Happy Valentine’s Day & Weekly Menu Plan 2/14/2010

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!! Are you celebrating in any special way? Aaron & Jon are out of town for a hockey tournament, so Hannah & I will be having dinner with my mom & step dad at one of my favorite restaurants. Not the same as being with the love of my life, but I am looking forward to spending some time with my mommy (and step dad). I did make sure to start my day out the only way you can start out a day that centers around chocolate – with cacao nibs over my rice cakes, peanut butter & black cherry spread! YUM! What a unique crunch that added! I may just have to do that again. I also tossed some in my coffee. I was reading the back of the package while waiting for my eggs and saw a suggestion to add to your morning coffee. No need to twist my arm to add anything like that to my coffee. It added a nice undertone to the coffee and they softened up so they were a bit chewy when my coffee was all gone.

Seems we are in for some more snow tomorrow. I think that mother nature missed my last memo that I had had enough already. I guess maybe that darn groundhog was right afterall. Onto the plan:

Sunday – dinner out!

Monday – Filet Mignon, baked potato, asparagus & salad

Tuesday- Tacos, refried beans, cilantro rice, corn & salad

Wednesday- Burgers (veggie or turkey), sweet potato fries, broccoli & salad

Thursday-Grilled chicken, roasted acorn squash, zucchini & salad

Friday- Pizza or calzones and salad


Baked Goods

Chocolate Crinkles


Pumpkin Bread

Make sure to check out Orgjunkie for lots of menu planning ideas.


In case you missed these posts:

Runner’s Review of Zensah Compression Sleeves

Gluten-free Diet – Healthy or Not?

Review: Vino De Milo Salad Dressing

Review: Endangered Species Chocolate

Lentils & a recipe

Also, there have been several recalls this week:

Daniel’s Meat Packers recall turkey burgers

Champ Meatball Company recalls patty mix

Cousin’s recalls Spinach Vinaigrette

Don’t miss this: Columbus people – Gluten Nanny hosting a workshop this week.

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Review: Zensah Compression Sleeves

Okay, so this isn’t a gluten-free food review, but I had to give this product a shout out because it might just be the best $40 I have ever spent. I had read on many running blogs about the compression sleeves, but hadn’t taken the leap yet. My concern and reason for considering them was my calves being very tight leading up to and after my half marathon in October. This post is what sealed the deal for me & convinced me to give them a try.

I happened to take Hannah to a birthday party right next to Road Runner Sports a couple weeks back, so I ran in to see if they had the Zensah sleeves. They did. Not only did they have them, but they had them in 3 colors – black, purple & pink. I had a rough time deciding between the pink & purple, but I went with the pink. I put them on when I got home, figuring since I ran 10 miles that morning that it couldn’t hurt to wear them. I was pleasantly surprised when I got out of bed the next morning & there was virtually no tightness in my calves at all.

The compression sleeves increase blood flow to the area & help speedy recovery. You can read more information on recovery & compression sleeves here and here.

I have been just thrilled with my sleeves. I have used them for all runs since I bought them and after my runs longer than 8 miles. My calves/shins have never felt better (well, okay, maybe when I wasn’t running at all). They are easy to take care of – just toss in the washing machine & hang to dry. They also match a lot of my running gear. 😉 I hope that these help carry me through my upcoming half & full marathons.

Here is a picture:


I was not paid or compensated in any way to write this review. I bought the sleeves myself, though I would be happy to review any other products that Zensah would like to send my way, such as the cute running skirt. 😉

Gluten-free Diet Healthy or Unhealthy?

Once again there were some tweets on Twitter yesterday that got my knickers all in a knot. I love that phrase, “knickers in a knot” and am thrilled that I was able to use it somewhere! Okay, back to my thought process -sorry. It wasn’t what the tweeps (people who were tweeting) were saying, it was information that they had heard & were repeating that had me all riled up. Apparently Dr. Peter Green, Director of The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, was on a show on XM radio yesterday afternoon. Alision, of Sure Foods Living, tweeted the following: “Dr. Peter Green on XM radio today said gluten-free diet is expensive, inconvenient and not a healthy diet. I disagree with the last part!!!“. I have lots of thoughts on this last part regarding the healthy diet. I completely agree with the expensive part and somewhat agree with inconvenient part.

