Saturday, December 22, 2007

Glad Corn: A-Maizing Corn Snack (original flavor)

It isn't often you find a snack that is simple (only three ingredients) but still has a unique and interesting flavor. It is even less often that you like that flavor. This snack fits the bill. It is partially popped corn kernels that have been cooked in oil. That isn't the most flattering description, I know, but it really tastes good. I'm not the type of person that picks through the unpopped popcorn at the bottom of the bowl either. I also don't care for corn-nuts. Each bite is salty and crunchy without being too hard. The only real downside is the corn shells can get caught in your teeth, much like popcorn. Glad Corn makes other flaovors too but I haven't tried them yet. (140 calories; 6g fat; 2g protein; 19g carbs; 7% sodium; per 1 ounce [one third cup] serving)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Snyder's: Jalapeno Cheddar Pretzel Sandwiches

Thin cicular pumpernickel pretzels with Jalapeno Cheddar cheese spread, By Snyder's of Hanover. The pretzels are great, the thin strands of pretzel are crisp, without being hard. the pumpernickel is a nice change from your normal pretzel. If they sold these pretzel wafers on their own I would probably get them. The cheese spread is about hte same as what you get in any snack, nothing distinctive, but pretyt good. There is just the slightest bit if spiciness, I would prefer more. Overall, good, because of the pretzel, it would be better if it were a bit spicier. (140 calories; 7g fat; 17g carbs; 3g protien; 8% sodium; per 1 ounce, or eight sandwiches)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Eating Right: Chicken with creamy mushroom sauce

Eating Right is Safeway's house brand of healthier food. This microwave meal has white meat chicken and pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce and bits of red bell pepper mixed in. There wasn't enough chicken in the dish, and although it had a good flavor, I found it every so slightly tough. The noodles game out good, not overcooked or stuck together. The sauce was a bit thin and didn't have much flavor and the mushrooms tasted like standard canned mushrooms. Mix all this together and you get a bland and forgettable entree, though not one with any glaring problems. Not a tv dinner I would get again. (290 calories; 7g fat; 36g carbs; 21g protein; 18% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Smart Ones: Angel Hair marinara

One of Weight Watcher's Smart Ones "classic favorites" microwave meals. Lots of thin angel hair pasta with tomato sauce (or as they call it delicious marinara sauce, emphasis theirs) with spinach and yellow and green zucchini. Cooking went smoothly, you have to stir it part way through. The chunks of squash are good-sized and athough more would be nice, there was a minimally sufficient number of them. As is often the case with tv dinners, the squash was overcooked. Not totally mushy, but nowhere near crisp. There is lots of pasta, it is nice and thin, and didn't come out overcooked or hopelessly stuck together. The tomato sauce was good, it had good tomato flavor and wasn't acidic tasting like you sometimes find. Overall the separate elements went well together and the dish was better than just the sum of its parts. It only has 4 weight watchers points which is suprising given the amount of pasta it has in it. (230 calories; 4g fat; 40g carbs; 9g protein; 27% sodium; 4 weight watchers points)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Diet Pepsi Jazz: Caramel Cream

I don't really care for diet sodas, however, I don't care for the the empty calories of regular soda, so I am willing to try diets in hope that I find ones that taste good and don't have an aftertaste. My first drink of Diet Pepsi Caramel Cream left me with two impressions 1: its pepsi; 2: with a different aftertaste. The caramel flavor doesn't really come through as you are drinking it, but afterwards, you can taste it. It is very light and not unplesant. The good part is that it covers up the usual diet drink taste. I can't say that I am a huge fan of it, but given the choice between regular diet pepsi and this flavor, I would choose this one every time. (0 calories; 0g fat; 0g carbs; 0g protein; 2% sodium)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Selling a car to CarMax

I have now sold two cars to Carmax and both times the experience was favorable. It takes longer than I expected to sell the car (and buying a car always takes me longer than I expect too, I wonder why my expectaions are so far off). They also always seem to ask for documentation that I don't have with me and I have to go home and get it. I think the documentation they need varies from state to state, so I won't list it here.

The first time I got an estimate, but didn't sell my car immediately. It took about an hour for me to get through the line and get the estimate. I then had to get a replacement title (the one I had still listed a leinholder) Actually selling it took another hour and a half or two hours. They had to do a re-inspection to make sure I hadn't damaged it in the intervening day, then officially buy it, then I had to wait around some more while the made out a bank draft (like a check, but subtely different) In the end, they offered a little more than I expected. When I bought my new car, they had asked if I wanted to trade in, and when I said I was going to get an estimate at carmax, they told me that carmax usually could beat their offers.

The second time, there was again missing paper work, but I didn't bother with getting an estimate first, since that didn't seem to save me much time. When everything was in order it again took a couple of hours to get through everything, and they again offered more than I was expecting.

Aside from the time it takes, and never seeming to have the right documentation, selling a car to carmax is fairly easy, and I would recommend doing that instead of trading it in when you buy a new car. I haven't bought a car from them, so I can't tell you if the prices are fair or how long it takes. Also note, that if you sell them your car, you need an alternate way to get home.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mini Oreo: Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Like regular Oreos, only smaller. crisp chocolate cookies with creamy white filling. The smaller size gives a different taste to the cookie. There is much more cookie and less filling. Wether or not this is a good thing depends on your perspective. If you liek the cookie part, this is a great thing. If double-stuff oreos are your bag, then these are not for you. I also think they are less fun, there isn't much point to taking them apart and eating the filling first. Personally, I like the filling, so I am going to stick to the full-sized oreos.

Smart Ones: Tuna Noodle Gratin

One of Weight Watchers' Smart Ones classic favorites microwave meals. Chunks of albacore tuna and linguini in a creamy sauce topped with toasted breadcrumbs. The thick layer of breadcrumbs may have been toasted to start with, but by the time the microwave is done with them, they are soggy. The sauce is creamy and pleasant. It would be better if it were just the slightest bit thicker. The chunks of tuna are small, hardly chunks, but firm and tuna-like. There are peas and celery slices mixed in. You can taste the pepper, which keeps the dish from being too mild. The salt content is a bit high at 33% of the recommended daily value. This TV dinner met met my expectations. It isn't outstanding, but it is pretty good, and a nice change of pace from the standard chicken and beef microwave entrees. (250 calories; 4.5g fat; 37g carbs; 14g protein; 33% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Smart Ones: Broccoli and Cheddar Roasted Potatoes

One of Weight Watchers Smart Ones Classic Favorites microwave meals. Roasted russet potatoes topped with broccoli and cheddar cheese sauce. There was a lot of cheese sauce, which is good. Cheese sauce will cover up minor problems. The sauce was good, cheesy and not to thick or too thin. It sticks to the potatoes and brocolli just enough. The potatoes were a bit dry, but the cheese sauce takes care of that. The brocoli was good, a little bit crispy, not soggy at all. I was disappointed though that the picture show the brocoli being mostly tops, but mine was almost entirely stems. The entree comes pretty well mixed together and it is pretty good overall. One thing to note, it isn't vegetarian. Even though there are no chunks meat, it is made with chicken and beef stock. (220 calories; 6g fat; 34g carbs; 9g protein; 20% sodium, 4 weight watchers points)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

BabySmart Cooshee Booster Classic

The Cooshee Booster claims to be more comfortable for your kid so they stay put. I can't tell you if it is more comfortable, but I rarely have trouble when my child is in it. This booster seat is a single piece of molded foam that is brightly colored. The foam is firm, but a little bit yielding. I haven't had any trouble with it sliding around, even though there are no straps. Since there are no seams it is easy to wash with a cloth or sponge. I have had good luck using it, the only small negative is since it has a couple of inches of foam at the back, and the way my chair's back is, sometimes my kid leans back pretty far, causing spilled food (plastic bibs with pockets are great.) It also claims to be portable, and though it is light, it is also fairly bulky since it doesn't fold. View at Amazon

Monday, October 15, 2007

No Pudge: Fudge Brownie Mix

No Pudge makes a fat-free brownie mix that you just add yogurt to and cook. The brownies come out a little bit cake-like, more-so than most brownies, but still more brownie than cake. They are also delicious, you wouldn't guess they have no fat in them. They are rich, chocolatey and a little chewy. You have to be careful not to confuse fat-free with low calorie. These have just as many calories as normal brownies. Each serving is a 2x2.66 inch square and has 120 calories. Of course, if you don't use fat-free yogurt the end result will have some fat. (120 calories; 0g fat; 28g carbs; 2g protein; 8% sodium)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

California Tortilla: Tacos

California Tortilla is a small chain of restaurants in Maryland specializing in burritos. They have many non-traditional burritos as well as salads and tacos. One selling point is that they have at least 30 different hot sauces you can put on your food. I tried the tacos, I ordered one chicken and one beef taco. A warm flour tortilla filled with Monterey jack cheese, lettuce and fresh salsa, and of course, the meat of your choice. The beef taco was ground beef with taco seasonings. It was reasonable but not outstanding. The same can be said for the chicken. Overall they are decent tacos, but they were lacking the spark that would make them unique.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Eating Right: Five-grain Beef and Vegetables

