As much as I love spending time in the kitchen, sometimes it just isn’t feasible. We all have the nights when spending an hour to make dinner is just not an option. One of my favorite “after soccer, before next activity meals” growing up was tortellini with pesto. My Mom always makes batches of pesto when the basil is blooming and then freezes it to use throughout the year. I have very fond memories of those rushed, but always finding time to eat as a family, meals.
Unfortunately I don’t have any home-made pesto to toss with tortellini, but I have something that comes pretty close, with an ethnic twist. Jalfreezi Simmer Sauce makes dinner taste like it’s been simmering away for hours, instead of minutes. When served with some naan, brown rice and tofu, you can almost pretend that you are at your favorite Indian joint.
The sauce is delicious and the ingredient list is real. Does it get any better than that? I’ve had pre-made sauces in the past and was never thrilled, but this I can say will be making it to my pantry again.
The Makings of a fast, delicious Indian meal at home:
What is your go-to quick meal?
These little morsels are perfect for topping salads, adding to stir-frys or just eating straight. Considering that they are full of protein and fiber, these salty soybeans make a healthy, filling and satisfying snack. Much better than those potato chips out of the vending machine! Make a batch, but I would double the recipe, 1 cup just wasn’t enough!
- 1 cup frozen Organic edamame (not in shell)
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- garlic salt & red pepper flakes
Pre-heat oven to 400° F. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Increase time if you want them crunchier.
I like to be thoughtful of our earth year round, but I must say that the warm, spring days we’ve been having as of late make me appreciate mother nature so much more than blistery, below-zero days. Springtime in Minnesota is really a sight to see, I swear the population increases by about 75%, but possibly it is just everyone returning to the outdoors after many months of hibernation. 😉
My parents were “green” before it even turned into an everyday term and maybe, just maybe, I’ve picked up some of my “green-ness” from them. Because it was basically instilled in me, I had no other choice! I have very fond memories of my little brother taking the compostable garbage out to the compost pile – which he considered the WORST possible job on the planet. (It took all of 2 minutes to complete) But they did (and still do) everything they can to keep as much out of the landfills as they can.
I do the everyday “earth friendly” things like recycling, bringing my own bags to the store with me, buying organic (and local when possible), walking instead of driving as much as it allows and just being aware of what resources I’m using in general. Unfortunately, my 10th floor downtown apartment doesn’t quite allow for a compost pile, but all in good time, I do what I can right now.
I am a strong believer that little changes add up – just as I believe little changes in the foods we eat and movement we get can change our bodies and ourselves for the better – no matter how small the changes are, they are worth it! Because of this, I’m willing to spend more money on food and household items that go the extra mile in either using or producing products that help protect the planet. A few years ago I started replacing my cleaning supplies with more natural versions without the harsh chemicals – I love reading the 7th Generation packages that share things like this:
Doesn’t that just make you want to make the switch right now? Another small change that I recently implemented was bringing a water bottle with me to our trip to Colorado. I rarely buy drinks in plastic bottles at home, but never think twice about it while traveling. (I need water, right?) This little change saved at least 10 plastic water bottles from ending up in a landfill and if that doesn’t count for something, I’m not sure what does.
What small changes can you make?
I’m back from California and despite the perfect weather and sunshine, I have to admit that I was ready to be home, looking forward to my daily routine, reading all of your blogs and of course seeing the taster!
Expo West 2010 went very well. As with any big event, the glitches are quickly fixed and we served up more bread, tortillas and pizzas than I can even wrap my head around. After the show, I was fortunate enought to spend some time in LA with family and meet Lynn from The Actor’s Diet! (I had confused the dates and due to a last minute change Christy was unable to attend – next time Christy!) It was so fun to chat with her and meet the famous Julius. She is as beautiful as you can imagine!
I promised you some of the newest and most interesting products out there so here they are. Because we were so busy and the show is so huge I certainly didn’t see everything but here are some of my favorites.
Interesting & New Products:
- Lara Bars: There are some new bar flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (there is a bit more added sugar with the chocolate) but unfortunately by the time I got to their booth they were all out of samples! I heard nothing but good things so am anxious to see them in the stores!
- Coconut Water Sorbet: This coconut sorbet was delicious, sweetened with agave and will be so refreshing in the midst of summer – the lemonade flavor was perfectly tart, but I’m even more excited to try the Hibiscus variety.
- Amazing Grass: I’ve been using the grass for some time but was explaining that I just can’t down it plain with water and would like to – enter in the newest variety that has a nice lime flavor and also contains matcha and mate in addition to the green goodness – trust me when I say you can drink it straight. They also have a new bar out, Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar that was delicious and I will be buying again.
