I attended the #SeeTheLite Event on behalf of iConnect and Litehouse Foods. Regardless, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.
Last week, I visited a funky little place, Bouquet Restaurant, in the heart of Covington with a group of local bloggers and a great brand that I’m still excited to learn more about, Litehouse Foods!
The night afforded us the opportunity to chat with reps from the company, a local nutritionist, and discuss the importance of fresh foods. I couldn’t wait to get a jumpstart on summer and this was the perfect way to do just that. I don’t know about you but when I think about summer I think of the water, swimming, our vegetable garden, cold foods to combat the heat, and good eats all around.
We just moved into a new home with a large yard, big patio, and community pool. I plan to spend as much time possible outside soaking up the sun and fun, having friends over for swim parties, and mixing grilled foods with fresh foods from our refrigerator. Yes, this was the perfect start to summer!
I entered Bouquet Restaurant and was pointed in the right direction. As I made my way up the stairs I could hear laughter and good conversation heading my way. It was going to be a good night and this was just the warm up. After saying my hellos it was time to check out the appetizers that paid homage to fresh vegetables and fruit while kicking it up a notch.
After indulging in more than my fair share of quick bites and catching up with old friends and becoming better acquainted with new, it was time to check-in with local nutritionist, Lisa Andrews, for a fresh take on how to add Litehouse Foods into our daily routine.
Lisa is a Certified Nutritionist that was born and raised in Ohio and raised to celebrate food. She writes for a series of online publications including ShapeFit.com and Dietitian Central and focuses on nutrition counseling. She would really like to put together a series of Lunch and Learn sessions.
I could tell immediately that Lisa is a good person but the more she spoke, the more certain I became of this. She places a great deal of focus on food justice and food insecurity; her goal is to make sure everyone eats. She noted that she has seen hospital malnutrition. She also has a daughter from Guatemala and has seen third world malnutrition. For this reason, she started a Mini Food Pantry in her neighborhood.
Lisa noted that Cincinnati is second for child poverty in the nation and I was stunned. I can’t believe that the city that I have lived in since I was born struggled the way it does. This deepened my appreciation for Lisa and the changes that she is trying to make on a daily basis. We coupon and stock up on various items when there is a deep sale, we also make a point of donating to a local charity at least once a quarter. Though our contribution is small in comparison to Lisa’s we are both trying to do what we can to make sure people in our community are fed. Kudos to Lisa for being absolutely amazing!!
I was taken in by Lisa’s story and could have talked to her for hours. As she talked she busily sliced a cucumber and apple to prepare one of the wonderful Litehouse Foods dishes we were going to taste.
Here are just some of the morsels that I picked up during Lisa’s demonstration:
COLESLAW FOR THE WIN!
Focus on recipes filled with vegetables as veggies are a great source of fiber.
Coleslaw tends to have carrots which have beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is good for your eyes and helps prevent macular degeneration.
Cabbage is great for preventing cancer.
It is important to add green leafy vegetables to every meal.
Lisa’s recipe also contains apple which is high in quercetin! Quercetin, also found in onions, is one of the most powerful antioxidants that there is. It also helps prevent stroke. So, eat an apple a day … it really may keep the doctor away!
GLUTEN FREE (GF)?
Grains are a good source of gluten.
Lisa noted that if you do not need to be on a gluten free diet, there is an extensive study that was done that states it may raise your risk of diabetes if you follow one because you are missing out on a lot of fiber.
Wheat, rye, and barely are great sources of fiber. A lot of gluten free products are made with rice or corn.
If you do not need to follow a gluten free diet, Lisa suggests that you continue wheat as long as you are able.
Are you sensitive to gluten? Try quinoa based pasta, sweet potatoes, beans, brown rice, brown rice pasta, or bean pastas.
DID YOU SAY FIBER?
Women should take in 25 – 30 grams of fiber a day, men should take in 35 – 40 grams of fiber a day; women’s caloric needs are lower than men’s.
Fiber is important because it usually means lower rates of disease
Lisa said her mantra is: More plants, less cow. She noted that she is not a vegetarian but she does try to push for vegetables.
Do you want to reduce bruising and/or wilting your mint? Tear it instead of chopping it and handle it less.
Mint contains phytochemicals; plant chemicals that reduce the risk of cancer.
Mint is good for digestion; especially to those with IBS
When all of the slicing and stirring had commenced, Lisa introduced us to her Homestyle Apple Slaw.
Homestyle Apple Slaw
1 bag coleslaw mix
1 cucumber, diced
1 cup pink lady/pink crisp apples, diced
½ cup mint leaves, torn
1 cup Litehouse Ranch Dressing
Tip: Want to sweeten it up a bit? Lisa suggests that we try a bit of honey!
The slaw was absolutely delicious and I loved that it was more savory then sweet; a lot different than most of the slaws that I have had. She said we were welcome to share the recipe with you!! As a bonus, it’s gluten free.
Now that we were introduced to the yumminess that is Litehouse, it was time to settle in for dinner! In my industry, this not only means great food but the chance for great conversation and the opportunity to gain knowledge about products that isn’t apparent in the grocery store.
I loved what I learned and want to share it with you!
Litehouse Foods started with a recipe, a prayer, and a lot of hard work. The company is based in Idaho and focuses on refrigerated salad dressings. Originally, the company made Ranch and Bleu Cheese dressings; however, today, they make salad dressings, freeze dried herbs, and produce cheese; just to name a few.
Litehouse Foods takes a “less is more” approach; they focus on ingredients that consumers are able to pronounce and not all the extra “stuff.”
All Litehouse Foods Dressings are gluten free (GF) unless otherwise stated on the label.
Litehouse Dressings come in Creamy, Vinaigrette, Greek Yogurt, and Organic Salad Dressing and Vinaigrettes.
Litehouse was founded over 50 years ago.
Litehouse is in the process of expanding their product line to new regions; including ours in Cincinnati!
Our meal started with two delicious salads paired with Litehouse Ranch and Bleu Cheese Dressings. I loved that the mixture allowed us to pull carrots, greens, and croutons to truly get the experience of the dressings. Next up was our main course, for me, this was a perfectly cooked Hanger Steak! The meal was brought to a close with Peanut Butter & Jelly Brownies and Crème Brûlée!
Before leaving, the Litehouse team asked us all a question that had come up a few times throughout the night. Now, it’s a question that I ask you….
If you are picking up fresh produce in the produce department, why would you leave the area and go pick up a bottle of dressing from the center aisle?
Cold and fresh is where it’s at! Next time you head to the store, check your refrigerated section for Litehouse Foods and pick up a jar or two. Your salad, coleslaw, or latest recipe will be the hit of the summer!
A quick selfie with my ladies before the night closed out! Thank you Litehouse Foods for introducing us to your products and allowing me to meet up with my Cincinnati ladies.