Rice is one of those dishes that can be incredibly bland or amazingly delicious depending on how it’s prepared. The secret to a great tasting and nutritious rice dish is to blend the rice with grains, vegetables, beans, and even fruit which can require planning ahead. For those occasions when time is a factor, consider using an Engine 2 Plant-Strong Grain Medley. Completely pre-made and sold in the freezer section of Whole Foods, the four Grain Medley Blends – Ancient Grains, Wild Rice, Fiesta, and Morning Blends – are packaged in 13-ounce bags. Read more
Whoever said “Real men eat red meat” didn’t taste a burger made by Engine 2, the company founded by Rip Esselstyn, the former fireman whose been on a “plant-strong” diet since 1987. With the firm belief that a burger doesn’t have to be made from red meat, two superstars – Engine 2 and Whole Foods – got together to come up with great tasting, healthy plant-based burgers. Gluten-free with no cholesterol or saturated fat, Engine 2 Plant-Stroong Plant Burgers are flavorful and make one mean burger. Read more
There is beauty in simplicity.
School has started, life is busy, and the big question of the day is how to make healthy meals or snacks when time is limited. Rip Esselstyn, author of The Engine 2 Diet and My Beef With Meat combined forces with Whole Foods to create a healthy line of plant-based food products – cereals, milks, burgers, grain medley, tortillas, crackers, and hummus – which means they are made from whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. In other words, there are no animals products, no added oils, minimal added sugar, if at all, less than 25% total calories from fat per serving, and a 1:1 ration of milligrams of sodium to calories per serving. Best of all, the products taste delicious, which is just what you would expect of foods made with wholesome, natural ingredients. Read more
Candy canes are as much a part of our holiday season as the festivities. We hang the red and white striped sweets on the tree, smash them up with a hammer to use as a topping on cookies or to make peppermint bark, and we eat them in their natural state. The refreshing peppermint taste and the nostalgic shape draws most kids (big and little) to candy canes even though most of these seasonal treats contain corn syrup, artificial colors, and flavorings. TruJoy Sweets makes an organic candy cane using natural colors and flavors to create a healthier and better tasting candy cane using only four ingredients: organic evaporated cane juice, organic brown rice syrup, natural peppermint flavor, and organic fruit juice. Read more
Until I moved to Spain, I thought of tunafish as a relatively strong-tasting dry fish that needed to be toned down and doctored up with mayonnaise, chopped celery, onion, pickle relish, lemon juice, and mustard to be edible. Most tunafish sold in the US is packed in either vegetable oil or water (which does nothing to enhance the flavor of the fish) although tuna packed in olive oil (which does enhance the flavor) is now available in many markets. Still, most grocery store tunafish is nothing to get excited about. Then I discovered Ortiz Tuna (when I lived in Madrid) which is so unlike the typical grocery store tunafish that it’s hard to believe they come from the same family of fish. Read more
When I think about Maine, I am reminded of rocky beaches, the cold salty ocean, lighthouses, lobster, and blueberries. In fact, the wild blueberry is the official fruit of Maine and is as much a symbol of the state as the lobster or the lighthouse.
Some people like to say the beacon in the lighthouse and the promise of lobster bring tourists to Maine but the possibility of eating deep blue pea-sized wild blueberries bursting with sweetness is also a draw. So, it’s no surprise that Gagne Foods of Bath, Maine combines their skill at pastry – the company’s 24-layer cream cheese biscuits are award winners – with wild blueberries to produce one amazing Blueberry Petite Pie that is also referred to as a Blueberry Turnover. Read more
For those who love olives, tomatoes, or artichokes, Seggiano, the company with the logo “Real Food from Italy,” makes three (3) patés that seem more like tapenades. The word “paté” conjures up thoughts of liver or meat chopped up and seasoned into blocks of spreadable toppings. But, the paté cooked up by Seggiano does not contain any meat or dairy products; in fact, the three spreads are vegetarian and vegan. But most importantly, the three patés are delicious on crackers, a piece of a baguette, toasted bruschetta and even on pasta. Read more
Over the past week, I’ve been asked 11 times by retail clerks if I want to donate money to a charitable cause. This question has been asked by cashiers in grocery stores and in a variety of retail establishments. Yesterday, I decided to use the self check-out at a Stop & Shop grocery store in Connecticut and was approached by three separate sales clerks asking if I wanted to donate money. After I finished bagging my groceries, I went to the manager’s desk and politely told her that most people want to grocery shop in peace, that the grocery store is one place where the expectation is to be a customer, not a source of donations. Read more