Wednesday, December 23, 2009



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Sabra is a company that makes a variety of Mediterranean products. They are mostly known for their hummus. Hummus - typically made from chick peas – is a good source of iron and protein. Sabra’s hummus is also dairy, cholesterol, and trans fat free. Sabra uses fresh, rather than canned, chick peas.

While hummus is something you can easily make on your own, Sabra is a brand I grew up with and it does provide some benefits over the old-fashioned method. Aside from convenience, they have some creative flavors I’m sure I would not have been able to think up.

Jalopeno Hummus

This is my first try in spicy hummus and I think I like it! It had a good kick, but still provided the creamy refreshingness I look for in hummus. I liked how fresh it tasted. Two tablespoons have only 60 calories but feel substantial. It was great dipped with veggies and I’m pretty sure it will make a fantastic sandwich addition.

Classic Babaganoush

I love Babaganoush - in Brooklyn we lived next to an amazing spot that made it in house. While I can’t say this was quite as good as the homemade stuff, this was a 9.75 to it’s 10. And I’m sure it’s healthier; only 70calories per two tablespoons. The texture was a nice and creamy and the flavor had a fabulous smokiness. I told Adam at least twice during my lunch how much I enjoyed it.

Mercury News

Picky Eater: A trio of hummus possibilities
December 23, 2009
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Hummus may not be a staple in your fridge, but it is in mine. What I love about the stuff is that it delivers on all fronts, from flavor to nutrition — it has only 50 calories or so for 2 tablespoons. And it gets me off the hook when it comes to fiber. For this reason, I've become a serious connoisseur of hummus. When I have time, I make it myself. But let's be serious. Sometimes it pays to take the sane road and just buy it. Honestly, the store-bought stuff is just as good as homemade.

Here's what you need to know about hummus, and what your options are, should you opt not to make it yourself. First off, know that all good, authentic hummus has a small dose of fat, because of the crucial addition of tahini, a sesame-seed paste. The other primary ingredients are, of course, garbanzo beans, garlic and lemon — all good, and all good for you.

Here's a roundup of possibilities and taste-notes on three widely available brands.

TRIBE: This earthy brand of hummus has a compelling lineup of flavors, including new lemon and chipotle varieties, both of which have surprising kick. I love that the flavor gurus at Tribe will try anything — horseradish, scallion, Kalamata olive, even pizza. In the case of hummus, fusion works. Tribe hummus isn't as smooth as the hummus made by some of its competitors, but I don't mind. It looks grainy, but doesn't feel grainy on the tongue, and that slight graininess


disappears when you spread it on a sandwich or pizza. Tribe is about $2.30 for 8 ounces.

SABRA: This is the hummus of choice for many shoppers, mainly because you can find it at Costco. Sabra hummus is certainly seductive. It's super creamy and almost white in color. It looks like a vat of tan-colored whipped cream. I like the flavor lineup that Sabra offers, especially the pine nuts with sun-dried tomatoes and the roasted red peppers. The one thing I don't like about Sabra is the added oil. Sabra has about 30 calories more per serving than Tribe and Trader Joe's because of the oil it adds in order to make the hummus creamier. As I make hummus at home, I know that you can achieve the same velvety texture by adding water. My only other beef with Sabra is that the quantity of flavorings in the middle add more decorative than savory value. If you're selling me roasted pepper flavor, bring it. Sabra is about $5.50 for 25 ounces; $2.50 for 7 ounces.

TRADER JOE'S: This company is so tight-lipped that getting product information is like asking Santa for a Ferrari. But I can tell you that the Trader Joe's brand of hummus is really good, really tasty and really familiar. In fact, it tastes so much like Tribe, I wonder if Tribe's gurus are actually involved. Trader Joe's 40-Spice Hummus is the best — so good, in fact, that I have tried to duplicate the recipe. I've concluded that there may be Chinese Five Spice among the 40 advertised, so I've started adding the complex mixture to my homemade recipe. Other must-try flavors include the cilantro-jalapeño and the eggplant. $4 for 16 ounces.

TO KNOW: Hummus isn't just a dip. The ultra-healthy spread is a utility player in the kitchen. It's a great substitute for mayo on a sandwich, a perfect pizza-topper and delicious as a topping for microwaved potatoes. Add a dollop to a bowl of soup, or stir it in to add body and nutritional substance. And for those looking for a quick, light appetizer for a holiday party, serve hummus with crackers, vegetables, prawns or even sliced fruit. It's fast food for healthy eaters.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Easy Christmas Appetizers
December 21, 2009
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Five, quick appetizers that “wow” guests and please the palate

Snow may be descending upon the northeast, but in many places so are relatives and friends alike. Food is a great way to entertain family and friends while wrapping up Christmas errands and tasks. Here are a few quick appetizers to stall the herd while preparing dinner or finishing up other Christmas activities.

1. Melted Brie With Preserves

This is an incredibly festive appetizer. Take a round of brie (or cut off any size slice you prefer) and place in a small baking dish. Scoop out a spoonful or two of raspberry preserves and place on top of the brie. Place the dish in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

The raspberry preserve adds a delicious sweetness to the cheese. Spread over a cracker or baked slice of bread and it is bound to put guests in the Christmas spirit – or at least keep their mouth occupied for a minute or two.

2. Spinach-Artichoke Dip Bread Bowl

Pick up a round loaf of bread from the local grocery story and cut out the middle to make a bread bowl. Many stores also sell sliced bread wedges to be used for dipping, but these can also be cut at home using the innards of the loaf of bread.

Look for spinach artichoke dip usually found in the deli section of your local grocery store. Empty the entire container of dip into the bread bowl and place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the dip is warm. Serve this on a platter surrounded by chips and bread wedges and it’s a hit!

3. Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

For a serving of four, wash about 8 to 10 cherry tomatoes, dry and place into a heated pan on the stove on warm. Drizzle olive oil in the pan and stir tomatoes every one to two minutes. The goal is for the tomatoes to be mushy but not burned. After about 4 minutes, sprinkle dried basil in the pan and add a teaspoon of garlic. Continue stirring the tomatoes continuously as the garlic will burn if left unattended.

Spread goat cheese on a cracker and top with roasted tomatoes for a warm, delicious treat. It’s best to prepare these for guests ahead of time and place on a plate or platter rather than serve goat cheese, crackers and tomatoes separately. The preparation is a bit messy and can be awkward for guests but easy for the chef!

4. Vegetables and Hummus

If minimal cooking is on the menu, grab a container of Sabra’s hummus from the local grocery store. Paired with vegetables like baby carrots, broccoli or cauliflower, this is a flavorful and healthy appetizer to serve before a meal or at a party. If vegetables aren’t a crowd favorite, serve alongside chips. Be sure to mix the hummus if it is topped with spices or red peppers so that every dip into the hummus gets the maximum flavor potential.

