product review

Chili Cheese Stuffed Jalapeños

I was invited to develop recipes for the McCormick Gluten-Free Recipe Mixes Launch as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I received product, was compensated for my time, and all opinions are my own.

You know I am all about game day food, appetizers, shared plates and Happy Hour at Home. I have said more than once that I love appetizers for dinner (and often order a couple small plates rather than the huge entrees most restaurants want to give you).

So, did we actually eat jalapeño poppers for dinner?

Why, yes. Yes we did.

McCormick Gluten Free Chili Spice

These are perfectly acceptable for dinner, though – a protein and veggie packed update on the cheese filled original. Fantastically spicy and filling, we ate these with a simple salad on the side.

Plus, you can eat a whole bunch of them.

These peppers are not only [click to continue…]


rosemary date crisps with goat cheese

I love a picnic.

You can probably guess why.

I suppose when I think about it, I kind of always have a portable picnic going on wherever I go. I may not have the fun checkered blankets or a basket (um, handbag!), but I always have snacks.

You never know when you’re going to need snacks.

Many factors go into the snack choices I make, and [click to continue…]


A couple weeks ago, I made a huge batch of miso soup. We enjoyed that soup for days – I found myself drinking it out of mugs on cold mornings. Better than coffee, I tell ya.

I have never followed a recipe for miso soup, I generally chop up some broth friendly veggies I have on hand, add some miso and broth… taste… adjust… taste… so it was good for me to finally write down a method I sometimes kinda loosely follow.

I recently had the opportunity to try a gluten free soy sauce, Little Soya. In addition to being gluten free, it is non GMO, contains no MSG, and is packed in single serve fish:

Cute, right? Recyclable and resealable – these cute little fishies are good to go! I have tried so many soy sauce products and Little Soya has a very good flavor – which to me is just as important as a gluten free product. The portability is nice as well – we can take this with us to use anywhere we go!

Want to try this yourself? Little Soya will send six readers their own gluten free soy sauce fish!

veggie miso soup

dairy, egg, and gluten free, vegan

2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 pint baby portobello mushrooms, chopped fine
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (32 ounce box)
1/4 cup miso paste
3 teaspoons soy sauce (approximately 2 Little Soya fish)
1 tablespoon Nori Komi Furikake
3 green onions, chopped 

In large pot, saute mushrooms in sesame oil. When mushrooms soften, add remaining ingredients and simmer over medium-low heat 20 minutes.

Garnish with cheesy jalapeno miso biscuits.

The giveaway – SIX winners, several ways to enter – leave a comment for each:

#1) do you cook with soy sauce often? 

#2) what recipes would you like to see me prepare with soy sauce?

#3) tweet about this giveaway, including a link back to this post (tweet this):

enter to win gluten free soy sauce from @spabettie – SIX winners! –>

#4) follow Little Soya on twitter

#5) like Little Soya on facebook

Enter through midnight Tuesday November 20th. Winners are selected via random number generator and notified via email on Wednesday November 21st. Winners have 72 hours to respond before another winner is chosen.




Are you guys tired of my “I love fall” talk?

I know I’ve been talking about fall a lot, and how much I am looking forward to it…  I really have enjoyed this summer – summer in Portland is generally good and this year has been perfect. We still have very warm days (yesterday’s temperature was 90!), but I am loving the cool evenings that have that smoky scent in the air. Fall is coming.

But! We are still loving summer, still loving grilling. We have enjoyed several varieties of veggie and bean based burgers this summer – and here is another.

Lentils and mushrooms make a deliciously savory and juicy burger. I may have used extra garlic. and I think I used a bit more olive oil. I definitely used a flax egg. Which resulted in a perfect burger.

I made a cheese sauce to top the burgers, following that recipe but using Jack cheese. and we used gluten free buns from this local company. We liked them, we grilled them.

The recipe I followed, from Cooking Light –> mushroom lentil burgers.

