Friday, September 28, 2012

Apio foods Steamed veggie & Salad bag review!

This is a review on a company I had never tried out before. The recipes are simple, healthy and light. They use packaged foods, but in their raw state.

So, I'm a bit of a veggie freak. Ever since childhood, I was the anomaly who loved my veggies. Every shape and texture, even lima beans and brussel sprouts. My favorite vegetable by far would have to be those    tasty little trees called broccoli. Such a healthy and useful veggie of the bunch and kind of fun to eat. I like to imagine i'm eating mini me trees. I throw it in practically everything or eat it in its natural yummy raw form. Broccoli has a subtle sweet flavor that I love, and it goes amazing with lots of dips. One of which, I used in this review.

Apio Inc. foods supplied me with two coupons for a free salad bag and any other bag of veggies available.

I chose to get a bag of coleslaw salad, and a bag of microwavable steamed veggies. 

The veggies were in good condition, aside from a few stray dry pieces of carrots and broccoli. Apio Inc uses  a proprietary technology called BreatheWay®  On the back of this bag is a membrane which seals in freshness, so the veggies will stay fresh longer.

 I ate the veggies in their raw state with my favorite Rondele herbed cheese dip. Raw veggies with a little bit of this dip are my religious go to for a healthy snack.

  A few days later I made the broccoli, carrot and cabbage coleslaw recipe on the back of the other package, with some minor tweaks. The recipe called for regular mayo and regular vinegar.

Tweaked Recipe for every two cups of slaw:
  • Table spoon Apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of  raw sugar 
  • Table spoon of Vegan Mayo 
I mixed it all together and ate it as a side to my whole wheat herbed breaded chicken. 

The following day, I decided to use the slaw in a chicken wrap for lunch. For this I just mixed some left over whole wheat herbed breaded chicken and chilled slaw, spread some vegan mayo on a spinach wrap and added the mix. It turned out very good. I'd never actually used slaw mix in any kind of sandwich before. The crunchiness of the slightly sweet slaw, combined with the juicy chicken and the spinach flavor of the wrap really complemented each other well. 

Overall, I'm happy with the products I was provided with and I can definitely see myself eating this same recipe in the future. I love how much of a convenience these bags are. It makes it that much easier to be healthy. Especially for those of us whose time is very crunched. Sometimes, you just don't want to chop up all those veggies, and with Eat Smart veggies, it's already done for you.

You have many choices on what to do with the raw veggies or you can conveniently snack on them as is. I plan on getting more of these bags in the future! These would make excellent Asian stir fry go to's and I will have to try that next!

If you'd like to learn more about Apio Inc. and what they have to offer, you can visit their Website

I received these products in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cranberry cous cous stuffed Acorn Squash

Ah, Fall, how I love this season. Or as I like to call it, the fall of summer! I'm ready for the temperatures to drop, but they won't by much, considering I live in Florida. Regardless, I can still pretend it's cooler in the comfort of my home. Everything seems to be happier when fall arrives. All the holidays are near, the colors of life become more inviting, and the food is stupendous. I become ravenous for fall dishes. Especially all the squashes, and we've got the best squash of the season to celebrate! This is very simple, yet surprisingly delectable for being so.

Acorn squash is sweet on it's own. In this recipe, I wanted to bring out the sweetness, more than make it sweeter. This is a Garlic cous cous stuffed winter squash, with rehydrated cranberries, granny smith apple slices, nuts, butter and olive oil. Along with a tangy balsamic vinegar, mozzarella side salad to complement the sweet flavors.