5. Champagne

Not technically an appetizer, this is a nice pairing to go for appetizer time. The sparkling drink isn’t just for New Year’s Eve and is a light palate cleanser for all the above dishes. The carbonation also helps guests feel fuller than they are which will reduce “When is dinner going to be ready?” rumblings if the main meal takes longer than expected.

Champagne doesn’t have to be expensive. Publix and Winn-Dixie sell Cristalino Brut for about $10.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chesterfield Observer

Unemployment in county dips slightly
December 9, 2009
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Could Chesterfield be at the beginning of a long, slow crawl toward higher employment? It’s possible. According to a report released by the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) last week, 187 fewer Chesterfield residents registered for unemployment insurance in October than during the previous month. That puts the county’s unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, down from 6.7 percent in September.

“October is usually a good month because the schools are back in session, the harvests are going on and the retailers are starting to build toward the end-of-year holiday season,” said William Mezger, the VEC’s chief economist. “October in the state was the best month so far in 2009.”

Chesterfield’s unemployment rate remains higher than the overall state average, which was 6.3 percent in October, down from 6.6 percent in September. The greater Richmond metropolitan area, which includes Chesterfield County, reported an overall 7.4 percent unemployment rate for October, the ninth-lowest unemployment rate among major metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Mezger said the unemployment numbers remain higher in the Richmond region because the area lost more jobs than anywhere else in the state with the shuttering of Circuit City, Qimonda and LandAmerica.

“The Richmond area altogether lost 25,000 jobs in the downturn,” said Mezger. “The problem with this recession is that in most cases, the firms went out of business or no longer exist. So when things start to improve, the workers can’t be called back to their old jobs. New jobs have to be created to re-employ those people, and that hasn't happened yet.”

Some new jobs do appear to be on the horizon, according to Karen Alyward, the development manager for existing, small and minority business for the Chesterfield Economic Development Office. Sabra Dipping Co., a maker of kosher, vegetarian foods like salads and hummus, is entering its first phase of hiring, which will provide jobs for 60 people. Once fully operational, the plant could employ up to 260 people.

“From some of our smaller, existing companies, we're seeing that they’re anticipating being able to add a job or two here and there or bring back some folks that they’ve had to lay off or put on furlough,” added Ayward. “We are starting to see some improvement in the right direction.”

Longer-term employment prospects include the expansion of Fort Lee, which will double in size by 2013, and the construction of a new Rolls Royce plant, which broke ground in October and could eventually employ up to 500 people. While both projects are based in nearby Prince George County, both could end up employing Chesterfield residents.

Additionally, Bon Secours recently announced plans for a new ambulatory care campus at Watkins Centre (see story on page 3) that will bring a projected 100 new jobs to northwest Chesterfield County, and expansions by Maruchan Virginia Inc., a ramen soup and noodles manufacturer, and Hill PHOENIX, a designer and manufacturer of commercial refrigeration systems, are expected to add jobs.

“It’s going to be some time before those jobs come to market to be filled,” cautioned Aylward. “We’re in a very fortunate position to be seeing that sort of activity, but it’s going to take some time.”

For its part, the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce hopes the county’s new commercial zoning-fee holiday, which reduces planning department fees related to commercial, office and industrial projects by $8,000 until July 2010, will ultimately put more people back to work.

“From some of our chamber members, especially those in the development field, we’re hearing that they’re seeing projects being taken off the shelf, dusted off and put back into the system,” said Lenita Gilreath, chamber president. “There's a trickle-down effect from that; a developer pulls out projects, an engineer gets a job, an architect gets a job, an attorney gets a job. We see that as a positive thing that the county has done to help stimulate and bring back jobs.”

Planning Director Kirk Turner has yet to see the fee holiday produce any concrete results, though it has only been in effect since late summer.

“We haven’t seen a tremendous increase in development activity as a result of the reduction in the fees," he said. “My suspicion is the ones that we have seen were ones that were going to come forward anyhow.”

Virginia’s unemployment numbers remain below the national average, which was 10.2 percent in October. The U.S. Labor Department announced last week that the rate dipped to 10 percent in November.

Jewish Exponent

Extended Shelf Life for Israel Food Industry
November 19, 2009
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New York
When the staff at Hummus Place hauled the oven into the kitchen of the Israeli-owned chain's flagship branch and switched it on, no one was quite sure it would work.

After all, the baking equipment had been collecting dust in a storage room for five years.

A few minutes later, the first of hundreds of piping-hot pitas began emerging from the oven, soft and moist on the inside, and firm on the outside -- just like they make them back in Israel.

"It felt like the right moment," Yigal Ashkenazi, a senior manager at the chain, said of Hummus Place's decision to start baking its own bread. "Business is booming. During peak hours, there are lines outside all our branches."

Hummus Place, which began life as a small restaurant in East Greenwich Village in 2004, opened at its fifth location in New York two months ago. Many other Israeli-owned food businesses in the United States are reporting similar successes offering the kind of fare found in the Old Country.

Including right here at home in Philadelphia.

Maoz Falafel, a fast-food franchise started by an Israeli couple in Amsterdam nearly 30 years ago, opened its first U.S. store in Philadelphia in 2004, and is now in the midst of a nationwide expansion. The company says that it plans to have at least 15 stores across the country by next year.

The apparent growing enthusiasm in the United States for Israeli food is by no means limited to hummus and falafel.

Chef Michael Solomonov offers a gourmet take on the tastes of his native Israel at Zahav restaurant, a Philadelphia hot spot with a growing national reputation.

"There are so many different cultural and gastronomic ideas that make up Israeli cuisine," said Solomonov. "Our kebabs are Romanian or Bulgarian, the merguez sausage is Moroccan, we have chraime fish stew from North Africa and kubbeh dumpling soup from Iraq."

Since opening last year, Zahav has received glowing reviews in the local and national press. Solomonov said that he might open a second branch in another city.

It's not just restaurants. Israeli-style and Israeli-manufactured foods are increasingly visible at U.S. supermarkets, especially in areas with large Jewish communities.

"There's no question that Israeli foods have become more popular, largely because improvement in the packaging and more effective marketing," said Menachem Lubinsky, who runs the annual Kosherfest trade show, which just concluded in New York. "Sales of salads in the kosher market have tripled over the past few years."

Israeli companies export $115 million worth of food to the United States annually, up from $30 million a decade ago, according to Lubinsky.

Janna Gur, editor of the Israeli food magazine Al Hashulchan and author of The Book of New Israeli Food, noted that American palates have been won over by the nutritious value of Israeli food.

