I once fell victim to an infomercial

22 06 2012

I have always wanted a Vitamix, and after watching the commercial for the HealthMaster I was intrigued.  Leary to purchase something from an infomercial I searched for the product online and found I could order it from a local Sears.

The box arrived at my house, and I immediately put it to use.  Soups, smoothies, frozen drinks, salsa…  I thought this machine was amazing.  I ignored the fact that the top was so hard to open and close that I needed the aid of my husband, and the fact that it spattered grease over the bottom of the units pitcher.  It wasn’t until the carafe started leaking that I could take no more of this product! Of course it was past the 90 return policy/warranty period. I could purchase (for $79 + S&H) a new pitcher, but after seeing several reviews (that were not there before) which named this same issue I decided against it.

I am an AmeriCorps member, I make less that minimum wage, I could not afford to be taken again!

It wasn’t until recently, during a 5 paycheck month (I work two jobs), that I took the chance again.  This time it was on another blender, also discovered in an infomercial, the Ninja.  A 1 horsepower blender under $100? I had to see! This time I purchased the blender at Best Buy, and got the Replacement Plan (I could not afford to make the same mistake again.)

It is much easier to open, there is no sign of leaks or grease.  The product does ‘feel cheaper’ than the ‘HealthMaster’, where it connects to the base it has plastic parts (unlike the Health Masters metal parts).  I can accept this difference for a 50% price savings.  The largest sigh of relief I have is that if I do ware this machine out, I can take it back to the store with in the next two years and have it replaced.So far I am only three months in, but I have high hopes for this machine.

Easiest Smoothie Ever!

1 Can Chunk pineapple (with juice)
( freeze pineapple first for a cooler drink)
1 1/2 Cups Soymilk

Blend on High until smooth


Quick Unstuffed Peppers

22 06 2012
Unstuffed peppers with seasoned couscous and carrots


  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Couscous
  • 2 Peppers (chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Carrots
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Onion powder
  • 1 1/4 Cup Water or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 Clove Garlic (crushed)
  • 1 Chopped Vegan Sausage Link

Combine all the ingredients (but the sausage) in a microwavable bowl.  Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes (until couscous is cooked). Pan fry the chopped sausage, and add to the bowl and serve.

Want to make it even easier: Trade the sausage links for Trader Joe’s Soy Chorizo. Stir in half a package to the cooked couscous mix and microwave for an additional minute.

Frozen Coffee on a Budget

22 06 2012

Looking for a way to cool off with a frozen drink for less?

Fill an ice-cube tray with strong brewed coffee and freeze it over night.

Empty the ice-cube tray into a high-speed blender along with:

  • 2 Cups Soymilk
  • add Sugar to your taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

Run the blender on high until smooth, pour, and serve.