Tag Archives: hummus

It’s OK…To Act Like A Healthy Living Blogger!

Awhile back I wrote a post about healthy living blogger stereotypes “It’s OK!” to break. You guys gave me tons of great feedback – in fact, my girl Kelly even wrote her own take on it today! But there’s also lots of healthy living blogger stereotypes that I will be the first to admit I help perpetuate. After all, stereotypes exist because there are enough people out there to bring them about in the first place! So here are the ones I’m partially “responsible” for keeping alive…

I’m obsessed with brussels sprouts. You knew baby cabbages would get the first mention, right? Lay ’em on me. I could sit down with a bowl of roasted brussels and just eat them all day. My digestive system would hate me but my taste buds would looooove me.

Raw to roasted!

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Tuesday Tidbits

How are you all doing?! Thank you for the compliments on yesterday’s Blo West Hartford review! I wish I could tell you my hair looked like that every day, but alas, right now it is in a messy bun. And here’s some proof for you:

Blend run-in!

I am blogging from Daybreak right now because due to Sandy, my workplace has no power (thankfully I do have power at home and we only ended up losing it for an hour last night). As I was settling in here, someone approached me and introduced herself…the lovely lady pictured above, Rachel of Healthy ChicksI met her dad (a local) here awhile ago, and we got to talking and somehow my blog came up. He told me he had a daughter who blogged and lived in Boston, and put me in contact with her via Twitter. She came to stay with him during Sandy and recognized me blogging away – she was even expecting to possibly see me here since, as regular readers know, I am ALWAYS at Daybreak! I loved chatting with her and still can’t get over the coincidence. Never thought when I left this morning that I’d be meeting a blend today!

Tuesday Tidbits

Alliteration, come at me! I have a few pieces of cool information that I want to share with you all today:

The beautiful blogger (and fellow Vol, yes I consider myself one even though I didn’t go to UT) Sloane of Strength in Freedom is starting a campaign that is going to be an amazing support system for many girls – I just know it. The campaign is called Freedom From Perfection and is all about being able to share (anonymously if you wish) the thoughts you may have that put pressure on you to be perfect. Whether you suffer from disordered eating or are just sick of those occasional “should” statements that pop up in your mind, you can participate. Sloane is providing an outlet to be honest about those thoughts, get them out in the open, and push them away! She launched the campaign today, so make sure you check out her vlog that explains the campaigns message – and how to participate!

Next, I wanted to spread the word about something CT locals may be interested in. Yummy Hummy, a New London-based hummus, pesto, and salsa maker, has been mentioned on my blog a few times. I adore their products – so many unique flavors like Carrot & Dandelion Green Pesto, Curry Hummus, and Strawberry Salsa (all of which I’ve tried and love). This November and December, Yummy Hummy is offering a convenient way for local people to regularly receive tubs of their local products – a winter share with pickup at the Wethersfield Winter Farmers’ Market. For just $32, you can get access to four pickups (two in November, two in December). At each pickup, you will receive two containers of your choice. That’s a savings of $1 per container, and pickups are 11/1, 11/15, 12/6, and 12/20. So hurry and sign up! To do so, email Lexy at Lexy@yummyhummydips.com or call her at 860-334-2045.

Finally, I received a FB message from a high school friend letting me know about a product with a mission that I may be interested in. She was right about that, and I want to share it with you guys too. Her friends Alex and Mark previously worked for MANA Nutrition, a non-profit that (along with Unicef) provides ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF) to children around the world with severe acute malnutrition. It’s basically a powerful dose of nutrients that these little bodies so desperately need to get them back to a level at which complete development can occur. Now Alex and Mark are starting “the TOMS for peanut butter” – Good Spread. They’ve developed a natural peanut butter (just peanuts, organic honey, organic sea salt) and will be donating to MANA funds for one RUTF packet for every one packet of Good Spread PB sold. In order to fund an initial production run that will result in enough PB to last six months, Alex and Mark need to raise $65,000 to fund ingredients, mixing, packaging, design, shipping, and stocking. That’s where WE come in! There are 7 days left in their Good Spread Fixed Funding Campaign. Even if you are only able to give a little, every donation counts, so click on that link if you are interested in reading more about and/or supporting the cause!

