Category Archives: mealtimes

Feeling chilly? Perfect timing for @FrontierSoups !!

FrontierLogo583blkwithtag application-frontiersoups

To my Japanese husband, soup just means one thing: miso.  Miso soup is considered a side dish and never a main meal in Japan.  But here in America, particularly the northern states, soup as a main dish is very much looked forward to as autumn weather turns nippy!

When Moms Meet approached me to try out Frontier Soups‘ ‘Homemade In Minutes‘ line, I was rubbing my hands in anticipatory glee.

“Just trust me,” I cajoled my skeptical husband. “Soup for dinner is really a thing in the US!  Think how nice it’ll be to come home at the end of a long day, all chilled to the bone (“That won’t be so nice!” he quipped.) and getting to sit down to a nice hot steaming bowl of soup!  It’ll warm you right up from the inside out!”

He was willing to give it a try, though his one caveat was that I also prepare an ample supply of steamed rice. (Rice is a Japanese meal-time staple – they don’t consider it having been a real actual meal unless rice has been served, even if the table’s loaded with bread and pasta.)

The things I liked most overall about these soups, was that:

A) They were easy to prepare

B) They were quick to prepare

C) They didn’t need expensive or exotic add-ins

D) Many of the mixes are gluten-free, so if our gluten-free cousins came to visit, we’d be able to serve those to them.

E) The corn and rice ingredients are Non-GMO, and there’s no MSG or other non-natural ingredients!

F) They tasted GREAT!!!

Connecticut Cottage Chicken Noodle Soup

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I’m a fan of Chicken Noodle Soups, with a Jewish background, how could I not be?  Happily, this soup did not disappoint!  It had a lovely made-from-scratch taste, without the overdose of fat, even considering the minor butter add-in.  I didn’t use chicken breast, though. I had some leftover cooked boneless, skinless thighs and those worked just fine!

This was a good, satisfying soup, and paired with some cheese toast, was good for a light lunch, or for pouring down the gullet of a person with a cold.

I give it 4 stars for taste and 2.5 stars for complete dinner-meal-ability.

Florida Sunshine Red Pepper Corn Chowder

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I love chowders, particularly seafood chowders!  But soup-mix potatoes are usually ‘meh’ at best. Well, I don’t know how Frontier Soups went about preserving their soupmix potatoes, but when reconstituted as part of the soup, these taters did pretty good!  No points off for those!

There was a teensy bit of cayenne for some very minor heat, but it was nothing that scared off the kids.  I added in some shrimp and served it forth.

This was one that got a verbal exclamation of enjoyment from my husband! (Yay!) and with only the obligatory bowl of steamed rice, he was willing to concede that yes, soups can really be a real meal. (With rice alongside. Of course.)

I give it 5 stars for taste and 4 stars for complete dinner-meal-ability served alongside a small green salad or green smoothie (And the rice, of course – who could forget the rice!) This was one that did a good job of sticking to your ribs! And the kiddos ate every bit of it!

South of the Border Tortilla Soup

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This one was also a winner with my husband and I, but a bit too strong-tasting for my kids.  I really didn’t think it was all that spicy though.  I did add in 1 cup of mild queso salsa, but just to give it a bit of creaminess that my husband expected after having his tastebuds spoiled by commercial chain restaurant tortilla soups. The tomato salsa I used was also mild.

I give it 4.5 stars for taste and 5 stars for complete dinner-meal-ability, as-is. (Yes, dear – rice, rice, rice! Sheesh! *whispers: but really, while rice is nice, this soup can stand alone with all the veggies and protein it’s got.)

Mississippi Delta Tomato Basil Soup

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Without cream, not pureed.
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With cream added and pureed.

Literally, a few minutes before I made this one, my husband called to let me know he’d just gotten a tooth extracted, and by the way, could I please make sure that dinner was liquid? Oh yeah, and the dentist said – ‘No rice!’.  There was manly whimpering.  Very manly…really!

So I prepared this mix , added cream and then ran the whole kit and caboodle through my nutribullet blender to puree it all.

It. Was. Fantastic!

