Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NNW Protein Powder (Only Found at HyVee)

I should have tried this long ago. It's fabulous. I bought the milk chocolate flavor. It doesn't have the nasty after taste most whey protein has, which is great since that is my least favorite part of protein powder. I just mixed it with almond coconut milk blend. I didn't have to choke it down. It tasted decent and went down easy. I can't wait to use it in my regular smoothies. I am excited to try the other flavors. Thank you so much to Angie (a reader) for the suggestion. I am thrilled to find something that is easily accessible too. I get mine at West Kimberly Rd Hy-Vee.

UPDATE: I have since tried the Peanut Butter Chocolate and Vanilla. LOVE THEM ALL. I used the vanilla today in my smoothie with a banana and frozen strawberries with a cup of milk. It was like sweet treat.

I haven't tried Cinnabun flavor yet, but I"m told you can make pancakes out of it. YUM

Friday, April 19, 2013

Plant Fusion

I am in the process of trying to find a tasty protein option for after my workouts. I am not having an easy time of it. I took to Facebook to see if I could contact a couple gluten free companies for samples. I am happy to say Sun Warrior is sending me some free samples, but I have not received them yet.

I contacted Plant Fusion and while they do not give free samples (really?) they did tell me I could order them at a discount. I went to Vegan Essentials and put in an order for a sample kit. It came with 4 flavors for $6(including shipping). The flavors are: Chocolate Raspberry, Vanilla, Unflavored and Chocolate.

Chocolate Raspberry I mixed with water. It's a super fine powder so be careful when pouring or it causing a bit of coughing/choking. I mixed it all up good and then gagged it down tried to drink it. It was awful. It's very foamy. I mixed it with a small hand blender that came with our cocoa set. I could not even drink 1/4 of it. I was gagging.

Chocolate I added to a green smoothie. It wasn't as bad. I did have to add honey to cut the taste. I was able to get that whole smoothie down.

I have not tried the Vanilla or unflavored yet. I have to admit I am not looking forward to using them. I am very glad I had the option to get them at a much lower cost to try them. I would have been seriously pissed disappointed if I had bought a big jar of any of this stuff. It's not tasty. I read so many reviews online and had such high hopes. They were quickly destroyed with the first gulp. I would not waste my money on this product.

I plan to try a reader suggested product the next time I go to Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee has their own brand of protein powder that comes highly recommended in the black bag in the health market. Again...I have high hopes. I will let everyone know how the Sun Warrior product is when I receive it.

Frank's Pancake Mix (Sorry forgot to take a picture)

This is a local product carried at West Kimberly Rd Hy-Vee. I made these for dinner. They are made with corn. They aren't bad. They are a bit dry, but taste good. They soak up the syrup nicely. The instructions are easy to follow. It said one package made 25 -4" pancakes...we got about 8 big pancakes out of the pouch, it was plenty to feed my family of 3 (Yea, daddy ate gf too). Would I compare them to Gluten Free Bisquick, no they are completely different in taste and texture. Will I buy the mix? Not likely as it is about $5-$6 a package. I really like normal Bisquick pancakes. These were good, but not quite the same as gf Bisquick. If you like to feel like you are eating a more hearty batch of pancakes give it a shot.

Garden Lites....meh

I saw these at Target in the freezer section thinking it would be a quick easy fix for work I bought 3 different flavors. I tried the butternut squash souffle. It is weird. It tastes like squash bread pudding. It is not good. It is not bad. It's just plain weird. It has a weird texture and is very bland. Would I buy it again? NO WAY!

Ian's Chicken Nuggest

Chicken nuggets are my DS's favorite thing to order at any fast food place. Now with the recent onset of hives there will be next to NO fast food eaten by this child. It's just not worth it and quite frankly it's terrible for him anyway.

I did buy Ian's Chicken nuggets with the hopes that they would be similar enough to the ones he likes to suffice. Great news...he likes them! He said they are pretty good. Yeah! I tried one - it tastes like chicken mush on the inside, but the outside was crispy. They are NOT cheap. I got them on clearance at Target on a whim. The clearance price for the small box $4.68 -- there are 14 nuggets in the box. That seems high to me, but as with almost everything gluten free - it comes at a high cost, but it is worth it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Namaste Homestyle Coating Mix

This is currently cooking in my oven. It smells like amazing fried chicken. It comes with two bags of coating and two shaker bags. It gives suggestions for the "liquid" to use. I used Newman's Own Ranch Dressing. I think the whole family will like this one. It was okay, not as crispy as I would like, but not too bad either. If you are really wanting a "coated" piece of chicken it would cure that craving.

