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For Better Health

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I was contacted by Swanson Health Products with the opportunity to review some of their items and services. I said yes because I was out of all the vitamins and supplements I usually take! Perfect timing, I won’t lie. I also liked that it was a family owned business. I looked through their website and then agreed.

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They gave me a $25 promo code and said I could buy whatever I wanted. I was shocked at how affordable the products were. That $25 went a long way! Take a look at what I got:

Biotin
5 mg 100 Caps
$3.59
Folic Acid
800 mcg 500 Caps
$3.89
Coconut Water Sensitive Skin Cleanser
4 fl oz Liquid
$9.10
ProLacto Acidophilus
60 Veg Caps
$7.99
ProLacto Acidophilus
60 Veg Caps
$.00
HiActives Tart Cherry
465 mg 60 Caps
$6.99

After the promo code, I paid about $11 (part of that was shipping cost). I was incredibly impressed with the prices. They were much better than Amazon, which is where I usually buy my vitamins. Look at all that!

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I take Acidophilus on a daily basis. I swear by acidophilus! I think it’s a fantastic supplement and I think probiotics also keep me from not getting sick a lot. I am exposed to a lot of stuff where I work but thankfully I only get sick once or twice a year, if that. It was cool that Swanson’s was having a sale, buy one get one free, for something I use every day. I loved that they had a special of buy one get one free, too.

The Folic Acid is not just for pregnant women, and no I’m not pregnant. A friend recommended I try taking it because there are many more benefits even if you aren’t pregnant. It’s supposed to help prevent various cancers, including colon and cervical cancer, and it is also supposed to help with depression! I liked the idea of treating seasonal depression naturally than with a prescription. Folic acid is also supposed to help hypertension and brain function.

The HiActives Tart Cherry supplement was something new to me. I’d never heard of it before but was intrigued by the description. The antioxidants are supposedly great for joints and the heart. I need all the help I can get with my joints!

The Biotin is for healthy skin, hair and nails. I need ALL of that. With all the swimming I do, my nails, skin and hair are usually screaming for a cure from the chlorine. Biotin has helped in the past, so I’m trying it again.

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The coconut water cleanser was an impulse buy, but I thought it might be a nice, gentle cleanser after working out.

I’ve tried the cleanser a few times at night now and I really liked it. It was soft and almost had a consistency of soft butter. It felt velvety on my skin and smelled fantastic. It didn’t dry out my skin like a lot of cleansers do, but it’s too soon to tell if it will help my recent acne outbreak. I liked the cleanser so much, though, that I’m going to see if they have a lotion, too.

What vitamins do you take on a daily basis for better health?

Sweet and Savory Fall Pasta

There’s an intense feeling of pride when you accomplish something you could never do before. I am in no way a good cook. I never really learned how to cook and for a long time, most of meals came out of a box or from the freezer. Learning how to eat in a healthy way started the evolution of food for me. Now, I want to eat healthy, real foods that provide me with the nutrients I need to be fit and active. Living with Michael, who can create recipes off the top of his head, has made me excited to cook things in the kitchen.

This weekend I created a recipe all my own. I was asked by Barilla again to create something with their pasta because they really liked my last recipe creation. The reason I said yes was because I was intrigued by their new product line: veggie pasta! They have three new pastas out that are made with vegetables. The rotini is made with zucchini and spinach, the penne is made with tomatoes and carrots and the farfalle is made with carrots and squash. They sent me a box of the farfalle and that’s what I used for this recipe.

I was so fascinated by the concept. Pasta enriched with vegetable and providing a fill serving of vegetables? That’s awesome! Especially for people who may not be veggie fanatics like myself. The farfalle was orange in color and I was curious if it would taste sweet like carrots and squash.