And that’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Or not “all”, because that was a lot! I hope that those affected by Sandy are safe and if you are without power, I hope it is not for long. I’m off to do some homework…maybe.

Have you ever run into a blend somewhere unexpectedly?

How are you faring after Sandy? Were you affected in any way?

Have you ever signed up for a local food share of any kind?

What do you think about Sloane’s campaign and/or Good Spread?

Tuesday Treasures: Foodie Edition

I’m so happy that you all enjoyed my recap of the CT NOW Love Your Body 5K! Not only am I proud to have run it in less than 30 minutes, but I am still feeling inspired by the message behind the event. Being surrounded by so many others who share my passion for self love is pretty powerful.

I went to visit Heather a couple of weeks ago (you can read about some of our shenanigans on her blog) and came home with some amazing new memories created with her, her boyfriend Matty, and her best friend Raquel. But I also came home with far less money (lose) and a crapload of foodie treasures (win). Obviously I decided to share said treasures with you today just so I could use alliteration in this post title.

Of course whenever visiting Heather, we make it a point to visit Wildflour, a vegan bakery, cafe, and juice bar, while blogging in bliss. The vegan eats at this place are incredible and if you are ever in the Providence, RI area, I highly recommend passing on any of the restaurants by the mall and making the short drive to Pawtucket, RI to visit Wildflour (and the vegan restaurant next door, Garden Grille). Whenever I go there I leave with $30-$50 worth of goodies to take home and devour (as slowly as I can because I want it to last). This trip was no different. Here’s my haul:

  • a slice of whole wheat cheese-less butternut squash & broccoli flatbread
  • pineapple coconut jerky (YES)
  • raw garlic tomato kale chips (so far I’ve tried this flavor, garlic, and pizza…must try salt & vinegar and nacho still)
  • soba noodles with slaw (bottom left)
  • tofu tuna-style salad topped with carrots, served over greens (bottom right)

I threw MANY of these goodies into my lunch salad beasts and am in fact still working through the soba noodles (my first time having them and they are very interesting but it’s taking me awhile to use them since I’m not a huge noodle person). Pictured above is the entire container of the tofu “tuna” salad, thrown into a bowl and amped up with more greens and veggies. It was incredible!

I dreamed of dipping the pineapple coconut jerky into plain Chobani from the moment I purchased it, and that’s just what I did for a nighttime snack. However I was foolish to think the four pieces of jerky above would be enough with all that Chobani. I ended up polishing off the whole bag on that fine evening :-)

The flatbread was a great carby option for me this past Saturday when my stomach wasn’t feeling well, and I enjoyed half the kale chips on the way home from Heather’s (great road trip snack) and half at work one day while at my desk typing away.

I’ve tried the Dino Smoothie (almond butter, banana, almond milk, spinach, kale, blueberry) at Wildflour before and though I ADORE it, I wanted to go for something new and had a mean green craving! So this time while blogging there I snacked on the Sillyantro (spinach, kale, parsley, cucumber, OJ, ginger). The ginger was just what my sensitive stomach  needed and the OJ was the perfect hint of fruit to balance out those greens. I wish a juice bar like this existed near me!

I always get a large black slow-pour coffee and vegan scone to keep me company as I blog with Heather, but they didn’t have my usual (spinach and mushroom) that day. No worries, another savory beauty awaited me…the above broccoli cheddar (vegan of course) scone. Holy moly! I always dip my scone in that heavenly coffee and was happy to try a new flavor.

Wildflour was also bustin’ out the free samples that day. I’m not a huge raspberry fan but the above gluten-free razberry cheesecake brownie sample rocked my world. The real star though was a sample of this beauty…

That seems like a steep price but I’d say it’s worth every penny. The above pumpkin cheesecake is made with tofu and Heather promised it’d make me swoon. My BB never breaks a promise!

