Whether you are dieting, watching your salt intake, or just like to cook, spices and seasonings have the utmost importance when it comes to giving bland foods some flavor (think: chicken breast, egg whites, etc.)

Spike sent me some of their Gourmet Natural Seasonings. Two of my favorites have been the Onion-Magic! and Garlic-Magic! flavors. Both of these are salt free- which is great because I live in a household where high blood pressure is common, and excess table salt is NOT needed. (I actually have LOW blood pressure, and need the salt, but I was interested in trying these out anyway!)

First one up- the Garlic Magic! This one had a very nice garlic flavor. It was not salty, as it is salt free, but what i liked about it was that you could really intensify the garlic flavor in a dish, without adding a load of sodium. So my entire family could eat whatever we seasoned the Garlic-Magic! with, and anyone who wanted additional salt could add it to their own dish. I also liked that it didn’t leave a bad aftertaste or unsettled feeling. Garlic (for me at least) sometimes causes indigestion, and this spice left me feeling good afterwards. I sprinkled it on shrimp and broccoli with a little butter for a nice tasty, salt free, low carb dish!

Next, the Onion- Magic! My mother actually took this one from me she liked it so much (thief!!!). We sprinkled it in mashed potatoes, and then used it on home fries. It was good!! It smelled delicious when it was cooking, and had a pleasant onion flavor, without being salty or overpowering.

Lastly, we tried the 5 Herb- Magic! Again, it was salt free! We sprinkled this one on chicken breast (ugh…I am so SICK of chicken breast! Gotta keep it interesting, right??) I thought it was a great compliment to the chicken. It had a strong flavor from the herbs, but was not overpowering in the slightest. This particular spice blend had rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme and marjoram. I am 100% unsure what marjoram is, but it sounds pretty cool, so there you go ;)

Overall, I think these are worth a try, especially if you have to watch your salt intake. As a total, I give them 4 star rating.

[Below is Nutritional Information for the Garlic-Magic! spice]


Time for a review…of my absolute kryptonite! Peanut butter!

Seriously though…I can refuse any baked good in front of me, but put a jar of peanut butter and a spoon nearby, and you’ll find me melting.

I go through the temptation  thoughts like Spongebob with water when he visits Sandy for the first time.
“I don’t need it…
I don’t need it…
I DEFINITELY don’t need it…

… I   N E E D   IT !!! ”

But, alas, here I am reviewing two peanut butters from Pacific Beach. I will say I DID practice portion control, measured on my scale, and then left the jar in the other room so I didn’t finish a jar in 2 days (I made it to 3!!! [just kidding!])

The first one up- the “Our Signature” peanut butter spread.
2 tbsp is 152 calories, 12 g fat (3 saturated), 51 mg sodium, 9 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams sugar,  4 grams protein.
This one is gluten free (WAS gluten free I should say…that jar is long gone)
This…was unbelievable. I’m not going to lie, I am biased with peanut butter bc well I love peanut butter, but THIS was SO GOOD. It was sweet and creamy, but also had bits of peanuts in it so it had a bit of a crunch. It had a white chocolate flavor to it, was a bit buttery tasting..UGH it was SO GOOD! It had the perfect balance of sweetness too-not too sweet where it felt sugary. Just right. The only thing that kept my guilt at bay was it was 152 calories for 2 Tbsp as opposed to the usual 190 cals. WOO!!
5 stars

Next up, the Organic Valencia peanut butter.
2 tbsp is 168 calories, 14 g fat (2 saturated), 58 mg sodium, 6 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 7 grams protein.

This one was also tasty, although definitely more moderate in flavor. I think it could have used a tad more salt, and was a teeny bit bland. But, still a good peanut butter. Again, it was creamy but also had chunks of peanuts in it giving it a bit of a crunch. A nice thick spread, that could easily be spread on bread or eaten from the jar (somehow I always dangerously choose the latter…). I think this is a good nut butter to pair with jelly on a sandwich bc it’s a good base. This one is gluten free and sugar free. I almost wish it had a pinch of sugar or something to bring out more flavor. 3 1/2 stars.

