Tag Archives: Organic

New Favorite, High-Protein Snack: Peanut Butter and Honey Parfait!

My friend Mike Campbell introduced me to this new favorite treat! It’s so simple. It’s healthy. And it’s delicious! (And, yes, I told him it was going on my blog.)

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  • 3/4 to 1 cup Plain Whole Milk Yogurt (you can use the low fat if you really want to, but I personally think we need a little fat in our diets to help absorb certain nutrients, and it makes it creamier)
  • 2 Tbsp. All Natural Peanut Butter (or organic, if you can find it)
  • 1-2 tsp. Local Honey (or organic, if you can find it)

Just stir or whip the three ingredients together, and it creates a rich, creamy, high-protein treat that tastes as good as a parfait or dessert mousse. If you want, you can substitute a spoonful of your favorite jam instead of the honey and call it “PB&J Parfait”–great way to get kids (of all ages) to eat yogurt! Bon Appetit!

 

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Dairy-Free Chocolate Bars (and a Guilt-Free Chocolate Treat!)

The most important ingredient in chocolate is not milk, but cocoa! And the more cocoa the better, if you ask me. Dark chocolate comes in all shapes and sizes, but I prefer somewhere between 70% and 85%. That percentage is the percentage of cocoa to total ingredients. Since I’m trying to be dairy-free right now, I didn’t want to have to stop eating chocolate in general, so I’ve been doing a little research and here are a few bars that fit into this new-to-me lifestyle:

My Favorite Dairy-Free Dark Chocolate Bar!

My Husband’s Favorite! (I like it too!)

My Favorite Organic Brand! (I also love the Espresso Dark Chocolate Bar from Green & Black’s.)

And if you’re wanting a high-protein snack with a little chocolate kick, consider chopping up about 3 or 4 squares into these “Raw Cookie Dough Bites” from A Dash of Compassion‘s blog. The recipe in the link makes about 12 one-inch cookie dough balls. I used honey instead of agave nectar, and they were deliciously guilt-free! Plus, they make a great on-the-go breakfast, if you’re in a hurry, since they’re just nuts, oats, a little honey, cinnamon, a pinch of salt and some dark chocolate. Feel free to substitute raisins for the chocolate if you want them to be even more nutritious!

A Recent Weekend Getaway – Beaufort, Savannah, and Charleston

We finally made it down to the Low Country to visit Bryan’s folks, celebrate my and his mom’s birthdays, and get away one last time before he really got busy with school. We drove down Thursday night after work and school and stayed at their lovely little rental in Beaufort, SC.

Common Ground Coffee Shop in Beaufort, SC, was our first stop on Friday morning! Anything from lattés and brevés to organic hot tea, from cinnamon rolls to sandwiches. So quaint and a great view of the coast. (Bryan and his mom)

Lunch at one of my in-laws’ favorite little local gems, Red Rooster Cafe!

Pimento Cheese and Bacon on a Burger with Sweet Potato Fries and Sweet Tea in Mason Jars! What more could you ask for?! (Not exactly a lean meal, but hey, it was my birthday weekend. After all, you don’t turn 31 every day!)

I love the coast! Who needs mulch when you have seashells?!

We checked out all kinds of antique shops and other little local stores around Beaufort and Port Royal, SC, on Friday.

Shrimping Boats, Port Royal, SC

Birthday Dinner at Dockside Restaurant in Port Royal, SC

Baked Scallops, Cajun Rice and Steamed Veggies

Adorable little book shop in Bluffton, SC, on our way to Savannah on Saturday.

The front of The Storybook Shoppe. There were several art galleries and local shops in Bluffton that caught our attention, but this was my favorite.

Welcome to Savannah, home of Joel Chandler Harris, one of my all-time favorite authors and storytellers!

Bryan and his folks in Savannah – don’t you just love those trees and all that Spanish Moss?!

I just loved this old building.

There were all kinds of statues and monuments along the river.

We stopped at a half dozen antique shops and a few art galleries, including this one where Artist Susie Chisholm was sculpting historic figures.

