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    Chipotle Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps

    If you have never had Jackfruit and you like shredded chicken or pulled pork, its time to swap out those items in your recipes and replace them with canned jackfruit. Jackfruit sheds like easily and resembles canned chicken. I have used it to create these tasty lettuce wraps. Chipotle Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps 1 14 oz […]

    Read More

    Chipotle Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps

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    Virtual Reality Comes Alive at Verizon Wireless

    Verizon Wireless has all a plethora of technology including the new Virtual Reality glasses. I recently had the chance to visit one of their smart stores and was amazed of all the fun gadgets and gizmos available to make living fun, safe and easy. The Verizon Wireless Smart Store is divided into different zones where […]

    Read More

    Virtual Reality Comes Alive at Verizon Wireless

  • wf beauty bag

    Whole Foods Market Beauty Week 2016

    The Whole Foods Market Beauty Week 2106 (March 16-22) is a dedicated week that celebrates the Whole Foods Market Whole Body Department, featuring the largest selection of clean beauty products with the highest quality standards and brands. In celebration of Beauty Week 2016, Whole Foods Market is offering deep discounts on select natural and organic […]

    Read More

    Whole Foods Market Beauty Week 2016

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What the heck is Jackfruit?

Have you heard of jackfruit and wondered, what the heck is a jackfruit? As a Whole Foods Market Ambassador I am sent a monthly email with different themes and specials going on in the store every month along with some great recipes to share with all of you. I also get to create my own […]

Read More
IMG_4220

Chipotle Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps

If you have never had Jackfruit and you like shredded chicken or pulled pork, its time to swap out those items in your recipes and replace them with canned jackfruit. Jackfruit sheds like easily and resembles canned chicken. I have used it to create these tasty lettuce wraps. Chipotle Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps 1 14 oz […]

Read More
IMG_4138

Virtual Reality Comes Alive at Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless has all a plethora of technology including the new Virtual Reality glasses. I recently had the chance to visit one of their smart stores and was amazed of all the fun gadgets and gizmos available to make living fun, safe and easy. The Verizon Wireless Smart Store is divided into different zones where […]

Read More

What the heck is Jackfruit?

Have you heard of jackfruit and wondered, what the heck is a jackfruit?
As a Whole Foods Market Ambassador I am sent a monthly email with different themes and specials going on in the store every month along with some great recipes to share with all of you.

I also get to create my own recipes using the information from the email. This months theme is what is tasting best right now in April.

Below is a list from Whole Foods Market about what is best right now in their stores, featuring what is local and seasonally available.

Local honey and meats
Fennel
Rhubarb
Jackfruit

You will notice jackfruit on that list. I bought a fresh jackfruit a few years ago and really could not figure out how to eat it or if I even liked it. Jackfruit grows on trees and mostly in tropical regions. You can read more about the jackfruit here.

After this email, I checked out the link for the jackfruit recipes and noticed there is a canned version. Inspired that I could swap it out for canned chicken, I hot footed over to Whole Foods Market to get some canned jackfruit. I also found a refrigerated marinated kind from the Jackfruit Company and picked that up too.

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Jackfruit shreds like canned chicken or pulled pork and can really take on any flavor you wish to incorporate with it. I use canned chicken all the time so I tried swapping it out in my favorite enchilada, white chili and chicken salad recipes and the results were delicious. Better yet I fooled my husband. After I had told him what it was he said he did not realize it wasn’t shredded chicken.

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If you are looking to incorporate more vegetarian dishes in your diet or just want to have a meatless Monday check my recipe for Chipotle Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps.

I wish to thank Whole Foods for supplying me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients for the recipe.
Recipe Inspiration from Whole Foods Market

 

Seared Lamb Shoulder Chops with Warm Chimichurri (For markets with local lamb)

Homemade Honey Marshmallows (with local honey)

Arugula and Fennel Salad

Tilapia with Fennel and Tomato

Rhubarb Cream Pie

Pink Lady Apple, Fennel and Rhubarb Crumble with Buttermilk Sherbet

12 Jackfruit Recipes

Chipotle Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps

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If you have never had Jackfruit and you like shredded chicken or pulled pork, its time to swap out those items in your recipes and replace them with canned jackfruit. Jackfruit sheds like easily and resembles canned chicken. I have used it to create these tasty lettuce wraps.

