Chirpy Monday + Kardea Bar Review

July 12, 2010 § 19 Comments

Today is one of those Mondays where I am absolutely upbeat, chirpy, and perky. While my research advisor and my lab mate were feelin’ the Monday blue’s, I was full of energy! Which is kind of weird since I only got 7 hours of sleep last night. Maybe it was the kite-flying on Saturday that lifted my spirits for the week, or the ample amount of rest I got on Sunday. No matter what it was, it was one of the best Mondays I’ve ever had! If that’s even possible..haha. πŸ˜€

Wait a minute, I think I know why. Nothing like a fantabulous breakfast to start a Monday!

A blueberry Alternative Bagel with rasperry jam, cottage cheese, and sliced strawberries.

Brekkie also included half a mango (unpictured).

Well, apparently my swellin’ mood didn’t stop after breakfast, because Christmas came early this year!!! I went to pick up my present at the campus mailbox during my lunch break.

Nutrition Bar Lemon GingerNutrition Bar Cranberry Almond
Nutrition Bar Chai SpiceNutrition Bar Banana Nut

A few weeks back, Nancy from Kardea Nutrition offered to send me some samples of their Kardea Nutrition Bars. Of course I said yes! I was particularly inspired by the history behind the origins of Kardea.

From the website:

Rob Leighton founded Kardea as part of a personal mission to lower his own cholesterol.

At 47, Rob found himself moving from β€œborder line” high cholesterol to outright high cholesterol. Rob notes that β€œit was not simply a matter of what I ate. It was a matter of genetics. Without medication, my mom’s cholesterol had exceeded 400mg/dl, and she found herself in early clinical tests for one of today’s leading cholesterol lowering medication.”

β€œI was not ready to start down a pharmacological road.” Rob recalls. Bringing a love of culinary creations and a belief in the science of natural cholesterol management, Rob founded Kardea to create great tasting, natural foods that enable daily compliance to heart healthy therapeutic nutrition.

Mission statement:

Kardea enables and empowers people to manage their cholesterol naturally and nutritiously.

We celebrate living life well and living life naturally. We create and market the delicious natural foods, quality supplements and educational materials that allow each of us to better manage our cholesterol levels and improve our overall cardiovascular health.

We’re committed to a deep and honest understanding of the evolving science supporting natural cholesterol management. To that end, we will actively partner with and support research that furthers the understanding of the power of nutrition to actively improve cardiovascular health.

There are four flavors, as picture above:

  • Cranberry Almond — recalls the taste of an almond croissant
  • Banana Nut — warmth of the home baked banana bread
  • Chai Spice — as flavorful as the tea, suggestions of pumpkin pie
  • Lemon ginger — with the zing of a lemon square
I’m also absolutely digging the nutritional stats of these bars! At 150 calories, one bar contains 7g fiber, 7g protein, 1 g of plant sterols (helps reduce risk of heart disease).
Other facts:
  • 2.5 Weight Watcher Points
  • 1 Diabetic Starch Exchange
  • Low glycemic
  • Kosher-Certified
  • Vegan

So which one did I pick as my afternoon snack today?

Warmth of the home-baked banana bread…”

They definitely got that right! It was very bananalicious and I love the nutty crunch and flavors from the walnuts in there. You can even see the walnut bits! The bar was also very dense, moist, and chewy–all things that I like! I think it might have even been more filling than a Luna bar :-D.

Down side? It kind of had a weird aftertaste though. But the pro’s definitely win the con’s! Over the next three days I will be sampling the other three bars as my afternoon snack, and I’ll be reporting back to ya!

So with a bomb breakfast, free Kardea bars, what else was in store for this already awesome Monday?


I first saw this sweet-potato and black bean ravioli on Jenny’s blog, which she got from Caitlin’s blog. Caitlin boiled hers like a ravioli while Jenny baked hers to crispy wonton-like raviolis. I opted for the second method ’cause I was in a crunchy

mood πŸ™‚

I used one large sweet potato and about 1.5 cup of black beans. After skinning and cutting the potato into bite sizes, I popped them into the microwave to cook. I was “too lazy” to mash the potatoes and beans by hand, so I whipped out my handy-dandy food processor to do the job.

Here was where I strayed from the recipe. I seasoned the mash with some salt & pepper, about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, and this spice that my mom got awhile ago. I don’t remember what exactly it was, because I threw its original container away, but it’s red, a little spicy, and so good with veggies and whatnots.