The part I do not agree with at all is the gluten-free diet not being a healthy diet. I tweeted in response to Alison’s tweet “@CeliacFamily @surefoodsliving I think any diet is what you make it. There R plenty of healthy whole grain #gf foods.” See, Dr. Green was saying that the gluten-free diet, when compared to a diet of enriched wheat products, was not healthy. I truly believe that while the gluten-free diet can be unhealthy if you use products that are not made with gluten-free whole grains, it is all dependent upon what foods you choose. Same goes for the SAD (standard American diet) – white bread, fast food, cookies, cakes, doughnuts, etc. However, if you choose healthy gluten-free foods, the gluten-free diet can be very healthy.

What are healthy gluten-free foods? Well, for starters, most fruits and vegetables in their natural form are gluten-free. The same goes for unseasoned meats & fish, milk, beans (including soy), lentils, eggs, nuts, seeds (except wheat, rye & barley) and some yogurt. There are quite a number of gluten-free grains that are extremely healthy for you – here is a list of some of them:

  • quinoa
  • millet
  • sorghum
  • buckwheat
  • teff
  • amaranth
  • rice (brown is better for you than white)
  • corn

Take quinoa for example. Quinoa is a complete protein – this means that it has all 9 amino acids. It also high in fiber. Quinoa can be used in place of rice or you can find it in flake or flour form. I have also used millet & buckwheat in place of rice or quinoa in many dishes for a change.

The standard gluten-free flour mix contains rice flour, potato starch & tapioca flour. Using only this mix is not the healthiest option. Baking with a mixture of gluten-free flours can maximze the nutritional benefits of whatever you are baking. Amy, of Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, has some great posts on gluten-free flours that will help explain all you ever wanted to know about gluten-free flours.

Does this mean that you have to avoid foods with rice, potato starch & tapioca flours in them? No. My whole point is this – any diet is what you make it. You can choose to eat the more healthy foods and then splurge on the “treats” in moderation. I think (and I am just speculating here) that possibly Dr. Green was referring to replacement products. When I am using the term “replacement products”, I am referring to those products that are pre-made, such as bread, cookies, rolls, etc. Some of the gluten-free replacement products on the market are comprised of the white gluten-free flour mixes made up of rice, potato starch & tapioca flours. I have run across more & more replacement products lately that are using some of the more nutritious gluten-free flours, such as bean flours or sorghum. There are even gluten-free pastas on the market now that are made of brown rice, corn & quinoa to add some nutritional value to them.

When I first started on the gluten-free diet 4 years ago, I did go straight to the replacement products that were not as healthy as I adjusted to the diet. There is definitely a learning curve. Now that I have had the time to reserach & learn, I try to utilize some of these healthier gluten-free ingredients. I also try to stick to foods that are naturally gluten-free, eliminating the need for replacement products where I can.

Anyone else care to weigh in on this? I would love to hear some other opinions on this.

Product Review: Vino De Milo Artichoke Parmesan Salad Dressing

I have been following Vino De Milo on Twitter for a while now & I always see these tweets that get my tummy growling. When I was shopping at Whole Foods the other day, I found some of their dressings & picked up the Artichoke & Parmesan one. You can read more about Vino De Milo here.



The Artichoke Parmesan dressing is described as “Creamy, yet low in fat, the parmesan in this dressing makes it a great alfredo alternative, or as a topping for fresh romaine. The delicate flavor of artichokes underpins a smooth texture, enhanced by a light white wine & fresh basil”. I love that these dressings have no HFCS and have a short ingredient list. Nothing that is hard to pronouce and non-GMO canola oil is used.

