Interstellar Cheddar Air Fried Mozzarella Sticks

By: Sachi & Pepa

Featuring: LesserEvil Interstellar Cheddar Space Balls

Makes 12 servings 

Ingredients:

  • 6 sticks organic mozzarella string cheese, cut in half to make 12
  • 3 tbsp gluten free flour
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup finely ground LesserEvil Interstellar Cheddar Space Balls
  • 2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Marinara sauce for serving

Directions:

  1. Make the flax egg and set aside so it has time to thicken, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, get your dredging station ready by placing the gluten free flour in one bowl and the Cheddar Space Balls in another bowl combined with the Italian seasoning, sea salt and garlic powder. Combine the milk with the flax egg once it’s ready.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment next to the dredging station. Dip the cheese sticks into the gluten free flour to lightly coat, then into the flax egg/milk, then into the Cheddar Space Balls mixture and set aside on the sheet pan. Repeat this for all 12 mozzarella sticks. Once you’ve finished all the sticks, freeze for a minimum of 1 hour, or overnight. If these are baked in the air fryer before they are frozen, they will melt instantly.
  3. When the cheese sticks are ready, cook in the air fryer set to 400°F for 6-8 minutes or until crunchy and golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

Strawberries & Cream Jars

By: KAYLA BREEDEN FALCONER,

KAYLA’S KITCH AND FIX

Featuring: LesserEvil Sweetheart Pop

Ingredients:

Coconut Whipped Cream:

  • 1 15 oz can coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberries & Cream Jars:

  • Coconut Whipped Cream
  • Diced Strawberries
  • 1 individual bag LesserEvil Sweetheart Pop Popcorn

Directions:

Coconut Whipped Cream: 

  1.  Place jar of coconut cream in the fridge to chill overnight.
  2.   30 minutes before you make the whipped cream, place your glass bowl and hand mixer beaters in the freezer to chill.
  3.   Once the bowl and beaters are cold, remove the hardened part of the jar of coconut cream from the can, leaving behind the liquid, and add to the bowl. You can use the liquid for smoothies if you wish!
  4.   Whip the coconut cream for 1 minute until thick yet smooth.
  5.   Add the vanilla and sift in powdered sugar, then mix until fully incorporated.

 Strawberries & Cream Jars:

  1.   Dice strawberries and crush LesserEvil Popcorn in a food processor.
  2.   In jars of your choice, layer crushed popcorn, whipped cream and strawberries, respectively.
  3.   Top with a dollop of whipped cream, a full or halved strawberry and extra of the crushed LesserEvil Popcorn!

Notes:

  • You can fully customize this recipe to make as many servings as you’d like as it depends on the size/shape of the jar you’re using. Get creative and make it your own!
  • Feel free to use berries of choice.
  • Coconut cream can be tricky, so I always buy an extra jar just in case I get one that doesn’t hold its shape!

 

Strawberry White Chocolate Bark

By: Sachi & Pepa 

Featuring: LesserEvil Sweetheart Pop

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups vegan white chocolate, divided
  • 2 tbsp freeze-dried strawberry powder
  • 1 cup cup freeze-dried strawberry pieces, broken into pieces
  • 1 cup Sweetheart Pop, divided, finely crushed

 Directions:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring vigorously in between, until completely melted. This should take no longer than 1-2 minutes total.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment and set aside. Separate the chocolate into two bowls. In one bowl, add in the strawberry powder and whisk until the chocolate becomes pink hued with no lumps. On the parchment lined pan, pour the strawberry flavored chocolate into a large rectangular shape, smoothing with an offset spatula or knife.
  3. Sprinkle on half of the Sweetheart Pop and half of the broken strawberry pieces. Place the pan in the freezer for 5 minutes or until firmly set.
  4. Once the chocolate is firmly set, pour on the reserved layer of white chocolate to cover the strawberry layer. Smooth with an offset spatula and cover again with the remaining Sweetheart Pop and strawberry pieces. Freeze until completely firm, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the freezer and snap into large pieces using your hands or cut pieces using a knife. Store in the refrigerator or on the counter for up to a
    week.

