SmartyPans

About a month ago I heard about this new company called SmartyPans and was rather intrigued by their concept so I reached out to Prachi Baxi, CEO of SmartyPans for a bit more information and here is what she had to say, “our goal is to help people cook better and also give them the ability to track caloric intake. SmartyPans app will thus work as a sophisticated form of food-diary for the Nutritionists: it will be the platform for Nutritionists and other health professionals to track and understand the precise nutritional intake of their clients and thus guide/counsel them in an effective way.” So you may be asking how is this information tracked? Well it is tracked via an app on your phone or tablet.

Earlier this year Prachi and her brother Rahul were interviewed at SXSW by The Washington Post and according to Prachi “SmartyPans is a smart cooking pan that connects to a free recipe app and gives you step-by-step cooking instructions. The cool thing is, the pan will warn you if you need to adjust the temperature, and it will show you caloric information in real-time on the tablet screen, using bluetooth connectivity sensors built into the pan. So, you always know exactly what went into your food and what your nutritional intake was. At the touch of a button, you can then input that information into other nutritional fitness platforms like MyFitnessPal or Fitbit. No more guestimating.”

I love the idea of this and can’t help but think of the people who could benefit from it. It takes the fear out of cooking for some people, and that is one of the biggest hurdles I have seen for people who want to be healthy but don’t know how to cook for themselves.

Check out this video to see it in action:

Check out their website for more information, updates and how to pre-order your pan now.

Warm Millet Salad w/ Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage {37 Cooks & Bilinski’s}

bilinski logo

It’s a new year which means 37 Cooks is back in action! Even though the past few months have been extremely busy with moving to NYC and starting my Dietetic Internship I have missed these fun recipe challenges, and I am happy that this first event is sponsored by one of my favorite brands, Bilinski’s.

If you aren’t familiar with Biliniski’s they are a family owned and operated company that specializes in chicken sausages (with no pork casings!) since 1929. Their products are made from every day ingredients, gluten-free, preservative-free, antibiotic-free, nitrate and nitrite free, all meat is raised in clean, comfortable conditions, no animal by-products in their feeds, and no hormones…but are full of flavor! These sausages are fully cooked and are also low in fat, so you need to be careful to not over cook them.

I wanted to create a healthy and hearty dish that incorporated ingredients that would compliment the flavors in the new  Kale Balsamic chicken sausage! Since moving here and not having an income I have tried to stretch my food dollar even further than before. One way I’ve found to do this is to create dishes that incorporate a lot of delicious and healthy ingredients that are filling and re-heat well…you could serve this dish to a family of four or if you are in a similar situation as myself, have leftovers for a few days (I promise it re-heats very well). Feel free to change-up the ingredients as you see fit. The Kale Balsamic Sausage and all vegetables used in my recipe were organic (I have strangely found that the organic items are cheaper than non-organic in the stores around me).

I know many of you are looking for healthier recipes to get this year started. Sometimes the word “healthy” is translated into “unsatisfying” or “bland”, but it doesn’t have to! Healthy can be (and should be) delicious, flavorful, hearty, filling, and all those other good things that you are craving. Try using a new ingredient each week to expand your horizons in the “healthy” department: try millet instead of rice one week. Using seasonal vegetables and fruits in dishes also means additional flavor.

Warm Millet Salad with Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Millet
  • 2 Cups Organic Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil divided
  • 1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Package of Bilinski’s Organic Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage, sliced into 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 1/2 Cups Diced Organic Sweet Potato
  • 1 Cup Diced Organic Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 1 5oz Container of Organic Baby Kale
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts

Method of Preparation

  1. In a small pot bring the chicken broth to a boil.
  2. Add millet, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until all water has been absorbed
  3. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a large skillet and brown the sausage on both sides
  4. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside in a large bowl
  5. In the same large skillet, add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil
  6. Add in sweet potatoes and cook until tender or until water has evaporated
  7. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pan
  8. Add in mushrooms and cook until browned
  9. Next, add in the pine nuts, and brown lightly
  10. In a bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  11. Add 1/2 of the mixture to the pan with the sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and sweet potatoes
  12. Once the vegetables have been coated with the olive oil and vinegar, add in the dried cranberries and kale
  13. Cook until kale has begun to wilt (about 1-2 minutes), remove from heat
  14. Once the millet has finished cooking, add it to the bowl with the sausage
  15. Add the remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar mixture to the bowl with the warm millet and sausage, toss to coat well
  16. To the same bowl add the cooked vegetables, toss to incorporate all ingredients and serve

IMG_4017Thank you to the awesome folks over at Bilinski’s for sharing this new product with all of us at 37 Cooks! This post is sponsored, however the recipe and opinions are 100% my own.

Want more information on Bilinski’s? Find them here:

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National Peanut Butter Day : KIND Bar {Review & Giveaway}

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This giveaway is now closed! The lucky winner was Rachel – please check your e-mail. Congratulations!

I don’t normally write posts about national such and such day for a few reasons but mostly because there are just too darn many of them and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. However, when KIND Healthy Snacks e-mailed me asking if I would like to do a review for them for their peanut butter line, I couldn’t say no! I will admit I am a sucker for KIND Healthy Snacks bars in general but I have a deep love for peanut butter. My grandfather and I used to eat it on slices of granny smith apples (still my favorite way to eat it). I could probably eat peanut butter by the spoonful (okay maybe I have once or twice).

I know many people who are gluten-free and miss those delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (I know I get a craving for them every now and again). Many brands of peanut butter and jelly are naturally gluten free, but  KIND Healthy Snacks came up with a brilliant way to get these fixes and to give people (especially those gluten-free) a great alternative to the traditional ways of enjoying peanut butter!

They have two delicious bars:  Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein a healthy, satisfying blend of peanuts and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and Peanut Butter & Strawberry, If you don’t have time to make a PB&J sandwich, this bar tastes strikingly the same, and is just as good! No lie, at first it was kind of weird because it tasted so much like at PB&J made with crunchy peanut butter and without the bread, but weird in a good way! Both of these bars are delicious, and I will be buying them again in the future!

They also have a peanut butter granola, Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters which is made with 100% whole grains like amaranth and quinoa. I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but I can’t wait to dig into it this weekend.

So in celebration of National Peanut Butter Day and these delicious bars and granola – the wonderful people over at KIND Healthy Snacks has offered the following prize pack to one lucky reader! Entry is easy – one mandatory entry and a few extra optional ones to help boost your chances. Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

GIVEAWAY!!

image004One lucky reader will win the Peanut Butter Cube which contains:

Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters (2 Pouches)

Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein   (4 bars)

Peanut Butter & Strawberry (4 bars)

Rules: Must at least complete the mandatory entry to qualify for the giveaway. Each person has a chance to enter 6 (six) times. Giveaway begins at 8:00am (EST) on Thursday January 24th and will end at 11:59pm (EST) on Thursday January 31st. Winner will be chosen using random.org and will be notified by e-mail. Winner will have 24 hours to respond – if no response is received a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is open to all those living in within the United States.

Entries – leave a separate comment below for each entry! Good luck to all who enter.

  • Mandatory Entry: Which product in the above mentioned cube are you most excited to try?
  • Optional Entry: “Like” KIND Healthy Snacks on Facebook
  • Optional Entry: Follow KIND Healthy Snacks on Twitter
  • Optional Entry: Tweet about this entry (and be sure to include the link to the tweet in the comments below, must mention @Creatively_GF and @KINDSnacks)
  • Optional Entry: “Like” Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Facebook
  • Optional Entry: Follow Creative Cooking Gluten Free on Twitter

Good Luck!!