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Chipotle Jackfruit Lettuce Wraps

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1 14 oz can Jacfruit, drained

1 10 oz package black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15 oz can corn, drained

1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained

4-5 canned chipotle peppers, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup mayo (may add more if mixture seems dry)

Chopped fresh cilantro to taste

6-8 Romaine lettuce leaves

Place jackfruit in large bowl and shred with fork. Add remaining ingredients. Mix together. Wash romaine leaves and lay on plate.  Scoop filling evenly on leaves.  Top with guacamole if desired.

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Serves 2

 

Virtual Reality Comes Alive at Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless has all a plethora of technology including the new Virtual Reality glasses. I recently had the chance to visit one of their smart stores and was amazed of all the fun gadgets and gizmos available to make living fun, safe and easy.

The Verizon Wireless Smart Store is divided into different zones where you will find items to make your home smarter, get your body fitter, enjoy surround sound, make your car safer and more!

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I have to tell you about are the new Virtual Reality glasses. These things are crazy! I have never experienced anything like it. The glasses allow you to play games, watch movies, experience deep sea diving, watch a theater performance and more.

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With my experience I went swimming with sharks and watched Circus Soleil. The virtual reality is a 360 degree experience. In Circus Soleil you find your self sitting in a theater with cast member performing on stage. Look to the right and left and you will see cast members sitting beside you and when you turn around the entire theater is behind you.

While swimming with the sharks when you look up you can see the sun reflecting on the top of the water, look below and you see the the bottom of the sea. Looking left and right your surrounded by an array of sea life.  You can check out my reaction here.

Stop by the closest Verizon  Wireless smart store nearest you to check them out yourself along with all the other fun gizmos and gadgets they have!

 

 

 

Whole Foods Market Beauty Week 2016

Whole Foods Market

The Whole Foods Market Beauty Week 2106 (March 16-22) is a dedicated week that celebrates the Whole Foods Market Whole Body Department, featuring the largest selection of clean beauty products with the highest quality standards and brands.

In celebration of Beauty Week 2016, Whole Foods Market is offering deep discounts on select natural and organic beauty products. From March 18 to 20, all facial care products will be 25 percent off regular price.

The real highlight of beauty week is the beauty bag release.

whole foods beauty bag

Whole Foods Market Beauty Week Beauty Bag Photo Courtesy of Whole Foods Market

On Friday, March 18, stores will offer limited edition “hello, beauty” bags for $15 a piece. The bags are made by Riji Green, which is a business committed to ending human trafficking. Valued at $80, each bag includes products from Acure, Burt’s Bees, derma e, Dr. Hauschka, evanhealy, Mineral Fusion, MyChelle, Pacifica, Trilogy and Weleda.

There are a limited number of bags so make plans to get yours early while supplies last!

Being a Whole Foods Ambassador has a few perks and getting a sneak peak at this beauty bag is one of them.  Trust me your going to want to get your hands on one of these.

wf beauty bag

Items in the bag include:

· Dr. Hauschka® Soothing Cleansing Milk .34 oz

· Derma e® Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask .5 oz

· Acure Pore Minimizing Facial Scrub 1 oz

· Evanhealy Rose Geranium Facial Toner HydroSoul 1 oz

· Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant + ml

· MyChelle® Perfect C Serum .17 oz

· Mineral Fusion® Lash Curling Mineral Mascara (Gravity) .57 oz

· Burt’s Bees® Sunset Cruise Lip Stick .12 oz

· Weleda Skin Food .34 oz

Just as I shop Whole Foods Market for nourishing foods for inside my body, I also shop the whole body department to nourish the outside of my body as well! Some of my favorite products include the Everyday 365 Shampoo, Body Wash and Conditioner. Whole Foods Market Lip Balm, Whole Foods Market hand lotion, Burt Bees everything, Alba Botanica, Pacifica and Earth Science just to name a few.

beauty products

I wish to thank Whole Foods Market for supplying me with a gift card so I can nourish the outside of my body! I am in desperate need of a facial moisturizer and looking forward to the 25% off sale coming up March 18-20!  I will see you there!

 

 

KC Chefs offer Heart Healthy Dishes in February

image010February is American Heart Month and KC can residents can participate by dining out and eating heart-healthy. Thanks to Shawnee Mission Health’s (SMH) partnership with several area restaurants, diners will be able to order dishes that are deliciously good for the heart.