I paired this dressing with an arugula & cherry tomato salad. What a perfect blend of flavors. Spicy arugula with the cool, creamy Artichoke Parmesan dressing. This is a great low calorie dressing at only 20 calories per serving.  I loved the creaminess & flavor of this dressing.  There is a recipe on Vino De Milo’s site for an “alfredo” using this dressing. May have to give that a try!


There are also 4 other dressings, pasta sauces & brushcettas to choose from on Vino De Milo’s site. I also like that Vino De Milo is handmade & is made in Ohio! I love to support local companies.

Product Review: Endangered Species Chocolate

I received some complimentary samples of the new & improved organic chocolate bars from Endangered Species Chocolate. Everyone knows how I feel about chocolate – it is the best food on earth. I couldn’t wait to dig into these bars, but I did restrain myself & enlisted help from my kids; both share my love of chocolate. First, some information on Endangered Species:

Endangered Species Chocolate uses the universal appeal of chocolate to spread a positive environmental message. We do this by creating a selection of the highest quality, all-natural, ethically traded chocolate, including certified organic offerings. By purchasing ethically traded chocolate, we guarantee cacao farmers a fair wage that lead to more sustainable farming practices.

Additionally, the Ethically Traded label ensures quality products grown under environmentally conscious conditions. All of our bars are wrapped in appealing packaging that highlights the importance of the Earth’s creatures. Our goal is to educate and inspire those who purchase our gourmet products.

Chocolate is one of the most universally loved foods. However, like other products, it can have either positive or negative effects on the environment and the bodies of those who eat it.

At Endangered Species Chocolate, we provide exceptionally delicious chocolate made with only the finest, 100 percent all-natural ingredients. We offer organic choices to support human health as well as the environment. Plus, recent studies confirm that chocolate contains flavonoids that help blood vessels work more smoothly, perhaps reducing the risk of heart disease. Chocolate also acts as a powerful antioxidant, reducing dangerous free radicals at a higher rate than vitamin C or green tea. And, combined with exercise, research shows that chocolate works to reduce fat in the body.

Just as important, we see chocolate as a medium to save species, conserve habitat and honor human life. Our cacao beans are sourced and harvested from small family-owned properties and are ethically traded. ESC also pays fair prices for harvested products so cacao farmers can maintain their properties. We add to the impact of each bar by donating 10 percent of our net profits to environmental organizations that work to help endangered species and their habitats.

I don’t know about you, but just knowing that chocolate is actually good for you makes me all warm & fuzzy inside! Now, onto some more about the bars I received & sampled.



Organic Dark Chocolate & Cherry (70% Cocoa Content)
You’ll detect a smooth, sweet cherry flavor throughout this decadent dark chocolate bar. A rather romantic flavor! Peek inside the wrapper for species information that will allow you to become more familiar with koalas unique habits. Your chocolate purchase tastes all the more sweet when you remind yourself that it supports conservation efforts. This bar was only sampled by me. It didn’t last long enough to get to the kids. Sorry, guys. It was awesome and is probably my favorite of the 5. Smooth & dark. Perfection.

Organic Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa Content)
Savor a pure chocolate moment with this 70% cocoa content indulgence. Deep dark organic chocolate – pure and simple. Increase your knowledge of winged-wonders by reading the inside of the wrapper, filled with insightful knowledge about butterfly species. Your chocolate purchase tastes all the more sweet knowing that it is supporting conservation efforts. What more can I say? We all love dark chocolate in this house & this bar did not disappoint. A+

Dark Chocolate & Orange (70% Cocoa Content)
Deeply dark chocolate blends with refreshing orange oil to create an aromatic organic experience. Inhale and savor! Walk away from your chocolate encounter with increased knowledge about zebras courtesy of compelling text inside the wrapper. Your chocolate purchase tastes all the more intoxicating when you remind yourself that it supports species and habitat conservation. Both Jon & I enjoyed this chocolate bar. It reminded me somewhat of the chocolate oranges you can get at Christmas time. Another great bar of chocolate. Hannah was not crazy about this one.