The city market in Savannah was bustling with street musicians, vendors, and tourists. Of course, I bought a couple of bags of Savannah Pecan Coffee Beans!

Sunday, we met up with our good friends Dave & Rachel, who happened to be in Charleston for their anniversary weekend! We had lunch on Johns Island at one of their favorite spots (and now one of ours), Fat Hen! Its only about 10 minutes outside of Charleston, and a must-do if you’re in the area.

BBQ Duck Sandwich with Slaw at Fat Hen

Our final stop before strolling around downtown Charleston and heading home was to one of our favorite coffee houses for a little dessert – East Bay Meeting House. It’s moved across the street from its original location, but still has great atmosphere, decadent desserts, and delicious coffee! (Though, I miss the old, green leather couch.)

Bryan and his favorite Roasted Chestnut Brevé

Dave gets a little intense with his chocolate cake and macchiato – and Rachel just laughs at him.

My favorite part (besides the atmosphere) is that all their products are organic! Yay! And I love supporting local vendors instead of big chains, as often as possible.

One last shot of the delicious organic cake! And that’s a wrap on this Low Country weekend-getaway-to-remember! We’ll be back soon!

Another Week of Healthful Budget Grocery Shopping!

This week’s grocery shopping included four stops, all costing a total of $56.86! I used the “Dirty Dozen” list to make sure I was buying organic on the most important items, and went as all-natural on the rest of the ingredients as possible.

From Trader Joe’s: $36.93

  • 2 dozen all-natural eggs
  • organic plain yogurt
  • organic baby spinach
  • all-natural mozzarella log
  • local cucumber
  • local yellow squash
  • cauliflower
  • organic broccoli
  • uncured bacon ends and pieces
  • all-natural pork roast
  • organic gold potatoes

From Aldi: $9.72

  • dried cranberries
  • lemons
  • limes
  • cabbage
  • artisan lettuce
  • 3 cans of tuna in water

From Bi-Lo: $4.95

  • egg roll wrappers
  • wonton wrappers

From The Best Asian Market: $5.26

  • daikon root
  • bok choy
  • rice wine vinegar
  • mushrooms

Ideas for this week’s menu:

Breakfasts:

  • Spinach Bacon Quiche
  • Scrambled Eggs and Homemade Hashbrowns
  • We still have oatmeal, cereal, milk and juice from last week’s grocery shopping
  • I plan on attempting to make some artisan bread for toast and sandwiches as well

Lunches:

  • Leafy Green Salads with all the fixin’s
  • Tuna Salad Sandwiches
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Salads

Dinners:

Snacks:

  • Yogurt
  • Trail Mix (we have nuts and chocolate, and we’ll add the dried cranberries)
  • cucumber slices
  • Baked Apple Pie Egg Rolls
  • Some kind of dessert using lemons and limes – I haven’t decided yet
  • Fresh lemonade

Who Says Eating Healthy Costs More?!

I’m not sure why I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s more often! Probably because it’s a little bit out of the way to get there, but it’s still not that far out of the way. Can you believe I only spent $52.03 on all this, without using one coupon?! And it’s all either organic or at least all-natural and unprocessed! My plan is to shop at Trader Joe’s once a week through the end of the year and see if I can keep our budget to about $50 per week.

Here’s what’s I picked up yesterday (as seen in the picture above):

  • Flour Tortillas
  • Applegate Roast Beef Slices
  • Applegate Herbed Turkey Slices
  • Swiss Cheese Slices
  • Large container of Grape Tomatoes
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 bags of Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Sliced White Mushrooms
  • 1.5 lbs. Ground Turkey
  • Shredded Cheese Blend
  • Red Onions
  • Bananas
  • 3 lbs. Sweet Potatoes
  • Feta Cheese
  • Bok Choy
  • Orange Juice

I also picked up condiments for $1 each at Earthfare (stock-up sale) and got free chips and salsa with my $5 purchase!

