(Video): Vegan Homemade Chili Recipe

Vegan Homemade Chili Recipe

While we are loving the cooler weather as an excuse to rock our favorite fall fashions, it is also an incredible time to enjoy the comforts of staying in. With that comes more cooking and baking with one of our favorite recipes being a Vegan Homemade Chili. A healthy addition for the whole family, this easy recipe was made in a slow cooker where you essentially combine the ingredients, set the timer and enjoy a hearty fall staple in a few hours. Be sure to check out this food video below, and discover even more tasty recipes by visiting our YouTube channel.

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Halloween-Inspired Lunch Ideas

We love decking the house for Halloween, but for even more Halloween spirit, add a little frightening fun to your kid’s lunch box with these eerie ideas. Not crafty? No worry. Scroll down to see our no-skill needed ideas.

Who can resist eating their fruits and veggies when they are presented like this? I mean, that FrankenKiwi? Love that.

Halloween Lunch Ideas

Banana Ghosts & Clementine Pumpkins | FrankenKiwi | Mummy Fruit | Monster Mouths & Carrot Fingers | Grape Spider | Jack O Lantern Fruit Cups

To satisfy a monster appetite, fill your kid’s lunch with one of these eerie entrees. Even better, have them help you the night before to make them.

Halloween Lunch Ideas 2

Mummy Pizza | Spider Eggs | Mummy On A Stick | Mummy Dog | String Cheese Brooms | Monster Sandwich

If craftiness is your not strength, try one of these no-skill needed Halloween lunch ideas that only require a Sharpie. Zero crafting skill needed, but still all the haunted fun.

Halloween Lunch Ideas 3

String cheese ghost | Pumpkin Fruit Cups | Pumpkin Clementine

Here’s to happy Halloween lunches this month!

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Unilever Project Sunlight

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1 in 5 children face hunger every day. To help drive awareness to the issue and to help solve the problem, Unilever launched Project Sunlight in November 2013. Unilever Project Sunlight embodies the consumer product company’s global mission that encourages people to take small steps that make a big difference toward building a brighter future for children. The initiative is made up of a growing community of people who believe in a world where everyone has enough food to eat and no child goes to bed hungry.

The Momtrends team is blessed to live in abundance when it comes to food. When we hear that an estimated 16 million children under 18 years old live in “food insecure” households which means they don’t know where – or when – their next meal will be, we try to jump in and help the cause.

Project Sunlight

It’s not just bloggers lending a voice to the campaign. Actor and advocate Josh Duhamel led the “Share A Meal” launch in partnership with Feeding America®.  Feeding America is the nation’s largest hunger relief organization. Josh says, “As a father, it’s inconceivable to me that the kids I see on the playground, or in my neighborhood, could be from a home that doesn’t have enough food on the table.”

Feeding America serves 12 million children each year. Through Feeding America, Unilever has been able to contribute nearly 30 million meals to families and children (more than 13 million pounds of food and more than $3 million in support) in just five years.

Now here is where YOU get involved. We put together this simple graphic to get you inspired to take part. Why not start by pinning or tweeting this image to get YOUR community inspired with the hashtag #ShareAMeal

stamp out hunger 2 Ways to give back:

· Help a Family in Your Neighborhood: Simply sharing a meal with a neighbor either in the form of a simple lunch or dinner party, or even packing an extra lunch for your child to take to school, could go a long way.
· Partner with Local Organizations: Local community organizations are great resources for sharing a meal in your area – simply tap into their networks to see how you can help.
· Coordinate with Your Local Food Bank: Whether you wish to volunteer or host your own local food drive, use Feeding America’s online Food Bank Locator tool to get in touch with a food bank in your area.
· Host a Virtual Food Drive: Feeding America’s Personal Fundraiser tool is a great place to start and to reach out to friends, family, and colleagues for contributions.
· Donate: Consider swapping a night out with a night in and share those extra savings with children and families in need in the form of a donation to Feeding America.
· You Buy One, We Give One: Look for the Unilever “You Buy One, We Give One” coupon offer in the Sunday paper on November 16. Redeem at participating stores from November 16 – 30 and Unilever will donate one meal* to Feeding America when you purchase any participating Unilever product.
· Lend Your Voice: Inspire others by revealing why you’re helping to end child hunger on social media using, “I #ShareAMeal because…”

Here’s a sample shopping list to print and share.

shopping list

To find out more about how you and your family can give help head to ProjectSunlight.us to download the Unilever Share A Meal Toolkit.

