I know it is getting warmer outside, so soup might be off the menu for many of you, but this is more of a chunky, thick dish. If you ask me, it is a must try. Healthy, yet filling.. you can't go wrong!
Navitas Naturals - The Superfood Company
The mission of Navitas Naturals is to provide the finest organic superfoods that increase energy and enhance health. Since 2003, health-conscious people have been choosing their organic superfoods because they are a diverse whole-food source of antioxidants, protein, essential fats, minerals, vitamins, and other key nutrients.
All of their products are certified organic and use methods such as freeze-drying and low temperature processing to ensure maximum nutrition and flavor. Organic is important for ensuring the integrity of foods that people eat, and for protecting the environment, and the health of farmers.
Quality & Food Safety
Food safety is very important to Navitas Naturals, and that is demonstrated by the rigorous third-party testing of their superfoods. Their facility and processing systems are certified organic, and are also certified under GMP and HACCP - important voluntary programs for ensuring food safety and quality. They also nurture their supplier relationships because they are critical towards achieving and maintaining high quality products.
Their products are Non-GMO Project Verified. That means they have met the rigorous standards of the Non-GMO Project - an independent non-profit reviewer that ensures products are made according to best practices for GMO avoidance.
Sustainable Agriculture for Native Farmers
Navitas Naturals is committed to socially responsible business practices. Their direct purchasing partnerships create and expand fair trade economic opportunities for farming communities in developing regions around the world.
Nativas Naturals sent me a few samples of their Caramel Coconut Chips, Cacao Hemp Superfood + Almonds, and Coconut Hemp Superfood + Pepitas.
Caramel Coconut Chips
Coconuts have been enjoyed as a tropical treat for thousands of years. Nativas Naturals has made this satiating superfood as delicious as it is nutritious. This chewy grab-and-go snack is a sweet and salty combination of organic coconut and sea salt.
The chewy coconut in this snack is a good source of energy, fiber, and healthy fats. It also contains minerals such as iron. Coconut is well known for its content of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) - healthy fats that are burned quickly by the body for energy and are not stored as fat. In particular, coconut contains lauric acid, a MCT that is known to offer many potential health benefits.
Cacao Hemp Superfood + Almonds
Integrating superfoods into your day has never been so convenient and so cravable. Navitas Naturals Superfood + snack mixes combine energizing superfoods with nutrient rich nuts. The organic Cacao Hemp Almonds are chocolate 'Handfuls of Goodness' that feature creamy almonds with a sweet and savory seasoning of cacao, coconut oil, hemp seeds, palm oil, coconut palm sugar, and sea salt.
This snack combines 3 superfoods in one delicious bite. Almonds are rich in healthy fats, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Cacao has been enjoyed for its healthy and invigorating properties in South American cultures for thousands of years. Cacao powder is a delicious dark chocolate source of antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids, plenty of omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids and are also a good source of fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals. Hemp is also eco-friendly – it’s one of the most sustainable crops on earth!
Coconut Hemp Superfood + Pepitas
Navitas Naturals Superfood + snack mixes also combine energizing superfoods with nutrient rich seeds. Their organic Coconut Hemp Pepitas feature crunchy pepitas (pumpkin seeds), chewy coconut, and hemp seeds lightly seasoned with coconut palm sugar and sea salt.
The crunchy pepitas in this grab-and-go snack blend provide protein, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals, beta-carotene, and vitamins. The chewy coconut in the mix is a good source of energy, fiber and healthy fats. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids, and they are easy for the body to digest and assimilate. Hemp also features plenty of omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids that are in the ideal ratio that nutritionists recommend. As stated above, Hemp seeds are also a good source of fiber, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. Hemp is eco-friendly – it’s one of the most sustainable crops on earth!
After tasting (read as: devouring) these healthy snacks from Nativas Naturals, I went out and bought more! I might even try some of their other products next time too. They have dozens of health foods and superfoods to keep your smart snacking satisfying!
Disclosure: Navitas Naturals provided me with free product for review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My husband and I listened to this book on one of our recent road trips to visit my family. He has read Killing Patton, and wants to read all of the 'Killing' books by Bill O'Reilly (Kennedy and Lincoln are next on the list for him). It was not what I expected, but it was a good book. There is a lot more history entwined in each detail than I expected, and it depicts the story of Jesus from a different angle. Definitely worth a read!
Killing Jesus: A History (The Killing of Historical Figures) by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
Millions of readers have thrilled to bestselling authors Bill O’Reilly and historian Martin Dugard’s Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln , page-turning works of nonfiction that have changed the way we read history. Now the anchor of The O’Reilly Factor details the events leading up to the murder of the most influential man in history: Jesus of Nazareth. Nearly two thousand years after this beloved and controversial young revolutionary was brutally killed by Roman soldiers, more than 2.2 billion human beings attempt to follow his teachings and believe he is God. Killing Jesus will take readers inside Jesus’s life, recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable—and changed the world forever.
I have had my curling wand for a couple months now, and I LOVE it.
Hot Tools 1" Flipperless Gold Curling Wand creates bouncy, spiral curls with this clipless design. Easily style hair with this high-heat curling wand that keeps hair smooth and frizz-free. Extra long cool tip and heat resistant glove make for comfortable and easy styling. Flipperless design creates great spiral curls!
