Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cashew Chicken

This recipe is a little more cultural than my usual creations. But I feel that's a good thing - we all need to switch it up and get a little crazy every now and again!

So this chicken is great in a wrap (obviously *hence* picture) 
But also delicious on rice, in a taco or even just by itself with some delicious sides to round out the meal

It's a spicy blend of flavors complimented by the crunch of the cashews and tender chicken pieces. You can adjust the spice to fit your likings (just add more/less red pepper flakes)

The original recipe came from my sister who is doing an awesome job this year at making all her meals for the upcoming two weeks on a Sunday... brilliant! And this was one of those meals - so FYI it freezes beautifully! 

-4 chicken breasts (cooked and diced)
-2 TBSP soy sauce
-1/2 TBSP olive oil
-1 tsp red pepper flakes (or to your liking)
-1 onion - minced
-1 TBSP. minced garlic (or garlic salt)
-1/2 cup cashews

For Sauce:
-4 TBSP. soy sauce
-1 1/2 TBSP cornstarch
-1 TBSP sugar
-2 tsp. white vinegar

1. Combine 1 TBSP. soy sauce and olive oil in a bowl, add diced chicken and let marinate while you prepare the other ingredients
2. Whisk 4 TBSP soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar and vinegar - set aside
3. Add chicken, onions, garlic and red pepper to a pan set on medium heat
4. Cook until chicken is golden - about 3 or 4 minutes
5. Add cashews and cook another minute
6. Add the sauce and let it simmer until thickened, around 5 more minutes
7. Serve HOT over rice, in a tortilla, any which way your little tummy desires!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Kauffman Fruit Farm & Market

Top of the morning to ya!
(taken from this song)

Anyways - since today is such a good morning I figured I would make it even better and write a product review (because really, who doesn't love a good product review to start out a Monday?!)

So today I'll be talking (errr typing) your ear (errr eyes?) off about Kauffman Market.
It really is like a big farmers market. But open 24/7 because, well, it's online! You can order a ton of fresh, locally grown, delicious products from a variety of producers. Genius. Genius I tell you. Genius.

They seriously have everything. From fresh apples to apple cider, baking mixes to beans, trail mix to beef jerky!

They have both organic and non-organic items, sweet treats and healthy options, really the sky is the limit with this company! And nearly all is minimally processed which can make you feel great about life.

So the quality? Let's talk about the quality.
It's awesome. Moving on..
Ok ok, just kidding-it really is amazing quality! I was given a cappuccino trial mix & iced java smoothie mix
Boy. Oh. Boy.

They made me smile rrrrrrreal BIG! :) Neither is extremely nutritious, so be weary of that - but for a treat every now and again it is perfectly fine!

So if you'd like to support a great market and give your tastebuds a treat as well - go with Kauffman!

*I was given no compensation, only the samples. All opinions are my own (as usual!)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Energizer Bunny

Ever feel like this...

But wished you felt like this...

Well many people turn to coffee - (i.e. ME!) - but I know not everyone enjoys that beautiful drink :)

So I'm here to give you an alternative method to getting your nervous system going!
It's a company called Celsius - and like their tagline says, "So much more than an energy drink"

It's true. Celsius claims that not only do their drinks provide healthy energy - but also burn calories in the process. (I say 'claim' because I only had a couple of their drinks so cannot say for sure what tole they took on my calorie expenditure)
Their products come in both carbonated and non-carbonated; they also have a line of on-the-go packets. Their flavors range from wild berry, to cola, to peach mango green tea. 
My favorite was peach mango green tea; but all of them were delicious! 

My only negative(ish) comment is that I really didn't care for the non-carbonated beverages. They just seemed to be missing something - but that's just my humble opinion. I also didn't overly love the orange on-the-go packets I tried. But again-I'm not a huge fan of orange juice, so you may have a much different experience. 

So did it give me a buzz? Ohhhh ya!
It gave me much more of a caffeine jolt than a regular cup of coffee or glass of tea. I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

So over all - if you're looking for a kick start to your day -  or something to get you over the midday hump; this is a perfect drink. Delicious, healthy (Celsius has a TON of vitamins in each energy!