Organic Smooth Milk Chocolate (43% Cocoa Content!)
An experience to savor. This chocolate bar boasts a 43% cocoa content that delivers a deep, rich flavor that will leave you forever spoiled. Walk away from your chocolate encounter with increased knowledge about lions courtesy of compelling text inside the wrapper. Your chocolate purchase tastes even more pure and sweet when you remind yourself that it supports conservation efforts. Smooth & creamy, just like milk chocolate is supposed to be. This was Hannah’s favorite bar.

Organic Milk Chocolate & Peanut Butter (43% Cocoa Content!)
Slightly salty peanut butter is blended throughout this milk chocolate bar, making it one of our most addictive flavors! Better snag a couple more than you planned – this chocolate bar will be devoured sooner than you think. Peek inside the wrapper to read all sorts of interesting facts about gentle giraffes. Your chocolate purchase becomes even more irresistible when you remind yourself that it supports species and habitat conservation. How can you go wrong when combining peanut butter & chocolate? You can’t. I love this bar! So unique. I like that the peanut butter is blended with the chocolate, not a filling inside. Brilliant! A hit with the kids, too.

You can find Endangered Species Chocolate in many grocery stores throughout the US. You can also purchase it right from ESC’s website. Another reason to buy Endangered Species Chocolate – they are certified gluten-free!! As if I need another reason to buy chocolate!

Some Disappointing News & a Hot Topic

I heard through the grapevine that General Mills has discontinued Strawberry Chex due to poor sales. This means no more Chocolate Chex mixed with Strawberry! I guess I should cherish my half open box in my pantry, huh? RIP, Strawberry Chex. Feel free to call & voice your opinion: 1-800-248-7310.


Another discontinued product – Whole Foods has discontinued it’s 365 Everyday Value Gluten-free Mixes line. I found this upsetting news on Gluten-free Philly’s blog.


With Valentine’s day coming up, I thought it was important to share this article I wrote for Celiac-Disease.com. Some candy that is gluten-free in its regular form may not be gluten-free in its holiday form. Please beware!


There has been yet another recall for undeclared wheat. You can read more about it here.


Now, a possible hot topic. I was on Twitter today when I came across a Tweet from @jenniferGFinGA mentioning that “Tofurky’s Lemon Pepper Tempeh is labeled #GF, but wheat is in the ingredient listing”. I went to Tofurky’s site to investigate this. Here is what I found:

Ingredients: Organic soybeans, water, shoyu soy sauce (water, GMO-free soybeans, wheat, salt, culture), garlic, organic evaporated cane juice, lemon juice concentrate, organic apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, culture (rhizopus oligosporous).
Contains: Soybeans, wheat*.
*Wheat used in fermentation of soy sauce but independent lab tests detect no residual gluten.

What are your thoughts on that? Would you eat the product? Is this a situation like that of the McD’s fries where there is no gluten present after the processing of the flavoring in the oil? Or like vinegars & alcohols that are made from fermented grains & then distilled and then considered to be “gluten-free? I did send an email to Tofurky just to get their thoughts (that was also before I saw the part about the independent lab tests). Is that enough for you? I’ll share my thoughts in another post. I am curious to see what you all have to say.

Naturally Gluten-free – Lentils

Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse. They are also naturally gluten-free – one of my favorite things in the world. Naturally gluten-free foods make my life so much easier. Lentils are much easier to prepare than dry bean – taking less than an hour and there is no soaking involved. Here is some information on lentils from The World’s Healthiest Foods:

Lentils are legumes along with other types of beans. They grow in pods that contain either one or two lentil seeds that are round, oval or heart-shaped disks and are oftentimes smaller than the tip of a pencil eraser. They may be sold whole or split into halves with the brown and green varieties being the best at retaining their shape after cooking.

