Tag Archives: food

Nothin’ But Foods Giveaway!

Hey everyone! We have another great giveaway for you!

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I wanted to introduce you to Nothin’ But Foods! This company makes my husband’s very favorite cookies!

The cool thing about all of the Nothin’ But products is that they contain no gluten or GMO ingredients and are also egg free, wheat free, butter free, and filler free.

Their oven-bake process using simple, fresh, real ingredients is what makes their bars and cookies taste so good.

 

From Nothin’ But:
We had a simple idea: take Nothin’ But a few real ingredients, blend gently, and then bake. Using oats, seeds, dried fruit, and other all-natural ingredients, we created the delicious and nutritious snacks that we longed for, but couldn’t find. In each bite, experience the perfect simplicity of Nothin’ But a few real ingredients, tastefully combined.

All Bars

 

Nothin’ But is giving our winner the Chocolate Coconut Almond cookies and two of each of their bars (Cherry Cranberry Chocolate, Chocolate Coconut Almond, Ginger Lemon Cashew, and Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate).

 

chocolate cookies

My personal favorite is the Ginger Lemon Cashew bar. I stick them in the freezer and eat them chilled for a snack.

Enter below for a chance to win!

Good Luck!

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Food Coloring on St. Patrick’s Day (God Help Us…)

The big news today is that St. Patrick was a murderous asshole, but that is still largely up for debate.

As much as I’d love to know the truth about Ireland’s patron saint, I’m actually more concerned about how the U.S. celebrates March 17th by dying everything green- including food that isn’t supposed to be green!

It’s green insanity!

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2014 Oscar Party Recipes

We throw an Oscar party every year, complete with official ballots for all of our guests to fill out. Everyone throws $5 in a jar and winner takes all. Of course, most of us have only seen the big movies so there is a lot of guessing going on. It’s great because the competition keeps us totally engrossed during the most boring parts of the show!

However, my favorite part of the party is the themed recipes that align with the nominated movies.

Here are some of the recipes ideas our team has picked out for tomorrow:

Philomena:

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Philomena really loves a good omelet. Give your guests a mini omelet bar. Pour beaten egg into cupcake pan and allow guests to choose fillings/toppings. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees for perfect mini omelets! Recipe here.

 

Gravity:

The Campus Companion came up with Aurora Jungle-Juice that represents the two main colors of the aurora-borealis. (The quinine in the tonic water glows under a black light.)  Recipe here.

 

12 Years a Slave:

Nutmeg Nanny’s Goat Cheese and Blackberry Thyme Jam Crostini  is a perfect finger food to serve guests. The blackberry jam is a nod to the crushing of the berries scene in 12 Years a Slave. Recipe here.

The Wolf of Wall Street:

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Anyone who saw The Wolf of Wall Street will remember the infamous Quaalude fiasco. That is why we suggest serving Russian Quaalude cocktails will remind your guests of the amazing jet setting and ridiculous Lamborghini scene. Recipe here.

 

Dallas Buyers Club:

We love this cowboy steak recipe from Simply Recipes, but it is not for the faint of heart. You may remember the scene in Dallas Buyers Club where Ron and Eve have a steak dinner together (plus the movie just screams “steak”).  This is a perfect main course to serve to your meat eating guests.  Recipe here.

Her:

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In Her, a man fell in love with his OS.  We suggest making a fruit and/or veggie platter with select produce spray painted with metallic edible spray paint to give it a futuristic look. This will give the effect of tech and biology merging. You can purchase edible spray paint here and here and at most craft stores. (It is probably not so good for you, but hey, you only live once.)

 

Captain Phillips:

Captain Phillips takes place in the waters off the coast of Somalia.  These Somali sambusas stuffed with lamb will be a savory addition to your menu. Recipe here.

 

American Hustle:

Well, if the steak and the metallic edible paint didn’t do you in, this will probably do the trick. I don’t know what it is with this year’s nominated movies, but they are inspiring dishes that go heavy on the chemicals and animal fats. Jeremy Renner’s character in mentioned clams casino in American Hustle, and his character was so awesome we felt obligated to put this dish our list (plus, it truly is delicious). Recipe here.

 

Nebraska:

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A movie that takes place in the corn capital of the U.S. may sound like the perfect excuse to perfect your cornbread recipe, but instead try this recipe for sweet corn ice cream and salted caramel sauce from Taste and Tell. You can thank us later. Recipe here.

 

 

Do you have an Oscar traditions? Please share in the comments below.

 

 

Should Humans Model Their Diets after Other Great Apes?

By Jamie

IMG_3204Should humans eat like other non-human primates?

There is much debate over whether humans should be eating like their closest living relatives.

About 5 to 8 million years ago, human and modern-day great ape species diverged. As long ago as that may sound, evolution of a species is a very slow process. That is why many diet fads are attempting to look to the past for information on how to eat today.

I’m currently reading Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, and much of what he promotes sounds similar to an updated diet modeled after modern-day non-human great apes living in the wild.

