IHOP Country Griddle Cakes

Many many years ago I was working the overnight shift at IHOP for a little spare cash. I would always eat there during my shift and got to love lots of the foods. My favorite pancakes were the country griddle pancakes. I swear I could eat them every day! Well I stopped working there and a few years later went back to eat there expecting to have my delicious favorite pancakes and they were OFF the menu. I was so disappointed. If you know me and food, you will know that this was seriously an emergency.

I went home and looked in my Top Secret Restaurant Recipes cookbook (the same one I used for the Denny’s Fabulous French Toast recipe I posted a few weeks ago. They actually HAD the recipe and I HAD to try it out immediately! It did not leave me disappointed, that’s for sure.

IHOP Country Griddle Cakes

1 1/4 cups Thrive White Flour (You can also grind wheat and use wheat flour)
1/3 cup Thrive Germade (on sale this month!)
1 egg (or 1 T. Thrive powdered eggs + 2 T. water)
1/3 cup Thrive White Sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (can make your own, see notes below)
1 tsp. Thrive Baking Powder
1 tsp. Thrive Baking Soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. Thrive Salt

Preheat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spray skillet with nonstick spray. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a mixer set on medium speed. Mix until smooth, but don’t over mix. Pour the batter by 1/4 – 1/3 cup portions into the hot pan and cook for 1 to 3 minutes per side or until brown. Repeat with remaining batter.

How to Make a Buttermilk Substitution

Since I don’t often have buttermilk on hand, I like to make my own. It’s super easy! You mix 1 Tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice per 1 Cup of milk. Stir it around and let sit for a few minutes. It’s not a true buttermilk but it definitely works as a substitution in a pinch. I also often make it using Thrive Instant Milk so it’s 3 tablespoons of milk powder, 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, and 1 cup of water. Easy and delicious in any recipe calling for buttermilk!

April Q-PON: Beef Dices


Each month ONE item is on sale at a significant discount for customers on the Thrive Monthly Q Program. It’s called the Q-Pon item. This month the Freeze-Dried Beef Dices are the featured product. This would be a good item to stock up on this month if you are on the Q!

THRIVE Beef Dices are freeze-dried to lock in the freshness and taste of the premium beef flavor and nutrients. The innovative freeze drying process removes all of the moisture from the prime cuts of meat giving each beef dice a shelf life of up to twenty-five years. By using THRIVE Beef Dices you will save time because you won’t have worry about thawing, trimming, or browning each cut of meat. You can simply toss it into all your favorite meals such as beef stew, stir-fry, stroganoff, fajitas and enchiladas.

Beef Enchiladas
by Chef Todd Leonard, CEC
Prep time: 35 min.
Serves 4
Enchilada Ingredients: Instructions
2 c. THRIVE™ Beef Dices (FD)
¼ c. THRIVE™ Chopped Onions (FD)
¼ c. THRIVE™ Green Chili Peppers (FD)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
¼ c. THRIVE™ Tomato Dices
1 tbsp. THRIVE™ Espagnole sauce, dry
c. water
c. THRIVE™ Cheddar Cheese (FD), reconstituted
8 flour tortillas
Sauce Ingredients:
2 tbsp. THRIVE™ Chopped Onions (FD)
2 tbsp. THRIVE™ Green Chili Peppers
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. lime juice
c. water
1/3 c. THRIVE™ Espagnole sauce, dry
½ c. THRIVE™ Cheddar Cheese (FD), reconstituted
¼ c. sour cream
Combine enchilada ingredients except tortillas and cheese and let sit for 10 minutes. Sauté mixture in a hot skillet (do not drain). Cook until tender and set aside.Combine all sauce ingredients except espagnole, cheese, and sour cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add espagnole and simmer for 2 minutes. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth, then return to pan. Fold in sour cream and ½ c. cheese. Stir into sauce until incorporate. Stir ¼ cup sauce into filling mixture.Assemble enchiladas with ¼ cup filling and 1 tbsp. cheese on each tortilla. Roll tortillas up, place in 9×13 pan, and pour sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350°F for 15–20 minutes.

