Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My 1st Fresh Direct Experience

When I receive a $100 off coupon in the mail, it tends to attract my attention.  This is just what happened with  Apparently they now deliver to my area (Northern NJ) and were soliciting new business.  With a code for free delivery for two months and $100 off my first two purchases ($50 off each one), I had to give it a try.  Restriction - each order had to total at least $125 before the $50 off would kick in (a $125 grocery order is child's play for me so this was a no brainer).

Got my 10 day recipe plan in place and ordered what we needed to make it happen.  My order confirmation is below for anyone interested in those types of things (like me).  Prices for produce and other weight reliant items are estimated on the initial order summary.  My final total was $9 more than the original estimate.  So they do get it pretty close.

And here is what arrived at my doorstep between 6:30am and 8am this Saturday (7:3am to be exact)!  The best part, no annoying people who park their cart mid-aisle, no long lines, no muzak, no (insert myriad of other things one may hate about the supermarket here).  This came out of 3 boxes with the frozen pizzas on top in a plastic bag.  If we weren't home and the pizzas were left that way, not sure they would've lasted with all the squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, etc. we have here though so I will always try to schedule delivery when I know someone is home.
So far, I am really pleased with the quality. The veggies look fabulous.  To me, this is Whole Foods quality at a slightly lower price, delivered to your door. I love the way the fish is wrapped and everything is labeled.  We have some great dishes planned for the next two weeks and I'll comment more on quality and taste after we actually eat it.  :)
Here is my original order info email.  Final total was $116 at delivery.
0.5 lb Cave-Aged Gruyère ($16.99/lb)$8.49*

1 Red Jacket Orchards All Natural Apple Cider (1.89 liter) ($2.19/ea)$2.19

1 Goya Low Sodium Pinto Beans (15.5oz) ($0.75/ea)$0.75
1 Health Valley Low-Fat Stoned Wheat Crackers (6oz) ($2.29/ea)$2.29
1 Imagine Organic Chicken Broth (32 fl. oz.) ($2.49/ea)$2.49
2 La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Soft Wraps, Multi Grain made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (10", 6ct) ($3.00/ea)$6.00 S
2 Mission White Corn Tortillas (6", 10ct 7.5oz) ($1.39/ea)$2.78

Heat & Eat
2 FreshDirect Mozzarella Pizza w/ Whole-Wheat Crust (Made w/ Part-Skim Mozzarella), Frozen (about 12") ($6.99/ea)$13.98

2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (4-5 pieces per pack, Grade A) ($2.99/lb)$7.18*
1 Skirt Steak (USDA Choice, Hand-cut, Standard Pack) ($9.99/lb)$12.99* (this looks exceptionally delicious)

Organic & All-Natural
1 Organic Leeks, Bunch ($4.99/ea)$4.99
3 Organic Limes ($0.85/ea)$2.55 S

Our Picks
1 FreshDirect DeliveryPass Two-Month Trial (Two-Month Membership) ($0.01/ea)$0.01

2 Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Chile (14.5oz) ($1.89/ea)$3.78
1 San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes (28oz) ($3.49/ea)$3.49

2.0 lb Shell-Off Cleaned Extra-Large Farm-Raised Shrimp, 26-30ct (Hand-packed) ($11.99/lb)$23.98*
2 Wild Pacific Halibut Fillet, Previously Frozen (MSC Certified) (8 - 10 oz, Hand-cut) ($20.99/lb)$23.61*
2 Wild Striped Bass Fillet (8 - 10 oz, Standard-Cut) ($18.99/lb)$21.36*

Vegetables & Herbs
2 Broccoli (Farm Fresh) ($1.65/ea)$3.30 S (4 very large bunches were delivered)
1 Cilantro (Farm Fresh) ($1.49/ea)$1.49
1 Curly Parsley (Farm Fresh) ($0.99/ea)$0.99
1 Green Bell Pepper (Farm Fresh, Lg) ($1.49/lb)$0.89*
2 Green Zucchini (Farm Fresh, Med) ($2.99/lb)$3.59*
0.25 lb Jalapeño Pepper (Farm Fresh) ($2.99/lb)$0.75* (we ended up with 4)
1 Red Bell Pepper (Farm Fresh, Lg) ($1.99/lb)$1.49*
1 Shallots (6oz, Farm Fresh, 6oz bag) ($2.49/ea)$2.49 (3 large oneswere delivered)

Estimated Subtotal:$157.90*
State Bottle Deposit:$0.00
Order Subtotal:$157.90*
Delivery Charge (waived):$0.00
$50 off your Order!:-$50.00

If you are living in a Fresh Direct delivery zone, you can take these steps to (hopefully) receive the same deal:
  • Go to and add the delivery pass free trial to your cart.
  • Select your items and fill your cart.
  • At checkout, use code NEWFDA3 for $50 off each of your first two orders totalling over $125 before discount.
I am unsure if this is a regional offer so it may not work for everyone.  Good luck!  If you have any grocery delivery experiences, I'd love to hear them.  Admittedly, I could get very used to this and will probably utilize this service even after my discounts are used up.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Am I the only one with cyclical cravings?  Right now, I'm craving cereal!  Have you tried Post's Great Grains yet?  My current fav is the Raisins, Dates & Walnuts variety.
I'm at about a bowl a day right now.  Sometimes I'll add a second as a night-time snack.  Guess it could be worse, right?