Eating Right is Safeway's house brand of healthier food.
This microwave meal has chunks of seasoned beef in a n asian inspired brown sauce, a whole grain rice side dish and a serving of mixed vegetables. The rice was a little gummy as whole-grain rice usually is. It is a mix of 5 different types of rice, giving it a more interesting flavor and texture. The beef was suprisingly tender, the sauce had a hint of sweetness. It was clearly a sauce, not a gravy. The vegetables were a little disapointing. There were plenty of them, and a nice mix of green beans, red and yellow bell peppers, mushrooms, and onions, but they were limp and watery. Overall this tv dinner was good. I liked that they tried something a bit different with the rice and the beef was good too. Bonus points for keeping the sodium below what most frozen meals have. (290 calories; 5g fat; 45g carbs; 15g protein; 16% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Eating Right: Lemongrass chicken

Eating Right is Safeway's house brand of healthier food. This microwave meal has white meat chicken in lemongrass sauce with brown rice and mixed vegetables. The chicken was good, moist and tender and well soaked with the lemongrass sauce. The brown rice was a little bit gummy, but when mixed with the lemongrass sauce was quite good. You could still taste the rice, as well as a hint of the sauce and the stickiness was gone. The vegetables were more of an accent than a serving of vegetables, there was a piece of brocolli, corn, red peppers and shreds of carrots. The flavor of the dish was very mild, I would really have liked a stronger sauce. Overall this tv dinner was decent, but didn't stand out. (230 calories; 7g fat; 26g carbs; 16g protein; 21% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Eating Right: Mediterranean Style Chicken

Eating Right is Safeway's house brand of healthier food. This microwave meal is tender white meat chicken, tomatoes, yellow bell peppers and zucchini with whole-wheat linguini in a flavorful sauce. The chicken is, as advertised, tender. The pasta came out good, not over cooked or anything. The bell peppers and zucchini were slightly overcooked, but not bad. There were also green and black olives in the dish. the sauce, while it did have a distinct flavor, it wasn't enough to add much to the dish. The sauce was also watery. Overally, it wasn't bad, but nothing distinctive either. They would have to improve the flavor before I would recommend this tv dinner. (230 calories; 6g fat; 30g carbs; 17g protein; 21% sodium; 4 weight watchers points)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Mountain Dew: Game Fuel

Currently in a dark, Halo3 inspired can. Mountain dew with with an invigorating blast of citrus cherry flavor. This tastes alot like Mountain Dew: Code Red, with citrus that gives it a slightly sharper flavor. If you liked Code Red, you will probably like this too. I liked this flavor, it is distinctive, it doesn't taste like other sodas (or regular mountain dew). It is of course, sweet and carbonated and has Brominated Vegetable Oil (is that a good thing?) (170 calories; 46g carbs; 9g protein; 3% sodium; per 12oz can)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Cheese Lasagna with breaded chicken

One of Stouffers Comfort classics microwave meals. A serving of cheese lasagna with tomato sauce and a seperate compartment with thin slices of lightly breaded chicken scaloppini, also with tomato sauce. The lasagna came out pretty good, you could taste each of the ingredients, the tomato sauce was a little acidic, but not bad. I would have liked a little more ricotta cheese but there was an acceptable amount. The breading on the chicken actually had a little flavor, though it was soggy. The thinness of the chicken prevented the flavor from really showing through, but it was tender and fairly good. Another tv dinner with annoying directions (cook at 50% power for 9 to 12 minutes). Overally if you can live with the cook time, this is a pretty good meal. (280 calories; 8g fat; 34g carbs; 19g protein; 24% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Doritos Collisions: Hot Wings & Blue Cheese

Two different flavors of Doritos in one bag, each chip is either one flavor or the other. The blue cheese flavor was very intense, and very true to blue cheese. I wouldn't want a whol bag of the blue cheese, it would be too overwhelming. The hot wings flavor was disappointing, it was a little spicy, but didn't have much other flavor, it didn't evoke hot wings at all. Mix them together and it came out decent, the Blue cheese mellowed out and the wings added spiciness. Overall I expected more from Doritos, if the hot wings flavor were better this would have been a killer combination, but it didn't live up to my expectations. (150 calories; 8g fat; 17g carbs; 2g protein; 11% sodium)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Miss Vickie's: Jalapeno Potato Chips

Very crisp flat sliced potato chips with a spicy jalapeno flavoring. The spicyness builds and it isn't until you finish a chip that it seems spicy. after a number of seconds, the spicyness fades again (unless you keep eating them). I like the amount of crunch, the chips aren't so thin they melt, but they also aren't too thick. Aside from the jalapeno hotness, there isn't really that much flavor with these chips. Personally, I will get my high fat, high calorie snacks from a different source. (190 calories; 11g fat; 22g carbs; 2g protein; 10% sodium; per 1 and 3/8 ounce serving)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Balducci's Stores: Rotisserie Chicken

The good thing about buying a whole rotisserie chicken at the food store is that it is hot and ready to eat. I generally like them, and Balducci's version is a notch above other stores. They put herbs and spices under the skin of the chicken before cooking it. This imparts a wonderful flavor to the chicken. The chicken itself was moist and very tender. The skin was browned perfectly. I have gotten them at other stores and sometimes the wings are dried out and inedible, but not this chicken, the wings were good too. Balducci's has locations on the east coast. I went to the one in Bethesda, MD.

Bradford: Orange Slices

Orange colored slices of some sort of gelatin like substance by Bradford Fine Candies. Not quite as thick as gummy bears. These slices have sugar crystals on them. This stuff is pretty much pure sugar, with a little food color and a somewhat unidentifiable flavor to them. The first ingredient is sugar, followed by corn starch. It is sometimes nice to grab one as you walk by the bag, but you can easily overdose on them. Each small sice is about 40 calories.

Interestingly enough, they try to make them sound at least somewhat healthy, claiming its a "Fat Free Food", and trumpet that they are "made with real fruit juice" though it is pear juice, not orange juice, and they don't put enough of it in to even bother telling you what percent juice this is. Good if you like sugar, otherwise, not so much (160 calories; 0g fat; 39g carbs; 0g protein; 0% sodium per 4 pieces)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Chicken Parmesan

One of Stouffers Comfort Classics microwave meals. Roasted chicken breast with spaghetti and tomato basil sauce. Even though I followed the annoying directions (cook at 50% power for 8 to 9 minutes) and cooked to the low end of time, it still came out overcooked. The tomato sauce was very good, catching the fresh tomato flavor without tasting like tomato paste or being too runny. The spagetti, stuck together, but still tasted pretty good with the sauce. The picture on the box shows chunks of squash on the spagetti, but that was a disappointment, there were only 3 segments of squash, which when combined added up to less than one slice. The chicken had both sauce and melted cheese on it, which was good, but I think due to the overcooking was too hard on the edges, so I don't think it is fair to rate it. Overall, this dish has some promise, but who wants to cook a microwave entree for 8 minutes only to have it still not come out right. They need to go back and come up with full power instructions that take less time and are less error prone. (260 calories; 5g fat; 31g carbs; 23g protein; 24% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Meat Loaf with gravy and whipped potatoes

One of Stouffer's comfort Classics microwave meals. Tender, meatloaf in brown gravy with whipped potatoes. The meat is well textured and has a nice, light flavor. The gravy tastes like you would expect store bought gravy to taste, nothing outstanding, but fairly reasonable. The whipped potatoes taste a little creamy and very much like potatoes. I have a couple of complaints though. First, I cooked it at the bottom range of the cooking time (a fairly long 6 minutes) and it still came out a little overcooked and dry. Second, Potatoes always go better with gravy and there wasn't enough gravy for both the meatloaf and the potoatoes. Overall, it was ok, but I liked the Healthy Choice meat loaf better. (250 calories; 7g fat; 26g carbs; 21g protein; 24% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Lemongrass chicken

One of Stouffer's spa cuisine classics. Roasted chicken tenderloins in lemongrass-coconut sauce, brown rice, and mixed vegetables. The chicken is moist and tender, the chunks of broccoli and baby corn, shreds of carrot and bell pepper are good, and there is enough of them, the whole grain rice is a little bit chewy. The real standout part of the meal is the lemongrass-coconut sauce, it is very good, and really enhances the meal, but doesn't totally overwhelm the other flavors. This microwave meal really stands out from the other lean cuisines and I recommend you try it. (240 calories; 6g fat; 30g carbs; 17g protein; 25% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Doritos Collisions: Zesty Taco and Chipotle Ranch

What a great idea, take two different flavors of doritos and put them in the same bag, so sometimes you reach in and get a taco chip and sometimes a ranch one. Unfortunately, I didn't care for either flavor. The taco tasted like the packets of taco seasoning you can get, it kind of dries your mouth out and is missing something (like the meat). The chipotle ranch sounds interesting, but it too it didn't appeal to me either. I still think it is a good idea, and I will try some other combinations, but I won't get this one again. (150 calories; 8g fat; 17g carbs; 2g protein; 11% sodium; per 1 ounce serving (about 11 chips))

Friday, August 31, 2007

Chex Mix: Cheddar

A mix of 3 kinds of Chex cereal (corn, rice, and whole wheat I think) small pretzels and chees crackers, all covered in a cheese powder that turns your fingers orange. Great cheese flavor, crunchy from the pretzels and crispy from the Chex. These make a substantial amount of noise as you eat them. They taste really good and have 60% less fat (4g instead of 11g) than regular potato chips. That doesn't make them a health food, but as quick and tasty snacks go, it is pretty good. They don't give up the flavor when they reduce the fat either. These are one of my favorite snacks and this is my favorite flavor of Chex Mix. (130 calories; 4g fat; 22g carbs; 2g protein; 14% sodium; per 30g serving (about an ounce))