"With the widespread problem of obesity in the U.S., many Americans are looking to eat more healthily," said Gur. "Israeli food has more vegetables and less meat. We are the only people in the world that eats salad for breakfast."

Israeli cuisine is a relative newcomer to the culinary world, a loose mix of different foods Jewish immigrants brought with them from the Diaspora, combined with local fare Middle Easterners had been eating for centuries.

Some Israeli-owned operations hoping to tap the mainstream U.S. food market choose not to highlight their Israeli credentials.

Sabra -- a food manufacturer that makes packed hummus and salads, and is jointly owned by the Israeli Strauss-Elite company and PepsiCo -- recently launched a national ad campaign based on its "Mediterranean" appeal.

Other food companies owned by Israelis have also expressed ambivalence.

"We are a company which was set up by Israelis, but our emphasis is on vegetarian food," said Yair Marinov, a senior executive at Falafel Maoz and an Israel native.

"We're kosher, but we have no direct connection to Israel or Israeli food. We're competing with McDonald's and Burger King," he said.

Ori Apple, founder and owner of Hummus Place, noted that there's a balance when it comes to how strongly to identify Israeli roots.

"Most of our customers aren't Israeli, and have no idea what the origin is of the food we have here," he said. "At the end of the day, we're selling hummus, not Israel."

Tasty Madness

Sabra Hummus Review
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Of all the brands of hummus we have ever tried, Sabra Hummus is our favorite brand.

The texture of the hummus is so soft and fluffy, but it still fills up your tummy when you eat it.

We love dipping pretzels, and celery sticks in the Sabra Hummus, as well as spreading it on bagels and putting lettuce and cheese on it and making a healthy sandwich for lunch.

The Sabra company was founded in 1986. The company’s first national advertising campaign launched in March 2009 through the StrawberryFrog advertising agency.

If you eat hummus, which brand is your favorite?

Missy Maintains

Lunch and a Workout!
December 24, 2008
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Around 1:30 I got myself up to go to the gym. It is a good thing I went when I did because they closed at 5 today and I had no idea!

I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and then my kickboxing teacher got on the elliptical next to me! I did 10 more minutes very slow while we chatted. Then he left and I did 10 more minutes at normal pace. 50 minutes overall..not bad.

I then went to the food store and ended up spending 50 bucks. I was only going to get a few things but I always end up wanting everything I see. Most of it is frozen so it will stay good while I am gone.

I got home at 3:30 starving so I made a turkey sandwich on Arnold’s Sandwich Thins! Yes! My market had them today!! So I made use of my $1.00 coupon :)

I decided to try out a new type of hummus today. It is called Sabra Hummus Masbacha. It is hummus with hot sauce mixed in. It was pretty good for a change! It was not hot at all but added a nice kick to the original flavor.

Of course, with Popchips on the side! And cucumbers to dip in the hummus.

Yummy! The sandwich thins are sooo good! I also bought a few Chobanis so I had one with grapes and chocolate chips for dessert!

Tonight’s plans are drinking, drinking and more drinking! I will with be with Dori and the boy. Pictures to come! Have a great Christmas!

Bite of The Best

125 Best Packaged Foods
November 27, 2009
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(For Women)… I had posted about the 125 Best Foods for Men a while back, when Men’s Health originally published their list, as it had a good number of Bite of the Best notables within (Swanson Organic Chicken Broth, Sabra hummus, McCann’s steel cut oat, Dr. Krackers Classic 3-seed Crackers, Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips, Uncle Bens Whole Grain Brown Rice, Alfresco Chicken Sausage….. just to name a few).

Well, Women’s Health recently came out with their parallel list (it’s a Title 9 thing), so I thought I’d share some of our overlaps again.. You can see the full listing of product selections here.

Kashi was a notable inclusion in the Women’s Health list while Sabra Hummus managed to be one of the few overlaps between the lists, I guess garbanzo beans know no gender bounds, it is some good stuff! McCormick Spices, Peanut Butter & Co’s Dark Chocolate Dreams, Seeds of Change and Uncle Ben’s rices, as well as Kellogg Fiber Plus Bars were other features mentioning selections.

Food Processing-Technology

Sabra Dipping Company Production Facility, USA

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The Sabra Dipping Company of Astoria, New York, is a producer of savoury vegetarian dips, appetisers and spreads in the US. The company was started in 1986 as Sabra – Blue & White Foods and was later purchased by Yehuda Pearl, which increased interest in the company’s Mediterranean-style product range.

In 2005 Strauss Salads of Israel purchased a majority stake in the company and in 2008 PepsiCo’s Frito Lay and Strauss formed the 50/50 joint venture Sabra Dipping. Sabra intends to open a 110,000 ft² production facility north of Colonial Heights near Richmond, Virginia. The facility will be the company’s second plant and will increase its production of dips for the US and Canadian markets.

The company

In 2007, Sabra had sales of $65m, with sales of hummus totalling about $192m. According to executive vice-president Meiky Tollman, the company grew by over 50% in the period between August 2008 and August 2009. "We have a 40% market share in the US hummus market and with the dips and spreads market predicted on growing Sabra has decided to establish a state-of-the-art plant which will utilise the most advanced production technologies available today. This will allow Sabra Dipping Company to keep the market growing and provide a measured response to increased demand ... at the same time we are investing in green technology and methodology to the tune of $2.2m," Tollman said.


The new plant is being constructed on a 49-acre site in the Ruffin Mill industrial park at the Walthall interchange east of Interstate 95 between Chester and Colonial Heights. The plant will open in mid-2010 and is expected to create 260 jobs. The negotiations to bring the plant to the area took around six months and state and county incentives played a large part in the process.

Bodies involved include Chesterfield County economic development department, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, the Virginia Gateway Program and the Greater Richmond Partnership. Chesterfield County has given a $250,000 grant for site development, the state of Virginia and the county are to provide $350,000 in training grants.

Sabra will also receive a waiver for building inspection, planning and zoning fees, as well as a five-year rebate on a machinery and tools tax. The estimated cost of the waivers and rebate is around $545,000 and will be borne by Chesterfield County.


Construction and outfitting of the plant required an investment of around $68m. In addition, Sabra has committed to opening the plant under silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) conditions. LEED is a green building rating system introduced by the US Green Building Council. The silver category means that 100% of the wood used in the building will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, 20% of the materials will be made from recycled resources, 20% will be sourced and manufactured regionally (less than 500 miles from project site) and 75% of the construction waste produced will be diverted from landfills and recycled. In addition, 35% of energy used at the plant will be renewable and water will be collected from roof drainage into a cistern for use in toilet flushing and for other non-potable requirements.

