Category Archives: Product Review

Product Review Tips and Tricks

10 Favorite Kitchen Tools Under $10

When I was in college and first starting teaching myself to cook, a lot of the kitchen tools I used were hand-me-downs from my parents. Many of those same tools I still use (and love!) today, but I’ve also upgraded a few things over the years. As with most things I buy, if I know I am going to use something cooking-related over and over again, I like to invest in a good quality product that will last, rather than just buy the cheapest thing. That said, I’ve found that many of the smallest and least expensive items in my kitchen drawers are actually the most useful.

In today’s post I’m sharing my 10 favorite kitchen tools under $10. These tools are useful for both beginner and experienced cooks, and if you’re shopping on a budget, I think you’ll love these affordable items.

The 10 Best Kitchen Tools Under $10 ll Great for everyone from beginner cooks to advanced, and these products are perfect for anyone shopping on a budget! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Joseph Joseph Garlic Rocker

 

What I love about this product: Mincing garlic can be tedious and time consuming, but this garlic rocker allows you to mince a whole clove in just 1 second. It’s especially handy if your recipe requires 2 or more cloves of garlic, so you don’t have to waste time chopping.

 

Microplane Zester/Grater

What I love about this product: I use this tool multiple times a week to grate or zest fresh garlic, ginger, limes, and lemons. The zest is very fine, which is much better than if you were to use a typical box grater.

 

KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener

What I love about this product: Cutting with a dull kitchen knife is both frustrating and dangerous. There is no need to send your knives to get professionally sharpened when you have this $5 knife sharpener. It’s extremely easy to use and barely takes up any drawer space. I use it about twice a month to keep my knives extra sharp.

 

ZYLISS Pizza Cutter Wheel and Slicer

What I love about this product: This pizza wheel is very sharp and easy to roll. While it’s great for slicing homemade pizzas, I’ve found that it’s come in handy for so many other things like cutting granola bars and scoring dough.

 

OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler

What I love about this product: I’ve had this same vegetable peeler for nine years and it was a hand-me-down from me parents. I can’t believe how long it’s lasted! The sharp stainless steel blades easily cut through tough fruit and vegetable skin, and the cushions on the handle help secure a good grip.

 

Wrenwane Digital Refrigerator Thermometer

What I love about this product: If your refrigerator does not come with a built-in thermometer, I highly recommend that you get this one. It’s crucial that your raw poultry, beef, and seafood stay at a safe temperature (32F-40F degrees), or else they will go bad. We threw out way too many packages of smelly chicken before we finally ordered this thermometer. After we hung it up, we found that our fridge could not go below 43F degrees, which is why our food went off. We were able to get the fridge repaired, but we continue to keep an eye on the temperature just in case.

 

OXO Good Grips Bottle Brush

What I love about this product: I’ve always thought I was never sufficiently cleaning my wine and champagne glasses because it’s impossible to get a sponge all the way to the bottom of the glass. I love this brush because it’s flexible enough to get inside a narrow champagne flute and thoroughly clean down at the bottom. Plus, the bristles are soft and won’t scratch your fancy glasses.

 

Spring Chef Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Metal Measuring Spoons

What I love about this product: The narrow design of these measuring spoons means that the larger spoons can actually fit inside your spice jars. Hallelujah! I also love that a 1/8 teaspoon and 3/4 teaspoon are included in this set because I often divide recipes in half and need these measurements.

 

Cooper-Atkins Stainless Steel Bi-Metal Oven Thermometer

What I love about this product: We live in a rental apartment, so the appliances that come with it are far from perfect. Just like our refrigerator, when we first moved in, I noticed that our oven temperature was off because none of my baked goods were cooking correctly. After purchasing this $5 oven thermometer, we discovered that our oven temperature was off by a whole 75 degrees compared to what was listed on the dial! Now we know the actual temperature inside our oven and go by the thermometer, rather than the dial.

 

Joseph Joseph Slotted Turner

What I love about this product: This is my longest surviving spatula! It’s dishwasher safe and extremely heat resistant, so the ends haven’t peeled or disintegrated away like so many of my other spatulas. My favorite part is that it has a built in rest at the bottom, that keeps the top part of the spatula from touching a dirty countertop.

 

 

 

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these product I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards new recipe and blog post development. Also note that pricing on Amazon can fluctuate, but at the time of this post, all items listed are under $10. Thank you for your support!

Product Review

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 2, The Results

Two weeks ago I took the Pinnertest food intolerance test, hoping that the results would help put an end to some of my skin struggles. If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can read about how to take the test in this post.

