review: navitas naturals trail power

As you probably have guessed by now, I’m always up for trying the newest products.  And something I’m always on the hunt for? Greek yogurt toppings! This antioxidant-rich blend contains goji berries, mulberries, goldenberries, cacoa nibs and cashews. It is organic, raw, kosher and vegan. It is also perfect on yogurt, giving each bite a bit of sweetness, tartness, and/or bitterness – all in one bowl.

This is one of the many Navitas Naturals products. They have a wide variety of super and functional foods, I can’t wait to try more!

What is your favorite yogurt topping?

meat & potatoes

The taster was in food heaven. And I mean smiling was getting in the way of eating. I guess I need to make potatoes more often for him? Or perhaps it was the venison. Remember Mary Beth’s guest post on Venison? Well, we happened to be a lucky recipient of some venison. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant because it is not a meat I’m terribly familiar with, but it was delicious! Venison is a very lean meat, and was surprisingly SO flavorful!

Served along with some roasted fingerling potatoes and a side of asparagus, it made for the classic meat and potatoes meal, the type I suspect my grandparents had every night.

Sautéed Venison Backstrap

Season meat with salt, pepper and worcesteshire sauce. Sauté with sliced white onions and butter until cooked through.

lentils with curried tarka

A few years ago when I was in college and cooking for myself, I went on a semi-vegan kick after reading Skinny Bitch. I was a vegetarian at that time but my Wisconsin roots (aka cheese) and love for pork made the vegan, and vegetarian stints short ones.

Dal was a lunch-time staple for me and I made it on an almost weekly basis. I may have burnt myself out on it a few years ago, but after reading Mark Bittman’s article in the New York Times, Elevating Simple Legumes, Just Enough, I had added Dal to my weekly menu and couldn’t wait another week to make it. Out of the many dal recipes in the article – the Lentils with Curried Tarka caught my eyes. And my tastebuds. Lentils cooked in coconut milk? Curry, scallion and lemon zest -infused butter? Combined for one decedent bean dish. And while serving naan along side it seemed a little redundant on the starch side, what better way to enjoy the classic Indian dish. Vegetables can wait another day.

Lentils with Curried Tarka adapted from New York Times

  • 1/3 cup dried brown lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups mix of coconut milk  and vegetable stock (I ended up needing a lot more than this throughout the cooking process)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut butter (coconut oil would work better)
  • 1 bunch chopped scallions
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • chopped cilantro leaves

In a medium saucepan, combine lentils and liquid and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat down to medium-low so that the mixture bubbles gently, cover partly and cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are just tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Add liquid as necessary to keep them a little soupy.

Put butter in a skillet over medium heat until it is melted (I realized that coconut butter doesn’t melt very well which is why I would recommend coconut oil) Add scallions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook and stir for another minute or so. Add a large pinch of salt and some pepper.

When lentils are cooked to desired tenderness, stir scallion mixture into the lentils. Dal should be moist but not soupy; if it is not, add more water and heat through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve.

ranch snack mix

Around 3:00, every afternoon, I get a hankering for something crunchy and salty. I’m sure there is some “recommended snack” to get rid of that craving, but for me, nothing gets rid of a craving like actually eating what you are craving. I used to fall prey to these snack suggestions – eat celery if you are craving potato chips. So I would eat celery. And then I would eat an apple. And then I would eat some crackers. And then finally, since I was still craving chips, I would eat some potato chips. Now, I’m not saying that eating celery and apples are a bad thing – those are great choices and obviously can’t hurt, but if you are eating an entire meal of snacks before actually calming your craving, you may as well just eat the damn potato chips in the first place.

With this, I think it is important to say that this works for me because I can eat a serving (ok, ok sometimes I have 2) of potato chips and then be done with them. Which I know does not come as easy for others.

Back to my salty, crunchy cravings – popcorn is a stand-by for me but every so often I like to make something a little special…enter in Ranchish Snack Mix.

Ranch Snack Mix

  • 1 bag Bearitos Lite Organic Popcorn
  • 1 bag Newman’s Own Protein Pretzels
  • 1/2 box Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies
  • 1 cup sesame sticks (bulk)
  • 2 cups Asian rice crackers (bulk)
  • 1 packet Organic Ranch seasoning
  • Sprinkles of paprika, cayanne and garlic salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix olive oil and seasonings together. Toss with remaining ingredients in large roasting pan. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Stir and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.