Tag Archives: protein

Pacific Foods: Man-Friendly Casserole

Interrupting my Thanksgiving long weekend recapping to bring you this sponsored post for Pacific Foods. You can read the full-version over on their blog!

I recently started doing some cooking on my own, but with other peoples’ recipes. So imagine my excitement when I created my OWN recipe! Casseroles are a great “first recipe creation” because they seriously are just a bunch of ingredients mixed together in a pan and then heated in the oven. Have pan and oven, will casserole!


Right before the star ingredient – the beans – was added!

I dub this the Man-Friendly Casserole because I made it with my main man – my dad – in mind. My mom was still down in Florida at our condo but he came home to go back to work. So on a Sunday afternoon, I put together this casserole for the two of us to share the next night. It was super easy to throw in the oven and heat up after we both got home from long days at work and the gym. The size was perfect for two. Also the only green in it came from peas, which bros just adore because you can’t taste them.

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Mom’s White Bean Chicken Chili

Today is the last day to enter my giveaway for a personal wine cellar from Staples – don’t miss out! And remember to check out my post about New Britain Museum of American Art events…they announced yesterday on their Facebook page the winner of their giveaway for a pair of tickets to tonight’s Scotch vs Bourbon event. Tickets are still available – hope to see you there!

This past Tuesday night I settled in no the couch with a perfect fall dinner (especially given the cold temperatures that evening)…a steaming bowl of white chicken chili with added turkey sausage and roasted zucchini. My Instagram of the meal got lots of positive feedback, and a few recipe requests. (This is also the same chili I enjoyed after my night out on Wednesday).

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Biena Foods Roasted Chickpea Snacks Giveaway!

I was sent complimentary Biena Foods roasted chickpeas to review. All opinions are my own. This is not a sponsored post.

I may have already done a review/giveaway for The Good Bean roasted chickpea snacks, but the first brand of roasted chickpea snacks I ever tried was Biena Foods, at the CT Veg Fest! Now they offer more flavors and I was pleased to accept their offer of a sample of each one to review.

I will be honest with you – there is not much difference between the roasted chickpea snacks offered by The Good Bean and Biena Foods. They have the same amount of calories, fairly similar flavor variety, and comparable all-natural ingredient lists. I will say however that I much prefer Biena’s Sea Salt chickpeas to The Good Bean’s, which are too salty. The point of sea salt is a little goes a long way, and Biena Foods seems to get that! I also loved the Honey Roasted flavor, and The Good Bean does not offer a comparable option. I had the Honey Roasted both in a savory lunch (my salad) and an after-dinner sweet snack (in my favorite Jello pudding); I love that it mixes well with both sweet and savory ingredients!

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Grilled Whole Foods Wild Sockeye Salmon

I received wild sockeye salmon from Whole Foods Market free of charge. This is not a compensated post and all opinions are my own.

Firstly I must address the supportive comments and tweets I received in response to yesterday’s post. THANK YOU! It felt good to get it all off my chest and put my fears out in the open. After my post went up, Maria tweeted me a link to a Kris Carr article containing a nifty acronym…FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. LOVE that! Fear is so often based on what is false and I’m feeling totally inspired to keep the acronym in mind today and beyond. Let’s get on with today’s blogging!

I worked with the three Hartford area Whole Foods stores (Glastonbury, West Hartford center, and Bishops Corner) previously during a one-day sale on shrimp. We teamed up again to promote the latest one-day sale, which took place last Friday 6/21 – wild sockeye salmon for just $11.99/lb!

Now that’s a LOT of salmon!

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Good Bean, Good Giveaway

Awhile back I entered a Lil Veggie Patch giveaway for assorted The Good Bean products, and was bummed out when I didn’t win. Sometimes I enter blog giveaways because it’s easy to do so, but I REALLY wanted to win that one! I am chickpea-obsessed and picky about bars, but the nutrition stats on The Good Bean Fruit & No-Nut Bars looked fabulous. Just 130 calories per bar (perfect amount for crumbling into a nighttime bowl of pudding or Chobani), 11 or 12 grams of sugar (I’ve seen much worse), and 5g of protein. And ever since sampling dried Chickpea Snacks at CT Veg Fest last spring, I have been seeking out more flavors of those adorable crunchy butts (come on, chickpeas totally look like butts).

Now do you agree with me?   Source

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On a Snacky Quest!

One of my favorite parts of being a Fitfluential Ambassador is – not gonna lie – getting the chance to participate in product review campaigns! I enjoy receiving fitness gear or healthy eats in the mail as much as the next girl, so I jumped all over this Quest Nutrition campaign and embarked on a Quest to try the super-generous variety and amount of protein-packed tastes they sent my way.