And here’s how I plan to use it:

  • Breakfasts:
    • Orange Juice
    • Hard Boiled or Scrambled Eggs (a friend picked up 3 dozen Eggland’s Best Eggs during a buy-one-get-one-free sale, plus coupons for me last week for $1.20 total!)
    • Cereal and Milk (already had on hand)
    • Sweet Potato Hash with Edamame
    • Oatmeal with Raisins and Brown Sugar (already had on hand)
  • Lunches:
    • Roast Beef or Turkey Wraps with Swiss Cheese and Lettuce
    • Salad with Feta, Black Olives (on hand), Roasted Beets (on hand), Carrots, and Tomatoes
    • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches (on hand –  make homemade bread)
  • Dinners:
    • Enchiladas with Ground Turkey and Shredded Cheese (top with sour cream and red onion)
    • Baked Potatoes and Broccoli with Cheese
    • Grilled Chicken and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
    • Stir-Fry with Carrots, Bok Choy, Onion, and Mushrooms and Rice
    • Breakfast for Dinner
    • Turkey Burgers and Potato Wedges
    • Sautéed Mushrooms with Garlic and Cheddar, served over Quinoa
  • Snacks:
    • Bananas
    • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
    • Carrot Cupcakes
    • Sweet Potato Fries
    • Chips and Salsa

 

Meal Plan for July 7-13

This Week’s Basket from Milk and Honey Organics Included Bananas, South Carolina Peaches, Red Globe Grapes (caution: watch out for seeds), Tommy Atkins Mangos (not pictured: we got more of something else), Purple Garlic, Ginger, Local Green Cabbage, Hurricane Creek Romaine Lettuce, Globe Eggplant, Russet Potatoes, and Bioway Farms’ Squash and Cucumbers.

This Week’s Meal Plan:

Recipes for this Week’s Meal Plan:

  • Pancake Bar – use your favorite pancake mix or simple recipe and top with anything you like. If you’re adding peaches, bananas, chocolate, etc. to them, pour the batter first and let it cook for a minute on the first side, then top with fillings and cook another minute or so before flipping.
  • Egg Salad – hard boil eggs ahead of time, cool, peel and chop, then add the dressing (1/2 c. mayo, 1-2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard, salt, pepper, dill, a pinch of sugar and a splash of apple cider vinegar whisked together).
  • Grilled Peaches – Spray with a little olive oil before adding to the grill at the last five minutes or so of cooking the pork chops (optional: sprinkle with nutmeg).
  • Sautéed Squash and Onions – Pan fry thin slices in 1 Tbsp. butter with salt and pepper till just soft and slightly translucent.
  • Sautéed Cabbage – Chop into bite size pieces and cook in 1 Tbsp. butter with salt and pepper till soft and slightly caramelized (medium to medium high heat and keep it moving so it doesn’t burn).
  • Sautéed Onions and Peppers – slice into strips and toss in a hot pan with 1 tsp. olive oil till just tender and slightly translucent. Feel free to cook the chicken sausage links right down in the middle of this, if you don’t feel like grilling.
  • Baked Potato – rub with oil, sprinkle with coarse sea salt, and roast on a pan at 450F for 40-50 minutes.
  • Bacon Jam
  • Enchiladas
  • Cheesy Garlic Bread – mince garlic and mix into a stick of melted butter, brush over bread (French loaf or Italian loaf, cut in half, cut side up on pan), sprinkle with shredded cheese, and broil till cheese is golden brown (keep an eye on it).
  • My Favorite Falafel
  • Tzatziki Sauce
  • And the rest are on M&H’s Recipes Archive page.

Weekly Basket and Meal Plan: June 16-22

This Week’s Basket (from Milk and Honey Organics) Included Hurricane Creek’s Lettuce, Parisi Farms’ Cherokee Purple Tomatoes, Parisi Farms’ White Sweet Potatoes, Bioway Farms’ Garlic, Bananas, South Carolina Peaches, Red Delicious Apples, White Mushrooms, Beets with Beet Greens, Local Collards, Apricots, and Jumbo Red Onions.