What are you craving today?

Note: This is not a compensated endorsement.  Just a post about the random food cravings of a lunatic.  :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pulled Pork Pizza

Last week I made a crock pot pulled pork with my husband's homemade BBQ sauce.  Of course, we dove in and I totally forgot to take pictures and then totally forgot to ask him what went into his fab BBQ sauce.  So, no blog post to document the awesome dinner (although I will say, BBQ pulled pork on fresh, soft egg challah rolls may not be kosher, but holy awesomeness for the mouth).  We did however have a TON of leftovers.  Then along came Jenn with her Pulled Pork BBQ Pizza.  Thank you Jenn!  This pizza is inspired by Jenn and the BBQ Chicken Pizza at California Pizza Kitchen.  It was delicious.

Link to my husband's BBQ sauce recipe from Eating Well here.

1 whole wheat pizza dough
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 cup shredded pulled pork
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
5 oz monterey jack, shredded

Heat oven to 500.  Prepare pizza stone or pan with cornmeal or olive oil.  Spread dough.  Cover with BBQ sauce, pulled pork, pepper, onion and cheese.  Cook to desired doneness.  That's it.  Easy!
Thankfully, the kids really loved this one.  My son didn't even pick off the pepper.  Progress!  Thanks again for the idea Jenn.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Most Popular

Just checking out the blog stats today and figured it was a good day for a re-post.  A re-post of my most popular post to date.

Southern Hummingbird Cake - ah yes, this was a yummy one.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chicken Calza-dillas

Tired of all my Clean Eating recipes yet?  Well, this one is just a loose interpretation of their chicken spinach ricotta quesadilla.  To me, it was more of a calzone in a tortilla.  Slightly messy but very yummy.  The kids loved the cheesy-ness of it.

8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
2 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 medium white onion, finely diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 cup spinach, stems removed
3/4 cup fat free ricotta cheese (original recipe calls for low fat)
1/2 cup navy beans, drained and rinsed under cold water
3/4 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley and rosemary), chopped
Juice 1/2 lemon
Pinch nutmeg, freshly grated
8 small whole-grain tortillas

Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat grill or indoor grill pan.  Lightly coat chicken with 1/2 tsp oil and season with salt and black pepper. Cook to done on grill pan or outdoor grill.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add onion and red pepper, stirring frequently until softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add spinach to pan and stir to combine, until spinach is slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Remove mixture from pan and pour into a paper-towel-lined bowl. Set aside and allow to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese and beans, mashing beans slightly (or all the way so the kids don't see them). Add mozzarella cheese, herbs, lemon juice and nutmeg. Season with salt and black pepper, and stir well to combine. Set aside. When chicken is cool enough to handle, dice into 1/2-inch pieces and add to cheese mixture.

Working in small batches, squeeze excess moisture from spinach mixture with your hands. Discard any liquid, and then add spinach mixture to chicken-cheese mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

On a flat surface, lay out tortillas and scoop about 1/3 cup mixture into center of each tortilla. Fold each tortilla in half, pressing gently to flatten filling evenly, until filling is about 1/4-inch from edge (you want to prevent the filling from leaking out during cooking).

Place quesadillas on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in oven for 20 minutes, or until filling is hot throughout and tortillas are golden brown and crisp. Allow filling to set for 3 minutes before cutting. Cut in half and serve immediately.  We used a little side of prepared salsa for dipping.
From Clean Eating (assuming the use of low fat ricotta): per 1/2 quesadilla: Calories: 290, Total Fat: 7 g, Sat. Fat: 2.5 g, Monounsaturated: 1.5 g, Polyunsaturated: 0 g, Omega-3s: 40 mg, Omega 6s: 260 mg, Carbs: 36 g, Fiber: 6 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 20 g, Sodium: 590 mg, Cholesterol: 25 mg

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mini Burgers done Light

**DISCLAIMER - Currently having computer display issues which are prohibiting me from accurately determining the coloring and exposure of my uploaded pics. Apologies for the over and under exposed or just plain crappy photos**

We are still working through the list of recipes chosen by my kids from some of my healthy eating resources.  This was one of the kids' favorites so far.  From Martha Stewart Everyday (Jan/Feb 2011 issue - "the light issue"), are the mini cheeseburgers with oven fries.  What's not to like, right?

