Vegan Corn Chowder (With a Kick!)
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This weekend, we had some wonderful friends over for dinner. They are lucky enough to have family that owns a beach house in Maine, so understandably, we don't see them much over the summer! To celebrate their return to our neighborhood, Jesse planned us a feast and cooked all day on Saturday (in between soccer and flag football games!) I was in charge of dessert: Sneaky Healthy Avocado Brownies with Coconut Whipped Topping (recipe to be posted on another day!). We happen to live across the street from a wonderful family run farm, so our friends offered to bring us some corn. It was tender and sweet and the perfect addition to our late summer meal on our patio. Because they brought so much corn, we had A LOT left over. I decided to make us all a corn chowder for our mid week meals. This recipe is so delicious. It has a slightly spicy kick that is the perfect balance to the corn's natural sweetness. Fully blend the corn and red pepper for a smooth soup or leave some chunky so you really taste that corn. We served ours with a crusty baguette drizzled in olive oil, perfect for dipping in the chowder. 

(serves 6-8 people and can be prepared and cooked in about 30-45 minutes)

  • 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 10 ears of local corn, husked and shaved off the cob
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • pinch of smoked paprika
  • pinch celery salt
  • 1 T white wine vinegar
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1-2 T nutritional yeast
  • minced chives for garnish
  1. In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, red bell pepper, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often so the garlic doesn't burn.
  2. Next, add the corn, smoked paprika and celery salt, cook until the corn and bell peppers are tender and the onions are translucent. 
  3. After about 5 minutes, add the white wine vinegar and stir. Taste to see if you need to add more seasoning. 
  4. Add the vegetable broth, stir the veggies and bring to a low boil. Then, lower to a simmer, cover with the lid and cook for about 30 minutes.
  5. During the last 5 minutes of cooking time, add the coconut milk and nutritional yeast and stir well. 
  6. When done, turn off heat and blend using an immersion blender. If you don't have one, transfer chowder to a blender and blend to your desired consistency. Be careful when blending hot liquids! 
  7. Serve warm with crusty bread and top with minced chives for added color. 
COOL CHANGES: WE'VE GONE SOLAR!
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We couldn't be more proud to announce to you that as of Monday, September 11, 2017 Onesto crackers are now baked using solar power! It has been a long road, but we finally made it. When we first started Onesto in January of 2014, we had two missions: to create amazing food using REAL, honest ingredients and to do it as eco-minded and socially responsible as possible. 

One of our first decisions was to hire a company that would help us create our packaging in a responsible, green way. From the very beginning, our cracker boxes have been made using 100% wind power and are printed with vegetable dyes (much more sustainable and won't harm the soil when recycled), they are made with 100% recycled cardboard and in turn are 100% recyclable. 

Fast forward to late 2015 and the search for a solar powered facility was on! We cannot say enough about the state of Vermont. We LOVE it there. If we weren't Massachusetts natives, we would definitely be Vermonters! Thankfully, our search led us to the most wonderful team of bakers in a little town in Vermont. After many test runs, tears and (some) profanity, we nailed the baking process and made the switch! And, in the spirit of being eco-minded, our new bakery was a former kombcha brewery...how's that for re-purposing?! 

We hope that the next time you bite into our crispy, nutty, delicious gluten-free crackers, you will know how much care and thought went into baking them, not just for you but for Mother Earth too! 

Much love,

Jane

Raising Healthy Kids: All Things in Moderation
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Setting good examples for our kids can be tough. Some days tougher than others. Heck, some months are tougher than others. Over the years of raising my kids, I have realized that when it comes to food, moderation is best. When my son was first born and I was a new mom, I had the best intentions. I was going to make all of my son's baby food, he would only eat organic, non-gmo foods and he would NEVER have soda. But, then two years later, my daughter came along and I was tired and he was crying...

Now, here we are, over a decade later and I am going to be honest, when we go out for dinner, my kids love ordering Shirley Temples. They LOVE ice cream and they generally only eat the frosting off of birthday cupcakes. Yes, I try to get my kids to eat a heavily plant-based diet. Yes, I try to make a home-cooked, healthy meal each night. Yes, I know cafeteria food is generally disgusting and not good for my kids. However, some nights, those Applegate Chicken Nuggets are so easy to put in the oven after a 10 hour work day. And, some mornings, it is so much easier to give my son $2 for the school pizza and hope he picks the apple instead of the bag of chips. 