The building and site utilities have been designed and engineered by the Dennis Engineering Group. The plumbing, waste water infrastructure, HVAC and natural gas systems are being installed by Warwick Plumbing and Heating. Other contractors include Industrial Turnaround for power and lighting, telecom work and electrical work and Republic Refrigeration.

"The facility will be the company’s second production plant and will increase its production of dips for the US and Canadian markets."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shalom Life

Foodfest takes Sabra Hummus from Coast to Coast
December 3, 2009
View Article by Dan Verbin

In over 30 years in the food distribution business, Henry Ender has never seen a product takeoff as fast as Sabra hummus.

Ender, the CEO of Foodfest International, the Canadian importer and distributor of Sabra Dipping Company foods, calls Sabra’s line of hummus dips an “overnight sensation all because of the quality.”

He credited Sabra’s commitment to going above and beyond the competition – sales have increased from $20 million to $140 million and are projected to hit $300 million – as the main factor in the meteoric rise of their hummus and Mediterranean spreads.

“You get the real deal when you eat Sabra hummus,” he said. “It’s just stand alone quality. There is just nothing like it. The minute you put it in your mouth, you’ll know the difference.”

Sabra is fast taking over the North American market in the dipping category. With a certified kosher, award-winning line of products, including multiple flavours of hummus, babaganoush, salsas, sautéed vegetables, Turkish salad and Moroccan matbucha, there is no turning back.

As of this year, Sabra is now the bestselling hummus dip in the United States and is set to take over the number one spot in Canada within one year.

The company purchased the finest technology from Israel in order to create a hummus that is heads above the competition, Ender explained. Moreover, Sabra, which is based in New York, uses only authentic, specially sourced ingredients.

“They use amazing ingredients. They don’t skimp on anything. They give you the top of the line Mercedes of ingredients,” said Ender, whose company, Foodfest, is the biggest privately held kosher food distributor in Canada.

The veteran of the food industry further credited Sabra with a top notch marketing campaign. The company has invested a substantial sum, working alongside Foodfest to create promotions that are helping to bring Sabra’s hummus to the Canadian masses.

For instance, Sabra is using half price sales to corner the hummus market. However, sales are not the deciding factor, according to Ender. Taste is the real selling point.

“Once a person tastes our hummus, it’s game over for the competition because nothing comes close. There’s a lot of imitators that call themselves hummus makers. But there’s nothing like Sabra,” said Ender.

Besides the one-of-a-kind taste, the best thing about Sabra from a food distribution perspective is that the product sells itself. From his experience in the food business, Ender expected the usual difficult sell when introducing Sabra dips to grocery stores.

He related a story about a Loblaws tasting session where he was prepared for a tough sales pitch.

Instead, to his amazement, he experienced the exact opposite. “The minute they tasted it, it was easy. It was game over. They said, ‘Ok, guys, you’re going to get all of Canada’ as a result of that one taste session.”

While Ender has sold many different product lines over the year, he is especially proud of his work with Sabra. As a company leader, all he has to do is set up a tasting appointment and watch people’s faces, he said.

“For me, it’s so easy to sell Sabra hummus because it sells itself really. All I have to do is let somebody taste it and watch their face. And you’ll see a smile,” he said.

Ender said that the “best is yet to come” for Sabra, with sales in the past year doubling and tripling at major Canadian retailers, including Sobeys, Loblaws, Metro and Pusateri’s, which Ender explained is the store that the industry looks to for the latest ideas in quality foods.

“When we presented (Sabra) to Pusateri’s, they gave us the largest space in history of anybody that they deal with to put Sabra in a showcase,” said Ender.

Foodfest, which is in its fourth year of distributing Sabra, has made connections across the country, placing Sabra in about 3000 stores between Vancouver and Halifax in the last eight months. Ender predicted that the number will increase to 4500 by next June because he is currently setting up distribution for Western Canada.

“It’s no longer a Jewish thing now. It’s now everyone’s choice,” he said, noting the health aspects of eating hummus. “My job is to take it out of Bathurst Street and have everybody eating it.”

Ender said that people from all different ethnicities and backgrounds are discovering a love for hummus at local tasting sessions that Foodfest is setting up.

“We now have every ethnic group eating hummus. When we go to major supermarkets, everybody comes to the table,” he said.

His company has invested a considerable amount of resources into marketing, including a team of 10 to 12 employees who take Sabra samples directly to the public.

“They buy it on the spot and become a loyal customer,” he said.

Ender, who also owns Strub Pickles and Zoglo’s, the Israeli manufacturer of “Meatless cuisine for the future”, explained that ultimately he must be a big fan of the products he distributes, saying he only sells products that he personally would eat.

Therefore, after so many years in the food business, to hear such palpable excitement in his voice over a product means that it is the real deal.

“We’re going population wide. We’re trying to let everybody taste hummus. It’s the fastest growth category in the supermarkets right now,” he said.

opposite. “The minute they tasted it, it was easy. It was game over. They said, ‘Ok, guys, you’re going to get all of Canada’ as a result of that one taste session.”

While Ender has sold many different product lines over the year, he is especially proud of his work with Sabra. As a company leader, all he has to do is set up a tasting appointment and watch people’s faces, he said.

“For me, it’s so easy to sell Sabra hummus because it sells itself really. All I have to do is let somebody taste it and watch their face. And you’ll see a smile,” he said.

Ender said that the “best is yet to come” for Sabra, with sales in the past year doubling and tripling at major Canadian retailers, including Sobeys, Loblaws, Metro and Pusateri’s, which Ender explained is the store that the industry looks to for the latest ideas in quality foods.

“When we presented (Sabra) to Pusateri’s, they gave us the largest space in history of anybody that they deal with to put Sabra in a showcase,” said Ender.

Foodfest, which is in its fourth year of distributing Sabra, has made connections across the country, placing Sabra in about 3000 stores between Vancouver and Halifax in the last eight months. Ender predicted that the number will increase to 4500 by next June because he is currently setting up distribution for Western Canada.

“It’s no longer a Jewish thing now. It’s now everyone’s choice,” he said, noting the health aspects of eating hummus. “My job is to take it out of Bathurst Street and have everybody eating it.”

Ender said that people from all different ethnicities and backgrounds are discovering a love for hummus at local tasting sessions that Foodfest is setting up.

“We now have every ethnic group eating hummus. When we go to major supermarkets, everybody comes to the table,” he said.

His company has invested a considerable amount of resources into marketing, including a team of 10 to 12 employees who take Sabra samples directly to the public.

“They buy it on the spot and become a loyal customer,” he said.

Ender, who also owns Strub Pickles and Zoglo’s, the Israeli manufacturer of “Meatless cuisine for the future”, explained that ultimately he must be a big fan of the products he distributes, saying he only sells products that he personally would eat.