The Paleo Diet also has a similar concept of looking at our (in this case, human) ancestors of the Paleolithic era as a gauge for what a healthy and biologically normal diet for a human should be. Of course, prior to modern medicine and technical advancements, the average lifespan of a human in the Paleolithic era was around 35 years old, and on top of that not very cheery news,  researchers do not know for certain what people of the era ate. However, I do not think the concept is one to toss out completely. In my opinion, the Paleo diet has the most substance of all the“fad” diets out there.

I think the best thing we can do is to collect this information and apply it to our lives as it makes sense. There are reasons we should not suddenly start following the exact diet of a gorilla. For example, a gorilla’s digestive tract is much longer than a human’s digestive tract, which suggests that gorillas would lean more toward the herbivorous side than humans. Also, unless you want to start eating your own droppings you are going to either need to get your vitamin B-12 from an animal source, or make sure you are taking a supplement.

IMG_3231One way great apes can teach us how to eat is by showing us what health problems arise when not eating a diet in the wild. Captive great apes notoriously are afflicted by heart disease (Nim the Chimpanzee is one of many cases). Of course, well-intentioned humans are feeding them this diet and building these well-thought-out living spaces. The same species responsible for building these structures and feeding these apes has a poor track record in the heart health department.  The leading cause of death in America is heart disease. And with that, I think it is safe to say that humans know how to do heart disease, so much so that we are pretty much giving it to our captive primate relatives.

If you think about it, modern humans are living in “captivity” and this is why observing the health conditions that plague both modern humans and captive non-human great apes will probably point us to what we are doing wrong.

The first problem is a sedentary lifestyle. There is no foraging for food that would take up the majority of the day anymore. There is a lot of sitting, eating, and socializing. (Sound familiar?)

The other issue is the lack of diversity in the captive great ape diet. The lowland gorillas’ diet has been observed as containing over 200 different types of plant species and 100 different fruits. To feed captive gorillas this type of diverse micronutrient-rich diet would be nearly impossible.

Gowever, gorillas and other great apes are extremely adaptable. Each species has living conditions that can vary significantly,  but they *almost* always have ways to thrive in each circumstance. Gorillas seem to hit their adaptability limit once humans force upon them a sedentary lifestyle with a poor diet which they have since shown clear signs of their failure to thrive.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo took the heart health of their gorillas seriously and began changing their diet to see if the health of the gorillas improved. The new diet consisted of double the calories, but was full of leafy greens, bark, green beans, flax, and even multivitamins. The zoo staff made sure to spread the food around the enclosures for a foraging effect that would take about sixty percent of the day to find and consume.

The result for each gorilla was a significant 65lb heart-healthy drop weight and now the zoo is looking into how to properly/naturally exercise the great apes who live at the zoo. When in captivity, it takes more creativity to try to reproduce a natural diet and exercise routine, but MetroParks Zoo is learning and I think we can, too.

Some thoughts:

Eat more plants.

Non-human great apes eat very little meat. Additionally, recent research has uncovered that Neanderthals once thought to be strict carnivores are now thought to have incorporated more plants in their diets (even possibly cooking vegetables). Plants are important!

Variety

It’s not enough to focus on a couple of different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Eat a variety of species and don’t neglect healthy fungi and root vegetables!

Forage

Most of us don’t have a problem finding food, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing for our species. One of the theories for why humans have heightened intelligence and our body structure looks almost juvenile (neoteny) compared to other great apes is the Nutritional Neoteny Theory. During the Plio Pleistocene period (5 million years ago) there was an ecological change that caused dietary restrictions which lead to changes in physical development, increased longevity, and proportionately increased brain size relative to body size. Food scarcity is not something we should be longing for , but there is something to be said for foraging and not having readily made meals at our disposal. What is a modern-day human to do? Plant a garden and/or eat several times a day (mostly plants!)…

 

10 Easy and Healthy Snacks for Kids

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This post was brought to you by Kitchenbug

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10 Easy and Healthy Snacks for Kids

1. Oatmeal in a cup. This has to be the easiest snack in our house. We just take some instant oatmeal, add some hot water and microwave it for a few seconds. The kids then add any toppings that they want – dried fruit, chopped up fresh fruit, coconut, some natural sweetener or even a few chocolate chips.

2. Ants on a log: Cut up some celery sticks, spread some peanut butter on them and a few raisins.

3. Yogurt Faces: Cut up all the fruit you can find, and let the kids play around with yogurt and fruit on a plate. You can make animals, faces or anything that comes to mind.

4. Seaweed Chips: A favorite in my house, cut up Nori (roasted seaweed) into strips and let them snack on them.

5. Sweet Potato Fries: Cut up some sweet potatoes into strips, season with salt and paprika or your spice of choice and bake at 450 degrees for about 35 minutes or until you get the desired texture you want.

