Product Review: Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Baked Organic Corn Snacks

Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Baked Corn Puffs
Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Baked Corn Snacks

 Product: Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Baked Organic Corn Snacks – $3.59+

It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed a product from Cuisine Cube.  Farmer’s Market season is in full swing and I, sadly, had to drop the subscription for the time being.  With my hip injury, my medical bills have to take precedence.  So, the last Cuisine Cube box that I received was the May 2015 (For Mom) box.

Cuisine Cube has gone through some changes as of May as well.  No longer do they strictly only offer gluten-free cubes.  In addition to their gluten-free option, they now also offer Artisan and Vegan cubes as well.  The Artisan cube means that you have no food allergies and foods that contain common food allergens will be included.  The Vegan cubes contain products that are dairy and animal free.  And, they still have the Gluten Free cubes, which will have products that contain no gluten or wheat.  These box subscriptions start at $34.99/month.  And, part of the charm is that you will receive 5-6 full-size (not sample size) products.  WOOT!  These usually fall into every meal category for the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and dessert…with an added bonus from time-to-time.  So, if you’re really interested in being introduced to the smaller, lesser-known, artisan companies, give Cuisine Cube a try!  I can’t wait to get back to receiving these in the mail.

For the snack option in the May 2015 Cuisine Cube, I received a 2.3 ounce bag of the Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Baked Organic Corn Snacks.  This, naturally, couldn’t be more timely.  Well, at least my devouring of them couldn’t be.  And here’s why…I ate these, for the first time, on Wednesday night, along side a new recipe I was trying for vegan carrot “hot dogs.”  No joke…I made carrots into hot dogs.  And they were rather fantastic…but I digress…

Good Boy Organics was founded in 2012 and is dedicated to providing delicious, healthy products that are USDA Certified Organic and Verified by the Non-GMO Project.  The company sources ingredients from fair trade certified producers and develop gluten-free products whenever possible.  YAY.    Founded by David and Victoria Byrnes, a husband and wife team, Good Boy Organics was born through their dedication through a decade of success launching progressive and successful organic food brands with the sales and marketing company they founded in 2001 – Integrated Organics Company (IOCO).  In 2009, Integrated Global Organics (IGLO) joined IOCO and from there…Good Boy Organics was born.  The two of them, along with their dedicated team, are working to help families everywhere make better, delicious, nutritious decisions when it comes to foods, encouraging purchasing certified organic foods and helping to make such products readily accessible and affordable.

So…they just seemed like the perfect side, on the cusp of an early screening the following night of Jurassic World, to accompany dinner that evening.  First of all, the vegan carrot hot dogs were fantastic.  But that’s not the point of this blog…

Truly, I was a bit underwhelmed by the Good Boy Organics Organicasuarus Tangy Tomato Puffs.  They were crispy and slightly crunchy, sure.  They made a great snack if you were looking for a little salty, a little sweet, a little tangy, and a little crispy.  But I just felt that they came across more like…stale cheesy puffs.  That being said…the flavor was amazing.  It definitely had a bit of a zip to it.  The tomato flavor was there, but it didn’t overpower the rest of the snack.  The puffed corn made it a healthier choice than, say, potato chips, and the dinosaur shape…ingenious.  I just felt like it was lacking…something.  Maybe I expected a little bit more, but at least they tasted good enough to devour the rest of the bag in the days that followed.  So…good…not great.

Let’s discuss ingredients, shall we?  The Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Puffs are made from organic corn (flour and/or grits), organic sunflower oil, and organic sun dried tomato seasoning (tomato, salt sugar, corn flour, yeast extract, paprika, tomato concentrate, black pepper, sunflower oil, garlic, silicone dioxide, paprika extract).  These snacks are baked, not fried, contain 40% less fat than their fried counterparts, are non-GMO verified, certified organic, and certified gluten-free.

As for nutrition, the facts for Good Boy Organics Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Puffs will astound you!  A serving is 14 little brontosaurus shaped puffs, or around 28 grams if you weigh your food like I do.  There are 2.5 servings per package.  This serving will provide you with 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 0 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.  I may not have fallen head-over-heels for these, but the real ingredients and the fantastic dietary standards are appealing.

I love a healthy snack that doesn’t seem like it should be good for you.  That’s what Good Boy Organics has done with their Organicasaurus Tangy Tomato Baked Organic Corn Snacks.  I wasn’t raving about them, but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the chance to try them or other Good Boy Organics products again.  Never heard of this company before Cuisine Cube and now am more than intrigued to see what else they have to offer.  Total win.

Product Review: Laughing Giraffe Organics Cherry Ginger Snakarola

Laughing Giraffe Organics Cherry Ginger Snakarola
Laughing Giraffe Organics Cherry Ginger Snakarola

Product: Laughing Giraffe Organics Cherry Ginger Snakarola – $7.99+

When a product goes by the name “Laughing Giraffe” I take notice.  Funny thing though…I’d never heard of this brand before.  Trust me…if I had, it would probably have already been a staple in my pantry.

This brand and product came to me courtesy of my monthly subscription to Cuisine Cube.  I know most of you, by now, are familiar with this service, but let me give you a quick rundown.  For as little as $29.99/month, you can have Cuisine Cube delivered to your door . What this service provides is 5-6 gluten-free, full-size products that are made by local and smaller, artisan companies, rather than those that you can find at the average grocery store.  It has introduced me to so many new and delightful products.  Each box contains a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert product…and then, sometimes, an extra bonus item.  Who doesn’t love a little something extra, right?

So, April 2015’s Cuisine Cube featured Laughing Giraffe Organics Cherry Ginger Snakarola for the Breakfast/Snack item.  I was immediately intrigued.  Loved the name of the company and the name of the product.  And I love a good granola…and this looked like it was quality in a little pouch.  So, yeah…excitement.

Laughing Giraffe Organics is a family run business owned by the Gilmour family, based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.  They entered the health food business out of a desire to learn about healthy eating and how it could improve their own well-being.  Laughing Giraffe Organics mission is to provide quality nutritional snack foods that taste great and only use the purest organic ingredients that are nutrient dense and minimally processed.  I am loving this already.  Basically, they make foods that they believe will satisfy hunger without detracting from quality of life.  This is a company that truly wants you to eat well and live better.

Who can’t get on board with that, right?

