April 21, 2014

Date, Fig, Granola Energy Bars

by jmichael614

Have you ever made something and were so excited about it that you left off the main ingredient?  This site should be “follies of a veggie” because I do that quite often.  Thankfully, in this case, it wasn’t a bad result.

I saw someone post about this amazing nutrition bar recipe on their twitter feed a while back but because I am not a “paid” subscriber, I could not access the full site.  So, I took it upon myself to make up my own recipe and I have to say, though I left out one main ingredient, it still tasted delicious.

Handful of pitted dates
Handful of dried figs
1/4 cup flour (I used tapioca flour to make it GF)
Handful of Dried Apricots
1/4 cup oatmeal (*my missing ingredient)
small portion bag chopped walnuts
small portion bag chopped macadamia
small portion bag slivered almonds
Cinnamon (to taste)
Honey or agave
Chia seeds (sprinkle them in)
Flax seeds (sprinkled)
and lest we not forget chocolate: Raw cacao nibs

All this goes into a large pot and toasted (try toasting the nuts first and then adding in the rest).  These aren’t exact measurements because as you probably have already surmised, I make this up on the go.

I didn’t bake them but you should probably do so to set them better.  Lay them out flat on a cookie sheet after getting it out of the pot.  Mine was enough for a small cookie sheet.

Enjoy- I can’t wait to go home and have another one (just remember these are high calorie so small bars are ideal if you’re needing to watch #’s).

They turned out delicious and nutty.  You could add more oatmeal to make the nuts less dense and it would probably be just as delicious.

April 16, 2014

Sweet Earth – Curry Tiger (Rarrrrr)

by jmichael614

Sometimes I just get tired of shelling out $5 for an Amy’s frozen entree.  I actually am kind of tired of cooked foods in general lately, seriously considering going raw but I think I might be too lazy for that (and too cheap).  So, I settled for something new, the “Curry Tiger” burrito from Sweet Earth.

Something about eating a burrito with the name Tiger in it that makes me excited to consume it.  I also may feel a twinge of “crouching tiger” oozing out of my skin!  This burrito was not overwhelmingly curry-ish, if I was looking for something that tasted truly Indian I would not choose this again but if I wanted something tasty and fulfilling, ABSOLUTELY!  I’m definitely adding this to my list of favorites and so glad my local Nutrition S’Mart has it!

They also seem like a really great company, with organic ingredients though not every ingredient is organic.  They do claim to be GMO free and are made in California.  Plus, that Sesame Chocolate bar is now on my list of “need to find NOW”.


April 7, 2014

Plated, In The Mail!

by jmichael614

Hey, it’s Jess again.  It’s been a long weekend, the cookie is getting so big and he’s talking up a storm.  I seriously think that he’s an alien sometimes because I can’t understand what he’s saying but he is definitely communicating something.  If ever there is an alien invasion, just give us a call and we’ll do some peace talks!

Anyway, with so much time spent with him and the hubs, I long for easy to cook meals that I don’t have to think about the ingredients.  This past week I found this deal on Facebook for Plated, a company that sends you all the ingredients and great recipes in the mail.  Doing all the hard work so you don’t have to.  The promotion was $20 for four meals the first time you order (I don’t believe it’s available anymore but please ask!), otherwise it’s $12.99/meal with $20 delivery fee (four meals).

I received an email on Friday with my FedEx info and waited around early Saturday afternoon for the delivery.  It came in this large box packed with two huge ice packs and foil cooler lining.

I couldn’t help it, I was so excited about trying something new and different.  I ordered the “shakshuka” for myself and  a chicken dish for my  hubs (he loved the chicken but not the soba noodles).

Ashley has made the dish before and written about it here and because she liked it, I wanted to try it for myself.  There are other vegetarian options as well.

Every single ingredient, except the eggs, were packed (maybe because they could break too easily?) and mailed.  The box comes with a nice recipe on a 8×10 card stock page.  It’s laid out step-by-step and tells you exactly how to do everything.  Ingredients are labeled and sauces and spices come in little packets, these people could make a chef out of a chimp, honestly.

I’m completely in love with this concept and think it would be great for people that are on a diet- the recipes are fresh and healthy and it’s perfectly portioned.

My shakshuka was cooking beautifully in the oven on broil and then the worst thing happened.  My husband asked me to watch a youtube video of something funny and I forgot all about my little cookspiration!  It toasted a bit too long, if only they had included a timer in their box!