Therefore, after so many years in the food business, to hear such palpable excitement in his voice over a product means that it is the real deal.

“We’re going population wide. We’re trying to let everybody taste hummus. It’s the fastest growth category in the supermarkets right now,” he said.

Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus 10oz
December 9, 2009
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Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus is our go-to dip!

Product Rating: Product Rating: 5.0
Pros: Delicious with everything or on its own.

Cons: Can be addicting.

The Bottom Line: Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus will make a hummus lover out of you!

I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that until recently our house, the five food groups have been frozen pizza, T.G.I. Friday's Appetizers, hot dogs, bagels, and Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus. We have recently embarked on a plan to cook more healthily and jettisoned several of these items from our regular rotation. However, we still hold firmly to our delicious and nutritious chickpea spread.

The Basics
Hummus is a Middle Eastern dip/spread with chickpeas as the primary ingredient. While it used to be available primarily in specialty or gourmet food stores, it has become extremely popular and can now be found in college dorms, supermarket delis, and on numerous appetizer menus. Many of the grocery store varieties are dreadful, so now we only buy when Sabra is available.

Although this review is about Sabra's Roasted Garlic flavor, the brand produces an array of hummus varieties. These include Classic (okay), Hummus with Roasted Pine Nuts (tasty), and Roasted Red Pepper (tasty), all of which make regular appearances at our local grocery stores. According to the website, they also include Greek Olive, Chunky, Supremely Spicy, Cranberry & Fig, Carmelized Onion, and several other flavors which we have never seen.

A ten ounce tub of Sabra hummus costs around $4.00. We have seen larger (and presumably more cost-efficient) tubs at friends' houses, but not on sale anywhere near where we live. Occasionally I do find a little individual-sized container packaged with pretzel chips to eat on the go for about $2.00. Most of the containers I buy are good for a month or two, so it makes sense to buy in bulk if possible.

Our Love Affair with Sabra
We go through at least two tubs of Sabra hummus each month, with Roasted Garlic being our go-to flavor. Although it's meant for snacking, I often use it as the base of a light lunch as well. We also entertain regularly with Sabra. A tub of this hummus surrounded by crackers, pita chips, miniature tomatoes, and carrot sticks makes for a great appetizer platter.

Why do we love Sabra more than any other mass-produced hummus? The texture is perfect - creamy and spreadable without being too watery. For those who are not familiar with hummus, it is about as thick as peanut butter but wet instead of sticky. The flavors of Sabra hummus are also delicious, particularly the roasted garlic. The garlic is actually visible in a pile at the top of the hummus when you open it, but should be mixed in thoroughly for even seasoning. I often find plain hummus to be a little too bland, but the garlic adds a bit of zip and makes for perfect pairing with just about anything.

Finally, and perhaps best of all, Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus is actually reasonably healthy. Chickpeas are the main ingredient, followed by water and tahini (ground sesame). A two tablespoon serving size contains just seventy calories and a gram each of fiber and protein. Sabra doesn't use trans fats. On the whole, this roasted garlic hummus is a fabulous and filling substitute for fatty ranch dressing or cheese dip.

Overall . . .
There's a reason that hummus has really taken off - it's delicious! After sampling literally dozens of different varieties, we've deemed Sabra Roasted Garlic to be the best of the best. Whether you love hummus or are convinced that you don't, I heartily recommend that you pick some up on your next trip to the supermarket and give it a try.


Exercise and Eat One Gator's Attempt to Live a Healthy Lifestyle.

Sunday, December 6, 2009
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Ladies and gentlemen, there exists a greater man-playing-a-piano-for-his-love-interest scene than Edward's lullaby for Bella. While this may be quite the shocking statement, I am in the middle of watching The Holiday, and just watched Jack Black play Kate Winslet's character a lovely little melody on the pjanoooo.

Can all men be like this? Most likely not - I believe they call that cynicism.

Well, I was quite a little snacker today, especially since I was in and out of the library.

The chilly temperatures made my ginormous cuppa peppermint-flavored joe lukewarm on my walk over to start studying. Many servings of Stacy's pita chips were consumed along with Sabra's roasted garlic hummus... which I bought on sale at Publix:)

Post-studying dinner consisted of leftover fajitas and a Clif bar for dessert:)

As for now, it's back to the books. I can't wait to be an old woman tonight and hit the hay early after a long day:)

Cheese and Cookies

Caught Up In the Moment
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
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After all that business was said and done, I wandered around the kitchen wondering what to have for dinner. I wasn’t super hungry because of the kashi bar (and a taste of a cookie and licking the spoon) but it was getting late and if I didn’t eat there would be way more spoon licking when I made my cookies. I couldn’t decided between savory or sweet for dinner so I had both. I present to you, my first snack plate!

There was a TJ’s cheddar cheese stick, 1 carrot, some cukes, an apple (I ate a few slices before I took the pic), 2 wasa crackers with sabra roasted pine nut hummus, and more hummus for dipping. It was really good. Hit the spot!

Gluten Hates Me but I'm Surviving

Tis The Season of BIG GIVEAWAYS
Tuesday, November 1, 2009
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Today was a BIG day for me! For lunch I enjoyed a gluten free pizza party…

for one! Uno’s Chicago Grill Gluten Free Flatbread. New. Improved. Darn good!

And then I went on a BIG adventure.

It seems like every blog I read is offering up a delicious bloggity giveaway. Inspired by the giving, I decided to host one myself. So I bring you a BIG giveaway!

Today I went to a BIG box store. A BIG box store that sell big boxes of things…at discounts prices. The very kind folks at MyBlogSpark offered me the opportunity to try out one of the big guys: BJ’s Wholesale Club.

In all honesty, I’ve never been a wholesale club member. I’ve used a friend’s ownership to buy sparkling water a few times, but that’s about it. Working at a food co-op for 5 years, really taught me the impact your dollars can make in your local economy. While I understand that a wholesale club does employ local folks, I really would rather buy spinach from my local farmer. I live in a small household, so big bulk buying doesn’t appeal to me as much, but if I had a large family I’m sure I would be ALL over it!

With all that said, I’ll try anything once. And so today I made the trek down to Raleigh and in to the BJ’s.

The staff were super friendly, and it did seem much more approachable than Costco and Sam’s. I feel that the size of the store must have been smaller, but I’m really not sure. As for my loot:

I stocked up on ALL the naughty stuff! (for me and for Max)

10 Busy Bones for 10 dollars, Riceworks, a new Gluten free cracker I’ve never seen before Crunchmaster, Sabra hummus (aka the only hummus), Laughing Cow wedges, tasty peppermint mocha coffee creamer, and WAAAYYYYY too much Ranch for two people.