Chicken Tortellini Soup – Thrive Style

My mom has a fabulous tortellini soup recipe that is a family favorite in my house. It used to be quite a production to make it since I had to thaw and cook chicken, chop and brown celery and onions, and that’s assuming I have celery on hand which is a rare occasion. One day at the grocery store I discovered a box of tortellinis in the pasta section, NOT refrigerated. I’ve always used the refrigerated kind so had to plan ahead for that too. Well this gave me the idea to try making my mom’s recipe but substituting all Thrive ingredients (except the tortellinis and spices). Let me just say, I will NEVER go back to the old way again.

This recipe has become a go-to meal for my family because I always have EVERYTHING on hand for it, and I can whip it up in under fifteen minutes. Cheaper and faster and WAY healthier than any fast food option I could think of. That’s a big WIN around this busy house of mine!

Chicken Tortellini Soup - Thrive Style by http://YourThriveLife.com

Chicken Tortellini Soup – Thrive Style

10 1/2 c. water
6 T. Thrive Chicken Bouillon (on sale this month)
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 c. Thrive Freeze-Dried Chopped Dhicken)
1/3 c. Thrive Freeze-Dried Celery (on sale this month)
1/4 c. Thrive Freeze-Dried Onions (on sale this month in pantry can variety pack)
12 oz package of Barilla Tortellini (yes they are shelf stable!)

In large pot add water, bouillon, and spices. Bring to a boil. Add the freeze-dried chicken and let heat for 5 minutes. Add freeze-dried onions and celery. Add tortellinis and cook according to package directions. Refrigerated tortellinis tend to need less cook time than the dried versions. Once the noodles are done, enjoy!

On Sale This Month

I wanted to highlight this recipe because it uses lots of ingredients that are ON SALE in April. My favorite deal is the pantry can variety pack of veggies. You can get a huge sampling of the vegetables that Thrive offers and see what you like and order more of those varieties. The veggies are one of my favorite products for saving time and money in the kitchen (no chopping, no waste, no tears, no extra shopping for fresh). Click here to view all of the April Monthly Specials.



The THRIVE APRIL Specials have been published and today we want to share with you some of our favorite items that are on sale! Each month we like to share with you what products we like most out of the sales list, how to use them, and what we use them in. So here we go:

Check out all the monthly specials


Vegetable Variety Pack Pantry
#10 Can RETAIL: $112.99 SALE 93.53 (q club is $90.49)
The THRIVE™ Vegetable Variety Pack is a great way to sample Thrive’s most popular THRIVE vegetables. You cut out cumbersome steps like washing and chopping with THRIVE veggies—they rehydrate in minutes and are ready to toss right into salads, soups, and entrées. You won’t have to worry about spoilage either, with the great shelf life of our freeze dried and dehydrated veggies. Add health and delicious flavor to any meal with THRIVE vegetables!

What the package contains:
The THRIVE Vegetable Variety Pack includes 12 pantry cans, one of each of the following:
Broccoli (FD), Carrot Dices, Cauliflower (FD), Celery (FD), Chopped Onions (FD), Chopped Spinach (FD), Green Beans (FD), Green Peas (FD), Mixed Bell Peppers, Mushrooms (FD), Potato Chunks, Sweet Corn (FD)

#10 Can RETAIL: $31.19 SALE $26.59
Made up of both egg whites and yolks, THRIVE Applesauce will be your new favorite quick snack. Just add water to the mixture and you will have a creamy applesauce that is made just the way you like it. THRIVE Applesauce will be ready anytime you want it for a snack or ingredient. With only apples in the ingredients, you don’t have to worry about added sugars or high-fructose corn syrup

How To Use It:
Put 1 cup THRIVE Applesauce and 2 1/2 cups hot water in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Add 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons THRIVE White Sugar for a sweeter applesauce. Let cool in refrigerator for at at least 1 hour. Makes 3 cups applesauce.

What I Use It In:
I like to put the freeze-dried apple pieces (they are tiny) in my oatmeal before cooking it. I don’t need to reconstitute it before. What’s great about it, is that the apple pieces are spread evenly throughout the whole oatmeal. It’s like adding a sweetener to the whole bowl.