Throughout the month of February, Grand Street Café, Blue Moose Bar & Grill, Barley’s Brewhaus, Story, Tavern at Mission Farms, Tavern in the Village and YaYa’s Euro Bistro will offer dishes that are low in fat and sodium and other ingredients that may increase risk of heart disease.

For each heart-healthy dish enjoyed by consumers, these restaurants will donate 10 percent to the Shawnee Mission Heart & Vascular Center to support various programs throughout the community, including CPR education in schools, women’s heart health and more.

The heart-healthy dishes being featured by SMH’s restaurant partners throughout February include:

· Roasted Beet Panzanella Salad with spiced cider braised apples, candied walnuts, goat cheese, toasted walnut raisin bread, arugula with an apple cider vinaigrette (Grand Street Café, Lenexa and Plaza)

Greek Panzanelle Salad_Grand Street Cafe Lenexa

· Superfood Kale Salad with Grilled Salmon with tender kale, carrots and cherry tomatoes tossed in homemade sesame soy ginger vinaigrette, topped with soy ginger quinoa, blueberries, dried nori and grilled salmon (Blue Moose Bar & Grill and Barley’s Brewhaus Kansas City metro locations)

Kale Salmon_Blue Moose and Barleys

· Arctic Char with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, broccoli, jasmine rice and a mushroom cream sauce (Story, Prairie Village)

· Fresh Grilled Salmon topped with pineapple salsa over a bed of sautéed kale and quinoa with grilled asparagus and red bell peppers (Tavern at Mission Farms and Tavern in the Village)

 

· 5 Grain Idaho Trout Salad with quinoa, amaranth, kaniwa, millet, farro, curry vinaigrette, lacinato kale, baby spinach, orange supreme, blood orange gastique, roasted butternut squash and grilled Idaho trout fillet (YaYa’s Euro Bistro, Overland Park)

Entertaining Made Easy With Help From Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market makes entertaining easy so if you are planning a red carpet get together with friends to watch the Oscars on February 28, Whole Foods Market can help you make an award winning spread.

My favorite dishes to make when hosting an event with friends is an elegant charcuterie board and caprese salad with crostini toasts. These are finger friendly dishes that allow guest to mingle and visit while enjoying a selection of cured meats, cheeses and complimenting foods.

For the caprese salad Whole Foods Market has a great selection of tomatoes.  I like using the plum variety as they are the perfect size.Plum Tomatoes

 

Their fresh mozzarella is delicious and the house made crostini toasts make the perfect vessel for enjoying this appetizer.wf bruschetta toasts

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Charcuterie boards are elegant looking and easy to customize using your favorite cured meats and cheeses. Whole Foods Market has a wide variety of cheese from all over the world and natural cured meats that are free from antibiotics, nitrates and MSG.

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The in-house relish bar is has a wide variety of olives and pickled items to amp up the flavor of the board.

wf olive bar

I will admit I really do not measure anything. So the recipes below are not really recipes but more of ideas of what I use to put things together. I usually just guesstimate on the amount I need for the crowd.

 

Caprese Salad with Crostini Toasts

Caprese Salad

Plum Tomatoes

Fresh Basil

Fresh Mozzarella

Directions:

Slice plum tomatoes into 1/4″ slices. Slice fresh mozzarella into 1/4″ slices.  Rinse fresh basil and pluck leaves from stem. On a serving platter, layer a slice of the fresh mozzarella a basil leaf and then tomato. Follow this pattern until tray is filled to your liking. I sometimes drizzle a balsamic glaze over the top.  This can be made by reducing balsamic vinegar in a pan on the stove top or there are companies that make it and it can be found in the isle with vinegars and dressing at the grocery store.

charcuterie board

Charcuterie Board

Charcuterie Board

Assorted cured meats of choice

Assorted cheeses of choice

Assorted olives or pickled vegetables

Grapes or apple slices

Assorted crackers

This can be arranged however you like.  Sometimes I will use platters and serving dishes as pictured. I also have a large wood cutting board that I will sometimes arrange the ingredients on.

Below are some tips and recipes from Whole Foods Market that you can use to put together a red carpet worthy spread while not breaking the bank! I wish to thank Whole Foods Market for supplying me a gift card to purchase the ingredients.