 

TAKE THE PLUNGE!

 

We’re in the depths of winter with a few more weeks to go, and many of us might be so over the cold by now. So what if we were to tell you that taking cold plunges / baths during this time of year is actually a GOOD thing? We probably sound crazy, but this form of therapy is gaining some traction with celebrities and athletes alike and is proving to offer amazing benefits. We wanted to look into it, because let’s face it: we love finding comfort in the discomfort! Let’s dive in.

DISCLAIMER: We aren’t doctors, but you should speak with one if you are considering experimenting with cold plunges or other forms of cold therapy, as there could be risks. Listen to your body and do what’s right for YOU. 

Have you ever heard of Wim Hof? He’s like the grandfather of cold water immersion. Nicknamed “The Iceman,” this Dutch daredevil has defied all odds, from running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle, wearing ONLY shorts (that’s right, not even sneakers or socks!), swimming 66 meters underneath ice, and climbing some of the highest mountains in the world with minimal clothing. In fact, his craziness has earned him 21 Guinness World Records. He’s made scientists’ heads spin with the level of authority he has over his body. By controlling his breathing and exposing himself to harsh conditions, he’s been able to sustain ultimate health as it relates to weight, immunity, sleep, and more. 

Cold plunges are a daily occurrence for him (the same way snacking is for us). He says that “breathing and using cold, through cold showers and experiences, provides a boost of performance compared to anything that would be possible if the person had not done that.” His full devotion to cold plunges is reasonable considering the many benefits it provides to the mind and body. Some of the benefits include:

  • Immunity
  • Resilience
  • Stress Management
  • Recovery
  • Inflammation
  • Better Sleep
  • Improved Mood
  • Boost in Energy

Cold plunges have a deep history, with humans as far back as 3500 BC using this type of healing for therapeutic purposes, relaxation, and even socialization. Hippocrates was a huge advocate for cold therapy, dedicating a sufficient section to thermal water in his work “De is, a quiz at loci”, saying that changes of habits and environment including bathing, perspiration, walking, and massages help to lower inflammation in the body. 

So how does it work exactly? The idea is that a cold plunge allows blood vessels to expand, directing blood to your vital organs and tissues to help remove waste products, such as lactic acid, and lower inflammation. Furthermore, “proper blood flow leads to a healthy heart, strong immune system, solid mental health, and high levels of energy.”

But maybe cold plunging just seems too much of a jump. If that’s the case, you could also try cryotherapy. It only lasts 2-4 minutes and just as much, if not more, effectiveness than the cold plunge in a short amount of time. Beginning with bundling up your extremities with gloves, socks, and a face covering in order to avoid frostbite, cryotherapy involves sitting or standing in an enclosed chamber that’s been cooled (we’re talking between −100° C and −140° C cool) with liquid nitrogen. Your body will create a defensive response to the frigid cold, even though the body isn’t in danger, and will in turn produce phenomenal benefits like reduced inflammation and pain and increased collagen production.

At LesserEvil, we’re always looking for ways to help build our bodies to their greatest potential. We’re embracing new and innovative methods to make us stronger than we were yesterday from the inside out. We understand that not every extreme concept is fit for everybody, and we celebrate the small wins just as much as the big ones! 

Question is: are you ready to take the plunge?

Looping Around LesserEvil:

New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time when a new year brings on a new set of goals we are looking to achieve. From health and nutrition goals to financial and educational goals, the new year is a great time to zone in on an area of needed improvement with the expectations of making it a habit that we keep throughout (and more importantly beyond) the year. 

We asked LesserEvil employees what inspiring goals they’re setting for themselves this year, and this is what they said! 

Chris Martino – Supply Chain Manager – Complete at least 3 certificate courses this year and get back into working out at least 3-4 times a week.

Annalee Johnson – Sales Marketing Specialist – My New Year resolution is to “unhurry” my life. I read this book about a month ago called The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer, which has seriously changed my life (let me know if you read it because I love to talk about it). The synopsis is that hurrying has a direct negative impact not only on our physical and mental states but on our souls. SOOO GOOD! 10/10!!

