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)