- Flipperless (clip-free) gold curling wand
- Keeps hair smooth and frizz-free
- Extra long cool tip
- Includes heat resistant glove
I got my Hot Tools wand at Ulta for $47.99.
Here are some examples of how I have used the wand to style my hair when it was long and now that it is shorter:
As you can see, you can use the wand for a variety of styled curls. I will never go back to a regular curling iron after using the wand!
Spring Casserole is the third recipe I made with Blue Apron. In case you missed it, I reviewed my very first Blue Apron experience here - and I am sharing the 3 meals I made. See the Triple Pork Mazeman recipe and the Piri-Piri Chicken dish.
Below are the ingredients Blue Apron sent for me to use for this specific recipe.
The step-by-step instruction sheet that Blue Apron provides is super easy to follow.
The Spring Casserole with Fennel, Asparagus & Golden Raisins recipe is as follows:
Cook the noodles:
Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the noodles and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and set aside in a warm place. Rinse and dry the pot.
Prepare the ingredients:
While the noodles cook, preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Snap off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus; thinly slice the asparagus on an angle. Pick off and reserve the fennel fronds (the green, thread-like tops of the plant). Cut out and discard the fennel core; thinly slice the stems and bulb. Peel and thinly slice the onion.
Cook the vegetables:
In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, fennel stems and fennel bulb; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and asparagus. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant and thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place. Wipe out the pan.
Make the béchamel sauce:
In the same pot used to cook the noodles, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Stir in the milk and ⅔ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, whisking frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened and thoroughly combined. Remove from heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until thoroughly incorporated.
Finish the filling & bake the casserole:
Add the golden raisins, cooked vegetables and cooked noodles to the pot of béchamel sauce. Stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until bubbly and browned on top. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
Toast the breadcrumbs & serve your dish:
While the casserole bakes, in the same pan used to cook the vegetables, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the breadcrumbs; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from heat. Top the baked casserole with the toasted breadcrumbs and fennel fronds. Enjoy!
Out of the 3 recipes I tried with Blue Apron, this was my favorite. I chose to make this one ahead of time, and then reheat it later in the week. It was delicious - and I mean, who doesn't love a casserole?!
Overall, I have loved my experience with Blue Apron, and I will definitely be ordering from them in the future.
Fave4 Texture Takeover Oomph Enhancing Spray is the newest product in my hair style lineup. Keep on reading to find out why I love it...
What's so great about this?
I am all about this stuff no matter the style I am going for, but it even revamps my thin, straight hair to make it more voluminous and shiny. Not to mention, this stuff smells AMAZING. For $18, this product is a must-try!
Piri-Piri Chicken is the second recipe I made with Blue Apron. In case you missed it, I reviewed my very first Blue Apron experience here - and I am sharing the 3 meals I made. See the Triple Pork Mazeman recipe here.
Below are the specific ingredients Blue Apron sent to be used for the chicken dish.
I love the handy-dandy instruction sheet they include - Step-by-step directions with pictures.
The Piri-Piri Chicken with Coconut-Smashed Plantains & Stewed Collard Greens recipe is as follows:
Pan-roast the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with half the spice blend, salt and pepper. In a medium pan (oven-safe if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin sides down, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the pan directly to the oven. (Alternatively, place the browned chicken, skin sides down, on a sheet pan or in a baking dish.) Roast, flipping the chicken halfway through, 23 to 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from the oven.
Prepare the ingredients:
While the chicken cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel the plantains and cut into ½-inch-thick rounds. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions; thinly slice the scallions on an angle, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Cut out and discard the collard green stems; roughly chop the leaves. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Peel and mince the ginger. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk powder and ¼ cup of water.
Cook & smash the plantains:
While the chicken continues to cook, add the plantains to the pot of boiling water. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Using a fork, smash the cooked plantains. Stir in the lime zest, coconut milk powder mixture and the juice of 2 lime wedges until thoroughly combined; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place.
Cook the aromatics:
While the plantains cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion, ginger, white bottoms of the scallions and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until dark red.
Stew the collard greens:
Add the collard greens and ¾ cup of water to the pan of aromatics. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the collard greens have wilted and the liquid is slightly reduced in volume; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
Plate your dish:
Divide the stewed collard greens and smashed plantains between 2 dishes. Top each with a piece of the pan-roasted chicken. Garnish with the green tops of the scallions and remaining lime wedges. Enjoy!
This recipe was another winner in my book. The piri-piri (pepper-pepper) blend that we dusted the chicken with gave a lightly-charred flavor and crispy texture, which I loved.
Lastly, I will be sharing the Blue Apron Spring Casserole recipe. Stay tuned!
We might have to stop calling florals a trend. Colorful blossoms on clothing is starting to become classic as we have seen year after year. There is always a new incarnation of floral patterns and this year, it is big and it is bold.
That leads me to share some of my favorite floral looks from one of my favorite boutiques, Dottie Couture.
I own a few of these, and some are on my wish list, naturally. A few of these are already sold out on the website, so I have linked each photo to their Pinterest board. From there, if it is still available for purchase, you can click through directly to the Dottie website. Fingers crossed for restocks!
Never has the concept of florals for spring felt fresher: Big and beautiful or minute and abstract, this season, flower power is boldly feminine and here to stay!