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homemade corn tortillas

I never realized how easy it is to make your own corn tortillas.  Have you ever gone to a Mexican restaurant where they serve fresh, warm, homemade tortillas?  They are the best and definitely make the meal.

It is super easy and you only need 3 ingredients: Masa Harina, a pinch of Salt and Water.

Masa Harina is a special type of corn flour that is made from corn that is soaked in lime, dried, then ground in to a fine flour.  It is different from corn flour or corn meal, so make sure that you pick up the correct flour for your tortillas!  I had trouble finding the flour in stores, so I ordered it online through Nuts.com.  I got it the very next day!

Lets walk through the process!

Mix together 2 cups of masa harina, 1 tsp salt and 1.5 cups warm water and let sit for about 30 minutes for that it can set and form a dough.  As you wait for the dough, you can prepare your toppings!

Take your dough and form into balls about the size of a golf ball

Individually, place each ball of dough in between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll (flatten) into a patty about 1/4inch thick

Keep some thickness to them because it makes it easier to place on the grill, flip and stuff with your favorite toppings!

Cook in a pan or on a griddle for about 2 minutes on each side until browned and the edges start to curl up.

While the tortillas were cooking, we got all of our toppings ready to go:

The beauty of fajitas/tacos is that you can make any creation that you want!  We had a little bit of everything: grilled chicken, black beans, peppers & onions, roasted corn, salsa, pepperjack cheese, avocado, sour cream, fresh limes.

The fresh tortillas are perfect piled high with all of your favorites

And, they don’t fall apart when you are eating!

This was a completely delicious meal and so worth the few extra minutes it took to make the tortillas!  The tortillas still tasted great the next day, so you could even make them ahead of time is you need to.   Yum!

mini vitacakes

A few months ago, the wonderful folks at Vitalicious sent me some of their new mini Vitacakes to sample.

Mini Vitacakes are a smaller version of their Vitatops, which are sold only in Chocolate and clock in at only 50 calories!  They are a perfect way to curb your chocolate craving.

From their website:

For the moments you need a chocolate fix without breaking the calorie bank –

We created a snack that requires no deliberation or justification – just delicious satisfaction. We made our new 50-calorie Fudgy Chocolate mini VitaCakes because we couldn’t find anything like them anywhere.

Truly unique, these treats are packed with vitamins, fiber and protein to keep you both full and fulfilled throughout the day. A mini VitaCake indulgence is a no brainer – each of the 50 calories in our mini VitaCake works hard so you can enjoy a filling, guilt-free snack anytime.

I loved these Mini Vitacakes!  Normally, I prefer more whole foods as snacks, but sometimes you just need a treat and don’t have time to make it.  That’s when these are great.  You keep them in the freezer, so you can always have them on hand without worrying that they may go bad.  (I have a 24 pack in my freezer right now!)  They defrost very quickly by leaving them out for a few minutes, or by microwaving them for 10 seconds!  I recommend microwaving because it makes the chocolate chips all melty and delicious. 🙂

They are perfect after any meal for a small chocolate fix, or mid-afternoon with a cup of tea (my personal fave!).

I was also sent the newest flavor of Vitatops – Banana Chocolate Chip!

This is by far my favor Vitatop flavor!  It tastes just like Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips…what could be better?!

I believe that the mini Vitacakes are only sold online at this time and come in a pack of 24.  You can purchase other Vitalicious products in the freezer section of your local grocery store.

I hope you enjoy!!

Read my previous review on Vitatops here.

amy’s light & lean meals

About a month ago, I was contacted to try some new frozen meals from Amy’s Kitchen.  Normally, I don’t buy frozen meals, but when I do, I lean towards Amy’s because they are vegetarian (many are vegan) and contain ‘real’ ingredients.  It is nice to have a few meals on hand for those nights that you really don’t want to cook or need something really quick!  My favorites to keep on hand are their burritos and soups!  I was excited to try their new Light & Lean meals!

Amy’s five new Light & Lean meals all contain less than 300 calorie and 5 grams of fat.  They are:

  • Bean & Cheese Burrito
  • Roasted Polenta
  • Spaghetti Italiano
  • 3 Cheese Penne Marinara
  • Sweet and Sour Asian Noodle

You can find them in the freezer section of many grocery stores for under $5.00.  Don’t the flavors sound good?

Bean & Cheese Burrito

Since I really enjoy Amy’s other Burritos, I already knew that this one would be good!  The wrap is filled with plenty of beans and cheese making it taste great.  The burrito was a little bland, but I would much prefer that than it being overly salty, as many frozen meals are.  This burrito clocks in at 280 calories and 5 grams of fat.  Add a piece of fruit, and this would make a perfect quick lunch.

And, the best part?!  The ingredients are R-E-A-L!

(from the website) Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives Organic pinto beans, organic wheat and whole wheat flour, filtered water, organic brown rice, organic tomato puree, organic onions, organic bell peppers, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheeses (pasteurized milk, culture, salt, annatto, enzymes [without animal enzymes or rennet]), sea salt, organic sweet rice flour, spices, organic wheat gluten, organic garlic, organic cornstarch. Contains milk and wheat.

Roasted Polenta

I was most excited to try the Roasted Polenta.  I don’t eat polenta very often, but when I do, it always tastes so good!  And, it is paired with swiss chard – yum!  This meal was by far my favorite!  I heated this in the microwave and the polenta was soft, but the outside was still a bit crisp.  The combination of the polenta, swiss chard and tomato sauce was delicious.  Really good for a frozen meal!

At only 140 calories and 4 grams of fat, this would make a really good snack!  Or, pair it with something else to make more of a meal.  I don’t know about you, but 140 calories isn’t enough of a meal for me.

