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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.

Gifting With NatureBox (A Giveaway!).

Taking a quick break from Thanksgiving recipes to talk about holiday gifts!  I am typically not very good at planning ahead, as these days I feel like I live life hour by hour.   But one of the few things I’m good about doing in advance is holiday gift-giving.  I live for this time of year, and I have so much fun picking out things that I know my friends and family will love.

Last year I gave a few subscription boxes for holiday gifts, and I think they were all a big hit!  I know these boxes are all the rage right now, and while I’ve only tried a few, I have had only good experiences so far.  Who doesn’t love a surprise package on the doorstep full of personalized goodies?  And even better – a box full of hand-picked delicious snacks!  Hello, NatureBox!

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I shared my first experience with NatureBox with you guys a year ago, so this holiday season I figured it was time for an update.  For those who are new to NatureBox, here is the basic rundown:

  • A subscription service that provides monthly snack boxes – hand-selected by you! – and delivers them to your doorstep. 
  • An online “pantry” feature so you can choose your snacks each month – over 100 snacks ranging from sweet to salty and everything in between, 
  • All products are from quality ingredients and contain no high fructose corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oils, no trans fats, no artificial sweeteners, no artificial colors, and no artificial flavors.
  • Each bag contains 3 to 5 servings, and is full-sized. 
  • Boxes range from $15.95 to $19.95 per month and includes free shipping (you can save more by pre-paying several months or a whole year at once!).

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In our house, even the dogs get excited when the box arrives!

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I was really excited when the “pantry” option became available, because now I hand-pick my snacks each month.  Being able to choose is so nice, because I can pick things that I know my kids will like (and gravitate toward some of the lower-sugar items), and also pick things that will pack/travel well, not be choking hazards, etc.  Also, each snack has a picture which is really helpful when deciding what sounds tasty.pantry

If you don’t feel like browsing the whole catalog of snacks, you can also set filters depending on your mood or preferences.  You can filter by taste (savory, sweet, salty, or tart), nutrition (vegan, no sugar added, etc.), and ingredients (common allergens like eggs, soy, etc.).  We don’t have any major food allergies in our family, but I can see this being a really useful tool to someone who wants to ensure that all snacks are safe for their family.

snack types

Here is a peek at our last box, and what we snacked on this month.  I had to keep snatching the bags away from both Casey and the boys in order to get some pictures before everything disappeared. 

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First up, pumpkin spice nom noms.  Omg – delicious!  As you can see from the picture, there was only one left by the time I got my camera out.  Now admittedly, I am not a fan of the name “nom nom,” but the taste more than made up for the cheesy title.  I like that they had seasonal options available, and this tasted like a perfectly spiced tiny cookie bite. 

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These were definitely treats for the adults, as they had a bit more sugar and decadence than I think the kids need on a regular basis.  A perfect after-dinner dessert or afternoon comfort when my toddler is skipping his nap for the fourth day in a row.

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These black sesame seed clusters were picked out with Cullen in mind.  He loves crunchy, bite-sized stuff, and these had lots of good healthy fat and protein in each serving.  I took these along with us to a haircut, and he sat still for over thirty minutes!

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The whole wheat apple pie figgy bars are like a healthier, tastier version of the old-school nutri-grain bars.  Both kids love these, and I like that they come in individually wrapped bars that are easy to toss into my bag.  They are perfectly sized for tiny hands too!

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I picked out the ancient grains granola with Casey in mind – he eats it all the time as his favorite snack, and sometimes even for dessert.  Not surprisingly, he tore into this bag almost immediately, and I barely got a small serving by the time it was photographed.  I liked that unlike most granolas, it had very little sweetener, and it was a great blend of ancient grains with delicious crunch. 

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The sunshine chips and everything bagel stix were my salty indulgences.  These were things I snacked on while I watched TV at night, or mid-day between lunch and dinner when I needed a boost.  Both were delicious and addictive – hard not to eat the whole bag in one sitting!

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Each time we get a NatureBox, I set all the bags up on our snack shelf in the pantry.  Cullen gets so excited when he sees there are new things to choose from beyond the boring fruit leathers and pretzels we usually have.  I like that I can provide some fun snacks that I know are made from quality ingredients without any fake additives. 

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This year, I’m giving NatureBox for a few birthday and holiday gifts to friends and family.  I think it’s a really fun service, and when given as a gift, it keeps the celebration going for months and months!

