x WW meals: 

They’re delicious

First and foremost, our chefs pride themselves on creating meals that you’ll love eating. Blue Apron x WW meals use the same high-quality ingredients and inventive cooking techniques that you’ll find in every Blue Apron box. 

They favor ZeroPoint proteins 

Another key element of the WW program: ZeroPoint foods. These ingredients form the foundation of a healthy eating pattern, explains Leslie Fink, MS, RD, a nutritionist and recipe editor at WW. “The specifics differ depending on which myWW+ plan you’re on, but generally include nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.” The best part? You can eat as much as you please! Blue Apron chefs use these lean proteins (think boneless skinless chicken breasts and fish) to create flavorful, satisfying meals that help you stay within your daily PersonalPoints budget. 

They’re mindful of sodium 

Despite its reputation, sodium is a vital nutrient that helps regulate fluids and support muscle health. That said, it’s all about finding a balance.  Although everyone’s needs are different, consistently consuming excess sodium can contribute to chronic disease risk. Blue Apron x WW meals are conscious of sodium, but still packed with flavor.

They use creative swaps  

Who says you have to sacrifice taste to make a better-for-you dish? Blue Apron x WW meals offer ingredient substitutions that work so well your family will have no clue they’re not the real deal. Try using non-fat yogurt in place of sour cream, or fromage blanc instead of crème fraîche . You’ll get the same taste as richer dairy options, while still saving PersonalPoints.

Learn more about the Blue Apron x WW partnership, and sign up to try a meal here.

All About Brodo Bone Broth

When Brodo opened its first location in Manhattan in 2014, it caused a frenzy. At the time it was novel to walk around with a to-go cup filled with savory bone broth, but New Yorkers couldn’t get enough. This tiny window-service restaurant was the brain child of Marco Canora.

Canora was already the executive chef at Hearth in the East Village. Brodo came about as a resourceful way to use the takeout window attached to the side of his already popular restaurant. At the time, he had no way to now it would spawn an empire. Today, Marco Canora’s rich and hearty broth is available across the nation, including in Blue Apron boxes.

Brodo may have been revolutionary, but the basic principle of bone broth is ancient. Here’s what all the buzz is about: 

What is Bone Broth? 

Bordo bone broth

Brodo is made with water, roasted bones from beef, chicken, or pork, and aromatic flavorings. Although these may sound like the same basic ingredients that make up traditional stock, very few commercial broths are actually made with roasted bones. Roasting the bones and taking the time to simmer them is what allows the collagen and other nutrients in the bones to release. This process is what is what transforms a thin stock into a hearty bone broth. 

The Health Benefits of Bone Broth

The longer that water simmers with bones, the more collagen it can extract. Collagen supports skin and nail health, is packed with protein, and also adds a luscious texture that makes this healthy elixir feel indulgent. 

Brodo’s bone broth is delicious in its own right, let’s not forget it started out as a beverage, but it can also add rich flavor to sauces, gravies, and stews. In Blue Apron boxes you’ll find it being used as a braising liquid in our braised chicken and smashed potatoes, and to deglaze pans for in our gnocchi with summer vegetables.

How One Family Replaced Meal Planning Stress with Good Food and Joy

Welcome to On the Table, Blue Apron’s spotlight on home cooks. This column is all about the challenges and joys of cooking. We’re exploring how busy, food-loving families get dinner on the table every day. This month we’re talking with Delia. Delia is a Vice President at a medical lab company processing Covid tests, a mother of two active boys, and a hater of grocery stores. These days, she’s never been busier. Here’s how she uses Blue Apron Customized to balance cooking, picky eaters, and the other demands of life. 

Weeknight dinner at Delia’s house

Blue Apron: How long have you been cooking with Blue Apron? 

Delia: I’ve been cooking with Blue Apron since October 2018. Other than vacation, I don’t think I’ve missed a week since I started!

BA: How has the Blue Apron experience changed since you started cooking?

The meals have always been wonderful, but I think recently there have been more and more options. Honesty, two or three years I have probably only repeated meals two or three times. We try new things all the time. That’s one of the things that I love, just how much variety there is and the seasonal aspect of the ingredients. In the fall and the winter we’ll get a lot of squash and kale, and in the summer we get a lot of corn and tomatoes. It’s just lovely to be able to eat seasonal fresh food and have such great options. 