It was my 5:30 a.m. spin class day at the gym yesterday.  I love my class, but it’s an hour long, and I have to go home, shower, and get everything together to get out the door to work.  It makes for a huge time crunch.  SO…in order to have something my roommate can eat and that I can take with me to work, it is often something like a Greek yogurt parfait or something of the sort.  This was the case this past Wednesday, and so, before heading off to the gym, I made up two bowls of my infamous breakfast parfaits…Greek yogurt, granola, and fresh berries.

I try to keep healthy (ie: low sugar) granola in the house, and since Cuisine Cube had provided me with some, I figured I’d take full advantage on such a chaotic morning.  I washed the berries and prepped the to-go bowl and the nice bowl (for the roomie to eat at home) for the actual assembly of the parfaits.  I put a small handful of the granola in each bowl, then spooned over the Greek yogurt, then added the berries.  Repeat.  Then finish off with another handful of granola.  It’s a filling, amazing, delicious and nutritious way to start the morning.  Of course, I had to try this granola on it’s own, as well as as a mixer with the parfait.

The Laughing Giraffe Organics Cherry Ginger Snakarola is a better granola.  It’s soft (like Van’s Granola), and packed with nuts and and tons of flavor.  I was a bit concerned with the ginger in the name of the product, but the ginger that is included in the mix isn’t candied or overwhelming.  It’s blended in perfectly and offset by the salty-crunchy nuts.  Then…to add to the decadence…dried cherries.  Honestly, it was a perfect blend for me.  Almost like a muesli while still being a granola.  It was amazing.  And it could be used over dairy-free (or regular) ice cream, in cookies, or eaten straight out of the bag…among other tings.  That’s the great thing about a fantastic granola…it can be so versatile.  The Laughing Giraffe Cherry Ginger Snakarola is all of that.  And…it’s addictive…in a good, healthy, and delicious way.

So, let’s take a look at the simple, basic, organic ingredients that go into each pouch of Laughing Giraffe Cherry Ginger Snakarola, shall we?  This granola is made up of organic walnuts, organic pecans, organic agave nectar, organic dried cherries, organic ginger powder, organic vanilla extract (gluten-free) and Himalayan pink salt.  This product compliments a Paleo diet, has a low glycemic point, is nutrient-rich and power-packed, is a fantastic source of healthy fats, and is packed with fiber to keep you feeling full.  This product is gluten-free, certified organic, raw, vegan and non-GMO.

As for nutrition information, don’t be frightened.  Remember much of this granola is made up of healthy nuts, which, are higher in calories and fats (but healthy…just keep to the serving size or below!).  A serving of the Laughing Giraffe Cherry Ginger Snakarola is 1/2 cup.  This serving will give you 290 calories and 25 grams of fat.  You will also be taking in 50 mg sodium, 13 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams of sugars, 3 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein.  This granola is cholesterol free.

It was definitely love at first bite with this granola.  It wasn’t too sweet, nor was it spicy.  It was crunchy without being over toasted.  And it was soft and delicious.  Filled with the best sort of foods for healthy and fitness…yeah…this was a definite win.  Now to get more for my pantry.  Perhaps in another flavor.  Thanks to both Laughing Giraffe Organics and Cuisine Cube for this fantastic product!

Product Review: Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting

Grandpa's Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting
Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting

Product: Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting – $5.00+

Okay…I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking…what is the gluten-free vegetarian doing with a breadcrumb coating that is meant for making fried chicken?

Well…it all starts with Cuisine Cube.

I signed up for Cuisine Cube back in May 2014…and for a year have been receiving a monthly subscription box of full-size products from artisan and smaller gluten-free companies.  I love it.  You can subscribe for as little as $29.99/month.  While you might be uncertain about the quality of the service, let me tell you…you will receive products you may never have heard of and are definitely not readily available stores.  You will receive 5-6 products (full-size) each month, each one representing a time when you’d eat: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert.  And…sometimes…a bonus!  For me, some some products get used faster than others…and some sort of linger in my pantry until I can figure out something to do with them.

That was the case when, in my July 2014 Cuisine Cube, I received a 6 ounce package of Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting.  Upon first opening the box, I thought…”I’m a vegetarian…what am I going to do with this?”  But, as most of you are well aware, I do love to coat some of my fresh vegetables in different breading (some made out of re-purposed items, and some…from actual gluten-free breadcrumbs) and bake them up in the oven to serve for dinner.  And, after almost a year of procrastinating on this product, I thought it was time to move the last of the 2014 products out.

That honor…went to Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting.  Grandpa’s Gourmet was founded by a couple – he is a Celiac and she can’t have sugar, making meal planning quite a task.  One night, while she was preparing her grandfather’s old recipe for oven fried chicken, her husband gave into the craving and devoured all the fried chicken he could get his hands on.  He, of course, braced for the inevitable reaction – which never came.  Could it be…they had stumbled upon a recipe that would mean – “One Meal for Everyone!”?

Grandpa’s Gourmet calls their line of products “Encrustings” because they are breading taken to the next level.  Typical store-bought breading (or breadcrumbs) you get are genetically modified, unnatural wheat-based products that contain high amounts of sodium, sugar and preservatives.  Even most gluten-free breadings are loaded with fat because they are nut based or have a gritty texture as they are rice based.  But that’s what sets Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Encrustings apart.  Not only are their products all natural and healthy…but they taste great.  These encrustings have a non-GMO corn base, instead of rice or potato, giving it a fantastic texture.  They are sweetened with natural fruit juice…no artificial flavorings here.  And then, they fold in their own custom blend of spices and seasonings that smell amazing as they cook.

Roasted Broccoli over a Wild Rice Blend using Grandpa's Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting
Roasted Broccoli over a Wild Rice Blend using Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting

I don’t eat chicken…nor do I cook meat…but I do a lot with vegetables.  Had I thought about it before, the Grandpa’s Gourmet even suggests putting it on vegetables on the front of their pouch.  It says, “Also great on: pork, fish, pasta, and vegetables.”  VEGETABLES!  DUH!  So, last night and tonight, it was all about the Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting.