Overall, some tasty treats! I would love to try more from Pacific Beach, because I think their other flavors sounds phenomenal as well. However, currently trying to lean out for summer and I have NO self control around this stuff…bc it is too damn good.

How many of you are peanut butter addicts like myself? It’s so good it hurts!! D:

8 Apr 2014, Comments (0)

Quest Bar RECIPES!

Author: Healthnuttxo

So as you may all know, I am a big fan of Quest Bars. I have done the following reviews on them where I really enjoy the taste and nutrition.

Cookies n Cream Quest Bar (um…can we say better than a sandwich cookie?)

Chocolate Peanut Butter, Strawberry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Supreme Quest Bars (because who doesn’t like dessert flavored Quest bars?)

Lemon Cream Pie, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Apple Pie Quest Bars (Apple Pie= noms)

Cinnamon Roll and Coconut Cashew Quest Bars (both just AMAZING)

Of all the Quest Bars, Cinnamon Roll, Coconut Cashew, and Cookies n Cream are my favorites :)

So, I was shared by Predator Nutrition a nice booklet of some Quest Bar recipes! You can access it here. The Peanut Butter Pop Tart recipe sounds like it would be my favorite!

If anyone ends up trying any recipe, let me know-
OR if you have your own favorite Quest Bar recipe, Leave me a comment!

28 Mar 2014, Comments (1)

Quest Nutrition Cookies & Cream Quest Bar

Author: Healthnuttxo

QUEST BARS!

I have been a fan of these bars for almost 2 years when I got a box to try from the company. Since then, I have been hooked. They seem to almost have blown up in popularity, and well deserved…these things are delicious and perfect when you are on a strict diet and need something high in fiber, low in sugar, and high in protein.

I’m sure almost everyone has heard of the new flavor of Quest Bars that came out recently- Cookies & Cream!! I got a free box of these bars to try, and I was pretty excited about it.

I mean come on…look at this bar. You can see “cookie crumbs” and chunks of white creamy “chocolate”!

First lets talk nutrition. This bar is GLUTEN FREE!, 180 calories, 7 grams fof fat (3 of which are saturated), 310 mg of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrate (17 of which are fiber), 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of Erythritol (sugar alcohol), and 21 g of protein.

I use Quest bars as a snack, as I usually eat 3 meals and 2 snacks, or I’ll eat half when I have those bad hunger pains that just will NOT relent. The nutrition facts are quite awesome- not TOO high in fat, nice amount of fiber (which is ideal for me since I am a Diabetic for glucose control) and only 1 gram of sugar.

Okay, that’s all cool but how does it taste?
The bar is honestly, amazing. It’s my new favorite flavor. It’s chewy and dense, sweet but not overly sweet. The white chocolate chunks are creamy and have a vanilla flavor to them, reminiscent of the cream in an Oreo cookie. The cookie crumbs scattered in the bar is what won me over. Crunchy and tastes very similar to a cookie!! When you find a part of the bar with a huge piece of cookie crumbs or the white chocolate it is like hitting lotto— cookies & cream lotto ;)

Overall, I love these. I always order directly from the site, because I feel like they are freshest and softest from the website. These get 5 stars from me. I honestly can’t complain about a thing.

Q- What is your favorite protein bar? Or what is your favorite Quest Bar flavor? Leave me a comment below :)

This review is LONG overdue! I got a free bottle of PurFIT Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake powder about a month ago. I had it sent to the wrong address (my “other home”…yea, I have two homes, you Jelly?) had to wait for it to ship to my current address, then when it got to my current address it was waiting in the mailbox and I didn’t know about it.

