Tag Archives: vegan

Kale Salad

Kale Salad - In Her Chucks

This summer I fell in love…with kale.

Since subscribing to my CSA 3 years ago, I have been slowly warming up to this leafy green vegetable.  But over the last few months, my affection for kale has reached a whole new level.  Whether I am munching on kale chips, drinking kale juice, or dipping some sliced cucumbers in kale pesto, I just can’t get enough.  But this salad is definitely my go-to recipe.  And I have been going to it A LOT this summer.

What makes this recipe so good is the bright and complex flavors.  There is something about the mixture of sesame seed oil and soy sauce that sends me over the edge.  Add a few squeezes of fresh citrus and minced garlic and the dressing is nothing short of a party in your mouth.  And then of course, who doesn’t love the extra texture of toasted sesame seeds and perfectly ripe avocado perched on top of these leaves of glory.  Do you catch my drift?  It really is a healthy slice of heaven ;)

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced and smashed into a paste (or use a garlic press)

4 tbsp toasted sesame oil

3 avocados, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Place kale into a large serving bowl.  Add remaining ingredients (except for the avocado) and toss to coat.  Gently fold avocados into the salad and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes a good portion of salad.  If you are anything like me, you might be able to scarf it all down in one sitting.  But if you find yourself with left overs, the good news is that it keeps well in the fridge overnight.  So feel free to enjoy it the next day for lunch.  However, if you plan on sharing it with friends for a bbq or potluck, you might want to double the recipe because I can promise you the salad will be gone within minutes.

I have to admit, I feel terrible that it took me so long to befriend kale.  But now that we are clearly BFFs I have no doubt we will be making up for lost time.

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Conscious Box: Review and Giveaway

In Her Chucks - Conscious Box Review and Giveaway

I love surprises!  Especially when they come from my good friends at Conscious Box :)  Nothing makes me happier than an unexpected subscription box delivered straight to my door.  Filled with pure and sustainable products to nourish your body, quench your thirst, satisfy your sweet tooth, or save the planet, Conscious Box continues to outdo themselves with the quantity and quality of the goodies they offer.

I first fell in love with Conscious Box about a year ago.  I have always had an obsession with subscription boxes but Conscious Box took it to a whole new level.  Conscious Box encourages you to live life to the fullest by offering green and clean products that are sure to enhance your wellbeing.  And since the New Year is an opportunity for many of us to start fresh, this month’s Conscious Box is all about creating and continuing healthy habits.

The night I received my box, I had one of my closest girlfriends over for dinner.  I was excited to share the awesome goodies with her.  We made sure to try everything and give it a thorough review.  Out of all 11 products, we are officially fans of each and every one!  Check out what I am going wild for in my Conscious Box this month…

1.   Happy Squeeze Fruit and Veggie Twist: Blueberry, Apple & Purple Carrot–  Harper has never been a fan of pureed foods.  In the beginning of her solid food journey I would make them for her myself.  But when she refused to eat it I began looking around for other alternatives.  That is when I discovered that pureed baby food now comes in cute and convenient little pouches.  Well, even with their fancy flavors and colorful packaging, Harper was still not interested in purees.  Which meant I was left to eat the remaining baby food pouches that were sitting in my pantry.  And I’m not ashamed to admit I loved every single one.  But apparently I am not the only mama who was sneaking into my baby’s food stash because Happy Squeeze now makes an entire smoothie line for adults.  And they are AMAZING!!!  They are perfect to hide away in your purse, car or desk for moments of hunger and offer tons of vitamins and nutrients.  Loving this new addiction :)

2.  Nutiva Organic Hemp Seed– I became hip to hemp seeds over the summer.  And they are by far my favorite super food.  For such a small seed, they pack a major punch.  And they are so easy to add to any meal or beverage.  Sprinkle them on your salad for an extra crunch, blend them up in a smoothie for additional protein, or shovel them by the handful in your mouth for an afternoon snack.  And just in case you need a little inspiration for what to do with these teeny tiny seeds of love, check out Nutiva’s extensive collection of delicious hemp recipes.