Health Benefits

Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein-all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. This tiny nutritional giant fills you up–not out.

Lentils-A Fiber All Star

Check a chart of the fiber content in foods; you’ll see legumes leading the pack. Lentils, like other beans, are rich in dietary fiber, both the soluble and insoluble type. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that snares bile (which contains cholesterol)and ferries it out of the body. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.

Iron for Energy

In addition to providing slow burning complex carbohydrates, lentils can increase your energy by replenishing your iron stores. Particularly for menstruating women, who are more at risk for iron deficiency, boosting iron stores with lentils is a good idea–especially because, unlike red meat, another source of iron, lentils are not rich in fat and calories. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism. And remember: If you’re pregnant or lactating, your needs for iron increase. Growing children and adolescents also have increased needs for iron.

One of my favorite ways to make lentils is Honey Baked Lentils. I also love to make Lentil Tacos (a method I will share below). I have a new recipe from Veganomicon that I have been dying to try for Snobby Joes that use lentils.


Lentil Tacos/Mexican Pizzas

Cooked Lentils (follow directions on package; I used 365 Organic Lentils)

  1. 1 cup lentils (this makes a lot of lentils!)
  2. 4-5 cups hot water
  3. Simmer gently with lid tilted until desired tenderness is reached, about 30 – 45 minutes.
  4. Drain

Taco Seasoning

Refried Beans (I used Trader Joe’s)

Tostada Shells




Red Hot

  1. Take 1/2 cup of cooked lentils per serving and add 1 tsp of taco seasoning per serving (I used Old El Paso Original).
  2. Mix with a touch of water until well combined.
  3. Heat 2 tostada shells according to the package directions or use corn tortillas & bake in the oven. (I used Ortega).
  4. Spread your refried beans over your tostada shell; top with half of the lentils & shredded cheddar cheese.
  5. Bake until cheese is melty.
  6. Top with olives, tomatoes & Red Hot

I used 2 tostadas & half a cup of cooked lentils for one serving. You can easily make this for more, just adjust the seasoning. The pkg. suggests 1-2 tsps per serving of meat, so I used 1 tsp for one serving of lentils. Technically a serving of lentils is 1 cup, but I was using refried beans, too, and there is no way I could get 1/2 cup of lentils on each tostada shell.


Lentils are important for me right now in getting the fiber, carbs, protein & iron that I need while training for my marathon. I also donated blood on Monday, so I need to replace what I donated. Red meat is a good way, but I don’t eat a lot of red meat, so lentils it is! 🙂

Product Review: Katz Gluten-Free Products

About a month ago, I was sent some wonderful, complimentary samples of products made by Katz Gluten-free. We received Challah rolls, Chocolate & Cinnamon Rugelach and Chocolate Chip Cookies. Katz Gluten-Free products are certified gluten-free by the GIG. Some more info on Katz Gluten-Free:

Katz Gluten Free Bake Shoppe was established in early 2006 by F. Katz, with not much more than a home model kitchen mixer, some thoroughly tested recipes, and an unyielding quest for perfection. As word of our famously delicious confections rapidly spread, so did our base of operations.

Today, Katz Gluten Free operates out of a state-of-the-art facility, which has been Certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten Intolerance Group® (www.gluten.net) , for our unmatched reliability in complying with strict gluten-free standards. Our facility is completely nut-free and dairy-free. All of our products are certified Kosher, and are under the stringent supervision of the OU and Rabbi Y. Gruber.

As the mother of two children who are gluten intolerant, Mrs. Katz knows firsthand the hardships and daily struggles parents endure in their attempts to maintain a thoroughly gluten-free diet for their kids. She knows – as only a parent could – that the only way to minimize and avoid temptation, is by offering a variety of products that are rich in flavor, texture, and taste. That is why she constantly strives to concoct recipes that are as luscious as they are healthy.

