Giveaway

23 Comments

Being the good southerner I am (and being of a certain age), my first experience with tofu didn't come until I was in college back in the early 90s.  An enlightened friend introduced me to a small natural foods market in Memphis called Squash Blossom (it was later bought by Wild Oats) where, along with groceries, they sold prepared foods. They served a tofu salad there that was just like mustard-based potato salad but with firm tofu instead of potatoes. It was delicious! I quickly bought a block for myself to make the salad at home, but things didn’t go so well. I didn’t realize you had to press out the water and then freeze it to get a good texture, so I did not try tofu again for another ten years.

I still don’t love working with tofu at home. But when I discovered baked tofu, everything changed. They have plain baked tofu at the Japanese market nearby and a favorite Thai restaurant (Smiling Elephant) uses it in their tofu dishes. The texture and taste are so much more palatable. Trader Joe’s also sells marinated baked tofu that’s pretty darn good, too. But, it’s not always convenient (or even accessible to some).

TofuBaked-Sesame-3So I was really excited when I discovered that Nasoya now offers a line of marinated baked tofu, TofuBaked that’s readily available at the grocery (each Publix I visited in Nashville carried it). Actually, their line of organic and non-GMO tofu also now includes another new product, TofuPlus, which is fortified with other ingredients to address specific dietary needs or tastes. They’re really doing a lot to make tofu more accessible, palatable, and enjoyable for the masses.

TofuBaked comes in two flavors: sesame ginger and teriyaki. Nasoya sent me some coupons so that I could try both and I have to say they are delicious. I sliced the teriyaki flavor and put it on a sandwich with some massaged kale and smoked salt (mostly for the benefit of the kale; the tofu tasted great on its own). The sesame ginger was cubed and heated and added to some sesame noodles (which I served with roasted bok choy) for dinner. Though I admit to eating more than just a few of the cubes before they made it to the dinner table. They’re just so good!

TofuBaked-Teriyaki-3Of course, I shared this information with some friends recently who were less than convinced. But I tell ya, both flavors are great.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Enter here to win a giveaway of a free salad kit direct from Nasoya with coupons to try the tofu for free! The folks at Nasoya said their research indicated that a lot of folks like to eat the baked tofu in salads, so they have this lovely bamboo bowl and spoons to give people a little incentive. Once things settle down in my dream kitchen, I’ll probably try the sesame ginger flavor in a cold seaweed salad. Nasoya has a ton of great baked tofu recipes on their site that I'd also like to try out.

To enter the giveaway for a salad kit with coupons for free Nasoya products, just leave a comment about what you’d like to prepare with your Nasoya baked tofu. A salad? Sandwich? Soup? Stir-fry? Curry? It’s so versatile!

For a bonus entry, tweet the following: “Enter to win a salad kit and tofu #giveaway from @Nasoya and @lesleyeats http://ow.ly/Ezw50”

Leave a separate comment for each entry for a maximum of two to increase your chances of winning! Limit 2 entries/comments per person. The contest will be open from now until Wednesday, December 3 at 1pm CST and is only open to residents of the United States. The winner will be chosen at random and be notified by email that afternoon and will have until Monday, December 8 at 1pm CDT to respond with a valid mailing (street) address. If there’s no response by that time, I will choose another winner. Good luck!

22 Comments

marthastewartgummiesIt’s time for some real talk: vitamins aren’t very exciting. I know that. And now I want you to read a whole post about them. But bear with me; these are vitamins I am excited about. The folks over at Martha Stewart Essentials emailed me recently about their line of vitamins specially-formulated for women and noted that they are all vegetarian. Oh, really? Tell me more! They wanted to introduce me to their newest vitamin, the gummy multi. What?!? Gummy multi?!? Yes! You see, a lot vitamins—particularly chewable vitamins—contain gelatin. Gelatin is not vegetarian (and not something I want to consume; here’s why). Even many of the chalky vitamins have gelatin and every gummy vitamin I’ve looked at does as well.

But not Martha Stewart Essentials. Even the gummy multivitamins are vegetarian because they contain pectin for gumminess instead of gelatin. They’re also gluten-free and contain no preservatives, artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners; they are naturally sweetened and colored with real fruit and vegetable extracts and come in three natural flavors – cherry, lemon and orange. I have never been so excited over a vitamin in my whole life. Even though I eat reasonably healthy, I like the “back-up plan” of having a multivitamin every day just to ensure I’m getting what I need. I also drink plenty of water, but I have still struggled with swallowing a big ol’ pill with breakfast, so this gummy option is great. No more excuses; I just eat them as I’m preparing my tea. And they taste like candy, so they’re actually enjoyable to eat.

Along with the gummy vitamins, the Martha Stewart Essentials product line includes a number of vitamins specific to the needs of women at various stages of life. These include vitamins for Graceful Aging, Digestive Health, Bone Support, Menopause Support, and Hair, Skin & Nails. There’s also a non-gummy Women’s Multivitamin. All are made with gelatin-free capsules, so they are all vegetarian as well. They were developed in partnership with Inergetics, a company that makes a variety of nutritional supplements.

marthastewartessentialsAnyhoo, when the folks at Martha Stewart offered to send me some vitamins to review, they also offered to let me host a giveaway. Woo hoo! You guys know you need to take your vitamins and now you can try these out for free if you win. And if you don’t, you can purchase the vitamins online or at Walgreens, Harris Teeter and other retail stores.