Check out all the monthly specials


Add Some Lasagna to Your Life

What we love most about having a home store is always having ingredients for things we love to eat. We’ve been known to say “If a true crisis hits, as long as I have cheesy meals, I’ll be OK!”. Well one of our favorite meals is lasagna. This month we did some fun posts on how THRIVE can be used in LASAGNA! In case you missed them, here are the posts:


Every month Thrive picks ONE featured product and puts it on sale at a substantial discount. All customers who are part of the Thrive Q Monthly Autoship program can buy as many of these QPON items as they want. Stock up on the QPON product every single month and always pay the lowest prices. Don’t replenish until it goes on sale again!
This month the QPON item is Freeze-Dried Zucchini, a favorite of a lot of our customers because who ever just has zucchini ON HAND? Chef Todd shows us an amazing vegetarian lasagna recipe using the Freeze-Dried Zucchini and lots of other Thrive ingredients. Give it a try, you can always substitute in fresh items for those you don’t have in your home store yet.
Click here for the video and complete recipe.
spinach Powdered Eggs are one of the March Monthly Specials (grab them before prices go up March 31st). Julie has an amazing spinach noodle recipe (aka Hulk noodles) that is a family favorite. She has often wondered if noodles could be made with all pantry ingredients, so this month she gave it a whirl with the powdered eggs and it totally worked!

Julie gives the recipe for both fresh and “pantry” versions of the noodles. In her pantry version she uses freeze-dried spinach which is a product we LOVE since spinach seems to go bad so fast in the fridge.
Click here to check out both recipes.
ricottahomemade As part of a new challenge for herself, Jodi is trying new recipes and converting them to all shelf stable. That way she can feel confident in making a wide variety of items without having to run to the store for one ingredient just to make a new recipes she wants to try.

Earlier this month she attempted a pretty intense lasagna that called for ricotta cheese. She decided to make some homemade ricotta cheese using powdered milk. You would not believe how easy and yummy this is. There is no reason to ever buy expensive ricotta at the store again.
Read the post for a full tutorial and the lasagna recipe too.
cheese We all know that it takes a LOT of cheese to make a good lasagna. People often question whether or not freeze-dried cheese is REALLY a good substitute for cheese. We can vouch 100% that freeze-dried cheese works great in lasagna … and pizza. However, you can increase your chances of success by reconstituting it properly.
Click here to see Chef Todd work his magic.

So we challenge you to either try one of these lasagna recipes, or take your own and substitute in some Thrive ingredients for the fresh items and see what happens. You just might be pleasantly surprised!

Don’t Forget

The BEST way to get more Thrive into your life is by becoming a consultant. Click the banner below to learn more about why it might be the right decision for YOU!


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Food Storage Lasagna by YourThriveLife.com -- 3 lasagnas, homemade noodles from scratch, and homemade ricotta cheese

MARCH Q-PON: Freeze Dried Zucchini

One of our favorite Thrive products (well Julie’s at least – Jodi doesn’t really like vegetables) is the freeze-dried zucchini. Having fresh zucchini year-round already washed and cut is amazing. You can throw it in sauces, casserolles, soups, omelets, stir fries and so much more. It’s seriously awesome.

Each month ONE item is on sale at a significant discount for customers on the Q. It’s called the Q-Pon item. This month the zucchini is the featured product. This would be a good item to stock up on this month.

Here’s a recipe from Chef Todd that uses a ton of freeze-dried vegetables including zucchini :) Enjoy!