Amanda – Art Director – My New Year’s resolution is to bring my lunch from home more often.

Ryan Barrios – Director of Sales, East – My New Year’s resolution is to dedicate more time to myself for self-reflecting/meditating! I also want to set aside more time to read in 2023.

Marcus Bala – VP of Operations – I am going to make a larger effort to bring a more holistic mind, body, and soul approach to maintaining my health. We have so many great benefits here at LesserEvil to help support this.

Jess Westerfield – HR Manager – To create a daily journaling practice!

Corey Baker – Director of National, Alt Channel – To make time for recovery – stretching, yoga, theragun, massages, a good cry. Whatever helps heal and strengthen my body and soul.

Caitlin Mack – Director, Digital + Brand Marketing – To read 23 books in 2023 and run a half marathon in the fall (after welcoming baby #3 this spring!)

Nicole – Digital Community and Content Coordinator – Eat more mindful and healthier foods and get back into reading at least 1 book a month!

Allen – Warehouse Ops Manager – Practice yoga 4-5 times per week and be “in the moment” more.

 

8 TURNED-UP TEAS TO 

WARM UP YOUR WINTER

When you can’t seem to kick the brrr out of your body, drinking a hot cup of tea will surely do the trick (not to mention all of the amazing health benefits teas provide, like lowering bad cholesterol, fighting off various cancers, relieving headaches, soothing digestion, and more). We’re all used to the regular teas from green tea to chamomile, so we’re here to switch up your collection with these FUNctional teas you may not have heard of but will definitely want to try.

  1. A Stress-Relieving + Mood-Boosting Tea – Between the holiday season being the busiest time of year and the weather getting colder by the day, it’s easy to feel totally out of your element. Lift your spirits with teas that are crafted with energy-boosting ingredients like Ashwagandha, mint, lemon balm, and lavender, just to name a few. Like pure magic in a cup, these teas will help to realign your mind, body, and spirit.
  2. An Immuni-Tea – In continuing with the theme of checking in with yourself, it’s also important to keep your immune system strong. Teas are a fantastic way to build your immunity, with symptom-kicking ingredients like ginger, turmeric, elderberry, echinacea, and an array of citrus fruits. Give your body the fighting powers it needs this winter season!  
  3. A Bad + Boozy Tea – Holiday parties ramp up, and so do the alcoholic beverages. When you’re looking for something bougie and boozy(ish) without the headaches and hangover, turn to a cocktail-inspired tea! Your morning-after self will thank you.
  4. A Holly Jolly Tea – There’s nothing like sipping a hot cup of tea next to the fireplace, with snow falling outside, soft holiday music in the background, and the glittering decorations completing the ambience. What would make the setting even sweeter is a seasonal tea that ties it all together! The options are endless, with gingerbread, peppermint, and clove-forward flavors.  
  5. A Zingy Tea – Looking to add a little more heat to your tea? Believe it or not, there’s an array of teas that give just a touch more spice for the daring! Chai tea is a perfect example of this. Made with strong, aromatic spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and black peppercorns, Chai tea is a great option for those who are looking for a richer, more complex flavor.
  6. A Color-Changing Tea – Okay, let’s forget about the flavor profiles for a second and jump into something that’s visually super cool – like a tea that actually changes color! Impress your guests with something that they won’t expect and make the magic happen by adding a squeeze of citrus, like lemons. Thanks to Butterfly Pea Flower (the special ingredient), this transforming tea is sure to keep the conversation between guests going!  
  7. A Glittery Tea – We’ll do ya one better and further the visually satisfying teas by sprinkling a little glitter to the list. Glitter teas are definitely a rare find, but totally worth having in your collection. Made with edible glitter, these teas are an enchanting drinking experience that will have you and your tea-sipping friends mesmerized.  
  8. A Pink-Inspired Tea – We’re leaving the best category for last: pink tea! It’s our favorite color and it’s only right that we include some pretty pink inspiration to our list. There is such a thing as tea that is pink in color. Commonly known as Noon Chai, Kashmiri Chai gets its pink hue from the combination of air and baking soda which reacts with the tea leaves during the brewing process. To expand the list, we’re adding pink-inspired teas as well, including Rosebud tea and Hibiscus tea, and dessert-inspired teas like Pink Velvet Cake tea! Regardless of the actual color of the tea, we’re here for it. PINKy’s up!