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 1 ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After mailing my blood sample, I waited a little over a week to receive my test results via email. I check my email on my phone first thing in the morning (I know, it’s terrible. I shouldn’t do this), and when I saw the email from Pinnertest, I immediately sat up in bed. One part of me was so excited to read the results and the other part of me was nervous. For months I was convinced that I was intolerant to a food I was eating daily because every morning I woke up with tiny pimples in the middle of my chin. I was worried that maybe I was intolerant to eggs, peanuts, or coffee — all foods I love and eat on a daily basis. I really didn’t want to give them up.

As a reminder, the Pinnertest tests your intolerance to over 200 foods, including everything from poultry to spices.  Your results are split into two columns: red and green. Anything in the green column indicates no reaction/no intolerance. These foods can be eaten without restriction, unless of course, you know that one of these foods causes you discomfort. Anything in the red column indicates a food intolerance, and you should avoid these foods as much as possible. The foods in the red column are also marked with a degree level: +1 (low intolerance), +2 (moderate intolerance), or +3 (high intolerance).

Here is a snapshot of my results:

As you can see from the above, my results indicated that I am highly intolerant to soybeans (the degree level is +3). The additional results pages showed that I am also intolerant to broccoli (+2), mushrooms (+2), and cocoa beans (+3).

The Pinnertest suggests you should eliminate all foods in your red column and see how your body reacts. I have no problem eliminating broccoli and mushrooms, but soybeans and cocoa beans are much harder. Soybeans are found in a lot of foods. I cook with soy sauce often, and even my cooking spray contains soy lecithin (albeit a small amount). For me, avoiding cocoa beans will be the most challenging. I LOVE chocolate. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate croissants, I crave them all! But to be honest, I know cutting back on these sugary treats can’t hurt. 😉

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Raisins Recipe

My plan is to eliminate all four foods (broccoli, mushrooms, soybeans, and cocoa beans) for three weeks, and then see how I’m doing. The clearest indicator for me will be how my skin looks. I am already one week in and I can honestly tell you that my skin looks SO much better! When Travis and I were in Europe, I woke up every morning with tiny pimples on my chin, and now I think it was probably due to all the chocolate croissants I was eating (because #yolo). For the last four days, I haven’t had a single pimple or redness on my skin (knock on wood!), isn’t that crazy? So needless to say, I’m really excited to see where I am two weeks from now.

I’ll plan to check back in with you guys in about a month to give you an update. I am so thrilled that I was able to take this test and (hopefully!!) fix my skin issues from within, rather than with expensive (and potentially excessive) topical medications.

So many people struggle with food intolerances, but most people don’t even know it! Food intolerances can show up in so many other ways, such as eczema and weight gain. If you’re interested in trying the Pinnertest for yourself, you can use the code LITTLECHEF for $60 off. I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have, so feel free to email me.

 

 

I was provided the Pinnertest for the purpose of this post, but all opinions and words are 100% my own. 

Product Review Products I Love Tips and Tricks

Natural Cleaning Products That Really Work

I used to think that all-natural cleaning products were just hippy nonsense. I assumed these products were 2x the price of my regular stand-bys, but only did half the job. Boy was I wrong! I don’t remember what started our switch to natural cleaning products around the house, but we must have read something that scared us. Over the last couple of years we’ve started transitioning away from many of your average cleaning products and substituting them with more natural ones.

We didn’t make the switch in one fell swoop. Instead, when we finished a bottle of one of our old cleaning products (like dishwasher detergent) we researched a reasonably priced, safer alternative, and switched to that. Over the years we’ve discovered many natural, toxin-free products that we love, and I’m excited to share them with you today. If you use a natural cleaning product that’s not on this list, please let me know! I’m always looking for great new finds.

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Vinegar + Baking Soda

There is nothing these bad boys can’t do. Seriously.

They’re great together and on their own. Baking soda is incredible at removing the tough stains inside coffee mugs, and just a simple cloth dampened with vinegar can remove hard water spots on drinking glasses. You can use baking soda and vinegar together to remove pet stains from carpets, and it works like a charm! I love these two so much, and they’re as natural as they come.

Pro tip: Buy them in bulk at Costco (or another big box store) and save A LOT of money!

 

Puracy Natural All Purpose Cleaner

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This Puracy multi-surface spray is awesome. Admittedly, we really only use it on our kitchen countertops and in the bathroom, but it works fantastically. Since I cook a lot, I’m constantly wiping down the counters (especially if there was raw fish or meat nearby), and this spray is great at cleaning everything right up. Countertops are left streak-free and shiny, and the scent is subtle, but fresh. The best part is that this spray is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable.