Need more inspiration? Award-winning filmmaker and Unilever Bright Future Award recipient, Patrick Creadon, teamed up with Unilever to create four-minute documentary about how Americans are grappling with child hunger in a, “Going to Bed Hungry: The Changing Face of Child Hunger.”

Click here to view the full 4-minute film on YouTube: http://youtu.be/hROIwULP914

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home and Personal Care products with sales in more than 190 countries.
Click here to find out more www.unileverusa.com

Click here to find out more about Feeding America a nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. feedingamerica.org

Momtrends is being sponsored by Unilever to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in America. All language and opinions are our own.*$1 helps provide 9 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local food banks. $0.111 from each qualifying coupon redemption will be donated to Feeding America. Unilever guarantees a minimum donation of $150,000 and a maximum donation of $200,000 from 11/16/14 to 11/30/14 date through the redemption of each coupon. Meal claims valid as of 5/29/14 through 12/31/14. Limit 1 per person, per household.

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Fair Trade Aprons from Dsenyo

Dsenyo Aprons

As an avid home cook with two little ones around, things can get messy. To combat any mess on my clothes I use aprons for my meal prep.

One of my favorite brands is Dsenyo, a member of the Fair Trade Federation who works with groups in Africa and Latin America to create jobs for those less fortunate.

Fair Trade Aprons from Dsenyo Fair Trade Aprons from Dsenyo product-2014-FALL2_large

Featuring a vivid and gorgeous collection of aprons, the Dsenyo collection showcases handmade aprons that are made by the Vipambi Women’s Group. This includes chic prints and colors like Blue Green, Fuchsia and Yellow Circles Handmade Full Pocket Apron, Purple and Green Circles Handmade Full Pocket Apron and much more! This can be used for cooking, grilling, art and much more!  Also, a fantastic gift option, these aprons are made with bright African patterns and 100% cotton African fabrics that is also washer and dryer friendly. 

Fair Trade Shopping Fair Trade Shopping

You can also discover tons of other unique items from Dsenyo including such features as their Handmade Greeting CardsKitana Necklace and the Eva Básica Clutch (among many others).

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New Subscription Box: The Candy Club

Candy Club

Do you have a sweet tooth that can’t be tamed? Well, then we have the perfect subscription box for you with Candy Club. As a monthly subscription service, you can enjoy curated sweets including a diverse selection of delicious favorites and hard-to-find classic candies conveniently delivered to your doorstep.

Candy Club

The concept is simple. First, visit Candy Club’s website (www.CandyClub.com) and choose a one, three, six, or 12 month plan option. Second, receive your box of premium, hand-picked candy delivered to your home or business every month. Last – and most important – enjoy! Selections vary each month, offering members an assortment of three different types of candy stored in novelty Candy Club containers.

One month’s box may surprise recipients with Haribo® Gummi Techno Bears, Sour Power® Wild Cherry Belts, Gimbal’s® Sour Gourmet Jelly Beans and, as an added bonus, Butterfields® Peach Buds – all on a bed of Sweet’s® Salt Water Taffy. Whether you’re craving a short-term fix or long-term satisfaction, Candy Club offers the perfect solution for your insatiable sweet tooth as it delivers classic, nostalgia-inducing candy that is sure to bring joy to whomever you give this special gift to.

We recently tested this out, and I loved that our box was filled with sweet treats like jelly beans, gummy bears and cherry belts and taffy that contained in bright and fun packaging and cool jars.