To be honest – Quest’s branding at first was a bit of a turn-off to me. I am not a user of protein powders or supplements and a visit to their website gave me a GNC/Vitamin Shoppe vibe. But I’d already heard a ton of positive reactions to Quest bars from some of my favorite bloggers, so I certainly wanted to try them for myself.


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Marvelous Dinners at Home (MIMM)

Today I’m partaking in the beautiful mama-to-be Katie‘s Marvelous In My Monday linkup, and sharing more daily-life stuff!

I had a couple of great dinners out this weekend (which you may have seen on Instagram) with friends and family, but on most weeknights you will find me at home enjoying my mother’s wonderful cooking and my father’s excellent grilling skills. Here’s a look at five of my favorite types of meals to have for dinner at home in front of the DVR, cozy on the couch! NOTE: Wine is included with all, even if not pictured 😉

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WIAW: Sensational Salads Tutorial

Just wanted to throw out a quick reminder to you guys that discount codes for both Sprigs products I’ve reviewed, Earbags and Banjees, are still valid! Check out my reviews if you’re still on the fence – these would make great holiday gifts for a fit friend/family member OR you 😉

Thanks for your fabulous feedback on my wonderful weekend (I don’t think it’s possible to OD on alliteration right?). I did experience some challenges in relation to these good times – a lot of anxiety and guilt over dining out several days in a row. But blogging my experiences focuses my attention on the reasons I’m too blessed to be stressed, and your comments only add to my ability to focus on the passion and peace I feel when I am enjoying myself with my friends.

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SOYJOY Bar Review and Giveaway!

I’m so humbled by the compliments you guys left on my review post about the Millwright’s Tavern in Simsbury, CT! I seriously can’t stop recommending this restaurant to anyone in the area. I’m glad that the passion I feel about dining out comes through so strongly to my readers in my reviews. Knowing that means the world to me!

I’ve got another review and giveaway today for a product I was lucky enough to sample! And of course I enjoyed it, because those are the only giveaways you guys are going to see on here!

Soy selfie! (Alliteration all the timeeeee).

I tasted my first SOYJOY bar after the Healthy Living Summit, where I received the Mango Coconut flavor in my swag bag. I am picky with my bars, but this one stuck out to me because it didn’t taste too sickly sweet and the soy provided me a #plantPOWER protein punch that kept me well-fueled and satisfied for a workout.

My mom has already gotten lots of use out of this bag!

SOYJOY offered to send me samples of their two newest flavors, Dark Chocolate Cherry and Cranberry, for review (along with that sweet bag). Once again, I was impressed by the nutrition stats and lack of that fake-sugar taste so common in other bars. This time I used my bars in after-dinner snacks!

Crumbled Cranberry SOYJOY bar mixed into a chocolate Jello pudding cup!

The soy used in these bars is non-GMO and the fruit flavoring comes from real, whole fruit. The bars are vegetarian (unfortunately not vegan) and gluten-free too! I could go on about the health benefits of soy, but I’ve already done that on this blog. 🙂

A total #jadorelavie moment – Dark Chocolate Cherry SOYJOY bar crumbled into the Jello chocolate pudding again, with a book and candle on the side!

Out of the two new flavors, Dark Chocolate Cherry is totally my favorite. but I’m not too surprised about that. I still really liked the Cranberry and appreciate that I received one chocolate bar to review and one more like a “blondie”, because my mood certainly changes and I never know what I’m going to want! I also gave a couple bars to my fellow health foodie friend Alexis, who eats gluten-free. She was a fan!


Now it’s your turn to try SOYJOY bars! Two lucky Cait Plus Ate readers will receive their own set of samples. Continental US only – giveaway will be open until this Thursday 11/15 at 11:59PM EST.

There are several ways to enter (leave a comment for each or additional entries won’t count!):

  1. Check out the SOYJOY flavors on their website and comment here telling me which you’d want to try most (mandatory).
  2. Follow @SOYJOYUS on Twitter and comment here saying you did.
  3. Follow @CaitPlusAte on Twitter and comment here saying you did.
  4. Tweet “I entered to win @SOYJOYUS bars from @CaitPlusAte! http://wp.me/p1SfTW-1F9 #plantPOWER #fitfluential #EAT” and comment here with the link to the tweet.

General Giveaway Rules: No Purchase Necessary. This giveaway is only open to residents of the continental United States. The email addresses that are collected for this giveaway will only be used for the purpose of contacting the winners and will never be given out to anyone nor sold. The winners will be randomly chosen and contacted via email. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. Please make sure you check your junk mail folder.

Good luck to all who enter! I received these SOYJOY bars complimentary to review. All opinions are my own.