We feature an extensive, ever-expanding selection of products, to meet the culinary demands of every gluten-intolerant individual. Our products consist only of pure, all natural high-quality and fresh ingredients, with no preservatives added, and are thoroughly taste-tested to ensure absolute goodness in every bite.

At Katz Gluten Free, we are truly passionate about our products and we hope that so are you. Our entire staff is committed to earning your satisfaction. We therefore welcome and anticipate your comments and suggestions. It is, after all, your input and feedback that have helped us achieve our goal of creating the most sought-after baked goods in the gluten-free market.
Are you looking to break free from gluten foods?

If you answered yes then you are absolutely in the right place. Just like you, we also love the smell of freshly baked bread. We anticipate every bite of a decadent chocolate cake. We also can’t stop eating delicious cupcakes. The problem is that gluten just doesn’t get along with us. That means that all the yummy delights like strips, muffins, cookies and challahs are off limits. Gluten foods can wreak havoc with a gluten sensitive person. The reactions can be mild to life threatening. So, like the rest of you who can’t eat gluten foods or have kids that can’t eat gluten foods, Mrs. Katz was left with very little choices. That’s why in 2006 she went on a mission. Armed with traditional recipes and the belief that gluten free food can taste just as good as gluten foods, she started her own gluten free trading company.

Our complete range of foods is certified Gluten Free

Everything in our menu is gluten free. Not only do we also make sure that it is dairy free and nut free. This ensures our customers health and well being. We are also very proud of our dedicated factory that only produces products that are not gluten foods. This means none of our menu items is effected by cross contamination from gluten foods. This is something most manufacturers should also be aware of. When gluten foods and gluten free products are produced in the same facilities, gluten from the production line can easily contaminate gluten free food. This can be very detrimental to individuals who need to be on a strict gluten free diet.

So when you try one of our cakes, challahs, cookies, muffins, strips, rugelech, breads, rolls, loafs or pizza crust you can rest assured that every step has been taken to safe guard your health and please your taste buds. Katz gluten free makes sure that it is gluten free and full of taste.

Cinnamon Rugelach -The original, famously delicious taste and rich cinnamon flavor of these rugelech make for a mouthwatering treat, which is perfect for dunking in a glass of milk.

Chocolate Rugelach -The original, famously delicious taste and rich chocolate flavor of these rugelech make for a mouthwatering treat, which is perfect for dunking in a glass of milk.


Chocolate Chip Cookies -Generous chunks of chocolate chips in this delicious cookie make it a favorite treat, when served with a glass of milk or on its own.

Challah Rolls – With an incredibly soft and fluffy texture and scrumptious homemade taste, our Challah rolls easily surpass the taste of regular Challahs. These delicious rolls do not crumble, and can go straight from the freezer to your table without being reheated.


I was unable to sample the Challah Rolls, as I can’t eat sesame seeds. Jon was able to eat the rolls with his burger. He enjoyed the roll, but did mention that it was a little dry. I am not sure if this was due to my freezing the rolls upon arrival or not. I defrosted slightly in the microwave & then toasted. Perhaps I should have defrosted on the counter at room temperature.

Both the rugleach & cookies were awesome. Great textures & flavors. If you made me pic a favorite, I would have to go with the Chocolate Rugelach! I had never had Rugelach before (even before going gluten-free), so this was a real treat.

You can purchase Katz Gluten-Free products direct from their website.

Product Review & Recipe: Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereal

I received box of Perky’s Crunchy Rice & Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereals made by Enjoy Life to review. I had seen Heidi, of Adventures of a Gluten-free Mom, make Crunchy Flax Cereal Bars and thought that they would be a perfect way for me to sample the Crunchy Flax Cereal. But first, some information about Enjoy Life and the Crunchy Flax & Rice Cereals.

From the website:

After 25 years, Perky’s “Nutty” Flax and Perky’s “Nutty” Rice (“nutty” in the name, not in the ingredients), have become part of the Enjoy Life® brand, and are now known as Enjoy Life Crunchy Flaxand Enjoy Life Crunchy Rice! Crunchy Flax and Crunchy Rice have the same great taste and texture that folks have come to enjoy, only a new name and look!

