Favorite Kitchen Tools: Reusable Sandwich & Snack Bags

I’m not perfect by any means, but I do like to try to tread somewhat lightly on this Earth. I am learning new ways to do this often enough to feel like I’m making a little bit of a difference. Being eco-friendly is important. I’m happy as can be that come April here in Maine everyone will be expected to bring reusable bags with them to the store, I now have stainless steal straws at my house, and I signed up for a monthly MightyFix by Mighty Nest more than a year ago. (Yes, that is an affiliate link, because I use their products and love them! I will be compensated if you click on the link and sign up.)

Because I signed up for this service ($11.00 per month at the time of this posting.), I’ve been introduced to some great products. Many times the item they have sent has even been worth more than that $11.00 and, because I am a member, I get discounts on anything else I buy from them.

I don’t like to spend all kinds of money on cheaply made things, but I don’t mind paying for things of good quality – especially when a discount is offered.

These baggies are two of my top favorite things in my kitchen right now, and I use them when packing my meals for work. I pack for four meals during my weekend shifts, and find these super helpful. I don’t make sandwiches, so the larger bag is used for other foods. The snack baggie is the perfect size for trail mix.

You could also use them for sweet potato chips, Paleo crackers,  throat lozenges when you are sick, Paleo cookies, and more. I have used the snack baggie for my vitamin C tablets during the winter months, and kept them in by tote bag so I always had some near.

Once I learn how to make Paleo sandwich bread, I will be using the bigger baggie for that purpose. These come in handy for school/work lunches, hikes, day trips, and more.

Sign up for MightyFix and get a surprise in your mailbox. (Again, this is an affiliate link. See above note.) It’s like a present every single month.

Do you use these types of baggies? What are your experiences with them? And, if you shop through MightyNest, let us know your experiences with that.

~ Shannon

This Weeks Misfits Market Box 10/2/2019

Look at all of this amazing food. I love getting these Madness Boxes from Misfits Market. I look forward to them every other week. There is plenty of fresh produce for me, and I can share some with my daughters.

  • 2 pints of grape tomatoes (Took what I would use and gave the rest to Skye & Zowie)
  • red grapes
  • 8 little pepper (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 4 zucchini (Kept 2. Gave 1 each to Skye & Zowie)
  • 4 yellow peaches
  • 6 Bosc pears
  • 2 bunches green onions (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 4 lemons
  • 2 bunches red kale
  • 2 egg plants
  • 14 carrots of varying pretty colors
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 4 onions (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 8 apples

This was a very nice bounty of delicious goodness! The squash is being stored because it will last longer than anything else. I have others as well and, once-in-a-while, I will make a stuffed squash.

With this bounty I’ve already made lemonade and am planning to use the rest of the lemons to make lemon water. I made apple-peach and apple-pear sauces for work, and am using kale in smoothies. (One thing I wish came in the boxes is bananas. Oh, and lots of berries. I buy these at the store for my smoothies.)

I also used some of the kale for work salads, adding the tomatoes and zucchini I kept, and some of the carrots. And I’ll be bringing grapes to work for a snack! I love grapes.

I do plan to use the eggplant later in the week by roasting them with potatoes and carrots.

What do you think of all the good stuff that comes in these Misfits Market boxes? Do you get them? I noticed that my sisters boxes are usually somewhat different than mine, and she only lives about ten minutes from me.

~ Shannon

 

 

 

Misfits Market Box for 9/7/19

Wow. I just love these boxes! Look at the goodies I got this week, and I’ll share with you how I’m using most of it below.

 

It’s all lovely, and I’m happy to find ways to use it all. This is the list of everything I received:

  • 2 cauliflower
  • 3 Mango (Kept one for smoothies; gave the others to Skye & Zowie.)
  • 5 potatoes
  • 2 grapefruit (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 6 oranges
  • 6 lemons
  • 4 onions (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 6 Cucumbers (Gave one to Skye & one to Zowie)
  • 4 peppers (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 2 bags green beans
  • 4 tomatoes (Gave one to Skye & one to Zowie)
  • 2 lettuces

It’s amazing how much these boxes of food weigh. With my back issues, I can’t even carry them upstairs to my place. I have to bring reusable shopping bags down with me and split everything between the bags, and then bring them upstairs like that.