6. Yogurt Snack Bar: My kids are always up for some frozen yogurt like the kind that you can find in those Froyo shops and so many times we set up shop at home. I will put out little containers of all the little toppings (keeping most of them healthy) and the kids will mix and match toppings. Our toppings usually include raisins, pieces of strawberry, coconut, berries (frozen ones work well too) and chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate.

7. Dehydrated Vegetables and Fruit: If you have a dehydrator, it is super easy to make a quick, healthy snack. Slice up apples and make dried apple slices, or slice up some of your favorite vegetables like sweet potatoes, beets or kohlrabi, season with salt and place overnight in the dehydrator. Kids love this crunchy alternative to chips.

8. Frozen Grapes. We stick some grapes in the freezer and when we want a snack, we munch on the frozen grapes.

9. Carob Hot Chocolate: This is a healthier alternative to hot chocolate. Mix some carob powder with milk, cinnamon and some sweetener of choice and you get a nice warm drink.

10. Vegetable Popsicles: Make your favorite smoothie and add some kale or greens inside and freeze into popsicles. The kids will love them.

Kitchenbug is an online recipe box that also has the ability to instantly analyze any recipe, from any website, by using a bookmarklet. Within seconds, you’ll know the calorie and nutritional information of the recipe. Whether you want to eat better or just love to cook, this tool turns a chore into a simple point and click process. With Kitchenbug you can organize all your recipes into boxes, follow other users’ recipes, adjust recipes from U.S to Metric and search your recipes with search terms like low fat, cholesterol and heart healthy.

About the blogger: Keren Brown is Chief Evangelist at www.kitchenbug.com and a mom of 3 kids under 5.

Recipe: Armenian Luleh Kebabs

One of my favorite dishes!

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Ingredients:

  • 3lbs ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon all spice
  • Dash cayenne pepper

Topping:

  • Tomato Sauce

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Preheat Oven to 375 degrees

Mix all ingredients (except topping) together well but DO NOT OVER MIX (this is important).

Form into about 2 inch ovals.

If you wish, the luleh kebabs can be frozen at this point. Pack for freezing in plastic bags or freezer safe glass tupperware. Defrost in refrigerator.

Arrange luleh kebabs in a glass pyrex for baking.

Cover with tomato sauce:

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Cover with foil and place in center oven for 30 minutes.

Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes (or until cooked throughout)

Serve with Pilaf.

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Oven Beef Jerky Recipe

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I was a little concerned when I saw the ingredients in the organic store-bought beef jerky we occasionally buy for the boys, so I decided to try and make my own.

Here is our easy beef jerky recipe:

Ingredients
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  • 4 lbs round roast cut into ⅛-1/4 strips (but no larger)
  • 1 garlic head, minced
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon freshly sliced ginger
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix garlic, onion ginger, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, salt, and ground pepper in a medium sized bowl.IMG_1133
  2. Add meat strips to the marinade.IMG_1136
  3. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1-24 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
  5. Line bottom rack with foil.
  6. Place strips of meat directly on the top oven rack, so drippings will be caught by bottom foil.IMG_1141
  7. Let cook for 4-7 hours.
  8. When cooked to desired consistency remove and let cool. IMG_1144
  9. Place in an airtight container.
  10. Enjoy!
Oven Beef Jerky Recipe
Ingredients
  • 4 lbs round roast cut into 1/8-1/4 strips (but no larger)
  • 1 garlic head, minced
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon freshly sliced ginger
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix garlic, onion ginger, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, salt, and ground pepper in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add meat strips to the marinade.
  3. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1-24 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
  5. Line bottom rack with foil.
  6. Place strips of meat directly on the top oven rack, so drippings will be caught by bottom foil.
  7. Let cook for 4-7 hours.
  8. When cooked to desired consistency remove and let cool.
  9. Place in an airtight container.
  10. Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Organic Crème Anglaise with Cinnamon

The amazing chef, Michael Roux, said once that eggs should be treated gently. He used the word “nurse” (which I totally get)- and he said they do not like to be cooked “fiercely.” After I heard that I stopped ruining my scrambled eggs.

Last night I was craving crème anglaise to go on top of my fresh organic berries. I couldn’t find the recipe so here is the one I came up with on my own. It is pretty tasty.

image from cooking light

Crème Anglaise with Cinnamon

I love crème anglaise because you can store it in the refrigerator for three days. We always keep fresh fruit in the house, and I love to pour it on top of some berries after the kids go to bed, and I want to watch one of my DVRed shows with something sweet.

  • 2 cups organic whole milk
  • 1/3 cup organic cane sugar (from evaporated cane juice)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 4 large egg yolks (cage-free or organic)

1. Combine milk sugar, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for five minutes or until the sugar dissolves and the milk is hot.

2. Place egg yolks in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until blended. Gradually add half of the hot milk mixture, stirring CONSTANTLY with a metal whisk. * DO NOT BOIL.*

3. Strain sauce through a sieve into a bowl. Discard cinnamon and place bowl of custard into an ice-filled bowl until the sauce is room-temp. Stir occasionally. After that serve or cover and chill.

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