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Posts Tagged ‘Artisana Coconut Butter’

Saturday was my last day working at the bakery. This job has been one of the best experiences of my life and has influenced me to pursue a career in the food industry. Working in the customer service bakery of a large grocery store has taught me the importance of consumer relations and shown me the dynamics of a large business. I am always incredibly inspired by the creativity and excitement that goes on in the store.

My last shift was all I could have asked for. I was on the schedule from 9:30am-6pm to do “demo” aka providing samples to customers. The employee who typically provides demonstrations had another obligation and was unable to sell on this day. I give her so much credit because it is NOT an easy task to be on your feet talking to people and selling products for 8.5 hours 5 days a week! I prepared for my last shift with the world’s greatest breakfast: oatmeal. (I was thrifty and used my microwave to minimize my gas bill!)

In the mix: 1/4 cup oat bran, 1/8 cup rolled oats, half of a banana (sliced and microwaved separately for 30 seconds, then added to my oats 1/2 way through cooking.), 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1 TBS ground flax.

Topped with: 2 large strawberries, Crofter’s South America Superfruit Spread, 2 chopped Brazil nuts and coconut butter.

I was sampling our Pecan Raisin Sourdough and Kerrygold Butter. This is such a special bread that our bakers make from scratch on the weekends. I remember last summer when they were perfecting the recipe and I got to bring some home to sample. It is sweet satisfaction to see this bread come full circle. I’m not a huge butter on my bread person (something about disliking it as a child) but I absolutely love Kerrygold. It is so rich and brings out the best flavors in the bread; a perfect combination.

When I got home I had a pre-planned Cold Peanut Noodle Salad for dinner (practicing already!). I knew I was going to be tired after work and want to shower, so the night before I cooked soba noodles, chopped veggies and created a peanut sauce. All I had to do when I got home was assemble, pour a glass of Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay and enjoy! Easy as pie.In my bowl: 1/2 chopped romaine heart, 1/2 bundle of soba noodles, 1 medium carrot, 1/4 red bell pepper, 1 inch of cucumber, 1/2 stalk of celery, 1 small bunch of broccoli. Topped with a peanut sauce: ~1-2 TBS crunchy natural peanut butter, juice of 1/2 a lime, pinch of red pepper flakes and 1 TBS low sodium soy sauce.

This was an amazing meal! I love how well the noodles took to the sauce, and the raw vegetables were so refreshing. It was a large bowl of food that required just a splash more chardonnay to complete it ;).

For dessert I had the last of my Mint Cookies and Cream frozen yogurt ~3/4 cup with fresh strawberries. Shortly after dessert I fell asleep on my new futon at the early hour of 9:30pm while watching the movie Maid of Honor. It was a long day.

I woke up at 7am this morning and knew it was another great day for a run. I stumbled into the kitchen for a quick pre-run meal of a Lemon Zest Luna Bar and Jonagold Apple, and returned to bed to read my book for a few hours. I MISS READING FOR FUN!!!

After my run I had a late “brunch” (11am?) of another thick green monster smoothie ( 1 large frozen banana, 5 ice cubes, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder, cinnamon, 1 TBS crunchy peanut butter, a bunch of baby spinach and 1 cup vanilla soy milk. I forgot the Amazing Grass GREEN Superfood today and my smoothie ended up taking on a mint-ting-a-ling color) and a slice of Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Coconut Butter and Cinnamon.

I did not have any obligations today, therefore; I was on a mission to find a decent Wi-Fi signal so that I could FINALLY upload my pictures and blog! I can’t believe I have been internet-less for an entire week! It is sad how dependent I am on technology, but hey, it’s my life. I spent a few hours at a local bookstore while my pictures slowly uploaded. I was successful but it was an extremely time consuming process. While I was there I snacked on a Peanut Butter Cookie Larabar and Iced Coffee that I brought from home. No more $4 lattes for this girl! (I had a gift card to Starbucks thus why I had a few purchases earlier in the week.)

Now that we are all caught up I’m off to make an early dinner and get to bed before my first day at my internship! I’m beyond excited to start and have been waiting for this day to come for so long! I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve, I hope that I am able to sleep tonight.  I’m going to try my hardest to post tomorrow. I can’t wait to officially have internet in my apartment on Wednesday.

The Future Awaits,

Nora

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AH! I feel like I have been away for ages! This weekend was a little NUTS and filled with a few too many NUTS.