This would be a fantastic gift for the holidays, Valentine’s Day or a simple way to show that sweet person in your life that you are thinking of them. The boxes are $29.99/month, $24.99/month, $22.99/month, and $19.99/month, respectively (not including shipping) – which allows you to save cash while sweetening your or a special someone’s stash.

For more information about Candy Club and national online ordering, please visit www.candyclub.com.

Interested in joining the club? Use the code 35offjs2b19 at checkout to receive 35% off your first month’s payment. 

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Pregnancy Snacks and Meals We Love

Pregnancy Snacks and Meals

Pregnancy goes in waves from being nauseous to ravenous in just a few short month. Now that I am in my final few weeks, I have noticed my appetite beginning to increase again, yet there really isn’t that much room so I have been snacking a lot and eating smaller meals. Here are some of our current pregnancy staples for health, wellness and of course, deliciousness.

Alvardo St. Bakery

Alvardo St. Bakery: Bread often gets a bad rap, but after trying a selection of breads from Alvardo St. Bakery it is clear that not all breads are created equal. Take the delicious and hearty Sprouted California Complete Protein Bread where I have been enjoying sandwiches with this variety that contains organic sprouted whole wheat. This also includes bread that has no refined sugars, no added oil and no flour! I love how this is made with sprouted whole wheat (as opposed to wheat flour) that is fantastic for digestion as it allows nutrients and vitamins to be easily absorbed into the body. It also tastes amazing and offers a fiber-rich product that me and my growing belly need.

Crispy Fruit

Crispy Green: We love to snack on fresh fruits and veggies, but sometimes it is hard to carry them around. One alternative that we love is Crispy Greenthe maker of Crispy Fruit – “100% pure fruit, nothing else!” This includes a delicious variety of Crispy Fruit snacks such as Tangerine, Apple, Asian Pear, Banana, Cantaloupe, Mango and Pineapple. Crispy Fruit comes in individual, single-serving packets that are easy to pop into lunch boxes, soccer bags, overnight totes and backpacks. All Crispy Fruit flavors are also available in a convenient “Grab & Go” 6-pack – six single-serving bags (MSRP: $7.99) or individual, single-serving bags (MSRP: $1.49 each) that provide approximately one serving of fruit and 55 calories or less per bag.

Victoria Sauces

Victoria Fine Foods: For a light dinner, I have been loving grilled vegetables that I slather on with the savory and delicious Victoria Sauces. A Brooklyn-based company, Victoria Fine Foods is an all-natural sauce company that never adds preservatives, water, sugar or paste to their sauce and slow kettle-cooks their all natural ingredients in small batches. This includes an incredibly rich marinara sauce that is bursting with flavor thanks to its use of fresh ingredients and authentic slow kettle-cooking process. 

SunRidge Farms

SunRidge Farms: For snacking on-the-go, we have been loving the selection of dried fruits and nuts from SunRidge Farms. This includes favorites like their HealthyGo All Natural Dried Cranberries, HealthyGo Organic Deluxe Trail Mix (a mix of organic raisins, roasted peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, dates, apricots, pumpkins, apples and walnuts) and the HealthyGo All Natural Supreme Almonds. SunRidge Farms¹ Healthy Go Snacks are not only great for you, they¹re also great for the environment! All of them are produced in SunRidge Farms¹ recently expanded solar-powered manufacturing facility, recently installed to help celebrate the company¹s 30th anniversary. For more information and the full list of products available, check out sunridgefarms.com.

Pumpkin Seeds

SuperSeedzAnother nut that we love is SuperSeedz, As a gourmet pumpkin seed line, we love that we can get up to 9g protein, 15% of the RDI of Zinc & Iron, cholesterol free and allergen-friendly (gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free, egg free, dairy free, fish free, shellfish free, soy free) as well as enjoy their 8 unique flavors. This includes Naked, Sea Salt, Curry, Spicy, Cinnamon & Sugar and more. 