*I was not given any compensation, all I received were the samples. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Get on the Train!

Anybody remember this song...

Ever wonder where the heck it came from!?
Well - in case you're curious like me....
I've Been Working on the Railroad is noted to have been published in the University of Princeton Songbook in 1894. Another side note- this song is an extremely popular nursery rhyme in Japan. How's that for some useless info you may just need on day in a game of Trivial Pursuit.
Ya. You're welcome...

Ok so where did this rampage actually come from?
Well I'm getting ready to do a product review from a drink company I'm just stoked to tell you all about!
And it just so happens that the name of this company is "Big Train" <- See the correlation?

Big Train is a drink manufacturer that has been going at it for the past ten years.
And when I say 'going at it' I mean they have been ROCKIN' the world with some really tasty and healthy drink mixes. Now they even sell healthy baked good mixes as well.

So what are some of the products?
Well - there is pretty much something for everyone...
Protein mixes, smoothie mixes, coffee, tea, lemonade, etc. etc, etc.
It's awesome.
I was given a few coffee drinks to try - it is their new line, called: "Fit Frappe"
Fit + Frappe = :) Kristen!

ummm. Yum.

It was so smooth and creamy, I never in my wildest dreams would have thought it was made from just water and dry mix!

And it is sooo healthy!
Check it. 
Yeah. Be excited. 

I'm banking on the fact that all their other products are just as delicious since I haven't tried one of their "Fit Frappes" I haven't love love loved!

Thanks Big Train for allowing me to review your product! *The samples were all that was given to me; I received no compensation and as always - all opinions are completely my own. (Because that's just how I roll)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


So... I've never done one of these before but I'm all for jumping on the bandwagon - well unless its illegal, immoral or unhealthy.

But this is none of those - so I'm ALL in*

(*hopefully I do this right... is there a wrong way to tell the world what you put into your belly? I guess I'll find out...)

Alright - here we go! 

So breakfast...
Some egg whites, toast with honey drizzle, and a huge bowl of fruit (blueberries, grapes and pineapple) with a little yogurt and granola with pecans

My university has this great thing that lets you sign up for a sack lunch on days you have classes over the noon hour (so handy!)
And on Wednesdays, it is always a banana and peanut butter sandwich - but today I had some dark chocolate chips (that I got from the trail mix below) and threw them in... WOAH! Totally made my day.

And then some yummy grahams between classes...

Supper = giant bowl of pasta with chicken and veggies and mixed berries

Can't forget the 'snackage'
Who else is enjoying obsessed with Naked juice?
I know I am! And those cute little packages of peanut butter? Such a great idea. Genius. 
...I may or may not have 'obtained' the peanut butter and crackers from my college cafeteria... 

So this may look like a big bowl of crazy... and it it. Delicious crazy that is.
It's pistachio pudding with bananas!
So easy to make in a dorm room for any fellow college students out there!
I just mix up two TBSP of dry pudding mix with 1 cup of milk in a protein shake blender thing and shake, refrigerate and enjoy!

So that's it! I'd love some feedback from my first go at this from all you pro's out there! :)

Have a wonderful Wednesday! 
Thanks http://www.peasandcrayons.com/ for hosting this great party idea! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Since I'm a girl, and I don't live in a box... the worldly idea of beauty; what it means, how it looks, what it's worth, etc. is all around me!

It's bombarding... frustrating... confusing and downright depressing sometimes.
You don't look like that, so you can't have this, or do that or even be happy for that matter.
It may seem a little intense, but that is how it can be interpreted by girls.. I know, I am one after all!

But God has other thoughts...

"Do not let your adorning be external - the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry or the clothing you wear - but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." ~1 Peter 3:3-4


"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is in vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." ~Proverbs 31:30

See? God cares about all of us... our thoughts, dreams, desires, personality, heart and soul. Not just the shape of our body or length of our eyelashes!
But this isn't to say we should not care about outward appearance...

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." ~1 Corinthians 6:19-20

We should be proud of the gift of our bodies. But not obsessed. Thankful, not critical.