Roasting Vegetables...YUM

I am fairly new to vegetable roasting. Who knew they tasted so good!? My family has really started to trust me on the veggie end of dinner because I have become a vegetable cooking rock star!!! Our favorites to roast so far are:

Green Beans
Sweet Potatoes
Red Potatoes

For the asparagus and green beans I preheat the oven to 425 and place the vegetable on a cooking sprayed foil lined baking pan. I then drizzle olive oil over top add some kosher salt and pepper and bake for about 10 minutes, shake the pan and the bake another 10 minutes. I then take it out and add grated Parmesan cheese to the top and pop it back in for another 5 minutes. It comes out fantastic.

For sweet potatoes I peel them and slice them about 1/4 inch thick and put them in a Ziploc bag with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper.Preheat the oven to 425 and then place them on a sprayed foil lined baking sheet and pop them in the oven and bake them for 15 minutes then flip them and bake 15 more minutes. They are fabulous.

Red Potatoes and Carrots I tend to roast together. I wash the potatoes but leave the skins on. The carrots I peel and chop into smaller pieces unless I use baby carrots..Preheat the oven to 425 and then place them on a sprayed foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder or 1/2 a pkg of Herb De'Providence Seasonings from McCormick's. Pop them in the oven and bake them for 15 minutes then flip them and bake 15 more minutes. They go great with chicken and steak.

Easiest Broccoli Recipe -- ever!

I made this on a whim one night and my hubby and friends raved about it. I have been making it weekly ever since that day. It is commonly requested!

List of ingredients and Needs:
Fresh Broccoli (I buy the bagged stuff by Dole, since I'm  so lazy busy)
Newman's Own Ranch Dressing (I like this one because it contains no MSG)
Shredded Cheese (I use Colby Jack or Cheddar)
Tin Foil (to make a foil packet)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place foil on a hard surface (make sure its long enough to close up tightly so the broccoli kind of steams). Place broccoli on the foil in a big pile. I usually use one bag for a family of 3 (my 7 year old gobbles this up). Drizzle the ranch dressing over top of the broccoli, I use about 1/4 of a cup to a 1/2 cup.  Top with shredded cheese and close up the foil so it is completely closed. Bake for about 20-30 minutes depending on if you like your broccoli to have a bit of crunch to it or not.

Tip: I find I usually make my foil sheet short, in that case I just use two place another sheet over top and just close the edges. I put it on a baking sheet in case it leaks, but if I'm really lazy busy I put it right on the oven rack too.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Protein Powders

This is a low carb, low sugar gluten free protein powder. It has a bit of an aftertaste, but not too bad. I can drink it without making too many faces. I generally mix it with unsweetened almond milk, but it can be mixed with water, milk or any kind of liquid you prefer. I add it to my green smoothies for an extra boost. So far I have tried: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and tropical -- I'm not particular on which flavor I have when I need it, I just use what I have on hand. I get them at Heritage Foods in Davenport because I can buy the individual packets.

I have also previously tried Syntrax Nectar Protein Powders. They were surprisingly tasty with unique flavors like lemon tea, roadside lemonade and the normal flavors that protein powders come in. I haven't had them in a while, but I'm pretty sure I just mixed it with water. I plan to order some of the grab and go packets on Amazon so I have them on hand after workouts.

Deli Style bread by Schar

I bought this bread to try this week after I heard a girl in the isle say she really liked it. While it doesn't taste like normal glutenous bread, lets face it no gf bread does...but its not bad. I didn't have to toast it which is always a perk. I just had a piece with butter on it and it wasn't too bad. Would I spend $6/loaf on it, occasionally if I really wanted it, but bread is not a daily staple in my diet and won't be anytime soon.

Kind Bars - Dark Chocolate Sea Salt

Oh how I love Kind bars. I love many flavors and they just keep coming out with more that I cannot resist. This one is my new favorite - its the perfect combination of sweet and salty with only 5 grams of Sugar per bar, plus the protein from nuts in it to make it a great snack to get through the afternoon at work. I found my first one at Heritage Foods in Davenport, but found them cheaper at W. Kimberly Hyvee. Highly if buying 5 of them at a time wasn't recommendation enough...I'd order them by the case if they wouldn't have so many tasty flavors that I want to buy. My current favorites are the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew and the Fruit& Nut bar.

Organic Black Bean Noodles

I know they sound like they wouldn't taste me I was a bit worried when I cooked them and they look like black skinny worms...but man was I shocked - they are fabulous and sugar free.. My 7 year old son and gluten eating hubby both gobbled them up and I got two thumbs way up on a simple spaghetti dinner. I used Hy-Vee Brand Hot/Spicy sausage, Ragu sauce and the black bean it with cheese (how can you go wrong there?) and voila, a quick and easy dinner that was filling and tasty. They do currently have the noodles in stock at the W Kimberly HY-Vee in Davenport.