“THIS!!  This is AMAZING!!” my husband gestured emphatically and ecstatically.  Thank god, because he was so happy with this soup that I didn’t hear a single kvetch, moan, whine or complaint at the lack of rice on the table. 😀 (YAY!!!)

This was a gorgeous-tasting soup!  I haven’t tasted better in a restaurant!

I give it a solid 5 stars for taste AND 5 stars for complete dinner-meal-ability, if served with a glass of milk for some protein!

This was a soup that you wish you could strew on satin-covered sheets and roll around in it – forget rose petals!  Pureed, the mouth-feel  and quality ingredients melded into luxurious richness. Maybe pair it with some garlic bread, but go easy on the garlic, you don’t want to overpower the awesome taste of this soup!

(And then my husband made me puree some rice. Sigh.)

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Frontier Soups is an American company founded by Trisha
Anderson, who transformed her life-long love of cooking into
a career in the food industry. The company is dedicated to
creating the best all-natural products possible. They believe
that soup is the essence of comfort food and Frontier Soups
mixes make it so easy to serve simple, satisfying meals at
home. Today, they offer a variety of all-natural soups, stews,
chili, and chowders to families around the country.

Just the facts
• All Frontier Soups Homemade in Minutes mixes include all-natural ingredients
with no added salt, preservatives, or MSG.
• Frontier offers a variety of mixes including: South of the Border Tortilla Soup
Mix, Connecticut Cottage Chicken Noodle Soup Mix, Florida Sunshine Red
Pepper Corn Chowder Soup Mix, West Coast Kale and Quinoa Vegetable
Soup Mix, Mississippi Delta Tomato Basil Soup Mix, and Little Schoolhouse
Alphabet Soup Mix.
• With the help of Frontier Soups Homemade in Minutes mixes it takes just 30-
45 minutes to create a meal for your family and friends.
• All corn and rice ingredients in every mix are certified non-GMO. Many of the
Frontier Soups mixes are certified gluten-free by the Celiac Sprue Association.
• Frontier Soups Homemade in Minutes mixes are available from the following
retailers: Whole Foods, The Fresh Market, Kroger Natural Stores, Central
Market in Texas, Great Harvest Bread Stores, Omaha Steaks, Braum’s Fresh
Markets and 1500 other independent and specialty stores across the country,
and in Canada at Sobey’s and Whole Foods. Products are also available online
at Frontier Soups, Abe’s Market and Amazon.

Frontier Soups is offering an exclusive Moms Meet deal to share with
my readers! With the Moms Meet Soup Mix 6-pack, you‘ll get 20%
off the original price, plus free shipping on your order! To purchase,
visit frontiersoups.com/moms-meet-soup-mix-6-pack.

Visit frontiersoups.com to get more information about the company. On their website
you’ll also find recipe ideas that will help upgrade your traditional soup recipes to
gourmet meals in a few simple steps. Plus, Frontier Soups also publishes a blog filled
with cooking tips and must-know nutrition info!

You can also find them on Twitter and on Facebook

*Text in italics was provided by the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC.

** I received this product for free from the sponsor of
the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC,
who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a
Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product
and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group
LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

 

It’s National Kale Day on Oct. 1st!

From the National Kale Day website

Be a Kale Hero:

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  • How Can You Help?

    #1 – Join Team Kale and downloadthe Kale Hero Kit, giving you the tools, facts and infographics to become a kale ambassador.

    #2 – Become a part of the National Kale Day community, sharing your tips, photos, recipes and insights on ourTwitter, Facebook, Pinterest andInstagram pages.

    #3 – Help spread the word about National Kale Day with hashtags#nationalkaleday and #kaleday2014(click to tweet)

    #4 – Send in your photos planting, growing, cooking and eating kale… click here to upload your images and announce your events.

    #5 – Sign the National Kale Day petition at Change.org, asking Congress and the President to declare the first Wednesday of every October the official National Kale Day!

Mommy’s not-so-guilty pleasure: @Zevia Soda Review and #Giveaway

hugsodaI may be a green-smoothie-making mom who avoids feeding my family junk whenever I can, but I’m only human and sometimes temptation sneaks up on me, seductively whispering sweet nothings in my ear and my resolve wavers.

