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September’s Foodie Penpal September 30, 2012

Posted by acroanmph in Public Health.
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September has been such a whirlwind month at our house so the many treats in this month’s foodie penpal box were much appreciated. If you don’t yet know, foodie penpals was started exactly one year ago by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean blog and now has over 1,300 food lovers sending great packages to each other. She’ll pair you up with a sender and a receiver and is open to anyone.

This month, Jennifer thoughtfully sent delicious vegan treats. While not everyone in my family sticks to a vegan diet, everyone did ravage the contents of the box!

 

The two bags of chips were fun for us to try. Since it’s been ages since I bought a regular bag of potato chips, these two kinds of Terra chips were a big hit with the kids. I had no qualms about letting them snack on these. They were very tasty and probably the only way the kids would eat beets or sweet potatoes.

This was the second time we have received seaweed snacks. These, being plain, were easier to eat than the super hot wasabi type. The paper-thin (or thinner) sheets of seaweed are great to crumble on a salad, or easy to grab as a quick snack.

 

 

There is something in every box I set aside just for me. This combination of Lady Grey tea and ginger thin cookies would give me pause during a hectic day, I thought. Setting the box aside was not enough. I should have hidden it before curious fingers happened upon it. I did get to enjoy my cup of tea with the thins before they were gone, but I’ll be on the lookout for another box as I still have quite a bit of the lovely tea. Thank you, Jennifer!

You never know what you’ll receive in your foodie penpal box. But it’s been a fun way of introducing us to new foods that might not catch my eye in the store, or sampling a bit of local flavor from across the country. Don’t forget, you can be a foodie penpal too!

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August Foodie Penpal Revealed August 31, 2012

Posted by acroanmph in Public Health.
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August was my second month participating in the Lean Green Bean’s fun Foodie Penpal Program. Lindsay will pair you up with a recipient and a sender and the anticipation of the foodie box brings great excitement to the household. Katie from Knoxville, TN sent a lovely box to us!

vegan snacks

Katie included a lovely note describing all the great treats in our box. She is excited to have a new Trader Joe’s in her town (as would I be, as some of you know), and relied on it to find foods suitable for a vegan diet. She did a great job!

Trader Joes marshmallow treats

We were all pleased with the brown rice vegan marshmallow treat bars. As you may know, regular marshmallows are made from gelatin, the collagen being derived from meat by-products. I’ll spare you the rest of the details here, but we found these to be a yummy alternative.

trader joes wasabi seaweed

Hold onto your hat when you eat these wasabi seaweed snacks, because they’ll blow your head clean off! These aren’t made with “just a hint” of wasabi, they’re for the die-hard fans. But like Katie mentions in her note, they are curiously addictive. She suggested adding them to a salad, and I also used them to spice up a coconut milk soup.

vegan snacks

Ah, a huge bag of roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds! This was most welcome to everyone in my family. Most salted nuts in the stores are just too dang salty, and we cannot usually find unsalted ones unless we buy them in bulk, which we do occasionally. We snack on these at my son’s baseball games, and add to many regular dishes. It’s nice to have such a big sack.

vegan snacks

Whoever came up with the name “Dark Chocolate Dreams” Peanut Butter was spot on. It IS dreamy and this was fun for us to try. The only chocolate I allow in the house, if any, is dark. You can imagine the scrambling that took place to be the first one to try it! The jar did not last long.

And, inside this handy smoothie travel cup which I like very much, Katie included Good ‘N Natural and Luna bars. These I had to declare were only for the Foodie Penpal participant of the house. ;)

Katie admitted in her note that adhering to a vegan diet was tough and I agree, so it was really great of her to find these new snack foods for us. If you’d like to see what her Foodie Penpal sent to her, visit her blog. Thank you, Katie!

 

July Foodie Penpal Reveal Day July 31, 2012

Posted by acroanmph in Public Health.
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This is not within my realm of public health posts, alas I have signed up with Foodie Penpals and must reveal the contents of the box I received this month on this, my only blog.

And I’m excited to share it with you!

Foodie Penpals is a fun foodie exchange initiated by Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean blog. Lindsay will pair you up with a sender and a recipient, minimal rules, and tons of fun if you like sending packages to and receiving them from complete strangers.

This month, my Foodie Penpal was Chelsea from Troy, NY. I was surprised with a big box stuffed with goodies tailored to me. Yes, it’s true!

Foodie Penpal, vegan snacks, healthy diet

Chelsea went to her local Farmer’s Market where she finds Flour City Pasta from Rochester, and generously sent me 2 packages of unique pastas: chipotle shells and bon vivant orzo.

Chipotle shells, Bon vivant orzo

Here’s the bon vivant orzo prepared with the included recipe. This uses mushrooms, pine nuts, shallots and snow peas which I harvested from my garden, and a splash of lemon juice. Delish!

Vegan, healthy side dish

She also included 2 organic, vegan snack bars. Recently vegan, believe me, I have tried numerous vegan bars just in the hopes of saving a few hours of chopping and chewing. I haven’t found one that was actually palatable. But when I tasted and then gave my kids a bite of these bars, I heard, “Yumm-o! Let me have the rest of that awesome bar!” I had to reply that no, it was really just for me. That’s how fantastic the chocolate and peanut butter bars are. I will be on the lookout for Good ‘n Natural Fruit, Nut & Seed Bars to keep all of us happy.

vegan snacks, vegan diet

No, they’re really just for me.

It takes some moxie to send coffee to a Seattleite, but it’s like she already knew me inside and out. Chelsea sent Mocha Java from her fave coffee shop and nailed it. Totally my complete order. And it is perfect. She included a coffee-to-go mug and 2 reusable canvas bags for groceries as she knows we like to keep it green here in the Emerald City.

Chelsea was a sweetheart to stick to my dietary preferences and I loved having a bite of Troy right here in my own kitchen all the way across the country. Her lovely letter explained her choice of items on a personal level. Thank you, Chelsea!

Comment to let me know if you decide to sign up to be a Foodie Penpal. It’ll bring a welcome, quaint, yummy box to your door every month.

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