Umpqua Oats

Umpqua Oats: For a healthy breakfast, we love the new and easy-to-prepare Umpqua Oats. As a busy mom, I need to have an energizing breakfast, and I love how the Umpqua Oats offers a super quick and satisfying breakfast featuring innovative and out-of-the box flavors like RU Nuts, Jackpot,  Mostly Sunny, and even Salted Caramel – all of which are made with custom-milled rolled oats. They are also great for moms since you can travel with these oats where all you need is hot water and they are great in 3 minutes. Umpqua Oats super premium oatmeal is sold at more than 2,000 retail outlets across the United States for an SRP of $3.50 per serving. For more information or to order online, visit www.umpquaoats.com.


DOLE Power Smoothie Shakers: For easy nutrition, I have been loving the new DOLE Power Smoothie Shakers. Simply add your favorite juice, shake and have a smoothie with 30-45 seconds. It doesn’t get much easier than that and the DOLE Power Shakers are packed with the vitamins pregnant women need thanks to their all-natural fruit and vegetables and Greek yogurt that are packed with five grams of protein. This includes delicious flavors like Blueberry Banana, Strawberry Raspberry, Mixed Berry and much more! 

Project 7

Project 7: Not exactly a snack, we have been loving the collection of gums and mints from Project 7 when we haven’t been feeling our best. This includes a brand new specialty gum and mint brand featuring sugar-free flavors: peppermint vanilla, mint julep, front porch lemonade, fresh & breezy, coconut lime, and birthday cake – giving a burst of flavor that is perfect when your stomach doesn’t feel its best. Additionally, every gum flavor supports a different area of philanthropy with every purchase: planet, homelessness, hunger, water, malaria, education and anti-bullying.


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Organic Snacks from Envirokidz and a Costa Rica Trip Giveaway


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Now that a new school year is underway, I thought it would be the perfect time to overhaul the way my family eats. It’s not that we eat unhealthily, but I would really like to replace some of the food we eat now with organic, non-GMO foods. That means finding organic brands to feed my family that taste GOOD. I have a six-year-old and a two-year-old at home and they aren’t signing off on anything that isn’t tasty.


My family had the opportunity to try out some Nature’s Path Envirokidz goodies and we instantly fell in love. Envirokidz has a range of cereals and bars more that are all gluten-free, vegetarian, whole grain, low fat, wheat-free and trans-fat free. So, if you have a kiddo or family member who can’t have gluten, you can feed them the same cereal or snack as everyone else! I’m partial to the Lemur Peanut Chocolate Drizzle Crispy Rice Bars myself. And my lil’ dude agrees! He calls it his special chocolate bar. 

Now that you’ve heard about my family’s favorite new treats, I have some fun news for you…Envirokidz is hosting a very exciting contest! They are sending three families on a trip to Costa Rica to help save the sea turtles. These families will visit SEE Turtles, a non-profit wildlife conservation travel operator in the OSA peninsula.



The contest winners and their families (three groups of 4 people) will get an all-expense paid trip to Costa Rica in March of 2015. They will spend three days working with Costa Rican organization Latin American Sea Turtles to catch endangered green and hawksbill sea turtles in the Golfo Dulce, a beautiful gulf located alongside the Osa Peninsula. They will also help researchers set out nets, measure the turtles, and collect important data before releasing them back to the water.

In addition, the winners will participate in a mangrove restoration project by helping to plant two species of mangrove trees that are critically important to turtles and other wildlife. AND the winners will get to visit a chocolate farm to see how the world’s favorite treat is made! The winning doesn’t end there though…Ten lucky runner-ups will receive EnviroKidz gift baskets.

To enter and find official contest rules, please visit www.EnviroKidz.com.

Compensation was provided by Nature’s Path

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Celebrating National Olive Oil Month #PledgeForEvoo

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Pompeian.