Also you should check out their store for more great KIND items! I just saw this on their site and I have a “wish list”:)

*Disclosure: I was sent the above products for review from KIND Healthy Snacks, I was not paid for the review and all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Spring Rolls

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

Last month I graduated with my degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University and also started my bachelors degree in culinary nutrition with a concentration in clinical dietetics. This degree is more heavily focused in academics with a handful of culinary labs. The first one is Vegetarian Cuisine. At the beginning of the term we were given recipes for each week and everyone was assigned a different item…starch, veg, dessert, entrée, etc. However to change things up a bit our Chef said that we can use these recipes as guides (which in my opinion that is what recipes are for), and then create something from there. Which, I think is a great idea because this encourages us as students to be more creative and produce something that we have created. Instead of looking at the recipes I look at what I am assigned and go from there. I want to be able to create recipes that I can share with all of you so I haven’t been using the recipes that were provided to us. So far I have made a curry mango smoothie (this was on the legumes week – I was assigned beverage), these delicious vegetarian spring rolls (grains week – I was assigned vegetables), and this past week I made a sweet potato and pine nut risotto (fruits and nut week – I was assigned starch). These other recipes will be posted soon.

These spring rolls are pretty easy to make. You can always buy pre-cut vegetables to save you some time and you can use which ever vegetables that you like. I wanted to include as many colors as I could with what we had in the kitchen that week. I call it…eating the rainbow! The spring rolls are made with purple sticky rice instead of the traditional rice noodles. As I said I was given vegetables on grains week and we were provided with so many wonderful options of grains, but I really wanted to stick with something gluten-free so I could enjoy them as well. Plus, this purple stick rice has a beautiful color and texture to it. If you can’t find this rice you can always use the rice noodles, brown rice, forbidden black rice, etc. Be creative and keep it colorful (a great way to get your kiddos or picky eaters to eat their veggies). This is also a great recipe to make with your kids, its hands on, gets them to learn about the different vegetables out there and try new things.

Vegetarian Spring Rolls

A spring roll, loaded with an assortment of vegetables served with a sweet spicy dipping sauce.

Yield: 8 Rolls      Serving Size:  2 Rolls     Number of Servings: 4

Spring Rolls

Purple Sticky rice, cooked and cooled                  1 ½ cups

Summer squash, julienne                                       1 ounce

Asparagus, julienne                                                1 ounce

Carrot, julienne                                                       1 ½ ounce

Bell pepper, red, julienne                                        1 ½ ounce

Red cabbage, julienne                                             1 ½ ounce

Water, warm                                                             6 cups

Rice Paper wrappers                                                8 sheets

Dipping Sauce

Gluten-Free Soy Sauce, Tamari  (San-J)                  ¼ cup

Ginger, freshly grated                                               2 tsp

Garlic, freshly grated                                                1 tsp

Agave or Honey                                                        1 Tbs

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes                                       ¼ tsp

Method of Preparation:

1.    Gather all ingredients and equipment.
2.    Cook rice according to package and set aside to cool.
3.    Wash all vegetables, peel carrot, and wash again.
4.    Julienne all vegetables and set aside in small bowls.
5.    In a large bowl, add the warm water.
6.    Soak each sheet of rice paper in the water until it becomes pliable, about 30-45 seconds.
7.    Remove rice paper wrapper from water, and gently squeeze off any additional water.
8.    Lay rice paper wrapper flat on a large cutting board or damp tea towel.
9.    In the center of the wrapper add 3 tablespoons of rice, and equal portions of squash, asparagus, carrot, bell pepper, and red cabbage.

10. Fold down the top end of the wrapper over the center tightly, fold in each of the sides over the center (should look similar to an envelope), and roll up tightly. Set aside and repeat with the seven remaining wrappers and remaining rice and vegetables.