3. Maakoa Koopuwa Superfruit Beverage– I am not one to drink my calories, but I am all for drinking your vitamins.  This antioxidant beverage not only tastes divine but it will make you feel like a total rock star!  Drinking only 1-2 ounces 2x/day provides your body with B1, B2, and B3 vitamins, essential amino and fatty acids, which help to boost your immune system, lower cholesterol levels and increases your energy and stamina.  Now I will drink to that!

4.  Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons–  Ever since my clean eating journey began, I have been hooked on these.  They are free of refined sugar, grains and animal products and are dangerously addictive.  And let’s just put it out there…I don’t even like coconut!!!  Wouldn’t know it was the main ingredient unless you told me.  If you haven’t tried these, you need to.  No one likes to feel deprived when they are eating healthy but with these all your sweet dreams will come true.  And when Freddie and I jump back on the clean eating band wagon next week, you can bet your bottom dollar these chocolate gems will be my saving grace.

5.  Peeled Snacks Apple Clusters: Berry Crunch–  If you ever find me in the line at Starbucks, I will most likely be holding a Cheese and Fruit Bistro Box in one hand and a bag of Peeled Mango Snacks in the other.  They are amazing and are quite often responsible for satisfying my relentless mango craving.   So when I saw this bag of berry goodness in my box I couldn’t wait to rip it open and scarf it down.  I popped one of the crunchy purple clusters in my mouth and was immediately transported to my childhood days at Palisades Park in front of the snack shop.  Nerds!  They taste like Nerds.  You know those sinfully delicious candies that are chock full of nothing but sugar and artificial food coloring.  Yuck!  (to the chemicals).  Yum! (to the flavor).  But these apple clusters are made with nothing but pure, organic ingredients.  Which makes me believe that these snacks would be the perfect thing to throw in a lunch box for both kids and adults to enjoy.

6.  Dr Singha’s Mustard Bath–  Wanna escape to a serene spa somewhere on a tropical island?  Look no further than this naturally healing and aromatic mustard bath.  I wish I had the pleasure of enjoying it but I have a thing about baths (total germaphone!)  Thankfully, Freddie was ready and willing to give it a go.  And according to how he looked (zenned out) and smelled (amazing) when he got out of his long and relaxing bath, he highly recommends it.  Slightly jealous, I hopped on the website and found this wonderful massage oil which I plan on using after a hot shower or if I am really lucky, Freddie will offer to use it the next time he gives me a foot rub (fingers crossed).

7.  Simply Straws–  Did you know that more than 500 million disposable plastic straws are used and disposed of in the US every day?  Shamefully, I am a contributor to that statistic.  But thanks to Simply Straws, I can make a difference.  With their reusable glass straws, Simply Straws is not only helping to reduce the amount of plastic we use but they are also saving your smile.  Created by a dental hygienist, these straws help people with problems such as teeth sensitivity, staining and erosion.  They come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes and fit perfectly in any cup you prefer.  I can’t wait to put mine to use and bring it with me wherever I go.

8. Dale’s Raw Raspberry Hazelnut Protein Bar– It’s no secret that most protein bars out there taste like cardboard.  Tough, flavorless and full of chemicals, what some view as “healthy” is really just a highly processed chunk of crap (does that sound harsh?).  But what if I told you that I found the most delicious, most pure, and simply the best protein bar on the face of the planet?  Dale’s Raw Protein Bars are not only made with all natural ingredients but they are packaged fresh each week, by hand, and shipped directly to your door (which means that they haven’t been sitting on a shelf collecting dust for God knows how long).  They have 12 delicious flavors to choose from of which I am looking forward to trying the Graham Cracker and Vanilla Cashew :)

9.  Amazing Grass Kidz Superfood: Wild Berry–  I am pretty darn lucky that Harper LOVES her veggies.  But for most parents it can be a struggle to get their kids to eat healthy.  However, how many kids do you know that don’t like juice?  Well, the geniuses over at Amazing Grass have created a super delicious, superfood powder that when added to water creates a kid friendly beverage that will pack them full of three full servings of fruits and vegetables in one glass.  Pretty much sounds like magic, right?  Oh, did I mention it comes in Chocolate too?   Yeah, won’t have to worry about your kids meeting their daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies anymore.  Now that’s what I call winning!