ShakshukaIt wasn’t completely ruined but it certainly didn’t look as pretty.  Plus the eggs were supposed to be lightly cooked instead of completely dry and hard.  It was still delicious and so much fun to make without having to worry if I got the ingredients right.  I will definitely keep the three free months of plated service I have been signed up for and possibly order another meal or two at home.  Just note that you are also required to pay a $10/month fee for membership.  You are not required to do the auto delivery but it is available for convenience.  It’s definitely not a cheap service and you could probably eat out for less but it’s fun and convenient.  Plus you can impress your friends with an incredible meal that you can say you cooked!


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Such a great concept and the recipes are amazingly simple and delicious.  Thank you Plated for making a chef out of me!

For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/theplated or their website, https://www.plated.com/invites/1d455f



April 2, 2014

Velu: Dare I Say, Tasty In The Same Sentence As Wheat Grass?

by jmichael614

Velu asked us to try out their Wheat Grass drinks a while back and I finally forked out the three and a half dollars to try it the other day, preparing myself to guzzle it down quickly so that I had to taste as little as possible.

Then I noticed the “apple and lemon juice” label on the bottom- aha!  It’s not a brutal “pinch your nose and throw it back” drink and it’s full of healthy goodness!  I think I might be able to drink this. I’m not a huge advocate of using fruit juices to disguise the taste of good foods but in this case, I will make an exception.  It’s fresh and though you can taste some of the wheat grass, it’s not overpowering.

I do encourage you to drink it straight out of the refrigerator as it’s best consumed cold.  It’s a drink full of nutritional goodness and I felt a burst of energy and was inspired to eat healthier for the rest of the day.  The more goodness you pour into your body, the better you feel!

VeluYou can find Velu at most health food stores in South Florida and at http://www.lovevelu.com/ (what a great website name!).  You definitely want to check out their FAQ page to find out more about this great company and how they grow their products.

Let us know if you’ve tried them!  We’re looking forward to more options flavor-wise, in the future.


March 26, 2014

Barcelona Wine Bar, A Tapas Lover’s Dream

by jmichael614

IMG_2878[1]In trying to be inconspicuous at a work dinner (my regular work dinner), the pictures for this great restaurant were less than satisfactory.  It doesn’t truly convey the great tapas options we had.  Everyone else at my table was a guy and a meat-eater but the waitress kindly asked everyone if there were any allergies or diet restrictions before we started our “$55/each” meal.  The rest of the night, I was offered only vegetarian options and there were quite a few.  I even ate Quail eggs for the first time (they made me want to be vegan- I don’t like the soft texture of the eggs).

The first round was a bread with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes on top of a glass of sherry, next came the olives tray (super spicy), followed by curry chickpeas, the quail egg and one or two more.  I don’t think it was worth $55 each but it was such a great dining experience or maybe it was the company but I really enjoyed myself.  It could have been the exceptional wait staff as well.  The place was packed when we sat down to eat at around 8:30 as well as the bar being full.   When we left around 11 pm, there was very few people except at the bar.  It is that warm atmosphere that you want in a restaurant/bar that keeps you coming back despite your rapidly depleting funds.

Barcelona is a great place to take a date for a romantic night out or even meet friends or coworkers at the bar.  Definitely a must-go if you’re in Stamford, CT!



March 7, 2014

To Celebrate Dr. Seuss Week… A TrueBar for The “You That Is Truer Than True”

by jmichael614

I love granola bars and especially ones with chocolate chips in them.  This Truebar, by Bakery on Main, has a more “homemade” taste and really hits the spot.  I loved that it has only whole ingredients and is Gluten Free to boot.  Plus it comes in a really cute pink wrapper.   Check them out at http://www.bakeronmain.com or find them in your local natural grocer.


February 19, 2014

The Dr. Oz Diet (combined with a little of this and a little of that)

by jmichael614
Berry Cobbler

Berry Cobbler Sweetened with Dates and Nut Crust

Let’s face it, I’m not meant to starve.  Not only do I love food but I am also still nursing my young toddler and need all the calories I can get just to make it through the day.   My mom is here for a while and she jumped on board with me when I said I wanted to try the Dr. Oz diet!

The diet itself is free online and can be found here: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-ozs-rapid-weight-loss-plan-one-sheet.  It is easy to stick to as it’s basically mapped out for you.  There are some missing details that I’ve found though it might be more clear if you read through his blog and watch the videos he posted.