We paired these burgers with some fresh pineapple and some crunch, in the form of Plentils

Yes, I made lentil burgers and the chips we ate with them? Made of lentils. It works, right?

Well yes – yes it does. These are our new favorite chip, for real. The ‘margherita pizza’ and the sea salt are my favorite flavors, but I loved all of them. Those sea salt chips? Five ingredients total. All the flavors? Free of gluten, dairy, and all of the common allergens (as the Enjoy Life brand always is).

Your favorite chip? Are you clinging to summer or welcoming fall?



I don’t talk much about products I do not like, simply because I learned long ago that many people do not really read, and I don’t want any skimmers to see a brand name mentioned and think I like it. (This is also a stipulation when companies offer me product to review – if I am at all interested I tell them I reserve the right to not review the product at all).

That said, I have explained here many times that I am a product junkie and I love to share things I love.

Daiya is a hugely popular cheese in the world of plant based and dairy free eaters. I have never been a big fan of the original shreds (although I do like the pepperjack flavor shreds!), so when they came out with the wedge cheeses, I was intrigued.

One of my new friends from class brought in two of the new flavors for us to try – the cheddar and the jack. I really liked the cheddar, and the jack was okay. This piqued my curiosity enough to buy them, and I brought home a cheddar and a havarti the next day.

The first thing I could not wait to do is test their melt-ability. Totally a word.

Also totally successful at the melting.

Look at that melty goodness on the Italian parm hot dog!

The new Daiya cheese blocks or “wedges” not only melt wonderfully, they taste pretty darn good. My favorite is the havarti, and I really like the cheddar also. The cheddar makes a good addition to my crunchy iceberg and hummus sandwich.

This is not a sponsored / paid post, nor did Daiya provide samples. I simply love the new Daiya wedges and wanted to share!

I know asking this question is like opening that proverbial can of worms, but are you a fan of vegan/dairy free cheese? Do you have a favorite?




It’s April, isn’t it?

Q1 was bull-shirt. Stressful, exhausting, trying. I told Jason Second Quarter Owes Us. I am keeping my fingers crossed that things will be looking up. I already know of two things that are… more on that later.

In good news, spring is most definitely here – we have been having perfectly lovely weather in Portland! I walk outside at 5:30 in the morning and it’s warm, the birds are out and it smells so fresh and … springy! It is light until after 8pm now, and I cannot wait until the height of summer where it is light until after 9pm.

Spring and summer bring new flavors, fresh picked garden produce, lighter eats. My favorite time of year, food wise.

Spring also brings new flavors to the NuNaturals line – a lemon and an orange! I have already made several tasty treats with these flavors, and the first I am sharing?

Cookies! and four chances to try both of the new flavors!

cardamom citrus cookies

makes 20-24 cookies

gluten, dairy, egg and soy free, vegan

1 cup butter (Earth Balance soy free)
2 full droppers Orange NuStevia
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour (gluten free ap)
1 tablespoon milk (vanilla hazelnut)

Cream together butter and Orange NuStevia. Add flour, cardamom and cinnamon, stir together these three ingredients before folding into butter, adding milk by the tablespoon as necessary. Combine until dough forms, do not over mix. Dough should be fluffy and slightly tacky, but not too sticky to roll with your hands (if it is, use flour on your hands to roll, or drop dough by spoonful). Roll into one inch balls, place on prepared (parchment, spray or silpat) cookie sheet and sprinkle with more cardamom (optional). Bake at 350 for about 12 – 15 minutes.

These cookies are light, powdery-buttery and melt in your mouth good.

These new citrus flavors? They are very flavorful – real citrus taste and scent. Would you like to try them?

Giveaway is for one of each of the Lemon and Orange NuNaturals bottles – four winners will be randomly picked.

Six ways to enter, please leave a comment for each:

1) What is your favorite way to cook with citrus?

