The Modern Table Meals: Delicious and Healthy meals made Easy #Review #ModernTableMeals

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I rarely cook out of a box or canned goods, and I consider that a good thing. If I need to open anything canned, it’s usually to make quick bean based side dishes, like black beans for Cuban meals, pinto for Mexican night, and so forth. I even making a kicking Italian salad with Quinoa, white kidney beans and garbanzos! I just try to make everything from scratch so I can control how much sodium, protein, to just avoiding preservatives and dyes when possible. Yes, it drives me crazy knowing I could sometimes really appreciate making a quick meal in 20 minutes or less and not have to dedicate the weekend to making meals for the week. I just tell myself….we are worth the hassle of eating better.

When I saw Modern Table Meals at Target, I just walked away and never thought about them again. It’s just another pasta dish with fake-o ingredients I thought to myself. The next week I saw them again and saw the bubble with the protein count listed (17 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, per serving!). I stopped. Again, thinking I know everything, I imagined some soy or whey protein mixed in with whole grains and more corn based products, to make a meal. Again, I was so wrong so before I dug this hole any deeper…..I decided to just read, absorb and see what Modern Table Meals is all about,

My parcel arrives with 4 beautiful bags, a bag to store everything in, a wooden spoon with some serious nice weight and quality, oh and coupons galore! I’m starting to love them even though I wrongly judged a book by it’s cover here (insert foot in mouth).

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Modern Table has 4 delicious Meals to satisfy every craving:

See, what makes the magic? Beans!! Legumes!! Whatever you call them, the **sparkle** of protein and real food comes from gorgeous pastas and noodles that are bean based.

I’m all for eating healthy and practice Meatless Mondays that get moved around during the week (rarely is it on an actual Monday), but the point is it takes place at least once a week and if not two. So, good only goes so far in my book. I eat kale but I like the flavor, so when kale became the “It Food to Eat”, I had to hit a few stores to find 2 great stalks because everyone was juicing and pulverizing the heck out of them. My point is, I have to enjoy the meal beyond the numbers and healthy is not a reason alone food should not taste spectacular.

I started by making the Mediterranean Green Lentil Rotini. I open the bag and notice the veggies are dehydrated but retained shape and their beautiful color. Best looking dehydrated green onion I ever saw! It was just perfect in shape (not just turned into green dust) that I found myself squeezing the veggies to see how they looked and felt. Yes, I’m “that girl” that touches the produce before bagging it and I admit I sniff Pineapple bottoms too! 🙂

I read the instructions and everything is so easy to do. You just boil the bean pasta, whisk the sauces with water and/or oils, then toss and add the topping included. Everything in the bag contains no artificial colors or preservatives. Modern Table Meals took a shelf-stable product (i.e. beans) and just made it better and something a long time coming.

Cooking the Meal:  As with everything, I made the product as instructed to see how it performs just out of the bag.  I followed the directions and noticed that just 10 minutes had lapsed and I’m 75% done with cooking dinner.  I felt like I forgot or missed something.  You know like when you went out on a shopping trip and made it out of the store with good timing……yeah, I knew I forgot something.  Retraced my steps and nope!  This is too easy!  Five minutes later and I try to make my insanity justifiable by noticing I forgot to cut open the topping bag (see, I did forget something).  I top the dish and begin plating.  I took out “insurance” on this meal by making it a side dish.  I figured it’s better being safe than sorry and paired it with veggies and Naan Herb bread that I topped with left-over roasted chicken, goat cheese and an olive medley.  It was Mediterranean enough and the chicken needed eating.

Taste Test: Just by the sniff-test, I am starting to regret having made other food but then sometimes things smell better than they taste.  I taste the pesto sauce and I am already wanting to save some for later separately because it’s so good.  I can believe I just added water to make this!  Then comes tasting the pasta alone because if it tastes bad, I’m saving the sauce for another meal.  I forgot the pasta was bean based because the texture is desirable.  I expected a floppy noodle or one that just disintegrates into odd pieces even though you never bit.  Not this guy! It tasted like a flavored pasta shape, sort of like it belonged with the three color pastas you find at the market.  So far, so good!  I toss everything and then sprinkle.  I have a taste before serving because why dirty the dish if I won’t be eating it…….I serve myself more than what a side dish called for!  I must admit at one point I mixed my veggies into the pasta because I wanted everything to have that wonderful flavor.  The sauce tastes real and the package tells me there is all this good stuff and none of the bad, but this tastes real like in homemade fresh.  It does not taste like anything I ever had out of a box.  I tell myself that I was always right about Modern Table Meals because things out of box are horrible, but these come out of b-a-g! See, I was right all along 😉

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I can’t wait to try and share all the other ones!