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Healthy Choice: Meat Loaf

Meat loaf with Brown gravy, Mashed potatoes, Green beans and an Apple Cranberry Crisp for desert. One of Healthy Choice's Complete selections. This microwave meal has a bit of everything, a nice slice of meatloaf smothered in gravy with mashed potatoes on the side. The meat loaf has reasonable amount of texture, and an ok flavor, the gravy really is needed to make it complete. The potatoes were smooth and had a nice flavor, but they did dry out a little in the microwave, mixing them with the gravy made them better. The green beans came out pretty good, they still had a little crunch and flavor, but as with many healthy choice vegetables they were flat and could use some seasoning. Overall, theis is a pretty good tv dinner and I will ad it to my eat regularly list. (300 calories; 8g fat; 40g carbs; 15g protein; 25% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Cheez-It Twisterz: Hot Wings & Cheesy Blue

Each little snack stick is made up of two pieces twisted together. Each piece is a different flavor. The stick itself is a crunchy cheese cracker, like cheez-its then there is a flavor coating on the outside. It is a little bit spicy and a little bit smooth and creamy, with lots of cheese flavor. These things are addictive, I sometimes avoid getting them because I can go through half a box without thinking. They are very good and are among my favorite snacks. Fat wise, they are better for you than potato chips, but are firmly in the snack food category, you can't even pretend they are healthy, so eat them in moderation. (140 calories; 6g fat; 19g carbs; 2g protein; 12% sodium per 17 crackers which is slightly over an ounce)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Fiesta grilled chicken

One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Cafe classics. Seasoned and grilled chicken tenderloins with santa fe style rice and beans. There wasn't much chicken, but it was flavorful, with lots of spices on it. The chicken was slightly hard, but not unplesantly so. There are red and yellow bell pepers with the chicken and they came out a bit soggy.

The rice and beans were pretty basic, not many beans, lots of rice, with a little redness due to tomato, but not much flavor from that. There was a reasonable amount of cheese melted across the rice, which was a plus and some flavor, but I couldn't quite identify what it was.

The cooking instructions were disapointing, 50% power for 7.5 to 10 minutes. that is too large a range to consistently get right and the 50% power makes it take to long.

I was mildly disappointed in this, I was really hoping for it to be better and the presentation was good, but the taste, though not bad, just didn't hold up. I will probably get this again at some point, but it won't be high on my list. (250 calories; 7g fat; 27g carbs; 19g protein; 25% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Almond Joy

Sometimes you feel like a nut. Almond Joy Candy bars are a hunk of gooey shredded coconut with an almond on top, covered with chocolate. Why is it gooey? who knows, probably sugar syrup of some kind. They are sweet, and very coconutty. The chocolate adds a little flavor, but there really isn't that much chocolate so it doesn't overpower anything. Then there is the almond, I really don't think it adds much. Most bites don't have any almond in them and even the ones that do, all you get is a hard crunch, you can't taste the almond over the other flavors. If you would rather not have the mostly superfluous almond, you could get a Mounds Bar instead, it is the same candy bar, sans the almond. If you really like sweet coconut give this a try, but don't get it expecting lots of chocolate or almonds.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Odwalla Bar: Super Protein.

This food bar has 16 grams of protein and 8 essential amino acids. It is crisper and harder than most other odwalla bars, although it isn't cruchy. There is a touch of sweetness, but not much in the way of identifiable flavors. The primary source of protein is soy, there is soy protein, soy nuts, soy butter, soy oil, soy protein crisp rice, and soy lecithin. The other major ingredients include grape juice concentrate, rasins, and date puree.

This energy bar is more like a Cliff bar than a power bar, but I didn't care for it all that much. I'm sure that if your primary concern is getting protein, this is a good way to get it, but I prefer the other, softer, more flavorful odwalla bars. (230 calories; 4.5g fat; 31g carbs; 16g protein; 7% sodium; per 2.2 ounce bar)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

City Lights of China: Tangy Beef, Szechuan Style

City Lights is a chineese restaurant. I ordered the "Tangy Beef, Szechuan Style". Thin slices of beef in a spicy brown sauce. I got it as a lunch special, so it came with rice (steamed, fried, or brown), soup, and spring roll. The sauce was the highlight of the dish. It is fairly thick and very flavorful, it is also fairly spicy, but not overwhelmingly so. The beef didn't seem to have much taste, and what taste it did have was outshown by the sauce. The combination was good, and I would get it again. I was somewhat expecting it to be like Szechuan beef with shredded meet and carrots, but it wasn't like that at all (I guess that is why it was "Tangy Beef, szechuan style", not "szechuan beef")

I also had the hot and sour soup, which was also very good, lots of stuff floating in it, too much to try and name them all. The spring roll was pretty good as well. It came out so hot that I didn't eat it until I finished everything else and it was still hot.

City Lights of China serves good chineese food and is located at 4820 Bethesda Ave., Betheda, MD. They also have a location in Dupont Circle.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Odwalla Bar: Superfood

The first thing I noticed about this energy bar is that it is green.
It is a soft and chewy food made with organic rolled oats, date puree, rasins,
and grape juice conentrate. That is what gives it the fruity sweet flavor.
If you've never had an odwalla bar, it is similar to a Cliff bar but
chewier, and I think, much better tasting than a power bar.
Its claim to being a super food comes from it having Spirulina, a type
of cyanobacteria with high amounts of protien and lots of essential amino
acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.

Overall this is good, and if you think spirulina is a good dietary supplement,
then this is a good way to get it. I like some of the other odwalla food
bars better. (230 calories; 4g fat; 43g carbs; 4g protein; 5% sodium; per
2.2 ounce bar)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Odwalla Bar: Cranberry C Monster

Odwalla food bar with 250% of you daily Vitamin C requirements. This is a soft, somewhat chewy energy bar, Mainly organic rolled oats with lots of cranberries in them. You get a single bar in the package and it is one serving. The bar itself as a little sweetness, but not very much and they didn't oversweeten the cranberries at all. You can taste the cranberry in every bite. and the cranberries have the tart, slightly acidic flavor that real cranberries have. If you have never had an odwalla bar, then it is something like a Cliff bar, but a little softer and much different from a power bar. Lots of calories, lots of carbs. I like this flavor, but if you don't like cranberries you probably wont. (220 calories; 3g fat; 44g carbss; 4g protein; 3% sodium; per 2.2 ounce bar)

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Fetteccini Alfredo

One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine "One Dish Favorites". Thick Fettuccini noodles covered with lots of creamy cheese sauce, with little green flecks of parsley. The noodles came out good, thick and a little bit chewy without being hard or gummy. The sauce, as you might expect, is not like home-made, full of fat sauce, but it isn't bad, and it does have a decent flavor and is reasonably thick. There is lots of sauce, which is good since it contains most of the flavor of the dish. There is also a suprising amount of protein, and of course, lots of carbs from the noodles. Overall, this was tv dinner was better than I was expecting, a worthwhile lunch dish. (280 calories; 7g fat; 40g carbs; 14g protein; 28% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Chicken Fried Rice

One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine "Cafe classics bowl". rice and white chicken meat mixed with crispy vegetables and eggs in a sesame sauce. Sometimes it is amazing how poorly the description on the box matches what you get. "fried rice?" nope, white rice. "crispy vegetables?" Well, the carrots had a little crunch, but the peas weren't crisp at all, and I still don't know what the other little green bits were, scallionsperhaps?

You get a bowl with white rice, chicken, carrots and peas. part way through cooking, you stir it, and mix sesame sauce in, giving the rice a light brown color. The rice came out gummy, most of the chicken was a bit hard, in fact, crispier than the vegetables, which it isn't supposed to be. The flavor was light. Overall, not a very good example of fried rice. (280 calories; 6g fat; 29g carbs; 17g protein; 29% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Shrimp and Angel Hair Pasta

A Stouffer's Lean Cuisine "Cafe Classics" microwave meal. Angel hair pasta and shrimp with a creamy seafood sauce. Lots of pasta, although it was more like thin spagetti, not angel hair. The sauce was creamy, with a bit seafood flavor. There were a smattering of carrots and red bell peppers mixed in. There weren't enough shrimp and I managed to overcook them even though I went with the lower end of the cooking instructions, so watch out for that. The picture on the box was suprisingly accurate, it shows mostly pasta with six shrimp, a few carrots and bell peppers, and bits of herb clinging to the pasta. That is exactly what I got, kudos for not exagerating. This meal turned out to be ok. It would have been better if I hadn't overcooked it, but it still wouldn' thave made my top 10. (240 calories; 4.5g fat; 35g carbs; 15g protien; 18% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Odwalla Bar: Strawberry Pomegranate

Odwalla bars are similar to Cliff bars or large chewy granola bars. They are a dense, somewhat chewy, meal in a bar. the Strawberry Pomegranate flavor gets it's bulk from rolled oats and oat bran, its sweet, somewhat soft chewiness comes from from date paste. You can't see the strawberry or pomegranate pieces, but you can taste them, it adds a light, fruity flavor, but the main flavor is still the oats and dates. Although I could tell it wasn't just strawberries, I wouldn't have guessed there were pomagranates in it without looking at the label. I generally like Odwalla bars, and this is a particularily good flavor, I have already bought several and will get more. They are great for a quick breakfast, or a big snack if I didn't eat enough lunch. (220 calories; 3g fat; 44g carbs; 4g protein; 4% sodium; per 2.2 ounce bar)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

GE 5.8GHz Edge Cordless phone with digital answering system

From looking at the box, you'd think this is the perfect cordless phone. Features include:Two handsets, Callwaiting caller id, digital answering system, digital message counter, handset speakerphone, visual ring indicator, expandable to 4 handsets; do not disturb, vip ringtons, 40 name and number caller id, 10 number memory, and hearing aid compatible. Plus, it was 50 bucks at Home Depot.

