Jasmine Green Tea Shrimp and Tillen Farms Giveaway

I was so excited to create this delicious dish, not only because I love cooking with tea, but I used a new fabulous ingredient for this recipe, ghee.  I have entered the Pure Indian Foods Ghee Recipe Contest and thought this would be a delicious dish to incorporate delicious flavors of tea and ghee in a savory shrimp dish that is perfect for a lunch atop your salad or a dinner atop steamed wild rice.

Jasmine Green Tea Shrimp

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 ounce jasmine green loose tea leaves
  • 1 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and devined
  • 2 Tbsp. Pure Indian Foods Ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. fresh Rainbow Swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb. fresh kale, roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. In a large stockpot, bring water to a boil.  Add tea and shrimp; cook for 4 minutes or until shrimp are opague.
  2. Remove from heat; set aside to cool.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, add Pure Indian Foods Ghee, garlic, ginger and basil.  Cook for 1 minute; add Swiss Chard and kale; cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat; transfer to a serving dish.  Serve shrimp atop greens, sprinkle with sesame seeds and a drizzle of white balsamic vinegar.
  5. Enjoy!

And now for my Tillen Farms VIP Kit Giveaway.

I am so excited to announce this giveaway as I have had the pleasure of working with this amazing company, whose products are out-of-this-world incredible and deliciously perfect for the palate.

Their products range from a rainbow of white asparagus, green beens, carrots, cherries and green asparagus…some with a hint of natural sweetness and others with a true kick.

To Enter:

Leave a comment on this post telling me which Tillen Farms product you’d like to try.  I am in love with the Tillen Farms products; they are fresh, crisp and delicious.  I’ve noted them on my ‘Favorites’ Page because they truly are the only brand of pickled vegetables that I purchase because of their fresh, crisp taste.  Believe me, they are far from the odinary pickled vegetable…My favorite is the white asparagus…so delicious.

I will be picking a winner on Thursday, December the 2nd at 5PM EST.

Good Luck!

Also, I wanted to tell all of you about this Winter Expedition hosted by Good Commons

This sounds like a dream boat to me…a lil’ skiing, private chef, massage, yoga…

Paradise on the East Coast?

I think so…

My ‘POM Wonderful’ Dinner Party

Well, let’s just say it all started with a lil email stating, “You are one of 100 bloggies to host a POM Wonderful Dinner Party“… WOW! Was my first reaction, I sent in my proposal to POM Wonderful with some fun POMMY ideas for foodie fun and I was chosen…

Okay, Thought 1:

I live in Manhattan.

Blank Stare…

Yes, I live in a shoe box.

Well, maybe a pin-hole.

A belly button?

Okay, you get the point.

I am Carrie Bradshaw (heehe, All you Sex n’ the City fans) …

Instead, I write about food…

And I love it.

L-O-V-E, LOVE it.

So, I put on my thinking cap and pondered.

Thought 2: Who shall attend?

Thought 3: What will I cook?  And bake?

Thought 4: Settle down, Amie. You have 2 huge cases of fresh pomegranates at your front door and the FedEx guy thinks you’re nuts!

Thought 4: Stop with the thoughts and Get to Work!

Thought 5: Final Thought….Let’s make it a Gluten-Free POM Party…

‘T’was the night before my POM Party, and all I could think about was the decor, the dishes, the entrees, the desserts and o’ what fun I had developing gluten-free POM recipes using POM Wonderful and the two large crates of pomegranates inside my tiny abode.  There I was…in my ‘lil apt…with the Kitchen Aid mixer buzzin’, the stove heatin’ and my fridge about to burst open with fresh produce and pomegranates!

Then, after a deep breathe, lots of planning and lots of fun…I was ready…

Welcome to my POM Dinner Party.