ANYWAY! Sorry to the folks over at PurFIT for the delay. Totally my fault. But now it is in my possession (FINALLY!) And I can test/eat/drink/enjoy/review it. Thanks again :)

So- some info on this product. It is intended to be a meal replacement, and you are advised to mix 1 scoop that they provide with 8 oz of water. The protein comes predominantly from pea and bean, and appears to be vegetarian/vegan friendly (I will post ingredients at the bottom). I think the calories are a *bit* low for a meal, even if someone is restricting calories, at 140 calories/ 14 grams protein per scoop, especially if paired with water. However, I could use this as a lean shake for a snack, or I also plan on trying chocolate protein bars since it is NOT made with Whey and I don’t have to worry about a rubbery consistency with baking it.

Here’s what it looks like dry-

First off, round of applause for PurFIT because this scoop was RIGHT on top. Honestly…what is worse than having to dig through a giant tub of protein powder to get a scoop off the bottom? Literally powder… E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.

Not going to lie…it did not smell that great…it was a very strong and potent smell that I couldn’t quite describe. I was a little worried…but hey, protein powder never smells ALL that yummy, and can’t judge a book by it’s cover 8)

So, I put a scoop in a cup of water, and gave it a mix. It blended really easily, especially since I didn’t have my shaker cup with the little metal ball. I SWEAR I keep buying them and someone keeps permanently borrowing them…ahem…but whatever.

It made a relatively thick liquid, even mixed with water, which was a pleasant surprise. wasn’t so sure what to expect for sweetness with this product, seeing as it has no sugar. I took a sip…and I actually really like it! It had a deep chocolatey flavor, rich, and really creamy. I was surprised it was so creamy bc I used WATER! Usually I hate shakes unless paired with milk…but it said water, and I was conveniently out of both milk and almond milk.

It has a mild sweetness, like milk chocolate. I think it would taste phenomenal with peanut butter in a shake with ice and water or milk/almond milk. I really like that this protein powder has 7 grams of fiber too, to help tide down hunger, especially if this IS used as a meal replacement.

Overall, I like it! I would drink this again. I may use 2 scoops if it is for a meal, as I am extremely active (heavy lifting 6x a week and some cardio), and I need a bit more calories. It’s a tad high in fat for me, 5g per serving, but I see that flaxseed is in the ingredients, which is a good source of fat. I also get why it has a bit of fat in it, since it is INTENDED for a meal…thus fat is needed for satiety. The creaminess is spot on, and I am curious to try this with baking. I will update you guys as necessary! Overall, 4 stars.


18 Feb 2014, Comments (0)

Popchips Giveaway Winner-

Author: Healthnuttxo

Time to announce the WINNER of the POPCHIPS giveaway!!!

Selected *randomly* via www.random.org is comment number….7!

Jennifer- with the comment “I’ve only had the plain flavor and it was delicious, but I’d love to try the Barbecue flavor! (I follow on twitter)”

YOU are the winner! Please email me with your contact information via healthnuttxo@yahoo.com

Thank you all for participating…more fun stuff to come :)

14 Feb 2014, Comments (15)

Popchips Review & Giveaway!

Author: Healthnuttxo

Hey everyone!
I recently got a shipment, or “chipment” as Popchips peeps call it (heehee), of 4 of the flavors of Popchips to try for free for a review. The 4 flavors I got in the mail were Barbeque, Sour Cream and Onion, Original, and Cheddar. These chips are NOT baked and NOT fried…they are popped! This allows them to still have a good amount of flavor, without being greasy and high in fat. Here is what they look like fresh out of the bag(s). From top left to right to bottom left to right is Barbeque, Cheddar, Sour Cream & Onion, and Original.

Which to try first… I’m not a chip girl, I would choose popcorn over chips (usually bc of the fat content), but I DO like BBQ and Sour Cream & Onion chips the best. So it was a toss up…which to try first!?
I ended up trying the Barbecue first, seeing as the bag was super vibrant in a red/pinkish color, and was my favorite. The chip was full of flavor, hickory, a little spicy, a little sweet. It had a great crunch to it, but wasn’t “airy”, and had some body to it (so not crunchy like a rice cake!). It had just the right amount of salt on it as well for optimal flavor.

