Posts tagged ‘Publix’

December 3, 2015

Holiday Detox Series: Publix Edamame Steam-in-Bag

by ashley

 Like most of the country this past week, I ate waaaayyy too much over Thanksgiving. Too many desserts to count – who can say no to ricotta pumpkin cheesecake? I learned I definitely cannot! And so many savory carbs like bread, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, rice and gandules, russian potato salad….ehhh. Needless to say, it’s only the beginning of December and already the holiday pounds are starting to creep up on me. I don’t want it to get out of hand so I’ve decided to start my “new year’s resolution” early – instead of January, why don’t we start in December IN BETWEEN all of the horrible eating that accompanies this time of year? This will be a mini-series of posts as I go along my holiday season natural detox diet. There will be cheat days, of course, on the days that I have a party or family gathering, but I will limit them and also keep portions in check. Everything in moderation!

This time of year is also one of the busiest, meaning that I don’t have a lot of prep time for my healthy meals. I’m looking for quick, cheap and healthy meals and snacks. So far I raided my local Publix who had a sale on their steam-in-bag vegetables. I love edamame, but had actually never made it at home. Typically in restaurants it comes covered in salt or sauces, which are not part of my holiday detox plan, so the Publix brand edamame is a perfect snack or side dish being that the ingredients listed are just: edamame!

Since I’m a glutton, I need these nutrient dense, low calorie options so I can eat large quantities. I ate the ENTIRE BAG as part of my dinner yesterday and it came out to only 275 calories, 8.8 grams of fat, 27.5 carbs and it gave me a whole 12.5 grams of protein. A great way to add bulk to your diet without packing on the calories. It’s super easy to make: pop in the microwave for 5-6 minutes, let sit for a minute or so to cool and then eat. For the holiday detox, make sure not to add any salt or sauce. The more you eat veggies on their own, the more your taste buds will become accustomed to not needing as much salt. Also make sure to drink as much water as you can throughout the day. I try to drink about 16 oz an hour, sipping constantly. Your body will adjust to the increase in your water intake after a few days, but the first couple of days you will go to the bathroom a lot more often. This is great for your whole body, giving your skin a great glow and also cleaning out your organs.

You don’t need to do an expensive juice cleanse or detox pills to really clean up your body and your nutrition. Focus on lots of water, cutting back on refined sugar and sodium, as well as eating lots of whole foods. If you’re struggling with flavor, try adding fresh garlic or herbs to your food. Make sure you don’t use any mixed seasonings that have sodium. You’ll want to limit your sodium intake on your “clean” days as much as possible!

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August 9, 2012

Jessica’s Baby Shower – Cute Vegetarian Appetizer Ideas

by ashley

I can’t believe that Jessica is 33 weeks pregnant. So many things have changed since the beginning of Veg On The Run. We’ve ran a ½ marathon together, we’ve done a bodybuilding challenge, I lost 18 pounds, we’ve done parties, events…so many things, it’s hard to believe they all fit into such a short time span.

When Jessica took me out to dinner in February to tell me the good news, it was the first time in a long time that I cried tears of joy. I’m so happy for her and her husband, she has touched my heart the most of anyone I’ve met here in Miami. So, when it came time to plan her baby shower, I knew that I was going to do my best to make it a special occasion. One of Jessica’s best friends, Nermari, was my sidekick in putting all the festivities together. I love to cook, but I’m not the best decorator. Nermari is a decorating queen. Jessica has an entire board on the Veg On The Run Pinterest page dedicated to the new baby, so Nermari suggested we start there. We scoured the page for hours trying to best match what she likes. We ended up with a Tiffany blue themed party with a splash of orange for contrast. I knew Jessica wanted a pink cake with Tiffany blue frosting. After calling around to several Publix locations, I found that while they wouldn’t do a pink cake, they can do red velvet with blue frosting. They translated my weak request for “a pink cake with Tiffany Blue icing, no flowers and little dots on it”, into a work of art. And it was at least half the price an independent bakery would have charged.

I was in charge of the vegetarian appetizers, choosing to make mini cheddar herb quiches, phyllo mushroom tarts with feta cheese and a watermelon “cornucopia” fruit salad. All were very simple to make (recipes to follow next week), yet looked elegant at the party. We also had tons of candy, used as both edibles and decorations, chocolate cupcakes and several other treats that others brought with them. It was definitely a party to remember, and special thanks to Nermari for teaching me how to put a baby shower together. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!

Congratulations Jessica on your first baby, a wonderful little boy. May he be everything you always wished for and more.

April 13, 2012

Evol Frozen Vegan and Vegetarian Cuisine

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

A brand new Publix opened up just a few blocks from my house a few weeks ago. It may sound a bit pathetic, but that was a huge excitement for me. Our area is full of large buildings and the other two Publixs in the area were a nightmare to just to walk through the aisles, much less actually wait in a check-out line. Plus, a shiny, new grocery store always inspires a slightly slower waltz through the aisles, which helps me find new brands. This time I found Evol, a brand out of Denver, Colorado that originally started as a burrito stand at the bottom of a mountain trail.