I picked it up a few weeks ago and have been very disappointed in it. The voice quality is pretty bad. I get lots of static while talking, and the microphone doesn't pick up my voice very well so callers have trouble hearing me. I think that even though they make a big deal about it having a digital answering system, the cordless phone part is analog. I'm suprised they make phones like that.

Not everything was bad, it is nice being able to check your messages from the handset, and of course, multiple handsets are a must, but other than that, this phone is a looser and I am taking it back.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tostitos: Flour Tortilla chips

They look like regular tortilla chips, but iinstead of being made from corn, they are made of flour. On their own, they don't have much flavor, just salty and floury. They aren't nearly as good as corn tortilla's for eating with salsa either. With all those negative comments, you might wonder what they are good for. They are advertised as "perfect with any dip" and they do go well with sour cream based dips. much better than corn tortillas do. and they are a little lower in fat than potato chips, so if you want something to eat with dip, and you don't plan on eating them straight, these work, otherwise there are better choices. (140 calories; 7g fat; 19g carbs; 2g protein; 4% sodium; per 1 ounce serving; about 14 chips)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chocolove: Ginger Crystallized in Dark Chocolate

65% Cocoa dark chocolate with small bits of crystallized ginger. The ginger gives it a sweet, crystally taste with just a touch of ginger flavor. The main flavor is still the chocolate, the ginger just provides and extra edge to the flavor. I happen to like crystallized ginger and I also like dark chocolate, so this is a combination that seems custom made for me. Not suprisingly, I like it, I think there is just enough ginger without being too much. Chocolate purists might not like it, and I don't eat it all the time, but it is a nice change of pace now and then. (160 calories; 10g fat; 16g carbs; 2g protein; 1% sodium; per 1/3rd bar [a little over an ounce])

The Brown Bag: Voo Doo Chicken Wrap

The Brown Bag "Cuisine on the fly" lets you build your own sandwiches, salads, and pastas. They are take-out only, there is no place to sit down in or outside the restaurant. Even though you can build your own, you don't have to, they have a menu board with several sandwich options so you don't have to think if you don't want to.

I went for the Voo Doo chicken wrap. Slices of blackened chicken with shredded lettuce, tomato, corn and black bean relish, a mix of Jack and cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing all wrapped up in a Chili Tortillia. The relish is pretty much just a mix of corn and black beans, it doesn't have a heavy or oily sauce. They also didn't put enough of it on, but when I asked for more were happy to oblige. The wrap had a light, summery feel to it, probably do to the finely shredded lettuce and the lack of heavy sauces. The didn't over-do the ranch dressing either, it added just a touch of flavor. The chicken was good, a bit spicy like blackened chicken should be and by the end I wish I had brought some water (I ate it in a nearby park) Overall, a nice, freshly-prepared sandwich.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Caribou Coffee: Northern Lite Chocolate Cooler

This is like a coffee/chocolate slurpee. The main flavor of this is sweet. very sweet. Next, you taste the milk, followed by coffee, then a little bit of chocolate flavor. To me, this was too sweet, the syrupy milk taste was decent, but not quite what I was looking for. On a hot day, I would take this over a hot coffee, and I will probably try some of the other flavors on different days just to be sure that it wasn't just that the person making it today added too much sugar. It is a sugary, slushy, icey coffee drink. (210 calories; 5g fat 45g carbs; 5g protein; 125mg sodium; per 16 oz serving)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Snyders: Cheddar Chees Pretzel Pieces

Chunks of hard sourdough pretzels coated with a slightly oily Cheddar cheese powder. After you eat a bunch of these, the cheese starts building up on your fingers and you have to stop and lick them clean. The pretzel chunks have lots of crunch without being too hard. The cheese is about the same as every other cheese flavored snack, which is to say pretty good, but not quite like a slice of cheese. The are only moderately addictive, I managed to stop myself from finishing the whole bag in one sitting, but I went through over half of it. The cheese isn't as overwhelming as some of the other Snyders flavors, so you get a bit more pretzelness out of the snack, which is great if you really like pretzels. (130 calories; 6g fat; 18g carbs; 2g protein; 11% sodium)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Frey Supreme: Hot Chilli Pepper chocolate

Extra fine dark chocolate with Chilli. 55% cacao. Good dark chocolate that has the spicy taste of chili peppers. The ingredients list dry chilli, but it seemed to me like they had chilli oil crystals mixed in. That could just be my imagination though. Mixed in with the chocolate are very small bits of chilli pepper. the first couple of bites it just tastes a little hot, but after the third or fourth, you really notice the spiciness, and it sticks around in your mouth too. I have only gotten through about 5 small bites at a time. I don't think I have every had a chocolate bar last me this long. It is good, but very spicy, great for sharing with your co-workers. (210 calories; 13g fat; 19g carbs; 2g protein 0% sodium per 1.4 ounce serving; 2.5 servings per container)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Back to Nature: Oatmeal Raisin Bakery squares

Made with organic fruits and grains with no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated Oils, Artificial flavors, or preservatives. You get a box of very small, individually wrapped breakfast bars. They are only 1.05 ounces, but still manage to have 120 calories, mostly from carbohydrates. The bars themselves are very dense, sweet, a little chewy and coarse and a bit dry. They are ok but I'm not sure how much I like them. They don't stand out as either good or bad, but I wouldn't say they are average either, just a bit different. Back to Nature promises that you will love it or your money back. (120 calories; 4g fat; 20g carbs; 3g protein; 3% sodium; per bar).

Monday, July 2, 2007

Smart Ones: Chicken Santa Fe

A Weight Watchers "Smart Ones" Bistro selection. Chunks of grilled chicken with zucchini, bell peppers, onions, and black beans. With a tomato based sauce that has a hint of spiciness. The chicken is good, firm and textured and it still tastes like chicken. The vegetable mix is mostly small diced zucchini. The box claims a full serving of vegetables and I believe it, vegetables make up most of the meal. The main flavors are the tomato-y sauce and the zuchini, which dominates the other vegetables and was a bit over-cooked, The flavors all mingle together so don't expect to be able to taste the black beans or bell peppers. I liked the amount of protein compared to the amount of fat, but there really aren't enough calories for anyone to consider this lunch. There is also too much sodium, particularly given the number of calories. If you are looking for a microwave meal that has lots of vegetables (and vegetables besides corn) this one fits the bill, but overall, I don't think it was worth it. (140 calories; 2.5g fat; 11g carbs; 20g protein; 33% sodium; 2 weight watchers points)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Snyders: Garlic Bread Pretzel Pieces

Chunks of hard sourdough pretzels coated with a slightly oily garlic mix. I don't mean oily in a bad way, I mean oily the way garlic bread is oily (well, garlic bread is buttery, but you get the idea). Strong garlic flavor, lots of crunch from the pretzel chunks. These aren't the best flavor from Snyders, they are good, just not as addictive as some of the other ones. If you like hard pretzels and garlic, you are sure to like these. They just don't stand out against all the other garlic flavored snacks you can get. (140 calories; 7g fat; 18 carbs; 3g protein; per once ounce serving)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just Apricots

Dried apricot snack. Little chunks of apricots, dried out. These are about what you would expect from dried apricots, a little bit tart, a little bit chewy. If you like dried fruit you will probably like this too. I like the other snacks by this company better, since they are drier and crisper. Ingredients: Apricots, nothing else.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Snyders: Hot buffalo wing pretzel pieces.

Chunks of hard sourdough pretzels with a thick coating of buffalo wing flavor. The pretzel chunks give texture and crunch, they don't add to the flavor. The flavor is all buffalo wing. A bit spicy, a bit creamy, and all tasty. Throw away any hope of a healthy snack, and good luck eating just one serving, these are tasty and great to much on while doing something else (except they will leave a somewhat oily residue on your finger). I like them and will add them to my 'eat in moderation' list of snacks. (140 calories; 7g fat; 17g carbs; 2g protein; per 1 ounce serving)

New York Style: Garlic Pita Chips

Odd, "New York Style" is the brand name. Thin squares of pita bread that have been baked until crispy, then covered with garlic. Two things stand out about them, first, they are consistently thin. Often you get some pita chips that are twice as thick as others, not so with this brand, they are all a single layer. They are thin, so they are crispy, not hard. The second thing that sands out is the garlic. These have a very strong garlic flavor. It overwhelms any flavor that the pita chips have. They are also a bit salty. If you love garlic, you will probably like this, but I think they overdo the garlic a bit. (130 calories; 5g fat; 17g carbs 3g protein; per 1 ounce serving)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Michelina's Lean Gourmet: Chicken Alfredo Florentine

Fettuccine with creamy alfredo sauce, white chicken and spinach. The alfredo sauce is creamy with a light flavor. It tastes like it has more fat than it has. The noodles came out good, a little firmness, and not all stuck together. The chicken was ok, a little hard and too salty, and not enough of it. The spinach added a decorative touch, but there wasn't enough of it to have any impact in the flavor. This is another one of those budget tv dinners that you can get on sale very cheap and when you look at it that way, it comes out pretty well. I like having some of these in the freezer for when I need a little extra food, but it doesn't make a good full meal. (270 calories; 6g fat; 38g carbs; 14g protein; 30% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Friday, June 22, 2007

GatorAlley: Gator Chicken and Cheese

GatorAlley Cocktail Bar & Grill is a new restaurant at 7525 Old Georgetown Rd, Bethesda, MD. I had the Gator Chicken and Cheese sandwich. It is thinly sliced grilled chicken with american cheese, sauteed mushrooms, onions, and green peppers, lettuce, tomato, and mayonase all on a sub roll. It was served with french fries. This was really good, much like a chicken cheese steak, but better than most. The chicken was tender and tasty, I think they grilled it before they sliced it, which is a good idea. The cheese melted in with it and made all the topping stick. I wish they had other choices besides american cheese, but that is a small complaint. The toppings were great, everything went well together. The french fries were just your standard steak cut fries, nothing special about them.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Godiva Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Chocolixir

Fancy name, but a chocolixir is just a frozen slush that is chocolate flavor, kind of like a slurpee, or an Chocolate Frappuccino. What do you get when you mix Chocolate sirup, chocolate chunks, raspberry sauce, and whipped cream into a frozen drink? Possibly the best tooth-rotting, chocolate flavored drinking experience ever. This stuff is super-good, rich chocolate flavor with just enough raspberry. It is very sweet and by the time I was halfway through it I think my taste buds overloaded and shut down. Not every Godiva botique offers it, but if you like chocolate (and I mean good chocolate) and like sweet frozen drinks, this one is worth going out of your way for.

