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)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Samuel Adams: Brown Ale

Sam Adams Brown Ale, another one of the Brewmaster's Collection beers. I was expecting something a bit lighter than regular Sam, but I think this is heavier. It was also harsher and more bitter than either the regular Sam, or the Black Lager, which both suprised and disappointed me. I wouldn't turn this down, but I liked both the regular Sam Adams and the Sam Adams Black Lager better.

Lean pockets: Ham and Cheese

Lots of cheese and ham in a somewhat leaky bread pocket. Easy to cook, 2 minutes in the microwave, a good bread pocket that isn't soggy or chewy, overall a tasty snack. But wait, a snack I say? Yup, it is only about 4.5 ounces, not really enough for a meal. It's lean though right? you say. Well, not really. Even though it says lean, there are still 280 calories in it. For comparison, I had a microwave meal today that was 9 ounces and 220 calories. These are good, but they don't live up to the 'Lean' in the name. (280 calories; 7g fat; 41g carbs; 13g protein; 29% sodium)

Hershey's Take 5 candy bar

This one fits in the category of "lets just put everything in" It
is a lumpy combination of pretzels, caramel, peanuts, peanut butter, and
milk chocolate. You put that many good things in and it is hard to make
it bad, but I don't think they build on each other either. You can
taste the chocolate, pretzels, and salt (on the pretzels), and sometimes
you can taste the caramel, but the peanuts and peanut butter get a bit lost.
I am also don't care for salty pretzels and chocolate, although
I know some people really like that. There are better candy bars out
there that I would rather have than this one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Quiznos Sub: Sierra Smoked Turkey

Hickory smoked turkey, lettuce, tomato, red onion and raspberry chipotle sauce. Quiznos subs are toasted, which means that before they put on most of the condements (like lettuce and tomato) they run it through a toasting oven that warms up the meat and toasts the bread. It makes for a good taste and slightly warm meat. This is a basic turkey sub, but it is one of their 'lite selections', which hopefully means fewer calories and fat. I was disappointed to find out their website doesn't have nutrition information on it, so I don't know how lite they really are. The only thing unusual on the sub is the raspberry chipotle sauce. I almost ordered my sub without it because I don't like sweet sauces on my main course, but I got it and am pretty pleased with it. It wasn't very sweet and had a bit of a smokey flavor, it keeps it from being 'just' a turkey sub.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Book: Are you my Mother?

This is one of my favorite Dr. Zeuss books. A little bird hatches and can't find his mother so goes looking for her. While looking he sees all sorts of animals, but doesn't find his mother. Eventually he makes it back to his nest, then his mother comes back and he recognizes her instantly. She never knew he was away. Best line in the book: "You are not my mother, you are a scary snort" My kid likes pointing out the bird on every page and making animal sounds as we go along. You can get this book as the standard paper 72 page book for young readers, or the abridged "board book" for babies to play with.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Wild Cherry Pepsi

As a kid I really liked Cherry Coke, then as I got older, it started being too sweet for me. Since Pepsi is a bit sweeter than Coke, you won't be suprised that it is sweeter than I like. Other than that, it has that wholesome caffeine goodness. It has a mild cherry flavor, just enough so that you know it is there, but not enough to overpower the cola. (160 calories; 0g fat; 42g carb; 0g protein; 1% sodium; per 12oz can)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Negligent Dancing?

A Chicago woman is suing her dance partner for dropping her on her head. In April 2006, Lacey Hindman, 22 with David Prange during a party at a Chicaco bar when Prange grabbed her by the forearms and tosser her in the air, neglecting to catch her. "I fell hard enough you could hear the impact of me hitting the floor over the sound of the jukebox. said Hindman who filed suit in the Cook County Circuit Court. She claims she suffered a fractured skull and brain injuries and is seeking damages for medical bills and lost wages.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Lean Cuisine: Deep Dish margharita pizza