The dinner was held on November the 12th…a fine Friday evening here in the Upper East side of Manhattan.  My Gluten-Free ‘POM’ dinner party was inspired by a Fall Harvest theme in an intimate setting…

Picture eight Manhattanites, nestled into my cozy Manhattan apartment perched onto eight large maroon colored pillows on hardwood floors with a beautiful display of my homemade POM inspired dinner menu. I cooked and baked everything from scratch using POM Wonderful products in every dish and beverage throughout the evening. My menu consisted of POM infused Pecan Crackers served with POM Conserve for appetizers.  Roasted Turkey, Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranate Arils, POM n’ Macadamia Stuffed Squash, POM infused Crispy Parsnip n’ Apple Fries with POM infused Sweet Pea n’ Asparagus Guacamole for the main course. And, for dessert, POM Truffles and Gluten Free Red Velvet Pistachio Coconut Muffins, which are both infused with POM.   The beverages for the evening were POM spritzers, hot apple cider infused with POM and hot POM tea in cute little maroon mugs. Each guest was given a bottle of POM Wonderful and a fresh pomegranate in an adorable POM Wonderful gift bag.

The ‘table’ for this meal was Manhattan-style… well, it’s Manhattan-style for me… I laid a beautiful cream linen tablecloth on the floor surrounded by the eight large POM-colored pillows, which were used as seats for my guests, four maroon colored candles burned during the dinner and soft jazz music played in the background.

The POM Dinner Party event started off with each of my guests and I opening a bottle of POM and using it to create every dish and beverage. Each guest was in charge of their own bottle and was instructed to finish it by the end of the evening throughout the cooking and baking in each of their dishes and beverages.  Before we dug into our POM dinner, each guest and myself sat around the table with our own fresh pomegranates in our hands. We went around the ‘table’ and spoke about ways in which we use pomegranates in our everyday lives to add these powerful antioxidants into each meal, snack and beverage! With these unique and fun-filled POM foodie ideas, we elaborated on my ‘Menu’ and by the end of the evening all eight POM Wonderful bottles and all eight pomegranates (plus many more for snackin’ on and tossin’ extra into recipes) were incorporated into our Fall Harvest Feast.

I then broke out my famous ‘How to Open a Pomegranate’ presentation…with a POM Wonderful and a pomegranate in each of our hands…we got to work.  “Okay everyone…aprons on because this is gunna get messy,” I shouted…

Then turned up the jazz music and got to work.

  1. Using a sharp paring knife, gently slice off the crown of the pomegranate.
  2. Place on a flat surface, cut side up and score the skin at each of the sections on the fruit.
  3. Gently open each section and using your fingers, loosen the inside seeds, also known as ‘arils’ into a bowl.  Discard the body of the pomegranate and focus on the arils.
  4. Transfer arils to a mesh strainer and rinse with cool water.
  5. Place onto a paper towel to dry and they’re ready to use in any dish!
  6. Enjoy!

I am honored to share this incredible POM infused evening on The Healthy Apple, where I preach about fresh farm-to-table clean, natural gluten-free food and lifestyles, which is exactly what this dinner party emulated to my guests. This evening was about my effort with eating clean and adding an integral health component with POM infused dishes and beverages.   I am incredibly passionate for the POM Wonderful brand as it truly is a brand that I believe in and love so much. All of the POM products are healthy, clean and delicious, which is what The Healthy Apple encompasses and which is my message to my family, friends, colleagues, readers and the online community.

My energy and passion portrayed POM in a beautiful light and created a unique look on the classic POM beverage…with a Gluten-Free twist, I created a fun, intimate spin on a classic dinner party in Manhattan!

I’m sure you’re all yearnin’ for these delicious POM Gluten-Free recipes mentioned above…so, here is a sneak peak at the POM appetizers that were served.

POM Conserve served with Gluten-Free POM Pecan Crackers

POM Conserve

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. POM Wonderful
  • 4 lbs. fresh pomegranates, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup crystallized ginger

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, bring POM Wonderful to a boil over medium heat.  Add pomegranates and agave nectar; cook for 20 minutes.  Stir often.  Add ginger, cook for another 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat; set aside to cool; mixture will thicken when cooled.
  3. Serve with POM crackers.