(from the website) Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives Organic tomato puree, organic zucchini, organic swiss chard, organic lowfat milk, organic cornmeal, organic onions, filtered water, mushrooms, Monterey Jack Cheese (pasteurized milk, culture, salt, enzymes [without animal enzymes or rennet]), organic bell peppers, extra virgin olive oil, grade aa butter (cream, salt, annatto), organic garlic, sea salt, organic evaporated cane juice, black pepper. Contains milk.

Spaghetti Italiano

This spaghetti and meatballs dish tasted yummy, but there wasn’t anything particularly special about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I ate every last bite because it tasted great.  The meatballs were crumbly and mixed in to the pasta, which I liked.  The meatballs are made of lentils, quinoa and tofu and I could see bits of lentils and quinoa.  The other thing I liked – there were whole pieces of broccoli!  It was nice to have chunks of veggies in the meal.  At 240 calories and 5 grams of fat, this could be a good meal paired with a slice of toast.

(from the website) Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives Organic pasta (organic semolina flour, organic whole wheat flour, water), organic tomato puree, organic zucchini, organic onions, filtered water, organic broccoli, organic long grain red rice, organic tofu (filtered water, organic soybeans, nigari [magnesium chloride, a natural firming agent]), organic quinoa, wheat gluten, extra virgin olive oil, organic green lentils, organic bell peppers, se salt, organic garlic, organic unbleached wheat flour, basil, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, flax seed, spices, organic evaporated cane juice, black pepper, fennel seed, honey, natural hickory smoke flavor, yeast. Contains soy and wheat.

3 Cheese Penne Marinara

I was pleasantly surprised by this meal!  It is a freezer meal, so my thought it that the pasta would be mushy and the meal would be flavorless.  I should have known better from Amy’s, though.  It tasted a lot like baked ziti, which I love!  It had a decent amount of cheese, too.  Not exactly like homemade, but perfectly fine in a pinch.  I really enjoyed it!  It clocks in at 270 calories and 5 grams of fat, so pair it with a side of veggies or a big salad and you could have a good meal.  I roasted some broccoli and stirred it right in to the penne.

(from the website) Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives Organic pasta (organic semolina flour, organic whole wheat flour, water), filtered water, organic tomato puree, organic onions, whole milk Mozzarella Cheese (pasteurized whole milk, vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, enzymes [without animal enzymes or rennet]), Fontina Cheese (pasteurized milk, culture, salt, enzymes [without animal enzymes or rennet]), Parmesan Cheese (pasteurized part-skim milk, culture, salt, enzymes [without animal enzymes or rennet]), sea salt, extra virgin olive oil, organic garlic, black pepper. Contains milk and wheat.

Sweet and Sour Asian Noodle

This was the only meal that I didn’t really like.  And, I think it was because of the flavors.  The noodles were not mushy and there were chunks of veggies and tofu, which was great.  But, I tasted too much sesame oil, and I’m not a huge tofu fan.  I still gobbled it right up, paired with a fresh salad, but it just wasn’t my favorite.  The meal has 250 calories and 3 grams of fat.

(from the website) Ingredients : 0g Trans Fat/No Added MSG/No Preservatives (Vegan) Organic rice pasta (organic rice flour, water), organic broccoli, organic green beans, organic carrots, organic tofu (filtered water, organic soybeans, nigari [magnesium chloride, a natural firming agent]), organic cabbage, organic tamari (water, organic soybeans, salt), pineapple juice, organic evaporated cane juice, organic bell peppers, organic green onions, organic onions, filtered water, organic lemon juice, organic ginger, organic sesame seed oil, organic cornstarch, organic garlic, expeller pressed high oleic safflower and/or sunflower oil, spices, black pepper. Contains soy and sesame seed oil.

Overall, I really enjoyed these meals and would definitely consider purchasing them to have as back up in my freezer for nights when cooking isn’t an option.  But, I still prefer home cooked meals if I have the time.  With kids, though, you never know what is going to happen. 🙂

Amy’s Kitchen has a large variety of other frozen dinners meals, such as pizza, desserts, chili, breakfast bowls, snacks, etc.  I would definitely try feel comfortable buying these meals due to the real food ingredients, and because they taste pretty good!  Since these Light & Lean meals all come in at under 300 calories (some well under 300 calories), I felt that I needed to eat something else along with the meal.  I mainly ate the meals for lunches and paired them with a yogurt and a piece of fruit.  By doing that, they made a perfectly satisfying meal.

Thanks, Amy’s Kitchen, for letting me try these meals!

the potato project; the importance of “organic”

Has anyone seen this video on you tube???  If you haven’t, definitely watch it!

It really makes you think…how do we know when foods are truly organic??  And, how can we find that out?

best. meal. ever.

Are you craving a simple weeknight meal?  Something super easy to make, but nutritious and completely delicious to eat?  This is it!  Trust me.

Two of my favorite veggies are sweet potatoes and kale.  My favorite ways to eat them?  Low and slow sweet potatoes and kale chips!

Low and Slow Sweet Potatoes

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wash your sweet potato and cut into round slices.
  • Place your rounds on a cookie sheet and brush with coconut oil.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then increase the temperature to 400 and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  • Serve with coconut butter!

They come out perfect every time!

Kale Chips

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Tear kale into bite size pieces and wash.
  • Spread out on a cookie sheet, mist with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake at 400 for 5-7 minutes until edges are browned.
  • Serve with ketchup!

YUM!

With these two delicious veggies, all you need to add is a protein.  I grilled up an apple and sage Field Roast Veggie Sausage, but I served this to my husband with a piece of chicken.  Anything would work.

This meal was perfect after a long day at work.

Enjoy!