So, I did a few things right off. First, I made a couple of pitchers of lemon water because I wanted to enjoy some while I took care of everything. This lemon water is super easy. Each pitcher is about a quart. I juice one lemon per pitcher, add a few tablespoons of organic honey, and fill each with filtered water. Then stir. That’s it! The pitchers fit on the door of my little refrigerator.

I try to always have lemon water or lemon-limeade made up whenever I get the fruit. Vitamin C is good for you.

Then I made salads for my weekend at work. You may have have gotten the impression while reading these posts that I eat a lot of salads. I have been. I also drink a lot of super-healthy smoothies.

Spring and summer are a great time for this, but I’ve been wondering what later fall and winter produce boxes will look like. Salad fixings?

I had plenty of leftover cauliflower to last the two weeks, but I’m not sure if it lasts that long. Usually I eat it all before it gets to the point of going bad. My plan is to use some in smoothies, because it won’t be noticeable. And to eat it whenever I need a snack. I am not a fan of cooked cauliflower, so I will not be using it as a pizza crust, as rice, or roasted. Nope.

Same with green beans, and here will be plenty of this to eat raw as well. And I’ll be roasting potatoes with sausage, and using those two items, raw, as sides. I will also these raw veggies with breakfast, along with fresh fruit.

Can you believe all the yummy goodness my Madness Box is stuffed with each week? I’m always excited to get it. If you want your own box, use this link to place your order. (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE ) They are currently giving discounts to new customers, and I’ll get a discount on a future order. We’ll be helping each other out.

~ Shannon

 

Misfits Market Box for 8/21/19

The contents of this Misfits Market box made me smile. I knew I’d have plenty of organic options for smoothies and work meals as soon as I got everything all put out for picture taking. I haven’t been disappointed in a box yet.

I’m wondering what late fall and winter boxes will be like.

Here is what I was delivered:

  • 6 gold beats
  • 2 bags green beans
  • chard
  • 2 garlic
  • 2 bags of peppers (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 5 pears
  • 4 prickly pears
  • 2 eggplant
  • 2 onions (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 2 peppers (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 5 apples
  • 4 lemons
  • celery
  • 1 tomato

I did did some preparing for my weekend at work. I have these containers that each have 1 big compartment and two smaller ones. I roasted potatoes, beets, sausage, and eggplant with olive oil, crushed garlic, and sea salt. This I split between the big compartments. I diced the tomato to fill a small compartment in each, and cut green beans to add to the other. I’ll also pack fresh fruit.

I used the last of the limes from my last box to make lemon-limeade, and will use the rest of the lemons to make lemon water.

I’m going to be using the other fruits in smoothies over the next week, and I froze the chard to add frozen to those smoothies as I make them.

This referral link will bring you to Misfits Market, if you’d like to check it out. (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE ) You get a discount on your first box, and I get a discount on a future one if you sign up using that link.

~ Shannon

 

Misfits Market Box for 8/7/19

You may have guessed that I am behind on these Misfits Market updates. I seem to be behind on everything this year, haha. I’ll get there. I have faith.

The August 7th box of produce had some wonderful organic foods in it, and I had fun creating meals, beverages, and snacks from it. This is what was included in the box:

 

  • 5 limes
  • 3 mango (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 2 eggplant
  • 6 potatoes
  • 2 bags of small peppers (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 4 zucchini (Shared some with Skye & Zowie)
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 4 peppers (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 2 containers tomatoes (Shared some with Skye & Zowie)
  • 4 ginger
  • 5 apples
  • 2 garlic
  • 2 onions

The girls had most of the makings for salsa. I mentioned that to them when I gave them their bags of food. I don’t know if they made salsa or not.