Gluten-Free POM Pecan Crackers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roasted and chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. POM Wonderful
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix until combined.
  3. Prepare a large nonstick baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Place dough in the center of the sheet.  Roll dough with a rolling pin until it is 1/2 inch thick and is covering the baking sheet.
  5. Using a sharp knife, slice the dough into 3 inch rectangles.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Serve with POM Conserve.
  8. Enjoy!

How do you ‘POM’?

Grilled Corn n’ Pumpkin Guacamole and Stonyfield Yogurt Giveaway

Well, yet another spin on my classic guac…this time the Thanksgiving spirit got me yearnin’ for some pumpkin’ and a lil’ grilled corn, so why not toss it into your guac this season for a tasty sweet n’ savory dish that can be enjoyed as a dip with roasted root vegetables such as eggplant, sweet potato fries, carrot fries, butternut squash fries, zucchini fries or apple and parsnip fries.  I enjoyed this guac spread onto my lunchtime sandwich in lieu of mayo and also used it to top my evening grilled fish dish.  So, go ahead…I’m giving you permission to get creative…whip up this baby and have fun using it as a condiment for dips, a spread on a sandwich, dressing on a salad or topped onto a bowl of vegetables…any way you choose, it’s delish…

Dip in…and enjoy!

Grilled Corn n’ Pumpkin Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 3 earns corn
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup natural pumpkin puree
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Stonyfield Oikos Greek plain yogurt

Directions

  • Preheat grill to medium heat.
  • Brush corn with oil and place onto grill; cook for approximately 15 minutes or until desired doneness.  Set aside to cool.
  • Remove kernels from cob using a knife.
  • In a separate bowl, combine avocado, pumpkin, onion, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, flax seeds, nutritional yeast and red peppers; mix well to combine.
  • Add corn and mix.  Top with a dollop of Oikos Greek plain yogurt.
  • Enjoy with sliced vegetables, whole grain chips or as a spread on a sandwich.

And now for my Stonyfield Yogurt Giveaway:

Just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m giving away $60 worth of Stonyfield Yogurt Coupons, 2 Stonyfield Recipe Books and a Stonyfield Spatula.

To Enter:

1). View the Stonyfield Yogurt website and tell me what yogurt you’d like to try.
2). Post this giveaway on your blog. Leave a comment telling me you did.
3). Tweet this Giveaway post! Leave me a third comment telling me you did.

 

Each comment counts as an entry.

Good Luck; I will be picking a winner on Monday, November the 15th at 5PM EST.

 

 

Rudi’s Gluten Free n’ Appetite For Awareness

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of working with Rudi’s Gluten Free down in Philadelphia for the Appetite For Awareness event, which was a fabulous gluten-free vendor fair filled with people of all ages who live everyday with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance.

I had such an amazing time at this event…meeting the amazing people, sharing stories and helping them ‘enjoy’ food by serving them delicious gluten-free eats.

We were serving up PB & J Sammies for the kids and Hot Grilled Cheese Sammies for the adults…all on the famous Rudi’s Gluten Free Bread…

The feedback? Well, let’s just say it was off the charts.  Rudi’s Gluten Free bread is by far the best…

See for yourself …

Here are three videos of Rudi’s Gluten Free fans …

(They loved our sammies)… and who wouldn’t?

And another…

And one more…

Have I convinced you to try Rudi’s yet? Hehe…just teasing…

Have you tried Rudi’s Gluten Free Bread? If so, what’s your favorite?

I’m lovin’ the Cinnamon Raisin…mmmmm…

Perfect for Thanksgiving Stuffing. Don’t cha think?

Element Bars 50% off Anniversary Special

I’ve got some very exciting news for all of your Element Bar fans…As a company that pioneered custom energy bars, Element Bars empowers customers with the ability to create their own bar by choosing from all natural and organic ingredients. The result ‐ you can create your unique taste and nutrition preferences with your own freshly baked bar.

