food

MARDI GRAS Subscription Box: Rise Protein Bar Review

Today I got my Love with Food Subscription Box!! I’ve never received one before, but I got this one for FREE (see below to get your free box too!!) so I was super excited to try it out. First off, it was SO fun to get a little package in the mail with new goodies inside. Out of everything I got I decided to try the Rise Protein Bar (Almond Honey) after my yoga class and it was SOO good!!!

It tasted exactly like almond butter and honey in a patty form. As I looked at the ingredients, that’s exactly what it was! The 3 simple ingredients were almonds, honey, and whey protein. YUM!!

I would completely recommend this product to others and I’m so excited to try their other flavors! I’ll keep you updated as I try the other samples in the box!

Later I made some cranberry orange greek yogurt scones…I didn’t take any pictures yet but keep your eyes open for a new post to come!

Click here or on the picture below to get your free subscription box!!

Love With Food - Snack Smart. Do Good.

Do you get a subscription box? Which one?!

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Product Review: Trader Joe’s Shrimp or Vegetable Thai Gyoza & True Thai Tom Yam Soup

So yesterday we took a trip to Trader Joe’s. Obviously this ended with us buying a plethora of new TJ products to try. Then I figured, why not share our opinions? Anyways, after our trip to the store we decided to try out 3 of the products we purchased: the Shrimp Gyoza, Vegetable Gyoza, and Tom Yam Soup. 

1) Trader Joe’s Thai Shrimp Gyoza 

We cooked half of a bag of these along with half a bag of vegetable gyoza, and topped it with dumpling sauce. They were a lot larger than I had expected and a lot more delicious! The shrimp gave these gyoza a bit more texture, and you can actually see the bits of shrimp. Would we buy this again? Yes! 

2) Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza (Vegetarian/Vegan) 

These looked (and tasted) a lot like the shrimp gyoza. They were large, filling, and delicious! Everyone agreed the vegetable gyoza were just as good as the shrimp gyoza. The only difference is that you don’t get the little chunks of shrimp, but overall the taste is pretty similar. I like that we put half and half into the mixture, and we will definitely be purchasing more of TJ’s gyoza in the future for a quick and easy meal!

3) Trader Joe’s Tom Yam Soup (Vegetarian/Vegan)  & 

This one is a hit or miss. For me, I found it too acidic. It tasted like someone had added some lemon/lime juice to the top before I took a bite. With that being said, others loved this. Apparently, Tom Yam is supposed to be a little acidic and served atop rice (something we did not do). Maybe I would have liked it more had I served it on rice. I should also note that this is a single serve soup. We all only had a couple of spoonfuls, but now we know who would eat it and who wouldn’t haha! I personally would not buy this again, but I’m sure others in the family will. 

Hope these were helpful! I will be posting more product reviews as we try out the rest of the groceries. But in the meantime:

Does anyone have a TJ product they recommend?

Secret Ingredient Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

1/2 fat, 1 grain20140402-214320.jpg

Apparently yesterday was national peanut butter and jelly day. How could I miss such a holiday?! Well, since I eat peanut butter and jelly every day (in one way or another) I wasn’t too surprised when I found myself making these PB&J bars anyways.

20140402-214330.jpgWhat I actually did was use up ALL the ‘leftover’ ingredients I could find. This includes: half a frozen pear from this recipe, the rest of the blueberry muesli from this recipe, and some blueberry jam that’s been sitting in our pantry untouched.

Here’s the whole bar fresh from the oven:

20140402-214416.jpgBe sure to read the substitution notes. As I said, I was trying to use up old ingredients but you can use more generic pantry staples.

And now cut into bite size pieces:

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1 1/2 cups Trader Joes Blueberry Muesli*

1/4 cup pear sauce**

1/3 cup jam

1 egg

2.5 tbsp peanut butter

>> Preheat oven to 350F. Add peanut butter, pear sauce, and beaten egg to the muesli. Line a 8×4 loaf pan with tin foil for easy removal. Press about 3/4 of mixture into the pan firmly. Spread jam on top. Firmly press remaining mixture bits on top. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool before cutting into 8 bars.

*Alt. use 1 1/2 cups oats + 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins

**I made this by placing 1/2 chopped frozen pear in a pan with some water, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and letting simmer until soft. Then I blended into a puree. Alt. use 1/4 cup applesauce or other fruit butter.

Will April Showers Bring May Flowers ? // Pineapple Tofu Stir Fry

2.5 fats, 1 fruit, 2 grains, 3 proteins, 2 vegetables20140401-202525.jpg

Happy April! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys; it’s juicy, tangy, naturally sweet and salty.

But let me back track a little. Over the winter I bought a 4 lb bag of frozen pineapple chunks from Costco. I’m almost at the end, but still have a little left. I like to eat them right from the freezer, but decided to switch things up and incorporate them into my stir fry. Do you have any pineapple recipes to share for the last of my bag?

