THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for July 23, 2013

PRODUCT: New Delights From Garden Lites

We’re big fans of the Garden Lites Line, both the veggie muffins and the vegetable soufflés.

Garden Lites Veggie Muffins

The line, previously represented by delicious Carrot Berry and Chocolate Zucchini muffins, has been joined by Veggie Blueberry Oat and Banana Chocolate Chip. As we write this, we’re enjoying the two new flavors with a cup of tea.

The all natural Veggie Muffins are made of 1/3 fresh vegetables. Each muffin is shrink-wrapped for easy portability. Just let the frozen muffins defrost naturally or heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds: You’ll have an extremely moist treat that’s right-sized (not super-sized) at 120 calories per muffin (3 Weight Watchers points), with 5g fiber.

The recipes contain eggs but are dairy free, gluten free, nut free and soy free. The muffins are certified kosher (parve) by Star-K.


Big chunks of chocolate 5g protein? What could be better? Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.


Our favorite new flavor. Photo by Elvira
Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.


Garden Lites Veggie Soufflés

We simply love these delightful soufflés as healthful snacks. The original nine flavors have been augmented with two more: Loaded Potato Soufflé, a potato, broccoli and chive soufflé topped with cheddar cheese sauce; and Veggie Chili and Cornbread Melt, a delicious cornbread base topped with vegetable chili and cheddar cheese sauce.

These new additions led us to the blinding revelation of the obvious: That we could add a bit of cheese sauce or grated parmesan to any of the soufflé flavors. In fact, a sprinkle of our own grated parmesan (not from a can, please) added much more flavor than the cheddar sauce.

It gave the Loaded Potato some needed extra seasoning. But the Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt is a winner: a great combination of flavors and textures that transported us to the Southwest.


Both new varieties have 200 calories, two servings of vegetables and 5 Weight Watchers points. Loaded Potato has 11g protein, Veggie Chili has 9 g protein. The soufflés are certified kosher (dairy) by Star-D.

The products are available at select Costco locations and other retailers. Check the store locator for the store nearest you.


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RECIPE: Deep Fried Calamari With Jalapeños

Crispy, deep-fried calamari and jalapeños? Yes, please—and don’t forget the beer.

How can you make fried calamari even better?

  • Use cornmeal instead of regular flour. We use Bob’s Red Mill Blue Cornmeal Flour, which also comes in a gluten-free version.
  • Batter and fry some fresh jalapeños with it.
    The idea to add jalapeños comes from Five Napkin Burger, a wildly popular burger chain in New York City (and deservedly so). The restaurant serves the calamari with a spicy marinara sauce. Nice, but we can be even happier with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon.

    The restaurant uses wheat flour, but we beseech you to try cornmeal. The flavor and texture are truly exciting. Pick up a sack of fine cornmeal flour and use it for everything you fry.


    Fried calamari with jalapeños. Photo courtesy
    Five Napkin Burger.




  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 pound cleaned squid with tentacles; bodies cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
  • 4 large jalapeño chiles (about 3″ long), sliced*
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • Optional: 1 cup marinara sauce, spicy arrabiata sauce, tartar sauce or other condiment
    *If you want less heat, remove the seeds and white spine from the jalapeños.


    Sliced jalapeños. You can use red or green
    chiles. Photo by Brybs | SXC.



    1. ADD three inches of oil to a large, heavy saucepan. Heat over medium to 350°F.

    2. COMBINE the flour, parsley, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Working in small batches, toss the squid and jalapeños in the seasoned flour to coat.

    3. ADD the squid and jalapeños to the oil and fry until crisp and very pale golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate or tray to drain.

    4. SERVE with lemon wedges and optional sauce.



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    TIP OF THE DAY: Spicy Olive Mix

    Like many gourmet supermarkets, ours has a large olive bar that entices us to scoop different varieties at each visit. Why not: Olives are a healthful, lower-calorie snack.

    There’s a pitted spicy olive mix that we especially like to serve with drinks and toss into salads. We like the visual of different colors and sizes, but you can use whatever olives you like.

    It’s also an easy-to-make gift to bring as a house gift. Here’s a recipe from Pompeian olive oil:


  • 2 cups olives
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 thin orange and lemon slices
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • Pinch of hot pepper flakes
  • Whole or chopped rosemary sprigs for garnish

    Make this spicy olive recipe for your guests. Photo courtesy Pompeian Olive Oil.


    1. COMBINE ingredients (except garnish) in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the olives with a slotted spoon and serve.

    2. RESERVE the infused oil for a vinaigrette, or use it to store any leftover olives.


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