This post by a loving mother sums it up best- so go check it out!

All God's Children. All Beautiful. All Unique.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bakery on Main - Part Oatmeal

Product Review time people!
I'm so excited to share with you what I have been eating loving these past few days...
oatmeal !
Yes, I have previously fallen in love with oatmeal, but this is different.

Why you ask?
Well, it's instant oatmeal-which I usually do not appreciate. But this... this I can handle :)

Bakery on Main is the company I am reviewing for and let me tell you about their set-up...
They started as a small bakery in Connecticut and through a series of events, became the great company we know today. They are passionate about creating gluten free foods that taste just as good (in my opinion -better!) than most gluten-containing counterparts. 
They still make in small batches, which comes through in the amazing, homemade flavors.

So now onto the oatmeal! 
We could really just leave it at that. It really sums it up-but for the sake of being informative I'll continue :)

Their oatmeal is so thick... usually instant is thin and watery, I actually had to add 1 cup of water (the package says 2/3 cup) 

(the strawberry shortcake, alongside a big ole glass of strawberry milk! ...overkill on strawberry? NEVER!)

I also feel as though you are getting way more bang for your buck with their oatmeal as well. Most instant oatmeal's do not satisfy my hungry stomach... But this definitely did-without weighing me down! 
(I topped the carrot cake flavor with pecans, but it would have still been delicious without!)

The flavors are also incredible! 
They have four flavors out now:
Apple Pie
Strawberry Shortcake
and Maple Multigrain
....all amazing people. All amazing!

YUM Blueberry!

...some bananas added for my enjoyment!

I was also lucky enough to get to sample their two newest flavors as well that aren't on the shelves yet-
Blueberry Scone
and Carrot Cake
OH. MY. 
Serious deliciousness up in there. 
The blueberry scone honestly tasted like dessert. And so did the carrot cake! There were even little bits of blueberry and carrot in their respected bowl! 

We all know how much I LOVE that addition of texture and flavor!

We should probably touch on the nutrition facts...
On average-one packet contains around 200 calories, 35g carbs (5g fiber!) and 6g protein.
What do I say to that? Nice.
They also have 10% of your iron needs. Double Nice.
And to top things off-like I mentioned earlier they are gluten-free if you have Celiac disease and require that!
...They also have chia seeds in them! WOOOO for Chia!!! (...so that's why it is so much thicker than Quaker...makes sense now)

...if you want to know the honest truth... right now I'm downing the Apple Pie flavor... so if my grammer is a little off or spelling is less than par, it is because I am far more focused on the deliciousness entering my mouth right now!

Thank you Bakery on Main for such a delicious product that is filling my tummy right now!
~Look for the next Bakery on Main product review coming soon!

*All opinions were completely my own, I was given no compensation for this review.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


The Lord is the Only One who can truly fill us with His love and satisfy our deepest self. Only He can nourish us in the way we need to be nourished. This is why we must be fully complete in God before connecting ourself to another human (i.e. marriage).

We do not need any other individual to live-either in this world or the next. But-it can make the journey sweeter.

It is like dessert - no one needs dessert to survive - it cannot nourish you in a life-sustaining maner. That is what the main course is for.

Jesus is the meat and potatoes of our life.

He is the nourishment, the sustenance we need in order to survive. We must have Him fill us completely before we can enjoy dessert.
~"No cookies before dinner or you'll ruin your appetite" :P

Think of how you feel when you are hungry... starving even, before dinner. You think, "Oh, I'll have a cookie" so you do-but does it fill you? Sure, maybe for a little while, but soon you will be back to where you started-hungry and unsatisfied.
So you eat another... and another and another-maybe the candy bar that has been in your purse since last Halloween, and the rest of the Cheetos hiding in the back of your pantry... you just stuff face until you can't take another bite.

But now how do you feel? Chances are -SICK!
And that is exactly how life will feel if you try over and over again to be satisfied by the things of this world... money, fame, boyfriends, etc.
None of these things are bad - just like a cookie isn't bad
But when you try to live your life built upon these things... that is where the trouble starts. It's like trying to live a healthy life on nothing but peanut butter cup and jelly beans. You may live, for a little while at least... but it won't be as long (with Jesus=FOREVER!) or as high of quality of life as it could be.