The two of us also made a fun little trip to Whole Foods, where I happened upon a gem I’ve been anxiously awaiting to try since I first heard about it a month ago…the limited edition Cedar’s PUMPKIN SPICE HUMMUS! I also purchased two squeeze packs of Justin’s Honey and Vanilla Almond Butters – perfect for sampling these new-to-me flavors. Heather also gifted me with a jar of garlic-stuffed olives she had at her house, because she knows olive garlic (haaaaa).

I have been dipping many-a-vegetable into the hummus. So incredible. I love dipping savory food into a slightly-sweet dip. Last night I was even dipping chicken into it.

I was pretty proud of the below epic snack combo that I came up with at work one day last week. I peeled the banana, put vanilla almond butter on each bite, and topped it off a pretzel stick. Legendary! I just finished the vanilla yesterday and next up will be the honey AB.

Finally, Heather, Matty, and I ventured to Trader Joe’s right before I went home so that she could do some grocery shopping and I could shop for things I didn’t need.

  • BBQ Popped Potato Chips – SO MANY CHIPS IN A SERVING #win
  • Nacho Kale Chips – Only $4…the Wildflour bag I got was about $8. Just to give you an idea of how crazy this deal is.
  • Savory Thin Mini Edamame Crackers – These kinda remind me of rice crackers. We’ll see how they are!
  • Balela Middle Eastern Salad – All things Caitlin. Chickpeas, cilantro, tomatoes, black beans, and fabulous flavor. This stuff has made it into all my salads and I’ll be sad when it goes bye-bye.
  • Olive Tapenade – WOW I love olives and this has been great in my salads, on bread, on meat, you name it. Another sad face when this guy goes.
  • Hot & Sweet Mustard – I’ve heard so much about this gem from many favorite bloggers like Katie! I am a mustard fiend and am gonna bust this open when I finish my current jar.

And okay, I was in Massachusetts in the company of TJ’s wine. So much CHEAP wine. In CT, our grocery stores can’t sell wine (we only just got Sunday sales, talk about behind on the times). So I picked up the above three bottles of Charles Shaw (Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz) for $2.99 each and the Blue Fin 2011 Pinot Noir for $3.99. You may recall that I sampled the Cab recently and was super impressed. Can’t wait to give the Merlot and Shiraz a spin. Also had the Pinot Noir and wow, I sure can see why it was a whole dollar more expensive 😛 GREAT stuff and I don’t even usually like Pinot Noir (too light).

Mother-daughter wine glass sizes :)

FINALLY my last Tuesday treasure in foodie land is the below gem from my town’s farmers’ market. I spontaneously stopped by on Saturday after the 5K (notice my Team #AmazingMe tee!) since it’s right by my usual weekend study spot, Daybreak Coffee Roasters. Can you believe this guy was just $3?! He was in a bucket with a bunch of other smaller butternut squash that were the same price. NO brainer, I picked out the biggest squash in the pile! Just to make my girl Lisa proud of me. And apparently it was the last day of the market so good thing I stopped by! Hello fate.

Oh how I love a vegetable that’s bigger than my head.

My mom is away for the week but once she returns, we have big plans for this big squash. I hear that the skin tastes tres gross so does anyone have any tips on easy squash peeling-and-roasting? Who has some recipes I can try? I already know I want to do quesadillas but need more ideas because this is one big squash!

Which of my Wildflour goodies would you like to munch (or sip) on most?

What was your last gem of a find from Whole Foods and/or TJ’s?

Tell me about your most recent farmers’ market purchase!

Weekend With My BB – Part Two

I’d like to take a moment to remember those who lost their lives and all those affected by 9/11. I cannot believe it’s been 11 years since that day in 7th grade when I came home from school to see the TV in my house displaying the day’s horrifying images. May we never forget!

Note: If you missed part one of my weekend with Heather visiting, you can check it out here!