  • 1 organic Acorn squash. 
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 Tablespoon butter 
  • 1/4 cup of rehydrated or fresh cranberries. Save about 3 Tablespoons extra to cool for the final topping
  • 4 pecans
  • 4 walnut halves
  • 2/4 cup cous cous (1/4 cup per squash half)
  • 1/2 a granny smith apple
  • Salt & pepper to taste 
  • Enough water to fill 1/4 inch of your pan


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the Organic acorn squash in two.  
  3. Scoop out the innards (I saved the seeds to bake, because I figured they're probably as good as toasted pumpkin seeds) 
  4. Mix together the 1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 1 T butter. 
  5. Peel and slice half a granny smith apple. Then grate the whole half into the mix. 
  6. Dice up 4 walnut halves and 4 pecans.
  7. Add 1/4 cup rehydrated cranberries, walnuts, and pecans, and stir well. (Remember to save the 3 Tablespoons of cranberries, and put them in the fridge to further chill) 
  8.  Fill the acorn bowls with this mix thoroughly, Make sure to bathe the squash in this mix. I just used a  spoon, but you may want to use a brush for even distribution. 
  9. Put 1/4 an inch water in the pan, to prevent burning or drying the acorn.
  10. While that is cooking, prepare your cous cous per the directions on the box. When it is done, make sure you stir really well, before it bunches together. You want it easily scoopable. Set it aside and keep it on very low heat. 
  11. Leave the squash in for at least an hour and check to see if it needs another 15 min. It is important not to under or overcook this sucker. Make sure the innards are nice n' soft and the top is lightly browned. 
  12. Now you are ready for the stuffing. I did it an odd way by waiting to stuff it after it was done. I didn't want to risk it overcooking in the oven or getting to be a weird consistency with the mix, so I elected to do it this way. It's on the messy side, so don't go attempting it on the plate you are going to serve it on. 
  13. Now, you are going to take the cooked squash innards and lightly mix it up, while slowly adding some cous cous, Table spoon by Tabelspoon, until you have stuffed both halves with 1/4 cup. 
  14. Then pat the mixture down and smooth it out. 
  15. Follow with the chilled cranberries to top it off . The contrast of the cold juicy cranberries and the hot squash is a yummy combination.  
** If you find that you want it sweeter, drizzle some honey on top **

 A sweeter variation I did beforehand, with: 1 Tablespoon honey, butter, brown sugar, and the same cranberries, with nuts. I added the cous cous as a side, with some brussel sprouts. Then realized that the cous cous would taste amazing inside the squash. This is what spawned the cranberry cous cous stuffed version. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Evol foods review

Evol provided me with a few coupons to get some free meals for review. Unfortunately, my closest supermarket only carried the bowls, but fortunately that ended up not mattering one bit when I took my first bite. I am impressed with Evol's concoctions. They aren't your every day run of the mill type of microwavable dinners, nor do they taste anything close to it.

Evol differs from most microwavable meals, in that it is healthier. As healthy as you can get being nuked, anyway. All of these bowls are packed with a wallop of protein and fiber. They contain all natural ingredients and these bowls have an uncanny way of not tasting microwaved at all. At $5 a pop they are expensive, but definitely worth a treat once in a while.

I tried 3 delicious bowls.

  • Fire Grilled Steak 
  • Bean And cheese 
  • Chicken 
Fire grilled steak:  I was a bit disappointed in the minuscule pieces of steak this provided, and I think there were only about 5 that I could spot. Other than that, it was really good, cheesy, and hearty. The black beans  and cilantro lime pesto were a uniquely tasty combo.

21g Protein • 8g Fiber • Gluten Free • Net Wt. 9oz

Bean and cheese Enchilada: I really did expect this to be a glorified taco bell bowl, but It was not at all. It was really cheesy and I loved the flavorful combination of soft pinto beans with cilantro lime infused rice, and red enchilada sauce.

18g Protein • 8g Fiber • Vegetarian • Gluten Free • Net Wt. 9oz

Chicken Enchilada: Again with the same flavorful combinations of cilantro and pinto beans, only with chicken, corn and a green enchilada sauce this time. This one was my absolute favorite.

22g Protein • 7g Fiber • Gluten Free • Net Wt. 9oz

INGREDIENTS: Green Enchilada Sauce (Hatch Green Chilés, Tomatillos, Water, 
Tomatoes in Juice, Onions, Corn Starch, Garlic, Jalapeños, Cilantro, Salt, Lime 
Juice, Spices), Pinto Beans, Corn Tortillas (Corn Cooked with a Trace of Lime, 
Water), Cilantro Lime Chicken (Cage-Free White Meat Chicken Breast, Lime 
Juice, Canola Oil, Cilantro, Spices), Rice, Cheddar Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, 
Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Corn, Lime Juice, Cilantro, Salt, Black Pepper.