Teas are the perfect way to stay warm and hydrated this winter season while providing your system with herbal supplements that will enhance your immunity, mood, and overall health. Pick up some of these unique teas to try at your next tea party, book club, or night in.  

Popcorn Crispy Treat Squares

By: Kayla Breeden Falconer

Featuring: LesserEvil Dark Chocolate + Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn 

Time:

Make: 45+ minutes

Cool: 30+ minutes

Ingredients:

Popcorn Crispy Treats:

  • 5 cups LesserEvil Dark Chocolate + Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn
  • 1 tbsp unsalted vegan butter (or butter of choice)
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups vegan mini marshmallows (or marshmallows of choice)

 Peanut Butter Caramel:

  • 2 7.4 oz cans sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup creamy unsweetened peanut butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

 Chocolate Topping:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

 Directions:

 Popcorn Crispy Treats: 

  1. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper with enough of the paper hanging over the edge to enable an easy removal of the final product.
  2. Add butter, vanilla and marshmallows to a skillet on the stove over medium heat.
  3. Stir often until the marshmallows are melted and the ingredients are fully combined.
  4. Once the marshmallow mixture is fully combined, add in the popcorn and gently fold the marshmallow mixture and popcorn together.
  5. Transfer the popcorn mixture to a square baking pan and gently press down to fill the pan and spread out the treat evenly. Set aside.

 Peanut Butter Caramel: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot on the stove over medium/high heat.
  2. Stir the ingredients together until it comes to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium/low.
  4. Stir constantly for 3-5 minutes as the caramel thickens.
  5. Turn off the heat and continue stirring for a couple minutes until the bubbles stop.

*** If you over boil the caramel it could produce a yellow/golden foamy liquid. If this happens, remove the pot from the heat, continue to stir, then strain out the liquid using a strainer. If this happens, the caramel itself will still be delicious, just be sure to remove all of the liquid. If you like a thicker caramel, you may want to actually proceed with this step anyway as it makes for a super chewy and thick finish.

Elf Popcorn Balls

By: Mikyla Meckelson

Featuring: LesserEvil Dark Chocolate + Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn 

Makes 6 balls 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¼ cup non dairy butter 
  • 1 12 oz package of vegan marshmallows 
  • 6 -7 cups of LesserEvil Dark Chocolate + Himalayan Pink Salt Popcorn 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ cup crushed peppermint candies 
  • 6 Ice cream cones
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate 
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil 
  • Candy eyeballs 
  • Cinnamon candies for noses 

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Make the hats first by melting dark chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave for 1 minute 30 sec. Stir well to make sure the chocolate is fully melted. 
  2. Then dip the open end of the ice cream cone in the dark chocolate and roll the edge in crushed peppermint candies.
  3. Set aside on a piece of parchment paper to set while you make the popcorn balls.
  4. In a large bowl, melt the butter in the microwave for 45 seconds. 
  5. Combine with vanilla and stir well. Then add in the package of vegan marshmallows and microwave again for 1 minute 30 seconds.
  6. Stir well and microwave again for 30 sec – 1 minute, or until marshmallows have puffed up and mix together when stirred. 
  7. Add in LesserEvil Popcorn and mix until sticky and pulls away from the bowl.
  8. Using your hands, roll into balls and place balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Move quickly and place 2 eyeballs and a cinnamon nose into the popcorn ball before it cools. 
  9. Finish making all the balls and then dip the ice cream cone back into the chocolate and top each ball with a cone. 
  10. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Grinch Bark