BLOCKBUSTER ENTERTAINING ON AN INDIE BUDGET

Awards season is even better when you can throw a blockbuster party on an indie budget. Here are a few insider tips from Whole Foods Market experts for a budget-friendly, buzzworthy viewing party:

Think like craft service –Not only is it easier and more fun to graze on small bites throughout the show, but swapping an entrée for heavy appetizers can save a few bucks. Let Whole Foods Market’s prepared foods team do the cooking with Sriracha chicken wontons or wings. Our meat department also has ready-to-cook, crowd-pleasing meatballs from Nature’s Rancher, raised with no added growth hormones and no antibiotics, ever.

Have one big star – Just like a red carpet, if your buffet has one big star, the whole scene feels fancy. There’s no bigger star than the King of Cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano. This very special Italian cheese is known for its intensely complex, nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy flavor. Whole Foods Market only offers Parm that’s been aged a full 24 months, which means this bold flavor will steal the show in the best way.

Keep them entertained – When the show lulls, have an activity to keep things lively, like a blind wine tasting. This is a fun exercise for novice and expert wine drinkers alike, and Whole Foods Market’s Criterion wines make it easy to do. This collection is intended to be classic, benchmark examples of wine styles from important wine regions around the world. Simply choose 3 varietals from Criterion’s roster to serve as the standard, and pair it against a popular bottle of the same variety (for a total of 6 bottles). Cover them both with paper bags and have guests compare. For extra points, create an awards ballot of your own to choose a winning wine.

Best actor goes to citrus! – Vibrant, sweet and tangy citrus is a true chameleon when it comes to entertaining. Abundant bowls of clementines serves as a centerpiece and a snack or dessert, so no need to spend extra on flowers. Citrus also makes water a party-worthy beverage. Slice rings to put in a clear drink dispenser, or add small slices and wedges to individual glasses. Skip the fancy sparkling waters or juices with this seasonal star.

RECIPES

· Blue Cheese Herb Popcorn
· Herbed Garlic Parmigiano Reggiano Popcorn
· Sweet and Smoky Popcorn and Nut Mix
· Brie Toasts With Spiced Sundried Tomato Compote

 

 

 

Tips From Whole Foods Market To Help You Make 2016 Delicious

Whether you are one who makes New Year’s Resolutions or not, Whole Foods Market can get your 2016 off to a tasty fresh start.

Mine is to eat more greens and I love Whole Foods Market Fig Balsamic Dressing and their selection of fresh greens to make a variety of salads.

Whole Foods Fig Balsamic Dressing

Whole Foods Fig Balsamic Dressing

Whole Foods Market offers a variety of dressing to make any salad please your palate.

This dressing is the perfect accompaniment to my Roasted Butternut Squash Salad. This salad includes my maple glazed walnuts. These candied walnuts are made with just pure maple syrup with a sprinkle sea salt and taste as decadent as those higher calorie ones loaded with sugar!

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If you hosting a super bowl party, Whole Foods Market has everything you need to put on a great spread. Pick up some pre made salsas, guacamole and their addictive house made tortilla chips that are sure to please everybody without any of the work!

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If you are looking to be a little healthier and want to take a stab at the up and coming food trend of eating raw, Whole Foods Market website has a variety of recipes.

Below are some tips and recipes from Whole Foods Market to make your 2016 the tastiest it can be!

I’ve also included my Roasted Butternut Squash Salad recipe and wish to thank Whole Foods for supplying me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients.

The prepared foods in the produce section should include pre packaged butternut squash cut and ready to use.  Just open the package and toss with a little olive oil and salt and pepper then roast in oven.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad

1 package pre washed spinach or greens of choice
1 pre cut package butternut squash
Goat cheese to taste
Maple Glazed Walnuts to taste
Red onion to taste
Dried cherries or cranberries to taste
Whole Foods Market Fig Balsamic dressing to taste

Toss pre cut squash with salt and pepper and olive oil. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Combine greens on a plate. Top with remaining ingredients. This should make two large entree salads or four side salads.

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Whole Foods Market tips, recipes and guide to make your 2016 delicious!

FRESH START FOODS:

Sometimes, the most daunting part about deciding to make a “fresh start” when it comes to food is knowing where to begin and what to shop for. Whole Foods Market makes is super easy, especially if you shop the store looking for our Start Healthy signs on foods we know are good tasting and good for you. Below are some other pointers on making that fresh start:

• EAT WHOLE FOODS – Keep an eye out for whole, fresh, natural, organic, local, seasonal, unrefined and unprocessed foods – at Whole Foods Market, our grocery department uses the above food attributes as the cornerstone of our offerings, making eating whole food effortless.