 

Method Naturally Derived All-Purpose Cleaner Spray

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I find that this Method spray is interchangeable with the Puracy spray above. I usually just buy whichever is less expensive on Amazon when we run out. The Method sprays come in a wide range of scents, but the Clementine is my favorite. Again, this spray is non-toxic and biodegradable, plus the bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic.

 

Ecover Naturally Derived Automatic Dishwasher Tablets

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We discovered these tablets after our Cascade dishwashing gel was NOT working and kept leaving a gross build-up on the inside of our dishwasher. After reading countless positive reviews, we ordered these tablets and will never go back. I think they clean dishes much better than Cascade, and I love that they contain no weird scents or dyes. Plus, the box is made from recycled materials! There shouldn’t be weird dyes or chemicals in the detergent you use to clean the dishes you EAT off of. Period.

Pro tip: We have a small dishwasher, so we break these tablets in half, which makes the box last twice as long. Works like a charm!

 

Ecover Naturally Derived Rinse Aid

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After loving Ecover’s dishwasher tablets, we moved onto their dishwasher rinse aid. Again it’s biodegradable and plant-based, and it’s very effective at removing hard water spots from dishes and glasses.

 

Method Squirt + Mop Wood Floor Cleaner Refill

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After using this Method Wood Floor Cleaner, our floors are incredibly shiny and the apartment smells so good. This cleaner is plant-based and non-toxic, so it’s perfectly safe for your pets and kids. It’s also very easy to use, you just squirt and mop. There is no rinsing required (which is great because mopping is one task I hate doing!).

 

The Honest Company Hand Sanitizer Spray

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love having hand sanitzer around when there isn’t a sink to wash your hands, and after receiving a sample of this Honest Company Hand Sanitzer Spray a few months ago, I’m never going back to Purell. I immediately feel cleaner after I spray this on my hands. It smells like an orange creamsicle, and I just want to spray it on everything! And just like all of the Honest Company products, there are no harsh chemicals in this spray, making it safe for you and your kids.

 

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Let’s face it: no matter how trained they are, all dogs have the occasional accident in the house. If you catch it early, it’s usually pretty easy to clean up, but sometimes pet stains seep into the carpet and are impossible to get out. The other problem is that if the odor isn’t completely removed, your pet may continue to pee there because they smell their own scent. Ugh! Gross and frustrating.

This spray by Rocco and Roxie is awesome because it eliminates stains, odors, and residue safely and gently. We’ve used it on two carpets, our couch, and hardwood floor (we dog-sit a lot!), and it works everywhere to both eliminate the stain and get the dog to stop going in the same spot.

 

Earth Rated Dog Waste Bags

Natural Cleaning Products that Really Work ll Safe for your baby, pet, and YOU! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Alright, I guess this one isn’t technically a cleaning product, so let’s just call it an added bonus. We love these dog waste bags. They’re really thick, so they don’t rip when you’re picking up dog poop (ew), and the bags release a very mild lavender scent when you open them. I feel much better using these bags over cheaper varieties that don’t break down and constantly rip. Earth Rated even goes a step further and uses recycled content in their packaging.

 

 

 

This post contains some affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these product I may earn a small commission. That money goes directly towards new recipe and blog post development. Thank you for your support!

Product Review

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 1

Today’s blog topic is a little different than usual. Instead of talking about a healthy recipe or new grocery store find, we’re going to discuss food intolerances. But before you run away for fear that this sounds boring, I urge you to stick around because I really think this is going to interest you.

For the last two years or so, I’ve struggled with adult acne. In high school and college I had pimples just like everyone else, and they especially popped up around “that time of the month.” At the time I figured it was all hormones and eventually everything would clear up. But unfortunately, now in my mid-twenties, I continue to struggle with pimples on my chin, and I have tried just about everything to fix it. I’ve seen three different dermatologists, tried countless topical acne creams, religiously care for my skin, always remove my makeup before bed, change my pillow case every two days, don’t touch my face, watch what I eat, etc. Although despite all of these efforts, those pesky little pimples have not given up. Of course, there’s makeup to cover it up, but I’m desperate to figure out the ROOT of the problem and STOP the pimples from forming, rather than just hide them.

