Archives: January 2011

19 Jan 2011, Comments (4)

Kashi Golden Goodness cereal

Author: Healthnuttxo

Ahh, I LOVE new products. Whenever I see them, I become an instant impulse buyer and put them in my shopping cart. This box of cereal certainly was no exception.

When I opened the box, I was a little surprised. It looks like mostly tiny flakes, with a few pieces of oats thrown in. Granola or oat clusters happen to be my favorite parts of cereal, so I was a bit bummed out.

Here's what a handful looked like

The flakes were kind of airy, slight honey flavor, and  I could certainly tell it was a wheat flake. It had that nutty after taste to it that I notice with wheat products. The oat clusters were, of course, the best part. Sweet, crunchy, slight honey/vanilla flavor. I wish there was more of them, and I wish they were BIGGER!

One thing I did love- the PORTION size! 1 1/4 cups! I hate when cereals have anything less than a 1 cup serving. I’m a cereal girl- and I like to munch on a lot with fruit and milk for a perfect breakfast 🙂 There’s also 43 grams of whole grain per serving according to the box, and 5 grams of fiber. I’d say this is a 4 star rating for me!

1 1/4 cups is 210 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.

What’s your favorite Kashi product?

18 Jan 2011, Comments (2)

Nancy’s Cultured Lowfat Cottage Cheese

Author: Healthnuttxo

Cottage cheese- I’ll admit I used to turn up my nose at the stuff when I was little. Slowly, yet surely, I broke down the wall and began to enjoy it- especially with fruit or jellies mixed in. Insert Nancy’s Cultured Lowfat Cottage Cheese- a bit different than any cottage cheese I’ve seen before. It has cultures in it, such as “Acidophilus” and “Bifidum” according to the package. Assuming these are similar to the cultures that are in yogurt, I was excited to try this. It was kind of like a two- for-one deal!

Before I tasted it, I really liked the package. It was pretty colorful, with fancy looking writing and stars on it. Pretty!

I opened up the package, and it sort of looked like rice pudding. A smooth top, with small curds of cottage cheese underneath. I took a scoop to taste, and instantly thought TART. I’m used to cottage cheese having a somewhat salty, slightly tart flavor, but this one was TART. It was almost as if greek yogurt (plain) and cottage cheese were mixed together. I’m not a huge fan of plain greek yogurt, I always have the flavored varieties, unless I mix the plain with something, for the very reason that I’m not a huge fan of the tangy aftertaste. Even after reading the lid of the carton of cottage cheese, it said it was a “fully cultured, tart’n’tangy taste”, so they certainly were telling the truth there!

Overall, while I love the benefits of cultures, can’t say I’m a big fan of the taste. Perhaps I will add some fruit or stevia next time to take off some of the tang, but as is, it’s too overwhelming for me. 2 stars.

1/2 cup is 80 calories, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar and 14 grams of protein.

What’s your favorite food that is tart? I do like some tart flavored frozen yogurt! =)

Black & White Cookies- how could you NOT like them!!?! In fact when I pulled mine out of the fridge, a friend said something like “Oh! My FAVORITE!!” (Which then I immediately stared back saying hey! this cookie is MINEE!! =)  )

Nutritious Creations makes these delicious cookies. They are rather large, about the size of a CD or even a bit bigger, that are all natural and fat free.

Starting with the best part- the frosting. It was a hard frosting, the black or chocolate side, had a deep chocolate flavor with the typical flavor that you’d find from a frosting from a jar, but without the smooth consistency. The white side, or the vanilla side, was my favorite. Sweet, and a yummy vanilla flavor, it reminded me of white chocolate. The cookie itself was somewhat dry, which makes sense seeing as there was 0 grams of fat per serving, but was sweet and also had a vanilla flavor to it. This cookie was THICK too- look at the picture!

I liked it both straight from the fridge or warmed up a bit in the microwave. Although the cookie part was kinda dry, nothing a glass of milk couldn’t help 🙂 Another thing I noticed, one serving is 2.5 oz, but after I weighed my cookie on a scale it was 3.6 oz. Not terribly off, and I expect discrepancies to happen like that when it comes to baked goods or cookies. However, I would eat this again (and again and again). It certainly satisfied my sweet tooth and I LOVE big cookies!! 4 1/2 stars

2.5 oz is 115 calories, 0 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar and 3.5 grams of protein.

