Must-have Roasted Chickpeas

If you’ve ever been to Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or Homegoods, you know that they really know how to suck you in at the checkout line. They enclose you inside walls filled with the most adorable junk you don’t need, and they do a great job at convincing you to buy it. They also have great snacks that make you start feeling hungry. They have an awesome assortment of veggie chips, flavored popcorn, dehydrated fruit, and these roasted chickpeas!

While I was out shopping with my daughter at Marshalls a while ago, she wanted to get a snack in the checkout line. I veered her away from the jelly beans and directed her towards the healthier snacks. That’s when I came across “The Good Bean”. I love chickpeas in general, so these were a win for me! They had a bunch of different flavors but I grabbed the Cracked Pepper and Sweet Cinnamon. They are both delicious! Chickpeas are loaded with protein and fiber and are low in calories, so this is the perfect snack if you’re watching your weight. I grab a handful to snack on throughout the day whenever I feel hungry. You could even top salads with them!

Such a healthy and delicious snack! A definite must-have!

I know Marshalls is usually hit or miss…they could carry something one day and gone the next. So if you can’t find them there, Amazon has a 12-pack that includes these two flavors, plus Sea Salt and Smoky Chili & Lime! The Good Bean 4-Flavor Variety Pack (Pack of 12)

Must-have Wonton Wrappers

Tis the season for holiday get-togethers! Wonton wrappers have been my ultimate go-to during this holiday season. Whether I’m in charge of bringing an appetizer or dessert to a party, I can count on these little blank canvases to create whatever I’d like! They are one of the most versatile things to cook with and you can literally put everything and anything you want in them. You can use them for appetizers or desserts…savory or sweet! One wonton wrapper is very low in calories (about 20 calories per wrapper), so you can make these as healthy or unhealthy as you’d like, depending on what you put in them and how you cook them. I’ll be sharing some of the things I’ve been bringing to holiday parties and other wonton ideas, so stay tuned!

{You can usually find them in an Asian specialty market, or you can purchase them here: Nasoya All Natural Won Ton Wraps, 12 Ounce — 6 per case.}


Must-have Immersion Blender

I use my Immersion Blender (aka hand blender) for many of my recipes, especially in the fall. My Roasted Sweet Potato & Carrot Bisque and Butternut Squash Pastina are a couple of examples. I used it a ton when my kids were babies and I made homemade baby food. It’s so handy to keep everything in the pot and blend it right in there. So much safer than transferring boiling hot food into a blender or food processor.

I’ve had this Cuisinart Smart Stick since getting it as a gift at my bridal shower almost 8 years ago, and I still love it! It comes with attachments including a whisk and chopper/grinder. The whisk is so helpful when you need to beat ingredients for a few minutes at a time…no need to tire your hand out! And the chopper/grinder is like a mini food processor. It’s so convenient! Amazon has an awesome deal on it  right here. It would also make a great holiday gift!



Must-have Arborio Rice

Arborio rice is THE rice for making risotto. It is an Italian white rice that has a creamy yet chewy texture when cooked. It takes a lot of love to cook risotto….constant stirring for about 20 minutes…but the end result is always so worth it! What I love most about making risotto is that it is so diverse. You could put just about anything you could think of in there to make a main meal or side dish.

This week I will be featuring my favorite risotto recipes using Arborio rice, so go buy some today and stay tuned all week!!


Must-have Lentils

Lentils are a must-have for so many different reasons! They are full of protein, fiber, iron, and many other nutrients. They are low in calories and contain no fat, yet they leave you feeling full so they are perfect for weight control and/or weight loss. They are also cheap in price and easy on the pockets, unlike many other healthy foods.

My kids have been eating lentils since they were babies. It was one of the first foods I made for them when they were starting out with protein because of their soft texture. They loved lentils then and they still do!

Tonight for dinner I’m making my Lentil Soup. It’s one of my family’s favorites and is so easy to make!


Must-have Sparkling Water

How are you all staying hydrated this summer? The last couple of days have been HOT HOT HOT!!! I always pack my grapefruit sparkling water in my cooler bag when we go to the pool. These are my summer time (non-alcoholic) drink of choice! These little slim cans are so addicting. Not only are they adorable, but they are so refreshing!

I usually only drink water throughout the day (besides my morning coffee and wine at dinner time). When I feel like having something different, sparking water satisfies my craving without the calories of soda or juice! It has no calories and it’s great to drink throughout the day if you’re trying to lose weight. The carbonation makes you feel full and also helps with digestion!

They come in different flavors, but I especially love the pink grapefruit flavor in the summer time!


Must-have Almond Butter

What a crazy and busy Easter weekend it was! I’m a little slow moving this morning after enjoying our festivities with family yesterday and trying to control two sugared up kids!

This week’s must-have is Almond Butter! I love this stuff for so many reasons. It’s packed with protein and makes you feel full for a long time. It contains more Vitamin E and iron than peanut butter, it is a great source of the “good fat”, and fiber. It also contains magnesium, which helps support metabolism.

I spread some on toast with bananas and chia seeds or make banana rollups for a healthy breakfast. I also like to throw a tablespoon of almond butter in a green smoothie for extra protein!

I love this kind here that I purchased at Whole Foods. It’s really creamy and spreads on easily. Plus, its only ingredient is roasted almonds!