Banquet: turkey meal

Mostly white meat turkey and gravy with dressing mashed potatoes and peas. I don't usually eat banquet meals because the amount of fat and lack of vegetables, but this one is an exception, it actually has green vegetables and more protein then fat. (Yes the little things excite me.) And it was on sale at a very cheap price. This has a three segment dish, Peas in one, mashed potatoes in another, and in the largest, slices of turkey with gravy and croutons. The peas were standard peas, nothing special, but nothing bad about them either. They had some flavor and were firm, not mushy at all. The potatoes were smooth and creamy. I expected them to be dry and only edible when mixed with the gravy, but that was not the case. (of course, they were better when mixed with the gravy.) The turkey had been chopped and formed into circles, like lunch meat turkey, then sliced and the slices then cut in half. I got two half slices that were light meat and one that was dark meat, thus fulfilling the "mostly white meat" prophecy. The gravy was tasty but salty. They say it comes with dressing (or stuffing), but really they were just plain croutons. The turkey was not all that flavorful and tasted like lunch meat. For the price it was pretty good, and probably better than most banquet microwave meals, but it wasn't a standout dish. (200 calories; 8g fat; 27g carbs; 14g protein; 42% sodium)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Michelina's Lean Gourmet: Penne Primavera

Whole wheat pasta with vegetables in a light alfredo sauce. This is a basic dish, mostly pasta, with some veggies (mostly brocoli and squash) with cream sauce. It is fairly plain and uninspired with lots of carbs. It does have redemming qualities, first, like it says, it is fairly lean, 240 calories, with only 7g fat. I don't think it has enough protein though. Second, it is pretty cheap. I think I got it on sale for a dollar, making this Penne Primavera less then half the price of most lean cuisine or healthy choice microwave meals. Although it is plain, it is pretty decent, so factoring cost, this turns out to be a pretty good meal. Since I often end up eating two microwave entrees for lunch if they don't have many calories, this makes a great second dish, cheap and reasonably tasty. (240 calories; 7g fat; 35g carbs; 9g protein; 22% sodium; 5 weight watchers points) (Michelina's web site listed different nutrition information from what was on my package)

Frosted Raspberry Pop-Tarts

A pastry/biscut filled with raspberry jelly, frosted with white glaze with red bits of sugar on it. you can eat them cold (right from the pouch) or warm, but they are best warmed in a toaster. They are sweet and sugary, probably not the best thing you could eat for breakfast, more like a desert. Given the amount of fat and number of calories and amount of sugar, these can't be good for you. Each package contains four pouches and each pouch contains two pastries. The serving size, however, is only one pastry. No way you are going to eat one. Kids love these, because of the sugar, and they are fairly tasty, even though the pastry is dry and largely tasteless and the sugar overwhelms the raspberry flavor. Interesting trivia, the number two ingredient (after flour) is Corn Syrup, followed by High Fructose corn syrup.

It is really amusing that these come with instructions. You can warm the pastry in a toasting appliance or put them in the microwave for 3 seconds. I guess I can set aside 3 seconds for breakfast preperation, but I wonder about the toasting appliance, why not just call it a toaster? do they really think if they called it that people would think they couldn't use a toaster oven? Or is there such a wide range of things you can use to heat it that toaster wasn't accurate. Maybe I only have one of those circular pizza ovens and want to use it on the pop tarts. Step three is the really important one. "Cool briefly" You really can overheat the filling and it will burn your toungue. (410 calories; 5g fat; 76g carbs; 2g protein; 14% sodium; per two pastries)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Old Georgetown Grille: Hot Open-Faced turkey sandwich with gravy fries

Old Georgetown Grill serves you stereotypical american/diner food, along with some Greek fare. I went for true diner food, an open faced turkey sandwich and steak-cut french fries, both covered with gravy. I shudder to think about the amount of calories and fat I consumed, but I will say I was very full after eating and could barely get through it all. The gravy was good, if a bit salty, and tasted wonderful on the fries. The fries didn't get very soggy (I ate them first) even with the gravy. The turkey sandwich had a slice or two of white bread, piled high with turkey, and of course, more gravy. The sandwich was good, the only negative being that the turkey wasn't fresh-carved, it was sliced turkey breast, the kind you'd get in most deli's. Meat, carbs, and fat, just the ticket for lunch, no need to waste time on vegetables. If you like diner food, this is just the ticket. I usually go for something a bit healthier, but every once in a while I enjoy this type of food and I was not disappointed. Located on the corner of Old Georgetown Rd and St Elmo Ave in Bethesda, MD.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Rosemary chicken

Roasted chicken tenderloins in a garlic-rosemary sauce, with spinach and brown rice. One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Spa Cuisine Classics, made with whole grain Rice. The chicken is decent, tender with a subtle flavor. The sauce is good, although it doesn't have much of a rosemary flavor. The rice has a rough texture and you can taste the vegetables in it, however the flavor is disconnected, and overally the rice comes out flat. You really need to mix the sauce in with the rice for it to taste good. As usual, it is a bit light on the calories, lots of protein and not much fat. Not their best microwave meal, but not bad either, I will probably get it again. (210 calories; 4g fat; 27g carbs; 17g protein; 24% sodium 4 weight watchers points)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Roasted garlic chicken

Chicken tenderloins in a roasted garlic sauce with spinach in a creamy parmesan sauce. One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics. This microwave entree only has 180 calories, which isn't enough, but when you eat it you would think it has more. There is a good amount of chicken and lots of sauce. The sauce is good and accents the chicken well. I think the highlight of the dish is the spinach. The sauce is creamy, the spinach doesn't taste like most frozen spinach does, and there are carrots in it! They add a nice color and makes it more distinctive than your standard creamed spinach. This is easily one of my favorite lean cuisines. If it had enough calories to make it a full lunch it would be perfect. (180 calories; 7g fat; 9g carbs; 21g protein; 28% sodium; 4 weight watchers points)

Doritos: Nacho Cheese

The original flavor, and still the best. Corn chips covered with a cheese powder that leaves your fingers orange. I always try to pick out the orangest, cheesiest, chips and make sure I eat them flavor-side down. Tasty, better than potato chips any day. They go well with salsa, but stand on their own, so you don't need dips or anything to help them out. there are a lot of doritos flavors I like, but this is the best one. (140 calories; 8g fat; 17g carbs; 2g protein; 7% sodium; per 1 ounce serving)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Cheeze-It: Parmesan and Garlic

Parmesan and Garlic baked snack cracker, but Sunshine bakers. These have the traditional Cheez-it shape, square with a little pin-prick hole in the center. They are heavily dusted with a parmesan cheese flavored powder. The garlic flavor doesn't come through very well. This cracker is good. I like this flavor better than the original cheddar cheese flavor. I was suprised by that since the original flavor is usually the best. As a snack, it isn't all that bad for you with 3 grams of protein. (150 calories; 7g fat; 19 carbs; 3g protein; 11% sodium; per 25 cracker serving)

Geppetto Italian Restaurant: Gourmet Combo Pizza

Geppetto's is located in the Wildwood shopping center on Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda. I had the "Gourmet Combo Pizza" which has grilled chicken, spinach, roasted red peppers, artichokes, and grilled eggplant. This pizza is more expensive than delivery pizza (like dominos or Papa Johns) but you get what you pay for. It was excellent, it was a good combination of toppings they all go together well, and they didn't skimp on the toppings either. The large is quite large, so there were some leftovers that I ate cold. The pizza when cold is still good. Not quite as good as when it is hot, but still enjoyable.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Gerber Organic Mini fruites: bite-size banana Mango

Small chunks of freeze-dried fruit, so they are crunchy and airy, not chewy or hard. I like the combination of mango and banana. They are a bit too sweet, even though they don't have any added sugar. They are marketed for toddlers (12+ months) but I think they are great for adults too. The small size makes it easy to grab a handful and get a bunch of both fruits. (25 calories; 0g fat; 6g carbs; 0g protein; per 3 tbsps serving)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Mariani: Berries 'N Cherries

A dried fruit mix of cherries, cranberries, strawberries, and blueberries. The fruit is chewy and sweet. There were several things I didn't like about this, first, all the fruit had added sugar. Fruit has enough sugar without adding more. Second, the Strawberries were much larger than the rest of the fruit, so you don't get a good distribution of fruit when you grab a handful, I usually ended up getting mostly strawberries unless I dug through the bag. Eating each fruit individually, you could taste which was which, so that is good, but overall, they could do better with this. (130 calories; 0g fat; 32g carbs [mostly sugar]; 1g protein; per quarter cup serving)