I roasted the eggplant with some potatoes and carrots, oil, and sea salt. It wasn’t bad. A new food for me. One I can get used to. I made some applesauce to go with my work meals. And I more lemon-limeade. I only had one lemon left, so I bought a few more. I also made more zucchini-chocolate chip muffins, and used the kale in smoothies and in salads. I even just munched on some.

Do you like ginger? I do. I used some in smoothies. Want to know how to preserve the ginger? Check out these suggestions on The Spruce Eats. Some day I’d like to try my hand at honey sweetened ginger.

Wondering how to get your first Misfits Market box? Use this link to learn more by clicking right here. (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE )

~ Shannon

My Fourth Box from Misfits Market

I’m still loving my Misfits Market boxes. (Affiliate link You get a discount and so do I!) (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE ) The amount of food allows me to share with my daughters and, sometimes, my sister. And I have so much food left for myself! Take a look:

 

  • 2 green onions (Gave these to zowie)
  • 2 garlic
  • 2 artichoke
  • 3 lettuce (Gave some to Zowie)
  • 2 Kale (Gave some to my sister Sheila)
  • 4 peppers (Gave some to Zowie & Sheila)
  • 4 pears
  • 2 Mango (Gave to Zowie)
  • 4 potatoes
  • 3 onions (Gave to Zowie)
  • 5 limes
  • 6 zucchini (Shared some with Zowie and Sheila, kept the rest)
  • 6 carrots

Can anyone say salads? Yup, I made these with the greens, zucchini, and carrots. I also made more apple-pear sauce, lemon-limeade, and zucchini-chocolate chip muffins. And I have plenty to get me through the next couple of weeks. And a lot less grocery shopping to do, which is great when you use the bus and walk to get your food. Less to carry home!

~ Shannon

My Third Box from Misfits Market

It’s hard to believe this is my third box. I’ve been enjoying the food from these boxes and plan to keep doing so. Not only are they saving me money, I am trying new foods without breaking my back by carrying it all home.

This is what box three held:

  • 4 plums
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 onions (split these between my daughters)
  • 2 oranges
  • a bunch of little peppers (split these between my daughters)
  • 2 heads lettuce
  • 4 lemons
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 5 limes
  • 2 celery bunches
  • 2 bunches of kale
  • 2 butternut squash

So, I did some very obvious things with some of this produce. For instance, I:

I’m saving the squash for when I have the other ingredients to make stuffed squash. Mostly what I am buying at the grocery store these days are nut milk and bananas. I buy one package of meat. I find that I am eating far less meat than I used to. And things as they run out, such as eggs, nut flours, and almond butter.

This is a lot of food for one person, but it is only delivered every other week. I’m eating far healthier now that I’m getting in the habit of eating more fresh produce again.

Does anyone else find this happening who have ordered these boxes? What are your weekly or bi-weekly grocery budgets looking like? Also, are you receiving the same produce boxes I am? Let’s compare!

I also have received some zucchini and cucumbers from my parents. And ended up with about a dozen cans of applesauce from a friend that I put away for winter when I might not get many apples. They’ll also make great back ups when funds are low. Oh, and that same friend gave me about the same number of cans of peas.

It makes me happy that I am also able to help my daughters out a little bit. ❤

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (Affiliate) (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE ) (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.)

~ Shannon

My Second Box from Misfits Market

I’m impressed with all the produce in these Madness boxes from Misfits Market. (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE ) The food is amazing and, while there are a couple of funny looking additions and there were a few bruised fruits, the quality is amazing for the price. That’s why it’s called Misfits Market though. Bruised fruit is easily turned into something else, like applesauce. Funny looking foods taste just as good as perfect foods.

