Review: Super Swizz Spiral Slicer

super swizz spiral slicer

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I love getting as many vegetables into my family’s diet as possible. Usually they are on board with it too. Then I started messing with their pastas, substituting spaghetti squash for spaghetti. This took a little getting used to.  Since it was one of my favorite meals, quick and easy to make too, we’ve had this at least once a week.

I may have overplayed my hand…. and they specifically asked we not have spaghetti squash for awhile. ( insert sad mom face here)

Technically…. they said no spaghetti squash but nothing was specified about spaghetti made from other vegetables. My vegetable spaghetti was back on our menu when I found the Super Swizz Spiral Slicer.

The Super Swizz Spiral Slicer is a kitchen tool designed to make raw vegetable “pastas” with ease from carrots, zucchinis and the like. From veggie spaghetti, easy stir fry, to fancy garnishes for the sushi plate, this spiral cutter makes it easy.

To make the spiral slices you simply use  the Super Swizz like a pencil sharpener. There will be a little leftover (like a pencil-sized core) which you can easily slice as normal. It took me a few practice carrots and a zucchini to get the hang of making the perfect spiral slices but when I did It was great. The slicing went super fast and these cooked up easily.  I actually use the Super Swizz Spiral Slicer for adding extra vegetables in my salads too. It makes for a great food garnishes to present  at any meal.

Needless to say we are back to eating vegtable spagetti at our house and the kids like it more because it has a slightly different flavor and they even like using it to make the spirals. I like it because we are still eating healthy AND I have help making dinner!

For more information on the Super Swiss Spiral Slicer  click here )
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Red Pepper & Caramelized Onion Mushroom Burger – Sunshine Burgers

(I was provided samples for the purposes of this firsthand review. All opinions are my own)

red pepper and caramelized onion mushroom burger

The Chase’s have been making a lot of changes to how we eat to keep up with how often we are working out now. I’ve heard it said “You can’t out work a poor diet” and I completely agree!  We’ve stepped it WAY up in both fitness and healthier eating and when you are making goals for fitness, how you choose to fuel your body matters!!

We always want to make food good choices but there are times when our minds remind us of our “old ways”. Recently we were reminiscing about some great burgers and started craving them! It seemed so mouth-watering and tempting (and full of calories!!) at the time but those choices won’t help us meet our goals of healthier living, right?  New eating habits call for even better recipes……I felt certain we could create something at home that could become our new craving. Challenge accepted!!

We had recently been introduced to Sunshine Burgers( find Sunshine Burgers near you). They come in a huge variety and all Sunshine Burgers are made with certified organic, verified Non-GMO whole food ingredients, free of gluten, soy, corn, canola, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy or eggs. They come fully cooked so they are a perfect choice when I need to make a quick filling dinner. I don’t need to stress about the time it will take to feed my family something healthy- and what kid doesn’t get excited when you suggest burgers for dinner?

From there, we took our craving challenge to the kitchen! It was a lot of  fun to create a new recipe for our family and I am super excited to share our challenge winning recipe with you: The Red Pepper & Caramelized  Onion Mushroom Burger.

Organic Sunshine  Mushroom Burger  ingredients

To create the Red Pepper & Caramelized Onion Mushroom Burger yourself

You will need:

  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 3 oz. Red Pepper cut into strips
  • Fresh Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. Kerry-gold Butter
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Sunshine Burgers in your favorite variety ( we used Shiitake Mushroom)
  • Buns or Lettuce leaves

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Mix in mushrooms and balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, warm Sunshine Burgers in your preferred method. I always choose microwave due to time. Wrap each Sunshine burger in a damp paper towel, place on microwave safe plate, and heat for 60-70 seconds.

While your burgers are heating, toss red pepper strips into your pan alongside onions and mushrooms and stir.

When burgers are heated through, place each Sunshine burger on your choice of bun or large lettuce leaf; top with onions, red pepper, & mushrooms. (Optional: sprinkle on fresh Parmesan cheese)  Enjoy!

mushroom burger

Check out my best tips for saving money on organic groceries here!

 

Sunshine Burger

 

Money Saving Tips for buying Organic & Gluten-Free Groceries

Many of us are looking for ways to s-t-r-e-c-h every dollar as we recover from extra holiday spending. I’ve teamed up with 9 other savvy bloggers to bring you money saving tips for the new year &

a chance to win a $250 gift card to Amazon.com!!!

Save More With These Simple Ideas

Enjoy these great tips and make sure to enter here daily to win!