• HEALTHY FATS – Avocados, seeds and nuts are great sources of healthy fats and keep you full for hours.

• STOCK A HEALTHIER PANTRY – We know how easy it is to grab whatever you have at home to satisfy a snack craving. Make it a healthy no-brainer next time by keeping healthy, unprocessed foods at the ready. Start your year on a healthy path with these clean and delicious products, many of which are vegan and gluten-free! Please

These products are the top 10 new favorites.

1. 365 Everyday Value® Woven Wheats® Baked Crackers – Made with just whole wheat and salt!

2. 365 Everyday Value® Organic Pasta Sauce – Made with Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Organic Diced Tomatoes and no added sugar.

3. 365 Everyday Value® Sedona Sunset Fruit & Seed Mix Limited Edition – Sunflower kernels, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, apple fruit drops.

4. 365 Everyday Value® Freeze Dried Fruits – Available in a variety of all-fruit flavors: Raspberries, Blueberries, Bananas, Granny Smith Apple, Mango, Strawberry, Pineapples

5. 365 Everyday Value® Organic Creamy Greek Yogurt Dressing – Found in the refrigerated section – not heat-treated. You may also like the following:
• 365 Everyday Value® Organic Creamy Caesar Dressing
• 365 Everyday Value® Organic Buttermilk Dressing
• 365 Everyday Value® Organic Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
• 365 Everyday Value® Organic Sweet Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing
• 365 Everyday Value® Balsamic Vinaigrette

6. Whole Foods Market™ Organic 0% Plain Low-fat Greek Yogurt – No added flavoring.

7. 365 Everyday Value® Organic Quinoa with Vegetables – Organic white quinoa, zucchini, sweet potato and red quinoa. These are ready in a steamable bag within 5 minutes!

8. Engine 2 Plant-Strong® Organic Sprouted Ancient Grains Tortilla – Made solely from organic sprouted grains: Millet, Barley, Quinoa, Lentils and more. That means no flour!

9. Engine 2 Plant-Strong® Poblano Black Bean Burgers – Wholesome, non-GMO ingredients shine in these southwestern-style burgers that are gluten-free and free of cholesterol and saturated fats.

10. Engine 2 Plant-Strong® Traditional Hummus – Creamy and delicious, low-fat, low-sodium with no added oils!

RECIPES

Beet & Mint Slaw
Veggie & Tofu Scramble
Black Bean Salad with Avocado-Lime Dressing

RAW FOODS:

Eating raw means eating closer to nature – something we think we can all get behind in our region! Raw means foods that are both uncooked and unprocessed. Any while that might not sound too exciting, eating raw can be incredibly delicious while being well-balanced in nutrients.

Easy to find raw foods include organic fresh fruit and vegetables, sprouts, seeds and nuts, beans, dried fruit, fresh lettuce or seaweed, seasonings and natural sweeteners – this means almost endless possibilities when it comes to meal creation!

Below are some other tips on eating raw in 2016:

• EDUCATE YOURSELF – Being prepared and knowing what you’re looking for before you walk into the store will make eating raw easier. Better yet, ask any of the experts in Whole Foods Market and we’d be happy to show you around and help you pick out your best raw!

• EAT LOTS OF GREENS AND VEGGIES – Not only do greens and veggies contain the minerals your body needs, they also provide a great base for experimenting with recipes and meal planning when going raw

• LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE – If making a commitment to eat raw, do your body even better by making sure you get enough sleep, drink plenty of water and exercise daily. Living a healthy life in every sense of the word will make 2016 the best yet!

RECIPES:

Raw Vegetable ‘Pasta’ with Tomatoes and Herbs
Raw Berry Crisp
Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho

THINKING AHEAD TO BIG GAME:

With The Big Game happening on February 7th, let Whole Foods Market do the heavy lifting. As you gear up, remember you can be ready to host your fans in no time:

• PREPARED FOODS – From wings to salsas and house-made guacamoles infused with Sriracha, chiles and more, we’ve got you covered when it comes to “grab and go” game-day favorites in our Prepared Foods section.
• INSTACART – depending on where you live, Instacart’s delivery on demand is the ultimate in stress-free party hosting!

