Sahale Snacks Giveaway…

I am happy to announce that one of my favorite Gluten-Free (and incredibly tasty) snacks, ‘Sahale Snacks’ is now available in Seattle’s Best Coffee.  So, with this exciting news, I’ll be sending the winner of my Sahale Snacks Giveway a sample of each of the two flavors that are offered at Seattle’s Best Coffee.
Last week, Valdosta and Sing Buri nut blends debuted at Seattle’s Best Coffee counters in convenient 2-ounce pouches — enough to share with a friend over coffee or to satisfy a morning and an afternoon snack craving.  I surely stash these lil’ babies in my desk drawer…you surely can’t beat the crunchy, sweet n’ savory blend of nuts, seeds, dried fruits n’ spices in your morning oatmeal, atop your lunchtime salad, as an afternoon pick-me up to beat the 3PM slump…in your evening stir-fry or enjoyed as a dessert nibble atop Greek yogurt.

Sahale Snacks’ rich and peppery Valdosta Pecans pair especially well with Seattle’s Best Coffee winter beverages, like Vanilla Cinnamon Latte. The spicy and exotic Sing Buri Cashews make a lively accompaniment to tea, espresso, and brewed coffee drinks.

Sahale Snacks Valdosta is a blend of lightly spicy pecans, sweetened, dried cranberries and orange zest. The flavor combination echoes flavors of the American South and will pair especially well with Seattle’s Best Coffee winter beverages, like Vanilla Cinnamon Latte.

Sahale Snacks Sing Buri is made with cashews glazed with soy sauce and lemongrass combined with dried pineapple, peanuts, and sesame seed – all lightly dusted with mild Chinese chili. This aromatic blend is reminiscent of a flavorful Thai dish and makes a lively accompaniment to tea, espresso, and brewed coffee drinks.

And in honor of these two tasty new flavors, I thought I’d create a fancy, schmancy recipe using Sahale Snacks to show you just how easy it is to include them into your everyday eats…

Sweet Cocoa Nutty Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sahale Snacks Honey Glazed Almonds
  • 1 cup Sahale Snacks Cranberry Cashews
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine Sahale Snacks Honey Glazed Almonds and Cranberry Cashews; process until smooth.  Slowly add oats, agave nectar, almond extract and coconut oil.  Process until smooth consistency.
  2. Transfer to a mixing bowl; using hands form into golf-sized balls.
  3. Roll each ball first in cinnamon, then in cocoa powder to coat completely.
  4. Transfer coated balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place into the freezer for 25 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

To Enter my Sahale Snacks Giveaway, simply:

Visit the Sahale Snacks website and tell me which flavor you’d like to try.

I of course, love them all, but if I had to choose…I’d surely go with the Southwest Cashews or the Cranberry Pecans, which are a staple in my pantry as they always seem to add such a perfectly crunchy yet creamy consistency to any dish or just simply nibbled on alone right out of the bag

…(which I do quite often, hehe)…

Have you ever tried Sahale Snacks? If so, what are your favorite flavors?

I’ll be picking a winner on Friday, October the 1st at 5PM EST.

Good Luck.

And, speaking of contests…I’m in the running to become “The Next Food Blog Star”

You can VOTE FOR ME HERE by giving me a RED HEART

(You’ll have to create a log in/sign up for Foodbuzz to give me a RED HEART Vote)

…as I enter Challenge #2 …with my delicious Arabic creation below, vote for me to inch one step closer to being the Next Food Blog Star!

Thank you for your support….

Thanks to POM Wonderful…’Taste of The Nation NYC’…Here I Come…

Thanks to POM Wonderful, I will be attending the Share our Strength’s Taste of the Nation event here in Manhattan on Monday, May the 17th and I can hardly wait!

Speaking of POM Wonderful, last night I created a POM extravaganza in my kitchen…Ever heard of POM Pine Nut Banana Bread, POM Macadamia Nut Brownies or POM Pineapple Lime Dressing?  All three of these tasty POM Wonderful recipes are gluten-free and diary-free…Read on for the deliciousness…I assure you, your taste buds will thank you…and be sure to check my recipes out on the POM Wonderful website, as well!

POM Wonderful Pine Nut Banana Bread

Ingredients

3 large bananas, peeled and mashed

4 Tbsp. POM Wonderful

1/3 cup dates

2 teaspoons almond extract

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 1/2 cups rice flour

1/3 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/3 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of chili powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine bananas, POM Wonderful, dates and almond extract; mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine pine nuts, rice flour, olive oil, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and chili powder; mix well until smooth.
  4. Transfer batter into a baking pan; bake for approximately 1 hour or until bread is firm.
  5. Enjoy!

POM Macadamia Nut Brownies


Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup honey

1/3 cup coconut milk

2 teaspoons almond extract

1/3 cup POM Wonderful

1/2 cup chunky apple sauce

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine coconut oil, honey, coconut milk, almond extract, POM Wonderful and apple sauce into a large bowl; whisk well to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine buckwheat flour, sea salt, cocoa powder and baking powder.
  4. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet; stir to combine.  Slowly add chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.
  5. Transfer batter into a baking pan; bake for 20-25 minutes or until fully cooked inside.
  6. Enjoy!

POM Pineapple Lime Dressing


Ingredients

1/4 cup POM Wonderful

1 cup frozen pineapple chunks

1 Honey Crisp apple, peeled, cored and sliced

2 teaspoons lime juice

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1 Tablespoon lime zest

1 teaspoon honey

Pinch of chili powder

Directions

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients; process until smooth.
  2. Serve chilled atop salads, pastas, frozen yogurt or lean protein.
  3. Enjoy!

Be sure to tune in for my Taste of the Nation recap on May the 17th thanks to POM Wonderful!