One of my guilty pleasures is soda.  It’s usually something I can only very rarely indulge in, because either it has empty calories and nasty ingredients, or it has carcinogenic non-calorie sweeteners and nasty ingredients. None of that is anything I’d want my kids to drink.  And oh, is it addicting!

But sometimes I really really really want some soda!

zevia-logo1 zevia-product

Lucky me (and you!), I’ve found Zevia zero calorie sodas that are sweetened with natural stevia and monkfruit!  No calories, no carcinogens, no artificial sweeteners and lots of great flavors!

MomsMeetSM sent me a whole case to try out on my family! All of the flavors were pretty good, but our favorites out of the 15 flavor line-up are: Cream, Cola, Caffeine-Free Cola, Dr. Zevia, Ginger Ale, Ginger Root Beer and Lemon-Lime.  And something I was pretty surprised about was that the colors for some of the flavors like Orange and Grape, were clear!  None of the clothing-staining, unnatural coloring  in those that comes with conventional sodas!  And none of them had any weird aftertaste that zero-calorie sodas sometimes have.

kiss soda

Seems like my “guilty” pleasure has become “guiltless”! 😀  And I can’t tell you what immense pleasure I had when one of my little girls earnestly approached me as I was enjoying Zevia’s Ginger Ale and started lecturing me on watching my calories and I could smugly point out to her that this was actually a SAFE soda for mommy to drink! 😀

Then she asked if it had any GMOs in it. 😀 (Zevia is actually in the midst of the Non-GMO verification process, and estimates that they could be certified sometime in 2014!)

If you would like to try out Zevia for yourself, You can check here to find where Zevia is sold in your area! Here’s a link to some coupons to save money on your next purchase on Zevia!

And if you’re feeling lucky, 5 readers can win a voucher for a FREE 4- or 6-pack of Zevia in our giveaway below! 😀

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Zevia is the original naturally sweetened, zero calorie soda with no sugar and no artificial sweeteners. This tasty treat comes in 15 familiar, favorite flavors including Cola, Black Cherry, Cream Soda, Grapefruit Citrus and Ginger Ale.

Consider it the smarter soda go-to for you and your family. Zero calories, naturally sweetened and delicious; Zevia is the soda trifecta of awesomeness.

• Zevia Zero Calorie Soda is sweetened naturally with a unique blend
of high purity Stevia (grown right here in the US!) and Monk Fruit.
• Zevia comes in 15 different flavors, including Ginger Root Beer,
Strawberry, Cherry Cola, and many more.
• This soda contains no calories, sugar or artificial sweeteners.
• No worries! It’s totally Kosher, Vegan, and Gluten-Free!
• The retail price for a 6-pack of Zevia ranges from $3.99 to $5.99.

Connect with Zevia online to see their latest products and get exclusive
access to discounts and special offers!

zevia.com
facebook.com/zevia
twitter.com/zevia
instagram.com/zevialife
 pinterest.com/zevia

*Text in italics was provided by Moms MeetSM.

**I received this product for free from the sponsor of
the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC,
who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a
Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agree to use this product
and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group
LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

WORLDFOODS Sauces – the easy way to serve better things than fishsticks! :D

WORLDFOODS-logo worldfoods-sauces-samplingpage

My husband is Japanese.  Even though he’s been in the U.S. for 13 years now, he still hasn’t lost his taste for asian food.  I can see it in his eyes, every time I serve soup & sandwiches or fishsticks for dinner, he’s wishing for something a bit more…exotic.  And asian.

So I tried making him some Japanese dishes, but after awhile he got tired of my limited repertoire and I caught him eyeing travel brochures for places like Malaysia, Thailand, etc.

So I asked him about it:

“Honey, did you want to go on vacation there sometime?”

“Yeah, they’ve got great food!”

“…you want to spend tons of money, take tons of time off work…just to go eat at another country?”

“Yeah, they’ve got great food!”

So I thought that now might be a good time to step up my game in the ethnic cuisine department.  However, after a disastrous attempt at “authentic” made-from-scratch recipes with exotic (and pricey) ingredients, I was desperate for a better (easier, cheaper, tastier) way.