Below are some of our favorite game day recipes if you’re feeling a little bit more culinary:

RECIPES:

Killer Artichoke Dip
Herb Roasted Sweet Potato Skins
Roll Your Own Burritos
Black and Blue Veggie Nachos

The Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookie with Whole Foods Market Pantry Staples

These Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies will have your friends begging for the recipe.

chocolate chip cookies

I have to admit I love to bake and am a Whole Foods Market junkie.  I am thrilled to be working with them this month to share some of their baking tips, holiday time saving tips and my recipe for The Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookie.

This is the perfect time of year to stock up on Whole Foods Market Pantry Staples. The holidays mean a last minute scramble to whip up a meal or dessert for a holiday gathering or unannounced out-of-town guests. Having the Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value® pantry staples like flour, sugar, salt, butter, vanilla and eggs on hand also makes it easy for putting together DIY gift and making treats to give a s gifts or take to gatherings.

Whole food holiday essentials

My favorite homemade gift to give or treat to take or serve at a gathering is my Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies.

cookie gift

This makes 5 dozen medium sized cookies. The secret ingredient is French sea salt sprinkled on top of each cookie right before baking.  I have always gotten fluer de sel  sea salt in the bulk section at a local health food store close to where I used to live.

Fluer De Sel

The Whole Foods bulk section only had Sel Gris which comes from the same solar evaporation salt pans as fleur de sel but is harvested differently; it is allowed to come into contact with the bottom of the salt pan before being raked, hence its gray color.

Sel Gris

 

If you can’t find the French sea salt, any sea salt will work. If it is course, just crush it a bit while pinching your fingers as you sprinkle it over the top of the cookies. Adding the sea salt intensifies the salty sweet combination we all love! This recipe makes 5 dozen cookies.

Secret Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

4 sticks of butter

2 eggs

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 12 ounce packages of semi sweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon French sea salt (reserved)

 

Heat oven to 375 degrees

In large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add flour mixture a cup at time to the creamed butter mixture. Mix well after each addition of flour. Batter will be stiff after all the flour is added. Add chocolate chips and mix well.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using medium cookie scoop, place 12 cookies on baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with  a pinch of reserved sea salt.

chocolate chip cookies with sea salt

Bake 9-11 minutes.

Remove from oven and let set 5 minute before removing from cookie sheet.

chocolate chip cookies

Be sure to check out Whole Foods Market Top 10 Baking Tips here
Recipes:
· Classic Sugar Cookies
· Maple and Almond Butter Cookies
· Molasses Gingerbread Cookies
Top 10 Holiday Time Savers:

· Frozen Pie Crust – the crust is usually one of the hardest parts of pie assembly. Grab a pre-made crust so you can focus on the delicious filling and baking!
· Mirepoix & Pre-Cut Squash and Garlic – Mirepoix is the perfect “grab and go” item for your Crock Pot. And pre-cut squash and garlic will save you precious minuets of prep time in the kitchen
· Stuffing Bags – made-in-house stuffing bags from our bakery give you the taste of homemade stuffing without the time commitment.
· Frozen Rice in a Bag – makes rice cooking easy and worry-free, especially if you don’t have a rice cooker
· Frozen Rolls – fresh from the bakery department and frozen, so you can break these out and throw them in the oven when the dinner menu calls for rolls!
· Stuffed Cornish Game Hens – not only is all the work already done for you, but these hens are a wonderful alternative to turkey or ham for your holiday table
· Pre-made Appetizers – a wide variety of appetizers that are already plated and ready to serve can make attending a party while bringing something to share both easy and delicious
· Cocktail Shrimp Platters – again, ready to serve and be enjoyed!
· Instacart – depending on where you live, Instacart’s delivery on demand is the ultimate in stress-free shopping during the holidays
· Holiday Pre-order – shop online ahead of time and pre-order your turkey, side dishes, appetizers and even full heat-and-serve meals for pickup at your local Whole Foods market!IMG_3399

Whole Foods also has live trees and wreaths.  For every tree sold one gets planted! I also wish to thank Whole Foods Market for supplying me with a gift card to purchase the ingredients for the cookies.

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Create a Stress Free and Gluten Free Thanksgiving or Holiday Dinner with help from Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market is helping me create a stress free, gluten free, egg free and dairy free Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.

Whole Foods Market

I’m sure the questions are crossing your mind as to Why I need a gluten, egg and dairy free Thanksgiving? How Can Whole Foods Market Help? Can it be done and still be delicious? What are you cooking? Do you have any recipes?

