Great Food Finds & Anniversary News

Once I made the switch to a plant based lifestyle I didn’t know if I would find enough new products for my popular “Food Find” posts but I have discovered a never ending list of healthy whole foods plant based treasures to share. You don’t have to be following a plant based diet to enjoy these products – they fit into everyone’s healthy food plan.

Earthbound Farms CilantroThis has to be my favorite food find this month! I have to admit that hubby Tom was the one to discover this when I sent him to the store over the holidays to pick up a few things for me while I was busy in the kitchen cooking. He came home with this Organic washed and trimmed cilantro! Talk about easy – all you have to do is take it out of the bag and chop. I no longer take the cilantro off the stems since my daughter Katy shared with me that chef Rick Bayless says the cilantro stems are tender and flavorful just trim off  the thicker bottom of the stem and chop the rest. Look for this in the produce department of your regular grocery store. Love it!

Imagine Vegetable BrothOur Costco was out of low sodium vegetable broth all through the month of December. When shopping there last week I was delighted to see that they have it back in stock again – it’s a different brand this time, but this one works just as well for soups and stews.

Orville Redenbachers PopcornSince we no longer use the ready made microwave popcorn packets that contain oil and artificial ingredients we get this huge container of popcorn kernels at Costco. It’s cheap and so easy to pop in the microwave without oil in a microwave popcorn popper.

Lundberg Wild Rice BlendThis wild rice blend is delicious and can be found at most grocery stores. Cook it on the stove top or in your rice cooker for an easy fiber filled side dish. I also use it in one of my favorite recipes Triple Rice Salad with Apple Sage Sausage.

Emerald Almond PacksTarget sells these 100 calorie packs of natural almonds. They are available at grocery stores as well but where I live Target seems to have the best price.Yes I know I can make my own little packets but these are so easy peasy – the work is already done for me and I can keep a packet in my purse, the car, my backpack or even a pocket when we go bike riding. One of my favorite desserts is to take one of these packets and combine it with 5 dried apricots and one little square of dark chocolate broken into bits. I call it a de-constructed candy bar and it’s delicious! You have to try it.

Minute Brown RiceI like brown rice but it does take about 50 minutes to cook. When I make it my rice cooker I make a large quantity and freeze the leftovers in 2 cup bags. Sometimes we run out of the freezer supply and I don’t discover that until its too late to make a new batch of rice for dinner. For that reason I have started keeping a box of this minute brown rice in my pantry. It cooks ups in just 10 minutes!

Balsamic Glaze Balsamic Glaze is good in so many ways. The one on the left is from Trader Joe’s and its 40 calories per tablespoon. The other one is from Whole Foods and its 27 calories per tablespoon.  I have also seen some at Costco in the aisle with the seasonings. Drizzle the glaze over cooked veggies, grains, tofu or fresh berries. It adds a wonderful touch of flavor to just about anything!

So Delicious Coconut Milk Ice Cream

So Delicious Coconut Milk frozen dessert is a nice little dairy free treat. Even those who don’t need or want to limit their dairy intake will enjoy the flavor and texture of this product. Its the perfect topping for the Apple Cranberry Crisp I posted earlier this week. Of course they do have many more flavors to choose from. Keep in mind that it’s not low calorie or low fat so it’s an occasional treat. Look for it in grocery stores, health food stores and Whole Foods.

These are all products that I purchased with my own money. I wasn’t asked to review these products nor was I given any of them for free. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Nutmeg Notes

This week is Nutmeg Notebooks 4th anniversary!

I can hardly believe I’ve been blogging for 4 years. Many of you have been with me from the beginning and I can’t thank you enough for your support, comments and emails through out the years. You have seen me through braces, mouth surgery, foot surgery, our daughters wedding and becoming empty nester’s when our daughter got married and our son moved out all in the same summer. Not to mention the ups and downs with trying to figure out how to stay healthy through the trials and tribulations of living life and navigating the challenges that are thrown at us.

When we moved to a plant based diet last March some of my readers left but many of you have stayed and our new food plan has brought even more new readers to the blog. Life is good!