BA: How do you choose which Blue Apron meals to order? 

I’ll typically set a reminder on my calendar to review recipes. I do it once a month, and I’ll go out as far as you have recipes. I love using the app; It’s so good and it’s fun. I’ll make some changes to our meals depending on how much time I have and the complexity of the food. I really just go with what I’m in the mood for, and I look to try new things. 

I also keep an eye on what I think all of us will like. My youngest son is a picky eater. So sometimes I look for things that I can adapt at home. It works 90% of the time. Sometimes if there’s a chicken recipe I’ll just grill the chicken and serve the sauce on the side for him. That’s easier if it’s a recipe where the sauce isn’t mixed in. That’s one factor that influences the meals I choose.

BA: How has customization changed your Blue Apron experience?

Customization is so helpful! As I mentioned, my youngest son can be picky, but he’ll always eat the protein. Sometimes I’ll make the protein, set it aside for him, and then make some plain pasta for him to have with it. Having the extra protein has been helpful for him. It’s also been great to have more leftovers that I can take for lunch. Customization has given us a bit more flexibility in the meals that will work for us. 

BA: What does a typical weeknight dinner look like for you? 

My family is very busy. We are a working couple, my husband and I. We also have two boys, ages 11 and 14. They’re in middle school, and they’re both active in sports. On a typical evening during the week someone is running to go get a kid from hockey practice while somebody is preparing dinner. I’m usually on point to get dinner on the table, while my husband is on point to get kids. 

We try to eat together most of the week, but that’s not always what happens. Probably about half the time two of us will eat together, and then the other two of us will eat together. We usually pick the nights that we’re going to be together to cook our Blue Apron dinners, and on the ther nights we’ll do something easier. I usually put out the recipe card in the morning, and then the kids can see it and know what we’re having for dinner. 

BA: What are your go-to dinners on nights when you’re not eating Blue Apron? 

I only cook Blue Apron, and it has completely changed my life. It used to be a huge source of stress for me to have to do the meal planning, find the recipes, do the grocery shopping, and then worry about the food waste. It was honestly a big source of stress that has been removed and replaced with amazing food and joy. The food is so good. We usually rate the recipes, just internally, my husband and I, on a scale of 1-10. It’s almost always a 9 or a 10. I think it’s been a 5 once or twice in two years, and a 5 is still pretty good. 

On nights that we don’t have Blue Apron, we’ll do something quick and easy. A few of our favorites are pasta and butter with feta cheese for the kids, and sandwiches. Maybe I’ll put some broccoli in the oven. If it’s just me, I’ll have a salad. Sometimes we’ll pick up prepared food from Whole Foods. We’re just looking for something quick that can be eaten on the go. That’s what we do! 

BA: Do you have any favorite Blue Apron meals or ingredients? 

This one is top of mind because I had it recently, we loved the za’atar chicken with roasted squash. It was just a perfect medley of savory and spiced. The sauce was amazing.


I was never familiar with za’atar before cooking with Blue Apron, but I always like anything with that spice blend, as well as the Weeknight Hero spice blend, my kids love that. Before working with Blue Apron I had never cooked with bok choy, or with Calabrian chile paste, and it’s such a great compliment to any dish. I’ve loved trying so many new ingredients.

Celebrate Disney and Pixar’s Soul with These Family-friendly Recipes

DisneyPlus_BlogArt

Blue Apron is celebrating Disney and Pixar’s new film, Soul, streaming on Disney+ starting December 25th.    

Blue Apron is debuting four limited-time recipes designed that make dinner a true family affair by bringing everyone together in the kitchen. These kid-friendly meals are nutritious, easy to make, and sure to get rave reviews from the whole family.

These dinners were created with health in mind. Each recipe was designed by a certified nutritionist. With these recipes, your littlest cooks are welcome in the kitchen. Blue Apron will provide step-by-step guidance to help teach kids about wholesome ingredients, help you discover new flavors together, and build skills that will serve them for years to come.

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Extra Helpings, the Blue Apron Blog. Blue Apron will be offering additional tips and tricks that will help you feed your family and your soul.

Harmonic Pan-Roasted Chicken & Honey Mustard with Buttermilk Smashed Potatoes & Collard Greens

This comforting dish combines sweet and smoky flavors. If you’re cooking with kids, they can help out by kneading the honey and smashing the potatoes.

