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.