Vegetarian Lasagna

by Chef Todd Leonard, CEC
Prep time: 55 min.
Serves 12


16 oz. lasagna sheets (1 box)
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. butter
5 tbsp. THRIVE™ White Flour
¾ c. THRIVE™ Chopped Onions (FD)
¼ c. THRIVE™ Tomato Powder
1 tbsp. THRIVE™ Italian Seasoning Blend
2 c. whipping cream
5 c. THRIVE™ Instant Milk, prepared
1 tsp. THRIVE™ Iodized Salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. THRIVE™ Chef's Choice Seasoning
1 c. THRIVE™ Broccoli (FD)
½ c. THRIVE™ Green Beans (FD)
¾ c. THRIVE™ Cauliflower (FD)
1 c. THRIVE™ Red Bell Peppers (FD)
1 c. THRIVE™ Mushroom Pieces (FD)
1 c. THRIVE™ Zucchini (FD)
½ c. THRIVE™ Carrots
½ c. THRIVE™ Celery (FD)
c. THRIVE™ Tomato Dices (FD)
1 c. THRIVE™ Chopped Spinach (FD)
c. parmesan cheese
3 c. THRIVE™ Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (FD), reconstituted
3 tbsp. THRIVE™ Basil (FD)
2 c. THRIVE™ Tomato Sauce


Cook and cool lasagna noodles and set aside. In a 4-quart sauce pot, sweat garlic, olive oil, and butter together. Add flour to make a roux and stir to incorporate. Turn heat to low and add onions, tomato powder, and Italian blend; stir to incorporate.

Add cream and then milk; whisk to incorporate. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and Chef’s Choice and stir. Simmer for 2–3 minutes.

Meanwhile, place all vegetables except tomatoes and spinach in a bowl and cover with water. Drain through strainer, completely pressing excess water out. Add veggie mixture to sauce once simmering, and cook another 2 minutes. Turn off heat and fold in spinach, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of mozzarella.

Grease a 9×13 pan and layer the bottom with noodles; spread 1/3 of the filling on top, and repeat with 2 more layers. Top with remaining pasta noodles, cover with remaining mozzarella, and sprinkle basil on top. Bake at 350°F for 20–25 minutes uncovered, or until slightly bubbly and cheese has melted. Prepare tomato sauce and serve over lasagna.

How to Make Ricotta Cheese from Powdered Milk

I’ve started a new little challenge for myself. Every week I pick a new recipe from a favorite blog, cookbook, cooking magazine, etc. and try to make it completely out of items in my “home store” pantry. That means nothing from the fridge or freezer, and I have to have it on hand already. It’s been pretty fun so far. I made Chicken Mozzarella Pasta, Peanut Butter Poodle Pancakes, and most recently “Calm Before the Storm” lasagna (all pics on our Facebook page).

For the lasagna. Here is the recipe I was originally working off of found in my Rachel Ray cooking magazine:


Most of the substitutions were pretty easy. I used Thrive Freeze-Dried Ground Beef, chopped onions, and tomato powder for the basic sauce. I used freeze dried mozzarella cheese which I’ve tried before on pizza and it works great. The question I was worried about was the ricotta cheese layer. I decided to google making homemade ricotta and found this recipe which seemed like it would work with powdered milk so I gave it a try! It’s a simplified version of ricotta, you can make true ricotta by doing even more processing but this was fast, easy, and tasted great to us.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

8 cups water
1 1/2 cups Thrive Instant Powdered Milk
1/3 cup lemon juice or white vinegar
1 tsp. salt, optional
1 T. oil or butter, optional

Mix the water and milk powder in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit (or just before boiling). The milk will get foamy and start to steam. As soon as it starts to boil, remove from heat and add in the lemon juice and salt and butter if desired. The oil/butter can be helpful to encourage the curds and whey to separate better since the powdered milk is a non-fat milk.

Let the mixture sit for 10-20 minutes. You should see the milk separate into curds (white clumps) and whey (yellowy liquid). Once it all seems to be separated, strain the curds using a strainer with small holes and/or a cheese cloth or clean t-shirt. I just used a strainer and it seemed to be fine. I like to make things easy. I let it strain for about 30 minutes and then squished out as much of the excess whey as I could by pushing against the curds with a spoon. It made a crumbly cheese that was perfect for this lasagna.


All of the Thrive items I used in this recipe are ON SALE through Tuesday, March 25th at 11:59 pm MST. Check out the March Madness sales page for all the AMAZING deals!