Last night, I roasted up some broccoli that I coated with some olive oil and the encrusting mix.  I did the same tonight with green beans, which I toasted up in the oven to get them nice and crispy and good.  Let me tell you, Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting is phenomenal.  While I liked it well enough on the oven roasted broccoli, it really shined tonight when I put it on the green beans and toasted those up for dinner.  WOW.  This breading is anything but bland.  In fact, it is a fantastic seasoning that would work well even in scrambled eggs.  Honestly…I am beyond impressed with this amazing product.  And to think, I never would have thought about this product otherwise.  It is versatile and amazing.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients that go into a pouch of Grandpas Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting.  This breading is made from organic corn meal (organic corn meal, organic grape and/or pear juice concentrate, sea salt), cashews, almonds, spices, salt, and orange peel.  This encrusting is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, MSG free, and non-GMO.

As far as nutrition goes, I am totally impressed with how this all adds up.  A serving of Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting is 1/4 cup.  There are about 6 servings per container.  One serving will provide 120 calories and 6 grams of fat.  This serving will also dish up 0 mg cholesterol, 220 mg sodium, 14 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams sugars, 2 grams fiber, and 3 grams of protein.

Honestly, I never would have given Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting a second glance, but thanks to Cuisine Cube, I now have a product I can actively seek out (and order) and indulge in and include in so many dishes.  This is one versatile breading…so even if you’re like me and don’t eat meat…you can still enjoy this product.  I am definitely in love.  Enough that I even ate the breading that flaked off my green beans tonight.  A nice salty-sweet treat at the end of a meal.  Definitely a new favorite.

Crispy Green Beans made with Grandpa's Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting
Crispy Green Beans made with Grandpa’s Gourmet Gluten Free Citrus Herb Chicken Encrusting

Product Review: Pretzel Perfection Salted Caramel Clusters

Pretzel Perfection Salted Caramel Clusters
Pretzel Perfection Salted Caramel Clusters

Product: Pretzel Perfection Salted Caramel Clusters – $4.99+

One thing that most everyone who knows me knows about me is that I have this huge crush on anything salted caramel.  If it’s salted caramel, I want it in my belly.  Seriously…there is no better flavor combination that something that is rich and sweet and salty and yummy and…

I’m making myself hungry again…

So when my Spring (April 2015) Cuisine Cube hit my doorstep this past month, I was really excited about pulling out a little 3 ounce pouch of probably the most perfect snack food in history.  But, before I go into that, a quick recap on what Cuisine Cube is all about.  You see, Cuisine Cube is a gluten-free subscription box that specializes in pantry/meal items.  The best part being, you get full-size products, not just sample sizes.  Each month, you get 5-6 items (a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, and sometimes a bonus!) inside your little box of wonder from smaller artisan companies that specialize in some gluten-free goodness.  Subscriptions start as low as $29.99.  So, if you haven’t yet…hop on over to their site and check them out.

Anyway, what I was getting to just before that was that in my Spring cube, the most perfect dessert option arrived.  Sure, it was only 3 ounces of goodness, but everything about this treat screamed for me to just EAT IT ALL RIGHT THERE AND RIGHT THEN.  I didn’t.  I resisted…because I’m a blogger and I need to take pictures…but I now had a new product in my clutches!

The product – Salted Caramel Clusters from Pretzel Perfection.  First thing that won me over…the words SALTED CARAMEL.  The next thing…the delightful photo of these chocolaty covered pretzel things on the front of the pouch.  Chocolate covered pretzels have always been (and will always be) one of my favorite snacks/treats/desserts in the world.  I mean, the salty and sweet with rich and crunchy all rolled into one…HELLO!!  That’s perfection right there.  As the founders of this company must know given the name “Pretzel Perfection.”

Pretzel Perfection was created by Amy Holyk and actually began as a one-person operation in a converted garage.  Since then, Pretzel Perfection has grown into an expanding and thriving business, with focus on treats that are made of real food.  This company creates products that consumers can trust in and are committed to providing products that are of a higher quality, all-natural, and gluten-free.  They take great pride in the fact that they do not use any artificial flavors, colorings, or preservatives.

So…yeah…they had me with pretzels…dark chocolate…salted caramel.  They were already winning without me even tasting them yet.  But…this was the night.  These little bundles of pretzel goodness were my dessert tonight.  So, after a healthy dinner…it was time to indulge a little.

The Pretzel Perfection Salted Caramel Clusters are in their line of gourmet pretzel treats.  These treats are gluten-free pretzel clusters wrapped with caramel, coated in dark chocolate, and then sprinkled with sea salt and dark chocolate chips.  What’s not to love about that, right?  EXACTLY!!  They look like something I’d make to take into the office…which I love.  And I dove right in.  First of all, the dark chocolate is a nice bittersweet note to blend with the saltiness of the pretzel and the sea salt that adorns the top of the cluster itself.  The dark chocolate chips make for a nice compliment and an added burst of sweetness.  The pretzels are crunchy…I mean…dark chocolate coated to perfection.  The little square of caramel holes it all together and is the magic in the middle of this cluster.  Honestly…if heaven exists…it is inside this bag.  I am doing all I can not to raid it and eat the remnants.  Seriously.

My roommate and I devoured these in record speed.  I had a feeling I was going to like these…even love these…but I LOVE these.  Caps lock love.  That’s real love right there.

Let’s talk about ingredients, shall we?  The Pretzel Perfection Salted Caramel Clusters are made from dark chocolate, caramel, gluten-free pretzels, dark chocolate chips, and sea salt.  Yep.  that’s it.  They are gluten-free and kosher.

As far as nutrition goes…dark chocolate pretzels aren’t going to be good for you in the long run, but…these really are worth a bit of a splurge.  A serving size is 1 ounce (about 2 pieces), and the pouch holds 3 servings.  One serving will give you 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 420 mg sodium, 18 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 11 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.  Delicious…and…compared to some desserts…a healthy and delicious option.  Or, as they say on their Web site: ” Life is simply too short to not have fun with your food.”  Amen.

Seriously…everything about Pretzel Perfection Salted Caramel Clusters is…perfection.  The taste, the texture, the ccare and love that goes into the products they make.  Oh yeah…I’m a fan.  I have seen that these might be sold at Target.  You best believe I’ll be on the lookout for them and the other flavors that Pretzel Perfection makes.

Hop on over to Pretzel Perfection‘s web site and check out the products they offer and…if you’re feeling a little crazy…ORDER SOME!!  Seriously.  All my love and praise to Cuisine Cube for doing dessert oh, so right this month!