So what does this mean? That no one should ever have a bowl of ice cream? (*gasp*)
Of course not!
God blessed us with these gifts - He wants us to enjoy them - NOT build our lives upon them.

~Luke 6:48
They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.

So after you have had your sustenance and are completely nourished, go ahead and have some dessert!

p.s. - isn't dessert more enjoyable after you have been patiently waiting and anticipating it? ...we'll save that can of worms for another night!

God Bless!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Granola Muffins

What's cute and small? Sweet and crunchy? With a little bit of sass? 
Well me when I was 5! (minus the crunch!) But also these Granola Muffins!

They are a perfect little treat that can be customized to fit any taste palate. Not to mention easy to make... so easy you can even get the children you babysit involved for a fun way to pass the time!

First things first - get you dry ingredients all stirred together (this is a perfect job for little hands)

Then... while the little one(s) are doing that, you can melt up the wet-ish side of things...

When it's warm and all thoroughly mixed together, wait about 3-4 minutes after it starts simmering... then you are ready to pour it over the dry!

You'll mix them together really well and press into muffin tins. 

Then place in a 350* oven for 20ish minutes (sides will be golden brown)

And viola! 

Also a perfect on the go treat for you!
I threw these into the car as they were just cool enough to pack up before I went out and picked up the rest of the kids from school. 
It was a perfect in the car snack! This is due to these Granola Muffin's 3 qualities:
1. Healthy (so I can feel good about feeding them to children)
2. Delicious (so the kids actually want to eat them!)
3. More on the chewy side of things instead of crunchy ... aka-not a HUGE mess in my backseat!

So here is the full out recipe-
-1 banana
-1/4 cup peanut butter
-1/4 cup honey
-2 TBSP. butter
-1 tsp. salt
-1 1/2 cups oats
-1/2 cup flour
-1/2 cup cereal of choice
-1/2 cup coconut (or any nuts/cereal)
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1/4 cup nuts (or any other mix-in... choco chips, raisins, etc.)

1. Mix dry together
2. Heat wet on stove, mashing banana and mixing well.
3. Let wet simmer on stove for 3-4 minutes, then remove and let cool a minute or two
4. Add to dry and mix well
5. Press big spoonfuls into muffin tin (greased)
6. Place in 350* oven for 20 minutes, sides of muffins should be golden
7. Cool, remove and ENJOY!

Saturday, April 6, 2013


So what do dietetic students that double as bloggers do in their free time?
Attend MINK conference of course!
If you aren't familiar... MINK conference is not a conference for these coats...
No no no! 
MINK stands for
Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas Dietetics Conference
Long name - awesome conference, TONS of information throw at my brain!
-representing the MINK bag!-

I was actually blessed enough to know and work under the Head of this Conference, so I got the privilege to assist her in the planning and production of this conference. I was such an amazing experience-I learned more from doing the 'behind the scenes' stuff than the actual conference itself! 
But... what I got from the conference was HUGE!

I listened to some great speakers, including Katie Brown, Dr. Jim Painter, Ethan Bergman, Dr. Carr, David Grotto, Rebecca Subbiah, Dave Ellis, Connie Diekman, Emma Fogt, the list goes on and on! 

They are amazing speakers- and even more so- people that got me really jazzed up and excited for the area of study I'm in!

The areas they touched on included foods that help lower cholesterol (I didn't realize that cholesterol is more about the food you eat, not the food you don't eat if that makes sense!)
They also talked about childhood nutrition, geriatric supplementation, and nutrient counseling for males among other things! 

Amazing stuff people... amazing stuff. 

There was also an exhibit hall #freestuff

And it was a Dietetics conference right? So that means one thing - delicious fruit.
If I learned one thing, it is that I am not a lone (almost) dietitian that loves her fruit!
-at the networking event-

-at breakfast-
I told you people... we love us some fruit!

