Food at Blend Retreat – riveting title, I know! 😉 There was tons of tasty food at Blend, so it most definitely deserves itz own post. Plus, I’m linking up to Jenn’s WIAW party at Peas and Crayons, so it all works out! I’ll go through day by day and give you the highlights. I was introduced to many new brands this weekend (as well as kindled my love for some oldies but goodies!) so be sure to check them out!
Friday Blend Food:
I arrived too late to make it to the snack break sponsored by Attune Foods with Justin’s Nut Butter, but I can only image how delicious that was. I did, however, make it in time for Silk’s Cocktail Hour. Annette and I both sipped on Strawberry Mint Slushes made with unsweetened Silk almond milk, strawberries, mint leaves, agave, lime juice, and tequila (optional).
They weren’t overly sweet like some frozen drinks. In fact, these would be a refreshing summertime drink! There were also tasty appetizers – fresh vegetables with a couple different sauces for dipping, summer rolls, and black bean burgers (totally my favorite, but somehow I managed to miss a picture of them – too busy scarfing, probably).
Aren’t the mason jars with veggies cute? I like that idea. Next, we headed to the Escala Ballroom for a four-course dinner buffet. I’m sure you’re thinking, “Ugh, a buffet?” No, no. This was not a normal buffet. This was a gourmet buffet with totally healthy and different options. Obviously I had to try a bit of it all…
On my plate: salad, roasted veggies, wheatberry salad, halibut, and a quinoa cake (my fav). I also had a bowl of carrot ginger soup. I expected it to be cold, but it was served warm and was really good. The ginger was not overpowering at all and I enjoyed the soup more than I thought I would! We had three options for dessert, but the best was the panna cotta made with Chobani.
Am I the only one who has never heard of panna cotta before? Well, whatever it was, it was delicious! It was creamy and decadent and wonderful! Oh, I also had a couple bites of the apple crisp!
Saturday Blend Food:
We had a breakfast sponsored by Muesli Fusion and The Laughing Cow. Muesli Fusion was a new-to-me brand and the website describes muesli as a ready-to-eat cereal consisting of a base of oats and whole grains mixed with variety of ingredients including nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and sweets.
Muesli Fusion has several flavors and even gave us a bag in our swag to take home! I added Silk almond milk to mine and thought it was great; I can definitely see myself eating this for breakfasts at home. Itz super easy to make (add milk or yogurt), itz loaded with nutrients, and it tastes good! They don’t add sugar to it besides the natural sugar in fruit.
I’ve had Laughing Cow cheese wedges before, but had never tried their new cream cheese spreads. The individual wedges are perfect for portion control. I tried Strawberries & Cream and Cinnamon Cream. The strawberry one tasted like strawberry cream cheese (because that’s what it was) and the cinnamon cream one made my bagel taste like a cinnamon bun – delish!
There was a representative passing out mini bottles of BluePrint Cleanse green juice. Their green juice contains kale, apple, ginger, romaine, spinach, cucumber, celery, parsley, and lemon. A lot of girls thought it tasted way too “green” for them, but I do like the taste of greens, so I enjoyed it. Later, we tried samples of the rest of their juices and they were fabulous. Here are the other flavors:
- Pineapple Apple Mint: pretty sweet
- Beet Apple Carrot Lemon Ginger: very beet-ish
- Lemon Cayenne Agave: packs a kick!
- Cashew Vanilla Cinnamon Agave: creamy goodness
- Lime Ginger Lemon Agave: tastes like lemonade
Two thumbs up, BluePrint – I like your juice!
Lunch and dinner on Saturday were on our own. There was lots of munching going on throughout the day between Chobani and digging into our swag, so we never officially sat down to eat lunch exactly. By the time dinner rolled around, we were definitely ready! Annette recommended we try Cafe Rio as itz a favorite of hers. Annette, Meg, Sara, and I all ordered salads that were seriously massive.
It was served in a whole wheat tortilla and stuffed with lettuce, black beans, chicken, tomatoes, cheese, and guacamole. I wish there was a Cafe Rio in St. Louis!
Naturally, we had to go out for ice cream on Saturday night. We went to Java Cow and I ordered a scoop of Dulce de Leche and Purple Cow (blackberry ice cream with dark and white chocolate pieces). Darn cow tried to sneak a bite…
The ice cream was creamy and good, but it doesn’t rank in the top three on my list. You know I’m a sucker for those cake batter or birthday cake flavors!
Sunday Blend Food:
Sunday’s breakfast was sponsored by Chobani and they put together a wonderful spread. There was an omelette bar with a sauce using plain Chobani. There were the new Chobani Flips & Bites. There were Chobani smoothies (two flavors: peanut butter and blood orange – both crazy thick and delicious!) There were Chobani pancakes. There was Chobani oatmeal. And there were all the Chobani fixins’!
Again, I had to sample a bit of it all! Nobody went hungry (or thirsty!), that’s for sure! Green Mountain sponsored coffee and tea all weekend and BP Cleanse green juice was available again, as well. I wish I could have an unlimited supply of it all in my kitchen. That would be amazing!
You’d think we wouldn’t be hungry after all this food, but when lunchtime rolled around me, Laura, Katie, Christine, and Michelle went to Whole Foods which was on the way to the airport. Whole Foods is always a solid choice.
I put together a nice brown box with lots of variety for lunch.
At the airport I snacked on some of Blue Diamond’s new flavored almonds. They come in strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and toasted coconut. Lindsay brought tons of sample bags to Blend and I was excited to try them. The flavors do sound a little strange for almonds, that was my initial thought. However, after tasting them I was pleasantly surprised! They’re just mildly sweet and almonds (of course) always make a great, healthy snack.
I’ll miss having all of that amazing food available to me, but luckily I did come home with a huge bag full of swag from our generous sponsors, so I’ll get to munch on the goodies for a bit longer. When itz gone, then I’ll cry.
Maybe. Probably. Definitely.
A major thank you goes to all of the awesome sponsors – you all rock!
Which brands have you tried that sponsored Blend? Any favorites?