I just love taking people places that are special to me. There’s nothing better. I’ve been wanting to bring Heather to Rooftop 120 for awhile now. It’s an all-seasons rooftop bar in my town (the all-seasons part is made possible by sliding glass doors that turn the rooftop from an outdoor bar to indoor in moments). They serve up unique food and drinks in a classy atmosphere. When I’m there, I don’t feel like I’m in Connecticut. I feel as if I’m in NYC or Vegas! I also have a favorite bartender there, Andres, who always treats me, any friends I bring in, and also my parents when they visit the bar (whether I’m there or not) SO well. I could go on forever – and hope to do a Rooftop 120 post one day that shares ALL the food and drink I’ve tried there. I did a post previously, but there’s so much MORE I’ve experienced since then that needs to be seen! For now I’ll just have to stick with sharing my night there with Heather. We had an incredible time!

Before we left.

My outfit was not very classy rooftop bar, but I was also super comfortable and it felt gross outside (humid, rain, etc). So I rocked the hippie shorts/tee, messy boho braid, and Birkenstocks on the rooftop. #sorrynotsorry

After being attacked with bobby pins by Heather :P

I was thrilled to see Andres and we parked ourselves in seats at his side of the bar! I asked him if he had any interesting hard liquor to throw my way and boy did he ever.

Stoli Hot – ole!

I was a bit wary at first of the above Stoli Hot Jalapeno Vodka, especially since I am still getting accustomed to spicy food. Heather couldn’t even believe that I’d try it. But Andres fixed me a nice sample in a shot glass lined with sugar! The beverage itself had the vodka mixed with lime and white cran. I actually enjoyed it, and ordered up a full size – but asked for less white cran, more vodka, and extra salt!

Fill ‘er up!

And Andres already has dreamed up another concoction for me to try next time…jalapeno vodka mixed with CUCUMBER vodka, with an extra salty rim, and some other stuff I unfortunately can’t remember right now. Whatever, it’ll happen.

Heather ordered up her fave, Pinot Grigio, which was served in Rooftop’s standard wine glass size – As Big As Your Head.

You can see another example of this here.

One drink each is all it takes for these girls. We sipped and savored slowly. By the end of the evening, lots of giggles were coming from our general area.

And lots of mooooaaaans over our amazing food! I wouldn’t have brought Heather to a restaurant that had no vegan options, and we feasted on roasted Brussels sprouts prepared with miso olive oil (instead of butter – Rooftop was very accommodating)  as well as a veggie platter with hummus and baba ganoush. 

Being the seafood lover that I am, I had to also order some tilapia ceviche. Complete with extra plantain chips on the side for us to share!

Incredible!

Our plan to get a good photo by Rooftop 120’s gorgeous multi-colored glass bottle wall didn’t quite pan out, but the effects were still pretty cool!

We headed home to do the obvious – watch more of “The Hills!” Then we both hit the hay at our nice bedtimes of 11PM-ish.

Love you!

I awoke on Sunday itching for a cardio and weight lifting lovefest! Heather was doing good to her bod pod (her trademark saying) and completed some stretching while I went to the gym and knocked out 35 minutes of spin and 25 minutes of abs and ARM DAY. I love lifting arms!

Wearing a matchy-matchy Reebok outfit. Obviously.

I got cleaned up after my sweaty workout and Heather and I went to – where else? – Daybreak to blog and try out more French pressed coffee flavors!

Mocha Butter Crunch for her.

Toasted Butternut for me!

Once we were caffeinated, blogged out, and fed our lunches, it was time to hit the road for the destination we experienced together on one of her last visits…the Coventry Farmers’ Market! I was ready to judge their Farm to Shaker Cocktail Competition after the market’s closing, but we were sure to get there before that so that we could spend lots of money. DUH.

Just a scarecrow in shades and a pumpkin bumpkin. That bushel of apples has a KNEE in it!

Heather and I made a beeline for one of our favorite CT vendors, Yummy Hummy! These folks were kind enough to not only set aside our desired unique hummus flavors for us to ensure that we would be able to purchase them before they sold out, but they also were offering $1 off Heather’s choice, Curry hummus, for their Facebook fans. It was our lucky day too since my frequency card with them filled up, so we got one hummus free!