11. To prepare the dipping sauce combine the soy sauce (tamari), ginger, garlic, agave or honey, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

12. Stir well to combine and serve along-side the spring rolls.

13. To serve, cut each roll on a bias and serve alongside the dipping sauce.

Grilled Tilapia with Oranges

This recipe is actually from my dad.  So all the credit for this delicious dish goes to him. Last weekend I spent it up at my dads house planting our garden and doing some fly fishing. He found a great spot in Connecticut for catch and release fly fishing only. It was beautiful and peaceful and the best part I could to finally test out my beautiful custom 9 foot 4 weight green fly rod that he built for me (I’m in the process of setting up a blog for him to showcase his beautiful work. Check it out HERE it is a work in progress.)

I love being able to spend time with my dad, something that I missed for the five years that I lived in California. He is one of my best friends and we always have a great time together. Last year we got into canning and this summer we plan to put up as many jars of pickles that we possibly can (no pun intended!), and also try our hand at canning sauce. Another thing we love to do together is cook…we are self-proclaimed foodies. Last Saturday we had his boss Bobby over who helped till our garden for us, so in return dad and I cooked up a pretty scrumptious dinner of molasses brined pork chops, salt potatoes, and Cesar salad = yummm (recipe to follow soon). The next day we headed to the river for some fly fishing and after a long day on the river we decided on a light, quick, and delicious dinner of Grilled Tilapia with Oranges.

This recipe uses two…maybe three ingredients, no lie. I even asked my dad several times to make sure because the flavor was so good. It is perfect for a summer day, light and refreshing. For sides you could serve just about anything you wanted; steamed or grilled vegetables, rice, quinoa, etc. I’m actually making this tonight and serving it with some steamed edamame.

Grilled Tilapia with Oranges

4 oz of Tilapia per person

1 large orange sliced about 1/8 – 1/4 inch thick

Kosher salt – to taste if desired

Aluminum foil

Heat grill to medium heat.

Place each fillet of Tilapia in aluminum foil, place two – three slices of orange on the fish and if you would like to add salt, be sure to season the fish and the oranges a little – this is optional, Dad made it with no salt and it was quite flavorful.

Seal foil package tightly and grill with the orange side down first. This helps release the juices from the orange, steam the fish and infused the flavor into the fish.

Cook for three minutes, flip carefully and repeat on the other side. This time may differ based on the thickness of your fillets.

Remove from grill, let packets sit for two minutes, cut open and serve with side(s) of you choice.

Thanks dad for this delicious dinner and for letting me share it on here.

Grilled Swordfish and Mango Salsa

Fish is one of my favorite things to eat, but sadly I don’t cook it enough.  We eat a lot of sushi in our house because Bryan isn’t a huge fan of fish when it is cooked, except for swordfish.  He’s eaten a few cooked fish dishes that I’ve made but like I said, I don’t cook it often enough.

A few months ago we went to a local restaurant because he was craving swordfish.  He had his grilled with a bruschetta topping to it while I had a delicious piece of mahi-mahi with a mango salsa on top. He was a bit jealous of my salsa and wasn’t such a fan of the bruschetta. I promised him the next time it is on sale we would pick up a piece and I would cook it however he wished.  He asked for it to be grilled with a mango salsa, similar to the one I had on my mahi-mahi.

Lucky for him, swordfish was on sale this week! So keeping true to my promise we went and picked up a good size piece (for the two of us to share) of swordfish, and the ingredients for a simple yet delicious onion-free mango salsa.  I just did a costing card for this meal and minus the steamed veggies on the side (we used green giant frozen steam ready veggies which were on sale for $1.00!) it totaled $8.27 per person!! If you were to add the veggies, it would be still only $8.77 per person.  You can’t go out anywhere to get a delicious and healthy meal for that price. Again, we bought the fish on sale so it helped with the price.  So if you do like I do and plan your weekly menu based on your local grocery adds or a local famers market prices you can find some great deals and make simple yet delicious and healthy meals for less.