Keep reading to find out.

Why do I need it gluten, egg and dairy free?

My daughter has recently been diagnosed with some health issues and some food allergy testing indicates that eggs and dairy are giving her trouble and the doctor has recommended staying off gluten as well.

How can Whole Foods Market help?

Whole Foods Market will do the cooking for you this holiday season by preparing the entire feast or just a few sides. Whatever you need they have it, including dishes for alternative diets. They also have holiday appetizer and party platters as well as desserts. Need a Turkey? They have those too. Get pre-roasted, brined, uncooked or smoked! You can also get a variety of other cuts of meat including lamb, beef and more. There is also a selection of seafood available. Find a full list of options here.

For the recipes I’m preparing, Whole Foods Market carries vegetables and salads that are already washed and cut ready for use or roasting as well as pre roasted and cooked ingredients needed for my dishes.

Can it be done and still be delicious?

YES! The prepared foods are made with the all of the high quality products that are sold in the store and is a lifesaver at the moment. I have always tried to eat healthy but have never been forced to cook a certain way until now and Whole Food Market is saving Turkey Day!

I sampled the vegan mashed potatoes in the store and am going to order them for our Thanksgiving meal. They are creamy and delicious made with olive oil and coconut milk. I will also order the vegan pumpkin pie, which I have sampled as well. It is so good! I’m not sure the crust is gluten free but I am sure my daughter will have no trouble scooping out the middle.

What else are you cooking?

I have my 27 pound Diestel No GMO Turkey from Whole Foods thawing in the fridge as we speak! I will slather him up with my dairy free herb butter just before cooking. This butter is super simple to make and yummy to use as a spread for bread and rolls as well. Just make sure you make separate batches!

I have been inspired by Whole Foods Autumn Couscous and will be making my own version using quinoa, cranberries, pistachios, roasted butternut squash and a handful of the kale. This is going to be our stuffing alternative.

I’ll make gravy using gluten free flour and the broth from the turkey to go with those awesome Whole Foods Vegan Mashed Potatoes.

I make the best roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and dried cherries.

Do you have recipes?

Sure, I’ve included them below. Enjoy!

Whole Foods carries everything I need to make this holiday season healthy and stress free! I wish to thank Whole Foods for providing me with a gift card to purchase my dairy free, egg free and gluten free ingredients which makes me stress free! Thank you Whole Foods Market!

I would like to thank all of my readers as well and wish you a happy and healthy holiday season. Enjoy the recipes.

 

Herb Butter

IMG_7865

1/2 cup Earth Balance Olive Oil Spread
2-3 sprigs each of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, pressed
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well, then give your turkey a good rub down with it. I usually stuff the cavity of the bird with some fresh sage, thyme and rosemary along with a cut up orange, onion and a few garlic cloves. Bake turkey according to package directions and enjoy!

turkey2

turkey3

Rosted Butternut Squash and Quinoa Stuffing

quinoa stuffing6 quinoa stuffing7

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 1/2 cups of roasted butternut squash chunks
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 cups chopped kale or fresh spinach
1/2 cup toasted pistachios
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

The prepared foods section at Whole Foods and salad bar should have pre cooked quinoa and butternut squash (you could also use sweet potatoes as they have those sometimes too) as well as chopped kale. You could also use fresh spinach. If cooked squash or sweet potatoes are unavailable the produce section should have either or sometimes both cut and ready for roasting. If all else fails you can peel, cut and roast your own.

If they don’t have cooked quinoa available, just grab a box and cook at home according to the package directions.

quinoa stuffing 1

Stuffing Preparation:
Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and celery and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

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Add vegetable or chicken stock. Let simmer 8-10 minutes until liquid is almost absorbed.
Add chopped kale and mix together until kale is slightly wilted.

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In large bowl combine cooked quinoa, roasted butternut squash, vegetable mixture, toasted pistachios and dried cherries. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I like using Fisherman’s salt. It’s a new seasoning salt I have found that I have fallen in love with.