Look at what came in my second box:

  • strawberries
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 6 onions (Gave to my daughters)
  • 4 bell peppers + a bunch of smaller peppers (Gave to my daughters)
  • 12 potatoes
  • 2 squash
  • 2 bunches salad mix
  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 apples
  • 2 bunches broccoli
  • 4 mango (Gave to my daughters)

Despite giving away some of the produce, I have plenty to get me through the next couple of weeks. And I still have spaghetti squash from the last shipment. What I’m making with this shipment, and that spaghetti squash:

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (Affiliate) (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.) (Use referral this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE )

My daughters, Skye and Zowie, enjoy getting the extra food. They both have a lot on their plates financially, so this allows me to help them out a bit. Little Man just loves snacking on peppers!

~Shannon

My First Box from Misfits Market

Last week I told you about a food delivery service for organic, non-GMO produce that is affordable. My first shipment from Misfits Market came on Wednesday, and I’m pleased. I do want to note a few things right off the bat.

  • The company is upfront about the fact that much of what they send would be considered “ugly”. Though, to me, it all looked just fine. Some of the fruit was on the small side. Perfect for me.
  • They also mentioned that some of it might be bruised. A few of the peaches were. I simply made them into a sauce with some of the pears. It worked out wonderfully.
  • I bought the Madness Box, the largest. It is left at your door, but it is heavy. Since I know I have to lug it upstairs, I’ll bring a couple of reusable shopping bags downstairs with me next time to split things up into.
  • You don’t get to choose what you want. You get what you get.

I was impressed by the amount of produce the Madness Box has in it. This is what came in my shipment:

As you can see, it is more than enough to feed me for a couple of weeks.

  • Bok Choy (This will be my first time trying this.)
  • 2 European Cucumbers
  • 4 Zucchini (Kept 2. Gave 1 to each of my daughters.)
  • 1 Romain Lettuce
  • 4 Peppers (Don’t like these. Gave them to my daughters.)
  • 5 Oranges
  • 4 Limes
  • 3 Mangoes (Don’t like these. Gave them to my daughters.)
  • 6 Pears
  • 6 Peaches
  • 2 Bags of Mushrooms (Gave one bag to my parents, the other Zowie.)
  • 2 Bags of String Beans
  • 2 Spaghetti Squash
  • Dandelion Greens (This will be my first time trying this.)

I did buy a few things to go along with this:

  • Meat (I don’t eat much meat, so a pound will last me a while.)
  • So Delicious non-dairy yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Lemons

And I had some things on hand to round everything out.

You’ll notice that I shared a few things with my parents and daughters. While I like most fruits and vegetables, there are just a few things I’m unable to eat. And I haven’t quite been able to talk myself into trying mushrooms yet. Even taking this stuff out, I consider the $38.50 to be a good deal on the food, considering the in-store costs of organic produce in my area.

I planned things out for meals and such as soon as I opened the box. The meat was purchased to go with the spaghetti squash. Yogurt is delicious with orange slices. And pears and peaches make a great sauce which can be eaten as is, or warmed with maple syrup and served over Paleo pancakes. I bought the lemons to make Lemon-Limeade. Orange slices will go well in smoothies with bananas as well.

According to my research Bok Choy is a chinese cabbage, so I plan to make a salad with it, the Romain lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, and string beans. I love salad. The cucumber, zucchini, and string beans can also be snacked on any time.

 

 

I’m going to try the dandelion greens in salad and smoothies, to see if I like them. If I do, I can flash freeze them for  later use and less waste. Nothing is going to waste, because I shared what I knew I wouldn’t eat.

You could also donate anything you didn’t want, or share them with friends and co-workers.

