Thursday, July 29, 2010

Recipe Box: Roasted Vegetable Souffle

Since nothing is better than a quickly prepared dish of chicken with a side of vegetables, this week I am giving away my family's secret (and simple) chicken recipe.

Apricot Chicken

[Back story: This Apricot Chicken won me the heart of my long time boyfriend and brought back his faith in my culinary skills after an initial rough start. It's great for a night of summertime grilling and lite eating!]

Italian Dressing
Apricot Preserves
Chicken (I prefer boneless skinless chicken breasts)
The night before, toss the chicken in a Ziploc bag along with a decent amount of Italian Dressing. Let it marinate overnight. (Or for an afternoon if you are in a pinch!)

Grill the chicken as normal and partway through, brush Apricot Preserves on both sides. To ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly, reach an internal temperature of 170 degrees.

Right before serving, top with a little extra Apricot Preserves and you're good to go! The mixture of sour salad dressing and sweet preserves make for a mouth-watering combination, while your chicken stays moist and delicious.

Next time you're at a loss for what to feed your family, try my Apricot Chicken paired with a Roasted Vegetable Souffle for a side and you'll be sure to please!

Enjoy! (and let me know what you think!)


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

GL Focus: Nut Free

Over the past few years, nut allergy awareness has spread like - peanut butter? But if you suffer from an allergy to nuts, it's nothing to laugh at. Nut allergies are very serious, even deadly, and for those affected, food labels are a lifeline.

You may have noticed on each Garden Lites box the words "Nut Free." It may not seem like a big deal, but to produce our foods in a nut-free facility means a lot. We have done our part to help the nut-free community, but the question still remains: What are nut allergies and why are they so widespread all of a sudden? Let's learn a little more about this growing concern.

Growing up my mom never thought twice to pack a PBJ for lunch, but now many schools have banned the dangerous nut. And for good reason, the allergies are more prevalent in children than adults. Many blame over sanitizing around infants. A lack of exposure to germs and other bacteria can create weaker immune systems. But studies have shown that may not be the only cause.

Nut allergies could happen because of when a food was introduced, or even how. "Roasted peanuts, for instance, have increased allergenicity because cooking changes the nature of the proteins in the nut" claims a MedPage Today article on the topic. The same article reports peanut allergies have tripled among children between 1997 and 2008. As if that wasn't shocking enough, a survey was done and found 1.4% of children have peanut allergies. Sometimes fatal, called anaphylaxis when your respiratory system goes into distress, peanut allergies are now the number one cause of food allergy deaths. Not to say that everyone who is allergic will have such severe reactions, but it is important to know how serious these allergies can get.

Here are some other symptoms people with peanut allergies could have (from the National Peanut Board website)

skin irritation - rash, hives, itching or swelling
respiratory tract - wheezing, cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath, sneezing, runny nose
cardiovascular system - dizziness, lightheadedness, loss of consciousness, chest pain
gastro-intestinal tract - stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
"Experts do not know why some people have mild reactions and others have life threatening reactions," the National Peanut Board reports. Nut allergies are not something you outgrow either. Unlike other food allergies, peanut allergies tend to be a lifelong issue. So finding good foods to rely on for meals is very important.

If you or your child is diagnosed with a peanut allergy, Garden Lites souffles and dishes could be a great way to ensure a healthy and allergen-friendly meal. The best way to find out if you or someone you love has food allergies is to go to a Board Certified Allergist and get diagnosed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Craving some zucchini...

Today the boss brought in zucchini fresh from his garden. It got me to reminiscing about sliced summer squash and zucchini dishes dripping with cheese and warm, fresh homemade zucchini bread right out of the oven with a layer of melted butter. As I wiped the drool from my mouth, I realized my relationship with zucchini wasn't as healthy as it could be.

Zucchini was meant to be good for you, not an excuse to pack in extra sugars and fats into your diet.

At moments of clarity, such as these, I think it's best to give myself a "get real"ity check.

Contender 1: Homemade Zucchini Bread


Serving Size: 1 slice (1/12 of the loaf)
Calories: 223
Total Fat: 10g
Cholesterol: 26mg
Sodium: 180mg
Total Carbs: 31.4g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7g
Protein: 2.5g
Vitamin A: 1%
Vitamin C: 3%
Calcium: 3%
Iron: 9%

*Information provided on by ESHA Research

Contender 2: Garden Lites Zucchini Souffle


Serving Size: 1 package (7oz. souffle)
Calories: 140
Total Fat: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 20mg
Sodium: 320mg
Total Carbs: 24g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Protein: 7g
Vitamin A: 8%
Vitamin C: 35%
Calcium: 4%
Iron: 6%

The first thing that strikes me is the fat content of the zucchini bread - 10 grams!!!

Once my arteries have recovered, I'd like to point out a common misconception. Bread does not equal fiber. You'd have to eat more than 4 1/4 slices of zucchini bread to get the dietary fiber amount that's in one Garden Lites Zucchini Souffle. That would equal 947 calories, 42.5g of fat, 110mg Cholesterol...

Whether you're having a Garden Lites Zucchini Souffle as a side or a mini-meal, the benefits speak for themselves; it's a much healthier, more well-rounded option to eating your vegetables. Each souffle packs 2 full servings of vegetables (compared to the 0.16% serving of vegetables you get from a serving of fresh zucchini bread) and comes without guilt.