Whole Foods 1-Day Shrimp Sale Means…Recipe!

I’m glad you guys enjoyed my posts from earlier this week on Manchester’s Market Grille and my town’s Apple Fest. I also can’t thank you enough for your support and feedback as I update you all on my stomach stuff. Latest news – I went yesterday for blood tests for parasites, bacterial intestinal infections, and a whole slew of other stuff. I’m currently awaiting the results. And if the results are “nothing is wrong”, I’ll be pretty upset. But I’m trying not to think that way because stress only exacerbates the discomfort. I WILL find an answer!

Now, let’s get to the meat of today’s post. Or shall I say the seafood, if we are bring protein-type-specific.

I love me some Whole Foods – I have loved these grocery stores even before they put me in their North Atlantic region’s holiday magazine 😉 #brag #sorrynotsorry And my local Whole Foods are especially kind to me. Case in point: Whole Foods West Hartford (in Blueback Square) gave me the gift of four pounds of shrimp to sample in a dinner recipe in honor of tomorrow’s one-day sale!

Guess what’s inside?!

The above bag contained four pounds of farm-cooked white shrimp, raised in Thailand under responsible farming techniques and strict environmental condition standards. They contained no preservatives and were noticeably fresh. And they came already peeled and de-veined, so the only prep needed was to de-tail.

An inside-bag view.

Usually these little guys are $14.99/pound, but for tomorrow’s one-day sale (Friday 10/19 only!) you can get them for $6.99/pound! If I were you I’d make it a point to get over to Whole Foods West Hartford (Blueback or Bishop’s Corner) or Glastonbury tomorrow so you can start your weekend on a seafood frenzy.

Probably what Meg‘s fridge looks like.

My mom and I decided to use the shrimp in a Shrimp Creole recipe my mom got from one of her oldest friends. It was even written on a slip of paper from a Palm City Elementary notepad. As in, my elementary school. Holy 12-year-old notepad!

This recipe is satisfying, healthy, and packs quite the protein-punch!

Shrimp Creole


  • 1 cup of turkey bacon (chopped)
  • 1 cup of celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup of onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup of garlic (I used a jar of minced garlic)
  • 1 cup of bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 jar of tomatoes
  • 1 can of mushroom soup
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 4 pounds of shrimp


  1. Saute bacon, celery, onion, and bell pepper until tender.
  2. Add tomato paste and tomatoes. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add chili powder and garlic.
  4. Add shrimp and cream of mushroom soup. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve alone or over rice!

Before addition of shrimp and mushroom soup.

Beautiful shrimpies ready to go.

Final combo simmering away.

Ridiculously easy, right? Just get past that that ingredient prep (chopping) and it’s a matter of mixing ingredients together and hands-free simmering. Something that did require work, however, was our choice of side. My mom attempted to fix us some spaghetti squash. The problem is, she did so while drinking wine. When you mix this with cooking…

Waltzing with wine.

…sometimes you get burnt spaghetti squash.


Hey, you guys know I love carcinogen-filled food. It tasted pretty good…well, what was salvageable (aka the bowl above).

Wasting time showering between workouts and meals? Child’s play.

I can’t lie, my mom did most of the cooking. But I stirred! And I provided the wine. I got it from the Trader Joe’s at Patriot Place in Foxboro, MA when I went to visit Heather this past weekend. This Cabernet Sauvignon was $2.99. And you know what? It was quite good!

This does NOT taste like it cost $2.99!

My mom totally agreed. I was thankful to be having a good stomach day and enjoyed my wine, Shrimp Creole, and burnt spaghetti squash alongside half a baked potato with more Creole sauce. Oh, and the fireplace and REVENGE!

Cozy fireplace meal 🙂 And I spy my Big Bird plate

The recipe was a total success and my lucky father got to enjoy the leftovers last night. They tasted just as good as night one!

So remember, if this recipe tempted you and you are a Hartford, CT area local, I highly recommend hightailing it to Whole Foods West Hartford (Blueback or Bishop’s Corner) or Glastonbury to take advantage of the one-day sale (Friday 10/19 only) and pay only $6.99/pound for this delish shrimp, instead of $14.99/pound!

And if you aren’t a local, you can pick up some shrimp and make this yourself. Be sure to share with me on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook if you do!

Thanks to Whole Foods West Hartford for providing me with the shrimp for this recipe! I received this shrimp free of charge, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you ever gotten to take advantage of a crazy-good Whole Foods (or any other grocery store) sale? What’d you buy?

Do you enjoy cooking with and/or eating shrimp? What’s your favorite recipe? (Meg, no need to answer the first question).