2) follow NuNaturals on twitter

3) follow spabettie on twitter and tweet this: 

win a one of four prizes  NuNaturals Orange and Lemon flavors – giveaway from @spabettie –>

4) like NuNaturals on facebook

5) like spabettie on facebook

6) Pin this.

Enter through midnight Monday. Winner announced Tuesday.

Thanks to everyone for the entries – winners are:

#65 – Jared

#11 – Heather

#95 – Jack

#54 – Elle

Congratulations, everyone! Please email me with your full name and address.


I was recently asked to create recipes with products from the online sports nutrition and fitness store, NutritionFix. Pretty sure my love of trying new products is fairly apparent, and when I find products I like, I love to pass them along. NutritionFix offers great brands and many products I already use, and I spend a good amount of time finding a couple new products to try.

The first product I chose is one I have been interested in for a while – Kay’s Naturals Apple Cinnamon Protein Cereal – found on the protein page with more than 500 protein products available.

I have had protein cereals in the past, and was anticipating a cereal with a hard crunch. This is definitely crunchy, but very light, like a rice cereal. This is made from lean soy protein and is gluten free. The flavor is light and not sweet, a good choice for those who aren’t sugary sweet cereal fans.

I really love this – the apple and cinnamon flavors are great and the crunch makes this a good snack as is – dry. My one negative with the crunch, it does not hold up long in milk. I am very picky about this, though, and usually eat very small bowls of cereal, pouring milk as I eat it to keep it crunchy.

The crunch is a great aspect of  this recipe, and turns this protein snack into a good source of energy and fiber:

apple crunch protein bites

gluten and dairy free

makes 25-28 teaspoon size bites

1 cup raw cashews, soaked
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/4 cups Apple Cinnamon Protein Cereal
1/2 cup dried apple pieces
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder (+ 1 tablespoon for rolling)

In food processor, combine cashews and maple syrup until crumbly. Add cereal and dried apple, continue processing. Add 1/4 cup protein powder, dough should quickly form a ball. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon protein powder on a small plate. Using a teaspoon scoop for uniform size, roll into balls and roll through protein powder to coat. Store covered in refrigerator.

I have made three batches of this recipe so far – they are quick to make, easily portable, and are tasty good! I eat a few of these with a juice or smoothie in the morning before going to the gym.

Have you tried a protein cereal before? Do you use any protein products?




One of the aspects of the foodie 100 that I am really excited about is the author program, where we have opportunities to work with brands and new product. One of my favorite parts of being a nurse to my dad recently? Feeding him good food! I have been making fresh green juice for him each morning, and he likes it! He has been enjoying yogurt lately, too, so when Activia and Foodie offered to send me the new Harvest Picks flavors, I knew I could make some good eats for Dad.

Adding fresh fruit. granola, coconut and chia seeds to the Harvest Picks peach flavor made a tasty and filling parfait for Dad’s breakfast each day this week. He said the peach is his favorite flavor, describing it as fluffy, smooth and sweet. I tried to get him to draw more pictures

Yesterday’s breakfast was a Harvest Picks Smoothie:

I juiced fresh kale, apple, ginger and spinach, then blended it with one Harvest Picks strawberry flavor. The yogurt sweetened the juice and made a filling snack to go with our standard two cups of coffee

and a muffin.

I used the Harvest Picks mixed berries flavor to make muffins – fluffy, fruity and filling. Add crumb topping gives a crunchy finish, while the yogurt makes them chewy and delicious. These muffins got rave reviews – I’ll be making them again with other flavors.

mixed berry oatmeal muffins with crumb topping – see muffin recipe here.

If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen some #Glam tweeting going on recently. We have been having some fun chats – the chat from last Monday is still going on, if you’d like to join in:


New Activia Harvest Picks is a deliciously fruity and silky smooth yogurt.  You will enjoy a Harvest of real fruit in every silky spoonful.

Compensation was provided by Activia via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of spabettie and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Activia.