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These tasty little fruit snacks are a little more crunchy than funky, but “Mom” and her little one have been enjoying each fruit flavor from Funky Monkey Snacks since they have graced the kitchen! A healthy snack for the whole family to enjoy at home or on-the-go, Funky Monkey Snacks are crispy real fruit snacks that are Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, tree nut and peanut-free, and wheat free! They contain no GMO’s, no added sugar, preservatives, coloring or flavoring. Plus, many of the ingredients used are organic!

Available in seven distinct fruit flavors, including Applemon, Bananamon, Carnaval Mix, JiveALime, MangOJ, Pink Pineapple, and Purple Funk – there is something tangy for everyone in the family! “Mom” loved the PurpleFunk, which contains freeze-dried organic banana and organic acai!

To learn more about Funky Monkey Snacks, to locate a retailer near you, or to order online, visit www.funkymonkeysnacks.com.

*Company geneorously provided samples and images for this piece.*

What would the Holidays be without some Nog? Rather than packing on the calories with the traditional, full fat egg nog, try Earth Balance Soy Nog, which is organic, non-GMO and made with USA grown soybeans! Creamy and delicious without dairy or gluten, the Soy Nog can be served warmed, chilled or even spiked! “Mom” prefers to enjoy hers chilled, sprinkled with a hint of cinnamon and ground nutmeg!

For those with gluten or lactose sensitivities, this is a perfect alternative to keep on hand during the holidays! One cup contains 150 calories, and only 3.5 grams of fat! Plus, Earth Balance Soy Nog boasts 6 grams of protein per serving. If you are so inclined, try it in your coffee as a creamer alternative for a merry and festive difference in your morning cup of joe!

Earth Balance Soy Nog can be found in most major supermarkets this holiday season, and you can learn more at EarthBalanceNatural.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Gluten & Dairy Free Mushroom Casserole

Ingredients

Béchamel Sauce

4 tbsp. vegetable spread

½ cup amaranth flour

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Pinch of grated nutmeg

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Mushroom Sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. vegetable spread

3.5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed

4 oz. oyster mushrooms

4 oz. crimini mushrooms

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms

1 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, minced

¼ cup Oloroso Sherry

Walnut Pesto

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 clove garlic

½ tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

½ tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. sea salt

almond milk, for thinning if needed

12 oz. Jovial Einkorn Pasta

Preparation

1.Bring 4 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil.
2.Add Brown Rice Pasta and cook al dente.
3.Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
4.Preheat oven to 375°F.
5.In a heavy bottom sauce pot set to medium heat, add 4 tbsp. of margarine. When melted, add flour and stir to combine. Reduce heat and cook until mixture turns pale brown, stir with a wooden spoon. Be careful not burn. Cook for approximately10 minutes.
6.Remove from heat and slowly whisk in 2 cups of almond milk.
7.Place back on medium to low heat and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes). As its simmering the sauce will thicken and the floury taste will dissipate.
8.Remove from heat and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
9.Reconstitute the dry porcini mushrooms by placing them in boiled water and let stand for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove from water and set mushrooms and water aside.
10.Slice all mushrooms the same size and set aside
11.In a large sauté pan on medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot add porcini mushrooms, parsley and garlic.
12.Stir for a couple of minutes then add 1 tbsp. of margarine and the chopped mushrooms, stirring for about 5 minutes more.
13.Add the sherry to the mushrooms and let the liquid reduce. At that point add the liquid that was saved from the porcini mushrooms. Cook down and let it reduce. It will start to thicken and have the consistency of syrup.
14.Remove from heat and stir in béchamel sauce.
15.To make walnut pesto, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil, remaining garlic and walnuts in a hand blender with a pinch of sea salt. Pulse until smooth, adding a drizzle of almond milk if needed. When smooth, add thyme and rosemary and pulse to incorporate. Stir into mushroom and béchamel sauce.
16.Toss pasta into the mushroom sauce mixture until well combined.
17.Turn into large baking dish (9” x 12”). (If you would like to add cheese, mix in 1/2-1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.)
18.Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top begins to get bubbly and brown.
19.Garnish with fresh parsley and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Jovial Foods.*

Some good karma is percolating in “Mom’s” kitchen this week! Yes, that’s right! Good Karma Foods™ has introduced three delightful new coffee creamers to add to your morning cup o’ joe that are dairy-free, lactose-free, gluten-free and Vegan! Oh, did we mention that they are mighty tasty, too? The French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors add just an extra hint of flavor to your coffee, and it is hard to choose between the two when adding it to your mug! Delectable, nutritious, and perfect for those with sensititivies, the new creamers are also trans-fat free.

Good Karma Foods™ new Dairy & Lactose-Free Coffee Creamers are available in Original, French Vanilla and Hazelnut. The best part? They are available at 700 Wal-mart stores nationwide, which means they are affordable, too!