Friday, June 8, 2007

Just Veggies

A while ago I reviewed Just Peas and thought dried mixed vegetables would be good. It turns out they make them, and appropriately call them "Just Veggies" They contain dried peas, corn, carrots, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Since I hadn't tried the carrots, I picked some out of the mix and ate them separately. They were a little to hard and crunchy for me. However, when I popped a handful of the mix in my mouth, it was very good. The crunchiness of the carrots went well with the crisp airiness of the corn and peas. The flavors also complement each other. The plain dried corn is still my favorite veggie, but these are a close second. The 4 ounce tub contains 4 one ounce servings, but I find that I eat less than a serving at a time, probably only a quarter ounce. (100 calories; 1g fat; 21g carbs; 4g protein; 2% sodium; per one ounce serving)

Doritos: Flavor X-13D

Doritos is running a promotion to name their new flavor, codenamed X13D. Always willing to try a new doritos flavor, I grabbed a bag. I ate the chips before looking at the ingredients, so I wouldn't have preconceptions. The flavor was sharp, a little buttermilk flavor, but the main flavor I couldn't identify until looking at the back. Mustard. Yup, doritos that taste like hot dogs. This is clearly an interesting and different flavor, and not all bad. If you want a really different flavored chip, give these a try, however, I won't be buying another bag. My proposed name: Short-Lived. (150 calories; 8g fat; 17g carbs; 2g protien; 10% sodium; per 1 ounce serving)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Han's Chicken Sausage

All natural chicken sausage with garden vegetables and asiago cheese. These sausages have the veggies mixed right in. They have no nitrates, nitrites, or msg added. You just have to heat them up since they come fully cooked. They are also quite good, the vegetables and cheese add an interesting flavor. They are a good main dish when you want a quick dinner.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Terra: vegetable chips

Terra original flavor exotic vegetable chips. Cooked like potato chips, but instead of potatoes they use sweet potatoes, parsnips, batata, taro, and yuca. the flavor of the individual vegetables comes through loud and clear. The chips themselves are very thinly sliced and very crisp. Different chips have slightly different textures. The chips taste a bit salty, but they really don't have much salt (less than the Whole Foods version at any rate). Consider these a change of pace from potato chips, but don't consider them healthy, they are almost as bad for you as most chips, coming in at 9 grams of fat and only 1 gram of protein per serving (150 calories; 9g fat; 16g carbs; 1g protein; 2% sodium; per 1 ounce serving)

Trader Joe's: Spanakopita

Fillo dough triangles filled with spinach, ricotta and Feta cheese. A tray of 12 frozen spanakopita's ready to be cooked in the oven for 20 minutes. It was pretty good, the the fillo dough was thin and flakey, the filling very spinachy. The filling didn't have enough cheese in it, it tasted like just spinach. I like the TJ's spinach pie better, even though it takes much longer to cook. These would make good appetizers though.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Moby Dick: Gyro Platter

Moby Dick's house of Kabob has 12 locations in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. I decided to try something different and got the Gyro Platter. I was a bit disappointed in it. I am used to Gyro meat being stuffed in a pita pocket with lots of other good stuff packed in with it. This had the slices of meat lying on top of pita bread, then the side salad, yogurt/cucumber sauce, and rice. It was a bit plain. The meat itself was very good. There were plenty of thick juicy slices, well spiced. If your favorite part of a Gyro is the meat, and you don't care about the rest, this is perfect for you.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Amy's Roasted Vegetable Pizza

This no-cheese pizza has organic shitake mushrooms, sweet onions, and roasted red peppers. I have a bit of trouble considering something without cheese to be pizza, but this is a very good dish. The onions are the best part, they are toasted and marinated and very flavorful. The artichoke hearts also are a positive addition to this Amy's pizza. Cooking time is 8-11 minutes in a 425 degree oven (410 calories; 14g fat; 11g protein; 62g carbs; 33% sodium; per pizza)

Friday, June 1, 2007

California Tortilla: Blackened chicken, spinach and black beans quesadillas

California Tortilla is a small chain of restaurants in Maryland specializing in burritos. I have never gotten a quesadilla there, I always figured that they wouldn't be substantial enough. Today I wanted something a little lighter, so I got the Blackened Chicken, spinach and black beans quesadilla. It was huge, easily the size of two tacos, possibly more. It had lots of fresh baby spinach, good chicken and gooey cheese. It really filled me up and was quite tasty. Now I have something else to get besides the burritos and salads there.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cheeburger Cheeburger: Burger and Onion Rings

Cheeburger Cheeburger sells Cheese burgers. You can also get them without cheese if you want, and they have a few other menu items. There are two things that standout about these burgers, the size (the largest is 20 ounces) and the toppings. They have a long list of toppings, over 20 that you can add. I got the second smallest burger, "The Semi-Serious", it is only a third of a pound. I topped it off with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and Banana peppers. As you might expect, it was excellent. The meat was juicy and cooked just the way I asked for it (medium well) it had tons of flavor and the toppings, were once again, exactly what I asked for. The pickle slices deserve special mention, they weren't the limp green slabs that you get most places, they were crisp slices of dill pickle. To go with it, I got a small serving of onion rings. This could easily have served two. I actually had trouble finishing the burger and onion rings, even though it was 4pm and I was just getting to lunch. I did finish them, but I skipped dinner. The onion rings were also good. They didn't have a traditional breaded coating, but some other kind of 'secret' batter. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it was still good.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Whole Foods: Veggie Chips

These are fried slices of vegitables, much like potato chips, but, instead of potatoes, they are sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, green beens, and taro chips. These chips are thick and crunchy, there is just enough salt on them to bring out the flavor. you can really taste the different vegetables, they aren't bland like potato chips usually are. You might think that they are a healthy alternative to potato chips, but remember, they are still fried! (and potatoes are just as much a vegetable as these are.) It is more accurate to think of them as less unhealthy, they do have significantly less fat than most chips, but they don't have much protein. They come in a 9 ounce plastic tub. (135 calories; 6g fat 19g carb; 1g protein; 3% sodium; per 1 ounce serving)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Trader Joe's: Spinach and Feta Pita Pizza

A pita crust pizza with spinach, feta cheese, and red onions. This is pretty tasty, The spinach isn't too watery like sometimes spinach pizza is, an dthe feta cheese flavor comes through well. However, there isn't much to it, for some reason it seemed like it wouldn't make a full meal, this is despite having 440 calories (lots of bread in this pizza. Beware, the serving size is only half a pizza, who are they trying to kid. Cooking time is 12-15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. (220 calories; 6g fat; 32g carbs; 9g protein; 24% sodium; per half package)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cedarlane: Three layer Enchilada Pie

Vegitarian enchilada pie made with organic beans, tomatoes and tortillas. Cheesy and tomatoey. The tortillas, are not suprissingly, not crisp. And they are fairly thick. They absorb most of the juices in the container. There are lots of black olives mixed in, that seems to be the primary non-cheese non-tortilla ingredient. There is just a hint of spiciness to it, it really could use a little more spice. There are two servings per package but I don't see anyone eating just half of this. I was most of the way through the dinner before I realized that, so consider it as having 430 calories. Other than that it is pretty tasty and a nice change of pace from what I usually eat. I have seen other people comment that theirs didn't have many olives at all, so I guess it is a bit hit or miss. (215 calories; 7g fat; 27g carbs; 13g protein; 25% sodium; per half package)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lilit Cafe: Old Georgetown sandwich

I had the "Old Georgetown" which is Roast Beef, Ham, and Fresh Mozzarella. To top it, I added mustard, lettuce, and tomato. The lettuce was very finely shredded iceburge lettuce. The sandwich was good, roast beef and ham go together well.

Lilit Cafe was a beer/wine/deli that has been somewhat made over. They still sell beer and wine, but they also added some tables so you can eat there. You can also get food to go, which is what I did. They have a good selection of sandwiches, wraps, and paninis as well as fresh made gelato.