Stuffed about one tablespoon-ful of the filling into a wonton wrapper and sealed with a little water. I got Dmitri to help me with this πŸ™‚

I baked ’em at 400 degrees for about 20 min till nice and brown.

Ta-daa! Topped with some fire-roasted tomato salsa and feta cheese.


This made alot! I think I ate about 7 of those and Dmitri about 12? We still had 7 left which I divided between the two of us to bring as lunch/snack for tomorrow. This recipe was no doubt worth the time.

Alright you lovely people, I’m off to devour some H2O melon! (yesyes, what a nerd I am)


+ Have you ever had a Monday that was just impossibly good?

+ Okay, this is important (to me)! I’m planning on getting a new phone sometime in the near future. I was considering getting the new iPhone 4, but have also heard great things about the HTC Aria and the Spring EVO 4G. Any suggestions/advices/comments? Any of you using one of those three phones or have friends who own them?


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§ 19 Responses to Chirpy Monday + Kardea Bar Review

  • kbwood says:

    i LOVE mondays πŸ™‚ i am so weird!!
    ive been dying to try the kardea bars!!! esp. the banana bread! GREAT dinner too!! ive been seeing the sweet tater pasta all over the blog world!

  • Crystal says:

    The ravioli looks so good! It doesn’t look too difficult to make, either.

    And none of my Monday’s are impossibly good! Sunday was, though. πŸ™‚

  • kat says:

    Sounds like a great day!! I am sooo jealous of the bars. They look out of this world! I love the stats, and the added bonus of lowering cholesterol! My family has battled that a lot…ill have to look for those! Dinner looks so good! I love the black bean/sweet potato combo. I mix them together a lot and just top it with vegies. Yum!!

  • Emily says:

    Oh my gosh your bagel looks sooo good. I love the cottage cheese idea.

  • CourtandWhit says:

    Oh, Kardea bars are so yummy! You always know how to make the best bagel creations, that one is fab just like the rest.

  • Today was an impossibly good Monday!!

    I love your bagel – it looks so yummmmmy!

  • squigglefloey says:

    I’ve been craving strawberries all weekend but haven’t gotten around to getting any. I for sure need to get some tomorrow though…I had a case of the monday blues today 😦 Mostly in the form of lack of sleep though.
    You’re such a dedicated cooker! Most students are too lazy or…too lazy to do anything for dinner. I’m jealous! πŸ™‚

    • Those strawberries are actually frozen ones that I popped in the microwave for 20 sec or so. Hahaha.

      We’re all here ’cause we love to eat healthy food, and eating healthy food starts from preparing your own meals right? πŸ˜‰ I won’t have so much time on my hands while school rolls around again though πŸ˜›

  • Wei-Wei says:

    Eh, I’m not sure how to weigh in on the phone issue. You’ve heard about how Kath got the Android instead, right? Do you use a Mac or PC? Consider your working style and go to the store to check it out. The iPhone 4G does looks awfully cool though. πŸ˜€


  • I used to love Mondays, too (even when I hated my job!). For me, the slump always came on Tuesday or Wednesday. I guess I was always riding off the good weekend vibes on Mondays…

  • I like Mondays because they’re a chance to have a fresh new start!

    That ravioli looks so good! Sweet potato and black beans make a great combination!

  • I want to try both the alternative bagels and those kardea bars! I’m lovin the bars’ stats! And I definitely want to make those wontons for dinner, soo many possibilities!!

  • Megan says:

    Your bagel looks amazing, and so do those wontons! I have never braved the wonton making but I really need to. I love the banana kardeas!

  • WOW! you really made some delicious looking raviolis! and extra crispy too which looks fabulous!!

    but hands down that bagel is one of a kind. super delicious.

  • Oh my goodness that ravioli looks amazing. I’m going to have to get wonton wrappers to try this!!!

    Also, those bars look amazing! Cholesterol lowering is just what I’m going for!! πŸ™‚

  • Monet says:

    That black bean ravioli looks amazing! We are finally going to be back in Colorado and this will be our first dinner at home. It looks amazing!

  • sophia says:

    An impossibly good Monday? NOw isn’t that an oxymoron! lol. Glad you were feeling perky…hope that good mood persist through the week!

    Your ravioli…or baked wontons…look REALLY good! I made a croquette with the same sweet potato/black bean mixture, but stuffed it with cheese.

  • I m sure I ll dream about this bagel πŸ™‚

    The dinner recipe is genius! Congrats.

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