By: Mikyla Meckelson

Featuring: LesserEvil White Chocolate + Matcha Popcorn

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 11 oz bag of vegan white chocolate chips 
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. Matcha powder 
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla 
  • 2 cups LesserEvil White Chocolate + Matcha Popcorn 
  • Crushed peppermint candies or mints
  • Holiday sprinkles

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Melt coconut oil and whisk in matcha powder until dissolved.
  2. Microwave white chocolate and the matcha coconut oil mixture until the chocolate chips have melted. Stir well until smooth. 
  3. Add vanilla and stir well. 
  4. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. 
  5. Sprinkle all toppings on top of the chocolate: Popcorn, crushed peppermint candies, and sprinkles. 
  6. Allow to cool completely, break into pieces, and enjoy! 

Looping Around LesserEvil:

Role Models

November is National Inspirational Role Models Month, a time to reflect on those individuals who encourage us to be our best and reach for the stars. We checked in with LesserEvil’s motivated staff to see who is the inspiration behind their drive, purpose, and passions. 

Marylup M. – Field Marketing Specialist

“I know it’s cliché, but my mom has been a great role model in my life. She has always taught me to be confident, to be honest, and to be happy.

I always call her when I am having a bad day. She reminds me that what seems to be the end of the world truly is not. Life has a way of working itself out, and everything will be ok. Her words instantly ground me.

She holds her head up high, knows her worth, and does not fall into social constructs. She is a perfect example of someone who can be a mother and a business owner. She is an even better example of someone who has accomplished the American Dream.

Mom, you are my strength and my hero!”

Chris M. – Supply Chain Manager

“Tough to pick just one role model for me. Out of my professional career, I’ve been lucky to be able to call just about all of my supervisors role models.  I was just out of high school, and the CEO of the company I was an intern with gave me a shot to do something more, and I haven’t stopped since then. In doing that, I’ve learned the value of hard work, persistence, and to stay surrounded by people that can help you grow in all areas of your life.  The best lesson they’ve taught me is that sometimes you’ll fail and it’s ok, but how you recover and learn from that failure is more important than anything else to help you grow as a person.”

Chris M. – Supply Chain Manager

Tough to pick just one role model for me. Out of my professional career, I’ve been lucky to be able to call just about all of my supervisors role models.  I was just out of high school, and the CEO of the company I was an intern with gave me a shot to do something more, and I haven’t stopped since then. In doing that, I’ve learned the value of hard work, persistence, and to stay surrounded by people that can help you grow in all areas of your life.  The best lesson they’ve taught me is that sometimes you’ll fail and it’s ok, but how you recover and learn from that failure is more important than anything else to help you grow as a person.

Jennifer P. – ERP Data Entry Clerk

Undoubtedly, my best inspiration is my mom. She has taught me that in life you don’t have to give up on anything, that dreams come true as long as you work for them, and that you learn from your mistakes. She has achieved many things in her life to this day, and that is why she is my greatest inspiration. I am far from my family, in a different country from mine, fighting for my dreams. I thank God because every day I am achieving small things, which for me are great. I am in an excellent company in which I have grown both in my personal and professional life, and I know that it does not end here. I have many things to give, and I will continue working to meet my goals. 

Ryan B. – Director of Sales, East

My parents! They both have always shown hard work and dedication throughout my life that has motivated me to be like them in the things I do on a daily basis!

Carmine I. – Manufacturing Manager

My PaPa (or as some would say, grandfather). He was a tough military man who jumped out of planes in the Army. The thing I am happy he taught me was if you are gonna do something you give 100%, or you don’t even bother. His motto was, “Hard work and preparation beats skill anytime.”

Corey B. – General Manager

My dad was a role model to me for his amazing work ethic. He instilled from a very early age that hard work and dedication can pay off. He built several successful businesses and showed me that anything was possible.

Katherine A. – Product Quality

Amanda Moline, our R&D and QA Specialist, is my role model. She has taught me what I know and what can be improved upon. I met her when she was a machine operator and now she is in a higher position, which is so amazing. From her, I’ve learned that one can accomplish what one sets out to do.