- Daiya Cheese: this new vegan cheese is out of this world. I obviously am VERY picky with vegan/dairy-free cheeses because I love cheese and refuse to eat mediocre cheese. With that said, it will be in my shopping cart this weekend.
- Zhena’s Gypsy Tea: Coconut Chai with some almond milk and agave/stevia = perfection in a cup.
- Hansen’s Natural Fruit & Tea Sticks: The natural version of Crystal Light – finally! These low-cal drink mixes are sweetened with truvia and are deliciously sweet – I know the kids at camp will love them!
- YumNuts Naturals: Roasted, jumbo cashews with no added oils – perfect for afternoon snacking (Toasted Coconut was my favorite).
- Hummus Chips & Dressing: I’ve had the hummus chips at other shows and always loved them but have yet to see them in the stores – this year they also had a new hummus dressing which is similar to a thinned-out hummus – perfect for any salad!
Filed under antioxidants, ask the nutritionist, blog friends, cheese, chocolate, coconut, dessert, fats, gluten-free, in my cupboard, product review, protein, vegan, website, whole foods, whole grains
Sometimes you just have to buy new food products because they are fun. It may seem juvenile to some, but it’s the little things in life, right? (This also may explain my ridiculous attempts at keeping a food budget.) This is one of those foods. I’ve looked at this longingly in the stores for years now and it finally made it home with me! Part of the reason I held off for so long is that I’m not really a pancake person. We’ve literally had the same Whole Wheat Pancake Mix in the cupboard for over a year now. But the Batter Blaster got the best of me and I may just start eating pancakes more often.
Pancakes out of a can? They were surprisingly good and turned out just as fluffy as pancakes should. In fact, the taster has already requested them for breakfast again. Pancakes on a week-day seems like a bit much but not with this. Simply shake, press and flip and in a matter of about 4 minutes, you’ve got a golden, perfect pancake. You can also add blueberries or bananas, although they don’t turn out quite as well.
Does anyone else have a food or product they buy because it is fun?
I have some exciting granola news for you, and I know you all love granola. How can you not? It is crunchy and sweet, the perfect breakfast, snack, or dessert and it is a healthy treat that we can all feel good about eating. But we also know that all granola is not created equally. A lot of it is full of added sugars, unnecessary fats and loads of ingredients that we don’t need.
Galaxy Granola has some new products that even the pickiest of nutritious eaters can feel good about eating and even more importantly enjoy eating. They sent me some samples to try and I started with the Not Sweet Vanilla – it is sweetened with agave and only has 4 g of sugar/serving. Considering that apples are the second ingredient, that is the best sugar stat on cereal that I’ve seen in a long time. But realistically it all comes down to the taste and I am here to let you know that this was some of the best granola I’ve had in a while. It had the perfect vanilla flavor without being overly sweet but still felt like a treat. I had mine straight out of the bag and with some unsweetened almond milk – Oh and did I mention that they donate 1% of sales to protect the environment? Eat up 🙂
Ingredients: Whole Rolled Oats, Apples, Organic Agave Nectar, Barley Flakes, Spelt Flakes, Crisp Rice, Oat Flour, Vanilla Extract, Oat Bran, Vitamin E.
Nutrition: (Per 1/4 cup) 120 cal, 2.2 g fat, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein
Fruit Not Fat Movement
This is “a movement, a lifestyle, and a recipe for a happier and healthier life.” Does that mission statement have a copyright? It sounds like my life! The website is here to provide recipes, tips and to really be an online community that you can enjoy being a part of. They want to hear what you are doing, what you think of their granola and what kind of products you want to see. Go grab some of their granola, sit down and bum around the site. I know that’s what I’ll be doing. 😉
Follow their tweets and find them on Facebook
I don’t eat cereal for breakfast. Ever. It just doesn’t work for me – it leaves me hungry about 10 minutes after eating it and I cannot be hungry before my morning commute has even started! Now this is not to say that I don’t enjoy cereal – I actually love it and lately I’ve been buying Kashi’s Heart to Heart cereal. I just don’t have it for breakfast.
I prefer my cereal at night as a snack/dessert and some hearts with almond milk are my current obsession. It isn’t overly sweet, but sweet enough to feel like dessert! Since I do treat it as a dessert I don’t mind the sugar content, but it is a pet-peeve of mine that so many cereals (even natural and organic ones) have so much sugar in them! Is it really necessary?
Question: Are you able to eat cereal in the morning without being hungry right after you eat?