We bet you’re wondering by the title how Paleo and Vegetarian can even be in the same sentence together. You’re probably also looking at a pack of bacon and wondering: “Is this vegetarian”? No my friends, bacon isn’t veggie friendly … Continue reading
Think fast! It’s time to go to an outdoor concert with your friends or a park with your kids or a romantic al fresco dinner with your boo. What do you pack for your picnic? You need something light, portable, tasty and healthy… and a crowd pleaser cuz you don’t wanna be that person who brought the last minute convenience store cheese curls.
We recently were given some samples of new products guaranteed to liven up your summer adventures and omgee, we had to pack them for our own picnic!
For the sweet tooth:
Get your potassium on while satisfying the sweet cravings with Barnana. We didn’t really know what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised and happy campers (even Monica liked it since she does not like any banana flavor products). Simply, they are dehydrated bananas with a twist of treat. Barnana offers 4 types of munchable banana bites which are Original, Chocolate, Coconut and Peanut Butter. These are organic, gluten free, non GMO and non-dairy heart healthy snacks. Barnana consist of minimal ingredients a.k.a you won’t find a mile long list on the side of the bag.
For the purist, original Barnana is like popping mini banana chunks in your mouth. The chocolate Barnanas felt decadent, with a coco shell surrounded the soft banana inside. Tip: mix the chocolate with the peanut butter Barnanas and you will feel like you’re eating an extra healthy peanut butter cup (YES!). The coconut Barnana seemed more like a homemade energy bite with a chewy texture and flakes of coconut. We had guests over, ages ranging from 3 to 50, who quickly depleted our precious coconut Barnana supply. The bites come in a compact package, perfect for backpack carrying. You can purchase all flavors of Barnana online or search for a local vendor.
For the savory lover:
Ditch the greasy bag of potato chips and get classy with the back-packable Tuscan inspired Pasta Chips. Made with semolina flour and sprinkled with Italian herbs, Pasta Chips pair well with the picnic classics like hummus, dips or the party favorite of Wisconsinites, CHEESE!
On our summer picnic to the new Maggie Daley Park, our guests sampled 3 different flavors: Mediterranean Sea Salt, Spicy Tomato Herb and Spinach Broccoli Kale. Spinach Broccoli Kale will please the veggie lover and go well with an artichoke dip. The Spicy Tomato Herb wasn’t so much spicy as much as a pop of zesty tomato flavor. The light flaky texture would be perfect with mozzarella, tomato, basil bites as an appetizer. The Mediterranean Sea Salt could easily knock a potato chip out of the park with it’s crispy crunch and touch of salt. Dab it with french onion dip or an olive tapenade to wow a crowd with your master picnic status. You can purchase Pasta Chips online or we’ve spotted them at Chicagoland Mariano’s.
Dear audience, you know there’s nothing like a picnic with your fave friends in a park on a warm summer day. Load up your basket and get ready to Mangia! with Pasta Chips and the seductive yet not sinful Barnana. Where’s your top spot to stop for a picnic? We’ll bring the snacks if you bring the blanket and the boombox (or bluetooth speaker…but that’s not as fun *wink*).
Does anyone feel a small scream in their throat when they see Christmas decorations coming out the day after Halloween? Yep, it’s the kickoff to the whirlwind holiday season, that season of cookies and brownies and parties. And soon enough, our thighs are looking like those gigantic turkey legs that people get at county fairs. When you’re busy, how do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Well your own personal in-house chef works…if you’re Beyonce. If you aren’t channeling your inner rich chick, however, there are some options to keep you eating well. Thankfully, the trend of meal deliveries has flown into our lives and we are gobbling up the idea! This past week, we got to try Factor 75. So what factors would make you choose them as opposed to another meal delivery service?
1) Options! You don’t have to sit on Santa’s lap to get what you wish for with Factor 75. Everybody loves options, especially those with more restrictive dietary needs. When we checked in to pick our food, it was easy to balance our different desires. We chose 2 vegetarian meals, 2 gluten free meals and one snack. Factor 75 hooks up almost any eater with paleo friendly, dairy free, vegetarian and gluten free possibilities. Factor 75 has also partnered for Aritzone and sources local ingredients so you can not only eat clean, but with a clean conscience.
2) Ease! Who doesn’t need a break from shopping cart collisions and entertaining long lost cray relatives? Your Factor 75 meals are cooked up by a chef, delivered by a nice FedEx person right to your door, and all you do is heat those puppies up and eat. Can we also mention no washing dishes either?! *High Five*
3) Holiday looove! Remember that dude you only dated through New Years? Factor 75 is low commitment. Try 5 meals and if you aren’t feeling it, you cancel. If you like it, continue that relationship til’ Easter!
What did we eat, tho?
The spicy paleo meatballs, made from grass-fed beef, had a hint of cinnamon that made them stand out from a boring ol’ chunk of meat. They came with a side of brussel sprouts, cooked with celery root and mushrooms in a brown butter sauce. The meal was hearty, quick to heat up and kept me full until a late dinner.
The chicken sausage with apple and pumpkin hash and a frittata was my second dish. The chicken sausage and hash were tasty but the frittata was just ok. I think it’s because I don’t like reheated egg that much (personal problem!).
Sometimes I wake up late and don’t have time make my own breakfast (hitting the alarm clock for that “5 more minutes”). That’s where Factor 75 comes in handy with super goji berries mixed in steel cut oatmeal with cinnamon spice. I’m not used to steel cut oats so I added a lil’ more sweetness with brown sugar. Of course, you need a bit need protein to survive the workday so a hard boiled egg is included as well.
After work is over and I finish yoga class and my health coaching program homework, I have no time to cook but (yay) my Factor 75 dinner menu is sitting in my fridge. The vegetarian dinner option I selected was Southwest Quinoa bowl with mixed beans (black, white, pinto & kidney), red onions, cilantro and mashed sweet potatoes were hidden on bottom with sides of cheddar cheese and a chipotle aioli.
Shared goodies (Holidays are about sharing, yeah?):
The superfood bites were healthy and tasty super stars with chia, flax, cacao nibs, coconut, oats, honey, and applesauce. Hey buddy, these were way better than a crappy fruit cake!
Are you ready to take a break from the cooking grind? Try Factor 75 here, and when you purchase 4 meals, get a free meal on us (see, we like to give!) when you sign up using the code “CHIORGANICGIRLS” as well as a free healthy Ebook with tons of tips. Let us know what you think too! We would love to try a few more recommended meals (maybe the autumn stuffed acorn squash or butternut squash lasagna…hint, hint) to save us some time after standing in those Black Friday lines.