Our family has made many strides to improve our healthy lifestyle in the recent months through fitness, eliminating poor food choices, and replacing them with better ones. This year we are beginning an organic/gluten-free lifestyle. I knew we would feel great but the cost of switching to organic for a family of 6 was intimidating. Could we really afford to do this? The answer is YES!! It was so eye-opening to realize that not only could we stay within our current grocery budget eating organic/gluten-free, we could actually save money eating this way.

So, you are telling me I can feel better AND save money by buying organic and gluten-free groceries for my family…seriously?!?!  SIGN.ME.UP!!!

Aldi organic shopping trip

 

This week, I want to share some of my favorite money-saving tips for buying organic & gluten-free groceries for your family like we’ve been able to do, so that you can be sure to get the most out of every dollar in your budget too. These tips will cover where to shop – You’ve gotta have a starting point, right? Once you get there you are going to want to get the most out of every dollar, so I’ve provided some great tips on how to find the coupons for the organic & gluten-free products you’ll be buying. Next, you’ll find some great resources for meal planning. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. This is SO true when it comes to meal planning. I know if I don’t have a meal  ready to go we will end up caving on pizza or take-out that leaves us all feeling miserable. You ( & your budget) will love you for doing this!

 

Where to shop:

  • SHOP LOCAL Specifically shop your local co-op and farmers markets options. I HIGHLY recommended checking your area for local co-ops. These can save you money and are fresher than the produce on grocery store shelves. My favorite co-op is Bountiful Baskets– (Just $25 for an entire basket of organic produce!!) They will also often offer add-ons like organic coconut oil and olive oil at great prices. They have sites all over the nation. To find other great resources for finding local, sustainable, organic food in your area is the Eat Well Guide  and Local Harvest.
  • GROCERY STORES  Chances are your favorite grocery store now carries a selection of great organic & gluten-free options. A friend of mine that has been eating organic/gluten-free for a while recently volunteered to go shopping and take me on a grocery store “tour” to our usual H.E.B. store. I was floored at all the options that had been there all along. I felt like I had been to an entirely new market. Some of my other favorite stores that carry an organic &  gluten-free grocery line are Kroger, Aldi, Whole Foods, Costco, Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, and Central Market. Don’t be afraid to shop a store brand either. If a product carries the USDA seal it is required to follow the same guidelines whether it is a brand name or a store brand. This week at Aldi’s I was able to score USDA 100% Grass-Fed Beef on sale for $4.49 lb!! Do you have a product you love that isn’t being carried at your local store? Talk with your store manager, chances are he or she will offer to order it regularly for you.
  • BUY IN BULK Memberships stores such as Costco are my favorite for finding big savings on staples like organic coconut oil, raw almonds, and chia seeds. These pantry items and more can be purchased here at a fraction of the cost.
  •  ONLINE  There are even some awesome options for buying organic and gluten-free groceries online. Amazon.com & Groupon.com will often be able to offer great deals and introduce you to new organic/gluten-free companies and brands at a great discount.heb shopping trip

Tips on finding Organic & Gluten free coupons:

  • BRAND COUPONS Brands like Earthbound farms, Amy’s, Applegate, Cascadian Farms, and Muir Glen often have coupons offered on their websites. They will also even put them inside the packaging of your favorite products do be sure to check. Also be sure to sign up for their brand emails, I’ve heard Earthbound farms will be sending out select coupons twice a month to their email subscribers only in 2014.
  • ONLINE COUPONS If you are already an avid coupon-er, you know that some of your current coupon sites already offer a coupon round-up of organic/gluten-free deals. One of my new favorite sites to find online coupons for organics is SimpleTruth.com. This site allows you to filter the coupons by the store you are visiting so you can be sure your store carries the product you have the coupon for.

 Organic & Gluten Free Meal planning:

  • HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE Once you’ve been diligent to purchase great quality healthy organic & gluten-free foods for your family and saved a ton buy using coupons, don’t let your hard work go and dollars go to waste by not using them. Make sure to create a menu plan right away. This way you wont be tempted to blow your budget by the continual pressures of “What’s for Dinner?”
  • FOOD PREP Eating healthy can still be convenient but food prep is key! Spend some time before your week gets busy making a pot of beans or quinoa. You can store them in large containers for ready to go lunches or dinners the rest of the week. Grill several chicken breasts or throw a few in the crock-pot to shred for salads or wraps during the week. One thing I do regularly is to have broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, cut up on a tray and set out after school each afternoon. They don’t have to look for something on and I’m thrilled because they are eating more veggies!
  • OUTSOURCE YOUR PLANNING Let’s face it none of us are super-mom, we all could use a little help somewhere, right? Meal planning is a great place to do that. Whole Foods provides a free weekly meal plan menu and shopping lists on their website.  Emeals.com offers an organic subscription based meal planning service that includes an entrée and side dish. I especially like this option and subscribe to it because it allows you to tailor your shopping list to the number of people you are feeding. It is another way for me to make this a goal a sustainable lifestyle for our family.

how emeals works   Now that we’ve talked about ways to get more greens in your diet, let’s get some more green in your wallet too!! Enter to win a $250 Gift Card to Amazon.com!