Overall my experience was positive. I DEFINITELY saved money on items that I can’t get at my local co-op and everyone at BJ’s was super nice and helpful. Plus, you really can’t go wrong with a giant tub of Sabra. I’m going to have a smile on my face until January because of that alone!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Diet Food Reviews
December 2, 2009
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Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Pretzel Crisp to Go

Ultimately, what's on the inside is what really counts, but I must admit that I'm drawn to unique packaging. I was looking for some hummus when I saw these plastic containers that reminded me of UFOs. Upon further examination, they turned out to be Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with Pretzel Crisps to Go. Since I had never tried both the hummus and the pretzel crisps, I decided to give it a go.

The hummus was tasty with more of a kick than I'd expected, and the pretzel crisps were salty and crisp like a normal pretzel although they seemed just a tad damp from being in the refrigerator. In one sitting, I ate all the pretzel crisps with about 1/3 of the hummus - I spreading the hummus conservatively on each crisp, but you have A LOT of hummus to work with. I ate my to-go pack at home, but if I had really been on the go, I would have been bummed to have so much hummus left over.

But alas, what really gets me is that the container is really 3.5 servings - ridiculous, especially when you add up the nutrition facts. For the entire container, there is 320 calories from 15% of the daily value for saturated fat and 30% of the DV for sodium. Unfortunately, this does not make me snack happy.

A 4.3 ounce package cost $1.98 at Walmart Supercenter, and while I loves me some Sabra Hummus, I think this "to go" container just doesn't cut it as a portion controlled snack option - way too many calories and fat. I think I would rather invest in a small(er) container, and portion out my own hummus in that - and then I can eat it with more than pretzels.

Serving Size: 1 container (4.3 ounces)
Calories: 320
Total Fat: 21 grams, 32%
Saturated Fat: 3 grams, 15%
Sodium: 720 mg, 30%
Protein: 6 grams
Carbohydrates: 31 grams
Fiber: 3 grams, 12%
Sugar: 2.5 grams
Price: $1.98 (4.3 oz

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Finding Fit At 30

Sabra Addiction

Tuesday, November 3, 2009
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I just bought this Roasted Garlic Sabra yesterday and 24 hours later, it’s gone! I have issues people! OK, granted, I probably have worse issues than a Sabra addiction, but seriously! One day and I ate it all! I have no restraint!

By the way Sabra, I checked your website and you have all of these flavors that I WOULD LOVE to try but the grocery stores here sell only 4 varieties, of which I tried them all. Could you salespeople over there please tell the grocery stores here in Iowa that people have addictions you think there is a market for some flavors besides Roasted Garlic, Red Pepper and Original? Don’t get me wrong, I love them all, but I really, really want to try the Jalapeno. And the Sun Dried Tomato. And the Cranberry and Fig. Much appreciated, thanks.

So I was all set to have a frozen veggie burger and baked veggies, but these filled me up before I could even get my burger cooked! Oh well, there are worse things.

I did manage to bake up some okra and brussel sprouts in between shoveling hummus and chips down my throat. I’d never had baked okra but have seen it over here plenty of times and finally found some fresh at the Whole Foods. It’s great baked, I loved it! I tossed these veggies with a little olive oil and some veggie seasoning and baked in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

I followed up those healthy veggies with a little ice cream. I searched the stores around here for some pumpkin ice cream and finally! Last week I found some!

I did get a little sleep during the day today and got a pretty decent workout in at the gym. I didn’t get to the gym until 6 and that place gets packed! I barely got a parking spot, had to wait for a treadmill and I never could get to a bench. I still got a good workout in though. I had plans to go tomorrow morning but I’ll be going in to work at 3am and won’t be off until 3pm so I’ll be hitting up the spinning class at 5 instead of an am workout. Which is just as well since spinning kicks my butt!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


September, 2009
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2009 Healthy Food Awards: Shopping list

Refrigerated Foods
Sabra Classic Hummus

Women's Health Mag

September, 2009
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Sabra Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
Velvety hummus kicked up with sun-dried tomato. Fights heart disease; promotes weight loss.
Per 2 Tbsp: 60 cal, 5 g fat (0 g sat), 3 g carbs, 140 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein

Good Housekeeping

Taste Test: Classic Flavor Hummus Dip

March, 2009
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Our volunteers tested 10 different samples of classic flavor hummus

The word means chickpea in Arabic, but to us, it’s a luscious Middle Eastern dip. Until the mid-1990s, hummus was unfamiliar to many Americans; now it’s a multimillion-dollar industry. No wonder — made nutty and tangy by its blend of chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon, hummus is perfect as a snack or as part of a meal. Bonus: It’s low in saturated fat, full of fiber, and rich in protein. We found countless variations, from horseradish to chipotle. To keep it simple, we stuck to the classic flavor of five national brands. Our volunteers tried 10 different samples — while some left tasters complaining of “sour” flavors and “pasty” textures, the winners were so good, we couldn’t stop eating. Dig into these results.

First place: Two Sabra varieties, Chunky Hummus and Hummus & Tahini, tied for top billing (despite their names, these are Sabra’s “basic” versions). What split the vote was texture: Some tasters went for creamy, while others preferred chunky. Volunteers found both types “bright” and “flavorful,” with the natural tastes of chickpea and sesame shining through.


Big Bite: Hummus
March, 2009
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Hummus or hummos—however it's spelled on the packaging, these chickpea spreads are the best of the bunch.


Sabra Sun Dried Tomatoes Hummus
Sun-dried tomatoes are the center of attention here. A "supersmooth" chickpea base orbits "chewy, bright bits" of tomato. Just don’t let the crudités platter have all the fun: One taster raved that this "full-bodied and intense" hummus would add much-needed zest to a turkey sandwich. ($4 for 10 ounces, available at most grocery stores)

The Six O'Clock SCRAMBLE

More On Sabra Hummus Coupon
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A subscriber had a question about this week’s Sabra coupon (save $1.50 on Sabra hummus in Vol. 284). She was hesitant to print the coupon for fear that she would be automatically added to Sabra’s mailing list. This didn’t sound right to me, so I checked with Sabra and their answer is no–but if you want to, you can sign up for their mailiing list on their fan site. You can also follow sabra on Twitter @sabrahummus.


Sabra Hummus vs. Simply Enjoy — NO Comparrison

Saturday, January 17, 2009
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Sabra Hummus is the best commercial hummus I have found to date. I have pretty much tried all the traditional store brands you can get in this area, as well as some in NJ, OH and FL. Nothing compares to Sabra and some brands are downright inedible (especially those in OH and FL — people must not eat hummus there).