I recently read that acne on the chin is likely related to your hormones or caused by a food intolerance. Dairy and added sugars can be big culprits, so I eliminated those for awhile, but even that didn’t work. Then I read about the Pinnertest, which tests for over 200 food intolerances with just one little finger prick. After reading countless reviews from people who took the test and since have cleared up their acne, got rid of eczema, and even lost 20+ pounds I knew I had to try it.

It’s important to note that a food intolerance is different from a food allergy. Some foods which are perfectly healthy to others (like kale or parsley) can make you feel sick or cause weight gain if you are intolerant to them. Pretty nuts, right!?

This week I took the Pinnertest for myself, and the whole process couldn’t have been easier. The test is mailed to your house, which is helpful so you don’t have to drive to the doctor’s office or sit around in a waiting room.

The small box contains the following items:

A directions form / signed agreement

Alcohol swab

Finger prick

Blood collection patch

Small band-aid

Prepaid shipping label for sending back the blood sample

The test takes less than three minutes to complete. You first wipe your finger with the alcohol swab. Then you use the finger prick (which contains a small needle) to make a tiny prick on your finger. A teensy amount of blood will form on your fingertip, and you allow 2-3 blood droplets to fall onto the collection patch. Next, clean your finger and adhere the band-aid.

To be honest, I was terrified to prick myself because I loathe needles and blood, but in the end I barely felt the needle. It didn’t hurt at all.

Lastly, just fold up the blood collection patch, place it in the pre-paid shipping envelope, and drop it off at your local USPS mailbox.

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 1 ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I should receive an email with my results in about one week, and I am really looking forward to reading it. The Pinnertest tests for 200 foods including a variety of fish, meat, dairy, grains, herbs and spices. Here’s an example of what the results look like:

My Experience with the Pinnertest Food Intolerance Test: Part 1 ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Anything in the red column is a food that you are intolerant to and the “+1, +2, and +3” are the degree to which you are intolerant. It’s suggested that you eliminate all of the foods in the red column and see how your body reacts.

I promise to check back and share my results with you after I receive them. If you’re interested in trying the Pinnertest for yourself you can use the code LITTLECHEF for $60 off.

 

 

I was provided the Pinnertest for the purpose of this post, but all opinions and words are 100% my own. 

Giveaway Product Review

A Passover Recap and $100 Milk and Eggs GIVEAWAY!

Thank you Milk and Eggs for sponsoring this post! All content and opinions are my own.

Make sure you read all the way to the bottom to enter the giveaway for a $100 Milk and Eggs gift card!

 

Do you remember my review of Milk and Eggs from last year? A quick reminder: Milk and Eggs delivers farm-fresh groceries directly to your door, saving you time and money. Their selections, which all can be found on their website, include everything from fruits, vegetables, herbs, meat, dairy, seafood, and local artisanal products. You can read my full review about how it all works in this post.

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Milk and Eggs recently expanded their delivery radius, so if you live in the San Fernando Valley or Orange County, CA, you’re in luck! They’re continuing to grow, so stay tuned.

Two weeks ago I planned a Passover seder at our apartment. I’ve always gone home to Boston for Passover, so this was my first year cooking the traditional holiday meal on my own. For those of you familiar with the holiday, you’ll likely know that preparing for Passover is a lot of work! Many people begin making certain dishes a few days in advance, so that there is less to do on the day of.

I knew I had my work cut out for me, so I decided to save a little time by ordering a majority of our groceries from Milk and Eggs. The process couldn’t have been easier. Aside from a few Kosher for Passover items (e.g. brisket, matzoh, matzoh ball soup), I was able to find everything I needed right on the Milk and Eggs website.

Here’s what I ordered:

Produce

1 package fresh thyme

1 bunch curly parsley

1 sleeve garlic

3 large sweet potatoes

1 large organic yellow onion

2 organic red bell peppers

2 large bunches whole carrots

1 lb. strawberries

6 oz. raspberries

6 oz. blackberries

6 oz. blueberries

2 lbs. seedless red grapes

6 large granny smith apples

3 large fuji apples

1 bunch celery

1 bag baby peeled carrots

Meat and Fish

2 lbs. free-range chicken drumsticks

8 oz. wild halibut

Misc.

Califia Farms unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Brothers hummus

Brothers sundried tomato and feta dip

Brothee chicken broth

To give you a sense of pricing, all of this food was only $99, which I think is really good for farm-fresh fruits and veggies, wild seafood, and free-range poultry. By comparison, I believe the same items at our local grocery store would have cost us at least $160.