This Week’s Meal Plan (using PepperPlate.com):

Recipes for this Week’s Meal Plan:

  • Carnitas with Black Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice (“Carnitas” not included in this week’s plan, but feel free to add it as a delicious accompaniment to your beans and rice!)
  • Tomato Egg Cups
  • For Cheesy Grits, follow package instructions and add 1/2 c. of shredded cheddar (or your favorite cheese) during the last 2 minutes of cooking; a few cloves of minced garlic is also a nice addition.
  • For the Garlic Toast, I highly recommend mincing fresh garlic and spreading it on your toast with butter before broiling. Yum!
  • Fettucine Alfredo (homemade Alfredo Sauce)
  • Brown Rice Bar (aka “Unfried Rice”) – a great way to use up leftovers!
  • And, see M&H’s Recipes Archive page!
  • Bananas make a great snack, or peel them and freeze them to add to a quick breakfast smoothie!

Memorial Day Feast…Good Enough for Any Special Occasion

We had company this weekend, so I planned this special dinner, but it never worked out to make it (it’s fairly heavy and takes about 4 hours to make). So, when our friends (and mentors) from church texted me on Sunday night, I asked if they had anything planned for Memorial Day. We ended up having a delicious dinner and played a game of Dominion while eating dessert and sipping coffee. What a fun night! Here’s the menu:

They brought a salad and blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream and we made the following dishes, along with coffee and iced tea:

I forgot to take a picture the night of, but here’s a picture of the leftovers with some steamed broccoli and fruit salad:

Bryan told me I could make this dish anytime I want (actually he told me about six times over the next three days). That’s a definite win… (*scurries to write down recipe*). And we had plenty of leftovers for several meals. So rich and delicious!

Note: It did take a while to make, but most of that time is inactive time, so you can do something else while it simmers away on the stove for three hours. When the ribs have 30 minutes left, start your risotto recipe and finish it  while your sauce reduces (you may want to add a little cornstarch to thicken the sauce after it’s reduced for a while; put 2 Tbsp. of cornstarch in a small ball and stir in 1/4 c. of the hot broth until it’s smooth, then add the cornstarch mixture back into the sauce pot). While your sauce is reducing, start the carrot dish (takes about 15 minutes total).

Bon Appetit!

Weekly Basket and Meal Plan

St. Patrick’s Day is traditionally a day of Irish inspired feasting, recognizing the patron saint of Ireland for bringing Christianity to Ireland. There is wearing of green and talking of leprechauns and eating of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage.

This Week’s Basket from Milk and Honey Organics included traditional Irish ingredients, like Local Green Cabbage and Red Potatoes, Jumbo Carrots and Yellow Onions, along with some other seasonal goodies, including Parisi Farms Turnip Greens, Parisi Farms Beets with Greens, Cherry Tomatoes, Bananas, Valencia Oranges, Braeburn Apples, Rio Red Ruby Grapefruit, Shallots, and Boston Butter Lettuce.

This Week’s Meal Plan:

Recipes for this Week’s Meal Plan that aren’t on the M&H Blog‘s Recipes Archive Page:

Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery in Greenville, SC

My friend Rachel told me about this new all-natural/organic store, The Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery. I had a few minutes one Saturday and decided to check it out. Turns out, it’s right outside of downtown Greenville, close to where my sister lives, so it’s convenient if I’m ever on my way to or from her place to see her and the nephews.

I picked up some local ground lamb and organic garlic from the grocery part of the store, then bought a slice of their tomato basil quiche at the cafe as I was heading out. It’s such a quaint little stop on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Grab an all-natural or organic snack from the Cafe and rest your legs at the picnic bench outside before finishing your hike or bike ride.

The other day, my sister posted the following about a little “Swamp Rabbit Cafe” moment at their house that I thought you’d enjoy: “So, I ran out fresh for packing lunches for the boys and decided to run to the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery for apples and dried cranberries. Yes, they’re open early!! =) Picked up warm blueberry scones for the guys. And when I asked JE if he’d like one, he looked at it and said these words: ‘Oh, you are so loving!’ It was adorable. =)”

The Cafe & Grocery is open Monday through Saturday 7AM to 7PM and Sunday 8AM to 7PM. Located near Mount Calvary Baptist Church, at 205 Cedar Lane Road, Greenville, SC 29611, just north of mile marker 31.5 on the Swamp Rabbit Trail.