Just to try something different, I got the sandwich gluten-free. Very few places advertise that they have gluten free food, and this is one of them. In addition to gluten-free bread, they have a selection of gluten-free deserts. For those of you unfamiliar, some people have celiac disease or an intolerance of gluten or wheat. It generally makes it very hard to eat out since just about everything has gluten in it. The bread was frozen (they toasted it to thaw it out) and didn't taste bad at all, they also had gluten-free mustard to put on it. I watched as they made it, and they used a different toaster, a different cutting board, and a different knife to make sure that there was no wheat product contamination. It took a bit longer to make because of that, but it is good that they were paying attention to things like this.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cafe Gelato: Neapolitan Panini

Cafe Gelato has gelato, soups, and sandwiches. I had the Neapolitan which is Herb coated chicken breast with fontina cheese, tomatoes, greens, and a creamy alioli sauce in Ciabatta bread. I go to this place occasionally and I like their sandwiches. This one is particularly good, the cheese and the sauce really make the sandwich. Cafe Gelato is located on St. Elmo Ave in Bethesda, MD

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Healthy Choice: Blackened Chicken

Blackened white meat chicken with fire roasted red pepper sauce, rice medley, and a Caramel Apple Crisp for desert. One of Healthy Choice's complete selections. The rice medley is rice with green and red pepper bits and some sort of flavoring that turns the rice brown. It came out dry and flat. The blackened chicken was very moist and you could taste the spices on it. The red pepper sauce is thick and also has corn and black beans in it. The sauce goes well with the chicken, each adding to the other. As you would expect from blackened chicken, it is a little spicy, but not all that spicy. The rice is helped, but not saved by adding the sauce to it. (310 calories; 6g fat; 46g carbs; 16g protein; 25% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Doritos: Smokin' Cheddar BBQ

Another bold flavor of Doritos Tortilla Chips. These chips have a strong smokey flavor, a little spiciness and cheese flavor. Unlike most chips with BBQ flavor, these were not sweet, that is a major plus. That, plus the smoke flavor make these chips a winner. I like them and will get them again. (150 calories; 7g fat; 16g carbs; 2g protein; 8% sodium; per 1 ounce serving)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Red Tomato Cafe: Red Tomato sandwich

Fresh Mozzarella, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, advacado and black olive tapenade on tomato basil bread with a side salad. Very different from your typical sandwich, but also novel and tasty. The bread was sliced thick and had real substance to it. The advacado and olive tapenade added good flavor and a creamy texture. and the artichoke hearts added substance. Like all sandwiches that have tomatoes as a primary ingredient, whether they are good or not depends on if they were in season. I don't think I would get this sandwich in December, but I bet it is great in August.
Red Tomato Cafe is located in Bethesda, MD, it has some interesting sandwiches and salads, and a good selection of brick oven pizzas.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Healthy choice: salisbury steak

Salisbury Steak with mushroom gravy, seasoned red skin potatoes, a vegetable medley and Caramel apple crisp dessert. the vegetable medley came out pretty decent, not the tastless mass that some of their vegetables are. The Salisbury steak was average, it could have used a bit more texture and flavor. The mushroom gravy did help the steak alot. The potatoes were, likewise average and helped alot by the gravy. They were a bit chewy with a slightly more chewy crust on them. (360 calories; 9g fat; 46g carbs; 20g protien; 25% sodium)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

TGI Friday's Microwaveable Spinach, Cheese, and Artichoke Dip

Not T.G.I. Fridays the restaurant, but the frozen food you buy in the store. This dip has spinach and artichoke hearts in a creamy alfredo sauce with roasted garlic. It is easy to cook, only taking 3 or four minutes. The spinach tasted like frozen spinach, nothing great there. There was lots of small artichoke pieces, it would have been nice if they were larger. The sauce they were in was a bit thin. Matter of fact, I'm not used to spinach artichoke dip having a sauce, usually it is thick, and creamy, but not really liquid at all. That is probably why I was disappointed in this appetizer and wouldn't get it again. (45 calories 3.5g fat; 2g carbs; 2g protein; 5% sodium; per 2 tablespoon serving)

Campbells Healthy Request: Mexican Style Chicken Tortilla soup

A Campbell's select healthy request soup, 98% fat free, 40% less sodium. Soup with chunks of chicken, rice, black beans, corn and red peppers. I think this is a very good soup. It really taste like tortillas. The chicken chunks hold up well, they are big enough to really notice and still taste like chicken. Overall, this is a well-balanced soup. No one flavor overwhelms the others, but lots of flavors come through. (130 calories; 2.5g fat; 20g carbs; 8g protein; 20% sodium; per half can)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Stonyfield Farm: Raspberry White Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

An organic, low fat frozen yogurt. Sweet, sweet frozen goodness. This is a good flavor of frozen yogurt, there is a light raspberry flavor and large chunks of white chocolate. The flavors go well together, and the frozen yogurt is nice and creamy. I find it best to take a bite and let it melt a second or two on your tongue before eating it. I will be getting this one again, it makes a great desert, and is, relatively low calorie, many fewer than even light ice cream. If I could suggest improvements, they would be to have just a tiny bit more raspberry flavor, and to have more, but smaller chunks of chocolate. (120 calories; 1.5g fat; 22g carbs; 4g protein; 6% sodium; per half cup serving)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Just Peas

Dried Peas to snack on. These peas are dried, but not hard like split peas. They are also whole, not split or dried up. Suprise, they taste like peas. They were decent, but I found I like fresh peas much better than these. It would be interesting to mix them with the dried corn (previously reviewed) and maybe some dried carrots and have a dried mixed vegetable medley. Ingredients: Peas, nothing else.

California Tortilla: Spicy Sunset Salsa Chicken burrito

California Tortilla is a small chain of restaurants in Maryland specializing in burritos. They have many non-traditional burritos as well as salads and tacos. One selling point is that they have at least 30 different hot sauces you can put on your food. I tried the Spicy Sunset Salsa Chicken, a low-fat burrito. it is a large burrito containing grilled mesquite chicken, mexican rice, black beans, salsa vinaigrette, fresh salsa and lettuce. As with most places, the rice makes up a good chunk of the burrito, but there is also lots of chicken. It is pretty good, with lots of different flavors. I think the rice could have been better, but other than that, a tasty lunch.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ethnic Gourmet: Chicken Biryana

Seasoned white meat chicken cooked with cauliflower, carrots, and green peppers, served over brown rice. The rice came out a bit gooey, I think because of the yogurt sauce on it. The chicken was ok, the vegetables were pretty good. I am pretty sure that one of the vegetables was yellow squash, but that wasn't listed on the ingredients, odd. I don't have alot of experience with microwave indian food, so I don't know how it compares, but I do know that it wasn't nearly as good as an indian buffet. Ethnic Gourmet lists this as All natural, no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and minimally processed. (390 calories; 12g fat; 54g carbs; 16g protein; 45% sodium)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Quaker: Breakfast cookies: Apple Cinnamon

Cookies for breakfast? Yup, they will try anything to get you to buy it. Calling them cookies is a bit of a stretch. They are more like a cross between a cookie and a muffin. Oatmeal rasin cookies are probably the closest to these. This falvor, apple cinnamon was pretty good, it was sweet and moist and chewy. It tasted a bit like pumpkin bread. I still have trouble with the whole concept of cookies, and I am not sure I would have these as my whole breakfast, but they are pretty good. Each box has 6 individualy wrapped cookies. (170 calories; 4.5g fat; 33g carbs; 3g protein; 8% sodium; per cookie)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just Corn

Dried corn snack. But it isn't hard like corn left out over night. It is crisp and airy. Not only does it still taste like corn, but it tastes like fresh corn (but dry). It is crisp and airy. Pop a handful of it in your mouth and crunch away. This stuff is really good, much better than I expected. Ingredients: Corn, nothing else.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Haagen-Dazs: Dulce De Leche Caramel

Haagen-Dazs Extra Rich Light ice cream. Rich and creamy with lots of caramel. This doesn't taste like light ice cream, it tastes like real ice cream. Of course, when you are talking about ice cream, light still means lots of calories, although I was suprised that it was paired with a reasonable amount of protein and not too much fat (half the fat of regular Haagen-Dazs. It is also very sweet, which may prevent you from over-eating. (220 calories; 7g fat; 34g carbs; 6g protein; 4% sodium; per half cup serving)

Doritos: Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch

Doritos Tortilla Chips are known for their bold flavors, this one is no exception. After you eat several of them, you can start to feel the heat. It is easy to eat way too many. Although it has a bold flavor, I am at a loss to identify what that flavor is. It doesn't taste like buffalo wings or ranch dressing to me. these are fairly good, but I think there are other, better flavors of Doritos available and would get those instead. (140 calories; 7g fat; 17g carbs; 2g protein; 10% sodium; per 1 ounce serving)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Healthy Choice: Four Cheese Manicotti

Manicotti with Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Romono cheese stuffed in pasta topped with marinara sauce. Sides are Broccoli Florets and Caramel Apple Crisp. One of Healthy Choice's Complete Selections. The Manicotti was decent, the noodles were a little hard, but the cheese mixture was pretty good. the tomato sauce was very tomatoey but pretty good as well. the Brocoli was as usual, undistinguished but ok. This frozen entree has more calories then most (380). Overall, this is a solid meal, but not a standout one. (380 calories; 6g fat; 63g carb; 16g protein; 25% sodium; 7 weight watchers points)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Healthy Choice: Sweet Bourbon Steak

Beef in Bourbon Sauce with garlic Mashed potatoes, a broccoli & carrot medley with a peach crisp for desert. One of Healthy Choice's complete selections. The vegetables were, as usual, overcooked and tasteless, the mashed pototaoes were good, but there wasn't enough of them. The beef was ok, it wasn't all that flavorful, but it was tender and not stringy or tough. The sauce was good, a little sweet, but that should be obvious from the name. Overall I rate this as 'average'. (330 calories; 7g fat; 43g carbs; 21g protein; 25% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Kirkland signature: Fruit & Nut Medley

A Costco special Mix of dried fruit and nuts in a large (3.5 pound) bag. This mixture avoids the two bigest problems I see, that is too many peanuts and too many banana chips. There are a large variety of mixed fruits, Apples, Kiwi, Mangoes, Papaya, Pineapples, Strawberries, Bannannas, Cherries, and golden rasins. some of these (like kiwi) I had never had dried before. Representing nuts are peanuts, almonds, and walnuts. This is a good mix that I really like. every time I go to Costco I pick up a bag and spend the next week eating it. (140 calories; 6g fat; 18g carbs; 2g protein; 2% sodium; per quarter cup serving; 52 servings per bag)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Healthy Choice: Pepperoni French Bread Pizza

