Food Reviews

MaraNatha Almond Butter Almond Butter

Peanut Butter for Grown-Ups…..  and Kids, too!

We all know that kids love PB&J.  Lots of adults, too.  Myself included.  (Did you know peanuts are a bean, and not a nut?)

Quite a while ago I was rooting around in a health food store and noticed Almond Butter.  “Hmmm….   I love almonds.  It says it’s ‘healthy,’ ‘organic.’  Lemme try it.”   Took it home, opened it up, very oily, not very tasty, never bought it again.

BUT, not long ago I noticed “MaraNatha All Natural No-Stir Creamy Almond Butter” in the supermarket.  “No Stir?  Natural? Creamy?  Let’s give it another try.”

And, so I did.  And it was GOOD!  Really creamy, not oily, really “No Stir,” and definitely delicious!

Not that sickly sweet peanut butter stuff, this is a more refined, grown-up taste.  (Not that kids won’t like it, and it IS a healthier option than peanut butter, hint, hint.)  I’ve used it in AB&J sandwiches, on crackers, on WASA Crispbread (which I LOVE), in smoothies, and in sauces, and it always satisfies.

It also comes in crunchy, but I like the creamy version better.

(BTW- if you have a “butter” of some kind that keeps separating, stir it up well, and store it upside down.  Just make sure the top of the jar is on tight.)

Give it a try.  Healthy, and so yummy!


Morningstar Farms Meatballs   Morningstar Meatballs

You’re going to laugh.  I know you are.  But I have to tell you these meatballs remind me of my mother’s meatballs… and that’s a good thing!

Of course, back in the day, she made wonderful,  big, meat meatballs, which she learned to make  from her Italian friends in Brooklyn.  The trick to making them delicious wasn’t just spices, it was adding bread to keep the meatballs soft.  These meatballs are soft.  Really nice and soft.

Do they taste like the meat meatballs she used to make?  Or, should I say, do they taste like meat?  No, they don’t taste like meat, but interestingly, they give the impression of meat, and if you’re eating pasta with sauce and cheese and want meatballs that make you think you’re eating the real thing, these are great.

When I tried these, I made the whole box and wound up putting them in the fridge.  I actually ate a few out of the fridge, cold, the next day, and they were pretty good cold.  Not that you’d ever eat them cold, but that just goes to show ya.  They’re pretty good, hot or cold, and just think of the recipes you can put them in aside from good ‘ole spaghetti and meatballs.


Cascadian Farm Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Granola     Cascadian Farm Granola 1

If you like a little granola crunch with your yogurt,  or anywhere else, you’ve probably been perplexed about why it seems to be impossible to find a delicious and not crazily calorie-filled granola.  The low calorie ones taste awful.  The high calorie ones taste good…. but they’re SO high calorie!

I’ve been into “Greek” yogurt for a long time, and I usually make it myself by draining plain yogurt until it’s really thick and then adding a bit of salt.  I usually top it with honey or granola and it’s really delicious.  Orange Blossom honey on yogurt is wonderful, but sometimes you’re just really craving a crunch.

A couple of weeks ago I was looking through the granolas in the cereal section of the supermarket and wasn’t finding anything interesting. “Fruits and Nuts” equals “High Calorie.” “Low Fat” equals “Tastes like Cardboard.”  (They all seem to have cinnamon, too, which I don’t like in granola.)

It occurred to me that there’s cereal in the “healthy” section, and I found quite a few, most calorie laden or sounding pretty cardboard-y.  But, here was one I hadn’t seen before, “Cascadian Farm Organic Dark Chocolate Almond Granola.”  What I found interesting, aside from the addition of dark chocolate, was that the portions were based on ¾ cup, rather than ½ cup, making the calorie count lower (or at least equal to) other granolas.

All I can say is its crunchy and delicious, and I’ve just finished my THIRD box.  I’ve had to hold back from buying another because I’m afraid of blasting through it like I did with the previous three.  Once I have better control of myself, I will definitely buy another!

Give it a try….and hang on to your hat!  Delicious as a topping, or straight out of the box!