LOVE the label :D

I opted for Pretty Beet and Honey Garlic hummus varieties. I can’t wait to sample them! I also decided to get a tub of Peach Basil Salsa, made with all CT ingredients. At $7 for the tub it was pretty pricey, but I’ve purchased other fruit salsas from Yummy Hummy before (strawberry and blueberry) and have NEVER been disappointed. Pleased to report that the case still holds! I had some of this with my dinner last night and it rocked my world!

After hearing Heather hadn’t tried their plain Pico de Gallo yet, she was gifted with a free sample to bring home. So very kind of Lexy and Ian, Yummy Hummy’s founders, to take good care of their return customers!

And I even started a new frequency card when I bought my salsa, so obviously I’ll be back soon.

Thank you Yummy Hummy!

We also visited Shayna B’s and The Pickle, a local bakery of wheat/gluten-free vegan goodies! Last time Heather and I were both overwhelmed by the owner’s kindness when we met her at her booth. Heather was missing just a bit of cash to pay for a container of delectable Wendy Bites, and she was allowed to purchase them for what money she had on her!

Well, Shayna B’s astounded us again. First, they sold Heather the above coconut apple tart. The ingredient list was incredible, and just check out her reaction upon first bite.

Tartgasm.

That’s genuine, folks.

Just too good…

After seeing us admire the two pear ginger scones remaining, the staff of Shayna B’s offered to let us take them home for FREE! I just know it was because they could feel our enthusiasm and appreciation for the simple, pure baked goods they put out every single day. It’s great to share a passion with someone you’ve only just met, and know that they clearly acknowledge and are grateful for it! Can’t wait to tell you all how the scone is. I’m saving it for a special evening snack…or maybe two evening snacks to make it last longer. I have a feeling plain Chobani may be involved.

Dammit goat, stop eating.

And what’s a Coventry Farmers’ Market visit without photos of me being awkward with animals…and children?!

Thumbs up, it’s a goat!

Staring down this child. Back off my goat.

I also purchased three jarred items from Christine’s Country Kitchen, another favorite local vendor of mine, as they were finishing packing up. HUGE thanks to them for putting up with my annoying lateness and still selling me some full sour pickles, jalapeno mustard, and sugar-free (sweetened with STEVIA!) beets! Unfortunately half of the beets and their jar did not survive the car ride home, and I drove to work yesterday morning sniffing beet smell the whole time, but that’s the life of a local foodie!

The day was FAR from over, but my judging of the Farm to Shaker cocktail competition deserves a post all its own, and that’s what it’ll get. So I’ll leave you guys in suspense for now.

Do you have a special local restaurant where you are known and treated well by the staff as a “regular”?

What are your favorite items to pick up at the farmers’ market?

What’s the coolest hummus flavor you’ve ever encountered?

Active Rest Day: How I Did

Amanda of  Run Principessa took my #AmazingMe list one step further and did a VLOG of hers! Check it out and make your own list if you haven’t already – I want to eventually do a post that links up all of them! Make sure to email or tweet me with the link!

Drawing on the chalk tables at ION with Heather. Thanks for the pic, Jenny!

You may remember on Friday that I asked for your support and thoughts as I headed into a weekend of personal challenges. I’m not going to lie and say everything went swimmingly. On Friday night I met up with Jenny and Heather at It’s Only Natural (ION) in Middletown for what should have been an absolute blast of a vegan meal, but I just wasn’t all there. I felt stressed and dragged down by my negative thoughts. I’d had a longer day at work than I’d expected when I woke up that morning and was running late to meet the girls at the restaurant – a ton of little things just combined to create a perfect storm and I had a hard time being present. The food was AMAZING as per usual. The sweet potato fries made my heart sing. My friends were being wonderful and understanding, but I felt guilty as I drove him for not being able to sit back and enjoy. Guilt guilt guilt!

My meal – the blackened tempeh special with the sweet potato fries and a small side of their cold mashed potatoes. I also had a beet salad to start.