For the burgers (modified to give the beef a little more kick):
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 tbsp worcestshire sauce
1tsp siracha
garlic powder, to taste
salt & pepper to taste
reduced fat cheddar, sliced
whole wheat dinner rolls
sliced tomato, to top
lettuce, to top

Combine beef, worcestshire, siracha, garlic, salt & pepper.  Form into mini burger patties.  Heat cast iron skillet to smoking.  Cook burgers on both sides to your liking.  Top with cheddar.  Serve on whole wheat buns with desired toppings.

For the fries:
3 lb large russet potatoes, cut into strips
cooking spray
4 tsp veg oil
salt & pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, cover potato strips with cold water.  Cover and soak for at least 3 hours or overnight.  Heat oven to 400.  Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.  Drain and pat dry potatoes.  Toss in a bowl with oil and season with salt & pepper.  Bake on sheets until golden brown and crisp.  About 45 minutes.  Toss on sheet and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes.

So good!  I took a bite and ate some fries before I remembered to shoot some pics.
Kids dove right in and had some for lunch two days later.  When the patty is reheated on it's own and then added to the other toppings on a fresh bun, it is just as good as the first day.

Rico, straight from the bath, waited patiently for someone to drop some.  Sadly for him, nobody did.  I did feel bad about the bath though and gave him a little bite when the Mr. wasn't looking.
Am I the only mom who loves watching their kids eat good food?  It really does make me feel happy when they sit down to the dinner table and thoroughly enjoy a healthy(er) meal.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Healthier Chicken Parm

**DISCLAIMER - Currently having computer display issues which are prohibiting me from accurately determining the coloring and exposure of my uploaded pics. Apologies for the over and under exposed, dark or just plain crappy photos**

Last week we had another of my daughter's picks for dinner.  Again, from the Clean Eating cookbook.

This is a healthified chicken parmagiana using whole wheat breading and adhering said breading with mustard instead of eggs and milk.  It was delicious.  The kids could detect the mustard flavor and decided they didn't want to have it again, but this night at least, they ate it.

1 cup whole wheat panko
1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 cup prepared pasta sauce
1/2 cup part skim mozz, shredded

Heat oven to 400.  Combine first 5 ingredients in a shallow bowl.  Brush both sides of the chicken breasts with mustard.  Coat with panko mixture and arrange on a cooking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and top with three tablespoons of sauce and some mozzarella.  Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling.
I really loved the bite of the mustard on this.  We only had whole grain on hand so the breading didn't fully coat the chicken but that was ok with me.  If you'd like a more even coating, a finer ground version would probably work best.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I love a quickie!!

**DISCLAIMER - Currently having computer display issues which are prohibiting me from accurately determining the coloring and exposure of my uploaded pics. Apologies for the over and under exposed or just plain crappy photos**

That's right.  If there's a quickie opp, I'm taking it!  To me, the best quickies take place in the kitchen.  But really, no matter where, a quick and somewhat healthy meal is always great in my book.

Here's a quick look at a 10 minute meal whipped up thanks to the convenience of store bought rotisserie chicken (and a long forgotten about Panini press).

The players:
Garlic roasted chicken from Whole Foods
Fresh mozzerella
Red and yellow heirloom tomatoes
Fresh basil
Balsamic vinegar
Whole Foods bakery whole grain bread assortment

I'm thinking the panini press will be used more often around here.  Chicken, cheddar and apples may be next!

Care to share your fav quickies?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Turkey Sloppy Joes

In my attempt to get back on track with healthy eating AND get the kids involved and excited about it, this past weekend I dug out a few of my "healthier" cookbooks and magazines and let them tab dishes they wanted to have throughout the next two weeks.  Then we compiled our shopping list and hit the store.  It is such a nice feeling to be organized and have what I need for the week.  On my fridge is a list of the chosen dishes and in the morning I decide which one we will have, defrost or set up whatever meat we need, and go about my day.

Today's dish rocked my socks!  It was chosen by my daughter from Clean Eating's new cookbook.  It was nice to finely chop all those veggies and watch the kids devour them.  So, I highly recommend the Turkey Sloppy Joes for the fam.