Tasty Bite “Tikka Masala” and “Good Korma” Cooking Sauces

Tasty Bite Cooking Sauces

I was doing one of my periodic perusals of the “Asian” section of the supermarket and was drawn to the bright boxes and packets of the “Tasty Bite” section.  I’ve used their products before, but hadn’t noticed that so many of them are kosher, and that's a huge plus for many people  Their packaged “meals” tend not to be kosher, but most of their side dishes and cooking sauces are!

Since I really love Asian and Eastern flavors I was wary of the cooking sauces but was amazed at what I found.  In both cases I followed the easy directions on the package, but “doctored them up” a bit by adding a package of mixed vegetables (to the veg “chicken” I used in the recipe), vegetable broth, and some additional spices because I like things spicy, but they were delicious even without the extra touches.

The cooking sauces were quick and easy to use, and surprisingly good.  I’ll bet the side dishes are just as good, and from what I saw on the “Tasty Bite” website, it would be so easy to heat them and pour them over rice for a really quick and easy meal.

I did find these in a good, local supermarket, but you can also order directly from their website.

Ezekiel 1

Sesame Ezekiel Bread

"Flourless Sprouted Grain Bread." Pretty Chi-Chi Fou-Fou, huh?  Or Hippy Dippy, if you remember those days.

I've been a lover of good bread for years, and was really in heaven while living in Europe because of all the great, fresh breads. (Great chocolate helped, too, but that's another story.)

Grainy, nutty, bread, with a bit of "tooth" is pretty hard to come by, and the packaged breads leave a lot to be desired.  But this "Flourless Sprouted Grain Bread" is really good!

Ezekiel Bread (my favorite is the sesame version) is organic, all natural, and has no preservatives.  Its full of fiber, no sugar, and has a really nutty taste and chewy texture.

Its great at breakfast, either straight out of the bag or toasted, with butter, jam or almond butter (grown up peanut butter), and because of the fiber and "tooth" you really feel like you've eaten something that's not only good for you, but filling.

One note-  Because the bread is preservative free it can be found with other breads in the freezer section of the supermarket. I leave it out on the counter to defrost and it never has a chance to spoil because its gobbled up so quickly!

There are four varieties of the bread, but my favorites remain. sesame and cinnamon raisin!
Better Oats

Better Oats Hot Cereals

Already learned something new in 2012.  Shopping at a supermarket outside of your usual stomping grounds can reap unusual benefits!

I was searching for the broth I use as a base for my Vegetarian Chicken Soup and had to go to a different supermarket than I usually use in order to get it.  While wandering around I came across a brand of hot cereal I had never seen before, Better Oats.  “They” say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but trying to come up with a nutritious, healthy, and quick breakfast while a whirlwind is going on can be pretty difficult.

The packaging, colors, and variety caught my eye (good marketing!), and I bought Better Oats Mom’s Best Naturals Multigrain Hot Cereal in Maple and Brown Sugar.  I was expecting good things the next morning, and I found something amazing.  Not only great tasting, quickly made hot cereal, but it was made even faster by using the cereal pouch to measure the water to put in the bowl.  No running around looking for a measuring cup, and how easy for the kids to “fill the pouch with water up to the line”!  Eureka!

I checked my regular supermarket and lo and behold, they had it, too!  The Multigrain Hot Cereal I had tried previously was delicious, so I picked up three other versions, all from Better Oats- Abundance All Natural in Maple and Brown Sugar, Oat Fit 100 Calorie in Maple and Brown Sugar, and Organic Raw Pure and Simple Multigrain Hot Cereal with Flax in Chai Spiced.  (I broke the pattern!)

All four versions are delicious.  Toss in some raisins and nuts, if you like, and you’ve really got something special.

Two quick points, I found the cereals in the “natural” food area in one supermarket, and in the “oatmeal” section of the other.  And, do take note of the size bowl they suggest.  A couple of the cereals require a bit more water and can easily boil over unless you use the proper size bowl.




  1. I do a lot of the Morning Star foods, but haven’t seen the meatballs anywhere.

    • Mindy says:

      If you contact Morningstar through their website they may be able to help you. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like any one store carries all of their products. Wish they did!


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