10.  Bodhichitta Botanicals Wild & Free Lotion–  For my birthday, a very good friend of mine gifted me with a set of Nurture the Goddess Bodhichitta Botanicals.  When I get the chance to have a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes, (which is usually on the weekends) I indulge myself with everything from the shower gel, body balm and lotion.  The scents of lavender, rose geranium and clary sage relax me, balance me and help me to take a moment for myself.  This Wild and Free Lotion is about to take that pampering session to a whole new level.  With the essence of patchouli and sweet orange this collection is invigorating, giving you the confidence to conquer the world.  I love the way this lotion made my skin feel.  So hydrated without leaving any oily residue.  And it feels good to know that their products are cruelty free, made without petroleum or synthetic preservatives, artificial colors or fragrances.  Just pure and natural ingredients.  The way skin care should be.

11.  PeopleTowels– Similar to my use of disposable straws, I have a terrible habit of overusing paper towels both in my home and when I am out and about.  But now I have support in breaking that habit and forming a new one.  PeopleTowels are an on-the-go sustainable alternative to paper towel waste.  It is simple a reusable hang towel made from organic cotton that is absorbent and quick drying.  I keep mine in my kitchen where I tend to do the most hand washing during my cooking escapades and I am excited about picking up a few more to put around my house and throw in my car or purse.  And with tons of designs to choose from, there is a style for everyone.  Or go ahead and make your own.  Just make sure you join me in kicking the paper towel habit and picking up the PeopleTowel habit :)

Looks like 2013 is going to be a great year.  And to thank you for your loyalty and support in 2012, Conscious Box is offering a free box to one lucky reader.  So here’s the scoop…

To enter: “Like” Conscious Box  and In Her Chucks on Facebook and leave a comment telling me that you have done so.

For additional entries…

1.  Subscribe to this blog and leave a comment telling me you have done so.  If you already subscribe to my blog, then leave me a comment telling me that you are already subscribed (and thanks for the support!).

2.  Follow @consciousbox on Twitter and leave a comment on this post letting me know you’ve done so.

3.  Pin this giveaway and comment here with a link to your post.

The more entries you have, the better your chances are to win.  The giveaway will close at 12:01 am on February 1st.  A winner will be randomly selected and announced on February 2nd.  Make sure to include your email address with your comment so that I can contact you if you win.

Good luck!

*Full Disclosure: Conscious Box did provide me with a box free of charge. I was not paid to write this post. With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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What I Ate Wednesday #7

When I grow up I want to be a product tester.  I have mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating.  Especially since my entire day of eats today was inspired by some new grocery store finds.

Yesterday, as I was doing my daily Facebook check-in, I came across a post that made me drool…Non-fat Pumpkin Greek Yogurt?  Yes please!  So I did what any normal human being would do.  I jumped in my car and headed to Trader Joes and picked up a few cartons of this seasonal delight (along with $80 worth of groceries).  Ah, the power of social media.

So what other goodies did I happen to bring home in those sturdy paper bags?  (I know, shame on me for not bringing my reusable bags…).  Well, the highlights included a jar of Mango Butter, a can of Coconut Cream, Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Gran Bread and bananas (had to buy something familiar…).  I was on a roll yesterday.  I had my product tester hat on and I was determined to try a handful of new things.  The result?  Pretty darn delicious…

Breakfast:

3 egg whiles, scrambled

 2 slices of Udi’s Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread with Mango Butter

1/2 grapefruit topped with 1 tbsp ground flaxseed

I am not normally a toast eater but between this gluten-free bread and mango butter, I could eat toast all day!  I love how surprisingly light this bread is and how the mango butter makes each bite seem like a mini vacation to Turks and Caicos (memories of my honeymoon…).  Even though the mango butter does have a tad bit of sugar in it, it’s a treat I am willing to cheat for :)

Snack #1:

2 lightly salted brown rice cakes topped with unsalted peanut butter and sliced banana

There is something about peanut butter and banana that just goes together.  It’s the perfect mid day treat.  I can remember my mom snacking on a banana smothered in peanut butter and sprinkled with granola as a kid.  She taught me so many healthy habits for which I am grateful.

