Monday, April 30, 2012

April Foodie Penpals

The Lean Green Bean 

Foodie Penpals is the brainchild of Lindsey @ Lean Green Bean Blog Basic premise: get matched with another blogger or blog reader and send a $15 dollar "foodie gift" it's a lot of fun both shopping and receiving the packages.

Last week was a long one. But this Foodie Penpals box from Kelly made my day!  Nothing like a box of food treats to brighten up a day!
These Freeze-dried Fruit Munchies were addictive! The perfect combination of sweet/tart they were a great snack. They never even  made it in cereal or on a salad

Biscoff spread. While delicious, I would never consider this an "alternative to peanut butter". Sorry but crushed up cookies don't have the nutritional benefits of peanuts! It makes a good dessert though!
KIND Clusters- a great bar company now makes great gluten-free granolas. They are mighty tasty!

I've been looking for a great non-caffinated tea, and this might just make the cut:
Apparently Eli Zabar crisps are a NYC favorite. And i can see why! Delicious crunchy toast crackers are way better than bagel crisps!

Want in on Foodie Penpals?If you’re interested in participating for May, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. It's a whole lotta fun!

What new foods have you tried and loved? 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Walnut Butter

I got the best little package from California Walnuts. 
 Walnuts of course!! Delicious, and nutritious any way you cut it! One of my favorite thing about walnuts is how much they look like little brains which is ironic because they are super foods for your brain
Great job Mother Nature
 and while I could have eaten them all straight outta the bag, or put them on salad, or toss them in rice pilaf, I decided to tackle a task that has been evading me: make nut butter.
My two favorite kitchen appliances 
I have never succeeded at making nut butter in a food processor before. Someone told me i just wasn't doing it for long enough. So i sat it out. for 5 minutes I added maple syrup and a dash of seasalt for taste purposes. and it turned out mighty fine.
best served on crackers, bread, apple slices, heck straight outta the jar!!

Have you ever made nut butter before? tis fun!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Elizabeth Eats: Olivia's Organics

 I really do love Salads. And I'm not just saying that because I'm a dietitian and that's what we're supposed to say right? I have an honest love for everything that grows out of this beautiful earth, and especially the green varietals. But it has to be fresh. Ever picked up a bag of supermarket spinach that just tasted like the bag it was packed in? No wonder no one wants to eat their veggies!! Buying fresher produce is definitely the secret to a lifelong relationship with your greens.
I had a chance to talk with some people over at Olivia's Organics and while I have always been a fan of their giant salad clamshells (which are made of recycled plastic and completely recyclable), they are a pretty fab company. Plus they're locally based (to me at least!), and source their greens from only the USA-100% organic certified.

Food safety is a HUGE priority for them, which is REALLY important to me, because salad greens are the last place we should be getting e.coli from. They test every batch of leaves that comes into the plant, and will not even unload the truck until the results come back negative.Then they are triple washed, and dried and shipped out. Their drying process keeps them super fresh.(If you want to learn more about how e.coli can contaminate greens and what companies can do to prevent this, read over this great NPR story!)

Their newest "line" is a cooking greens blend which has the "baby" varietals of some of my favorites. Yes, BABY kale, BABY swiss chard, BABY collard greens, BABY spinach. (Because some things are better small right?) If you've never tried baby kale it's a new favorite of mine. It's much lighter than the grown-up kind, and has almost a spicy kick like arugula!

Icing on this cake? Portion of all profits go to local children's charities. Can't get much better than that! You can find Olivia's up and down the East Coast, at Whole Foods, Hannfords and more

Now excuse me, I need to go enjoy spring in Boston... once this rain clears up. and maybe even do some Guiltless Spring Cleaning
Do you have a favorite GREEN veggie?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Recipe Redux: Ramped-up Vegan Scones

The theme of this month's Recipe Redux was "The First Shoots of Spring” I love shopping during the spring as I start to see leeks, scallions, garlic scapes, pea shoots, asparagus and ramps pop up around the store, even before most farmer's markets have opened. I actually tried ramps for the first time this year. Wild leeks, they taste like a garlicy chive, and are spicy enough to be fun to play around with. So i decided to RAMP up a Scone.

And add a little cheese because I really wanted to try Daiya's new wedges-Jalapeno Havarti to be specific. (for those who are like day-wha? Daiya is a line of faux-chesse that are free of dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, rice, peanuts and tree nut. And it's the only nondairy "cheese" that I find acceptable-and it actually melts)

 I was also torn as to whether this was a scone or soda bread. It just uses baking soda to give it a little rise, but I feel like my Irish ancestors would be turning in their grave if they saw what I had done to traditional Irish Soda Bread. So let's stick to "scone"

Ramped-Up Vegan Scones

  • 3 cups 100% white whole wheat flour
  • 1 TBS baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vingar
  • 1 cup soy milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 # ramps, diced
  • 1 block Daiya Cheese, shredded (optional)
1. Add flour, baking soda, salt and pepper and set aside.
2. In a second bowl mix the rest of the ingredients.  Side note: ramps have an extremely short availability. So you could always sub chives. And you could definitely use real cheese, I just wanted to try a fun new product.
3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and stir together, almost kneading. 
4.Spread unto a sheet pan, that has a thin layer of olive oil or parchment paper to make it nonstick

5.Bake at 350 for 15 minutes

Want some more spring inspired recipes? Check these out! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rise and Shine!