We took the liberty of adding “raw vegan” foods to our diet because we figured clean eating would be fine.  As long as we didn’t stray outside the boundaries he created (such as eating high GI foods).  We are also having decaf almond milk coffee sweetened with dates.  Dates are such a fantastic way of sweetening things, I might just keep it up.  I would love to find a really good date paste so I don’t have to emulsify dates every time I want to eat something.

Also, I hesitate to call this a diet because you could probably continue on like this (with some tweaks) on a regular basis.

Here are some tweaks that have probably slowed the “diet” process for us but have still produced weight loss while keeping us satiated:

1. Dates for sweetners
2. We have been eating the whole cleansing soup and not throwing away the veggies- waste not, want not
3. We have been having the “Mary’s Gone Crackers” with our Hummus to make it more tasty
4. We have had decaf coffee with almond milk but it is the only way I can keep myself from being tempted to go for my cafe con leche in the morning
5. Lots of nuts (he says a few handfuls and you should probably stick to this but we’re still learning) because we’re making desserts and dressings with nuts
6. We went to a raw vegan cafe (Greenwave Cafe, Plantation) and ate whatever we wanted on the menu as long as it was not High Glycemic veggie or had agave
7. We have been using some recipes from Ani Phyo’s raw cook book such as the raw flax pancakes that are delicious
8. Dr. Oz doesn’t really give too many vegetarian examples for protein for dinner but I have been using sprouted tofu “organic”
9. We have been using coconut oil instead of butter

It seems we have strayed a lot but really we haven’t and it’s only so we can make this long term and not just a short term fix.  I believe in life changes and I hope that I can change my eating habits.  This diet allows for protein and because I am not vegan, I will probably add in eggs after the 2 weeks is up.  Take of it what you will, I used the Dr. Oz diet as a launching point because I’ve been trying to change my eating since my son was born and just didn’t have the willpower.  This was easy enough while not being too depriving.

The good thing is that my cravings are finally going away, I am not craving my tostada as much today!  Victory.

February 3, 2014

Desserts Galore!!

by jmichael614

I think I’ve been eating way too many sweets this week.  I figured I might as well put it out there and let you know what I think about them, maybe something good will come of an expanding waist size!


This amazing little moon pie was found at a the SW Ranches Farmers Market on 5150 S Flamingo Road (a really cute little organic market in West Broward).  It was DEEEELICIOUS!  It’s huge, don’t let the packaging fool you because it’s like an inch thick.  I’m sure it’s tons of calories but I didn’t feel a bit guilty.

Unfortunately, the only thing I could find online was located in Wyoming so it may be that the farm itself produces these.

Either way, they are worth the drive for this wholesome treat and Sheila, who runs the store, is so friendly and offered us a taste of her sweet blood oranges.  My first time trying them and they were so good and fresh but I have to admit I felt a little carnivorous.

I also took a picture of my Sweet and Sarah Brown Rice Crispy treat and another little chocolate and almond butter treat from a company I have not previously heard of but the file has gotten lost in space.  I will tell you that the S&S treat tasted exactly like the original-super sweet and sticky goodness!  The other one was tasty but more like something I could make at home and not have to pay almost $5 for.  

For more info on S&S go to http://sweetandsara.com/products.php


And finally…..I’ve been wanting to post this review for a week because I had the most exciting, delicious Gelato the other day at the Food Truck rally in Plantation Woods Park!  OMG spicy!  It was Mexican chipotle gelato dipped in dark chocolate and rolled in pistachios (my own concoction).  I love that this food truck allows you to choose the dip and the crumples for your gelato and it’s the first time I’ve had gelato in bar form.  So much fun to eat and it tastes amazing! HipPops is the name of the truck so please follow them wherever they may lead you! http://www.hippops.com/

Have your cake and eat it too!  Just make sure you work out afterwards.

January 27, 2014

Pei Wei’s Thai Lime and Chile, Tons of Veggies (if you catch them on the right day)

by jmichael614


This beautiful concoction is Pei Wei’s new Lime and Chile with Tofu option- see all that amazing green?  It’s lightly sauced, fresh and full of nutrients.   This is two weeks ago’s portion.

Below is last week’s portion:


What happened Pei Wei?  Seriously?  How could it differ so greatly?  Not only that but their website has been funky for two weeks now.  I’m still a fan but these little kinks definitely need to be worked on.  Pei Wei responded to our requests for change and we hope that they get implemented soon!


January 27, 2014

Holy Cow it’s Been a Long Time!

by jmichael614

We’ve been doing reviews in our hearts, we promise!  I have about a hundred posts I could write but we’ll start one by one.  Stay tuned!


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