That’s when WORLDFOODS and Moms Meet(SM) came to my rescue!

They kindly sent me a few different cooking sauces to try out!  All I had to do was add meat/veggies and serve with rice! Easy peasy!

And thank heavens, it really was that easy!

Indian Tandoori Marinade & Stir-fry

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I just put some organic chicken drumsticks in a ziploc bag with the tandoori sauce, let it marinate overnight, put it in the oven on 350F for 20 mins. and just kept turning and basting every 5-10 mins until the juices ran clear when poked with a fork.

My husband LOVED it!

Then I decided to get fancy and made a soup with the Thai Galangal Lemongrass Stir-fry Sauce.

stirfry_galangal

First, I put the sauce and shrimp together in a ziploc bag to marinate for a few hours, then I pan-roasted the baby bok choy  in some oil until it started turning a little brown and smelled pretty good, then I added mung bean sprouts, the sauce & shrimp from the ziploc bag, about a half cup of fresh mint leaves, some chopped green onions, about 2 cups of water and a little hot sesame oil because the sauce alone was on the mild side, and GENTLY folded in some organic silken tofu chunks.  Then I simmered everything for about 20 minutes and served with rice.  As you can see in the picture, my husband was a VERY happy camper!

And then my schedule got a little hectic, so I decided to not fiddle around with so much washing, peeling, chopping and just make a curry stew with the Malaysian Rendang Curry Cooking Sauce

sauce_rendangcurry

 

Basically I just marinated 1/4 lb organic ground beef with the sauce in a ziploc bag for a few hours, and added it to a pot with baby potatoes, organic baby carrots, an onion and some slices of green onion and cooked it on medium until the meat was cooked and then simmered for about 30 minutes  (occasionally adding a little water as it reduced) and served with rice.  My husband also loved this one too!

I also tried out the Thai Green Curry Sauce

sauce_thaigreen

I added it to mixed frozen seafood, 1 cup broccoli florets, and 1/2 cup asparagus pieces and cooked it on medium until everything was cooked through.  My husband couldn’t wait to eat it, so he managed to finish it off while I was upstairs showering our kids after swimming, before I could get any pictures!

Personally, I loved all the sauces as-is.  I really don’t like spicy things at all, and these sauces were just right for me.  I loved tasting the different flavors of the ingredients that went into them.  My husband, however, did put a bit of soy sauce into each dish and said they’d needed a little more salt and dashi (a Japanese dried-bonito fish stock used for umame seasoning in Japanese cuisine.)  But he usually says that about pretty much everything I cook anyway.

If you’d like to try these sauces out with your family (and there are A LOT of other sauces in WORLDFOODS’ product range), then you can find a $1 off coupon here!

And WORLDFOODS has a giveaway of their sauces for fans of their Facebook Page!

You can also check out WORLDFOODS on Twitter too!

———————————————————————

WORLDFOODS is a legendary pioneer in the Fusion and Asian
food industry. For over twenty years they’ve been developing
recipes using 100-percent natural ingredients. By combining
traditional herbs and spices they create fusion flavors that fit
perfectly in the kitchen of a culinary connoisseur in an everyday
family. Each of their sauces is crafted by a team of master chefs,
nutritionists, market researchers, food tasters, and everyday
ordinary users to find the perfect balance of quality and flavor.

WORLDFOODS only uses authentic herbs and spices along with
100-percent natural, fresh ingredients to create each of its unique flavors.
• Currently the brand offers 65 different sauces, dips, and marinades all
inspired by the tastes of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, China,
and India.
• These sauces are perfect for individuals with dietary constraints. Each of
their products are allergen and gluten free!
• Free of added oil, trans fat, artificial ingredients, preservatives, or food
flavor enhancers.
• The retail price for WORLDFOODS sauces varies based on retailer. To find
a store near your visit: worldfoods.com.my/wf/where_to_buy/index.php

———————————————————

*Text in italics was provided by Moms Meet(SM)

**I received this product for free from the sponsor of
the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC,
who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a
Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product
and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of May Medai Group
LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

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