Wow! You guys really dig RISE bars!

I could only pick one winner so chose Carli- who said she "would love to try the raspberry pomegranate Rise Bar" Congrats Carli! I'll be in touch!

Thank you to all that entered! If you're still on the hunt for RISE bars, check out their handy store locator!

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Elizabeth Cooks: Green Garbanzo Beans

Like I said, I am a cook. Not a chef, not a baker, but I can cook. And when I saw these little frozen green chickpeas I was intrigued and had to whip up something.

What are green chickpeas? Basically baby garbanzo beans, they are picked before the beans turn tan and get put onto salads or whipped into hummus. Taste-wise they're between a chickpea and an english pea. A little sweeter, a little less mushy. You can buy them fresh in the pods at a computer or at the farmers market- like this:
   Whole Foods also has a bag of frozen garbanzo beans. awh yeah.
Also. Bulgur is my new favorite grain. Basically it's whole wheat berries that have been already baked. So all you have to do is soak them in hot water for 30 minutes. No watching the stove to make sure they don't burn or over/under cooking. Can you get easier than that??
So here's a springy recipe just for you!

Green Chickpea Salad

1 bag 365 Frozen Green Chickpeas
1 cup bulgur (dry)
1.5 cup water
1 bunch Mint, chopped finely
1 / 2 red onion diced
2 T Lemon Juice
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic chopped
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Thaw green chickpeas. Bring water to a boil and add bulgur. Let sit for 30 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Combine in a large bowl with mint, red onion, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.

Happy Spring Eating!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Elizabeth Eats: Rise Bar

I know, you're like "Elizabeth another nutrition bar? really?" But the market is filled with bars promising you that you'll lose weight, be stronger etcetc if only you eat this bar. And let's face it-we're all busy and sometimes a bar is a more realistic snack choice than fruit + nuts, or crackers + cheese. So I want to wade through the bar aisle to find you the ones that are actually good. Good tasting, good for you, good for the world.

And Rise is a new bar that fits all three of those criteria.
Rise Bars are 100% vegetarian and kosher, and do not contain gluten, GMOs, preservatives, peanuts or soy.  They come in 3 "varsities"- Breakfast which has a nice blend of  fruit +crispy rice + nuts + honey. Energy which is a vegan line of snack bars. I love their simple ingredient list:
Dates + Almonds + Coconut +Apples + Brown Rice Syrup + Tapioca Syrup + Amaranth +Raspberries + Pomegranate + Sea Salt
Protein+ bars contain 17g of protein thanks to added whey protein + almonds. I think they are the only bar with only 5 ingredients to contain that much protein.

Although I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious the entire line of Energy bars were (I did not taste the Breakfast or Protein+ bars) I think my favorites were Raspberry Pomegranate (pictured above) and Coconut Blueberry. Love the tropical twist coconut brings to the bar aisle! These bars will definitely be added to my list of foods I stock my glove compartment with for emergency snacking, and be an option I grab when I need a mid afternoon snack break.

Plus, the Rise recognizes people who "Rise to the Occasion" with social service, and reward them. And if you're an athlete, they just might sponsor you. You can find Rise at a store near you with this handy dandy locator!

Today is your lucky day because one of you gets a mixed box of Rise Bars! Entering is easy- just leave a comment on your favorite nutrition/energy bar, and what type of Rise Bar you would like to try. You can gain an additional entry by tweeting something like: " @Elizabetheats is giving away a box of @risebar " I will pick a winner on April 17th at 9am so get your entries in before then!

Full Disclosure: I was not paid or compensated to write this review or do a giveaway. I did receive free product but was not obligated to post about said product. I only post about foods I 100% believe in.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Elizabeth Eats: Quinn Popcorn

Popcorn is a staple in my diet. No joke. Which isn't a bad thing considering that it's a whole grain and rich in antioxidants. 

I grew up on homemade airpopped-with honey or Parmesan, garlic and sea salt (thanks Mom!).  If I'm going to watch a movie or TV I demand that J makes a batch. Because he's really really good at it. I can't quite remember the last time I've had microwave popcorn, until I met Quinn Popcorn.
A Local Boston company, Quinn is reinventing microwave popcorn. 

Kristy and Colter started this company when Kristy gave birth to her son Quinn and was craving a microwavable popcorn that was all natural in a bag that didn't contain PFOAs (chemicals in microwave bags that leak into the food). THEIR bags are compostable and made of paper. They source their non-GMO corn from a co-op of farmers. You can make it on the stovetop or in the microwave-your choice! And because the oil and flavorings are in a separate packet you can add as little or as much as you want.

Plus their flavors are pretty rad: 
Parmesan Rosemary
Lemon Sea Salt (using real lemon-no extracts here!)
Vt Maple Syrup (my personal favorite)

Wanna try? You can find them at these stores or online at

Happy Popping!

What's your favorite way to make/flavor popcorn?