1 cup Yellow Corn

1 lb Ground Breast Of Turkey
1/2 cup Raw Red Bell Pepper
1/2 cup Yellow Bell Pepper
1/2 cup Red Onion
4 tsp Chili Powder
2 cloves Garlic
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
6 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup Chicken Broth, Reduced Sodium
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
3/4 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Arrowroot
6 whole wheat rolls
Monterrey jack cheese, shredded

 Dice red and yellow peppers and onion in 1/2 dice. Finely chop garlic cloves. Set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat, cook turkey until it begins to brown, 3-4 minutes. Add red and yellow peppers and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add onion and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add chili powder and salt and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in tomatoes, corn, broth, tomato paste and soy sauce. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer,cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Dissolve arrowroot in 2 tbsp cold water. Add sloppy joe mixture at end of cooking time. Stir until sauce thickens - 30-60 seconds.

Toast your rolls in the toaster oven or under broiler.  Slap the meat on there and top with some cheese.  Yummy!
They are just a tad bit messy.  But I really love to see this:
The leftovers were awesome too.  Served it one day over whole wheat pasta for the kids and my husband and I took some to work with pita bread for lunch.

Anyone else pick up this book yet?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Powerful Banana Walnut Bread

In keeping true to my usual self, I've had this lovely Power Foodsbook for well over two months now and just finally got to making one of the recipes.  Sigh.  We love bananas in this house, so this flax infused Banana Bread was the perfect start to this lovely book.  If you haven't picked this up yet, it's worth at least a quick leaf through at the bookstore.  The pictures are so gorgeous and appetizing that you'll be craving veggies in no time.  Now, on to the bread.

Despite being a "healthy" snack, it was pretty darn good - and easy to whip up.  Yay!

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2)
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350.  Spray loaf pan with baking spray.  In a bowl, whisk together both flours, flaxseed, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In another bowl, with an electric mixer, beat your eggs. Add melted butter, sugar, vanilla and bananas.  Mix until combined.  Add flour mixture and mix on low until just combined.  Stir in walnuts with spatula.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake until golden, about 30 minutes (recipe calls for 35 but this would've left me with a very dry bread).  Let cool and serve.  Or, if you are like me, wait 2 minutes and grab a quick slice for "taste testing" purposes.  Can be stored at room temp, wrapped in plastic, for 4 days.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good Earth Tuscan Chicken Pasta - Review

As much as I hate prepared or packaged convenience foods, I do have to keep some on hand for those days when we are just rushing around and my brain can only conceive of calling out for pizza.  Bad for my wallet and not the greatest for our bodies.  Typically, I try to find the least unhealthy things available.  We may resort to this type of thing once a month or two.

Last shopping trip to ShopRite I picked up a box of Good Earth's Tuscan Chicken with penne pasta - a General Mills product.  Sounded pretty decent.  100% whole grain pasta, zero saturated fat, natural flavors, add your own chicken (cuz prepared foods that contain "meat" totally gross me out) and less sodium than a box of mac and cheese at a mere 570mg per serving, not too bad for a packaged meal kit.
My initial thoughts upon opening the box and removing the contents were wow, there is no way this is enough for 5 servings, which is what the box claims to contain.  In preparation, I doubled up on the pasta which I always have on hand and added some chicken sausage in addition to the cut up chicken.
Taste - it was pretty good.  I did go back for seconds and the kids ate it without complaint although my daughter inquired as to what the "green stuff" was (it's parsley).

Prep - fairly easy.  Although, on nights when I need a quick fix, I'd prefer a one pot or one skillet meal.  This required a whopping two as I had to cook the pasta separate from the chicken.  Then, of course, there was a colander involved as well.

Final thoughts - if it was on sale or I had a coupon, I may purchase this again.  I liked that I could use leftover rotisserie chicken meat rather than cooking up some raw as well.  The serving size however is slightly inadequate for our family, so that 570mg of sodium is actually greater based on our actual serving size.  The ingredient list was fully pronounceable, I knew what they were and didn't mind putting said ingredients into my kids.  Overall, a good thing to keep on hand for those crazy nights where dinner plans just weren't made.  This did taste good the second day as leftovers as well.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Food Fest - New Mexico

The fam and I are planning to hit up New Mexico for our next vacation.  Preliminary deets and some really pretty New Mexico photos available here - New Mexico trip.  If all things go as planned, we will be heading out west in August.

Of course, being that eats are one of the most important parts of any trip, I'm asking all my lovely readers for any dining suggestions out in that neck of the woods.  Most of our trip will be centered around Santa Fe and Albuquerque (I will never get that spelling correct and it will always make me think of Bugs Bunny), but we also hope to head south to White Sands National Monument and Carlsbad Caverns.

For now I know we need to have huevos rancheros for breakfast, try out pizza with blue corn dough, and indulge in some sopapillas and indian fry bread.  That's all we have at the moment.

Lisa from Respect the Shoes was nice enough to give me some great places in Albuquerque, but the more the merrier.  In return, I promise to post a day by day report of our New Mexico eats upon our return so you can all drool over the yummy goodness.  Hello chiles!

So, ya got anything for me?