Thrive Life Monthly Q Program

joinThrive Life has several programs to make it easy to get the food storage you want and at a budget you can afford, shipped straight to your house every month. There are a few different ways you can use the Monthly Q program to incorporate the products into your food storage as well as into your every day cooking. Members of the Q get the lowest prices on all their purchases along with benefits and perks. Here is a summary of how the Q works:

MARCH SPECIAL OFFER: If you sign up for a Q this month with a budget of $100 or more that ships by March 31st we will give you a FREE copy of our Food Storage Made Easy 3-Part eBook program ($24 value). If your order ships on or before March 25th you will also get the March Madness sale pricing on all items.
Since the Q is completely customizable to what you want in your food storage you can manage it however you want. Here are two of the most popular ways people use the Q and have had great success with it.


Customizable Home Store Q

The home store “Q” will send you products each month based on your favorite recipes and items that you use frequently. You also have the ability to fully customize your Q each month to take advantage of monthly specials, foods you are missing, and even add emergency or shelving products into your shipment.

Pros: Easy-to-use interface to manage your Q each month, add emergency and shelving products, continues until you cancel so you never stop replenishing what you’re using

Cons: Doesn’t give you a food storage planner based on your family needs, however if you know what you want we recommend this as the user interface is better.

*To sign up for the Home Store Q click “Get Started” on the Q main page

SMART START 150 or 200

The Smart Start packages are a series of 3 shipments for either $150 per month or $200 per month. The first shipment comes with a recipe booklet that gives you a wide variety of recipes you can try using all of the foods that will be coming in your shipments. This is a fantastic option for those unfamiliar with Thrive who want to make sure to have helpful recipes and all the ingredients to cook them up right away.

Pros: Ingredients to make complete meals, easy to get started, try lots of foods right away, great for beginners to Thrive foods.

Cons: Smart Start 150 contains a lot of basics you may already have in your storage, may get some foods you aren’t interested in

*To sign up for one of the smart start packages click “Get Started” on the Thrive Q page and later in the process you can select Smart Start or Smart Start 200 as an option for your first three months.


Whole Wheat Spinach Noodles (aka HULK noodles)

I’ve been making homemade spinach whole wheat noodles for awhile now. They taste so much better to me than store bought whole wheat noodles. Store-bought whole wheat lasagna noodles tend to taste like cardboard to me. I’ve always made the noodles with fresh spinach until last fall I tried them with freeze-dried spinach. I was super nervous they would fail. It turns out they worked just fine and no one noticed a difference.

Well last week I thought I would take these noodles to the next level. I tried them with powdered eggs. I was shocked at the results. They turned out great. My almost 2 year old ate the lasagna right up. This is the boy who would prefer candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Needless to say, I was thrilled.

With St-Patricks day coming up, give these a try. Use these noodles in your favorite lasagna recipe. We will be sharing a vegetarian one next week if you’re looking for a good one. If you have a house full of boys like I do, try calling them HULK noodles. The kids will be happy to try them. And you’ll see their muscles growing as they eat!




1 cup of Thrive Freeze-Dried Spinach
3 Tablespoons of Thrive Whole Egg Powder
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup semolina flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour)

Place spinach eggs, water, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon of salt in blender container. Cover and blend until pureed, about 20 seconds. Make a well in center of flour, add spinach mixture. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Let stand 10 minutes. Divide dough into halves. Roll out each half, cut strips with pizza roller. Cook in boiling water until tender.



8 ounces of fresh spinach (1 package: 10 ounces frozen spinach can be substituted)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour (I used 1 cup semolina flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour)

Wash spinach and cover and cook with just the water that clings to leaves until tender (3-10 minutes). Rinse spinach with cold water; drain. Place spinach eggs, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon of salt in blender container. Cover and blend until pureed, about 20 seconds. Make a well in center of flour, add spinach mixture. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Let stand 10 minutes. Divide dough into halves. Roll out each half, cut strips with pizza roller. Cook in boiling water until tender.

Here’s a video I made a couple years ago doing it the fresh way. I didn’t show the finished product because I ended up taking the lasagna to my parents how to have my dad try it. He’s a big skeptic on all things healthy so I had to prove him wrong.

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