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Celebrating National Olive Oil Month


We love to create home cooked food and test out new recipes for our families with one of staples that we are always using is olive oil, and specifically the Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Pompeian.

From grilling fish to sautéing veggies to a simple dressing, we love to use Pompeian olive oil, a renowned brand for over 100 years. Bursting with flavor, we love how Pompeian offers a full-bodied taste that enhances food while also adding health benefits. This includes a product that is cholesterol free and contains far less saturated fat (only 2g compared to 7g) than butter.

Olive Oil Month

To celebrate this heart-healthy option, Pompeian is celebrating National Olive Oil Month this August by launching the Pompeian Pledge, a call for consumers to swap butter for olive oil in everyday recipes.

To take the pledge, the first 1,000 fans who sign up will be randomly selected to receive a gift from Pompeian (a free movie redemption code and a coupon for a free bottle of olive oil), plus every week five additional fans who have pledged will win a fun prize pack on Pompeian’s timeline.

The main part of the pledge is to show how easy it is to swap butter recipes for olive oil where Pompeian is partnering with movie theaters across the country to swap movie theatre popcorn butter with Pompeian Olive Oils.

Olive Oil Month

To learn how easy it is to swap butter for olive oil, check out Pompeian’s conversion chart where you can discover how easy it is to make the swap using Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Special Blends, the premium Varietals Collection and more!

From soups to salads to meat and more, olive oil from Pompeian is a great way to enhance your food and enjoy it’s many healthy benefits. Don’t you think it’s time to make the easy switch?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf Pompeian.

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Hatchery Launches a Marketplace for Small Batch Specialty Condiments


Foodies will love the latest news from Hatchery, an online Marketplace that supports independent farmers and small-batch food makers from across the country, with the launch of their exciting new marketplace.

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With the movement towards understanding where our food comes from and supporting small companies, the team at Hatchery has traveled the country and hand-selected over 100 local food makers who combined have several hundredproducts in its Marketplace, including the likes of Seattle-based Mustard and Co., New York-based Better Off Spread, and Oregon-based Meso Nutso. This includes trips to green markets, visiting family farms and traveling dirt roads – all to discover passionate makers.


Through their service you can enjoy, The Tasting Box, a monthly subscription service that sends customers 5-6 sample-size products where you can sample jams, honeys, syrups, spreads, cooking sauces, oils, vinegars, salts, spices, seasonings and more;  the new Marketplace where you can can buy the full size item if you loved it in the box and the Guide where you can discover original recipes, videos, tips, tutorials, etc.

Another cool feature is that every maker within Hatchery’s Marketplace is profiled with a photo, brief story and map showing where their products are made, so that shoppers know exactly who’s making their food and where it’s coming from. In addition, Hatchery goes beyond the traditional retailer, by providing complimentary services to help support and drive sales for their local makers, including innovative packaging solutions, taste testing, marketing and brand support, video production, social media support and editorial and recipe development.

This allows the online shopping experience to be more personal as they introduce consumers to these amazing makers.

For more information, visit hatchery.co


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Celebrity Chef Interview with Kelsey Nixon

Interview with Kelsey Nixon

Looking for some health and easy recipes that you can discover right from your pantry? Just ask Kelsey Nixon – host of the Emmy-nominated show Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel, and author of the new cookbook, Kitchen ConfidenceEssential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything.Check out our recent interview with Kelsey where you will discover some delicious ideas on how to stock your pantry and cook better this year.

Kitchen Confidence

Momtrends: What are some of your go-to kitchen essentials?

Kelsey Nixon: On my show and in my book I focus on essential tips, tools, and techniques that I think every home cook should know about. When it comes to a go-to “tip” I’m a huge fan of making it a priority to keep a well-stocked pantry. Nothing makes getting a home cooked meal on the table easier than being able to first turn to your pantry and find most of what you need there. By stocking up on canned goods like beans, tomatoes, broths/stocks, artichokes, and olives in addition to grains like quinoa, pasta, and rice you’ll always have a great base to build a meal upon. These ingredients are always in my pantry – as a result I know that I’m just a few steps away from making a delicious, nutritious and easy homemade meal for my family that I can feel good about. You can then fill in the blanks with other produce and protein. Developing a habit to cook from your pantry will make your life as a home cook so much easier.