The next morning brought part of the challenges I’d discussed on Friday – Om Street Yoga from West Hartford Yoga. Jenny, Heather, and I met in West Hartford center and took ourselves and our mats over to LaSalle Ave, which had been closed down for the second year of this free outdoor 75 minute yoga class.

Call me stereotypical, but yes I wore my Birkenstocks from the Fitness Meet & Tweet to a yoga event.

There was a great turnout! Mic problems only came up a couple of times during the practice, and a live percussion group was present playing relaxing music, complete with a gong.

The class actually ended up being more intense than I’d expected, which I enjoyed! My heart rate got up there during a ridiculously fast dancing warrior series, and my legs were on fire from all the chair poses we did. As I sunk into the last one, I literally whispered to Jenny, “Are you serious?!” I’d thought they were over!

Texting and folding 😉 it’s safe!

Child’s pose may or may not be one of my favorites #sorrynotsorry

My favorite moment came as the entire class was in a goddess pose, doing a series of powerful arm movements. We pushed our arms up to the sky, to the side, in front of us, and downward, each time shouting out “HUH!” Sounds cheesy but it felt great, like a release, and right as we completed the series the sun broke through the clouds. Our instructor declared we’d “brought out the sun” and the crowd broke into applause. In that moment, I felt united with every single person on LaSalle Ave!

During the class I was continuously impressed with Jenny’s yoga skills. She is actually a yoga teacher and considers the practice to have saved her life. Her movements were so very fluid and I am envious of her flexibility! I’d love to get my om on with her again soon :)

Jenny’s yoga pants are amazing.

A part of my personal journey over the last couple of years has been working on being more mindful. Each time I do yoga, I have to admit that I am not living in the present. In fact, I rarely find that I am being present in any aspect of my life. This is something I’m trying to change and I was making an effort to be hyper-aware of mindfulness during the final portion of Om Street Yoga, savasana. My mind continued to wander forward to my plans with Heather and Jenny following yoga, forward to my tasting event later that evening, even back to the chair poses during the class and whether or not they were enough of a leg workout. I’d like to say that it was a zen, peaceful savasana, but instead I felt a bit panicked that it was SO damn hard for me to live in the moment. Why couldn’t I just enjoy?! Still, I followed the teacher’s instructions at the end to wish myself happiness, healthiness, and ease; it gave me some peace.

I suggested Hartford Baking Company nearby for our post-yoga coffee fix. I’d had their food before but had never had the chance to sample their pour-over coffee. My friend Matt was working and he recommended an Ethiopian blend from Stumptown Coffee Roasters in Brooklyn; it tasted excellent, possibly also because he did a good job making it! I liked the glass pitcher it was served in – my kind of pitcher!

Heather and I sipped our pour-over coffee black, while Jenny went with a large regular coffee with her beloved soy creamer!

I had a great time chatting with these ladies, and our sunny cozy table made this coffee trip extra special. But I still know I wasn’t 100% there. Negative thoughts associated with stressing over situations to come, an active rest day, whether or not I was disappointing my friends, and more crowded my mind. When I dropped my friends off at Jenny’s and headed out, I was feeling really upset and frustrated with myself.

I was cheered up relatively soon, however, when I ran into my best friend Lidia at Daybreak Coffee Roasters (I stopped by to get iced coffee – decaf, because I’d had enough caff for one day). I felt like it was fate because it also happened to be her birthday! I sat outside with her, her mom, and a family friend of theirs. We just caught up and I was having such a good time that I really did lose myself in our conversation and not think about the fact that I wouldn’t be putting in a gym trip that day.

Losing yourself over coffee is easier when you love it so much :)

It got more challenging though when I got home and finished doing my “blog errands” (photo editing and uploading). I had a couple of hours of free time before my next activity, and didn’t know what to do with myself. Free time?! I felt like a slacker for not taking advantage of it and hitting the gym. I almost felt angry with myself for publicly declaring an active rest day to all of you guys. I thought to myself, well I could save this rest day for a day I’m literally too busy to work out. Why should I waste today, a day I have so much time for the gym?! A lot of the reason I didn’t go was because I didn’t want to disappoint those who had left me such supportive comments on my post, Facebook, Twitter, and more.

