Saturday, April 28, 2012

Unjunk Your Junk Food

Unjunk Your Junk Food gives a realistic approach to finding better alternatives to your typical junk food.
The fact is that some people are just going to have their junk food. No matter if they are dieting, going thru and up or down moment or just want to satisfy that sweet or salty tooth. This is where Unjunk Your Junk Food comes into play. Andrea Donsky, Randy Boyer and Lisa Tsakos - the creators of have created a book to help you pick "healthy alternatives to conventional snacks". So while your still eating junk food it doesn't have to be the junkiest food. 

Take for instance your craving something sweet and chocolaty like M&M's, sure they taste good but did you know they have 240 calories, contain artificial flavors and ten (10) artificial colors. The artificial colors contain dangerous chemicals such as petroleum (yes the same petroleum you use to fuel your car). So instead of eating those delicious sweet M&M's you can choose the equally delicious and sweet alternative like SunSpire Sun Drops. Sun Drops have only 180 calories and are naturally colored with wholesome ingredients like beet juice color.
SunSpire  Sun Drops

Unjunk Your Junk Food is 232 pages of healthier alternatives to conventional junk food, tips for reading food labels and includes a tear-out chart of worst ingredients.

Remember it's still junk food though, so if you have the willpower to say "no thanks" always choose that option.

If you'd like to educate yourself further on making healthier choices you can purchase Unjunk Your Junk Food on Amazon or over at Naturally Savvy.

Check out Naturally Savvy on the web or on their facebook for more information.

 *I was provided with a copy of  Unjunk Your Junk Food as a Naturally Savvy Member. Any opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Is Butter a Superfood?

Have you ever read a post and it inspired you to DIY?? Well that happens to me a lot. Most recently I discovered a tasty recipe for "no bake protein bars with a superfood ingredient". 

I did a little research online and discovered the superfood ingredient was not cheap, so that started my DIY fire. That's all it took and I was off making the "superfood" ingredient which happen to be Coconut Butter. With a little help from Pinterest and my DIY expert friend Melissa (and her food processor) I was off making my own batch of Coconut Butter at a 1/4 of the cost!

Very simple, all you need is: 

1 package of unsweetened, unbleached shredded coconut, food processor and about 30 mins. 
Just process and swipe down the inside of the processor every 3-5 mins (just to mix it up a little) 

Here are a few photos to help:

In the process (about half way thru)

The final result - Coconut Butter

And for the No-Bake Protein Bar Recipe that started it all, they can be found over at 
Oxygen Magazine .

Well that doesn't end this post, not yet. I'd like to share a picture of the homemade butter my DIY expert friend Melissa made:

In process

The finished product - Butter

All she used was a carton of heavy cream, a stand mixer and about 30 mins. Yes we were making our butters simultaneously for those wondering.

While this might not be "superfood" it sure is good (in moderation just ask Paula Deen).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tasty and Nutritious Chicken Tortellini Soup

I made this for dinner last night. It was so good I had to share the recipe with you. I know you'll love it. Plus, its good for you. 

Serves 6-8
  • 1 qt. Chicken Stock
  • 2 Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite-cut diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 medium-large onion, cut into medium dice
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into medium dice
  • 1 zucchini, cut into medium dice
  • 1/2 bell pepper, any color, stemmed, cored and cut into medium dice ( I used Red)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups lightly packed, stemmed and coarsely chopped kale
  • 1 Package bite-size cheese tortellini, fresh or frozen
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Drizzle a TBSP of EVOO in a pot on Med/High, lightly brown your chicken, then add your onions and carrot. Cook for additional 5 mins. Next, add your chicken stock, tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper and spices. Cook on Med/low for about an hour or until you notice your carrots become tender.
Add kale and  tortellini, cook partially covered, until tortellini are tender and their starch has lightly thickened the soup, about 10 - 15 mins.
 Serve hot and garnish with Parmesan cheese if you like.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Deliciously G-Free Gluten Free Elizabeth Hasselbeck Review

I decided to enlist the help of a good friend Jennifer N.'s for this wonderful review of Elizabeth Hasselbeck's Deliciously G- Free Cookbook. Since Jennifer herself is G-Free, I think you will like what she has to say.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck's "Deliciously G-Free"

I love Elisabeth Hasselbeck. When I started watching the View it happened to come on during my workout time. There is absolutely nothing good about treadmill sprints, but Hasselbeck somehow makes it all more interesting. Turns out, she also makes cooking gluten free more interesting as well. "Deliciously G-Free" has an easy, no-nonsense style to it, though the ingredients are sometimes complicated.

The hardest part of making the two dishes, namely the cupcakes, turned out to be gathering the ingredients. I ended up buying four different types of flour on because they are not readily available in stores. However, since I am committed to being gluten-free (and am going to need these flours assuming I continue with Hasselbeck's book), it is a worthwhile investment.

The end product was definitely worth the while! The "chocolate devil's food cupcakes" were delicious! I also made two of the three kinds of cupcake icing Hasselbeck writes about, "the sophisticated chocolate cream cheese" and the "kids choice chocolate buttercream," which were equally amazing. I made them for St. Patrick's day and a friend who just had a baby, then used the leftovers for Easter and Karina's class. On the sugar high of success, I decided I was ready for the main meals section.

The gluten free "macaroni and cheese" overall turned out very well. I made it for a friend who just had her baby and happens to be a vegetarian. I chose it because she requested a child friendly dish, and this is definitely a kid pleaser. My 2 year old boy was quite fascinated with the homemade variety of macaroni and cheese, and proceeded to drink the bowl. I say "drink" because if you follow the initial set of directions, the dish turns out to be very soup-y. The cheese is an extremely liquid consistency, but if you look closely at the picture in the cookbook, you can see this is true of the dish. I ended up making two versions of the macaroni and cheese - the second time I added one cup less of milk - and it turned out to be a much better version, in my opinion. Overall this is a good dish if you are bringing something to a party or pot-luck. I placed it in an aluminum tin and it looked as though it could feed a small, gluten-free, army.

To order your copy of Deliciously G-Free go to Amazon or check out Elizabeth's blog here!

Thanks for your review Jennifer!

Easter Cupcakes