An essential tool that I turn to every day (multiple times a day!) is a good, sharp chef’s knife. Working with a knife that is good quality and feels great in your hand will make you a more efficient cook and increase your confidence in the kitchen overall. When it comes to an essential technique, I think learning the basics behind a good stir-fry will immediately give you another quick weeknight dinner option. Knowing what pantry staples to rely on and the proper technique for this simple approach will equip you with the skills to whip out dinner in no time.

Momtrends: What are some of your tips for summer entertaining on a budget?

Kelsey NixonI love to entertain, but there’s no question that it can get expensive quick! A potluck can be a great way to host a party and only have to provide a few of the dishes, which helps to keep your budget under control. It’s also fun to see what your guests will bring and you may even walk away with a few new recipes to try. I also suggest turning to your pantry to see what you have on hand before you begin planning a menu for entertaining. Ingredients like canned beans are super affordable and a perfect pairing for a summer bbq. Whether you’re making a chilled bean salad or savory baked beans, it’s easy to feed a lot of hungry guests with a simple side dish like this. Canned tomatoes and broths are a perfect base for a big batch of sauce or marinades for meat to throw on the grill as well.  Some of the world’s best chefs use canned tomatoes in their signature red sauces. That’s because fresh tomatoes are only in season three months out of the year. When tomatoes are canned, they maintain their flavor, nutrients and freshness – making them a fantastic option for a sauce that’s sure to please a crowd on a budget. 

Momtrends: What are some of your tips for healthy cooking?

Kelsey Nixon: Making an effort to plan your meals in advance will be a huge help when it comes to eating more healthfully. Having a plan will eliminate unnecessary mindless snacking and those last minute orders for pizza and Chinese take out. I think being more aware of what we’re eating is the first step to making smarter choices. I also think that cooking at home will automatically result in healthier eating options. When we reach for convenience foods, they’re usually lacking in nutrients. Even a simple homemade meal of a quick pasta sauce thrown together with canned tomatoes and veggies takes only minutes to make and is something you can feel good about serving your family. I always try and turn to what ingredients I have on hand first before resorting to take out or delivery. (Which I still do my fair share of!)

Momtrends: How did the idea for your new cookbook come about?

Kelsey NixonI really wanted to write a companion book to my show Kelsey’s Essentials. Just like on my show, I hope to inspire home cooks that anyone can cook – it’s simply following directions and then gaining the confidence to use cooking as a creative outlet. My cookbook is filled with recipes that I think every home cook should have in their back pocket. The recipes are familiar, yet updated. For example, my lasagna has butternut squash and parsnips and my roast chicken is slathered in Moroccan spices. The techniques are simple and straightforward, yet the flavors are exciting and different! Writing my cookbook was an unbelievable labor of love, one of the hardest yet most rewarding work projects I’ve ever done. I hope people enjoy the recipes as much as I do. I’m so proud of how it came together.

Momtrends: How do you find balancing work and mommy hood?

Kelsey NixonDifficult! I’m not sure I’ll ever feel like I’ve got the “balance” figured out. Most days I just feel like I’m juggling both roles. There are days when I’m a better career woman and there are days when I’m a better mom. I’ve found that the most important piece of advice I’ve received is to be kind to myself and realize that no one has it completely figured out. At times I feel like I’ve got a great rhythm and I’m really fulfilled. But there are also times when it’s necessary for me to step back and readjust my priorities. More than anything, I have gained a huge amount of love and respect for any mama out there trying to juggle multiple roles. It’s a really tough and often times thankless job, but it’s also an unbelievable gift to get to experience both. I wouldn’t wish for it to be any other way. 

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