So… when I was shopping at Stop & Shop in Dedham and saw that they had come out with a Simply Enjoy brand of hummus — which, incidentally, was located right next to the Sabra brand and comes in the exact same size and shaped container… I figured, why not? It was almost a dollar cheaper and I have had rather good results and success with S & S’s Simply Enjoy brand.

I finished up the existing Sabra container I had by wiping the remnants up with my pita. Pure goodness…

Then I cracked open the Simply Enjoy brand, dragged my finger right through the middle of the container (hey, I was home alone… no one has to know, okay?) and took a taste….

AWFUL… Inedible… It even smelled bad. The conatiner is still in my ‘fridge and will most likely land itself in the sink soon — to be rinsed out and recycled. I can’t eat the stuff.

It was bitter, not creamy enough and just didn’t taste good. It was acutally quite bad. I will not be buying it again and will continue to cough up the ridiculous cost of Sabra because it’s just that good.


Sabra Hummus Breaks National Campaign
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
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Sabra, a hummus brand partially owned by Frito-Lay, is launching its first national ad campaign this month, an effort that beckons consumers to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean without leaving home.

The TV, print and online campaign is also the first from New York agency StrawberryFrog. The campaign aims to acknowledge the clichés of traditional food advertising but subvert them by taking an unexpected direction.

A TV ad, for instance, shows a middle-aged couple sampling the hummus along with some wine as they observe a sunset. "It's like our own Mediterranean vacation," says the father. A second later, an object comes crashing through a window behind them and it is made clear that they are at home and their teenage son is throwing a party. "I thought you said your parents were in the Mediterranean," one partygoer then mutters under his breath to the boy.

With growth of more than 50 percent last year, the Astoria, New York-based brand, which is also co-owned by the Strauss Group, hopes to ride the eat-at-home trend and a movement by U.S. consumers towards more exotic foods. "We hope to spark a movement through this campaign inspiring consumers to experience the world through the sounds, cultures and foods of the world right in their own homes," said Rodrigo Troni, CMO of Sabra Dipping Co., in a written statement.

Frito-Lay, a unit of PepsiCo, formed a joint venture with the Strauss Group in 2007, as Frito-Lay attempted to expand its portfolio of healthier snack foods. Hummus is said to use "healthier oils" than most snacks and contains no trans fats.


Tribe Vs. Sabra Hummus
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
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"I already knew I was in love with Sabra from the start but wanted to see how it compared. It had a much better flavor to me. It tasted more natural and was also much creamier in texture. The boy also agreed with me that Sabra was much better."

Read the full article here


Sabra Hummus (Give Away)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
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Winner will receive VIP coupons for 4 containers of Sabra Hummus and a $25 gift card to use for veggies, chips, and any other supplies for their party.

Enter here:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Guessing All the Way

Sabra Hummus Dips Giveaway
October 18, 2009
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I used to be one that didn't try new foods, but since having my kids I have tried to be more open minded. I don't want them to be as picky as I was growing up. Sabra invited me to host a party to introduce people to their Sabra Hummus Dips. I was sent 4 coupons to purchase their products for my get together. I selected the garlic, classic, roasted red pepper and roasted pine nut flavors. I was so disappointed that my supermarket didn't carry the jalapeno hummus. For our dipping pleasure I chose Stacy's Pita chips, Veggie Chips and Wheatables. Hungry yet??

In case you haven't heard of
Sabra before, let me tell you a little about them. Sabra Hummus is very nutritious and heart healthy. It contains no fat or cholesterol. Sabra Hummus offers more than 26 Mediterranean spreads and dips nationwide. They come in 7oz, 10oz and 14oz tubs just perfect for entertaining or snacking. They have even recently made "to go" servings for individual use. It includes pretzels for dipping.

The consensus at the party was that they were very tasty. They had a nice creamy texture and they all loved the different flavors. The Roasted Red Pepper was my favorite of the four. If I could have gotten the Jalapeno or Chipotle flavors, I am sure one of them would have been my favorite. I won't say I will personally be purchasing them for everyday snacks, but for entertaining they were a hit! Remember, I am a picky eater. I will say that everyone else at the party enjoyed them. Hey, I said I was trying to get better about what I eat.

If you want to try Sabra Hummus Dips, you can purchase them at your local supermarket and specialty stores.

Kitten Lounge

Snazzy Sundays - Simple Pleasures
Sunday, October 18, 2009
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I love a lazy Sunday where you're able to kick back and just enjoy being at home. It's even better when you can do this on a super chilly or rainy day. I always have hummus, crackers and wine which can become an instant way to relax while working online, reading or whatever it is that you're up to. Earlier this summer, I was able to try Yuca Crackers. Although I tried various recipes, I have to say that this organic gluten free cracker is best enjoyed with hummus. When it comes to hummus, I love Sabra - you can't go wrong with any of their flavors. Even when you're alone, you can enjoy a nice glass of wine and there's no reason to save your favorite glasses until you have company, I love the Mara glass from Crate and Barrel. The coasters are a great way to keep track of whose glass is whose or if you and your boyfriend are enjoying it, you can have your own wine tasting. These coasters have chalk that comes with the set so whether you're writing your name, the vineyard or kind of wine - it's easily identified. Make Sun special before you head back into a crazy week!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Shedding It & Getting It

Healthy Grocery List
October 8, 2009
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To Market, To Market

Cooking and preparing my own meals is a huge part of my life. I am sure I sound like a broken record, but it’s the number one suggestion I have for people when it comes to taking control of your health. It’s economical, it’s healthy, it’s political, it’s empowering!

But the fact is, you can’t cook without a well-stocked kitchen. While grocery shopping and meal planning may seem overwhelming, I’ve finally come to understand the meaning of the word “staples.” Most recipes and dishes contain the same basic ingredients. I’m to the point now where, yes, I plan meals for the week, and I keep track of the few special ingredients I may need on my Blackberry, but 99 percent of the time, I can head to the grocery store without a list. And almost all the meals and recipes I post here use these basics.

I absolutely love grocery shopping; I love to wander the aisles, taking my time, reading labels…I always walk out renewed and stress-free. It’s my church. So…I thought I’d share my list! I noted brand names when I am particularly loyal to a certain brand; otherwise, I buy what’s on sale or experiment with new brands. Also this is my list whether I’m cooking for one or for four; the only major difference when I lived alone is that I bought less of everything — particularly less meat. Meat is pricey, and it takes a single girl much longer to eat a pound of it.

