Foodie Pen Pal Reveal Day | July

Foodie Pen Pal July

Today is Foodie Pen Pal reveal day and I’m so excited to share the many wonderful things I received this month from Melanie. Not familiar with Foodie Pen Pals? Check it out here.

  • Earth’s Best Quinoa: This sesame street meal is packed with veggies and make for an easy to make side dish or lunch on the go. This was the perfect meal to bring to work and was ready in 60 seconds!
  • Bumble Bee Light Tuna: Tuna is another staple in my pantry due to its long shelf life and versatility. My favorite meal to make is a classic tuna sandwich on whole wheat bread: tuna, light mayo, chopped celery, tomatoes, salt, pepper and a dash of curry powder.
  • Pereg Quinoa: This southern style quinoa was so easy to make and includes a delicious blend of smoked paprika, tomatoes, red bell peppers and tons of flavorful spices! The quinoa only took about 10 minutes and it was the perfect complement to my baked chicken breast and green beans.

Foodie Pen Pal July

  • Bag of dried black beans: Black beans are a staple in Melanie’s home so she sent over a generous bag in this months package. Black beans are great because they store well and are easy to rehydrate. Just throw them in boiling water for a few minutes, remove them from the stove and let stand for about an hour. Check out my Black Bean + Corn Summer Salad recipe for Meatless Monday!
  • PopChips: Sean and I love to go camping and one of our favorite things to bring with us are BBQ and Sea Salt & Vinegar chips. PopChips are never fried or baked – they are popped – and are oh, so delicious.
  • Better Oats Hot Cereal: This was a fantastic on-the-go way to start my morning. Dark Chocolate instant oatmeal by better oats is naturally flavored and is made with real chocolate morsels. Yum.
  • Tea & Emergen-C: For those who know me, know about my recent tea addiction.  I’m so thankful that Melanie sent over some more tea for my collection. I love the Numi Organic Jasmine Green Tea (which was featured on one of my past FTC post’s) and the Stash peppermint tea (great on a cold morning.) She also threw in some packets of Emergen-C which are always a must-have.

Foodie Pen Pal July

  • Sweet Treats: On a recent family trip to Canada, Melanie picked me up some goodies! Nestle Aero candy bar, Smarties and coffee crisp (love these!) She also picked me up some Kinder surprise eggs. These treats blend both milk and white chocolate and hold a very special prize in the middle – great for kids!
  • Starbucks Via Ready Brew: I’m usually in the office between 6am – 8am and sometimes do not have time to make coffee. This Italian Dark Roast ready brew is perfect on-the-go.
  • Silicone spatula: What a sweet surprise!



The Lean Green Bean

Now for those of you who are new to this and interested in joining, here is what Foodie Penpals is all about:
  • On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  • The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

Click here to learn more or to sign up!

Every Purchase Matters

Every Purchase Matters Fair TradeFair Trade Package Klout

As you know by now, I love food. Furthermore, I love quality food. What if I told you that certain food products you see at your local market were not only GREAT tasting but also help to make a possible difference for people around the world. Before Rochelle and I left for Cabo I received a package (Klout Perk) from Klout that contained several goodies that were Fair Trade Certified. Being among the 80% of Americans who do not know what Fair Trade certified products were I was pleasantly surprised to learn more about Fair Trade and sample a selection of their certified products.

Fair Trade Klout Perk

What Is Fair Trade?

It’s exactly that – fair. Buying Fair Trade Certified products can help farming families in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities. There are over 11,000 products throughout the grocery store that bear the Fair Trade Certified label and purchasing these products is an easy way to support the hard-working people who grow and sew the products we love.

  • Quality Products: Farmers receive training and feedback to help grow products that meet the quality requirements of the global marketplace helping them increase their incomes and improves their communities.
  • Improving Lives: Workers receive fair wages, safe working conditions, access to education and healthcare.
  • Protecting the Environment: Farmers receive higher prices for organic crops and learn about sustainable farming.

Fair Trade Certified Products

Fair Trade USA Products

Allegro Coffee: This medium-bodied coffee is balanced, sweet & chocolaty. Cafe La Duena is a blend from a small-holder women farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico and San Ignacio, Peru. This organic coffee gives focus and celebrates women coffee farmers and is… oh so delicious! Caffeinate Your Conscience™ and learn more!

Alter Eco: This dark chocolate coconut toffee bar is made from cocoa sourced from small farms in Peru. Crunchy, toasty texture, chewy and smooth with a fantastic buttery finish. Find this awesome chocolate bar  online or at your local natural food store or Whole Foods.

Bhakti Chai: Get your spice on with this Fair Trade black sea. Made with freshly-pressed organic ginger, fiery spices and non-GMO soy milk. Mmmmm….

Badger Balm: This organic Cocoa Butter lip balm truly is magic for your lips! Creamy and rich with a delicious fragrance of dark chocolate. $4.99 and worth EVERY penny 🙂

Guittard Chocolate Chips: The cocoa beans for these Semisweet Chocolate Chips were grown in West Africa and delivers a deeply rich flavor perfect for your favorite cookie recipe. Check out Guittard’s original chocolate chip recipe here!

Numi Organic Tea: Lately I’ve been getting more into tea. Numi hand picks premium organic teas and herbs and blends them with only real fruits, flowers and spices. This Jasmine Green Tea was sourced from the first Fair Trade gardens in China where workers wages have increased 30-40%. To learn more about Numi’s commitment to people, planet and pure tea visit

Sweetriot: sweetriot supports Fair Trade and sourcing exclusively in Latin America which directly supports a better life for farming families through fair prices and direct trade. Celebrating culture & diversity on every package they are building a movement to fix the world. This 70% dark chocolate bar is all-natural, organic and sweetriot’s very first Fair Trade Certified and Organic line. Sweet for the world and sweet for you, check them out!

Simply Organic Cocoa Cayenne Cupcake Mix: Simply Organic offers healthy, wholesome, organic and gluten-free products you can trust. Made with Fair Trade Certified cane sugar, cane sugar syrup and cocoa powder, these mixes help to improve the communities where the products are grown. This unique cake mix offers the delicious rich flavors of Fair Trade Certified cocoa with a kick of cayenne. Dress them up with homemade vanilla or cherry cream cheese frosting!

Learn More!

I was given a free product or sample because I’m a Klout influencer. I was under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company. Fair Trade Certified products rock and I just want to share it with the world! ~Crystal