Product Review: WB Kitchen Maple Pecan Honey Cookies

WB Kitchen Maple Pecan Honey Cookies
WB Kitchen Maple Pecan Honey Cookies

Product: WB Kitchen Maple Pecan Honey Cookies – $3.29+

I love seeing what my Cuisine Cube sends to me each month.  This month, however, hasn’t been a good one for me to actually dive into my box.  Most of the items…okay…all of the items…were in the box up until I returned from the Boston Marathon.  We all know from previous posts, leading into that were days and nights of stress and emotional overload…just trying to find out if I was going to get to race or not.  And then, afterwards, I was having a hard time moving around, putting things away sounded like a tedious task.

That being said, the six items that were inside my April 2015 (Spring) Cuisine Cube have been put away.  And have stayed put away.  Up until last night.  And that was mostly because I had nothing ready for dessert…

Hooray for convenience!

Of course, first I want to remind you of what Cuisine Cube is and what they do…and why you should consider a subscription with them.  Cuisine Cube is a monthly subscription service were a gift box will be sent to your door with goodies inside.  These are meal/pantry items that are the full-size products, not little sample sizes.  That’s a huge deal, as most of the time these services send you sample products only.  You can sign up for a monthly, three-month, or six-month subscription, which begin as low as $29.99 per month.  Each box you receive will contain one item from each major meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert.  And then, sometimes,  you get a bonus treat.  Bonus treats are always a nice and welcome surprise.  I’ve had Cuisine Cube for over a year now and love, love, love it!

In the April Box, the Breakfast/Snack option that was presented was a package of cookies.  Yes…cookies.  Cookies for breakfast.  You have my attention!  The cookies are a product of WB Kitchen.  WB Kitchen was founded in 2012 by Chris Feuille and his wife, Anna.  Feuille strives to show that businesses can succeed and be profitable while utilizing unconventional methods of operation.  WB Kitchen offers natural honey sweets.  Fueille believes that our food choices directly reflect the level of conscious awareness we bring into the rest of our lives.  When people choose to nourish their bodies with real and harmonious foods, they are more in balance with the community and the planet.  By making foods that are Paleo-friendly and use no preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and are sweetened simply with maple syrup and honey, Fueille hopes that consumers who eat the foods that mother nature intended will show them how to live a healthier, happier and more vibrant life.

The WB Kitchen Maple Pecan Honey Cookies were the item that Cuisine Cube shared with us in April.  And I was really excited about trying them, after looking over the ingredients, and more impressively – the nutrition information.  Last night was the ideal day to try them after a big breakfast at my local gluten-free bakery and then movie theater popcorn (just the kid’s snack pack) while seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron.  I cooked up a simple dinner…gluten-free veggie burgers with sweet potato fries, to eat while watching the Kentucky Derby (I live in Louisville…that’s what we do one day out of the year).  Afterwards, I knew I wanted my palate cleansing dessert.  And I felt no guilt in reaching for the WB Kitchen Maple Pecan Honey Cookies.  I tore into the package, giving one of the cookies to my roommate and taking the other one for myself.  Dessert…and a horse race.

Well, the horse I chose (the names didn’t impress me this year, so I went for the prettiest horse in the field – Frosted!) came in 4th…but dessert…that was definitely winning in my book.  The texture, at first, is a little weird.  Sort of like a non-date-y Laräbar…soft and chewy…with a lot of emphasis on the “chew.”  It wasn’t gummy though.  But the flavor…that’s where these cookies totally won.  The honey flavor for sweetness is perfect.  Not too much…not too little.  Just the right amount.  And the pecans gave it this nutty flavor and a bit of crunch in each bite.  Top it off with one of my favorite things – maple…and you have a recipe that I truly enjoyed.  Every bite (which, technically was only three…but…).  Just loving the way everything came together.  And once that first bite was taken and I was able to adjust to the texture…it was dessert perfection.  And no guilt.  Cookies without the guilt.  Loving that!

So, let’s discuss the ingredients in the WB Kitchen Maple Pecan Honey Cookies.  These cookies are made with  almond flour, raw unfiltered honey, organic maple syrup, organic pecans, sea salt, organic cinnamon, organic coconut oil, and organic vanilla extract.  That’s it.  Real.  Simple.  Ingredients.  I recognize everything.  Nothing makes me question what I’m about to devour.  I love that.  These cookies are produced in a dedicated gluten, grain, dairy, and soy-free facility.  On top of being gluten-free and vegan, these are also cholesterol free.

Now, I told you I was impressed by the nutrition facts on these cookies and I’m going to share with you why.  A serving size is 1 cookie, so there are 2 servings per container.  This one cookie will provide you with 68 calories (a cookie for 68 calories!) and 4 grams of fat (mostly from nuts).  You will also be taking in 54 mg sodium, 6 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram  of fiber and 1.4 grams of protein.  They won’t be filling, but they sure make a nice way to end the day.

So, if you’ve been looking for a great, healthy, cookie-type snack/breakfast/dessert…look into WB Kitchen and what they have to offer.  Their Web site has other varieties of cookies and bars that make for healthy, nutritious, and clean eating.  If maple is your thing…I highly, highly recommend these though.  Soft, chewy, and good for you.  What’s not to love?  Thanks, Cuisine Cube for another wonderful food discovery!

Product Review: Krumville Bake Shop Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Krumville Bake Shop Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookie
Krumville Bake Shop Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookie

Product: Krumville Bake Shop Double Chocolate Chip Cookies – $24.00+/-

Don’t panic.  Don’t panic at that price.  That’s for about 8 cookies.  So $3.00 per cookie from a gluten-free bakery…that’s about what my local allergen-free bakery runs.

Okay…with that public service announcement, welcome to yet another Cuisine Cube item!  I’ve been doing really well this month working my way through my box of delicious goodies, not really leaving much to settle in the snack drawer or kitchen pantry.  YAY!

You all know everything there is to know about Cuisine Cube by now, but in case there are some newbies out there…the quick run-down is this…

Cuisine Cube is a monthly subscription service were a gift box will be sent to your door with goodies inside.  These are meal/pantry items that are the full-size products, not little sample sizes.  That’s a huge deal, as most of the time these services send you sample products only.  You can sign up for a monthly, three-month, or six-month subscription, which begin as low as $29.99 per month.  Each box you receive will contain one item from each major meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert.  And then, sometimes,  you get a bonus treat.  Bonus treats are always a nice and welcome surprise.  I started with Cuisine Cube a year ago, and absolutely love it.