Pepperoni French bread pizza with Pizza Sauce, nonfat mozzarella cheese and reduced fat pepperoni, a Healthy Choice "Simple Selections". There is lots to like about this pizza, there was enough cheese, enough pepperoni, enough tomato sauce, and a nice, thick, french bread crust. The cheese, being non-fat, didn't have much taste and the tomato sauce tasted a bit too much like tomato paste. You will never mistake this for a 'real' pizza, but overall, it is a reasonable attempt at a diet pizza. (350 calories; 4.5g fat; 54g carbs; 22g protein; 25% sodium; 7 weight watchers points)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Just Tomatoes

"Just Tomatoes" are thin slices of dried tomato made by the oddly named but eponymous Just Tomatoes company. The big selling point is that tomatoes are the only ingredient, no sugar or preservatives in this tub that contains the equivilant of two pounds of tomatoes. I have tried many of their dried fruits and liked them, so I figured if these were good enough to name the whole company, then the must be really good. I was a bit disappointed, they just taste like dried tomatos, and a bit acidic too. I guess I shouldn't be suprised by that, but somehow I was. I am working my way through this tub (I didn't say they were bad after all) but won't be getting another one. (80 calories; 1g fat; 19g carbs; 4g protein; 2% sodium; per once ounce serving)

Lean Cuisine: Chicken Carbonara

One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics. Roasted chicken tenderloins with bacon and mushrooms over linguini. The sauce was creamy and there was plenty of it. I was a bit suprised at how much I could taste the bacon in it. The noodles came out fine, not mushy or stuck together. The tray has the sauce, chicken, and mushrooms on one side and the noodles on the other, you get to mix them together. The chicken was a disappointment it was tastless and mushy, not a good texture. I also would have like another piece of it. There also weren't enough mushrooms, I think there were only four slices. Overall, my feelings were mixed, good sauce and noodles, bad chicken. (270 calories; 7g fat; 33g carbs; 19g protein; 26% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hard Times Cafe: Chili Bubba

Hard Times Cafe specializes in Chili, the have four kinds, Texas (meat only) Cincinnati (a little sweet), Terlingua Red (a little bit spicy) and Vegetarian (made with soy). Chili Bubba is your choice of two of these (my favorite is texas and vegetarian) on top of cornbread and topped with cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, and sour cream. It is a good bowl of chili, the cornbread soaks up the chili juice and there is plenty of melting cheese on top. The only downside is that the bowl is the same size as the regular chili bowl and the cornbread takes the place of some of the chili, so you get a bit less other than that, It is good, and it is filling, so I recomend it. (It looks like the prices on the menu on their website are a little out of date).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Moby Dick: Moby's chicken platter

Moby Dick's house of Kabob has 12 locations in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. My standard dish there is the "Moby's chicken platter" which has a skewer of marinated chicken, rice, a small salad, bread, and yogurt sauce. The good: The chicken is excellent, marinated and grilled it is tender and juicy with good flavor. The rice is likewise good. I don't know how they make it, but it is better than any rice I make. They also have some sort of dull red spice that is very good if you put it on the rice. The less good: The side salad. It has iceburg lettuce, onion, feta cheese, tomato, and olives. It sounds like it should be good, but it ends up being shredded lettuce with bits of other stuff. Not bad, just not great. Another less good item: the atmosphere, there really isn't any. just tables and hard bench booths. Don't go there for the ambiance, go there for the food, which is quite good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Healthy Choice: Beef Merlot

Beef Merlot in wine sauce with seasoned read skin potatoes & vegetables. One of Healthy Choice's cafe selections. This is an excellent microwave meal. The beef is tender, the potatoes still had texture, and the green beans still tasted like green beans. The wine sauce is just thick enough and adds a good flavor. The only downsides are that it only has 220 calories, I would perfer a few more, and I don't particularly care for cooked carrots, which this entree has. (220 calories; 6g fat; 22g carbs; 17g protein; 24% sodium; 4 weight watchers points)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Cadbury: Moro candy bar

Milk Chocolate with caramel and biscuit filling. You have to like soft, gooey caramel to like this candy bar because there is lots of it. There are also small bits of cookie in it giving a bit of crunch. I like caremel, and I like their caramel dipped in chocolate, so I think this is a good candy. I wish there were more cookie pieces though.

Lean Cuisine: Ginger Garlic Stir fry with Chicken

one of Stouffers Lean Cuisine Spa Cuisine classics. snap peas & broccoli with white meat chicken & whole grain rice ina ginger garlic sauce. New! with Twice the Veggies! (of an average lean cuisine entree ((excluding dinnertime selects)) ). This microwave meal does have more veggies than most lean cuisine's (although most of them are pretty weak on vegetables) This has plenty. It also has a resonable number of chicken chunks. Chalk up two wins for them. The taste is decent, a little sweet and I really couldn't taste the ginger but it was an enjoyable meal. It comes in at a reasonable 290 calories, lots of protein and not much fat. (290 calories; 4g fat; 46g carbs; 17g protein; 27% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lean Pockets: Pepperoni Pizza

A sandwich pocket filled with cheese, tomato sauce, and peperoni. This is really tasty. There is alot of peperoni and it's flavor oozes into the cheese, so every bite really tasts like peperoni and cheese. Like the other lean pockets, there is a problem, it isn't lean! At 4.5 ounces it is more of a snack than a lunch, but it still has 280 calories in it. You can get microwave meals that have twice as much food in them and the same number of calories. (280 calories; 7g fat; 43g carbs; 13g protein; 30% sodium)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Book: That's not my puppy

A great "touch and feel" book. Each of the thick board pages shows another dog, some part of him you is textured and you can touch it. Babies can tug on the shaggy ears, or rub the bumpy paws. There are only 5 puppies (each one on two pages, and six if you count the hairy one on the cover) but kids this age have short attention spans, so that doesn't turn out to be bad. Buy it at Amazon

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Samuel Adams: Honey Porter

Sam Adams Honey Porter is aonther one of their Brewmaster's Collection beers. This is a proter, so it is a dark beer, but the honey should offset some of the bitterness, which to a certain extent I am sure it does. I poured it in a glass and the beer looked black, it is that dark. It is a good beer, but in the end, it is a little too dark and bitter for me. If you like dark beers, try it though.

Campbells Chunky Healthy Request: Grilled Chicken & Sausage Gumbo soup

The soup base is a little spicy, as is the sausauge. I liked this aspect of it. They didn't overdo the spice, but it was clearly there, nipping at your tounge. There is lots of rice, and a few tomato chunks and celery chunks. The sausauge was good, but the chicken didn't live up to the billing, there were small, tastless chunks with no sign of grilling. On balance, this was a good soup, I would gladly get it again. And, since it is a Healthy Request soup it isn't all that bad for you either, the whole can (2 servings) has only 5 grams of fat and 280 calories. (140 calories; 2.5g fat; 21g carbs; 8g protein; 20% sodium; per half-can serving)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Baja Fresh: Bare Burrito

This isn't really a burrito at all, it is the stuff you find inside a burrito, but in a bowl instead of wrapped in a tortilla. You might think that this is somehow lighter and better for you than a burrito, you're half right. There is a lot less fat, but it has even more calories than most burritos, mostly from carbs. The best part about Baja Fresh is the salsa bar. Three different types of salsa, plus jalepenos, and cilantro that you can pile on as much as you want. And the best part about the Bare Burrito is that it is in a bowl, with plenty of space for piling. So go ahead and load it down. (chicken has 7g fat, 45g protein, 640 calories; steak has 15g fat, 41g protein, 700 calories; chips have 9g fat, 3g protein, 210 calories)

Lean Cuisine: Lemon Chicken

One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Spa Cuisine Classics: lightly breaded chicken breast with rib meat in lemon glaze with brown rice risotto. The breading on the chicken was a bit soggy, but, true to the package, it was lightly breaded, so the sogginess, though noted, wasn't a negative. The chicken itself is sliced thin, which also goes well with the light breading, they play well together. The lemon glaze wasn't all that great, it was lemony, but also thick and surupy, which I didn't care for. the rice risotto was dry and a bit crunchy, I didn't care for it, however, mixing the brocolli in with the rice was a good idea. Overall, I think this is an OK microwave meal. (300 calories; 9g fat; 40g carbs; 15g protein 24% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Trader Joe's: Chile Lime Chicken Burgers

This is a four pack of frozen burgers, ready to thawed in a refridgerator for 2-3 hours then cooked by you. The burgers are made out of ground chicken and have lots of seasoning. I didn't care for the texture, they were mushy. The flavor was decent, the seasoning really helped things out, without it these burgers would have been a looser, with it. Other pros are lots of protein and not much fat or carbs, which is good. Overall, they are ok, although I am sure if you put on them all the stuff that the box's picture shows they would be pretty good. (3g fat, 4g carbs; 15g protein; 11% salt)

Lean Cuisine: Beef Portabello

One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics: Roasted beef with mushrooms and red skin whipped potatoes. This frozen dinner has a winner of a sauce. A good flavor that goes well with the beef and mushrooms. The beef is decent, it is tender but it doesn't have much flavor on its own, that's ok because it gets the sauce's flavor. The mushrooms were less impressive, not quite rubbery, but not quite the right texture for a portabello mushroom either. The potatoes were good, although a bit dry, mixing sauce in with them makes them much better. I also have problems with them being called whipped, more like smashed, there were large chunks of potato in them. I liked how they were done, but they're not whipped. It weighs in at only 220 calories, I would like it to have a few more. Overall, this is a good bit of frozen food. (220 calories; 6g fat; 25g carbs; 16g protein; 28% sodium; 5 weight watchers points)