Ordering from Milk and Eggs saved me a lot of time and effort. I placed the order on a Thursday afternoon and everything arrived on my doorstep at 6AM that Saturday morning.

Here’s what I made:

A traditional seder plate

Charoset (a mixture of apples, honey and walnuts)

Matzoh Ball Soup with carrots and celery, garnished with parsley

Beef Brisket in a chili-BBQ sauce with carrots

Apple-Matzoh Kugel

Roasted Vegetables with sweet potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, onions, and eggplant

Fruit Salad (to go alongside another Passover dessert)

I am a huge fan of Milk and Eggs. Everything arrives quickly and accurately, and I have peace of mind knowing that ordering this way is good for locals farmers and helping to reduce transportation emissions.

If you want to try Milk and Eggs for yourself, you can use the code LITTLECHEF for $15 off any order of $35 or more. Note: this code applies to both new and existing users!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Milk and Eggs is also offering a $100 gift card to one lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, please choose one of the options below:

  1. Comment on this blog post below, stating what item(s) you would order from Milk and Eggs.
  2. Sign up for the Milk and Eggs Newsletter using this link.
  3. Double your chances and complete both #1 and #2!

I will randomly select one winner on Wednesday, 5/3 at 6PM PT. Good luck!

Note: Currently Milk and Eggs only services the greater Los Angeles area, but they’re expanding! Feel free to enter the giveaway on the behalf of a California-based friend or family member. 😉

Product Review

Juicero Review: What is Juicero and How Does it Compare to a Regular Juicer?

I recently had the opportunity to try Juicero, and I loved it!

What is Juicero, you ask? Think of it as a luxury, super high-tech juicer.

Juicero Review: What is Juicero and How Does it Compare to a Regular Juicer? ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I don’t think this review would be completely fair without mentioning that I do not own a “regular” juicer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely been very interested in buying a juicer. No one can deny the incredible nutrition that a daily fruit and vegetable juice can provide, but I’ve been put off buying a juicer for a few reasons:

  1. They’re expensive.
  2. You have to buy A TON of fruits and veggies to make a decent amount of juice. Plus, if you’re buying organic produce, the cost can really add up.
  3. After you make the juice, you’re left with a giant amount of fruit and vegetable pulp, and I hate seeing food go to waste.
  4. Cleaning. Need I say more? Does ANYONE enjoy cleaning their juicer?

Many of my friends and family have purchased juicers with the intention of using them daily, only to stop using the machine after a month or so because it’s just too much of a pain.

Is this you? If so, I don’t blame you! Sometimes I do everything possible to avoid pulling out my food processor because I hate cleaning it. Yup, #lazypants right here. I won’t deny it.

So, when I was given the opportunity to try Juicero, I was very intrigued because it seemed to solve all of the at-home juicing issues that put me off in the first place.

 

Juicero Review: What is Juicero and How Does it Compare to a Regular Juicer? ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Here’s how Juicero is different:

  1. No grocery shopping. The juice packs are delivered right to your door.
  2. No peeling or chopping produce
  3. NONE of the dreaded cleanup

Juicero creates cold-pressed juice by “pressing” juice packs filled with organic fruits and vegetables.

The packs are purchased through Juicero on a subscription basis. At the time of this post there are about 10 different flavors, including two seasonal offerings. Each pack ranges in price from $6-$8, and contains one juice.

Juicero Review: What is Juicero and How Does it Compare to a Regular Juicer? ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I tried five different flavor varieties and I loved ALL of them. Now that is saying a lot because I am pretty picky when it comes to cold-pressed juice. I find that a lot are either too sweet or WAY too bitter. These were “just right” (ahem, thanks Goldilocks).

Juicero Review: What is Juicero and How Does it Compare to a Regular Juicer? ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Using Juicero could not be easier. You hang the juice pack from the top of the machine, close the door, press the button and out comes the juice.

When you’re done, all you do is open the door, remove the used juice pack and chuck it in the trash. There is NO cleanup involved. Can I get a HALLELUJAH!?