So, as I’ve been working my way through the March Cube, I got into the dessert yesterday.  We all know that I am a strong believer in dessert.  I am even more of a believer when said dessert is…cookies.  Because, first and foremost, I am a cookie monster.  They are the perfect dessert and there are so many variations and textures.  Love.  You just don’t get bored with cookies.

In the March 2015 Cuisine Cube, the dessert was a container of Gluten Free Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from Krumville Bake Shop, which is located in Brooklyn, New York.  Krumville Bake Shop was founded by Antonella Zangheri, who was diagnosed with Celiac in 2009.  She grew up in Emilia Romagna, a region of Italy known for its rich culinary heritage, and now she would be giving up many of the foods she grew up eating.  Not only that, she was highly disappointed with the gluten-free products that were available, noting that she saw a need for more exciting options.  And that is how Krumville Bake Shop was born.  In fact, Zangheri creates amazing focaccia, cookies, muffins, and specialty cakes that taste as good as the foods she grew up eating – just minus the gluten!  Krumville Bake Shop’s mission is to provide wholesome, fresh, and delicious gluten-free products, using only the best ingredients.  All of Krumville’s products are free of GMOs, artificial flavorings, and preservatives.  They use high quality flour blends that are made with whole grains (sorghum, brown rice, millet) and utilize a vast selection of ancient grains as well.  By perfecting their special flour blends, Krumville can offer baked goods with unique flavors and extraordinary textures.  And, to limit the use of refined sugar, the bake shop uses agave nectar as much as possible.

I am falling even more in love the more I learn about this company.

This month’s dessert option had me at Double Chocolate Chip Cookies.  I mean…double your chocolate, double your delicious fun, right?  I think so.  I actually paid attention this time and noted the “Refrigerate Me” tag on the Cuisine Cube product rundown, so into the fridge these went.  And as April has gotten under way, I decided it was time to bust into these.  So, last night after eating my Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pie…this was going to be dessert.  I went to retrieve the clam-shell container from the fridge and popped it open.  I removed two cookies…one for myself and one for my roommate to try.  It was a very good thing that I then put the container back in the fridge, because I don’t know if I would have stopped at one cookie.

First of all…these cookies have a perfect texture.  Crunchy outside and a bit of chewiness on the inside.  They explode, with each bite, with fantastic chocolate flavor.  I mean…wow.  Not overpowering.  Not too much.  But just right.  It satisfies that every craving for chocolate.  Seriously.  Because the cookie has this richness to it, and then you get this little burst of dark chocolate with the chips baked into them.  It’s one of the most perfect cookies ever.  They are about the size of a Chips-Ahoy Cookie…but way better than any of that processed garbage I used to eat.  These…are amazing.  Bite-for-bite.  But hide them away in the fridge, or you may find yourself cookie-less and 3 pounds heavier for it.

Worth it.  Totally worth it.

The container doesn’t have any of the nutrition information on there, so I can’t give you the rundown of calories/fat and all that per serving…but I can tell you what ingredients go into these fantastic cookies.  The Krumville Bake Shop Double Chocolate Chip Cookies are made from Guittard chocolate, unsalted butter, dark brown sugar, brown rice flour, light brown sugar, sorghum flour, eggs, pure cane sugar, potato starch, milk, sweet rice flour, rice starch, vanilla extract, baking soda, sea salt, and xanthan gum.

Believe me when I say that these cookies are phenomenal.  They are the right hit of sweetness and that perfect level of chocolate for this major chocaholic.  For real.  I am glad these get tucked away after I pull out that night’s worth for my roommate and I because we’d probably kill off the entire container in one go.  Dessert and cookie perfection.  Nicely done Krumville Bake Shop and Cuisine Cube.

Product Review: Moon Rabbit Foods Pastry & Pie Crust Mix

Moon Rabbit Farms Gluten Free Pastry & Pie Mix
Moon Rabbit Foods Gluten Free Pastry & Pie Mix

Product: Moon Rabbit Foods Pastry & Pie Crust Mix – $8.79+

So, for awhile now, I’ve been wanting to revamp another one of my mom’s famous recipes.  Making it not only gluten-free, but also vegetarian.  Oh…and dairy free too…but that’s pretty much a given when it comes to me, right?  The actual dish is her delicious Cheeseburger Pie.  Normally, the crust of this amazing meal is made from crescent rolls from the grocery store fridge area zone.  You know, that place I hardly visit these days.

Sadness.

But…then I got to thinking…what if I cooked up a pie crust and used that instead.  Sure, it wouldn’t be the flaky crescent roll shell that this meal was known for, but I was already going to get rid of the whole meat thing (using a meat substitute) and use Daiya cheese for the cheese.  So…why not give a different sort of crust a try?

The problem is…pie crusts and I have never really gotten along.  We are anything but BFFs.  Then…lo and behold…the Thanksgiving (November 2014) Cuisine Cube arrived in the mail.  And inside was Moon Rabbit Foods Pastry & Pie Crust Mix.  Everything in the November Cuisine Cube could have been used for Thanksgiving itself…but I wasn’t allowed to host this year so most of it was used at my own discretion.  Well, the final product is up now…but first…

Cuisine Cube is run by a small group of foodies who have put together a completely gluten-free box of goodies and then sends them to your doorstep each month.  These boxes contain 5-6 full-size products from small, lesser-known artisan producers…mostly local…some not as local.  Some you may even have heard of before, but most will be new to you.  I signed up for Cuisine Cube back in May and have never looked back.  Subscriptions start as low as $29.99…which is a great price and great incentive to sign up for this subscription box service and try out some gluten-free products you have been too nervous about purchasing yourself or, perhaps, didn’t even know existed.

Such as Moon Rabbit Foods.  Never head of this brand before in my life.  Moon Rabbit Foods follows a philosophy of choosing the finest ingredients and using the latest techniques of the craft of baking to give those living a gluten free lifestyle (like me!) a rare opportunity to enjoy delicious refined pastries and baked goods.  Their baking and pastry blends provide a source for hard-to-find gluten-free products, allowing customers to enjoy that high quality at home, and even allowing them to add their own inspirational touches.  So, here, in my clutches was a pie crust mix.  I had no reason to make a pie.  No one ever wants desserts at the family dinners.  I usually do because I never really get to eat much of what is offered (part of why I love to host).  But, I also hate being the only person to eat dessert, especially when I’m the one providing it.  So, instead of going sweet, I opted to go savory and attempt to recreate a gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian version of my mom’s Cheeseburger Pie recipe.