The winner of this giveaway will receive TWO bottles of these fabulous gummy vitamins plus five bottles from the selection of other vitamins in the Martha Stewart Essentials line, which (as noted above), includes Graceful Aging, Digestive Health, Bone Support, Menopause Support, and Hair, Skin & Nails. To enter to win, just leave a comment with the vitamin you would like to make sure is in your prize pack along with your two bottles of gummy vitamins.

For one additional entry (leave a separate comment to get credit for this entry!), tweet the following: Enter to #win a #giveaway of Martha Stewart Essentials vegetarian gummy vitamins & other supplements from @lesleyeats http://ow.ly/zPUhl

Limit 2 entries/comments per person. The contest will be open from now until Friday, August 8 at 1pm CDT and is only open to residents of the United States. The winner will be chosen at random and be notified by email that afternoon and will have until Monday, August 11 at 1pm CDT to respond with a valid mailing (street)address. If there’s no response by that time, I will choose another winner.

This contest is now *closed.* Congratulations to commenter #2, Alexandra!

75 Comments

I have to admit: I’m a pasta addict. My favorite comfort food is macaroni and cheese, though I’m almost as happy with just a big bowl of linguine or fettucine with some good olive oil and a little seasoning. But carbs. So many carbs and calories. Which is why I’ve been meaning to get a spiralizer to make zucchini noodles for a long time, particularly since my friend, Leah posted this recipe for zucchini noodles with lemon cream sauce.

And then, as luck would have it, the folks over at Veggetti® asked me if I’d like to try it out. Please and thank you!

While my brand new Veggetti® spiralizer was on the way, I happened upon a cooking demo that my friend, Trish of Nutrisha was hosting at the West End Farmers Market. She was using a Veggetti®! She told me it was very important to not overcook the “noodles” (they’ll turn to mush) and to use a fresh, firm squash for best results (it’s a lot more difficult to spiralize a…not-firm squash). I learned that it’s also a good idea to get a long, slender zucchini with a decent-size stem that will make it easier to grip and turn.

It's best to choose vegetables that will easily fit inside the Veggetti without being too thin.
It's best to choose vegetables that will easily fit inside the Veggetti without being too thin.
Try to find a good stem that will act as a "handle" when turning the squash.
Try to find a good stem that will act as a "handle" when turning the squash.
This spiral core comes out the other end. I just threw it in with the "noodles."
This spiral core comes out the other end. I just threw it in with the "noodles."

Trish shared this recipe (I made a few minor changes) for a nice, light Veggetti® that is a great side dish or “salad.”

Summer Squash “Spaghetti”
adapted from Trish Marzella Mathisen of nutrisha.com
serves 1-2

1-2 cups spiralized zucchini (from 2 medium zucchinis)
1 tablespoon softened goat cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
¼ cup chopped onions or leeks (white portion)
1 clove/teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Using a spiralizer, create veggie noodles by twisting (no need to peel first) through as shown (on the “thick” side).

Combine the goat cheese and lemon juice in a large bowl and set aside.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions have become translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant. Turn the heat up to medium high, add the “noodles” and cook for about 1-2 minutes, gently tossing to coat with oil until the noodles have softened (do not overcook). Remove from heat and scrape into the bowl with goat cheese and lemon juice. Toss to coat the noodles with the cheese sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold.

I’m not going to lie; nothing can replace a really good noodle, but with a tasty sauce like this one (or Leah’s), spiralized veggie noodles can be a really great substitute. You can use them in place of wheat noodles for just about any dish that would normally require a long, thin noodle. It’s particularly helpful when you want to make a light dish that’s healthy and gluten-free and/or diabetic-friendly (and vegan, too!). And not only can you use it for zucchini, but for carrots and cucumbers as well. They make a fun garnish or filling for spring rolls.

The Veggetti® is available at Bed Bath and Beyond, Walgreens, CVS and numerous other stores that have an “As Seen on TV” section. However, you can win a Veggetti® PLUS a $25 Visa gift card by entering my giveaway! To enter:

Leave a comment telling me which pasta recipe (the name is fine, but a link would be great) you’d most like to try with Veggetti® noodles.

For a bonus entry (leave an additional, separate comment), tweet about this giveaway on Twitter. Whatever you’d like to tweet! Just please include my Twitter handle (@lesleyeats) and a link to this post. For example: “I’m ready to Veggetti! Win a spiralizer and gift card from @lesleyeats http://ow.ly/z8fy8”

Limit 2 entries per person. The contest will be open from now until Tuesday, July 22 at 1pm CDT and is only open to residents of the United States. The winner will be chosen at random and be notified by email (please be sure your comment includes a valid email address) that afternoon and will have until Friday, July 25 at 1pm CDT to respond with a valid mailing (street)address. If there’s no response by that time, I will choose another winner.

Note: this contest is closed. Congratulations to commenter #24, Liz!

Disclosure: The Veggetti®, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Ontel.