I consciously attempted to pull my mind to the positives of the situation, and also to the fact that I needed to do this challenge for ME. I had time to put away my laundry while listening to NPR, something I really enjoy doing. I finally got a chance to get iTunes set up on my laptop and attempted to load all my music onto my iPhone (something I gave up on halfway through, but oh well). I got to zen out on the back porch while doing my blog errands and eat baby carrots with Yummy Hummy curry and lemon cilantro hummuses (humm-i?)

In the end, I know that I did a workout on Saturday. I took a 75-minute yoga class that worked my body, stretched my tired muscles, and quieted my mind (even if only a bit). I had a chance to unwind in the middle of the afternoon before headed to my CT Bloggers event that evening, which probably ended up helping me handle that event well in the end (more on that later). And the next morning when I went to the gym for 45 minutes of spinning and an arm workout, I had a ton of energy and kicked some ass. So I did it. I took an active rest day and challenged myself. I’m not extremely happy with how I handled the entire situation, but I handled it and am a work in progress. I’ll get there. I know it!

How do you handle taking rest days?

Have you ever done outdoor yoga?

How do you keep yourself in the moment and present?

June Foodie Pen Pals

It’s very appropriate that today is the Foodie Pen Pals reveal day for June, since I arrived in MA last night to celebrate the 23rd birthday of my best blend and a fellow foodie (and Foodie Pen Pal participant), Heather! I have made so many wonderful connections through Foodie Pen Pals and blogging in general. Doing these reveal posts is always a reminder of how lucky I am to be part of this community!

And as usual, Lindsay deserves a huge thanks from all of us participants for managing the growing program every single month! Want to be a part of it? Click the image above to find out how to sign up!

The handwritten note is always fun!

This month I received a box from Lyndsay all the way from North Carolina (hello jealousy). I requested healthy eats with a bit of an indulgent spark, and that’s what I got! I have never had a bad Foodie Pen Pals experience…everyone seems to know exactly what I like :)

  • GoPicnic Ready-To-Eat Meals: Hummus & Crackers – Did somebody say HUMMUS?! I love mixed plates for dipping, especially when they come with a sweet ending in the form of a dark chocolate square. This will be perfect to pack for a beach day or summer road trip.
  • Tasty Bite Madras Lentils – I am often wary of heat-and-eat meals, but this looks unique and on the lighter side. I’m also an Indian food n00b, so what a perfect way to give it a shot in my own home! If I’m not a fan, I can just make something else. But I have a feeling I’ll enjoy this…I adore lentils.
  • Sensible Foods Apple Harvest Crunch Dried Fruit – I have to say I’m not really a fan of apples, but I’m excited to see if my sister wants to give these a try. She is always looking for on-the-go lighter snack options for her life at college.
  • Market Classics Spicy Tortilla Soup Mix – An original product from World Market, where Lyndsay purchased all my goodies! This soup sounds excellent and I love the way it’s packaged (see photo below) in the clear bag so that all the REAL ingredients are visible.

  • Manner Original Neapolitan Wafers – These are a total classic that I haven’t had in too long! My first candy bar ever was a Kit Kat, and that was actually because my mom told me they were like these wafers (which I already liked as a kid) except covered in chocolate. I used to eat all the chocolate off the Kit Kat first, then eat the wafer underneath. Did anyone else do this? How do you eat a Kit Kat?
  • Jo’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Grahams – I’ve had graham crackers in milk chocolate. OK, that’s a s’more. Dark chocolate though, sounds excellent. Then I saw the addition of sea salt. Um, SOLD! Unfortunately my box arrived in a heat wave and so these grahams got a bit melty, but they will still be fabulous. Melting doesn’t mean no taste, folks.

A special thanks again to both Lindsays/Lyndsays who’s made this month’s Foodie Pen Pals enjoyable for me!

I’ll be announcing the winners of the Mohegan Sun giveaway on Monday!

Have you ever tried any of these products? Which would you enjoy most?