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Good Luck!!! & Please feel free to comment below with some of your best money saving  grocery tips!!

Enjoy Pomegranates the EASY way

 Quick & Easy Pomegranates

quick & easy pomegranates

Although the holidays are filled with plenty of sugary treats and sweets, one of my favorite healthy treats this time of year are pomegranates. They are delicious and provide a huge health benefit too.  They help stomach upsets, menopausal hot flashes, conjunctivitis, osteoarthritis, lowers blood pressure, stimulate the immune system, wards off the flu, reduces inflammation, reduces risk of heart disease and lowers cholesterol. Pomegranate juice packs a high antioxidant potency punch and protects against heart attack and stroke. Take about a super-fruit!

My only hesitation to eating them has been work they can be getting to the seeds. Well, that is until I learned this AWESOME trick!!

Now they are no work at all! Check out the video below:

Now that you’ve saved all that time, here are some great ways to enjoy them:

How to Enjoy Pomegranate Seeds
1. Sprinkle on breakfast. Pomegranate goes great with a ton of other fruits and berries, so mix them in with your breakfast favorites! You will  love these little guys sprinkled on a cup of oatmeal or Greek yogurt.

2. Be Saucy. Cranberry sauce doesn’t need to be reserved only Thanksgiving. Serve a cranberry-pomegranate variation that mixes up the flavor and ups the nutritional value . This goes nicely with grilled chicken all year-long.

3. Top your veggies. Instead of nuts top things off with some fresh pomegranate seeds instead. They’re especially delicious on salads and roasted carrots & Brussel sprouts.

4. Juice it. While eating the pomegranate “seeds”are the best way to reap their nutrients, the juice still offers great benefits. Some preliminary research shows that drinking pomegranate juice might even improve blood flow to the heart.

Family Meal Planning with eMeals

This is a sponsored post on behalf of eMeals in partnership with USFamilyGuide. I received a subscription to eMeals for my review. 

What is eMeals? from eMeals on Vimeo.

 I know we’ve all been baking up a storm over the holidays. Personally, after Thanksgiving and Christmas I am now out of all my traditional go-to recipes and am looking for some new ones for our New Year celebrations.  Lucky for us,  eMeals is launching their new dessert plan! Get inspired each week to make incredible desserts. With mouth-watering recipes like Chocolate Pretzel Slab Pie, Buttery Toasted Vanilla Clusters or Crunchy Streusel Pumpkin Loaf, this plan is perfect for the dessert lover in all of us. Receive 3 indulgent dessert ideas every week including a mix of Crowd Pleasers, Quick & Easy options, and Skinny Sweets. This variety of sweet endings will fit the bill for weeknight desserts, casual entertaining and even healthy treats.

emeals desserts

To celebrate their dessert launch, eMeals is also offering a Target gift card giveaway and more via a Pinterest contest! Go here  to enter to win!

eMeals, the leader in online meal planning, is a comprehensive meal planning resource that helps provide healthy and delicious dinners for busy families and individuals. Endorsed by financial guru Dave Ramsey and highlighted in the Oprah Winfrey blog, the eMeals weekly dinner plans include grocery shopping lists and recipe instructions that are simple and easy to follow.

Holidays aren’t the only time I need a little help in kitchen.  As I look forward to 2014, I am looking forward to not CONSTANTLY wondering what we are going to have for dinner each evening. Or completely forgetting until its dinnertime, scrambling to make something-from-nothing in the pantry, when we are stressed out and already hungry.  I am already planning to workout more in 2014 and I am not  wasting money and tons of calories on take out( bleh!). Meal planning makes me a better, more relaxed mom and wife. In 2014, I am looking forward to having more time to spend with my husband & kids, and we are saving money by eating at home. (They also have a PALEO PLAN!!! This makes my heart sooooo happy!) 

eMeals will send me the recipes, menu plan, shopping list and store savings. This also makes it super simple to send my husband to the store for everything we need – he is great with a list. I can’t wait to get started! Sign up NOW to get 15% off eMeals with code USFG!

how emeals works