Connect with Modern Table Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Modern Table Meals.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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Klout Perk: People V.I.P. Perk with 3 month Magazine Subscription and World’s Most Beautiful gift box #PEOPLEVIP

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Another great Klout perk! Who doesn’t love getting boxes filled with goodies? Certainly not this gal! This one had a nice mix of items from jewelry to nail polish, and all courtesy of People’s Magazine. Definitely a great way in getting that V.I.P. feeling across! They call the items below Editor’s Pick and that means People’s Magazine did the hard work of testing things out to knowing what is currently H-O-T at the moment!

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Let’s get started on the goodies…….

 

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1. Hungry Girl: Chew the Right Thing

A cute but also informational diet book that helps in making better choices when it comes to eating. Perfect timing with Summer creeping closer and that means swimsuit weather too. You don’t want to eat yourself out of a bikini and this little set gives you 50 recipe cards filled with less guilty versions of the food you enjoy munching on. The low caloric versions range from everything like sweet treats, drinks, to full meals. Easy to follow and playful at the same time!

 

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2. Zoya Nail Polish in color Rue
I have tried most brands out there of nail polishes and I once owned a Zoya in a red hue, however it was a bright red and so not me that I gave it away. Wanting to gift it to someone meant not trying it and I always pondered about the brand, many a times walking around Ulta with a bottle but never making the commitment to actually buy it and taking it home. I love neutral shades and I am guilty of purchasing the same color but from different brands. I don’t mean to but there are those tones that just make you smile and this Rue color is it for me. I love how it is a shade that goes with any season and any mood. It’s pretty, noticeable but does not scream out, “look at my nails”…..it sort of just goes with the flow kind of color. I also became a fan of Zoya’s formula because it makes me look like an expert when applying even when I try convincing my left paw to stop shaking.  I was able to do a polka dot accent nail because it was one of my better less shaking going on nail polishing days!

 

 

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3. Professional Hair Detangler
A comb-slash-brush but without a stick. You would think it’s like a broken brush and what’ the fuss? It comes down to control and less stress to your hair. The wand on a brush tends to make you put out more “umph” and this is why so many times we accidentally pull on (or out) our own hair even when it’s ourselves doing the brushing. I’m not into pain and much less tangles, so this little palm miracle makes we have less ouch and I can use it with wet or dry hair. I also like that there is no stick to deal with, so it travels well too.

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4. Delicate Spring Bracelet
A gold accented bracelet that is light on the wrist and can easily be combined with other items to get that “stackable” look we are seeing with everything. We layered clothes for a while, so it seems we are now doing it with our accessories too. I liked the gold shimmer part but the plastic blue wires were just not me. I will not be tossing this piece away but with a little D.I.Y, I will be making this into something that is more “me” and that is the whole point when it comes to looks, you go with what you like!

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5. Chevron Beauty Set
Three different sized bags that feature a nice green colored chevron pattern. I have make-up bags that I store inside other make-up bags because every bag has been used, needed, and even borrowed at one point. Easy closure and I love that these are also wipe-able inside. I’m not a make-up spill”er” but my purses are spotless because these baggies have saved me one time or another. Purses get dropped, stepped on to I have caught my husband using mine as an arm rest. I now still yell but with less spazing if anything was crushed and made a mess. I also use the larger one for half frozen water bottles that are cold and sweat….sort of like when you go to see a movie and don’t want to pay $6 for 8 ounces of H2o. Not that I’m giving you ideas or anything 🙂

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6. People Magazine Subscription
I am reader of all magazines and this usually comes about that I run out of things to read and I’ll read anything for entertainment. I’m not a huge celebrity follower but enjoy entertainment news, like what is coming out soon to what got axed that I just started watching. People’s has it all, to shopping tips and even make-up advice. I will be enjoying my 3 months of entertainment along with my goodies!

I have said it before and if this box does not convince you, I have no idea what will.  Join Klout!  It’s a great way to experience what you already like and also a bit of the new so you can change up now and then.  I was unsure I would enjoy People’s Magazine and wrote it off in the past but I just learned a new thing, I actually found articles I enjoyed to even coupons!

Connections:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Klout and People’s Magazine.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Smoked Turkey Legs with Gourmet Nut’s Northwest Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt…Yes Please!!

I am very fortunate. Not only do I have my hubby who goes out of his way to make sure I never lack for “special” eats, I get to try awesome goodies from awesome companies. Companies like Gourmet Nut, who have lines of treats and seasonings that enhance ANY dish. Like hubby’s County Fair Smoked Turkey Legs.