Tempo Turkey Sloppy Joes with Shishito Peppers & Carrot Fries

This recipe is inspired by a classic childhood favorite. The carrot fries are a healthy alternative to french fries for families. Teach your kids about seasoning by asking them to help prepare the carrot fries for the oven.

turkey lettuce cups

Cool Cajun Chicken Lettuce Cups with Pickled Pepper Yogurt & Peanuts

This fun family recipe draws inspiration from zesty Cajun flavors. Kids will love assembling and decorating their own cups to try out different combinations. This meal gives families a delicious and playful way to incorporate vegetables into dinner.

salmon bbq dinner

Smooth Salmon & Homemade BBQ Sauce with Roasted Vegetables, Romaine & Kale Salad

Make your own sweet and smoky barbecue sauce for this vegetable-packed dinner. Lean salmon and roasted vegetables make a flavor-packed good for you dinner. 

Ready for dinner? Sign up here. 

All About Banza Chickpea Pasta

A delicious dish of pasta should be something that everyone can enjoy, right? That’s what the team at Banza thinks. Their Banza chickpea pasta noodles are designed to fit gluten-free and low-carb lifestyles, while satisfying the noodle lover in all of us. 

banza chickpea pasta

Co-founders and brothers Brian and Scott Rudolph first launched Banza in 2014. Brian describes himself as a lifelong fan of carbs. As he grew older, he slowly realized that this diet of pizza and bagel wasn’t working for him. Eventually, he learned that he felt better with less gluten in his life, but there was no way he was going to give up pasta.  

Is Banza Pasta Gluten Free? 

Casarecce al limone

Yes! Banza-pasta is a great gluten-free option. After looking, Brian wasn’t satisfied with the gluten-free pasta on the market. The flavors and textures were all wrong, and they didn’t bring any added health benefits to the party. Brian began experimenting with chickpea flour with the goal of creating a gluten-free noodle that was truly healthy. The batches of what would become Banza pasta were created in Brian’s Detroit kitchen, and rolled out with a wine bottle. After some experimentation, the Rudolph brothers found a recipe that ticks all of the boxes.

Banza Chickpea Pasta Nutrition

Their line of gluten-free pasta packs a powerful nutritional punch, with 22 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber per serving. 

banza chickpea pasta pomodoro
Clove pomodoro pasta

Today, Banza pasta is available in 17 different shapes. The company is expanding, and just launched a line of gluten-free pizza made with chickpeas. Most importantly, their product passes the taste test. After sampling a range of alternative pastas, the Blue Apron test kitchen is proud to offer Banza as a gluten-free noodle. Customers looking to avoid traditional pasta can now find Banza featured in Blue Apron’s customization options, along with plenty of ways to choose your own protein.

On the Table: Dinner with a Family of Four in California

Welcome to On the Table, Blue Apron’s spotlight on home cooks. This column is all about the challenges and joys of cooking. We’re exploring how busy, food-loving families get dinner on the table every day. This month Ryan, a Blue Apron employee, tells us about balancing being a dad, cooking, volunteer duties, and having fun.

Family ice cream
Ryan, Raegan, and Sienna getting ice cream

Blue Apron: What does a typical weeknight dinner look like for you?

Ryan: The majority of our meals are Blue Apron-related. My wife does most of our grocery shopping outside of that. The Grocery Outlet is her favorite place to go. We live in California, and we also grow some vegetables in our backyard. 

We probably make dinner five times a week. My wife is a really good cook, so she does the majority of the cooking. I am a really good sous chef! I would say my wife probably cooks three times a week and I do two, or she’ll do four and I’ll do one. At a typical meal it’s me, my wife, and our two daughters. Sometimes we set up a system where whoever isn’t cooking plays with the kids, and sometimes we all get in the kitchen together. My youngest can be a little too helpful at times (she’s only one) but they love to help.  

Blue Apron: How often do you cook with Blue Apron?

Ryan: We get three Blue Apron meals a week every week, unless we forget, and we haven’t forgotten in awhile! Last week we got the Calabrian chile butter steaks and the hoisin turkey steam buns, and the miso salmon. They were all good, but we really loved the steak. 

I really love Blue Apron because from where I stand, I need to follow directions, but I can follow them really well. My wife, on the other hand, doesn’t need recipes as much. She can look in a cupboard and make a delicious meal when, to me, it looks like we don’t have any food. 