So, if you’re wondering if Juicero is right for you, I’ve broken it down below:

Pros:

  • You don’t have to grocery shop for produce
  • No peeling or chopping
  • No pulp mess leftover = NO cleanup!
  • The juice combinations are delicious, so if you don’t like creating your own recipes, this machine is your dream
  • The back of each juice pack lists complete nutrition information, so you know exactly how many vitamins you’re getting with each juice

Cons:

  • The machine is expensive. Even though Juicero recently dropped the price of the machine from $699 to $399, it’s still on the high end when it comes to the price of juicers
  • You can only use Juicero-branded packs and must order them exclusively through Juicero.com. Each pack (or juice) ranges in price from $6-$8.
  • You can’t make your own juice recipes
  • Each pack produces a smaller amount of juice than I expected (5-6oz. as opposed to the standard 12oz.+ juices I’m used to purchasing)
  • The machine is large and takes up a lot of counter space…but in reality, so does a regular juicer

Juicero Review: What is Juicero and How Does it Compare to a Regular Juicer? ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you want to try Juicero for yourself, they’re offering 10% off the price of the machine through February! To redeem this offer, use the code RP10 at checkout.

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Juicero, but all opinions and content are my own. I always aim to be completely transparent and will only share products that I personally love and use myself. Thank you for your support!

Product Review

FITzee Foods Delivers Healthy Pre-Portioned Meals

Last month I had the opportunity to try FITzee Foods, a healthy pre-portioned meal delivery service. FITzee is different from services like Blue Apron and Plated because the meals arrived already prepared, and all you have to do is heat them up.  So that means no grocery shopping, meal planning, or cooking.

 

FITzee Foods Review l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Admittedly, when FITzee Foods reached out to me about trying their service, at first I wasn’t sure if it was the best fit for me. I LOVE to cook (duh!) and I actually enjoy grocery shopping and meal planning. However, I began to browse their website and I became really impressed by their story, meal options and choice of ingredients. FITzee meals use only clean, fresh ingredients and they don’t add scary chemicals or preservatives for added shelf life. Plus, the meats are grass-fed, hormone-free and free-range. So while at first I was expecting an upgraded version of a frozen Lean Cuisine, these meals are far from it.

FITzee is based in San Diego, CA, but they ship nationwide. The meals are shipped 2-Day Air or Ground and are packaged with plenty of ice to keep them cold for 48 hours, so you don’t have to worry about being home when the box arrives. Mine was plenty cold when I arrived home late that night.

FITzee Foods Review l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Sorry for the blurry photo, but Bessie wouldn’t stop moving! When I carried in the box from outside she was going nuts and started sniffing (and practically licking) the box! Her reaction told me that I was in for something good.

FITzee Foods Review l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Each meal is pre-portioned and the labels include the ingredients, nutrition information and reheating instructions. I don’t count calories or track macros, but the meal information is also available on MyFitnessPal, if that interests you.

FITzee Foods Review l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

All of the meals come in small, medium, large and “family” sizes. I received 14 of the “small” meals (8-10 oz. per serving) that ranged from about 200-300 calories each. The small portion size was perfect for me because I prefer to eat 5 or so small meals throughout the day. Travis tried the meals as well, and while he liked the various recipes, he needed more than I did to hold him over until his next meal. I think the medium or large sizes would have been better for him. Just something to keep in mind when ordering.

FITzee Foods Review l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I preferred to reheat my meals in the oven or on a skillet, but I think microwaving would be fine, too.

FITzee Foods Review l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I have to say, I was REALLY impressed by the meals I tried. The recipes and flavors were delicious and reminded me a lot of the meals that I cook at home myself. Until now, I hadn’t tried or heard of a service that provides healthy pre-made meals that actually taste good. Normally it goes one of two ways: healthy and tastes like cardboard OR faux-healthy and super processed and tastes just okay.

For the record, the Chicken Ratatouille and Chicken Enchiladas were my favorite of the meals I tried. Plus, the menus change monthly so you really can’t get bored if you order regularly.

I also loved the gluten-free pumpkin spice pancakes, they were perfect for breakfast on a fall morning.

FITzee Foods Review l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The meals are meant to stay fresh for 5 days (the use by date is marked on each box), so I froze my remaining meals and I love having them in my freezer as a healthy backup when I don’t have time to cook.

I think FITzee Foods is GREAT for:

    • People who want to eat healthy, but don’t like to cook or don’t have time to cook
    • Anyone who is counting calories or macros and doesn’t want to eat the same old chicken and broccoli every day
    • Individuals, couples, and families because the meals come in a range of sizes
    • Anyone with specific allergy requirements. There are paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and low-carb meal options, so there is something for everyone.

 

If you’re interested in trying FITzee Foods, you can use the code littlechefbigappetite15 for 15% off your order! The code expires on 11/30/16.

 

If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email.

 

FITzee Foods provided my meals in exchange for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for your support.

Giveaway Product Review Products I Love

Milk and Eggs Review + a GIVEAWAY!

Hi guys! Happy Monday!