Also, it's ready in only 6-8 minutes in the microwave vs. 1 hr 40 minutes to make the zucchini bread.

Winner... Garden Lites Zucchini Souffle!!!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Recipe Box: Cauliflower Souffle

This week's recipe we'll focus on pairings with Garden Lites Cauliflower Souffle.

Cauliflower is an awesome source of Vitamin C and Fiber, while Carrots pack a huge punch of Vitamin A. Our souffle combines the two to provide 80% of your daily value of both Vitamin A & C and has 4g of dietary fiber. In addition to those great attributes, the Cauliflower Souffle also has 7g of Protein.

I never would have thought I'd be writing about how great cauliflower is; I still remember the days that I wouldn't eat a single vegetable unless it had cheese sauce on it. Maybe you already like cauliflower, maybe not, but why not give it a try this weekend as a nice lite meal.

Taste notes: (courtesy of Weight Watchers website!)
Cauliflower goes well with most nuts except peanuts, and is great with dried fruits like raisins, sultanas and currants. Ground cinnamon, cumin, coriander and nutmeg are all great spices with cauliflower.

Chicken Salad:
(Yields 4, so make the full batch and then save the rest for lunch the next day!)

Toss together in a bowl:

3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 peeled, cored and diced apple
2 tbsp raisins
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 cup halved red seedless grapes
1/2 cup lite mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
4 tsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp each salt and black pepper

Serve atop a bed of baby spinach and enjoy!

If you have a recipe pairing or Garden Lites meal idea you'd like highlighted in future Recipe Box articles, send them to!

Peace & Good Eatin'


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Zucchini Portabella Review!

What made my day today? A great review for one of my personal favorite Garden Lite items... Zucchini Portabella!

For me to say over and over again how healthy and delicious our products are is one thing, but when reviewers echo my feelings it really validates what I'm saying. Garden Lites has the potential to help people live healthier and it's great that word is spreading.

What's so special about our zucchini dishes (both Portabella and Marinara) is that they have the appeal of a pasta dish without the pasta. Keeping it gluten free and extra fresh. The strips of zucchini give each bite a crispness and the sauces are seasoned to perfection. It's enough food for a great lunchtime meal, or as a healthy side to dinner.

Yesterday's article came out on the fitness blog, and can be viewed here: Too Good To Be Food: Garden Lites Zucchini Portabella

If you don't have time to sit down and read the whole article right now (I do recommend taking a gander at some point), here are some of the highlights...

"Many of these frozen foods have ingredient lists that don’t even appear to be in English, which can make finding a healthy frozen option a challenge. [...] The first five ingredients are real food!"

"Garden Lites Zucchini Portabella , which has 110 calories per dish (love that it is for the entire box!) and is all natural (we know that doesn’t always mean that much) and gluten-free (a bonus for many of you)."

"Bottom Line: Get eating! This product is not too good to be food! Although it does have 390 mg of sodium, the real-food ingredients, fiber, antioxidants and its low-calorie nature make it not worth the pass."

This article, and other reviews can be foung in our "In the Media" section. If you have a review of our product you'd like to share with us, submit it to us at! We always enjoy hearing from you.

Peace & Good Eatin'


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GL Focus: Gluten Free

Each week we'll focus on a different aspect of Garden Lites and how you can work it into your healthy lifestyle. This week's topic: Gluten

You may see me boasting how all of Garden Lites' products are Gluten Free, it seems to be all the buzz lately. But do you know what gluten is? With the help of I gathered some basic facts about this rapidly growing allergy that you may not have known about.
    • Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
    • Gluten intolerance, known as Celiac disease, is a genetic disorder that
      affects at least 1 in 133 Americans.
    • Symptoms of Celiac disease include diarrhea, weight loss and malnutrition.

Here's a link to the Mayo Clinic outlining the do's and don'ts of following a gluten free diet.

It's becoming more and more popular for Americans not suffering from Celiac disease seeking a healthier lifestyle to adopt a gluten free diet. In 2008 Oprah began following a 21-day cleanse that among other things included eliminating - you guessed it - gluten! Now just because Oprah and a growing percentage of Americans are going gluten-free, please remember that I am not a doctor and you should speak to your doctor before making any radical changes to your diet. But if making a simple change can help your digestion and make you feel better from the inside out, why not look into it and see if going sans-gluten is right for you?

I am really looking forward to what this blog has coming up - spoiler alert! - Peg, our National Sales Director, and I, your trusty blogger (and Marketing Assistant!) Julie are going to embark upon a healthy lifestyle challenge. We are going to pull out all the stops and track our progress as we get real about our health and start thinking about what we eat. I can't wait!

Peace & Good Eatin'


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Facebook Up and Running!

Greetings GL fans!

We're just beginning to setup our
blog, Twitter and Facebook pages and are very excited to start sharing with you, the consumer.

If you haven't heard of Garden Lites before, boy are you in for a treat! Our single serving frozen souffles and dishes are not only delicious, but they have some great nutritional qualities...

*2 Full servings of vegetables
*High in Protein
*Low in Sodium
*All Natural
*Gluten Free

But what I personally feel is the biggest indicator of what a delicious and healthy product Garden Lites is....

You can pronounce every ingredient on the label!

So spread the word and add us to your Facebook so you can get recipes, tips and even more great information from us at Garden Lites as we set out to help America "Get Real" about what they are putting in their bodies!

Peace & Good Eatin'


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Welcome to Garden Lites!