I began my Saturday with a lovely breakfast with my roommate of Cinnamon Peaches and Cream Kodiak Cakes with sliced pineapple, watermelon, orange juice and coffee on the side. I love Kodiak Cakes. Unlike many whole wheat mixes I have tried, Kodiak cakes are fluffy, doughy and extremely easy to make. For a single serving all you have to do is add 1/3 cup mix with 1/3 cup water! I added cinnamon to the batter and topped it with sliced peaches, Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt and more cinnamon. My roommate always thinks it’s a bit odd when I take pictures of food (she doesn’t know about my blog) so I decided to forgo a picture and enjoy our breakfast together. There was a big event on campus so we headed over for a while to enjoy the nice weather, music and good company. Before I knew it, it was 4pm and I was so busy having fun that I had forgotten lunch! I’m a little embarrassed to post this (and almost didn’t), because the premise of my blog is “healthy living” and this definitely wasn’t the healthiest of days for me, skipping lunch and then going a bit overboard with my evening eats. But blunders are a part of life–living and learning

I was starving and slightly thirsty when I got back so  I decided to make myself a SUPER Green Monster topped with Granola and Raw Almonds. This monster was so big that I barely fit it into the bowl! It contained: 1 large frozen banana, 1 carrot, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder, 1 scoop GREEN Amazing Grass Superfood, ~1 TBS peanut butter, 2/3 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1/3 cup water, 2 large handfuls of spinach and 3 ice cubes. I topped it off with 1/4 cup Nature’s Path Vanilla Almond Granola with Flax and raw almonds.

After a few bites, I thought I needed more substance so I added melted Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and Coconut Butter to my bowl. This was very tasty but I think I went a little over board with my nut butters! It was really filling, but I couldn’t consider it a full meal especially since I missed lunch. A little while later I had an apple, a large carrot and made  a plate with a serving  Dr. Crackers and Broccoli and topped it off with a copious amount melted Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I was beyond full and decided a nap was in order after such a long day. When I woke up, I wasn’t hungry but made a snack with the rest of my Chobani, Almond Butter ~2 TBS and cinnamon . I also made toast topped with almond butter, raspberry jam, chopped date and apple sauce (random but delicious!). I nearly emptied my almond butter jar so I think it’s safe to say that oats in a jar will be making an appearance this week. Everything I consumed was “healthy food” but the quantity was a bit much; my eyes were much bigger than my stomach! I love nut butters but they tend to be the type of food that I can get a bit carried away with. Between the peanut butter, almond butters and coconut butter I think I had something around 5-6 TBS in a very short period of time.

Needless to say my stomach was NOT feeling so hot after all of these random-mish-mashed foods. I was just looking for a quick fix and went a little overboard. Happens to the best of us.

I wasn’t hungry when I woke up this morning, and my stomach was still feeling uneasy from my food selections but each day is a new day for health. I decided to start today on a fresh foot with a bowl of sliced strawberries, blackberries, Nature’s Path Vanilla-Almond Flax Granola, and vanilla soy milk. I had an apple and cappuccino for a mid-afternoon snack and started to feel a bit more on track. I settled for an early dinner which was fresh and clean. A big spinach salad with 1/3 block tempeh, 1/2 of a roasted beet, 1 golden beet, cucumber, red pepper, tomato, mushrooms, 1 large carrot, clover sprouts in a red wine vinaigrette. I had a few Dr. Krackers on the side  and for dessert I had an ice cream sandwich.

I usually carry around granola bars and pack small snacks “in case of emergency”. I hate when I miss a meal or a snack and then try to compensate for it later in the day; it just leaves me feeling uncomfortably full and lethargic. Like I said before, each day is a new day for health so I just left my Saturday behind and started Sunday off with a fresh outlook. My mom always says, it’s better to be proactive then to dwell on things.

To Fresh Starts,

Nora

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I have been dying to “experience” chia seeds ever since I started reading about them on blogs. I think I may have entered every single chia giveaway in the blogsphere in hopes of obtaining some of these babies. Well, I was tired of waiting and finally made my purchase! What is so special about chia seeds you ask? Well according to the handout next to the display:

“They are loaded with omega-3 fay acids, and hey have among the highest antioxidant activity of any whole food–even more than fresh blueberries. And they do good things for the body like keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control”…”Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows in southern Mexico. In pre-Columbian times, chia seeds were a component of Aztec warriors; they even played a role in religious ceremonies. Supposedly, 1 BS of the seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions.”….”Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be stored for long periods of time without becoming rancid and don’t require grinding (whole flax seed is hard to digest).”

2 TBS of Chia Seeds have approximately 7 g of fiber, 4g of protein, 205mg calcium and 5g of omega-3’s. They have a nutty flavor, and because they are easily digested whole, they can be sprinkled on yogurt or salads. They are also a nice addition to baked goods when ground.

I have seen chia seeds added to oats and yogurt, creating a voluminous mix. I couldn’t decide (theme lately?) so I added them all together to make: Carrot Cake Overnight Oats. I have oddly been craving carrot cake, and decided i would be a nice base to try my Artisana Coconut Butter with.