 

The customization trend isn’t so new to all of us bloggies and foodies, right?  Well, in the last few years, the trend towards customization has only accelerated. Jonathan Miller of Element Bars realized and acted upon this insight two years ago when he developed a unique and interactive drag and drop interface bringing the custom energy bar to life. The idea sparked from a conversation with a friend. Jonathan was snacking on an energy bar that he had made in his kitchen when a friend shared that he too would like to make a bar but one with almonds and raisins. Since Jonathan is not a fan of raisins, he concluded that people have different tastes and want products made to their preferences. Starting from his home kitchen, Element Bars has grown to include a bakery, an office, and over 5,000 customers who order their own custom energy bar.

Today, “We give customers the online tools to create their own bars so they can truly enjoy a unique customized experience.” But tomorrow, Jonathan envisions the company “designing ways to guide customers as they build bars, so we can predict their creations and produce to scale. We have a long way to go to deliver on that vision, but I’m confident we’ll get there.”

Jonathan is just as confident about tomorrow as he is about Element Bars’ journey to date.

 

To share his excitement, Element Bars celebrates its two year anniversary with a special show of gratitude – the first 500 guests get 50% off of a box of 12 custom energy bars by visiting www.elementbars.com/anniversary.

 

“It’s been a roller coaster of a ride. But I am thankful for the last two years and am committed to making your bar, your way.”

At www.ElementBars.com, you can create your own custom energy bar by selecting from all natural and organic ingredients and then naming their own bar. The whole food ingredients are carefully handpicked and kept as nature intended…they hand make their bars using the ingredients you’ve chosen, bake them in their cute lil’ ovens and deliver them freshly baked from their oven to your door.  Sounds delish, doesn’t it?

Have you ever tried Element Bars?

If so, what are your favorite ingredients you included in your bar creation?

Return to Real Tea with Dilmah…

I am excited to introduce you to my favorite tea…actually it’s more like a re-introduction as you have met previously when I’ve blogged about my love for Dilmah Tea.

Sri Lankan family tea company Dilmah, was established by Merrill J. Fernando to bring finest quality, Single Origin Ceylon Tea, garden fresh to tea drinkers around the world. His Dilmah Tea brand was the first genuinely ethical tea brand, bringing a smile to the faces of the underprivileged in Sri Lanka, whilst giving consumers quality, authenticity and natural goodness in their cup of tea.


It took Fernando nearly four decades and in 1988 he launched his own brand – Dilmah. Coined from the names of his two sons Dilhan and Malik, Dilmah was the first producer owned tea brand, and offered tea ‘picked, perfected and packed’ at origin. Unlike the multi-origin blends that monopolized supermarket shelves, Dilmah brought tea that is freshly packed at source and therefore rich in flavor and natural goodness.


Merrill pioneered three important initiatives which have today become hallmarks of Dilmah.


  • Traditional Tea ensures that the tea in made in the traditional, orthodox way perfected over a century
  • Single Origin ensures that the tea is Pure Ceylon tea and not blended with cheaper teas from around the world
  • Garden Fresh packed at Source ensures that Dilmah teas are the freshest and brimming with antioxidants

The Fernando family built their business around their love for tea; today Dilmah is the only vertically integrated tea company with its own tea gardens – some of Ceylon’s best estates – and state of the art printing & packaging facilities, tea packing and investments in every segment of the industry.


Dilmah is unique; a brand that is founded on a passionate commitment to quality and authenticity in tea, it is also a part of a philosophy that goes beyond commerce in seeing business as a matter of human service. This is what makes Dilmah the first ethically produced tea. Business ethics and social responsibility guide the family business where profits from the company are shared with those who are less privileged in society. The MJF Charitable Foundation was established to fulfill this commitment and is changing the lives of over 10,000 people each year through more than 300 different humanitarian projects. Dilmah Conservation is working towards a harmonious coexistence of man and nature by creating awareness and implementing sustainability initiatives.