Unexpected (but welcomed) Surprise!

1/2 of a Gluten Free Brownie

After music class today, the host offered everyone some gluten-free brownies.  Kind of hard to resist.  So I took half to munch on for the car ride home.  Chocolatey and delicious!

Lunch:

Homemade Persian Style Rice with 1/4 roasted chicken and mixed veggies

1 Dragon Fruit, sliced

I made a batch of this rice on Sunday.  I had been eyeing the recipe for a while now and was glad to finally give it a go.  It didn’t turn out as wonderfully as I had hoped it would (hence it’s not on the blog) but it’s good enough to incorporate in our daily meals.  Can’t go wrong with basmati rice and lentils.

I normally don’t buy produce at the grocery store because of my abundance of fresh fruit and veggies from my box, but after seeing some of this dragon fruit around the blogosphere I couldn’t help but pick one up on my recent visit to Whole Foods.  I only wished it tasted as wild and crazy as it looked.  A little underwhelming…

Dinner:

Mixed greens topped with short grain brown rice, carrots, feta cheese, tomato and guacamole and sautéed tofu with tahini dressing

Tuesdays is our night to eat out now that Harper has swimming in the evenings.  Tonight we enjoyed dinner with our good friends the Sewards.  We hopped on down to our favorite local restaurant for some healthy eats.  This salad was ginormous and definitely hit the spot :)

After Dinner Delight:

Homemade Vegan Sugar-Free Chocolate Mousse topped with a handful of Chocolate Granola

The inspiration to pick up the coconut cream at Trader Joe’s yesterday came from a friend of mine who is also practicing clean eating.  She had recently posted a pic on Instagram with some Homemade Vegan Sugar-Free Chocolate Mousse and I was intrigued enough to try making it on my own.  I am working on perfecting the recipe and look forward to sharing it with you soon.

So how am I doing with my “falling into good habits?”.  Overall, I continue to be proud of my efforts.  I find that having a plan for each day helps me to remain successful on my clean eating journey.  Also having a few different options to satisfy my naughty cravings keeps my sweet tooth in check.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!  I will be busy counting down the days until my 30th birthday (eek!).

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!  You only have a few days left to get your entries in.  Remember to leave a comment on the original post letting me know that you have completed the tasks.  Your comment acts are your entry into the giveaway.  Good luck!  

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Healthy Surprise

My addiction continues…I’m hooked on yet another subscription box.  But this box is different.  This box is filled with healthy, delicious snacks that are natural, vegan and gluten-free.  So you can enjoy yourself without feeling guilty.  And trust me…you will indulge!

Healthy Surprise is a service that delivers packages of delicious snacks directly to your door on a monthly basis.  All of the products are natural, vegan and gluten-free.  Similar to other subscription boxes I have tried in the past, each month’s box boasts a different assortment of sweet and savory snacks, allowing customers to be introduced to a variety of new products and brands.

The name for this company is perfect.  Not only do they encourage and support a healthy lifestyle, but truth be told, I was very surprised at how yummy everything was.  As someone with a serious sweet tooth, I had reservations about some of the cookies and bars.  Could something that was good for me actually satisfy my sugar habit (which, by the way, I am trying desperately to kick…)?  The answer is yes…100 times over…YES!

I am so excited to share these amazing goodies with you I can’t help but dive right in.  So here it goes…

Bare Fruit: Granny Smith Apple Chips– I have been a fan of apple chips for quite some time now.  My mom used to pack them in our lunches growing up.  So it was really nice to take a walk down memory lane as Harper and I enjoyed a few handfuls.  Filled with tons of fiber and vitamins, these chips are a great way to satisfy your snack craving while fulfilling your “apple a day” quota.