Part of Stouffer's Lean Cusine casual eating classics menu. A single serving pizza with chunky tomatoes, garlic, basil, and tomato sauce with extra virgin olive oil. Pizza usually has lots of cheese, thus, lots of fat. Doing pizza the low-fat way is tough. If you look at the picture on the box, the pizza shows lots of
cheese. That is deceptive, there isn't very much cheese on the pizza, and what cheese there was, wasn't evenly spread out. There is lots of crust (it is deep dish afterall) a reasonable amount of tomato sauce and diced tomatos, aand a little bit of cheese. The box said to put it in for 2:30 to 3:30, but for an extra crispy crust, put it in for an extra 30 seconds. I like crispy, so I cooked it for 3:30, which ended up drying the crust out (but it was crispy) I probably should have cooked it a little less. (lesson learned).
The pizza itself was decent, you wouldn't confuse it for pizza parlor pizza, or even pizza delivery, it still has lots of calories for what you get, with a 25% coming from fat. If you really crave pizza, this could fit the bill, but I wouldn't make it part of my regular menu. (320 calories; 9g fat; 48g carbs;
14g protein; 23% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Sensible Portions: Cheddar multi-grain crisps.

These look a lot like soy chips, however, they contain no soy (and no wheat gluten for those of you with Coeliac disease). These fairly thin baked disks with curled up edge chips are crisp, but airy, with most of the flavor coming from the powedered cheese on them, but some flavor appears to come from the chips themselves. They are good, better than many of the soy chips out there. They also don't have the rice-cake like dry mouth effect. The comparisons to soy chips are obvious and not always favorable, for instance, soy chips usually have much more protien then fat, and these chips have about the same amount of protein and fat. I find it ironic that the brand Sensible Portions comes in such a large bag, but since the crisps are so light, it only 16 servings in the bag. (120 calories; 1.5g fat; 14g carbs, 2g protein; 7% sodium; per one ounce serving)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Monday the Bullfrog

Monday the Bullfrog is a book/stuffed animal. Yes it is both, at the same time. The mouth of the stuffed frog opens and each of the heavy cardboard pages is about the animal the bullfrog ate that day, each day a different one until Saturday, but I won't spoil the suprise on that one. I doubt they are all animals bullfrogs eat (crabs? I think not). Also part of each animal (such as the crab's claw) are made of different types of material and stick out from the page, so there is something new for the kids to play with each day. An odd book, but at least I will always know that "Tuesday was furry and white". Buy at Amazon

Ventera Ranch: Stuffed Chicken Breasts

These Chicken Breasts come stuffed with white and wild rice, carrots, red bell peppers, and shitake mushrooms. There is also a separate packet of a hawaiian glaze sauce. I think that the most suprising part of this was that the chicken breasts were so big. You sort of expect lots of stuffing and not much chicken, but just the opposite was true, there was lots of chicken and not a whole lot of the rice stuffing. The chicken was moist and tender and the glaze had a hint of sweet, but not much. The rice was the weakest part, it didn't have much flavor, and as I noted above, there wasn't much of it. There were also a few places on the chicken where I had to cut fat off. Over all, not a bad experience, especially one that takes less than ten minutes. (140 calories; 2g fat; 6g carbs; 23g protein; 20% sodium; per 5 oz serving).

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

This is my daughter 'Metallica'

People outside the U.S. give their kids stupid names too. A couple in Sweden are in court trying to name their baby girl 'Metallica' because according to her mother, Karolina Tomaro, 27, "It suites her". They have already won one round in the County Administrative Court in Goteborg which noted there was already someone in Sweden with Metallica as a middle name.

Names have to be registered with the Sedish National Tax Board, which rejected the application becuase it was associated with both the rock group and the word "metal".

Lean Cuisine: Chicken with basil cream sauce

One of Stouffer's Lean Cuisine Cafe Classics: Chicken with basil cream sauce; chicken breast with rib meat & angel hair pasta. This is a very good frozen meal. the sauce is creamy with a good flavor. The pasta came out well cooked, with good flavor due to the mixed in bits of veggies and herbs. The chicken slices were thin but moist, with bits of basil stuck to it. There is lots of protein, and not too much fat. Even the sodium is reasonable. This is going on my 'eat again' list. (280 calories; 7g fat; 35g carbs; 18g protein; 20% sodium; 6 weight watchers points)

Diet Rite Pure Zero Tangerine

The pure zero refers to 0 calories, 0 carbs, 0 caffeine, 0 sodium. It is made with Splenda. It is pretty good, sweet, but not too sweet, no aftertaste. It has an orangey-tangerine flavor. I generally stay a way from soda's without caffeine (what's the point? It is like cigarettes without nicotine.) But I wanted something sweet so I decided to try it. I was plesantly suprised and have had a couple of more. The only negative is that if I didn't know it was tangerine, I probably would have guessed it was orange flavored, when you get into the artificial flavors orange and tangerine taste very close.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Samuel Adams: Black Lager