If you want to join NatureBox today, they are offering a FREE sample box of some of their most loved snacks! Click here to get started! Free trial is available for new and US subscribers only. Not valid on gift subscriptions and may not be combined with any other offers.


In addition, my friends at NatureBox have offered a giveaway to two lucky Daily Garnish readers!  Two winners will each win a free 6-month subscription to NatureBox.

To Enter: Browse the snacks page and leave a comment letting us know what snack you’d like to try most!  Open to US residents only. Must have a US shipping address. Giveaway will end Thursday November 27th, 2014. 

Good luck, and happy gifting this season!

This post is sponsored by NatureBox.  Thanks for your continued support of Daily Garnish!

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh.

Let the Thanksgiving cooking begin!  And not a minute too late, as the holidays are sneaking up on me faster than I can cook and photograph.  This is the first of several recipes I really wanted to share here this year.

Thanksgiving is without a doubt my absolutely favorite holiday, and I can’t think of anything better than a day spent entirely focused on food (okay, and the National Dog Show at my house).  We have been vegetarian for five years (!) now, and still every year I find that someone is worried about “what we will eat” at the dinner table.  Come on guys, it’s all about the side dishes, right?

I could live on a plate of mashed potatoes and cranberries alone, but it’s definitely good to have a few more complete dishes to round out the vegetarian menu.  For those of you concerned with serving a vegetarian or vegan entrée or protein at your Thanksgiving table – this one is for you.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

It might look like a simple salad, but it’s an entrée that will leave you more than satisfied.  Delicious wilted kale accented with all sorts of tasty things like fresh pomegranate seeds, salty olives, and sweet dried cranberries.  But the additions of chewy wheatberries and tasty tempeh move this salad from side dish to the center of the table. 

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries and Tempeh

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

  • 1 block tempeh
  • splash of orange juice
  • 1 cup cooked wheatberries (or 1/2 cup dry)
  • 10 oz kale, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup Spanish olives
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange muscat vinegar
  • pinch of salt
  • gorgonzola crumbles (optional)


If you don’t have cooked wheatberries already, you’ll want to get those started first. I cooked several cups in my rice cooker (and tossed the leftovers into the fridge for lunches), but you can also just cook them on the stovetop.

Festive Kale Salad with with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Add 1/2 cup dry wheatberries to 1 cup water in a sauce pan, and simmer until the wheatberries are tender – around 20 minutes. Season with salt, drain, and set aside.

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Cube tempeh into bite sized pieces. In a non-stick pan, sauté tempeh over medium high heat in order to get some good color and browning.

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Add a few splashes of orange juice to deglaze, and stir frequently. Season with salt, and set aside once it is finished cooking.

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While the tempeh cooks, go ahead and prep the rest of your ingredients. Chop the olives and de-seed your pomegranate.

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For this kale salad, you want the kale to be chopped very finely. I used a bag of pre-shredded organic kale (from Trader Joe’s) and I still chopped it to be quite a bit finer.

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Add the kale to a large sauté pan, along with 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt, and cover with a lid. You aren’t trying to cook it to death, just wilt it, so stir often and uncover after a minute or so.

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Once the kale has wilted and softened a bit, remove it and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped olives, dried cranberries, drained wheatberries, pomegranate seeds, and cooked tempeh. Add the zest of one orange over top.

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In a small bowl, whisk together the orange vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt to make the dressing.  I use this vinegar from Trader Joe’s!

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Pour over top of the salad mixture, and stir well to combine.  Add any additional salt to taste.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily GarnishFestive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

Serve at room temperature, and garnish with gorgonzola crumbles if you love them  as much as I do.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

I love this salad because it can be a perfect side dish to a bigger meal (like say, Thanksgiving!) but it can also stand on its own as a complete dish. 

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

All the bright citrus and sweet flavors of orange and cranberry pair so well with the salty olives and tangy gorgonzola.  This salad has a lot going on, but definitely in a good way.

Festive Kale Salad with Wheatberries & Tempeh by Daily Garnish

This is the perfect dish to serve if you’re entertaining vegans (leave out the cheese!) or vegetarians and don’t know what to make, and it is just as good the next day as leftovers.

Several more recipes coming next week!  It is most definitely the most wonderful time of the year, and absolutely my favorite food to cook.  Happy Friday, friends!

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