Evol’s packaging first caught my eye because of it’s bold design, but I kept reading after seeing the stamp “New & Improved Compostable Bowl” on the upper corner. Their vegetarian and vegan options are slim, but I picked up a vegan veggie fajita burrito and a vegetarian bean & cheese enchilada to try. It’s great that they also use corn tortillas in their enchiladas, making them gluten free. The burrito is made from a wheat tortilla and does contain gluten.

Upon first glance when opening the package to the enchilada, I thought it looked a bit messy. Like a hodgepodge of corn kernels, tomatoes and beans. I couldn’t see any cheese. I took the plastic wrapper off the bowl and cooked it on high in the microwave for four minutes, as the package indicates. Once done, I immediately noticed that the bowl looked a bit dry. The edges were microwaved to a crisp. I cut into the center and took a look around the inside, unfortunately finding it to be dry, as well. The good points I noticed as that all vegetables were distinguishable and seemed to be fresh. The corn has a great char on it and tastes great. Eating through it, I still couldn’t find much moisture and none of the cheese. The rice was mixed around in small portions. The corn tortilla was very authentic and tasted great, except for the hard edges, which is tough to cook in a microwave. I probably wouldn’t eat this again, at $4.99 it is a bit expensive and just didn’t have enough sauce or flavor overall. I still prefer Amy’s for organic, vegetarian frozen Mexican fare.

The vegan veggie fajita burrito didn’t do much better. Visually it looks great, even when cutting into the center. Again the vegetables are discernable and seem to be really fresh. Picking the peppers and corn kernels out was quite enjoyable, however the burrito as a whole was just lacking in flavor. It did have a much better consistency than the bowl, with more moisture. I was just disappointed overall with the flavor of both of these products. I love their idea and hope they continue improving their flavors.

July 18, 2011

Samai “Breath of the Rainforest” – Exotic Brand with Wholesome Values

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I spend a lot of time in Publix’s produce section: wandering the aisles, checking different labels to see where something was grown and looking for inspiration for my next culinary endeavor. While I’m doing all of this, my fiancé is normally either in a different part of the store or standing there playing with his iPhone, bored. But this time he found a treasure for me, something that he originally planned on eating himself until I snatched it away from him once we came home. Samai, a brand that I’d never heard of before this weekend, is now one of my favorite snack brands. Their name enough captivates me, meaning “Breath of the Rainforest” in Quechua (a native language of Ecuador). But it was their values that really caught my attention. They procure all of their produce from independent farms, dedicated to maintaining the rainforest and therefore never cultivating from protected areas. I’ve never been to Ecuador, but I have been around other areas of Latin America and I know that a brand like this, which cultivates solely from small farmers, is a god-send. They also return their produce waste, i.e. plantain peels, to the farmers to use as fertilizer. That is truly thinking full circle.

The great part is that not only do they have an awesome business model, but their product really tastes great. There are many eco-friendly, locally procured and otherwise “greener” companies out there that fail to actually produce a product people want to eat. But Samai’s plantain chips are absolutely delicious. Even my totally omnivore, un-eco-conscientious fiancé picked them up off the shelf, just because he thought they looked tasty! I was nice and I shared the goodies with him. We both thought they were crunchy and had great flavor. He devoured the garlic ones, while I preferred the pacific sea-salt.

I’ve noticed on their website that they also carry other varieties and flavors, including banana and yucca chips. Their products are also 100% vegan and kosher. I applaud Samai for creating such a conscientious company without sacrificing flavor. They are truly one of a kind and I look forward to trying their other varieties.

Visit their site at http://www.theexoticblends.com/

July 15, 2011

Garden Lites has done it again – and with TWO vegan products!

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I recently won Garden Lites’ blog contest, in which I won a month’s supply of Garden Lites products. I was really excited, as not only am I a tremendous fan of their Roasted Vegetable Soufflé, I have been looking forward to trying some of their other products that are not available for purchase at Publix in South Florida.

I was most looking forward to trying their Butternut Squash Soufflé, which I had seen on their website, but lo and behold I was blown away by their Zucchini Marinara. I’ve heard a lot about zucchini pasta and have been saving up to buy a vegetable spiralizer myself,  so when I saw this product in my prize I couldn’t wait to try it. Not only is it vegan, which I’m leaning more and more towards lately, but it is just like eating pasta marinara without the heavy caloric content. Fresh, crunchy zucchini noodles are enveloped in an amazing sweet marinara sauce that is absolutely divine. I can’t imagine homemade tasting better than this. Now all I need is for my local Publix to carry it! So if anyone is a Publix executive or knows one, please let them know!

The Butternut Squash Soufflé also certainly did not disappoint. It is heavier than the Roasted Vegetable that I like so much, but that was to be expected. I think this one is something I could share equally as a side dish rather than eating an entire one next time. But the rich flavor is what makes it so delicious, so I’m more than happy to try and stuff it down all by myself =)

Overall, I’m even more impressed (if that is possible) with Garden Lites after trying their full line of products, my absolute favorites still being the Roasted Vegetable Soufflé, Zucchini Marinara (VEGAN), Zucchini Portabella (VEGAN) and the Butternut Squash Soufflé. Thank you Garden Lites for this wonderful, and unexpected, prize! You certainly have made a huge fan out of me!

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