20140401-202532.jpgFun Fast Facts:

  • Pineapple has very good anti inflammatory benefits because of its enzyme bromelain.
  • Pineapple grows as a result of of many flowers whose flowerets have joined around the core.
  • Hawaii is the world’s largest producer of pineapple.
  • Traditionally, pineapple was used as a diuretic and a labor inducer.

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For stir fry:

1 cup brown rice, cooked [2 grains, 1 protein]

1 tsp coconut oil [1 fat]

3/4 cup fresh or frozen greens (I used a broccoli, edamame, green bean mix) [1.5 vegetable]

4 oz. tofu [1 protein, 1/2 fat]

1/3 red bell pepper [1/2 vegetable]

1/2 small onion

~ 1/2 cup chopped pineapple [1 fruit]

1/4 cup egg whites (opt.) [1 protein]

6 cashews [1 fat]

For sauce: 

2 tbsp pineapple juice*

2.5 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp minced garlic

>> Combine all ingredients for the sauce, except cornstarch, in a dish. Dry tofu with a paper towel and dice it into a bowl. Cover with 2 tbsp. of sauce and set aside to marinade about 5-10 mins. Add cornstarch to the remaining sauce and mix until smooth. Heat skillet with coconut oil and sauté onions. Add the tofu until it has browned. Add vegetables and cook 2 minutes. Add the brown rice and egg whites. Cook an additional 2 minutes and serve. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, and cashews.

*To get pineapple juice, I simple microwaved the frozen pineapple chunks for about 30 seconds.

 

Summer Squash Pita Pizza

2 1/2 fat, 1/2 grain,  1 protein, 2 vegetable20140323-150733.jpg

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this recipe to be as good as it came out to be. It was quick, easy, and cheap! I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be making this again soon…maybe even for lunch tomorrow.20140323-150738.jpg

Summer squash is known for it’s antioxidants. The specific antioxidants found in summer squash are especially good for your eyes. Furthermore, the combination of antioxidant and anti inflammatory nutrients are suspected to provide anti-cancer benefits. 20140323-150744.jpg1 small summer squash [1 vegetable]

1 small tomato [1 vegetable]

1/2 onion

1 whole wheat pita [1/2 grain, 1/2 fat]

1 oz cheese (I used 1/2 parmesan, 1/2 gouda) [1 protein, 1 fat]

1 tsp olive oil  [1 fat]

>>Preheat oven to 400F. Sauté chopped onion in oil until clear. Add summer squash and a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, place the pita on a cookie sheet and lay sliced tomato on the pita. Top with your sautéed squash and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the oven for ~6-10 mins.

Sprinkle oregano, chili flakes, basil, etc. on top. Be careful of the hot juices that will leak from the pizza!

Vegan? Replace with cheese with nutritional yeast or make your own “cheeze” sauce.

Orange Spinach Quinoa Salad

 1/2 fruit, 1 grain, 1 protein, 1 vegetable

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I love to travel! But when I’m not, I love to hear about others’ stories abroad.

Last week our family friends left to go on vacation to St. Maarten. Yesterday they finally returned, refreshed and relaxed! When they called us from the airport, we invited them over to dinner knowing they would be tired from traveling and going home to an empty fridge.

This left me with about 30 minutes to get food ready, get the house ready, and get myself ready. I whipped up this dish in less than 5 minutes which left me plenty of time to set the table and clean up a bit.20140301-144156.jpgWhen they arrived it looked like someone slapped them in the face. I mean, no offense, your tan looks fabulous but is it really that bad to be back home? (Then again, compared to St. Maarten, this freezing New England weather probably does feel like a slap in the face.)

Anyways, our guests were so pleased to have a bit of the tropics follow them back to the chilly weather up north. This side dish was perfectly sweet and tangy to help them transition back to reality.

1/2 cup cooked quinoa* [1 grain, 1 protein]

1 cup spinach [1 vegetable]

1/2 orange [1/2 fruit]

>>Wash and cook quinoa (on the stove or a rice cooker). Chop spinach and dice orange. Toss all ingredients, and drizzle with a balsamic glaze**.

*1/4 cup uncooked

**I used a store bought fig vanilla balsamic glaze. Try making your own with 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, and 1 tsp. agave/honey.

Where was the last place you traveled?

Chunky Monkey Chocolate Milk

[1 dairy, 2 fruits]

20140227-104921.jpgI’ll just come out and say it, I hate chocolate milk. Heck, I’ve never been a fan of milk to begin with (…unless it came with a warm cookie or in the form of ice cream).

20140227-104930.jpgBut today was different. I wanted a chocolatey taste with my breakfast, without the overpowering sweetness.

I should rename this to the “adult cocoa blend” or something.  I’m not sure how many people want to flaunt that they had a “Chunky Monkey Chocolate Milk” for breakfast, but hey- live a little and laugh!

1 frozen banana [2 fruits]

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 cup milk (dairy/non-dairy) [1 dairy]

>>Blend all ingredients in a blender.

**I made mine with almond milk and a scoop of protein powder. I topped it with chopped almonds, goji berries, and coconut shreds. (I highly recommend adding these “chunks” for the extra crunch)!

What’s your favorite “kids drink”?