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Mix all ingredients together and place in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes

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If you wish to make this recipe ahead of time just assemble all ingredients, place in baking pan and refrigerate until ready use. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. Yield: 6 1 cup servings

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Brussel Sprouts - Sharmin Meadows

1 1/2 lb Brussel sprouts cut in half (rinse before cutting and remove outer leaves if they look funky)
Handful chopped bacon, cooked (I just buy the pre-cooked bag)
Handful chopped almonds
Handful dried cherries
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Yield 6 servings

Combine sprouts, bacon, cherries and almonds. Toss with olive oil to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss again. Place on shallow roasting pan and roast at 425 20-25 min. Take out halfway through cooking and toss around to get both sides roasted. If the sprouts don’t look like they are getting brown enough you can bump oven temp up to 450.

Yield: 6 servings

Crock Pot Beef Stew and Tips from Whole Foods Market

I’m kind of obsessed with the Whole Foods Market and shop their all time, so when the opportunity came about to work with Whole Foods Market, I jumped at the chance.

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I will be sharing some recipes I’ve created using ingredients from Whole Foods along with some tips, tricks and specials provided by Whole Foods.  This months theme is Crock-Pot meals.

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Below is a recipe for Crock Pot Beef Stew using Whole Foods Beef Stew Meat from the meat case. These tender cuts of beef are already cut into bite size pieces for soups, stews and chili.

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The 365 Everyday Value brand of products makes it easy and affordable to get healthy ingredients for all of you dishes.

potatoes

For the stew I got the 365 Everyday baby carrots. We also love the Everyday 365 Multigrain Flatbread Crackers.

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These crackers are delicious and a perfect accompaniment to the stew. They are also great to use for entertaining by adding them to cheese trays and dips.

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This crock pot beef stew is perfect as the days start getting colder. Got a busy day ahead? This dish can even be made up the night before and stored in the fridge. Place in the crock pot on low in the morning and come home to a delicious home cooked meal.

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Using an onion soup mix helps add lots of flavor without the fuss and what I have always used in the this recipe, until I recently came across Fishermans salt. I found it at Gilbert Whitney on the Independence Square. It intrigued my interest so I thought I would give it a try. I love it! It is a great way to season soups and stews as well as meats and poultry. I actually don’t like fish so I can’t tell you how it tastes on that!

 

Crock Pot Beef Stew

1 lb Stew Meat from Whole Foods Meat Case
1 Bunch Celery, chopped
1 1lb Bag Everyday 365 Baby Carrots, cut into thirds
2 Medium Potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
1 Medium Onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons Fishermans Salt or Onion Soup Mix
2-3 Fresh Sprigs Rosemary, chopped
2 Cups Vegetable Stock
2 11.5 oz Cans V8 Juice or Tomato Juice

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Places stew meat, carrots, celery, potatoes and onion in crock pot.

Chop 2-3 sprigs of rosemary. Feel free to add more or less depending on taste.

Sprinkle chopped rosemary, onion soup mix or Fishermans salt over meat and vegetables.

Stir mixture.

Add vegetable stock and V8 or tomato Juice. For richer tomato flavor you can omit stock and use all tomato juice.

Place Crock Pot on Low for 7-8 hours or high for 5-6 hours

Serves 6

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Below are 5 tips for Slow Cooking Success from Whole Foods

· Go budget-friendly – ingredients like beans, whole grains, and spices available in Whole Foods Market’s bulk section, let you buy the exact amount you need and experiment with many products at once for a great price
· Trim the fat – too much fat left on meat will give you an unpleasant texture, and having to skim lots of fat at the end of cooking is not enjoyable
· Think ahead – keep “kits” of chopped fresh veggies and meats in the freezer. That way, you’ll be ready to toss these ingredients in the Crock Pot in the morning in no time at all, with dinner ready by the time you come home!
· Stay on Trend – save money while staying trending! Cheaper cuts of meat are all the rage at the top rated restaurants right now, and a crock-pot is the perfect tool to master these cuts at home. Thighs, beef chuck, brisket, shin, shoulders, oxtail; when cooked nice and slow these can be the most delicious bites.
· Sear First – don’t forget to sear your meat first. Browned meat taste better, and the slow cooker does not get hot enough to get that done. For optimal taste, sear first then slow cook to lock in the moisture. (Except when it comes to chicken)

Recipes:
· Slow Cooker Classic Pot Roast
· Slow Cooker Pork and Cider Stew
· Braised Beef Ribs

For more information on Whole Foods Market, additional recipes, weekly specials and locations visit the Whole Foods Market Website.

I wish to thank Whole Foods for graciously providing me a gift card to purchase the ingredients.

In Good Taste,

Sharm