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See, we used to frequent the L.A. County Fair. Every year, without fail, we’d be in line opening day to be some of the first people through the gate. The food, the neat bric-a-brac, the food, the animals, the food. Did I mention the food? We even had season passes one year. Then, as is now the norm in Southern California, prices started jumping higher and higher. Not incremental increases mind you, but by leaps and bounds. Getting in and parking? Nearly $40. Footlong hotdog, fries and a drink? $25. Each. We were down nearly $100 by lunch. No thank you.

Hubby loved the BBQ. I liked it, he loved it. And it made us both sad to say “Buh-bye” to real, Southern style BBQ. So we bit the bullet, bought a smoker, and through much trial and error, duplicated (or improved on) everything we loved from the Fair. Hubby has become a regular pit master, and there’s not much he doesn’t do well on a grill. Prime rib for the holidays? Check. Steaks, chicken, burgers? Child’s play. Roasts, ribs, whole birds? Done and done. Whole smoked turkey for Thanksgiving? Oh, yes.

So wIMAG0926-1-1hen I decided I’d done without that old fair staple of stoked turkey legs long enough, I told hubby so. And sure enough, I got some fresh and beautiful turkey legs from Sprout’s Farmer’s Market. At less than $5 for two, it’s a no-brainer. And with summer right around the corner, and 100° heat coming, it feels like it’s time for summer grillin’. Normally my recipes are pretty involved and detailed, but as this is a hubby recipe, it’s simple, straightforward and easy.

Start with 4 total ingredients: Turkey legs, peanut oil, fresh cracked black pepper and the secret to a smokey, yummy turkey leg…….

 

Gourmet Nut’s Northwest Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt.  I was blown away by the taste and smell of this salt. We have smoked salts, a few actually. None so far blew us away like this one did. Just amazing. Hubby thought we could get away with doing them in the oven. But we didn’t. Rub the oil on the legs, add the pepper and salt, and you’re good to go.

 

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Here’s another secret: Make use of your leftover heat. We have a little Weber Smokey Joe grill that sees a lot of use, since it’s just us two. And hubby uses mostly natural lump coal and real wood chunks and chips. But when you make a quick couple of steaks or burgers, you now have a grill full of heat and flavor…what’s a guy to do? Usually some hot links, or a roast. But today, it was turkey legs. Take your coals pile them up to one side, and put the legs on the other side, for what’s called “indirect cooking”. He threw a handful of hickory chips, covered it up, and we ate dinner. He snuck out a couple of times to turn and rotate for even cooking, but as he was told many years ago when it comes to “low & slow” cooking: “If you lookin’, you ain’t cookin'”.

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Three hours or so later, and voila…Eat your heart out, LA County Fair. You are officially old and busted. Enter the new hotness: Smoked Turkey Legs featuring Gourmet Nut’s Northwest Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt. I’ve now used this sea salt on just about everything, and there’s no dish it hasn’t enhanced. I love the aroma once it hits warm food, it’s intoxicating! One of my favorite finishing salts, by far. If you don’t see it at your local grocery store, be sure to have them special order it or you! You won’t believe how you got by without it!

 

Get in touch with, or find out where to buy Gourmet Nut’s fantastic products by visiting them:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Gourmet Nut.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BzzAgent: Kroger/ Ralph’s Classic Garlic Bread

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Located in the Fresh Bakery section of your local Ralph’s grocery store, you will find a french style loaf that is packaged in a foil covered bag. The loaf is large enough for a family to enjoy with two meals! Very easy to warm up in your oven and it’s ready to go with no preparation needed. Neat.

Overall Taste and Texture:
I liked the bread itself as it had a wonderful crust and was light and fluffy towards the center. The spread is suppose to resemble a garlic one, however I did not smell much garlic when I checked out the loaf before baking. I smelled oils and what you would describe a very light garlic-ey scent that seemed more like what you find in seasonings (powdered). After heating, I sliced the bread and again did not detect a rich smell that makes you almost drool when you have garlic bread in front of you. I usually sneak a bite in before serving but the spread was so fluorescent yellow in coloring, that it did not pique my appetite. When I lifted the top portion from the bottom, I noticed the “butter” was more oil than anything…..maybe it’s a margarine? I felt the spread sort of was a negative compared to how the bread itself is. I would definitely purchase a loaf of bread to go with a meal but I am sticking to plain on this one!

I received the above product free of charge from BzzAgent and Ralph’s.  I am not obligated in providing a positive/favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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