Blog | Rachel Begun, MS, RD | Page 2

Sun Basket: Meal ingredient delivery service for special diets

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(Disclosure: I received a complimentary set of ingredients for three meals from Sun Basket.  I was not paid to write this post or promote the service.)

I’m sure you are aware that meal ingredient delivery services are all the rage.  And, why not? They do all of the ingredient prep so you can make fresh meals at home.

I can’t say that I’ve tried many of these delivery services, but I did have the opportunity to receive a complimentary set of three meals from Sun Basket, and I was highly impressed!

Here’s what I love about the general concepts offered by Sun Basket:

  • They provide fresh, organic ingredients from local Pacific Coast farmers, ranchers and fishermen
  • They source organic produce, sustainable and humanely-raised poultry and meat, and wild, line-caught fish from responsible farmers
  • They provide ingredients and recipes for special diet meals, including gluten-free, paleo-friendly and vegetarian…and, in my experience, they did it really well
  • They share the names of the farmers they purchased from for the package of ingredients delivered, and even shared the story of one of the farmers!

Here’s what I loved about the ingredients and recipes:

  • The recipes are innovative, using interesting ingredients and allowing nice diversity from the meals we tend to make over and over again at home. The recipes I received ingredients for included:
    • Steak with roasted broccoli romanesco, purple potatoes and tomato basil salsa
    • Cinnamon chicken with cantaloupe-cucumber salad
    • Coconut-braised shrimp with red curry paste
  • The recipes were easy to follow, as well as easy to modify/adapt for taste preferences. For example, my husband doesn’t like coconut so we were easily able to eliminate the coconut milk as a braising liquid, yet keep in the red curry paste to flavor the dish
  • You could taste the quality of the ingredients.  The sirloin steaks, chicken and shrimp were so full of flavor!!!  The herbs, which were plentiful in all dishes, were fresh and full of flavor.
  • Fruits and vegetables were abundant and interesting.  We loved tasting the broccoli romanesco, purple potatoes and pairing cantaloupe to the chicken dish
  • The portion sizes were just right for fulfilling, nourishing meals.  In other words, these were healthy meals, portioned right

As you know, my motto is to share what I love.

Sun Basket was generous to provide all of my readers with a promo code to receive $20 off a delivery.  Here’s the link: http://www.sunbasket.com/home/ local?offer=EATWELLSB

Enjoy!  And please let me know about your experience by leaving a comment below.


Cherry Almond or Cherry Chocolate Walnut Blondies?

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(Disclosure:  I received free samples of fresh sweet cherries from Northwest Cherry Growers. I was not paid to write this post, develop these recipes, or promote cherries)

Life is like a bowl of cherries…

cherries

…especially when you receive a box of delicious, perfectly ripe, in-season cherries from the Northwest Cherry Growers.  Thank you!!

So, after several days eating them straight from the stem for my afternoon snack, I thought “what should I make with these sweet, red beauties?”

For some reason, cherry blondies overwhelmingly came to mind.

So, I have two recipe varieties to share with you that are both gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free.  And yes, both recipes are crazy delicious.

The question is…do you prefer cherry almond or cherry chocolate walnut blondies?!!!!

It’s a hard decision.  You may have to make both recipes to decide for yourself.

CherryAlmondBlondies

Cherry Almond Blondies

Cooking spray
1 1/4 cup almond flour*
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond oil
1/8-1/4 cup honey (depending on how sweet you want them)
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup pitted, quartered fresh cherries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 8×8 baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl until well mixed.
  3. Whisk the eggs until lightly beaten.  Add the almond oil, honey and almond extract to the egg mixture and whisk until well combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until a batter forms.  It will be a thick batter.
  5. Add in the quartered cherries and chopped almonds and stir until well mixed.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking pan and use your fingers to create a uniform thickness throughout.
  7. Bake in the oven until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean from the center, approximately 20-22 minutes.
  8. Let cool before cutting.

Cherry Chocolate Walnut Blondies

Cooking spray
1 1/4 cup almond flour*
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup almond oil
1/8-1/4 cup honey (depending on how sweet you want them)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pitted, quartered fresh cherries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 oz. dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (or dark chocolate chips)

  1. Follow directions from Cherry Almond Blondies recipe, replacing vanilla extract for almond extract, chopped walnuts for chopped almonds, and adding in the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.

* I used natural almond flour, because that’s what I had in the house.  Natural almond flour is flecked with the skin so is a dark brown.  Blanched almond flour, however, is a creamy white and will produce a lighter color for the baked end product.  Both produce a delicious end result.

 

What add-ins do you like with your cherry blondies?  Please share in the comment box below!

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