Family in the kitchen with dad cooking
Family in the kitchen with dad cooking

Blue Apron: How does cooking differ when you’re not eating a Blue Apron dinner? 

Ryan: It really varies! We do like takeout. Sometimes we’ll get food from a local sushi place we love, but sometimes we’ll take on cooking projects. On weekends, my mother-in-law comes over, and we’ll do big family dinners. My mom grew up in the restaurant business and is also a great cook so we love to go to her house for whatever she’s making. On weeknights, sometimes we’ll make simple pastas with basil and artichokes from the yard. My kids are four and one, so buttered noodles are their favorite thing.

Blue Apron: What would you make on a night when you felt too tired to cook, but needed to get something on the table? 

Ryan: On really busy nights, we’ll order take out. On Wednesdays, I volunteer at the local parks department, and we often end up doing something quick that night. Frozen chicken wings are a big savior for us. We always have chicken wings in the freezer, we’ll cook them in the air fryer with a little salt and pepper and hot sauce. The kids love them, and it’s easy to do quickly.

Blue Apron: How has working from home changed your cooking routine? 

Ryan: Working from home has actually given us more time to cook. If my wife is cooking lasagna, that’s another one of our go-tos, she’ll start the sauce in a few minutes during the day. The other day I prepped a Blue Apron meal before going to pick my daughter up at school. I love the extra time we’ve found to be together as a family. 

Blue Apron: What do you want to teach your kids about food? 

Ryan: My daughters are a big part of my motivation for cooking. So many of my own childhood memories tie back to food, and I really wanted to create that for my family. My daughter and I started a YouTube channel where we make ice cream. We both love ice cream, but a big reason that I wanted to start the channel together was to share that experience in the kitchen. Food is a huge part of who we are as a family. I love to think about the time that we cook together as creating memories for my girls.

How does Blue Apron fit into your life? Show us by tagging #letsblueapron on social for a chance to be featured in a future article. 

How Your Demi-Glace Gets Made

Demi-glace is all about the bones. In Green Bay Wisconsin there’s a small team of sauciers doing it right: meet Bonewerks Culinarte.

Demi-glace is a classic element of French cuisine. This dark brown sauce is made by reducing broth until it’s thick and packed with flavor. It can be made from beef stock, chicken stock, or even vegetable stock. The traditional French version is made with veal. In the meat-based versions, the collagen from the bones provides a natural thickening agent and a rich, complex flavor.

At Bonewerks, they take a least 14 hours to produce their sauce. At every hour of the day, their kitchen is full of roasting bones and simmering vats of stock. After cooking for a few hours, the roasted bones turn into the most flavorful broth you can imagine. After a few more house, that stock has been reduced into thickened spoonfuls known as demi-glace.

After it’s done their sauce heads to stores, restaurants, and to Blue Apron. In Blue Apron recipes, Bonewerks demi-glace is a way to add flavor that makes quick soups, stews, and sauces taste like they simmered on the stove all afternoon (which, in a sense, they did. In Green Bay). Watch the video above to learn more about Bonewerks, and check out a few of our favorite recipes that get their flavor from demi-glace.

Homestyle Beef Medallions & Maple Pan Sauce with Mashed Potatoes & Garlic-Sautéed Kale

beef with demi-glace sauce
The sauce takes these beef medallions to the next level

Za’atar Beef & Carrots with Zucchini Rice & Lemon Labneh

beef flavored with demi-glace
This stir fry is spiced with Za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend

Life is Sweet with Just Date Syrup

You’ve got a sweet tooth? Us too. It’s natural for humans to love sugary foods, even though they aren’t always healthy. That’s what motivated Just Date Syrup co-founders Dr. Sylvie Charles and Liselle Pires to create a sweetener that satisfies that craving naturally. 

Just Date Syrup is a thick dark syrup made from 100% dates. Dates are full of natural sugar, so that’s the only ingredient this syrup needs to add sweetness to any dish. Beyond just sugar, dates have a delicious complex flavor, and plentiful health benefits. 

The health factor was important for Dr. Sylvie Charles. Dr. Charles is a licensed medical physician. After several years working in medicine, she grew frustrated by the number of preventable diseases she observed. She drew a connection to lifestyle choices, specifically diets high in added sugar, and some of the health struggles that she witnessed every day. Rather than suggest that her patients sacrifice eating what they love, Dr. Charles sought a solution. Eventually, she was inspired by traditional Indian cooking. Her family had been using dates to sweeten chutneys for generations. 