Here is what I have learned as my kids (and I) are growing up: 

  • I can't control everything they eat, but making sure I have healthy options in our fridge, freezer and pantry at all times is a very good first step. 
  • If my kids go to a friend's house and eat Doritos and drink Pepsi, they will be okay, they will not grow a third arm. I will make sure they have an extra helping of fruit or veggies at their next meal. 
  • Letting my kids eat ice cream every night (if they weren't at previously mentioned friend's house eating crap) doesn't have to be a bad thing. They always watch their portions, and we have REAL ice cream made from REAL ingredients in our freezer at all times.
  • Exposing my kids to all kinds of healthy, real foods is important. Eventually they will try things, and they just may surprise me! Case in point: the photo above is of our 8 year old daughter, Josie, trying oysters for the first time...and LOVING them! Her comment after her first slurp? "Mmmm, tastes like the ocean." Proud moment! 
  • When baking treats for them at home, I always try to sneak in healthy foods (dark chocolate and beet muffins are our new favorite!) 
  • As long as my kids have healthy options and feel like they have a say in what they eat, we are all one big happy family (expect for when we all have to agree on what movie to watch on Friday nights). 

With Love,

Jane


Recipe for Dark Chocolate and Beet Muffins

  • 2 eggs (or can substitute ground flax seed and water for a vegan cupcake. You won't taste the difference! Mix 2 TBSP ground flax with 6 TBSP warm water and let stand for about 5 minutes) 
  • 1 cup (about 2 small sized beets) pureed. I generally use Love Beets (the messy work is done for me!) 
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup 
  • 1/4 cup coconut or raw sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips + more for topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts for topping (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 12 muffins with paper liners or grease with coconut oil. 
  2. If using the flax substitute for the eggs, prep now in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes, should have the consistency of egg whites when ready.
  3. Add beet puree, melted oil, maple syrup, milk, sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk thoroughly.
  4. Add cocoa powder and flours and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined. The batter should be scoop-able, not pour-able. If the batter feels too thick, add a bit more milk. 
  5. Lastly, stir in chocolate chips. Then divide batter evenly between muffin tins (should be enough for between 11-12) and sprinkle with a few more chocolate chips (optional)
  6. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts (optional)
  7. Bake for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool before removing from the pan. If you aren't going to eat these within a few days, they freeze wonderfully! 

Did I mention that my kids love topping these muffins with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert???!


ONESTO: WHAT WE PROMISE AND WHAT'S IMPORTANT TO US


Onesto means "honest" in Italian. In the Ciccone household, eating honest is our goal (some days better achieved than others). As parents of young kids, it has always been important to us to reduce unhealthy, overly-processed foods in our home. From the very beginning, we've made our crackers with care, love and the best possible ingredients. We may be a bit bigger than we were 4+ years ago, but that philosophy hasn't changed, in fact, it's gotten even stronger. When we started Onesto, we made a list of things that were important to us and would help us shape our company. They became our promises (see below).

To this day, every thing we do, every decision we make stems from this list. We don't want to be a company that just makes delicious crackers (that also happens to be gluten-free!). We want to be good people, doing good things. So while it is extremely important to us to be transparent with our ingredient list and never use any chemicals, it is equally important to us to be generous and kind to others. Our promises are not just words, but philosophies and commitments we stand by, every day. 

There is nothing that unites us more than sharing food with loved ones. Truly great things can happen when people gather around a dinner (or coffee) table. If Onesto can be a small part of that, we couldn't be prouder. 

Thank you for your support over the last 4+ years. We are so humbled and honored that you choose to purchase our crackers and share them with others. We know how many options you have when you shop, so, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for choosing Onesto to be a part of your family's and friend's gatherings. 

We are so excited about what the future holds for Onesto and this wonderful movement towards sustainable, responsible, honest food. Thank you for being on this ride with us!

Much love,

Jane


 AT ONESTO, WE PROMISE TO:

- be honest in every way, with everyone.

- never use chemicals, preservatives or junk...ever.

- be generous.

- take a chance.

- have fun.

- only create food that we would want to eat.

- smile at least 5 times a day.

- always be appreciative.