Bliss Bar: Honey Gold–  I am so in love with the Bliss Bar, I wish I had an entire case full.  Then again…I might end up with a tummy ache if I ate them all at once (because I have officially lost all self-control…).  Not only are these things ridiculously delicious, but they are packed with everything that is good for your body.  Protein rich and filled with potent energy enhancing superfoods, essential enzymes and immune enhancing properties, this tiny little snack is more than a yummy treat.  I can’t wait to get my hands on some more…

Living Intentions: Gone Nuts! Thai Curry Lemon Cashews, Almonds and Coconuts– If I wasn’t a total wimp in the heat department, I would scarf this down by the handful.  But unfortunately, I just can’t hang when it comes to spice.  Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but taste it.  Once I got past the fact that my mouth was literally on fire (only because I am true amateur), I was impressed by the savory curry taste.  For those who enjoy snacks that are full of flavor, this is the perfect choice for you.  I’m looking forward to checking out the Sesame Teriyaki or Raw Cacao Brazil Nuts.  Those variations are more my speed :)

Hail Merry: Vanilla Maple Almonds–  Ever tried a nut that tasted like cookie dough?  Yeah, these babies are THAT good!  And they are good for you too.  Full of oleic acid, these snacks can actually improve cholesterol profile, reduce inflammation and make skins and hair more radiant.  What’s not to love about these things?

Happy Hemp– Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritious and delicious foods on earth.  They are full of protein, fiber and essential amino and heart healthy fatty acids.  Adding a sprinkle of hemp seeds to your ordinary meals can elevate them to super-food status without changing the flavor.  I have had hemp seeds before but wasn’t aware of their amazing benefits.  I can’t wait to make hemp seeds a part of my daily diet.  Starting with this smoothie recipe.

Home Free: Vanilla Mini Cookies– I have officially turned into the gluten-free cookie monster!  These vanilla mini cookies are to die for.  Good thing I received two bags, because Freddie and I were having a hard time sharing with each other :)  Multi-award winning (I can see why…) these cookies are free of the top eight allergens.  Which means they can be enjoyed by all!

Oskri: Coconut Bar Cherry– My dad is the try coconut lover in the family, but to my surprise, this bar wasn’t too bad.  What usually turns me off about coconut is its gritty texture.  But this bar was soft, chewy and smooth.  With a variety of flavors to choose from, there is sure to be one that tickles your fancy.  I am drooling over the Mango and Pineapple.  Talk about a tropical vacay in your mouth!

Skinny Crisps: Cinnamon Crisps– When you offer your guests a bag of Cinnamon Crisps and it comes back empty, that means that they were good right?  Tonight ended up being an impromptu movie night at our house and these were the perfect after meal treat.  Similar to a cinnamon graham cracker without the added junk, these yummy snacks are low in carbs so they have little effect on your blood sugar.  Which means you can satisfy your sweet tooth without your body even knowing it…where were these when I was pregnant?

Two Moms in the Raw: Cranberry Nut Bar– Described as a cinnamon roll without the roll, this bar is a great combination of nuts, fruit and spices.  A perfect pairing of sweet and salty, I also can’t get enough of the contrast of crunchy and chewy.  I have tried my fair share of fruit and nut bars in the past, but this one is by far the best.  Full of flavor and healthy goodness, it’s the perfect treat any time of day.

At first glance, if you would have told me that I was going to love every single item in this box, I wouldn’t have believed you.  As much as I consider myself a healthy person, I have my reservations about going raw, vegan and gluten-free.  I love my carbs, I love my meat, I love my sugar (all in moderation of course…).  And most of all, I don’t want to feel deprived.  Well, this experience has clearly opened up my eyes to a whole new world.  These snacks have proved to me that you can enjoy yummy treats while eating well.  I am truly inspired.

Thank you Healthy Surprise, for educating me on all of the nutritious and delicious snacking options that exist out there.  I couldn’t be more happy with my introduction to your subscription service.  I appreciate your commitment to natural, vegan and gluten-free foods, and your desire to educate others about the wonderful benefits of eating well.

Interested in changing your snacking habits?  Click here for more information on the four different subscription boxes that Healthy Surprise currently offers.

* Full Disclosure:  Healthy Surprise provided me with a Starter Box free of charge.  I was not paid to write this post.  With exception of some of the factual information given about the various products, all opinions regarding the products are my own and 100% honest.

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