The idea and the ingredients were in place, but things didn’t completely come together until Dr. Charles met Liselle Pires. Like Dr. Charles, Pires was aware of the health-risks associated with a high sugar diet. Even though she loved food and cooking, Pires had cut processed sugars out of her life years ago in order to live healthfully. After connecting with Dr. Charles and bonding over their shared values, Pires felt inspired to leave her career at Microsoft and join the Just Date team. 

Today, Just Date Syrup provides an alternative to highly-processed sugar. Their syrup can be used to brighten up everything from drinks to dinner. Those eager to try a taste can find Just Date Syrup in Blue Apron boxes, providing a hint of sweetness to dishes like turkey kofta and za’atar spiced chicken with couscous.

How to Make Chocolate Truffles by Amanda Freitag

Makes 36 chocolate Truffles 

 

Recipe from “The Chef Next Door: A Pro Chef’s Recipes for Fun, Fearless Home Cooking”

Amanda Freitag is a deeply devoted fan of chocolate. These simple truffles have a short ingredient list, but bring a lot of flavor to the party. They’re easy to make, and they don’t even require turning on the oven. This chocolate truffle recipe can be made a day ahead, making them the perfect dish to bring to a dinner party. 

Chocolate Truffle Recipe 

 

  • 1 Cup heavy cream 
  • 8 Ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped 
  • 1 Cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • Pinch of sea salt
  1. Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small stainless-steel or other nonreactive saucepan. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate, and stir until it’s fully melted.
  2. Transfer the hot mixture to a large bowl. Use a whisk to whip the mixture, ensuring the chocolate and cream are fully combined. 
  3. Refrigerate the mixture until firm, about 30 minutes. 
  4. Put the cocoa powder in a bowl or shallow baking dish and have it nearby. Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, distribute even scoops of the mixture onto a baking sheet. 
  5. Use your clean hands to roll each scoop into as perfect and round a ball as possible. Try not to handle the chocolate for too long, as the heat of your hands will melt it. 
  6. Drop each truffle into the cocoa and roll it around, coating it in the powder. Use a spoon or your fingers to remove the truffle from the powder and transfer to a container large enough to hold one or two batches. Choose a container that allows you to layer the truffles, using waxed paper between layers. 
  7. Refrigerate the truffles until ready to serve. 
  8. If a few chocolate truffles are a little…rustic in appearance, that’s fine! They’ll be just as delicious.

Try them for dessert after ordering a dinner planned by Amanda Freitag. 

Growing Cute Miniature Squash with Bay Baby Produce

Bay Baby produce got their start with an unconventional product: wacky, colorful, ornamental pumpkins. Over time, these hand-painted gourds grew into a full-fledged business. Today, Bay Baby sells edible, decorative, and miniature squash in grocery stores all over the country, as well as in Blue Apron meal kits. 

Farm founders Michele Youngquist and Liz Mitchell have been working together for over 20 years. When they founded Bay Baby produce, they were initially looking for a way to “give pumpkins some personality.” Their first product to come out of this idea became known as Pumpkin Patch Pals®. These miniature pumpkins are decorated by hand, and are meant to embody a goofy, bright personality. Partly inspired by Mitchell’s background as an elementary school teacher, Pumpkin Patch Pals® soon became a way to connect to the community. These silly squash serve as ambassadors of healthy eating to children everywhere. 

Even though it started out as a small creative outlet, Bay Baby is now a thriving organic farm. Mitchell and Youngquist own and operate over 500 acres of land in the Skagit Valley near Mt. Vernon, Washington. The farm has earned a WSDA organic certification, and as members of the Sustainable Farm Trade Association, the team takes environmental stewardship seriously. 

miniature butternut squash
Butterbaby squash, all roasted up

As their business expanded, so did their offerings. Today, Youngquist and Mitchell grow more than just decorative gourds. The team at Bay Bay produces several varieties of hard winter squash, in addition to pie pumpkins. They’re the trusted supplier of butterbaby, a miniature butternut squash that’s just as cute as it sounds, for all Blue Apron boxes. They also worked alongside the chefs at Blue Apron to engineer a miniature spaghetti squash. These tiny squash aren’t just adorable, they’re perfectly portioned to serve two people, making them an ideal addition to any Blue Apron dinner.

