How to Make Your Own Perfectly Roasted Chickpeas with Help from 2Armadillos Crispy Chickpeas


Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and African cuisine, making them second only to the soybean as the most widely eaten bean in the world. The primary ingredient in hummus, chickpeas are a great source of lean protein and filling fiber: a one cup serving of chickpeas contains 268 calories, 12.5 grams of dietary fiber, 14.5 grams of protein, and 4.2 grams of fat.

Mild in flavor, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like a chickpea, unless it’s the mushy texture that turns them off. When roasted, however, they can offer a healthy, low-carb crunch to your favorite meals. If you’ve ever tried to roast them on your own, you are probably painfully that without the right recipe you’ll end up with scorched, bitter bits with a mushy center.

2Armadillos Crispy Chickpeas makes hand-roasted chickpeas that crunch like pretzels and taste like chips. They use nothing artificial, no preservatives, no junk and they offer a variety of delicious flavors like Tomato Basil, Spicy Cayenne, and Cinnamon Toast. Passionate about their chickpeas, 2Armadillos’ relationship manager Candice Cook shared with us her expert secrets to make your own delicious roasted chickpeas at home, plus tons of flavor combinations and unique uses you’ve probably never thought of. (more…)

The Bug Banquet: Serving Sustainability in a Cricket Pesto Flatbread


“You’re invited to the Bug Banquet,” the email read. Ewwww! Must I go? I am psychologically averse to insects, but as a good sport, I’ll try.

The Bug Banquet is a culinary exploration of entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. It was created as an “experience” to help guests enjoy insects as food. Founders Chloé Bulpin, a senior at at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Alex Gandarillas and Matt Kominsky, two Johnson & Wales University culinary students, believe in the power of visual imagery to educate.

The intriguing menu was served cocktail style and the presentation was gorgeous.

  • Pesto Flatbread: cricket pesto, mozzarella and artichokes
  • Tempura Skewers: crickets, silkworms and scallions with a spicy sriracha sauce
  • Watermelon and Waterbugs: compressed watermelon, apple and waterbug
  • Spicy Silkworm: Korean-style marinated silkworms with hummus and roasted cauliflower
  • Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets
  • Sundae Shooters: waterbug ice cream, caramel, and banana
  • Several different cookies and tarts made with cricket flour

How did the creations taste? The comment most often overheard was, “I would never have known.” Ground crickets in pesto tasted “like escargot.” Waterbugs had a “floral extract that is not off-putting.” Roasted crickets tasted “like roasted fava beans with a crunchy outside and a mushy middle.” Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets were “reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher candy.” (more…)

Roasted Kielbasa and Potato Casserole: An Easy Meat and Potatoes Dinner You Can Feel Good About


I very much grew up in a meat and potatoes household. Our dinner menus were as predictable as the negotiating was to get out of doing dishes. Every night there was a meat entree — ground beef made into burgers, meatloaf, sloppy joes — with some form of potato — be it baked, mashed, or frozen fries. A side of canned green beans or corn would round out our plates. And for dessert we never received more than two small sandwich cookies.

This is my comfort food. This is what I fall back to when I’m homesick, too exhausted to think through a meal plan, or just want to keep things really simple.

So many of my recipes are fresh takes on old favorites, and that’s exactly what I’m serving up here. There’s nothing new with this recipe, it’s been served out of casserole dishes for decades. What is new is the realization that you can make it a little more wholesome, but just as savory, familiar, and comforting. (more…)

Condiments Revealed! What’s Really in 14 of the Most Popular Condiments


Condiments are one of the easiest ways to amp up the flavor in your foods. While the addition of some condiments provides flavor and little else, some can actually ramp up the health factor of your meal, while some of your favorites may be heaping hundreds of calories and unnecessary sugar, fat, and salt onto your already healthy meals, sabotaging your efforts to eat lighter and cleaner.

Anything in excess can be bad for you, so just because a food is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s free license to eat as much as you’d like. To keep our condiment analysis true and accurate, always stick to recommended portion sizes.

7 Basic Steps for Cleaner Eating Without Going Paleo

Salsa: 1 oz, 8 calories, .9g sugar

Veggies, herbs and spices, what could go wrong? If you’re whipping up your own, not much, but grabbing a jar of name brand salsa off the shelf can mean you’re pouring on preservatives, chemicals, loads of sodium, and even added sugar if you’re a fruit salsa fan. Big companies will pump their salsa full of preservatives to keep it shelf stable. Think about it — how else can “fresh” veggies sit on a shelf for weeks and still be edible?

If you go fresh and all natural, salsa can be an amazingly healthy and delicious option for just about anything. If buying from the store, you should be able to recognize every ingredient on the label. If making your own, dice up fresh roma tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic and a little jalapeno and pile that pico high to sneak in an extra serving of veggies. Try it on eggs, over chicken, or mixed with brown rice and kidney beans for a satisfying meatless Mexican filling. (more…)

Sunny Side Up Breakfast Sandwich: Because We are Free to Eat Egg Yolks Again!