I am so excited for today’s post because I have an awesome giveaway going on! Make sure to read all the way down for details on how to enter.

I was recently contacted by the team at Milk and Eggs to review their service and products. Milk and Eggs delivers farm fresh groceries including (yup, you guessed it) milk, eggs, fruits, vegetables, gourmet foods, meat and seafood, right to your door. Their environmentally-friendly process eliminates the middle man and reduces emission costs and time sitting on grocery store shelves, thus lowering the cost for consumers. Plus, delivery is FREE for all orders of $35 or more!

Currently Milk and Eggs is only operating in the Los Angeles area, but they’re expanding soon!

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Here’s how it works: Make an account on their website and select from a wide variety of healthy, fresh products to add to your cart.

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you’re flexible, you can also select sampler bags and the folks over at Milk & Eggs will send you the freshest produce available that week.

For my initial order, I let the Milk and Eggs team surprise me, just noting any allergies and dietary preferences.

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You guys know I am all about eating the freshest foods available and I LOVE the idea of supporting local farmers, so I was super excited to receive my first Milk and Eggs delivery!

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Here’s what I received in my order:

2 Golden Delicious Apples
2 Honeycrisp Apples
2 Navel Oranges
2 Broccoli Crowns
2 Corn on the Cob
1 pint Strawberries
1 large bunch Spinach
One Dozen Golden Fresh Large Grade AA Brown Eggs
Domenico’s Fresh Pasta Bucatini 12oz
Domenico’s Homemade Marinara Sauce 14oz
Half Dozen Everything Bagels

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I loved the variety and the emphasis on healthy ingredients. It was also awesome to see that the pasta sauce and freshly made pasta came from Beverly Hills, CA, just a few miles down the street from us.

I was able to make so many healthy meals out of the ingredients I received. Just to give you guys an idea, these are some of the meals we had that week:

  • Egg Sandwiches on Everything Bagels
  • Homemade Gluten-Free Pizza using the Domenico’s Marinara Sauce and fresh spinach
  • Whole Wheat Apple Crisp using the Golden Delicious and Honeycrisp Apples
  • Spicy Chicken Stir-Fry with Broccoli and Onion

Travis and I buy a lot of these ingredients regularly, so we were thrilled to see how great the prices are on Milk and Eggs. We also both loved knowing that we were receiving the freshest available produce from farmers near us.

Review of Milk & Eggs Farm Fresh Delivery Service + A Giveaway! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

highly recommend Milk and Eggs to anyone in Los Angeles who:

  • Lives a healthy lifestyle
  • Likes to support local farmers and businesses
  • Is busy and doesn’t have time to go to the grocery store
  • …likes to eat.

Lucky for you guys, Milk and Eggs is offering a $100 gift certificate to one lucky reader! To enter, comment on this post and tell me your favorite healthy fruit or vegetable. I will randomly select one winner on Sunday, 11/6 at 5PM PT. Good luck!

Note: Currently Milk and Eggs only services the Los Angeles area, but they’re expanding soon! You can always enter the giveaway on the behalf of an LA-based friend or family member. 😉

 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Milk and Eggs. All opinions and words are my own. Thank you very much for your continued support!

Product Review

Chef’s Cut Real Jerky Review + GIVEAWAY!

Hi friends! Happy Monday! I am so, so, SO excited to kick off the week with an awesome giveaway!

Make sure you read all the way to the bottom of the post for directions on how to enter!

Chef's Cut Real Jerky Review + GIVEAWAY! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Have you guys tried Chef’s Cut Real Jerky? It’s one of my absolute favorite snacks, especially when I’m on the go!

I’ll be honest, I was never a jerky person until about a year ago. I used to think jerky was just unhealthy junk food for dudes and all of it was loaded with MSG, sodium, sugar, and chemicals that you can’t pronounce.

Chef's Cut Real Jerky Review + GIVEAWAY! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

In comes Chef’s Cut. I discovered THIS jerky about a year ago at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA. I was amazed when I turned the bag over to look at the ingredients and nutrition information to find that:

1. I actually knew (and could pronounce) all of the ingredients.

2. All of the jerky is gluten-free and contains NO nitrates.

3. AND the nutrition information was TOTALLY reasonable (in fact, it was healthier than many of my favorite protein bars!).

I’m talking 12 grams of protein per serving in 100 calories or less! My favorite flavors only have 1-3 grams of sugar per serving, which HELLO is amazing because we all know there is a ridiculous amount of added sugar in just about everything these days.