Hungry for more? Try Bay Baby produce products in Blue Apron dinner boxes all fall long.

Brooklyn Delhi Locks the Flavors of Home into a Jar

Chitra Agrawal’s love for achaar stretches back years. Before she became the co-owner and culinary brain behind Brooklyn Delhi, she used to return from trips to India with a suitcase full of the tangy, briny, complex condiment. 

jarred tomato chutney

The term achaar comes from the Hindi word for ‘pickle,’ and in India dozens of varieties are available. The team at Brooklyn Delhi describes achaar as “India’s equivalent to Sriracha, but without all the sugar.” Much like Sriracha, achaar is best eaten on… everything! Traditionally it’s served with rice, dal, curries, or yogurt, but Agrawal loves her savory tomato achaar recipe on everything from burgers to eggs. 

The Brooklyn Delhi recipes were finely tuned to please a variety of palates. As a chef and cookbook author, Chitra Agrawal has high standards. The recipes she developed and markets along with her husband Ben Garthus are designed to be eaten by the spoonful; the spice level is slightly toned down when compared the classical Indian sauce that serves as an inspiration. The savory tomato achaar is complex and tangy, made with local tomatoes, tamarind, and a blend of spices for that perfect balance between acidic, sweet, and hot. The Brooklyn Delhi line now includes 10 sauces, including two achaars, jarred curries, a hot sauce, and more. 

Since their official launch in 2014, all of Agrawal and Garthus’s hard work has paid off. Their products have been recognized locally and nationally, as winners of the 2019 Sofi Award, the 2016 Good Food Award, the 2018 Frontburner Competition, and more. Their condiments are available to order online, and the tomato achaar is proudly featured in nationally shipped Blue Apron boxes, labeled as savory tomato chutney. 

On Brooklyn Delhi’s website, super fans of the super savory condiments share tips for how to use it, ranging from dipping dumplings into it to plopping it onto nachos. The Blue Apron test kitchen sends the savory tomato Achaar. These are some of our favorite ways to use it: 

Savory Tomato Chutney in Blue Apron Recipes 

Beef Burgers & Tomato Chutney Mayo

Beef Burgers with Tomato Chutney Mayo

Naan Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Naan Grilled Cheese with Tomato Chutney

Indian-Style Paneer & Creamy Tomato Curry

Paneer in Creamy Tomato Curry

Growing Lentils to Heal the Land with Timeless

In 1987, growing lentils in Montana was a radical suggestion. 

Smokey Timeless lentils

It’s hard to imagine now, but at the time David Oien was launching the first iteration of Timeless, organic farming wasn’t chic at all. 

Oien comes from a long line of Montana wheat farmers. He was in agricultural school when he realized that the changing model of farming wouldn’t work for him. The shift towards industrial farming demanded huge plots of land, and the relatively small family farm didn’t have a clear path forward. 

As a student, Oien became interested in organic farming and regenerative crops. He found like-minded partners in Bud Barta, Jim Barngrover, and Tom Hastings, and together they formed a mission to encourage sustainable organic farming in Montana. 

At first, their efforts focused on promoting growing a specific strain of lentil known as George Black Medic in the northern plains. The suggestion seemed simple, instead of leaving land to “fallow” or remain unplanted for alternate seasons, farmers would rotate in the crop of George Black Medic. This crop was chosen specifically because lentils make their own fertilizer. When planted, they reintroduce nitrogen into the soil, and make the land more fertile for other crops. Oien, Barta, Barngrover, and Hastings hoped that introducing this method of rotational farming would replenish soils, reduce erosion, and increase organic matter. Unfortunately, they were met with a lot of nos. At the time, the farmers they were speaking with were dependent on federal farm subsidies, which fine farmers for growing crops on fallow grounds. 

timeless lentil store house
A Timeless store house

Despite the initial setback, the Timeless team knew that their idea would be good for the land and for consumers. They were just a few years ahead of the game. In the 1990s, a renewed interest in health food among consumers provided the boost they needed. Working from David Oien’s farm, and with the help of friends and family, they launched their trademark Black Beluga Lentils in 1994. 

Today, Timeless has expanded. They remain committed to sustainable crops, but now work with a network of farmers and distributors who share their values. Their seeds and legumes can be found in restaurants across the country, as well as in Blue Apron Meal Kits.

Try a recipe for smokey beluga lentils.