Next up, the Cheddar chips. These had a really yummy cheddar cheese flavor. A tad bit salty, but it went very well with the cheesy flavor. It reminded me almost of the crunchy Cheetos, a nice bold cheddar taste, little bit of salt, and an excellent crunch.

Next up on the lineup…the Sour Cream & Onion! These were not as bold in flavor as the Cheddar and Barbeque, and not as salty either. They were more mild in flavor, and you could almost taste the “potato” part of the popchip. (Looks like Barbecue wins as my favorite Popchip flavor this round!)

Lastly, good ol’ Original. A nice crunch, mildly salty, and tastes basically like a standard potato chip would, minus the greasy fingers and mouth feel.

Overall, I like these! The nutritional facts are at the bottom for the Barbecue chips, but they are all roughly the same per serving. Cheddar and Barbeque were definitely my favorites from the bold flavors, that didn’t leave me “missing” traditional chips. I think the Original ones would be good paired with a sandwich, or ON a sandwich for some crunch!

Overall, 4 stars.

GIVEAWAY!

Popchips is offering ONE lucky winner a 3-month supply of Popchips!!! That includes 3, 24- count boxes of chips!! 1 winner, US only, NO PO Boxes.
Here’s how to enter:All you guys have to do is PLEASE subscribe  to at least one of the following:

Their Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/popchips

Their Twitter Page
https://twitter.com/popchips

Their Instagram
http://instagram.com/popchips

or their Website
http://www.popchips.com/

AND… PLEASE leave a comment telling me what is your favorite flavor of chips to enter.
Giveaway will close February 18th, 12 pm.

GOOD LUCK :)

3 Jan 2014, Comments (0)

Author: Healthnuttxo

If you are planning an event and are struggling on decided what food to serve, why not consider serving some of the Canapés London has to offer?

If you are planning on using a catering company for an upcoming event then you should consider requesting canapés be on the menu as they make a great addition to any event. If you are planning a sit down meal they will keep your guests’ appetites at bay until the main dishes can be served or if you want to have a small or informal party or event they can satisfy their needs.

Indulging in some of London’s best canapés has to offer is a great way to complement a main menu or they work well as stand-alone nibbles. Served alongside a champagne buffet they make for excellent finger food and also help to prevent guests from getting too tipsy before a main meal or event. They are also very versatile thanks to the huge variety of options that are available, so they can easily meet any special dietary requirements, including those who require vegetarian and gluten-free options. Variety is the key to success with canapés. They can be mixed and matched from various menus, regardless of the theme or style, there are bound to be canapés to suit the occasion. These little pieces of deliciousness are a delightful example of decorative French cuisine that can brighten any occasion.

The type of occasion you’re throwing affects the character of the event and the size of the venue, which has various impacts on the catering, including the types of food and their amounts to its preparation. As a host there are several options available when deciding how to assemble and distribute the food. You may elect to have the food delivered or prepared on-site. You may be concerned about the time it will take to deliver, as the fresher the food the better, but with specialised courier vehicles you need not worry about compromising the quality by selecting either option. Caterers and couriers have specially designed containers which are fully insulated and will keep the food in a perfectly preserved condition until the event, meaning that they’ll look and taste exactly the same as they would do if they were prepared on-site.

Having your canapés delivered has the added benefit of freeing up space at whatever venue you are hosting the event. Rather than having a team of chefs take up the entirety of a kitchen to prepare what are relatively small pieces of food, a courier can simply drop them off and you may not even want or need them to help with the setup – all you’d have to do is transfer them to trays or plates and you’re done. It also saves on having to transport all the ingredients and staff which saves time and money thanks to its simplicity.

However if you do plan to dine on some of the best Canapés London has to offer then you may want to have a team prepare the food on site as it does have an edge over delivery. In addition, a lot of catering companies will offer a complete service including which means if you are lacking an in-house team to serve the food it will work out cheaper and easier to employ one company for one total package.

HEY!
So…

I’ve been missing, I know. No need to fill out a wanted persons ad. I AM alive!!!