Cross your fingers…

This mix makes 3 9-inch pie crusts.  I went ahead and cooked them all up because…well…I could freeze the rest of them instead of just letting the mix sit and having to haul out all the equipment (a food processor, really) and ingredients (only 3) to do whenever I felt the need to make a pie.  Because if I did that, it would only get used this one time.  Therefore…all or nothing.  So, I took 1 cup of the pie mix and mixed it with one stick (4 ounces) of butter (or vegan butter) and pulsed it until it looked like cornmeal.  Then, in went 3 tablespoons of cold water and I ran the food processor until it all came together.  I formed the dough into a 6-7 inch disk and then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Then I rolled it out and fit it into a pie pan.  It fell apart at some points because pie crusts hate me, but I managed to get it into the pie pans and into a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.  Out come the par baked crusts…and there you have it.  Use it as you will.

For the rest of the recipe, I used NEAT original mix and prepared the recipe from my mom’s cookbook as it would have been prepared regularly.  YAY!  That recipe will go in the review for NEAT.  So stick with me here.  Let’s talk about how the pie crusts cooked up and the rest of that important stuff.

A slice of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pie on the pie crust made from Moon Rabbit Foods Gluten Free Pastry & Pie Mix
A slice of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Cheeseburger Pie on the pie crust made from Moon Rabbit Foods Gluten Free Pastry & Pie Mix

First of all, I think I sort of expected them to be a little more golden.  They cooked, but they were still a pale white color.  I poked it to make sure it wasn’t still dough.  Then I figured it would get more golden as it cooked with my filling of Neat, tomato paste, onion, and vegan cheese…but it still remained a pale shade of…pale.  It was cooked…it just didn’t look that way.  It was a bit disconcerting.  It tasted good though, so I guess that’s the important thing.  It may look underdone, but it is quite a good pie shell.  I was actually happy to have a pie crust that didn’t incorporate sugar into the mix as I was using it for a savory dish.  This made this a great substitute for the refrigerated croissant rolls that used to make this light, flaky crust for this dish.  Being a thinner crust also helped as well.  So, once again, looks can be a wee bit deceiving.  It’s all in the taste, when it all comes down to it.

So, what exactly is in the Moon Rabbit Foods Pastry & Pie Crust Mix?  According to the package, this mix is made up of potato starch, cassava flour, rice flour, sea salt, unrefined cane sugar, and xanthan gum.  That’s it.  Small list and all recognizable ingredients makes me a happy girl. This crust is gluten-free and vegan.  It is also cholesterol free and fat-free until you add the butter…

As for nutrition, the Moon Rabbit Foods Pastry & Pie Crust Mix has around 24 2 tablespoon servings in the package.  A serving will provide 60 calories, 115 mg sodium, 16 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber and no sugar or protein.  No sugar or protein is added to the mix so…it remains that way in the end.  When it’s prepared, all of this changes depending on your ingredients and the like.

If you need an easy pie crust, I highly recommend Moon Rabbit Foods Pastry & Pie Crust.  Yet another product I never would have even know existed (and, hence, never would have made my mom’s Cheeseburger Pie (albeit vegetarian and dairy free)) if not for Cuisine Cube.  Loving this service and the new products and companies that it introduces to me.

Product Review: Le Veneziane Micrawable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express

Le Veneziane Microwaveable Penne Al Pomodor E Basilico Pasta Express
Le Veneziane Microwaveable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodor E Basilico Pasta Express

Product: Le Veneziane Microwavable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express – $6.99+

Pasta.  We all know that pasta is one of my favorite things in the world.  I grew up begging for spaghetti each week.  I wanted my mom’s spaghetti when my birthday rolled around each year.  Forget dining out.  I wanted my mom’s cooking.  I didn’t care if it was store-bought boxed pasta noodles.  Her sauce made it.  And that’s what I wanted.  Pasta (in all forms) has been one of my favorite dishes to just dive into.  Ultimate comfort food.  Ultimate meal.

Even after the Celiac diagnosis…one of the first things I sought out were pasta alternatives.  There are so many out on the market.  Some good…others not-so-good…and some that rise above and beyond the bar.  Like…even better than true pasta level of amazing.

Back in my September 2014 Cuisine Cube, I was presented with a box of Le Veneziane Microwavable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico (Penne with Tomato and Basil) Pasta Express.  And, yes, even the pasta freak in me didn’t immediately make this up.  But…I’ll explain why in a moment.

For now, let me give you a quick run through of what Cuisine Cube is all about.  Cuisine Cube is a monthly subscription service that delivers healthier, lesser-known, smaller artisan bakers/companies gluten free goodies to your door.  Each box contains 5-6 items (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, dessert, and a bonus sometimes!) and subscriptions start as low as $29.99.  Go to their site and check them out.  I’ve really enjoyed my year of Cuisine Cube and intend to keep my subscription rolling.  In fact, I might have to go in for the long-term subscription instead of the month-to-month.  I’m that committed.  LOVE.

So…yes…I realize that September is about 7 months ago and that I am just now reviewing a product from that Cube.  BUT…it is the last item from the September 2014 Cuisine Cube.  And that was one very delicious cube for sure!  The Dinner portion of that box was dedicated to a 1-serving microwavable pasta meal made by Le Veneziane.  Now, I have had Le Veneziane products before and have always been impressed, so I was quite happy to see this company included in the box.  I had no idea they made microwavable pasta meals.  The things you learn!

Le Veneziane corn pasta is actually a very great choice for people trying to stay healthy and for people who follow the Mediterranean Diet.  Why?  It has a very low fat content.  How about that?  Le Veneziane is now one of the most modern companies using high-quality corn and producing amazing gluten-free pasta, polenta, sauces, and cookies.  They put out a high quality product because they believe in using the highest quality ingredients from flour and corn.  It is milled properly and kept in the right conditions to make sure that nothing, including being 100% gluten free, is compromised.  Love that integrity and devotion.