Sam Adams makes good beer. Sure, a beer snob might look down on it, but I like it. It has a much fuller flavor than most beers, and I tend to like mine a bit dark, not the watery Bud or Rolling Rock. Given this, Black Lager seems custom made for me. It is much like regular Sam, but is darker, with a rich flavor and a bit more bite, but not harsh. I wouldn't say I like it better than regular Sam, but it is a nice change sometimes. (144 calories; 0g fat; 13g carbs; 1.2g protein; per 12 oz bottle)

Crossfire Grill: Burgers and fries

Start with the french fries: you can get them either plain or with garlic seasoning (I like the plain best) You can also get sweet potato fries which are a nice change of pace. The regular size is really big, probably two potatos worth,I have no idea how big the large is. The fries are good, they still have the skin on and are cooked in peanut oil.

Now for the burgers. I always get the hamburger, because there are so many french fries that I have trouble finishing them, so no need to get a more feature rich burger. You get your choice of toppings (all included in the price): mayo, katchup, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickle, relish, onion, green pepper, fried onion, sauteed mushroom, hot sauce, BBQ sauce. other burgers they have are the Bleu cheesburger, the bacon heeseburger, the double cheeseburger, and various combinations of the above. They also sell hot dogs which are good too. They also sell beer and wine by the bottle and soft drinks (free refills, but fairly expensive at $1.79) I have never been to "5 guys burgers and fries" but from what I have heard, it compares favorably, with some people giving the nod to crossfire, and others preferring 5-guys. Crossfire is located on Edgemoor LN, at Old Georgetown Rd, right next to Chipotle's in Bethesda, MD

Monday, April 2, 2007

Progresso: Tomato Rotini Soup

Mmm, tomato soup. I like a good tomato soup, and this is a good one. The rotini noodles are firm (how they keep noodles firm while sitting in a can of liquid I will never know) There are small chunks of tomato, and bits of spices. This thick soup is slightly acidic, but overall pleasant. Campbell's condensed tomato soup is still my favorite (it has less sodium, fat, carbs, calories, and protein) especially when made with milk, but if you want the un-condensed soup because it is easier to microwave, this is worth trying. (140 calories; 1g fat; 29g carbs; 4g protein; 40% sodium; per half-can serving)

Shaved, Shredded, or grated Parmesan cheese

Nothing beats freshly grated parmesan cheese, but it isn't always handy, and most of the time I seem to be in too much of a hurry to grate it on demand, so I use pre-cut cheese. That leads me to question, which kind to get? shaved, shredded, or grated? When fresh grated is best, it is airy and has lots of surface area so you get lots of aroma and flavor without using a huge amount. However, these same caracteristics make it loose flavor fast when bought pre-grated. The next contender is shaved. large, paper thin slices of cheese. I find that you usually get some really large ones, lots of flakes, then a bunch much like the grated. The big ones tend to be too big, and the small bits loose flavor just like the grated cheese. Finally, the winner, shredded. These are large enough to hold in the flavor while on the shelf, but small enough to give it up easily when you put it on food.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Trader Joes: Kosher Sandwich Pickles

These are pickles sliced lengthwise into thin slices, perfect for putting on you sandwiches, but I like just eating them straight. The are very crisp and bright. The pickle flavor really stands out. I think they are better than most of the sandwich slice pickles. They taste very salty, but looking at the ingredients, I can see they don't have any more salt than most pickles (yup thats alot I know). (5 calories; 0g fat; 1g carbs; 12% sodium; per two slices)

Annie's single serving Microwavable Mac & Cheese

Annie's foods are all natural, which is supposed to make them better for you. This one even has organic pasta. This box comes with 5 single-serving packets, all you do is put the pasta in a bowl with half a cup of water and nuke it for 3 minutes, then mix in the powdered cheese and let it sit for a minute. It is quick and easy and tastes pretty good too. The only downside I see is the amount of sodium, 24% of your daily allowance for a side dish, ouch. (230 calories; 4.5g fat; 9g protein; 40g carbs)