Simple Substitutions

We’ve all been there…you’re in the middle of making dinner or baking a pie and, Oopsie Daisy… we’re stuck without a much needed ingredient.  Have no fear, here’s a few simple substitutions you can use (instead) hehe, of the ingredient called for in the recipe…

When in Doubt…Opt for Greek plain yogurt when you need:

Soup Base: 2 Tbsp. Rice Flour and 1 cup Greek plain yogurt

Cream Cheese: Strain plain Greek yogurt in cheesecloth; cover and place into the fridge for 24 hours.

Sour Cream: Plain Greek yogurt and 1 tsp. baking soda added to your dry ingredients

Mayonnaise: 1 cup Greek plain yogurt, sea salt, pepper, 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

Other Substitutions

1 clove Garlic: 1/6 tsp. garlic powder

1 Tbsp. Fresh Herbs: 2 Tbsp. dried herbs

1 tsp. All Spice: 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 cup honey: 1 cup agave nectar or 1-1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup warm water

1 tsp. Lemon juice: 1/2 tsp. White vinegar

1 cup Dry Bread Crumbs: 1 cup crushed crackers, cereal, corn chips, rice chips

OR

1 cup Dry Bread Crumbs: 2 slices of bread, toasted in the oven, then crumbled or sliced into cubes

1 oz. Baking chocolate: 1 oz. raw cacao nibs

OR

1 oz. Baking chocolate: 3 Tbsp. cocoa and 2 tsp. butter or ghee

1 cup Buttermilk: 1 cup milk (or 1 cup Greek plain yogurt) mixed with 1 Tbp. white vinegar; let sit for 20 minutes.

1 cup Self-Raising Flour: 1 cup all purpose flour mixed with 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. Arrowroot: 1 Tbsp. Flour and 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. Flour for thickening: 1-1/2 tsp. cornstarch or arrowroot

1 tsp. Baking powder: 1/3 tsp. baking soda and 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

Whole Eggs: Two egg whites for each whole egg and 1 Tbsp. oil

In The News This Week…

Salt-Loving May Seeks to Trim it from NYC Diets

Guiding Stars Site Adds a Nutrition Blog

Celestial Seasonings Explores Facebook “PossibiliTEAS”

Online Programs Can Boost Fruit and Vegetable Intake

Soda Fountains Contained Fecal Bacteria, Study Found

All Fibers May Not Be Created Equal

Target, Giada DeLaurentiis Launch Line of Cooking, Food Products

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!

Gingered Cranberry-Orange Holiday Relish

This is a wonderful dish to serve at your holiday table.  I will be serving this relish alongside roasted turkey, grilled fish and roasted root vegetables.  It seems no matter what you pair with this relish, the taste is always exquisite.  I often use leftovers on my turkey sandwich and salad the next day as the relish is a perfect accompaniment to bean casseroles, baked tofu, poultry, fish, crackers, toast and pitas.

Ingredients

  • 2 large oranges, unpeeled and slice into 8 pieces for each orange
  • 1 grapefruit, unpeeled and sliced into 8 pieces
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • ¼ cup stevia
  • 2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. warm water

Directions

  • Place orange and grapefruit pieces (skin-on) in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Slowly add cranberries, stevia, honey, cinnamon, ginger, balsamic vinegar and warm water; pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Transfer relish to a small bowl and chill before serving.

Gingerbread Cookies

How adorable are these cute little gingerbread men and women? I couldn’t resist…as with every year I have to make my special gingerbread people.  It’s a fun, festive ritual that I take part in and enjoy every second of the process from grading cutting shapes with my cookie cutters to decorating the clothes and features on the gingerbread people.  Here is a wonderfully delicious gingerbread recipe that will surely compliment your gingerbread house this season.

I was so excited to make these gingerbread guys and gals because I used two of my new Open Sky products, my Winco Aluminum Rolling Pin, which was fabulous and created an even and smooth surface for my cookie cutters and my Copper Bowl, which was perfect for mixing my ingredients to create the gingerbread dough.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. cloves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted and softened
  • 1 tsp. honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar or stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat several baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, flax seeds, wheat germ and salt; mix well. Beat butter, honey, oil and sugar in another large bowl with an electric mixer until it forms a creamy texture.
  • Add egg, molasses and balsamic vinegar; beat until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • On a floured surface, roll each portion separately to create a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies using cookie festive cutters. Combine scraps and roll dough again to make additional cookies.
  • Place cookies on baking sheets.
  • Bake the cookies, about 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Decorate with icing and personalize each gingerbread man and woman.

In The News…

95% Celiac Disease Sufferers Go Undiagnosed

Companies Fall Short in Advertising Health Foods To Children

2010 Predicted Food Trends

Coffee and Tea May Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Try a One Size Fits All Dinner for Vegetarians and Meat Eaters

Chef Creates Healthy Pizza

Cherry-Almond Bran Jingle Balls

It’s time to Deck the Halls with these cute little bite-sized jingle balls.  These are incredibly easy to make and are sure to please your guests this holiday season.  Whether it’s at your Hanukkah table, your Christmas feast or your New Year’s Eve bash…be sure to whip up these adorable cherry almond balls, which are packed with fiber and naturally sweetened with dried cherries, unsweetened coconut and almonds.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bran flake cereal
  • ¾ cup dried cherries
  • ½ cup almonds, toasted
  • 3 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. silken Nasoya Tofu
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. wheat germ

Directions

  • Place bran cereal, cherries and almonds in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add honey, tofu and orange juice; pulse until a stiff dough forms.
  • Scoop tablespoon-size portions and shape with greased hands into balls. Roll each ball in coconut and wheat germ.
  • Place on wax paper. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving or storing.