I’m sorry for being such a crappy blogger and not posting as much as I should butttt….. I am back!

And BACK at it with a punch! The kind folks over at Nellie’s and Pete & Gerry’s let me have some coupons to try their eggs for free. So I bought one of each and brought them home.

NOW I eat enough eggs and egg whites that I almost consider myself an expert. Eggs-pert if you will ( Sorry…I had to say it, I really had to say it). So I was pumped to try these. And I must say I found some differences between these eggs and your average Joe eggs (which, let’s be real here, I often buy because bulk = cheap and Lisa= broke … (it’s factual I swear) )

Both of these eggs came in pretty schweet containers. A thicker plastic (that used to be a water bottle according to the package!!!) that you open up and then is another protective plastic layer on top of the brown eggs.

I liked that the eggs were different shades of brown. Like it’s okay to eat food that’s not the same EXACT uniform color all the time, and has NATURAL discrepancies. I can dig it.

I noticed that when cracking these eggs, the shells broke very easily. I had a few pieces of egg shell to pick out of my bowl (oops), but nothing I couldn’t handle, and a price I would pay for humanely grown, natural eggs.

The eggs were super white in color (for the whites) and the yolks tasted amazing. I did NOT whip the egg whites before cooking, and these were definitely fluffier than any other generic bulk- eggs I would normally crack open and fry up and eat. And let me remind you I eat eggs every. single. day.

(sometimes twice a day)

So I can make this statement when I say these are excellent! Very fresh, and I loved that the Nellie’s version, although not organic, had omegas in each egg.

Overall…a solid investment. Are they pricy…yes. Unfortunately. It could be NYC’s lovely, I mean crappy, prices, but these were 4-5$ a carton. And being I can eat 12 eggs/egg whites in a day, this is something I would buy and ONLY eat if I were to eat the whole egg and not something I would buy to use the white and discard the yolk. Although, I did make brownies with these eggs…so whoever got a batch of those consider yourself v e r y lucky I used 3 precious eggs on you!!

I would give 4 1/2 stars. Taste, quality, packaging, is amazing. Price, kinda sucks. But hey if you got the means, go for it!!! And throw a few my way, please :)

13 Aug 2013, Comments (0)

A Vegetarian Recipe to Try

Author: Healthnuttxo

Hey guys!

I have an awesome recipe to share for you guys to try! Everyone likes Tacos, right? I think it’s one of those things where vegetarians and non-vegetarians unanimously can agree that it is one tasty dish! Although this dish is meatless, Quorn has provided us a great recipe using their mince as a hearty replacement. The recipe can be found here http://www.quorn.co.uk/recipes/vegetarian-chilli-beef-tacos/

Source

First off, why vegetarian? Don’t let the fact that it is vegetarian scare you! I am all for eating meat at most of my meals for staying full and eating a good amount of protein, but this dish has ingredients that will keep you full and satisfied. For example, the kidney beans that are used have a good amount of protein and fiber as well as complex carbs that will help full you up without slowing you down. It is good to have some vegetarian meals as well, as protein sources from animals tend to be high in cholesterol and saturated fat. As a  bonus, by replacing meats with meat alternatives or adding legumes to meatless dishes, you get exposed to a lot of heart-healthy vitamins and minerals without all the fat!

What’s good about this recipe is that it is relatively simple to make, and is 306 calories a serving (for a total of 4 servings). But hey… I won’t judge you if you eat all 4 servings ;]
It may seem as if the recipe has a lot of ingredients, but it includes spices and things that will probably already be in your cabinets. For example, garlic cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, greek yogurt, lettuce, tomatoes, and grated cheese will most likely already be in your home. I know they are certainly in my house! So you may only have to purchase a few ingredients, and of course you can swap and add your own ingredients as you please.

So, someone let me know if you end up trying this! I think you guys will really enjoy it. And I’ll end this post with a question…

What’s your favorite vegetarian dish? My favorite vegetarian dish is literally a cheese omelette made with 1% cheddar cheese and broccoli. MMM! So good!!

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