The most fun about having a blog is getting to know the readers – I feel like so many of you are my friends. I love it when you leave me comments or send me an email and share your experiences with me, give me feedback about recipes you have tried from here and products that you like. Keep it coming – that’s what keeps me coming back to post every week!

I have to admit that I have thought of throwing in the towel and shutting down the blog a time or two – it really is time consuming to keep it going. It seems like every time that thought creeps in I get an email asking for help or someone shares that their family loved a dish they made from a recipe I posted and then I know the time is being well spent. I do love sharing all things related to living a healthy life and what better way to do that than through this blog?

Let me know what topics you are most interested in by voting for the top three or more topics you would most like to read about – just list the corresponding numbers with your comment. Note that many topics are applicable to everyone regardless of what type of food plan you are following.

  1. Buying Bulk Foods & Spices
  2. Meal Planning
  3. Pantry basics for a plant based diet
  4. Packing lunches
  5. Cooking Ahead / Batch Cooking
  6. Reasons for eating a plant based diet
  7. My favorite cookbooks and resources for a plant based diet
  8. Traveling and eating  healthy /plant based
  9. Eating out and making healthy choices/plant based diet
  10. Apps and websites that are helpful for healthy living/plant based
  11. My favorite healthy/plant based recipes or meals that we repeat again and again
  12. Budget friendly ideas/meal plans and strategies
  13. Food finds and favorite things -edited to add this one!

I’m ready to blog my way through 2014 – thanks for being here with me!


Don’t forget to vote for your top 3 or more blog topics!

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  1. Terri Cole says:

    I vote for 7, 10, 11 & 12. I just recently discovered your blog and will celebrate my second plantiversary in April. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Terry! Congratulations on your upcoming 2 year plantiversary! That is so awesome. I bet you could teach me a few things about maintaining a plant based diet.Thank you for taking the time to vote on the blog topics. Feel free anytime to leave me tips, hints, recipes or information that you have found helpful. None of my friends or family follow a plant based diet so I am figuring this out on my own. Have a great day!

  2. janine says:

    7 and 11 plus love hearing about new products you’ve found and any new gadgets. I can’t believe it’s already been 4 years!!!!!!!!! Holy cow–the time goes quickly.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Janine – thank you for taking the time to vote! Oh, I should add food finds to the list – of course I intend to continue doing them! 🙂 Happy New Year.

  3. Sue says:

    #11 plus your food and gadget finds, especially at Costco. Even though I haven’t gone plant based, I’m still open to it. Maybe when my husband and I become empty-nesters in 1.5 years, I will give it a try. I will still keep reading your blog because I enjoy it, and I am learning new things from it. After all, I would not have planned a wonderful family vacation to San Francisco last year if it wouldn’t been for your blog!

    1. Tami says:

      Hello Sue thank you so much for your kind words and all the wonderful comments you take the time to write. It still amazes me that I inspired your vacation to CA! I, delighted that you enjoy the food finds and Costco goodies I post about. I know going fully plant based isn’t for everyone but I do believe that adding more plants to everyone’s diet is beneficial! Thank you for continuing to follow the blog and taking the time to comment. It means a lot to me. Happy new year. 🙂

  4. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    Happy Birthday to your blog! I’m pretty sure I have been reading from pretty much the beginning… 🙂

    I always enjoy your posts, but here my numbers: 3, 7, 11, 12, and 13.

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you Andrea – yes I believe you have been here from the start! Thank you for your support and awesome comments! I appreciate you taking the time to vote too.
      I have learned a lot from reading your blog and always enjoy your posts. 🙂

  5. Anna says:

    I vote for 2, 5, and 12. I am struggling with meal planning. Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes and product ideas.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Ann! Thank you for voting. I appreciate the kind words and it’s nice to hear that you enjoy the recipes and product ideas. Meal planning can be overwhelming but I am trying to make it easier on myself! 🙂

  6. Kim says:

    I am not following a plant based diet but keep thinking I will try to implement one meal without meat a week. Would love to know your top recipes for those of us accustomed to eating meat:) I love your great finds whether it is food, new gadgets, etc. And I always just love hearing about you and life. And please don’t take your meat recipes off your site…….or let me know before you do so I can print them out. So many times I just go on the computer to a recipe, need to start printing them out.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Kim – it was so nice to see you post. You have been a long time reader of this blog!