So, last night after a very busy day that included breakfast at my favorite gluten-free bakery and lunch of gluten-free crepes from my favorite food truck at a festival…I wanted something light for dinner.  This was ideal because my roommate and I could split it and it would be the perfect amount.  To accompany it, I made some homemade gluten-free dinner rolls (even though I was so tempted just to grab some out of the freezer section).  So, while the rolls were cooling, I went ahead and opened up the Le Veneziane Microwavable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express.  Inside was a microwaveable dish that I peeled the top off of and a measuring cone so that I could get exactly 300 ml of water as directed by the instructions.  The corn pasta in the container was perfect.  It had this deep red-brown powder inside too.  And when I added the water and mixed it well, everything got this muddy brown color.  I hoped for the best and popped it in the microwave for 10 minutes.

Le Veneziane Micrwavable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express (cooked)
Le Veneziane Micrwavable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express (cooked)

When 10 minutes elapsed, I pulled the tray out of the microwave, a little put off by the brownish color of the sauce.  But, I gave it a stir and then dished up half to my roommate and half for me, giving us each a dinner roll to have with it.  When I handed her the bowl she said, “That’s an interesting color sauce.”  HAHA!!  Everyone was thinking it; she just said it aloud.

Well, despite the rich brown color of the sauce, the Le Veneziane Microwaveable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express was actually very delicious.  I shouldn’t have doubted it.  The sauce was thick and rich with a tomato flavor that was peppered with the right hit of basil.  It was really quite delicious.  The pasta, despite being nuked in a microwave, were cooked to that perfect al dente.  The homemade rolls made the perfect side item for this meal.  And even eating just half of the dish itself was more than enough.  Very filling.  But very, very good.  I don’t know where to find more of the microwave meals from Le Veneziane, but I will keep my eyes open for them now.  It’s nice to have a delicious and healthy meal in 10 minutes sometimes.

So, let’s talk about ingredients, shall we?  The Le Veneziane Microwaveable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express pasta is made from corn flour, emulsifier, and the sauce is made from tomato, cream, salt, melted cheese powder, onion, garlic, basil, and sugar.  This is 100% gluten-free.

As for the nutrition information, the Le Veneziane Microwaveable Gluten Free Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express portion is 1 pack.  In this serving, you will be taking in 350 calories and 7 grams of fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 820 mg sodium (um…yikes!), 64 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 3 grams sugar, and 8 grams of protein.  See what I mean…it’s filling.  And delicious.

I want to thank Cuisine Cube for letting me try a new product from Le Veneziane that I didn’t even know existed.  I’ll be on the watch now for more microwavable pasta meals by this great Italian company.

Half of a serving of Le Veneziane Gluten Free Microwaveable Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express with a homemade gluten-free dinner roll
Half of a serving of Le Veneziane Gluten Free Microwaveable Penne Al Pomodoro E Basilico Pasta Express with a homemade gluten-free dinner roll

Product Review: Dolci di Marie Gluten Free Classic Biscotti

Dolci di Maria Gluten Free Classic Biscotti
Dolci di Maria Gluten Free Classic Biscotti

Product: Dolci di Marie Gluten Free Classic Biscotti – $7.00

I love coffee.  I really do.  I wasn’t always that way, however.  Coffee came to me later in life.  I loved the smell and hated the taste…up until I became a barista.  Then…life sort of changed.  And not only, over time, did I develop a taste for coffee, but I now knew how to properly make it.

Sometimes, I like to spice up my mornings a little bit.  No…not by adding cayenne pepper to my scrambled eggs (although I have been known to do that, HA!)…

…I mean having a treat with my morning cup of coffee.  And one of my two favorite morning treats with coffee is a biscotti.  The other is my homemade madeleines…but I digress.

Well, it just so happened that my March 2015 Cuisine Cube had a container packed with biscotti for the “Breakfast” portion of the box.  YAY!

For those of you not familiar with Cuisine Cube…think about how awesome it would be to have lesser-known, smaller company, artisan gluten-free company products shipped straight to your door once a month.  Think of the joy opening said box would bring you and how trying new things entices you.  You get a product for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and dessert.  And sometimes…you get a bonus.  Who doesn’t love a bonus?  If that got your heart pumping, that’s what Cuisine Cube is all about.  And, this subscription service is available for as low as $29.99/month.  Pretty awesome, yes?  You betcha.  So, if you’re curious and want to try something new and exciting and different…hop over to their site.

Because, sometimes, you get products in the box that are like Dolci di Maria Gluten Free Classic Biscotti.  I mean, it’s a treat to have while you drink your wine, your coffee, your tea…whatever.  Have it any time of the day, but I like to go the classic route and dip my biscotti into my morning coffee.  It is love.  And who doesn’t love starting off their morning with a cookie, right?  Technically, I suppose a biscotti is consider a biscuit, twice baked so that it is extra dry and crunchy.  And if you’ve never had one…you’re totally missing out.

Dolci di Maria was created by Mari Tantillo, who created gluten-free and dairy-free desserts for her two young children who had food allergies and sensitivities.  She was urged by her friends to start selling her desserts because they were so delicious.  Dolci di Maria strives to create fine gluten and dairy-free desserts that strike a perfect balance with texture and taste.  Everything is baked fresh with natural and organic ingredients.  Even better…many of the products offered by Dolci di Maria are vegan.

So, with all of that being said, this week I decided to stop looking at the container of biscotti that came in my Cuisine Cube, and finally open it up and have one with my morning coffee (a delicious local blend, for those wondering).  Despite being a dry treat (they are meant to be dipped, after all), I always take my first taste without anything else.  That way I can judge what something tastes like and if I like it.  And…when it comes to the Dolci di Maria Gluten Free Classic Biscotti…I like it…but I don’t love it.  It has nothing to do with the actual biscuit itself.  It actually has a great texture to it…and it holds up to the coffee dunking, that I do religiously when I get gluten-free biscotti in my clutches.  So that was the part that I was okay with.  The part I wasn’t okay with, when it came to the Dolci di Maria Gluten Free Classic Biscotti…was the overwhelming licorice flavor.  I hate licorice.  And this biscotti definitely had a heavy taste of it.  I inspected the ingredient list on the bottom of the package and discovered the use of anise.  That will do it.  It was just…too much for me.  I think I was hoping for something with more vanilla flavor than the anise.  It didn’t go well with my coffee…nor did my tastebuds really enjoy the licorice flavor.  A little bit of anise goes a long way…and in this batch…it took it too far.  The biscotti itself is great…the flavor just didn’t work for me, and that’s more of a personal preference than anything else.

