Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Mann's Rainbow Salad!

Mann's Rainbow Salad

I've had a love affair with Mann's Rainbow Salad for as long as I can remember. I love cauliflower, and found that the addition far exceeded Mann's Broccolislaw in every way. Well, the people at Mann's has recently improved their Rainbow Salad, adding more prominently shredded cauliflower, broccoli florets, much finer shreds of carrot, and red cabbage. The result is fantastic. The Rainbow Salad is much easier to chew than the tougher shreds of the Broccolislaw, and it is absolutely fantastic when microwaved for about  8 minutes. All the vegetables get very soft and tender when microwaved, and it only has 100 calories per bag; it is so easy to incorporate into your diet. From stir fry's, to soup and even as a filler in meatloaf/burgers/ casseroles, and veggie patties, this product is fantastic in everyway! It picks up flavoring really well (great with Bragg's Liquid Amino's or sugar free pasta/ BBQ sauce-- like Walden Farms BBQ sauces or their new pasta sauces). I recommend picking some up. It is a wonderful, versatile, nutritious, convenient, and tasty product!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Gluten Free and Naturally Sweet: CHESTNUT FLOUR!!

Chestnut Flour, Natural, Raw - 1 bag, 1 lb
(image from

Gluten free has exploded in the past few years-from a fad diet to a legitimate dietary concern that many grocery stores and companies are taking seriously. From stores having entire sections for gluten free goods, to the explosion of new products and companies on the market, it seems gluten-free is everywhere. The more mainstream it becomes, the more profitable it will be for companies to produce, and the more products and varieties will be considered--a blessing for those suffering from Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

While rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour, buckwheat flour and a host of others are quite popular and the norm in baked goods, CHESTNUT FLOUR is fairly unheard of, though a wonderful substitute for using (chestnut gnocchi is fantastic, as are baked goods!). It has been used for centuries in Europe (notably Italy and their wonderful Castagnaccio, or chestnut flour bread/cake), in France for crepes, and it slowly starting to percolate to North America. Thankfully, if you can't find it in specialty stores, we have Amazon, which offers a wide selection!

Naturally gluten free and sweet, this is a fantastic flour to experiment with. It doesn't come out rubbery like rice flour based products, and has a wonderful, slightly sweet nutty taste to it, which makes it perfect for sugar free/low sugar sweetened goods! Calorie-wise,  it is only about 95kcal per 1/4c, and unlike almond and coconut flour, has virtually no fat. 

This is a wonderful and tasty alternative for those looking to cut gluten and/or fat and sugar from their baked goods! Give it a try, and let me know what you think! There are fantastic truffles, cake, gnocchi, and baked good recipes using chestnut flour online! Give it a try! CHESTNUT FLOUR

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Health swap and the 411 on Quark

Instead of using whipped cream, or cream cheese, try mixing fat free ricotta cheese with some sweetener (sugar twin, stevia, splenda), flavor drops or sugar free syrup or sugar free pancake syrup, and a bit of cinnamon. The same applies for baking and baked goods (pancakes with yogurt and pudding instead of oil are amazing).

Try adding some cocoa or chocolate protein powder for a chocolate whipped cream (check my store for my favorite, but I recommend BioX Power Whey Isolate and Iso Sensation 93 Chocolate Fudge).

Or, try topping with sugar free pudding (like Kozy Shack, Jello), or Greek Yogurt.

A mere 2 TB of whipped cream (who only eats 2TB?) has 104 calories and 11 grams of fat, of which 7g are saturated.
1/4c of Fat Free Ricotta has only 50 calories and less than 0.5g of fat. Light Ricotta only has 70 calories and 3g of fat; even the full fat has fewer grams of fat per 1/2serving than 2TB of whipped cream.

Jello Sugar Free Pudding Cups average about 60-70 calories for the whole cup, and have less than 2g of fat. The vanilla is excellent when left in the freezer until it is semi-frozen with cinnamon stirred in. These come in a wide variety of flavors, and are excellent toppers of cakes/protein cakes/toast/oatmeal/oat bran, waffles, toast, and even mixed into cereal.

Kozy Shack No Sugar Added Pudding

Kozy Shack has excellent, creamy tasting sugar free pudding cups (refrigerated isle- usually with dairy). They range from 60-100 calories and are full of flavor. These are satisfying, creamy, and thick! Stir in some cinnamon!!!
FYI TIP* Adding pudding to baked goods replaces a lot of the cream/butter/oil by keeping your baked good moist!

Free Grocery Coupons
A full cup of Greek Yogurt has about 130-150 calories and about 22g of protein. Make sure you add some sweetener, preserves, sugar free syrups/pancake syrup, and cinnamon. Stir it well until it is creamy and cinnamon is incorporated. Adding fruit flavored syrup or sugar free jam/spread is fantastic as well. Few things beat eating cereal (rice krispies/special k,shreddies etc) with pudding and yogurt (dessert!).
Fresh Quark Cheese
For those who don't mind a bit more tang, try Quark. This naturally low fat soft (unripened) cheese is a fantastic topping for waffles! I grew up eating Quark on waffles with maple syrup drizzled on top and fresh sliced strawberries.
100 grams of Liberte's fat free quark is only 60 calories and has 11g of protein! It tastes similar to fromage frais or Baker's Cheese and has no salt added to it. It does have a great, thick texture, and a tangy/sour taste which is a great contrast to adding agave or sweetener to it.

 Quark is an EXCELLENT substitute in making Cheesecake (there a quite a few recipes online), cheese tarts (sweet) and clafoutis, as well as desserts made with marscapone (try a half/half split). It makes a great dip and base of sauces (sweet of savory, depending on what you mix it with). Try adding it to soups that require cream or sour cream. Many European recipes (dessert especially) use this instead of or with sour cream/cream cheese (Especially German and Polish desserts); it is sometimes called topfen, tvorog/tvaroh, and biezpiens. It is excellent in pound cake/coffee cake/sponge cake! Google Quark dessert, or Quark Cheesecake... you'll be baking in no time! Cheesecake that is truly good for you!
Tip= caramelized, grated apples with cinnamon and sweetener are a fantastic add in!

(image from Quark Tasche German CheesePastry;
)Fifth Town Cheese Cherry Quark Cake