Saying “so long” to sweet summer strawberry season can be saddening but as berries make their way out, sunny peak seasoned citrus can fill your fruit fancies. Maybe grapefruit, however, isn’t normally your top citrus treat. Grapefruit can bring memories … Continue reading
We have ambitions of getting in touch with our inner culinary geniuses every week when we head to the grocery store…and then we end up passed out on the couch with a half eaten Morning Star Burger falling out of our hands after work. Like it or not (who really likes it), American culture is one of the most overworked cultures in the world. We need a break! Don’t you often muse about have your own personal chef? Chicagoans, rejoice! There is a pretty fantastic option for you to get your personal chef wishes fulfilled, even without a genie!
We were so excited when Erin Winston Silva, the co-founder of Cooked, reached out to us to sample their pre-cooked meal delivery options. Cooked promises “Nourishing Meals for Busy Folks” and we are 2 very busy ladies so we jumped on the opportunity. We were particularly intrigued as Cooked seemed to have more veggie options than many delivery services that we’ve seen. We also love the values of the organization. Chef Jona Silva’s own health journey inspired him to create local and nutritionally rich (not calorie rich) foods to promote wellness in others. One can tell from menu offers, which change weekly, as well as Silva’s transparency in where ingredients come from. The focus is local partnerships and he is also sensitive to food allergies like gluten or dietary preferences like vegan, vegetarian and T-Rexian. Ok, enough blabbing, we know you wanna know what you get to eat!
For $76 (tax and delivery included) dollars, we got ALL the foods below!! Delivery was timely and Erin was available throughout to deal with a multitude of blogger questions like: “What about Monica’s chickpea allergy” and “Can you change our delivery date? We forgot, we won’t be home!”.
Freshly Pressed Juice: Pineapple Cooler
Loved it! It was refreshing and green-licious with kale, romaine, spinach, coconut water and a sweet touch of pineapple.
Lunch Bowl #2: Organic POWER grains with black beans and salsa ranchera
We split this, yet there was enough for a full lunch for both of us. This puppy is only $5 and is rich in superfoods like quinoa, amaranth and other ancient grains with mysterious origins. The salsa added a nice kick to the mix.
Lunch: Kale, Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad
Again, the portion was plentiful. We enjoyed the sweet touch of cranberry and the kale and rice mix was tender and garlicky with a rich balsamic dressing.
Soup: Kabocha Squash and Apple Soup
Admittedly, we had to google what the heck a kabocha was. Turns out it’s an Asian winter squash! Last week’s weather was considerably still miserable so this warm rich soup hit the spot. It reminded us of a sweet potato bisque with light creamy touches of spices and cinnamon.
Sesame Crusted Tofu
The 2 tofu cutlets came with zuccini noodles and vibrant red and yellow peppers, dressed with a light a soy sauce.
Cauliflower Tacos with Roasted Poblano Salsa
Cauliflower is a vegetarian delight as it has a chunky texture. The taco mix also included cilantro, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds with a side of fresh salsa.
Walnut loaf with Roasted Squash and Broccolini
The squash and broccolini looked ultra fresh and colorful with bright orange and green hues and they were both cooked to perfection. The walnut loaf was a gray meat like color and was hearty for those of you who are familiar with the texture of meatloaf. We really liked the dressing that was provided and it seemed like it had a tahini base.
The meals are supposed to stay fresh for 3 days but we stretched them out until Thursday and basically had enough deliciousness to stave off any grocery shopping for 2 people for the work week. It was like a cooking vacay! We highly recommend Cooked. Meals change weekly to provide variety. This week features a tantalizing coconut dal (aka lentils) and chickpea zuccini fritters. Ready to order? All Chi Organic Girl readers can get 10% off their first order with the promo code: chiorganicgirls so skip the shopping this week and eat cooked!
*We were not compensated for our opinions but were provided with a gift card to try Cooked meals.
Listening to the radio can be enlightening sometimes…like, say when you hear that 9% of your local school district is out with the flu. Cold and flu season is descending upon us like one of the Khaleesi’s dragons (yes, that was a Games of Thrones reference, we miss it so!), vicious and unrelenting! Other than hiding in a bomb shelter or wearing a head to toe hazmat suit, what are some more social ways you can keep healthy?
One way is adding probiotics into your diet. In our super bug society, good little bacteria flora often get killed off with the use of antibiotic soaps and drugs. These good flora may help ease digestion processes (reduce bloating, gas, etc or make you more regular) and improve the immune system (read more on factors that influence the micro flora balance here). Bacterial flora are often chilling out in yogurt but not everyone is able to digest dairy products. GoodBelly, a probiotic juice drink, offers a dairy free, soy free, non GMO, organic AND vegan alternative probiotic boost* for people looking to win the fight on germs. Each quart or shot also serves up immune enhancing vitamins and others, such as the PlusShot, include calcium too!
GoodBelly probiotic drinks contain live and active cultures of the probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V®). This thoroughly researched strain, with over 125 species of flora, has demonstrated an efficient ability to make it’s way through the digestive track and improve both digestion and immunity. Many product options are juicy and fruit filled while some are for the purist who just wants a “straight shot” without the sugar. Those with digestive issues should try the SuperShot which contains 50 billion cultures (flora everywhurr!). We tried 1 flavor of the 32 ounce GoodBelly quart, Pomegranate Blackberry, and one flavor of the 2.7 ounce shots, Blueberry Acai.
So how’d we fare? Well the Pomegranate Blackberry is seriously tasty and we liked it so much, we got another quart and snagged a Mango too. The shots were definitely more concentrated and we felt you could taste the oat base a little more in this version. Stomach wise, Kate already took probiotics pills and enjoyed the benefits of better digestion processes. GoodBelly is a tastier alternative to pills and is easy to incorporate as a breakfast juice or just a meal in general when running late for work.
Ready to give it a shot (ha)? GoodBelly walks you through with a 12 Day Belly Reboot with buy 2 get 1 free coupons and a money back guarantee. Each day, you drink 8 ounces of GoodBelly and you can measure how you feel online with the Belly Tracker to see your results. 3 quarts should get you through your 12 day trial. We found GoodBelly at the South Loop Mariano’s and it’s available at all Whole Foods. You can also use GoodBelly’s “Find a Store” function for a store near you!
*Gluten sensitive folks, take note, although gluten free GoodBelly is available, we have had a hard time finding the elusive green capped bottles in the Chicago area.
We did not receive compensation for this post but did receive coupons for free products.
Bored of boiled broccoli, all soggy and bland? How about some roasted broccoli with flavor! We’ve been hooked on oven roasted veggies this year and have no intention of ever looking back. We made two versions of roasted broccoli that can be eaten alone or even added into a sandwich (think cheesy melty panini).
Baked Broccoli Cheese Sandwich
Modified from here.
Serving 2 people.
- 1 small sized head of broccoli
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- whole black pepper, grounded to taste
- Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread
- 4 whole wheat bread
- Smoked gruyere cheese (also available at Aldi)
- Preheat oven 400 degrees.
- Cut broccoli. Put into a round tupperware. Add seasonings and oil and mix it.
- Spread out on a baking tray. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Spread lightly Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread on 4 whole wheat breads.
- Add 1 sliced smoked gruyere cheese on top of coconut spread on each of two sandwiches.
- Add the roasted broccoli to each of two sandwiches.
- Put in a panini maker or grill on stove.
For a more spicier flavor as a snack or side dish.
- Same as above plus
- 1/4 tsp garlic
- red chili pepper flakes, to taste
- cayenne pepper or chile arbol ground, to taste
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and it’s ready to eat! Now excuse us because its dinner time. Broccoli ahoy!!