Here are some tips for what to do with some of the the produce from this box:

  • Once you’ve set aside what you want for salads, chop the rest dandelion greens and flash freeze them. Store in a container in the freezer, taking out some as you need it for smoothies.
  • Use some lovely FreshPapers from Mighty Nest when storing fresh produce. It will help the food stay fresh longer.
  • Only using half that lemon? Mighty nest also has Food Huggers! They come nested, in a variety of sizes in each set, and cover partially eaten tomatoes. oranges, and more.
  • Given that a few things may be bruised, you’ll want to come up with a plan right away to use them up. You can make sauces from fruits to enjoy over Paleo “Ice Cream” or french toast, or to add to smoothies.
  • If anything is “thin-skinned”, check it to see if it needs to be used quickly.
  • Top cereal or smoothies with chopped fruit.
  • Utilize Google or another search engine to look up what types of produce and greens can be frozen and how.
  • And use it to find new recipes to try!

I can’t wait to see what my second box from Misfits Market is filled with. (Use this referral code so we can both get a discount: COOKWME-PI4FFE ) I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks. This box cost me $38.50, and should last me two weeks. (NOTE: Price has gone up about a dollar since this was posted.)

Note 1: It’s called Misfits Market for a reason. It is a source of “ugly” produce. Let me just say that I don’t care if the produce is perfect. If I can get “ugly” produce at a good price, I am all over that. Produce is produce. It’s all good!

Note 2: Get 25% off your first order, and give me 25% off a future order. It’s a win-win! The links in this article will take you to my page with your discount. (Affiliate) (This is the discount they are giving right now. Misfit’s Market can change the promotion at any time.)

Note 3: Over a year ago I signed up for MightyNest. I wanted a way to bring healthy products into my home, and I thought this would be perfect. I signed up for their MightyFix and, each month, get a package from them with something new for me to try. (Affiliate)

~ Shannon

Review: Beetology Juices + How to Reuse the Bottles

When I was contacted about trying the Beetology juices by Kayco, I was skeptical at best. The thought of beets as a juice base just did not seem appealing. But I had them send me a few juices to try, because I’m all into trying more and more healthy things, and I’m so glad I did.

These juices are organic, 100% cold pressed. I’m looking more toward organic as I move forward with my nutrition goals (as my budget allows), so this pleased me right off the bat. I also like that they are not from concentrate, something else I look for when I want juice. They are non-GMO project verified as well, which is also plus.

Another benefit is the lack of preservatives and additives. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want those types of things in my fruit servings. And there are no artificial flavorings or colors.

It really is the color of beets.

Beetology juices are certified fair trade.

I tried these five flavors:

  • beet + cherry
  • beet + berry
  • beet + veggie
  • beet + lemon + ginger
  • beet + tropical fruit

While I enjoyed them all, my favorites were the beet + cherry and the beet + berry. They really pleased my taste buds!

Sadly, this product is not yet sold near me. However it is sold in Portland, I will have to buy a few bottles the next time I visit Zowie’s family. I don’t drink a lot of juice, so one bottle would last me three servings – about what I would drink in a week’s time.

Now, the suggested retail price for this juice is $3.99 per 8.45 fluid ounce bottle, but I consider this a good price for me for a few reasons:

  1. I don’t drink juice often enough for the price to make a huge dent in my budget, and I know I’ll get three servings from each bottle.
  2. They are a source of nutrients my body needs.
  3. I can reuse the bottles for short-term food storage.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright August 2017.

Check out the bottles in the picture above. They are made of sturdy, thick glass, and can be used for short-term storage of food items and liquids. I removed the labels (an easy task that took little time) and washed the bottles and covers well, then allowed them to air dry.

I had bags of partially used food items that I decided would look better if they were in these cute little bottles. The bags look so messy, I wanted a better look in there because I’ve been organizing the small closet in my room to serve as a pantry.

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck, copyright August 2017.

Here you can see where I put unsweetened coconut flakes in one bottle, dried cranberries in the second, and dried berries in the third. These are going to work just fine to store smaller portions of foods and liquids, and look much better in my little pantry space than those bags of food did.

Because I now have five of these bottles, I no longer need to go out and buy containers for this specific purpose.

How would you reuse the bottles?

Shannon