^^ Nothing hard to pronounce, every day all natural produce and cage free white meat chicken. They don't specify whether the chicken is veggie fed. It has healthy oils and some cheese cultures. It is gluten free, but they use milk ingredients. Though they are at the very last of the list, so I doubt a lot goes into it. 

These bowls tasted really fresh and different. I think they could have done a lot worse.  Honestly nothing like the sugar infused processed tv dinners 99% of the food market is made up of. They are going to make a convenient once in a while substitute for home cooked meals.

You can check out Evol Foods here for more info.

Disclaimer: I received these for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own and 100% truthiness.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rhythm Superfood Kale Chips Review & Giveaway!

I had the chance to try out some delicious chips from Rhythm  Superfoods. Though, when i say chips, I don't mean the traditional kind you are thinking of. I mean wholesome, organic, all natural, non-fatty, vegetables made into chips. The vegetable Kale, to be exact. I've heard of baking Kale into chips, but never actually tried it. Then I bumped into these beauties on a health food site and had to try them.

Rhythm sent me a sample of every flavor they had. Unfortunately, all but two were way too spicey for my wimpy taste buds. Don't think I didn't try, because I did. I actually enjoyed the taste of one, until the fire hit me and I regretted it. My reaction went something like this "Oh, yum, mmmmMMMMother of all that is unspicey, get it out!!" And a glass of juice later, I was saved. I can't complain though, they were really good, until that point.

The Kale chips come in:
Zesty Nacho
Bombay Curry
Kool Ranch
Texas BBQ
Mango Habanero

As you can see, most of them are centered around the "zesty" burn your tongue off variety, which plenty of people love. Just not me.

What my taste buds did ultimately agree on was the Texas BBQ and the Kool Ranch.  The ranch was my favorite. These chips have a very unique taste to them and I really enjoyed it. Kale has a distinct taste on its own, but when mixed with all the spices, the combination is so flavorful, and left me wanting more.

I had no idea what to really expect when I opened the bag, definitely not a bulk of chips. Regardless, it was a tastey bulk. Each individual chip is very thick, bulky and crunchy. Basically, the kale is the actual chip, not kale infused chips. Just a dried vegetable. Nothing at all like your average chip.

Rhythm Kale chips prove to be very healthy from what I have read. Check out the ingredients and nutritional info: Organic kale, organic sunflower seeds, organic tahini, organic onion powder, organic apple cider vinegar, organic evaporated cane juice, organic lemon juice concentrate, organic carrot powder, sea salt, organic spices. That's it. Nothing unpronounceable, processed, or anything else you've seen me complain about enough by now. Pure, raw, goodness, with a significant amount of protein, fiber and nutrition. 

I'm sure 99% of you know that Kale is one of the healthiest veggies you can consume, but do you know just HOW healthy?

Kale is a part of the cabbage family and it is jam packed with powerful nutrients, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and cartenoids. How many vitamins does this beauty carry with it? Vitamin A, C, K, B6, Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Potassium, and fiber.

These chips made an excellent side dish to my veggie hot dog and I also had some as a snack, without feeling hungry afterward. They carry sweet potato chips as well, which I really have to try out!

If you can't wait to try them, you can order the cheapest that i've seen at Amazon for a pack of 4 at $10. It is a little pricey, but they are all organic and with that comes a bigger price tag.

Make sure to 'like' their facebook so you don't miss out on new promotions and information. You can also check out their website for more info and locations that carry it.

Have I convinced you to try out some spicey, vegan, gluten free, jam pack flavored kale chips?   Well, guess what? You can benefit from my wimpy taste buds, because I decided to give away the two bags I didn't open. 

One lucky winner will get two bags of kickin spicey Bombay Curry and Mango Habanero! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 3, 2012

Crispy Green/Fruitzio Freeze dried fruits Review!