So, let’s talk about the ingredients that are in the Dolci di Maria Gluten Free Classic Biscotti, shall we?  These classic Italian treats are made from brown rice flour, pure cane sugar, cage-free eggs, potato starch, tapioca starch, Earth Balance™, baking powder, xanthan gum, anise and vanilla extract, and sea salt.

The nutrition information for the Dolci di Maria Gluten Free Classic Biscotti is very nice though.  You don’t feel so bad treating yourself at breakfast to a crispy Italian biscuit when you look at these stats.  A serving is 1 of the biscotti, which will give you 65 calories and 2 grams of fat.  You will be consuming 73 mg cholesterol, 102 mg sodium, 2 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and 8 grams of carbohydrates.  These have no fiber.

If you don’t mind the flavor of anise (or that licorice-like flavor) than you will probably love everything about the Dolci di Maria Gluten Free Classic Biscotti.  For me, the texture was great…it was perfect for dipping, but the anise flavor just overpowered the rest of the biscuit and, for someone like me who dislikes licorice, it was a bit too much.  That being said, now that I know I can find Dolci di Maria products at my Lucky’s Market in Louisville, Kentucky (discovered that via the Web site), I am curious to try other products as she has brownies, pancakes and other flavors of biscotti to see if I like them better.

At least I got a morning treat in my Cuisine Cube this month.  The Dolci di Maria may not have enticed my taste buds, but I now know to look for other products in my area that might play nicer with my palate.

Product Review: Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit

Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit
Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit

Product: Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit – $4.99+

It was the start of a new year.  Yes.  January 2015.  And what happens at the start of a brand new year?  New Year’s Resolutions!  WOOO!!  I am proud to say that I don’t make resolutions, because I don’t like to make promises I can’t keep.  I do, however, try to make each year a good one and try to improve on some things.

Like…eating better.

Well, my New Year 2015 (January) Cuisine Cube, took a lot of the work out of that by providing a box of 6 healthy choices for food/snacks.  YAY!  So, as you all are pretty much aware, Cuisine Cube is a delivery subscription service that brings smaller, lesser-known, artisan products from the gluten-free food world to your door.  Yes, some of them I have heard of…but most I haven’t.  And that’s the beauty of this service.  Without it, I’d have no idea that some of these products or companies even existed.  And, subscriptions start for as low as $29.99/month.  It’s a great deal and a great service.  If you haven’t tried it or have been meaning to give it a try…do it.  You’ll end up loving it as much as I do.

So, January was all about healthy products it seemed.  And the product that was packed inside for the Lunch option was this great little Indian spiced meal kit from Jaali Bean.  It was the Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit.  It sounded beyond delicious as I am a huge…and I mean HUGE…lover of Indian food.  Around here, I can find a plethora of the Tasty Bite Indian meals, but this was the first time I ever heard of Jaali Bean.  Already, I was intrigued.

Jaali Bean was created by Brian and Molina Junkins, a husband and wife team who shared a passion for food, family, and healthy living.  They also had a passion for helping people discover the amazing flavors and tastes that are incorporated in Indian cuisine.  They challenge everyone to toss aside their preconceived notions about preparing Indian cuisine at home, because they make it all happen within minutes with these great little kits they put together.  It is super easy and the are just loaded with all-natural ingredients and all the spices that make you fall in love with Indian food.

They really do make it easy.  The Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit comes with two packages attached.  Inside is the brown rice and lentil mixture.  In the smaller pouch…the spices.  Simply set a pot on medium-high heat and heat up 1 tablespoon of oil.  Put the spice packet in and stir for about 40-50 seconds.  You’ll know when it’s done when you get that amazing aroma out of the spices.  Do not burn them.  Add 2-1/4 cup water and bring to a boil.  Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and let it cook for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and give it a stir.  Let it sit for an additional 5 minutes.  All the extra liquid will get absorbed.  Trust me.  It works.  You are left with a fantastic pot of moist and creamy looking rice that smells as amazing as it looks.

But the true test is always with the taste.

And, let me tell you…Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Rice Kit cooks up an amazing taste of India.  Better than Tasty Bite…and as close to authentic restaurant quality as possible at home.  Amazing.  I grew up eating Indian food, thanks to my neighbors up the way, who were from India.  The cuisine has always resonated with me.  And I know what is good and what isn’t.  Jaali Bean is delicious.  Seriously…delicious.  The rice cooks up rich and creamy, seasoned to perfection.  It’s mild in flavor, so add a kick of your own heat if, like me, you like things a little spicier.  I think my only complaint was that there wasn’t enough peas for my liking.  How’s that for a complaint, eh?  Seriously, perfectly seasoned and it cooks up beautifully.  Nothing else I have had packaged has come close to tasting this close to the real deal.  I am beyond impressed.

So…let’s discuss what all goes into the Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit, shall we?  This kit is a combination of par boiled long grain brown rice, orange masoor lentils, peas, spices (which include cumin, mustard seeds, coriander, dried red chili powder, and amchur powder), salt, cane sugar, tomato granules, and nutritional yeast.  It is gluten-free, cholesterol free, vegan, and non-GMO.

As for the nutrition information in regards to Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit…I was very impressed.  A serving is 1 cup and there are 4 servings per package.  Each serving will provide 160 calories, 2 grams of fat, 380 mg sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams sugar, 4 grams fiber, and 6 grams of protein.  Healthy, filling, and delicious.  You can’t go wrong.

Honestly, I’ve never seen Jaali Bean products around here, so without my subscription to Cuisine Cube, I might still be in the dark.  With that being said…these products are now on my radar and I know how to get my hands on them via the Internet, if I can’t find any here.  And that, my friends, is a very good thing.  I’ll definitely keep these on hand for a quick and easy go-to meal.

On a side note, this product wraps up my January 2015 cube.  The only product I didn’t get to blog on was the Budi Bar, because somehow I missed the note on freezing it and it got all fuzzy and moldy.  I was sad when I had to throw it away.  But…perhaps I’ll run across them somewhere around here.  Or, I’ll just order one online.  We’ll see.

Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit (prepared)
Jaali Bean Cumin and Pea Lentil & Brown Rice Kit (prepared)