But there were also some not-fruit-laden meals that were equally delish!
BEEF! Thanks beef council of the four states for delivering this girl some much needed steak :)

 The photos above may look crazy - and they are! 
We went to a Tapas Bar! I had actually just learned about Tapas Bars in my food and culture class... feeling pretty cultured here people
We had the Drunken Mushrooms, a White Bean Hummus and the far right picture is pretty much a cheeseball on fire. 

Ok-so those aren't the exact names... they were fancy and in Spanish but do you guys really expect me to remember? 

But the best thing about the conference?
By far- meeting some amazing, inspiring dietitians!

One night I was blessed enough to get to go out to supper (Tapas) with Emma Fogt, Rebecca Subbiah and David Grotto (our MC)
Not to mention the wonderful woman that made the whole conference happen - Amber! 
They are amazing people with exhilarating life stories and I could not be more grateful for the chance to meet them!

Thanks MINK13 for a great 4 days full of life changing learning experiences! 
We will see you later KC!

= Equal Exchange =

Let's talk about Equal Exchange ok? Ok!

I was grateful to work with Equal Exchange and sample a couple of their products and let you lovely people know my thoughts.

I was sent Equal Exchange unsweetened cocoa as well as a Panama Dark Chocolate Bar

Since I am by no means a chocolate connoisseur, my wonderful grandmother helped me review the chocolate bar!

2 thumbs up!

But the cocoa... now that I can work with! I used it in this recipe for healthy "Reese's Muffins"
And boy oh boy were they good! Tasted much closer to cake than a muffin... but it was stil healthy - so I'm not complaining!

So what is the Equal Exchange?
Let me educate you!

Equal Exchange is a fair trade retailer. Their mission is to build "Long-term trade partnerships taht are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through our success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world." 

I know, I know.. that's a lot of stuff! But to break it down- they sell great products that benefit the consumer, producer and seller! 

It all started with the question "What if food could be traded in a way that is honest and far, a way that empowers both farmers and consumers?" 
Well I'm a farm girl - I like that! Even if you aren't connected to the producer... everyone can agree that a company that benefits each part of the 'trade' process associated with food is a good thing!

To sum up, let's look at a few of their most popular products to give you a feel for what they sell -

They have coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, snack bars, nuts, oils, syrups and LOADS of coffee equipment! 
Go check it all out yourself here

*Thank you Equal Exchange for the great products and business model! All opinions were solely my own, Equal Exchange only provided me with the samples-no compensation. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Reese's Muffins (healthy!)

We all know I'm a sucker for breakfast...
anytime of the day.

And I'm a sucker for peanut butter...

So in the celebration of Easter (reminds me of Reese's Eggs-YUM!)
My friend and I decided to storm the kitchen and make an explosion of breakfast deliciousness containing peanut butter and chocolate, but in a healthy way! 

(*drum roll*)

This recipe was inspired by Equal Exchange Cocoa
What is this Equal Exchange company you ask?
Check out my review here-

So back to the recipe!
The wet stuff (cream it all up!) ~
-2 ripe bananas (about a cup)
-1/2 cup sugar (or substitute, or 1/4 cup honey)
-2 egg whites (or one whole egg)
-3/4 cup Greek yogurt
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 tsp. butter extract (optional)

The dry stuff (sift it baby!) ~
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup Equal Exchange Cocoa (or your favorite brand of unsweetened cocoa powder)
-1 tsp. salt
-1 tsp. baking powder
-1 tsp. baking soda

When you're done sifting...
Melt up 1/4 (heaping if you're like me!) cup of peanut butter
Use all your self control to not stick your head into the measuring cup and drink that amazing melty peanut butter!

Now- add the wet to the dry and fold in 1/4 cup peanut butter chips and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Then fill your muffin tins (will make about 15ish) 3/4 full with batter

Then add a heaping spoonful of peanut butter to each muffin tin and swirl, swirl, swirl!

Ahhh Yeahhh.... 

Bake at 350* for about 15 minutes


Let me hear ya- what's your favorite muffin?
Hit me up with some new recipes friends!

adapted from: Sally's Baking Addiction