Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Black Bean Burgers featuring S&W Beans

S & W Beans are some of the best beans in the whole entire world!  You can find the recipe for these black bean burgers here.  There are so many amazing recipes on the S & W Beans site, such as the Baja Beans & Rice, Crockpot Cowbelle Butter Beans, and the Santa Fe Burrito Bake.  I could not believe how unbelievably easy it was to make these black bean burgers and we grilled them up on our outdoor gas grill.

I will be featuring a lot of S&W beans in my posts and will be doing a giveaway this month as well.  These beans rock!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oregon Chai Review & Giveaway

Mmm...I love Chai Tea.  Oregon Chai is the chai tea of all chai teas!  They graciously sent me three different types of chai tea to try:  the Original, the Energia herbal chai, and Dreamscape herbal chai.  Each box comes with 20 bags of pure bliss.  There are so many different ways to enjoy your chai.  I enjoy it heated with or without a little bit of sugar and cream.  I also enjoy it cold, brewed and poured over ice for a refreshing treat.  Chai has always been regarded as a healthy alternative to coffee, with a lower level of caffeine (although the Dreamscape is naturally caffeine free) and has been known to improve one's vitality, mental clarity, and calming- all at the same time!  Not to mention, it tastes incredible.  These three different blends of chai are fitting for whatever mood you are in.  I obviously cannot pick a favorite, because I adore all three blends.

So, you're ready to try it, right?  Thanks to Oregon Chai, we have my first birthday week giveaway!  One lucky winner will receive a box of each Oregon Chai flavor above:  The Original, The Energia Herbal Chai, and The Dreamscape Herbal Chai.  Good Luck!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

So Delicious Dairy-Free Tasty Products!

I am always interested in learning about dairy-free alternatives for traditional dairy products such as milk, ice cream, yogurt, and cheese.  I contacted So Delicious Products to give their coconut-based products a whirl and was extremely pleased with the results!  I used the regular coconut milk in my kid's cereal one day and they didn't notice.  They always seem to notice when it comes to milk, so I think that says a lot about the taste/quality/consistency.  I have tried rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, soy milk, but my favorite version of Chocolate Milk is this:

So Delicious...yes...SOOOOO DELICIOUS!

I had several people try the Dairy-Free Mini ice-cream sandwiches and everyone loved them.  These are actually only 90 calories, and instead of a coconut-based product, these are soy.  The other ice-creams we had in chocolate and vanilla were also soy-based and very good!

I know a lot of people talk about how coconut products are "high in saturated fat".  Well, there is a huge difference on what kind of fat you are speaking of.  Coconut is mostly medium-chained fatty acids which are well utilized in the body as energy versus being stored as fat.  The MCFA are almost always directly absorbed into your mucosal cells because of their shorter length, which has researchers intrigued with their potential immune-enhancing abilities.  I love Coconuts.  I love that the Coconut products taste more like milk than any of the other types of dairy-free alternatives.  If you have a lactose allergy, intolerance, or simply just want to try something other than milk, give this a shot and let me know what you think!  Thanks so much to So Delicious for letting me try a bunch of your products.  I really enjoyed them!

Tzatziki Sauce Recipe featuring Chobani Greek Yogurt

Last night was a huge win in my family.  I successfully got my husband and both of my children to happily eat Falafel Pitas!  The secret to my success was in the Tzatziki Sauce made with Chobani Greek Yogurt.  Here is the recipe I made (and loved):

  • 1 cup of Chobani's Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped garlic
  • 1 TBSP fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of chopped cucumber
Mix it up and chill it for at least a half of an hour before serving.  You can put this stuff on anything!  Veggies, sandwiches, Falafel Pitas, plain pitas, etc.  ENJOY!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fun Saturday Night Snack

One of the best Christmas gifts we received this year was a Bella brand air-popped popcorn maker.  It is so easy to use and the kids think it is hilarious watching the popcorn fly out of the machine.  You can melt the butter or margarine on top while the popcorn is cooking.  I am so happy with the money we are saving too!  I bought a bag of white kernels for $1.39 at the store and can easily make 15 "bags" worth of popcorn with that.  Popcorn is a great snack, with only an average of 31 calories per cup of air-popped popcorn!  Thanks Russ & Cindy for the wonderful Christmas gift!  The family has enjoyed it so much and I would suggest this as a gift for anyone looking to get something fun or thoughtful for others!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Homemade Oven Sweet Potato Fries

I have been looking at 3 sweet potatoes in my kitchen for a few days.  Originally, I had planned to bake them whole, but then was inspired to try out some homemade sweet potato fries!  It was super easy to do and the entire family loved them.  Sweet Potatoes are high in Beta-Carotene, which can be converted to Vitamin A in your body & has shown to be protective against cancers, along with reducing the rate of heart disease.  Here is what I did:
  • I took my 3 sweet potatoes and cut them into strips.  I found that the more traditional "french fry" shape baked the best in the oven.  The thicker cut strips were borderline soggy.
  • I brushed the sweet potatoes with about 3 TBSP of an olive oil/canola oil blend.
  • I then added 1 TBSP of garlic salt, 2 TBSP of oregano, & shook it all up in this container:
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place your sweet potato fries evenly on a non-stick pan.
  • Cook for 15 minutes and flip them over.  Then, cook for 15 more minutes.
  • Take them out of the oven and enjoy them!  My 3 medium sweet potatoes could feed 4-6 people with no problem.  YUM!!!!

Badger Mountain Vineyards: No Sulfites Added Series Review

Did you know that potentially 1 out of 10 people have a sulfite allergy?  My great friend Michelle and I both suffer from migraines and know that sulfites can be triggers for migraines.  Aside from being a migraine sufferer, my pal Michelle also is very picky about what adult beverages she in...only drinks tequila or my secret family recipe for "Mollie B.'s Homemade Bailey's".  But, she tried the Badger Mountain Vineyard NSA (No Sulfite Added) Organic wine and was quite happy.  We shared some of the Chardonnay, which by the way, is the most delicious Chardonnay I have ever had.  And for only $10.00 a bottle, this is quite a steal too!  The Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were also delicious.  These wines are USDA Organic & although a natural amount of sulfites do exist in wine, these wines have no added sulfites which can really ease the mind of someone who is sensitive to sulfites.  The Badger Mountain Vineyard is based out of Washington State and they put a lot of passion into their wine, which is reflected in its quality and taste.  Please consider these wines when making your next purchase for a dinner party, romantic night in, or for a gift!  You will not be disappointed.  Thank you so much to Badger Mountain Vineyards for letting me try your wonderful wine!