What makes Dilmah especially unique is the philosophy that defines every aspect of the brand and the companies of the MJF Group. The key to Founder Merrill J. Fernando’s vision was integrity – in relation to his workers, the Ceylon Tea industry and in relation to his customers. Quality, Authenticity and Natural Goodness was what tea drinkers desired and that is what Dilmah offers. In relation to the workers, the exploited and ailing tea industry and our developing country, integrity meant ethics and genuinely fair trade. Merrill J. Fernando built ethics into the heart of his business and pledged to make his business a matter of human service.


That commitment is discharged through the MJF Charitable Foundation, a government approved charity that was formed by him and which bears his initials. The Foundation seeks to enhance the welfare of the Group’s workers, whilst also pursuing humanitarian assistance programs amongst marginalized communities.


With the objective of changing the lives of 10,000 underprivileged people each year, the MJF Foundation designs, funds, and implements over 300 projects throughout the country. These range from dignified empowerment of women, differently abled, conflict or tsunami affected communities, welfare projects, education and provision of free health care or vocational training. The Foundation has provided facilities to the National Cancer Institute to establish the first free breast cancer screening program for poor women in Sri Lanka. The pre-school program has constructed 72 pre-schools on Dilmah and associate company tea gardens, whilst also offering free English and Computer classes to older children. Foundation nutrition programs benefit children and the elderly and its Small Entrepreneur Program (SEP) has been hailed globally for its effectiveness. The Prisoners Reform & Reintegrate program helps rebuild the lives of reformed prisoners released on parole and the MJF Kids Development Program for urban slum children is offering a light of hope to children with little opportunity in life.

Have you ever tried Dilmah Tea? If so, I’d love to hear what flavors you’ve enjoyed…

As we’re on the topic of my favorite tea, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite recipes using Dilmah’s Lemongrass Green Tea…I love cooking and baking with tea.  It’s not just for sippin’ and can be used in so many recipes to add flavor and antioxidants.

Risotto with Black Trumpet Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water (for tea)
  • 8 Dilmah Lemongrass Green Tea Bags
  • 1 oz. dried Marx Foods Black Trumpet Mushrooms
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and mashed
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cups risotto
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Soak dried mushrooms in a bowl of water for 25 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid.  Rinse mushrooms under cool water; squeeze gently to remove moisture.
  2. In a medium sized saucepan, heat water with Dilmah Green Tea bags; bring to a boil.  Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes; discard tea bags.
  3. Add onion and risotto; cook for 10 minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar, dried mushrooms and avocado.  Cook over medium heat until tea has been absorbed.
  4. Cook risotto for another 20 minutes until tender.  Season with sea salt and pepper.
  5. Serve warm and top with a sprinkle of scallions.
  6. Enjoy!

Justin’s Nut Butter ‘Pesto’ Recipe Video

Don’t forget…tomorrow ends the voting for The Next Foodblog Star…

If you think I have what it takes to be The Next Foodblog Star, please:

VOTE FOR ME!


As you all know, I love Justin’s Nut Butter.

Not only is Justin an amazing guy, he’s created a vast array of yummy nut butters that I use on everything from oatmeal to sandwiches to baked goods.  I’ve been working with Justin and his talented team to develop some tasty recipes.  This is by far my favorite one, which is perfect when paired with a crudites snack platter of fruits n’ veggies or as a spread on any chicken, tofu or fish dish.

Here’s my delicious Justin’s Nut Butter Pesto Recipe Video


You can also view my video on the Justin’s Nut Butter Website

(simply scroll to the bottom of the page for my video)


So, what do you think? Is your mouth watering yet?

Mine sure is…I actually packed along some of this tasty pesto for my lunch today with salmon and fresh veggies.


And for all of you College folks lookin’ to keep the ‘Freshman 15’ off, be sure to check out my Guest Post ‘College Friendly and Healthy Snacks’ at Zesty Cook’s blog HERE.

Thank you all for your support with The Next Food Blog Star; I appreciate all of your votes!

Have a wonderful day…hope the sun is shining in your neck of the woods…

Have any of you tried Justin’s Nut Butter? If so, what is your favorite flavor?

Mine is the Maple Almond Nut Butter…it’s pure bliss..