In the mix: 1/3 cup instant oats, 1/3 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1/2 large carrot shredded (reserve some for topping), 1/2 TBS chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract. Combine all ingredients and let sit in fridge over night. In the morning top with: reserved shredded carrot, 1 TBS Organic Jumbo Raisins, 1 TBS Chopped Walnut, 1 TBS Artisana Coconut Butter.

The Verdict: Holy thickness!! I actually added some water (few tablespoons) to the mix after. Next time I’m going to add more liquid than yogurt. I LOVED the addition of chia seeds. They absorb liquid, and expand (a bit like tapioca?) to provide a nutty little crunch to every spoonful. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the coconut butter. When I opened the jar it looked like paste and looked a bit gritty. I heated it for a few seconds with a splash of soy milk in the microwave and could SMELL the intense coconut! It was amazing, and I most certainly licked the bowl I warmed it in! I loved this combination, and hey, getting a veggie in the morning isn’t bad either! I wanted to add banana to the mix but didn’t have any good and ripe ones on hand. I think next time I make these I am going to add 1/2 a banana whipped into the oats and slice the other half for topping.

Chia Me,

Nora

Have you tried chia seeds? What is your favorite use?

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A foodie in a natural food store is like a kid in a candy shop: a recipe for disaster. My local grocery store has an organic section where I can purchase most of my goods, but they have a limited selection. I have been reading/hearing about products like Chia Seeds and Coconut Butter, and have not been able to locate them. After some research I found a natural food market near my school that carried some items I have been wanting to try. I haven’t been grocery shopping or made my own meals for nearly two weeks, so my food imagination has been going wild. I paid a visit to the shop before restocking on essentials at my grocery store. The moment I stepped in the store, my eyes became wide and my face lit up. I must have looked so lost, because I was wandering around the tiny store for nearly an hour staring at all of the goodness it contained. I intentionally did not take a basket to limit my spending. My arms were full, but I have some BIG plans to go back for some Barney Butter and Mint Chocolate Macaroons! I ended up purchasing: Artisana Coconut Butter, Chia Seeds, Sesame and Peanuts KIND Bar (YAY!!! I have been looking for this everywhere I go!), Bumble Bar, Galaxy Granola, Emmy’s Organic Granola (vegan, gluten free and raw), and Ruth’s Cranberry Trail HempPower.Can’t wait to try these!! I had to make a trip to the grocery store since I had absolutely no produce in my apartment. I only got a few things, but dreamt of this my entire trip back to school:

Black Sesame Mahi-Mahi

I made Black Sesame Mahi-Mahi with Wilted Greens, Roasted Yams and a Spicy Plum-Apricot Sauce. I think my kitchen deprivation is clear from this dish. I planned on getting a piece of Sea Bass but the only one I could find was frozen and expensive so I opted for Mahi-Mahi. I also meant to get spinach, and in my rush only picked up a bag of mixed greens so I wilted them instead (so sad, I have been CRAVING spinach!). The sauce ended up being really flavorful, but a bit thicker than I had anticipated. I think I simmered it too long, or perhaps I should have cooked the fruit separately? SUGGESTIONS? I started the sauce by heating 1TBS olive oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, a pinch of paprika,  ~1 tsp garlic and 1TBS minced ginger in a small sauce pan. I then added 1/4 of a Spanish onion, 1/2 a tomitillo and 1/4 of sliced red pepper until slightly cooked.  I put thin slices of 1 plum and 1/2 an apricot to the pan and some liquid: splash of white wine, juice of 1/2 a lemon, ~1/4 water, a bit of rice wine vinegar and a dash or two of Sriracha hot sauce, brough it to a boil and let it reduce. It was delicious and I ended up adding up the rest of the sauce after I took the picture (i.e the second picture), but it was a bit thick…would have been awesome as a glaze or with rice.

After dinner, I finished unpacking, cleaned the kitchen and decided it was time for dessert. I was still really full but needed something sweet. Hmm…chocolate? Ice cream? BOTH. I couldn’t find my beloved mint chocolate cookie ice cream, so ended up with a vanilla frozen yogurt because I have been dying to melt some Crofter’s on top of vanilla. I was in the mood for chocolate instead of Crofters so I melted a few squares of Green and Black’s Mint Dark Chocolate with a big spoonful of Maranatha’s Dark Chocolate Almond, and drizzled over my vanilla fro-yo and frozen raspberries. It was so good…I may have gone back for seconds 🙂 …plus some!

messy but delicious!

Back At It,

Nora

What are your suggestions for sauce making or new products to try?

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