While most people like to take advantage of sleeping in on a weekend morning, I roll out of bed and start cooking. Similar to most other families, mine is a crazy kind of busy all week. But on Saturdays we get one another’s undivided attention over a hearty breakfast that fuels our equally busy weekends. Since I have a preschooler who rises at dawn, sometimes my version of sleeping in is letting someone else cook, and that’s where I found this sandwich.

One morning at a favorite local breakfast dive, I poured over the menu and couldn’t find anything I wanted. However, the BLT on the lunch menu called to me, especially with the mention of avocado and tomato slices. I asked them to breakfast-ize it with an over-medium egg. They did, and it was glorious. It seemed so obvious, yet, I’d never thought about it before!

Any guilt you’ve harbored for the last few decades over eating a fried egg, well go ahead and shake it loose. Cholesterol is no longer the nutritional enemy we’ve been told to avoid. Our Mary Hartley, RD explains why we are no longer relegated to egg white omelets. That’s why we’re celebrating over runny egg yolk sandwiches! (more…)

Naan Crust Pizza with Homemade Cabernet Basil Pizza Sauce

naan crust pizza cabernet basil sauce

There isn’t anything I don’t like about pizza. I like wood fire, NY style, grease bomb, and everything in between. You can hold the green bell peppers and onions, but otherwise I’ve never found a slice of pizza I didn’t like.

In the past year though, my favorite pizza is the one that I make. I’ve worked my homemade sauce to be just right, found a crust that is pretty perfect, and realized I don’t need a stitch of meat. Rather than give up pizza because it’s so unhealthy, I found a way to enjoy it on occasion because it’s not that bad for me.


I start with a whole grain naan, an Indian bread that is usually sold near your grocer’s bakery. The Stonefire brand is excellent (I find this at Kroger), and SuperTarget’s house brand is great, too. They usually come two to a pack and I try to keep at least one in the freezer at all times. You never know when it’s going to be the perfect night for pizza! (more…)

Eat Like a Patriot: Winning Recipes for New England’s Big Bowl Game


The 2014 Super Bowl lineup was decided last night, as the AFC and the NFC champions were named. The New England Patriots will meet the Seattle Seahawks on February 1 in Glendale, Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX. These names have been main-stays in the NFL championship line up in recent years, so we ought to have their fan-favorite menus down pat!

Now, unless you’re playing as hard, and working out as much, as the guys on the field, you probably don’t need to consume thousands of calories by way of queso, chips, burgers, and beer. Sure, it’s fun, but it’s possible to have all of that food enjoyment without the disastrous calorie bloat that won’t make anyone MVP.

Serve these healthier recipes inspired by the Patriots hometown roots. They look and taste just as good as their original versions, but will save you from going overboard on the second biggest food holiday of the year.

sam adams summertime lemonade


Eat Like a Seahawk: 8 Super Snacks for Seattle’s Big Game!


We’re on our way to the big game, Seattle! Now what? It’s time to send out the invites, place your bets, and hit the kitchen in an effort to feed The 12th Man. How can you watch your waistline while still watching football?

We’ve put together some great dishes and halftime snack ideas that will make you feel just like you’re at CenturyLink Field, capturing all of Seattle’s favorite ingredients and restaurants…with a healthy twist!

Here are eight of our favorite football foods to help you cheer on the Seahawks to the big win:

Pork tacos (more…)

Healthy Dinner Menu Plan for the Week Featuring Easy Weeknight Favorites

FINAL whats dinner DIR #2 green




When it comes to the what’s for dinner? question, the struggle is real folks! We’re taking most of the guess work out with our new weekly meal plans! Turn Sunday in to Plan Day and you’ll be set right on through the weekend. (more…)

Exclusive! Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo Recipe from The Biggest Loser Bootcamp Book


Resolve to eat more vegetables. Or try new foods. Or eat more colorfully. Or reduce carbs. Or eat more home-cooked foods. Or just eat cleaner. Which ever one of these resolution categories your “diet” falls into, this dinner is a perfect fit.

We snagged this Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo recipe out of the new book The Biggest Loser Bootcamp (out December 30, 2014!). It met our own food resolutions — C: all of the above — and offered a fresh take on the spaghetti squash trend we love so much. Spaghetti squash has taken off in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a hearty vegetable that has a mild enough taste that you can pair it with almost anything. It’s a great alternative for noodles, but I don’t fully buy in to it being a supreme replacement. Don’t eat this expecting it to taste or feel like noodles; it gets the job done, deliciously so, but stands on its own as a noodle-ish food. (more…)