      Thank you for taking the time to express your wishes for a future blog post about top recipes to introduce your family to some meatless meals.

      I don’t have any plans at the present time to remove any of the standard American diet recipes. I know that a lot of people use them – including my friends and family members!

      Happy New Year! 🙂

  7. Karen@WaistingTime says:

    Happy anniversary!

    I vote for 10, 11, and 13:) I’ve made several of the recipes you’ve featured and will be checking for that veggie broth. We go through a lot now, with my husband having evolved in the same direction. Right now we are in a 3-week gluten-free trial inspired by a co-worker. I’ve got some issues and it sure would be nice if I could fix them with a simple food change. So my current menu plan is vegetarian, gluten-free, south beach friendly. Sure do wish I liked to cook!

    BTW – I don’t miss blogging at all. Funny – I loved it so much I couldn’t have imagined ever quitting. I did put up a blog of my Alaska trip but that was really more of a travel journal written all at once.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Karen – I was so delighted to see a comment from you. Wow, vegetarian, gluten free and South Beach friendly really narrows it down! The best thing to do is to keep it simple to cut down on the amount of time in the kitchen.

      How interesting that you don’t miss blogging. Perhaps it’s because you filled the time spent on blogging with getting a part time job. I want to read about your Alaska trip as that is on our list of places to visit. Is it on your old blog?

      Thank you for taking the time to vote on blog topics, as always its a delight to read your comment! Happy New Year. 🙂

  8. Marlene says:

    I vote for 11, 13, and 8. I’m relatively new to your blog, but have been enjoying it. Thanks!!

    1. Tami says:

      Welcome aboard Marlene! Thanks for taking the time to vote for blog post ideas. I hope you’ll stop by often. 🙂

  9. Jody - Fit at 56 says:

    Happy blog anniversary!!! Yes, I get the thinking about hanging it up for sure! 🙂 I love your blog no matter what you write about so I am fine with any of the pics.. your recipees are great, finds are great – all is great! 🙂

    1. Tami says:

      Thank you for all the kind comments Jody – you are the best!:)

  10. Renee'sKitchenAdventures says:

    Happy, happy, happy anniversary my friend!!!! I am in the “love, love, love” cilantro group of ppl. I cant get enough of it. Love the stuff!

    1. Tami says:

      Why am I not shocked that you too love cilantro! I swear you are my long lost sister! 🙂 I love cilantro and this new pre-washed and trimmed bag of good green stuff makes me so happy! 🙂

  11. Judy says:

    Hmmm.. this is tough to pick just a few–I enjoy all your posts–I’m not total plant based—yet–but working on it!!
    My vote goes for 13, 11, 2, and 7. I’d have to say 13 is my all time favorite!! It’s so great to have some of the research for good products done for me–thanks friend!

    Happy 4th Anniversary Nutmegnotebook!!

    1. Tami says:

      Hey girlfriend – I didn’t know you were working towards a plant based diet! What about the hubby is he on board? – You’ll have to email me! Thanks for taking the time to vote for your favorite blog post ideas – it really helps give me some direction of what folks want to read about. The food find posts have to be my most popular – I get it as I love to see what is in everyone else’s shopping cart! 🙂

  12. shannon says:

    2, 7, 11, 12, 13…..Happy anniversary! I am loving your blog. I was plant strong for 2 years, then prompted by some health issues, my doctor suggested adding back a little meat. It didn’t work for me. And now, I am vegetarian once again. I already feel better.I am always seeking new ways to get my entire family to eat less meat.

    1. Tami says:

      Welcome back to the plant based way of eating Shannon! Thank you for taking the time to vote on blog post topics – it really helps me to know what people want to read more about. I’m glad you found my blog and hope you’ll come back often. Feel free to share any tips, hints or recipes that you have found to be helpful in maintaining a plant based diet. 🙂

  13. E says:

    1, 5, 8, 11, and 13, please.

  14. Taleah says:

    New reader here, but just wanted to say I love your blog! I can’t wait to try a few of your recipes.

    1. Tami says:

      Hi Taleah! Welcome to Nutmeg Notebook. I hope you will stop by often and leave me some feedback about the recipes your try! Happy Cooking!

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