March DegustaBox

March DegustaBox

How is March ALREADY AT ITS END?! How is my visit to see my cousin an event that occurred a little over a month ago, and did I really just run a sub-4:00 hour marathon only this past Sunday

Well, I guess we truly are approaching the end of March, seeing as I’m writing up another DegustaBox review! My box for March came packed with a bunch of goodies!

DegustaBox for March '17
DegustaBox for March ’17

There was a a good balance of sweet snacks and savory staples. Of course, I went for the sweet-flavored stuff first! This time, I went straight for the Loacker biscuits—“Gran Pasticceria Tortina Dark”

tortinadark-noir
A “Hazelnut Tartlet?”

This wafer-based biscuit is described as a “hazelnut tartlet” and has a smooth, creamy dark chocolate shell over a melt-in-your-mouth wafer cookie.

The chocolate is so smooth, you can read the lettering on the shell!
The chocolate is so smooth, you can read the lettering on the shell!

The other cookie-based snack was this bag of Mrs. Thinster’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Thins. Apparently more exotic flavors like Key Lime Pie and Cake Batter are available, but these chocolate chip crispy cookies irresistible.

cookie-thins
Mrs. Thinster’s Chhocolate Chip Cookie Thins

The chocolate in these cookies had a mild, sweet flavor, and a buttery, crisp cookie base.

cookiethins
Mrs. Thinster’s Chhocolate Chip Cookie Thins Close-Up

I was pleasantly surprised to find a full-sized, peanut butter and jelly-filled croissant among this month’s mix of items! The bread itself was sweet and soft, and reminded me of a cake you’d find in an Asian bakery.

7-days
7 Days Croissant Peanut Butter and Jelly

The filling on the inside didn’t look like a lot, but it was just enough.

croissant
A PB&J Croissant?? Which master genius came up with this idea 💡?!

I remember having the Sweet Oat & Flax Good Thins crisps as part of my December DegustaBox, and so I was elated to see that the sweet potato flavored ones were included in this month’s box.

sweet__potato
Nabisco Good Thins The Potato One ~ Sweet Potato

The sweet potato chips were light, crispy, sweet, and extremely light in density.

Boboli Pizza Crust was also included, and at first I was like, what am I going to do with this? Since I share a kitchen with an elderly couple (my landlords), I don’t do much heavy cooking. Plus, I wanted to see if I could utilize this large, dense disc of bread for a meal besides pizza…

boboli_crust
It’s hard to tell but there’s about half of a 12″ Boboli pizza crust at the bottom of this (what seems like) a veggie-dense bowl!

As a result, I added it to my usual veggie-dense crockpot dinner bowl, as well as into some split pea soup that also had tofu cubes thrown in.

soupand veg
Boboli crust in soup and with veggies (topped with mustard)

The crust was soft, chewy, not super cheesy (even though cheese strands were clearly visible), and I even had portions of this 12″ crust on its own when not thrown into the dinners seen above.

One item I didn’t particularly favor was this Lemoncocco drink:

lemoncocco
Lemoncocco

It has Italian origins, but the drink itself has a “milky” appearance. It is essentially coconut water with a hint of lemon, but I thought the citrus flavor was overwhelming and made the drink taste slightly bitter.

Another product I had an adverse reaction to were these Energems. At least I did at a previous time. With this in mind, I decided not to give these a try. I brought and left them in lab, and my co-workers made use of them—I think some of them benefited from the caffeine boost!

energems_
Energems, eh no thanks!

These quinoa bars were a favorite of mine!

barssss
Such pretty packaging colors & font!

They were lightly sweetened, and had a mix of textures, but they were still easy to eat. Not only were they easy to consume, but they were also colorful and the box had the most gorgeous packaging!

quinoabar
This Paul’s Finest Quinoa bar dazzles like a gem. And the fact that it’s sweetened with honey 🍯🍯🍯 ??? Aw man, so good!

The small box of Goya Quinoa Blend that contained black beans, bell peppers, and spices mixed with white quinoa and brown rice held enough grains to make four weekday lunches.

quinoablend
Goya Quinoa Blend

It was very simple to prepare with the microwave. I simply added a serving of the mix into a bowl, filled it to the level of the grains with water, and simply microwaved it from 7-12 minutes. I added a small, sliced Yukon gold potato that was also microwaved ~2 minutes. I cooled off the mix in the fridge in lab, took it out around lunch time, and any excess water that was there right after microwaving had been absorbed by the rice.

quinoa-and-potato
Taking some days off from running has helped me in regards to gaining some free time for meal prep! Vegetarian quinoa by Goya, mixed with a boiled potato has been working as a satisfying lunch 😋 helping me power through the rest of my work day 💪🏽

The potatoes did a good job of absorbing the flavors, and overall made for a nourishing lunch!

The last product in this month’s box I have yet to try is this chickpea pasta:

chickpea-pasta
Tolerant Foods Organic Chickpea Pasta

I plan to soak a serving in water overnight before I plan to use it for lunch, so that it can respond well to a spin in the microwave. I’ll have to add my own spices and toppings, but I think this pasta will be a new favorite of mine since I expect it to have a naturally nutty, rich flavor thanks to those baby chickpeas 🙂 !

Which would you rather try from the following: the quinoa snack bars or the quinoa-rice mix?

August Degusta Box

August Degusta Box

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Degustabox. All opinions are my own.