I created this recipe with foods I already had in my house: I had a bunch of gala apples and sweet Walla Walla onions. A plan was starting to form. I went to Trader Joe’s to get some of their creamy chevre goat cheese and of course, a bottle of wine to go with dinner. 🙂

The original concept did not include sausage. I was going to chop up some toasted walnuts and mix that into the pasta but apparently 400 degrees was a tad too warm for roasting:

Ooops. Michael suggested we chop up some sausages as a replacement to the crispy walnuts to add some protein to the dish and to balance out some of the sweetness of the apples and onions. That was a good call. The apple chicken sausage we bought at Costco recently was delicious! I don’t know that we’ll buy anything else in the future!

Sweet and Savory Fall Pasta

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Category: calories, Contest, Dinner, food, Food update, Giveaway, Low Calorie Recipes, Michael, pasta, recipes, Recommendations, Sponsors

Servings: 6 servings

Created by Lisa

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce box of Barilla Veggie Farfalle pasta
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 small-medium apples, cored and chopped
  • 1 small package of goat cheese
  • 2 Aidells chicken and apple sausages
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Dried Parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the onions into medium length pieces. Cut the apples into bite size chunks.
  2. Caramelize the onions in a skillet with butter. Do not add sugar to the onions to caramelize them, the apples will release enough sugar for that. When the onions are almost caramelized, add the apple chunks to cook with the onions. When the apples have softened, it's done.
  3. Cook the pasta in a large pot of water for 9-10 minutes. Reserve some of the water. Drain.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, boil some water and cook the sausage links for about 7 minutes, then cook the sausage links in a skillet until browned.
  5. Pour the pasta, onions and apples into a very large bowl. Add the goat cheese crumbles to the bowl and mix well until the pasta is all coated with cheese. Add some of the reserved pasta water as needed.
  6. Season with salt, pepper, parsley and Italian seasoning to taste.
  7. Chop the sausage into chunks and add to the pasta. Mix it all together and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Sweet and Savory Fall Pasta

Serves 2 ounces of pasta

Amount Per Serving
Calories About 400
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=34987

The onions were caramelizing in the skillet while the sausage cooked and the pasta boiled. The aromas that were coming from the onions and apples were fantastic. According to Michael, whenever I make a new recipe I say “I hope it’s edible.” I never said that with this recipe because I could tell it was going to be delicious.

I mixed everything together in a big bowl and added the goat cheese and water from the pasta pot. The cheese melted into a creamy sauce and coated the pasta. I added a little bit of salt and pepper to balance the sweetness of the dish, as well as some dried herbs.

It isn’t often that I make a recipe that I love so much that I cannot wait to eat the leftovers. I loved my dish! It turned out so great and it made me feel confident and proud that I could create something from scratch that actually tasted fantastic!

I loved the balancing act of the sweet and savory. The sausage had a hint of sweetness to it, but not too much and the goat cheese evened out the rest of the sugary flavors. It was not overpowering at all. I bet sauteed kale would be a great addition to this recipe, too.

Give this recipe a try, you won’t be sorry!

In addition to the giveaway I have below, there are more chances to win prizes from Barilla. Just download “Capture the Pasta” on your Android or iPhone and you can win tons of prizes! (“CAPTURE THE PASTA” PROMOTION from 09/22/2012 to 12/01/2012 (ET). Over $100,000 in total prizes. See official rules on Barilla.com/capturethepasta. No purchase or payment necessary to enter to win.)

Want to Try It?

Barilla asked me to share the love with some of my readers. I have one $25 VISA gift card to give out along with some coupons to try their new pastas. I will pick one winner on Friday, November 16th. You can enter three times to win:

1) Follow me on Twitter and tweet: “I want to create my own pasta recipe with @BarillaUS pasta from @lisaeirene at  http://wp.me/p116Lc-96j″ Then leave a comment here telling me you did so.

2) Join my Facebook page and leave a comment here telling me you did.

3) Leave a comment telling me what recipe you would create.

Good luck!

DISCLAIMER – WHILE THE PRODUCT WAS PROVIDED TO ME FROM BARILLA, MY REVIEWS AND OPINIONS ARE ENTIRELY MY OWN.