 Crispy green & Fruitzio is an all natural line of freeze dried fruit. The company sent me quite a variety to review, and I was so excited to try them all. I'm kind of a fruit fiend. They come bagged in a pretty silver, with the scrumptious pictures of the fruit within displayed. This fruit is 100% freeze dried, with NO added ingredients, no hint of this or that. Nada. It's as simple and clean as you can get. The only sugar involved is the naturally occuring kind inside the fruit itself. I love this. We really do not need more sugar than that, but our bodies are trained to want more in this society. You think you need it, but you don't.

Crispy green & Fruitzio freeze dried fruits were a perfect and very convenient go to snack for me whenever I craved anything sugary! If I craved a brownie or even carbs, I do not lie. It really did curb those cravings. I used these in yogurt, oatmeal, and other cereal. There is a lot you can experiment with and I will have to do that.

It is really interesting how the freeze dried process works, and actually a lot more complicated and involved than people would think. 

The fruit is frozen and then placed in a drying chamber, where heat is emitted into the shelves they sit on. through what is called, the "Sublimation process", water evaporates from the fruit, but it remains frozen. The process is done when all of the water has evaporated. In that kind of dry environment, no microorganisms of any kind can survive in that atmosphere, and enzymatic activities stop as well. 

Things to love:

  • 100 % natural 
  • 55 calories or less per serving! Check out the nutrition factor.

  • The equivalent of at least 1 piece of fruit in every bag. This doesn't substitute regular fruit intake, due to the lack of hydration and some nutrients, but it still very healthy. Especially great for those who have a hard time getting in their nutrients, or do not eat a lot of fruits. Just dump them in your cereal or have them as on the go snack and you are doing your body a favor with the antioxidants and nutrition you otherwise wouldn't have. 
Very important to note. When i looked up the effects freeze drying had on food, I was surprised to find out that it doesn't deprive us of much. "The biggest losses in nutrients through freeze-drying occur in vitamins C, A and E. However, the vitamin losses are mild to moderate. Fiber remains intact, as do anti-oxidants and phytochemicals, which are chemical compounds that may provide protective health benefits."
  • No added sugar
  • Sealed in a moisture free-UV protected package (That is what the "pretty silver" is that I referred to)
  • The freeze dried process ensures that the fruit can be sitting on the shelf for years and it will still be as good as the first time it was made! So no need to worry about when it's going to get bad or if any moisture is going to seep in.
  • Kids will absolutely love this. It's sweet, but not too sweet, and a great way to get them off on the right kind of diet. They won't crave candy as much or at all. I would think very young ones could safely enjoy this as well. It is not hard to bite into and literally melts in your mouth some.
  • They work under strict guidelines
    "Sourced from certified, carefully selected growers who undergo a stringent audit review process. All fruit is processed and freeze dried according to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, an international standard that identifies critical control points, sets safety procedures and preventive measures, and maintains strict documentation for certification.

    Crispy Green's manufacturing facilities are kosher certified by Orthodox Union, and do not process products containing peanuts or other tree nuts. View our kosher certificate. Crispy Green® products are packaged in high quality triple-layer poly-bags with an aluminium lining to protect the finished products from moFreeze-dried fruit is made using a freeze-drying process which is simple in concept but involves complex technologies."

    I really like that they take so much care in their developing and manufacturing process. It gives me that much more of a "safe" feeling that I am consuming healthy, clean food. 

    I loved all the fruits, not one complaint about any of them. The only complaint I have is that they are freakin addictive.

    I was sincerely :( to devour the last bag of crispy green fruit I had. This is one company that has me hooked on their product. I will definitely be purchasing, and this will greatly help in my attempt at keeping healthier food intake.

    You can find out more information at

    Here is where you can buy a 36 pack variety  but there are alternatives, such as Amazon

    Make sure to like them on Facebook to keep up with their latest promotions!

    Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review, nor was i asked to give a false positive opinion. My opinions are my own and may differ from yours.


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