Chef's Cut Real Jerky Review + GIVEAWAY! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Chef’s Cut sells four protein varieties: Steak, Turkey, Chicken, and now Bacon; and there are eight different flavors in total.

These three are my favorite:

Chef's Cut Real Jerky Review + GIVEAWAY! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I was so excited to discover Chef’s Cut because I am always looking for protein-packed snacks that are healthy, low in sugar, and will keep me full until my next meal. I always have a bag of this stuff stowed away in my purse, car, or desk. It’s the easiest thing to munch on in the car in between meetings and I always pack a bag with me when I travel via plane.

Chef's Cut Real Jerky Review + GIVEAWAY! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Now I want YOU GUYS to experience this awesome jerky. Chef’s Cut is giving away a Deluxe Variety Pack of Jerky (8 bags!) to one of YOU lucky LCBA readers!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment on this post stating which variety of jerky appeals to you the most. Easy peasy!

I will randomly select one winner on Friday! Good luck!

Chef's Cut Real Jerky Review + GIVEAWAY! l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This blog post and giveaway are sponsored by Chef’s Cut Real Jerky. As always, I only feature products I truly stand behind. I genuinely appreciate your support with sponsored posts!

 

 

Giveaway Product Review

Sun Basket Review + {Giveaway!}

Hello and Good Morning!

I am so, so, so excited about today’s post and giveaway, you guys! I recently had the chance to try Sun Basket, a new healthy meal kit service, and I LOVED it.

Make sure to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post to enter this AMAZING giveaway and get a special link for $35 OFF your Sun Basket order!

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

While there are many meal subscription services out there, I’ve never been inclined to try one because I personally really enjoy the process of selecting recipes, grocery shopping, and cooking a meal from scratch. But for beginner cooks, those who are trying to eat healthier, or simply people who just don’t have the time to meal plan and shop, I think meal subscription services are great!

Sun Basket is unique because all of the ingredients are organic and hand-selected from the best West coast farms. Plus, there are delicious paleo, vegetarian, and gluten-free options! All of the recipes are created by Executive Chef Justine Kelly, formerly the head chef at the James Beard award-winning restaurant, The Slanted Door, in San Francisco. So you know she’s legit 😉

 

Here’s how Sun Basket works:

You can order 3 recipes per week for 2, 4, or 6 people. Each meal is $11.49, so for 3 meals a week for 2 people, the total is about $68, which is not bad for delicious, organic, meals delivered right to your door!

The menus change weekly, so you’ll never get bored. Here’s what on the menu this week:

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

The food arrives in a large, insulated box that will keep cold for 8 hours, so you don’t have to worry if it’s delivered while you’re at work.

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

In the box, you’ll find the ingredients for each meal, packaged in separate paper bags.

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

Your box will also come with a prepaid return sticker, so that you can send the cooling packs and insulation back to Sun Basket. I love that everything is reusable!  To send my cooling packs and box back, all I had to do was set a pickup time at USPS.com and I left the box at my front door before I left for the day. When the box was picked up, I received an email to let me know. Easy peasy!

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

OK, back to the food!

All of the ingredients for each dish are clearly labeled, so if you’re cooking with a totally new-to-you ingredient, you’ll know what it is. I was well assured knowing that the meat they provided was hormone and antibiotic-free, as that’s the only kind I would buy myself. Sun Basket does not skimp on the quality of ingredients!

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

The recipe cards provided in the box include instructions, allergy information and nutrition facts. The only things you’ll typically need from your own pantry are olive oil, salt and pepper.

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

All three of the meals I tried turned out so well. Travis and I were genuinely surprised by how delicious everything was. The portion sizes were also very generous — we even had leftovers with 2 of the dishes we made (and we’re hungry people!)

SunBasket Review + Product Giveaway on littlechefbigappetite.com

OKAY, giveaway time, people!

Sun Basket is going to give one of YOU a FREE meal delivery of 3 meals for 2 people (a $68.94 value)! You have until 1/17 at 11:59PM to enter and you can enter up to four times, using the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

PLUS, all of you can get $35 OFF your Sun Basket order by using this link. Sun Basket ships to most zip codes in the contiguous United States, excluding AK, HI, KS, MT, ND, NE & SD. They’re always expanding, though, so be on the lookout if they’re not in your area yet!

 

This post and giveaway are sponsored by Sun Basket, but as always, all opinions expressed are my own. I only feature products and/or companies that I strongly believe in and transparency is incredibly important to me. I truly appreciate your support with sponsored posts!