To learn more about the new creamers, the other offerings from Good Karma Foods™, or to locate a Wal-mart near you that carries the line, visit Good Karma Foods.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

The back-to-school routine is in full swing for most families, and finding healthy, delicious, and quick options for dinner each night can be a challenge! Make things easy on everyone with Saffron Road™! They have recently introduced 4 new all-natural, Frozen Chicken Nuggets, Tenders, and Bites to their line. Kids love finger food, especially those that can be dipped in a variety of healthy sauces, and yes, even ketchup or honey! What makes Saffron Road™ stand out in “Mom’s” eyes is the high-quality of the brand – all of Saffron Road™’s chicken options are gluten‐free, Certified Humane®, All-Natural and Certified Halal. Plus, the chickens are raised without antibiotics and are vegetarian-fed! These nuggets and bites are not your typical fried fast food options – they are tender and flaky, and not filled with mystery meat.

One unique item that “Mom’s” family found especially tasty were the new Tandoori Seasoned Chicken Nuggets! All-natural and Certified Halal, they offer young children the chance to experience Indian cuisine right at home! Steam up some brown rice and serve these tasty little bites on top! You may even wish to pick up some naan bread at the store to accompany dinner, and top it with a little garlic at home. Yum!

All of the new Frozen Chicken Nuggets, Tenders, and Bites can be cooked in the conventional oven for 15 minutes, or in the mocrowave for 4 minutes if pressed for time. Plus, they can be shredded or cut and added to a salad for a light, satisfying meal.

To learn more about Saffron Road™, and their complete line of delicious, all-natural & gluten-free meals, visit SaffronRoadFood.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

These fresh-flavored kebabs are a great option for entertaining. Bright and colorful, they are perfect served over steamed brown rice.

Mango Shrimp Kebabs

Ingredients

• 1 1⁄2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
• 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
• 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1 small red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
• Cooking spray
• 2 limes, cut into wedges

Preparation

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle shrimp evenly with salt and pepper. Thread shrimp, bell pepper, mango, and onion pieces alternately onto each of 8 (12-inch) skewers. Place skewers on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp are done. Squeeze juice from lime wedges over kebabs. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 skewers).

CALORIES 277; FAT 3.3g (sat 0.7g, mono 0.5g, poly 1.2g); PROTEIN 35.8g; CARB 27.1g; FIBER 4.2g;
CHOL 259mg; IRON 4.5mg; SODIUM 551mg; CALC 109mg

Cooking Tip
Skewering small chunks of food on wooden sticks or thin metal rods is a grilling tradition. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using them on the grill or they’ll burn, and discard them after use. Metal skewers can be reused and require no soaking.

*Recipe and image courtesy of The Cooking Light Gluten-Free Cookbook.*

This deliciously moist cake is chock-full of carrots, nuts, and raisins. It provides a great way to sneak in vegetables for National 5 a Day Month since it boasts one full pound of carrots! It is absolutely to die for, and will not last long in the kitchen…. “Mom” made it today and oh my, are you in for a treat!

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Ingredients

Cake:
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
• 2⁄3 cup fresh orange juice
• 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
• 4 large eggs
• 1 (15-ounce) package gluten-free yellow cake mix (such as Betty Crocker)
• 1 (3.4-ounce) package gluten-free vanilla instant pudding mix
• 3 1⁄3 cups grated carrot (about 1 pound carrots)
• 3⁄4 cup raisins
• 3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts
• Cooking spray

Frosting:
• 6 ounces 1⁄3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
• 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
• 1 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 4 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cake, combine first 7 ingredients in a bowl; beat with a mixer at low speed for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl; beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until batter is smooth, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. (Batter will be thick.) Fold in carrot, raisins, and walnuts. Spoon batter evenly into 2 (9-inch) round cake pans coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool completely on a wire rack.

4. To prepare frosting, place cream cheese, milk, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat at low speed just until blended.

5. Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with 1⁄2 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

Yield: 22 servings (serving size: 1 slice).

CALORIES 332; FAT 10.4g (sat 2.2g, mono 2.9g, poly 4.2g); PROTEIN 3.2g; CARB 59.4g; FIBER 1.1g;
CHOL 44mg; IRON 0.5mg; SODIUM 119mg; CALC 28mg

*Recipe and image courtesy of The Cooking Light Gluten-Free Cookbook.*

Gluten-Free Cinnamon-Raisin Muffin with Streusel Topping

Ingredients

Streusel:

1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts

1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons brown rice flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

11⁄2 tablespoons canola oil or butter

Muffins:

Cooking spray

3.3 ounces brown rice flour(about 3⁄4 cup; such as Bob’s Red Mill)

4.1 ounces potato starch (about 3⁄4 cup)

2.1 ounces tapioca flour (about 1⁄2 cup)

3⁄4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1⁄2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

3⁄4 cup raisins

1⁄4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1⁄3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 cup plain soy milk

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. To prepare streusel, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowlwith a fork until mixture resembles small peas.

3. To prepare muffins, place 18 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups.Coat liners with cooking spray; set aside.

4. Weigh or lightly spoon brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, granulated sugar, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in raisins and walnuts; make a well in center of mixture. Combine oil, vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in soy milk; add to rice flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle batter evenly with streusel topping.

5. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins are lightly browned and spring back when touched lightly in center. Cool in pans 5 minutes on a wire rack. Serve warm. Yield: 18 servings (serving size: 1 muffin).

*Recipe and image courtesy of The Cooking Light Gluten-Free Cookbook.*

Delicious and nutritious, Orchard Bars are packed with fresh fruits, nuts, sunflower and flax seeds for a satisfying snack! Load up on these healthy fruit bars as the kids head back-to-school – they make an excellent snack in between soccer practice and dinner. They are crispy, crunchy and root-a-toot fruity – everyone will enjoy munching on these tasty, healthy treats. Orchard Bars are available in three yummy varieties: Blueberry Pomegranate & Almond, Pineapple Coconut & Macadamia, and Strawberry Raspberry & Walnut. Rich in antioxidants (vitamins A & C), Omega-3’s and protein, the bars are low in sodium, Vegan, gluten-free and contain no preservatives, saturated fat, artificial flavors or colors! Which one will be your favorite? From August 13th – August 25th, you can enter to win the Orchard Bar Giveaway daily on Tiny Green Mom!

First, leave a comment below to let us know which bar you can’t wait to try if you win the Orchard Bar Giveaway!

To obtain extra entries:

Follow Tiny Green Mom on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Leave a comment on another Tiny Green Mom post. Leave a comment below with the name of the post you commented on. This is only valid for one entry.

Visit Orchard Bar on Facebook. Please leave a comment below to let us know you have stopped by their page to learn something new! This is only valid for one entry.

Follow Orchard Bar on Twitter. Leave a comment with your Twitter name to let us know that this has been done. This is only valid for one entry.

Blog about this giveaway. You must have a link to this giveaway in your blog post. Please leave a comment with the link to your blog post. This is only valid for one entry.

The Orchard Bar Giveaway ends on August 25th, 2011 and is open to the US only. Please leave your email address in each comment, and make sure to leave a separate comment for every each and every entry that you make so that they will count for you!

Thank you! “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom can’t wait to announce the winner of this fabulous giveaway!

Dinner just became a whole lot easier and more flavorful with the help of Sweetwater Spice Company’s all-natural, gluten-free and fat-free brines! Have you heard of brining? “Mom” was recently intoduced, and wow – what moist, mouth-watering meats, chicken, fish, and even vegetables can be made! Sweetwater Spice Company has created the only ready-to-use brine on the market. It’s simple – just soak the meat, chicken, fish, or vegetable in the measured amount of brine, and in 30 minutes or less, everything is ready to be grilled or roasted.

The brines are perfect for grilling and authentic slow smoked barbecue, but they also taste delicious roasted. The process of brining prevents overcooking, ensuring that the final product is moist and flavorful while infusing and locking in the natural juices. “Mom” is loving the Tres Chilies Fajita Bath on grilled shrimp. The brines are available in mouth-watering flavors like Apple Chipotle, Smoked Habanero, Lime Jalapeno and Citrus Herb – Turkey Bath.

From the Sweetwater Spice Company Kitchen:

APPLE CHIPOTLE CHICKEN BREAST

We love to show off the Apple Chipotle on boneless skinless chicken breasts – grilled or roasted. Whereas the most common problem with boneless/skinless breasts is dry, stringy meat, a 30 minute soak in BBQ BATH leaves the breast plump and moist while the apple juice and spices caramelize on the outside. You can also try this with fish filets (20 minutes) and shrimp (15 min).

SWEETWATER SEPHARDIC CHAROSET

Ingredients

2 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 Cup Dried Apricots (no sugar added)
1/4 Cup Dried Cherries (no sugar added)
2 cups Muscat wine
1/2 cup Raw Cashews
1/2 cup Raw Pistachios (shelled)
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground green cardamom
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t ground clove

Preparation

Dice the Apricots and place in Muscat wine, along with cherries. Let the dried fruit reconstitute for while you prep the remainder of the recipe (15-20 min).

Lightly toast the cashews and pistachios – be careful not to burn.

Peel and dice the Apples.

Place reconstituted dried fruits, apple, toasted nuts, spices, and 1/4 cup ofthe left over wine into food processor and pulse (do not puree).

Add additional spices and wine as necessary for taste and desired texture.

The flavors in this recipe will meld together over time if it is allowed to sitin the fridge prior to serving.

MORE ABOUT BRINING:

Sweetwater Spice makes the brines in small batches with highly concentrated fruit juices, herbs and spices expertly blended and cooked to perfection. Thebrining process reduces cooking time, preserves the flavors and stop the juicesand sugars from caramelizing and helps retain the heat from the chilies. TheBBQ Bath brine concentrates are ready-to-use in the kitchen and you don’t even need a grill. The brine works just as well for roasting or frying as it does for smoking and grilling. All you need to do is smother the meat, fish or even veggies, with the BBQ Bath and equal parts water and let it soak for 30 minutes to flavor and protect from the perils of uneven heat and overcooking and then cook to perfection.

To learn more about the various brines available from Sweetwater Spice Company, or to order, visit www.sweetwaterspice.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this article.*