In regards to moving, I was for the most part OK with leaving my old place behind. Yes, it was closer to work and provided a lot of conveniences, but after two years it was time to move on. Funny thing was, I had to come back to pick up a package that couldn’t get forwarded in time…I didn’t mind though, because I came prepared with reusable bags to stuff all of my foodie goodies in!

Degusta Box for August!
Degusta Box for August!

This month’s box featured some portable snacks, great add-ins to my weekly yogurt bowls, and snacks that made me recall my childhood.

One of those childhood-recalling snacks were the Mini Cow Tales. As soon as I spotted them in the box, I literally ripped open the bag and had them as a snack on the train ride home. I forgot how chewy and creamy they were, but after biting into my first one out of the bag, the memories came flooding back! My sis and I loved having these as part of our after school snacks, and even opted for the different flavored ones when they were available.

loacker_cowtales
Loacker Rose Chocolates and Cow Tales

Another snack that was provided in the box, but not reminiscent of my childhood, were the Loacker chocolates. They became instant favorites of mine though, since they had a crisp cookie and caramel-like filling with a smooth chocolate layer over them. All in the shape of a flower 🙂

The Goya Maria Cookies were exactly like the Maire Gold Biscuits my grandmother used to have. It’s interesting how the same type of cookie/biscuit is marketed under a different name on different continents. In India, they’re known as biscuits, and often seen in commercials alongside a piping hot mug of chai tea or next to a cup of milk with a chocolate drink mix if targeted towards kids. I was not a huge fan of these growing up, but the nostalgia that these biscuits brought me now made them more appetizing.

Goya Maria Cookies
Goya Maria Cookies

The box of Honey Bunches of Oats (with strawberries) was a fun find to receive, practically speaking. It obviously makes a good topping for greek yogurt.

Honey Bunches of Oats (with strawberries)
Honey Bunches of Oats (with strawberries)

And this Oregon Chai instant mix…

oregon_chai
Oregon Chai Tea Mix

While it’s intended for instant chai when added to hot water, useful for when you are on-the-go, I found it much more useful as a protein-powder sub-in. It added the mix of spicy, but sweet flavor to my greek yogurt, and this combination was a great vehicle for the Honey Bunches of Oats and a side protein bar. I put together this easy breakfast prior to heading for the train station on one of the weekends I had to stop by lab.

creallll
I had to restrain myself from eating each ingredient separately since I was craving it so bad. Everything tasted so much better when mixed and paired together!!

After a long run last weekend, I was incredibly thirsty, and I was so proud of myself for storing this bottle of Alo drink, made with mango and mangosteen, in the fridge the night I brought all of my Degustabox goods home! I drank this bottle in less than a minute, while rolling out my muscles (as well as my poor posterior shin splint, ughhh) and watching the women’s Olympic marathon. The drink had just enough sweetness and its icy punch really quenched my thirst!

Alo drink
Alo drink

Some of the savories in this box included a jar of fine-tasting mayo and a new flavor/texture of Pop Chips!

Poppin' chips
Poppin’ chips

Pop Chips has ventured into the territory of Ruffles chips with it’s new Ridges line, and the flavor I tried was Cheddar & Sour Cream. Most of the pieces were broken so I was unable to compare a full-size chip to a Ruffles chip, but the chips were packed with flavor and light on the tongue.

Sir Kensington Mayonnaise - Chipotle
Sir Kensington Mayonnaise – Chipotle

The Sir Kensington Mayonnaise in Chipotle was creamy, spicy, and provided a punchy flavor similar to that of the Pop Chips. Instead of cheese, it was chipotle, but a slather of this spread in between two hamburger buns made for an easy snack while in lab.

mayo&bun
So creamy, so simple, yet full of flavor! Also very orange…

The final product in the box that I tried was the White Lily white grape seed all-purpose wheat flower. Since I was visiting my family for a week and would have more flexibility with kitchen space there (my live-in landlords at my new space do not prefer heavy cooking by their tenants), I packed it with me on my trip to Oklahoma.

A new all-purpose flour to try!
A new all-purpose flour to try!

This flour became a staple ingredient for a delicious pot pie crust, and was part of my all-time favorite dinner…a dinner I literally had on the daily when I lived with my family before moving to LA.

Grape Seed Flour Pot Pie Crust/Bread Disc
Serves 1
A hearty, wheat-y bread biscuit, or can be used to top pot pies!
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Ingredients
  1. - 1/2 cup White Lily Grape Seed (WLGS) all-purpose flour
  2. - Greek yogurt (plain)
  3. - Cumin seeds and/or other spices
Instructions
  1. - Mix 1/2 cup of WLGS all-purpose flour with enough plain greek yogurt to get a dough-like consistency (I use about a 1/4 cup, and if necessary will add water).
  2. - Add a sprinkle of cumin seeds or substitute with your favorite bread-baking spices.
  3. - Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes, or until dough is puffed and crisp on the outside.
Will Study for Food http://www.willstudyforfood.com/
Once the crust was made, I added it to the top of a bowl of steaming hot veggies cooked in a beet (not beef, lol) broth, but you could use the crust/bread disc as a topper for any stew mix.

The second 12/ of a nothing-but-delicious pot pie.
The second 12/ of a nothing-but-delicious pot pie.

I wasn’t able to have the Vermont Smoke & Cure sticks due to them being non-vegetarian, but when I left them in our common room in lab, they were gone within minutes.

You can learn more about Degustabox on their website, Facebook or follow @Degustabox on Twitter/Instagram!

Which of these products would you be excited to try?

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