Weekly Items

  • Fresh vegetables: romaine lettuce, cucumbers, baby carrots, broccoli, celery, green peppers, red/yellow/orange peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, lemons, limes. These are the cheap raw veggies that I always need handy for salads, wraps, or for a crunchy lunch side.
  • Fresh fruits: apples, bananas, peaches. Again, usually not too expensive, so I can buy a lot — I generally eat one of each every day!
  • Canned goods: no-salt-added canned diced tomatoes are indispensable!! Ahhh! I usually buy two or three cans a week; they can turn almost anything into a legit meal. Also in this aisle: canned pumpkin, several cans of black beans and chickpeas, a can of light tuna, and a couple cans of soup. I love canned stuff because it’s not expensive and it keeps for a while; I definitely buy low/no-sodium though.
  • Dairy: skim/soy milk, a 16-ounce container of fat-free plain organic yogurt, one type of inexpensive, reduced-fat cheese (like shredded Mexican, good Parmesan, or crumbled feta). The plain yogurt is a great snack and can be used in dips, sauces, and as a sour cream substitute. Whichever cheese you go with, try to plan meals that are in that flavor family that week.
  • Liquid egg whites
  • Bread: whole-wheat English muffins and one type of “lunch” bread (wraps, whole-wheat wraps, bread, buns, etc.). I try to change it up weekly.
  • Protein: skinless chicken breasts, 96 percent lean ground beef, all-lean ground turkey breast, lean pork chops
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, cilantro, basil. Herbs aren’t expensive, but they often get wasted because the bunches are rather big. I usually just choose one per week.
  • Salsa


  • Kashi Heart to Heart frozen waffles
  • Garlic, sweet potatoes, red and white onions (these keep long enough to buy every couple weeks)
  • A head of cauliflower, jicama, mushrooms, bagged fresh spinach, green onions, avocado (I like them, but I can go without them for longer)
  • Thinly sliced deli turkey (same – I can survive meatless lunches or revamp leftovers from dinner)
  • Morningstar original veggie burgers or black bean burgers
  • Grains: brown rice, couscous, Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta (again, they last a while)
  • An additional variety of fruit, based on what looks good, sounds good, or is just on sale.
  • Luna or Larabars
  • A few single-serving containers of fat-free or reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • A bag of Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips
  • Sabra hummus
  • Frozen salmon burgers or frozen salmon fillets
  • Jarred pasta sauce (usually Newman’s Own)
  • Trader Joe’s garlic chicken sausage
  • Light firm tofu
  • No sodium chicken and veggie broth

Once-a-Month (or less) Items

  • Olive oil and canola oil
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar
  • All-natural BBQ sauce
  • Honey
  • A bottle of Newman’s Own Lighten Up! Dressing
  • Bulk almonds
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Two bags of frozen fruit; I mix up the varieties, depending on how the fresh fruit looks, but I like frozen peaches, cherries, bluebs, and strawbs for smoothies.
  • Frozen broccoli and a few frozen ready-to-steam Green Giant veggie sides
  • A few Amy’s frozen burritos
  • Pre-ground spices: cinnamon, garlic, nutmeg, thyme, cumin, curry powder, basil, rosemary, lemon pepper, sea salt. If you don’t have a lot of spices yet, buy them a few at a time. The good thing is they keep for a year!
  • A couple cans of light coconut milk.
  • Almond butter
  • Frozen shrimp
  • One box of a healthy cereal or granola
  • Cocoa powder
  • Whole-wheat flour
  • Coffee and tea

So-You-Worked-Some Overtime Items

  • A second type of nut butter
  • More fresh fruit
  • More exotic/recipe-specific veggies
  • Boxed snacks – Kashi TLC bars, Bear Naked granola, crackers, etc. These items tend to be pricey, so I just don’t eat them every day.
  • Frozen shelled edamame
  • Fresh fish
  • A block of really good cheese

After a few years of experimenting, this is what I stick with to be as healthy and budget-conscious as possible. I’ve learned that I waste bread if I buy too many varieties of it. From the dairy to the deli, I only buy enough to use. I can count how many days are in a week. If I’m buying tofu, then I’m not buying beef. I know how many lunches I can get out of a pound of chicken breasts. That extra-few-minutes thought process has really helped me save money. I’ve also learned that it’s cheaper to make snacks out of whole foods (like fruits, cottage cheese, and nuts) than it is to buy the packaged stuff for convenience. I’ve stopped relying so much on frozen meals, but it’s good to have on hand, and when I’m broke, my frozen-to-fresh ratio for fruits and veggies definitely shifts heavily to the cold stuff. I also don’t buy ice cream or frozen bars; I think it’s overpriced and I prefer treats made from scratch and just plain fruit. Obviously this reflects my personal tastes to a degree, but you know how I eat — now you can see how I shop. When you have a well-stocked kitchen, cookbooks and recipes will be way less intimidating. It’s truly amazing how healthy your diet can be (and how much money you can save) by just sticking with the staples.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Cooked From the Heart

Bruschetta & Sabra Hummus Giveaway
September 25, 2009
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In the wake of watching the movie Julie and Julia, The Clone decided she would like bruschetta for a light dinner. She actually wanted to fry the bread too, just like in the movie, but I just could not do it (as deliciously browned and crispy it looked on screen). We opted instead to cook it in the oven as we usually do.

We picked tomatoes and basil from our backyard and the only thing we needed was some bread so off to the market we went. While at the store, I remembered I had a coupon for Sabra hummus. So I picked up a pack of those too. I chose the Spinach and Artichoke flavor and the regular flavored hummus just for comparison.

We usually get our hummus from Cosco and the pack that we get there has twice as much in volume for the same price as the Sabra hummus. HOWEVER, after just one taste of the Sabra hummus, my girls and I declared it better of the two. The Sabra hummus is lighter, almost like a whipped version of the other hummus we used to get. The flavor is also more intense and smoother. While the girls were not too keen on the Spinach and Artichoke flavor, I, on the other hand, loved it! They liked the plain one better but I think it’s more that they are used to their hummus plain. I liked the change!

So when we got home and made our bruschetta, I decided to add Sabra hummus to mine and before you know it, everyone else was doing the same thing! I’m ashamed to say we finished the whole tub in one sitting :)

Now lucky for you, you’ll get a chance to win 4 tubs of Sabra hummus compliments of Sabra and Buzz Cooperative. See details below.


Prize: Party pack which includes 4 free product coupons and a $25 gift certificate

To Enter:
1. Leave a comment and tell me which Sabra Hummus flavor you would like to try

For additional entries you can also:
2. Follow @Sabra on Twitter
3. Share this giveaway in any media such as Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, Facebook, etc. There is a share button at the end of this post for your convenience. Just make sure to come back and leave a comment for each share you make and you will gain an entry for each one.
4. Blog this giveaway and you will earn 3 entries. Leave a link to your post.

1. Giveaway ends on October 10, 2009
2. Open to US addresses only. No PO Boxes.
3. Winner will be chosen by and contacted by email. Please respond in 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.