Like all Enjoy Life products, Crunchy Flax and Crunchy Rice are certified gluten-free by the GFCO and free of the eight most common allergens. They contain NO: wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish or shellfish. Also free of casein, potato, sesame and sulfites. Crunchy Flax and Crunchy Rice are made in a dedicated nut-free and certified gluten-free facility. Ingredients are additionally tested to ensure strict allergen control standards are met

All Enjoy Life® products are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), an independent service that supervises gluten-free food production according to a consistent, defined, science-based standard that is confirmed by field inspections, in order to achieve heightened consumer confidence and safety. Learn more at, www.gfco.org.

Crunchy Flax is 100% natural, sweetened with fruit juice and honey, has 50g of whole grain, 425 mg of Omega-3’s and 6g of fiber per serving. It’s not only a delicious, but nutritious way to start your day!

Crunchy Rice is 100% natural, sweetened with fruit juice and honey and is low fat and low sodium. Enjoy with milk or yogurt (including your favorite non-dairy alternatives), or throw in your trail mix for an extra crunch!!

I have enjoyed both of these added to my morning oatmeal & Greek yogurt.

Now, onto the recipe. I made some minor changes to Heidi’s recipe.

1 cup of Xagave (agave nectar)

1 cup peanut butter (I used Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted)

4 cups Perky’s Crunchy Flax made by Enjoy Life

1 cup Lara’s Rolled Oats

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup Navita’s Naturals Cacao Nibs

1. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper

2. In a large saucepan, combine Xagave and peanut butter over medium heat

3. Bring to a boil & cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

4. Remove from heat & add the remaining ingredients, mixing well & spread into prepared pan.

5. Use a piece of parchment paper to press into pan and flatten out.

6. Cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the bars are cool. Cut into bars.

The cast of characters:


The bars, ready to cool:


The bars:


These not only make a great on-the-go breakfast, but a great pre-run fuel choice! Thanks for sharing a great recipe, Heidi!

A Hand for Haiti Cookbook & Weekly Menu Plan

A few months back I met this really cool girl on Twitter. This really cool girl is named Lauren and is the writer of Celiac Teen. Lauren has some amazing recipes & is just the sweetest person. Lauren has taken the time to collect & put together an ebook to help those people struggling in Haiti. Lauren collected 87 recipes from 71 different contributors! She has compiled the ebook & now has it up for “sale”. All you have to do is go here. You can then donate as little as $10 or as much as you would like for the ebook. There are some amazing recipes from some amazing people. I can’t wait to get to cooking! Thank you Lauren! You are such a selfless person.

Haiti Ebook Cover


Are you one of the unlucky ones who got snow dumped on them in the past 72 hours? I was whining about the snow we got here in Ohio until I heard & saw pictures of what the people in Philadelphia & DC got. 30+ inches? Wow!! We got 12 or so inches and I thought that was a lot. Spring can’t get here soon enough, that is for sure.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday! I am not much of a football fan (please don’t throw anything at me 😉 ), so you won’t see much blogging about football here. Jon is rooting for the Saints and Hannah is rooting against Jon! LOL! How is that for some sibling rivalry?

Sunday – Buffalo Chicken Dip, Rotisserie Chicken, veggie tray veggies, & salad

Monday – Filet Mignon, baked potatoes, sauteed asapargus & salad

Tuesday – Tacos, refried beans, corn & salad (Jon was very upset that I left this off the menu last week!)

Wednesday – Burgers (Sunshine for me), sweet potato fries, broccoli & salad

Thursday – BBQ Salmon, coconut baked brown rice, roasted veggies & salad

Friday – Pizza, salad & fruit

Saturday – Fend for yourself! 🙂

Baked Goods

Scones (new recipe)



Make sure to check out Orgjunkie for some more menu ideas.

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