This meal is beyond easy to make with only a few ingredients…five ingredients to be exact (salt, pepper and olive oil are “free” ingredients, meaning I have these on hand at all times and are basic ingredients for many recipes). I would suggest preparing the salsa at least an hour before and let it hang out in the fridge so all of the flavors are melded together nicely.  The fish takes between 8-10 minutes, so this is the perfect for a busy weeknight meal.

Grilled Swordfish

3/4 – 1 Pound of Swordfish Fillet – cut in half (enough for two people)

Juice of 1/2 Lime

Salt and Pepper – to taste

Olive Oil

Lightly brush the swordfish fillet with olive oil and squeeze the lime juice over it and season with salt and pepper – flip and repeat on the other side.

Pre-heat your grill to medium-high heat.  Add the swordfish and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side.

Onion-Free Mango Salsa

2 Large Ripe Mango – Diced(about 1 1/2 – 2 cups)

1 Medium Red Bell Pepper – Diced (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup)

Juice of 1/2 a Lime (about 1 tablespoon)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/8 cup Finely Chopped Cilantro (You can add more depending on your taste)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Add diced mango, red pepper, olive oil, lime juice, and season with salt and pepper – taste.  Add cilantro last and mix to combine well.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.

For the rest of the week I have planned:

  • Sunday – Corned Beef Sandwiches (Reuben’s) and veggies
  • Monday – Roasted Pork Meatballs (from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen – pre-order it here) and a quick fried rice
  • Tuesday – Pasta
  • Wednesday – Chicken Stir-Fry with Broccoli, Carrots, Red Cabbage and Snap Peas
  • Thursday – Grilled Rib-Eye and Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Friday – Chili

Hope you enjoy this meal!

TrueBar – Love Letter and Review

Here is my love letter to Bakery On Main

Dear Bakery On Main,

I would like to start by saying thank you so much for sending me a sample of your new TrueBars.  I am always looking for little snack items to keep in my backpack for school, my camera bag for photo assignments and my purse for when I am at work or traveling.  Having an item that is not only gluten-free, good for me AND delicious can be a bit tricky to find, but you my dear friends have mastered all three.  I am in love with these bars.  The first thing I noticed is the packaging – I really love that you can see the bars through the packaging and that they say exactly what they are: “I’m a coconut cashew bar with nothing to hide”.  (Both Bryan and I cracked up at this), Secondly they smell so good – and I know that sounds funny but I always smell my food first because if something doesn’t smell like it should then it probably wont taste like it should.  Third the taste of these bars are amazing! My favorite is the coconut cashew bar but I really enjoyed them all even the hazelnut chocolate cherry and I don’t ever like dried cherries!

Thank you BOM for making such delicious and nutritious gluten-free bars!  They are simply wonderful and I’m not just saying that because I received samples – I can’t wait for them to be released so I can get more of them. You rock.

Love, Jenny

I would love to have my pantry stocked with boxes upon boxes of these bars-they are that good. They are the perfect size to throw in one of my many bags and perfect for travel.  The bars definitely have nothing to hide – They are loaded with omega 3 from chia, a good source of fiber (all bars have 3 grams!!), made with many low-GI ingredients (such as brown rice syrup, agave nectar, chia seed and a variety of nuts), and they GFCO certified gluten-free!  These bars are also: dairy and casein free, GMO free, low in sodium, kosher, all natural, wheat free, they are free of transfats and cholesterol and are low in saturated fats.  What could be better?

TrueBars come in six delicious flavors (and like I said, I don’t liked dried cherries but loved all of the bars):

  • hazelnut chocolate cherry bar
  • walnut cappuccino bar
  • fruit and nut bar
  • raspberry chocolate almond bar
  • coconut cashew bar
  • apricot almond chai bar

I’ve never had anything with chia seeds in it before however, they were delicious and I think I might have to pick some up and start experimenting with them.

If I could give the wonderful people at BOM a high-five for these bars, I would! When you see them in stores around you, pick up a box and give them a try!