Unbleached Wheat Flour, Egg Whites, Fructose, Confectionary Sugar, Water, Defatted Cocoa powder, Baking Powder, Vanilla Extract.

Introducing…… THE PERFECT POT PIE. At least it’s perfect in my eyes.

I’m a huge fan of pot pies. And to win me over, the crust has to be tasty- for to me the crust = the best part. And this pot pie surely does NOT disappoint.

I used the combination method, or the “Express Cooking” that was listed on the back of the box. A combo of microwave + oven, in around 20 minutes or so.  The crust was a golden brown on the outside, crisp edges with a slightly doughy middle. Like a flat biscuit placed on top- the perfect pie crust. It was tender and incredible.

Moving on to the insides, there was good sized chunks of juicy, slightly salty chicken, peas that were soft yet still firm (I hope that makes sense…), soft carrots and bites of potatoes. What I liked also about the potatoes is that some of the pieces still had the skin on, but it was very tender and even fluffy- the box stated that they were “organic red potatoes”. All of the inside of the pot pie was in a delicious gravy-like mixture- it was thick, creamy, and tasted like chicken stock.

To be honest, how it looks on the box is how it looked on my plate. I would have taken a picture, but I started eating it before I realized. (Oops!) It went perfect with a side of steamed broccoli. The only downside was that this pie had a good amount of both fat (17 grams) and saturated fat (8 grams) but wasn’t too bad with the sodium (470 mg). So what does this get? 5 stars! 8)

1 package (227 g) is 340 calories, 17 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

Do you eat pot pies? What’s your favorite brand?

One of the things I love is roasted red potatoes. I’d take them over mashed/baked potatoes anyday. Something about the crisp outside and soft inside and great flavor that always wins me over. So I was excited to get the Meals to Live Grilled White Chicken with Roasted Red Potatoes & Green Beans in the mail the other day and try it. I recently tried the other two Meals to Live frozen meals, and was hoping this one would be my favorite.

So after cooking in the microwave, I transferred it to a plate (I tend to do this a lot. I like eating on plates better than out of a carton or container. Who knows?) Here’s how it looked

I actually thought it looked pretty tasty =)

When I did transfer it to a plate I noticed a rather good amount of liquid went with it. Chicken Broth? Water left over from the frozen green beans? I wasn’t sure, but I just discarded it.

First I tried the green beans. They were a bit disappointing- a little chewy, with a hint of salt flavor to them. Not bad, but not spectacular.

Next up, the chicken. Much better than I had expected! It was a bit salty, chewy, and actually quite delicious! A few pieces were a bit dry, but nothing too serious.

And now, the potatoes! I couldn’t wait to try these. The box depicted them as being crispy, so I was let down to find out my potatoes were mushy. I kind of expected it, seeing as I cooked it in a microwave instead of the oven, but they tasted more like a baked potato than roasted potatoes. However, they were still pretty good. They had a good flavor, and although the texture didn’t live up, the taste certainly reminded me of yummy roasted red potatoes, with a bit of black pepper flavor as well.

Overall, a pretty good dish. More food was put on my plate than I had expected, because I thought the tray was rather small. I wish there was a different vegetable instead of green beans (perhaps broccoli?? =) !), because the texture kind of brought the dish down. However, I would certainly eat it again. 4 stars. This dish is also gluten free, according to the box.

1 package (198 grams) is 200 calories, 3 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar and 14 grams of protein.

What’s your favorite way to eat POTATOES?

I was provided this meal to try for free from Meals to Live.

13 Jan 2011, Comments (1)

Chatfield’s Carob Powder

Author: Healthnuttxo

Ever heard of Carob Powder? I remember reading about carob instead of cocoa when I was younger in health magazines and whatnot, but never actually tried it. But I was sent a free can of Carob Powder from Chatfield’s/PANOS Brands and now had the opportunity to do so.

According to the can, there is “No Chocolate, Cocoa or Caffeine” in this powder, and is also “all  natural”. I wanted to make a batch of homemade brownies, but saw that it called for cocoa powder. Coincidentally, the back of the can of carob powder said “If substituting for cocoa, replace with equal measure”. So, I ended up making the brownies with half carob powder and half cocoa powder.

Comparing cocoa to carob powder, they are similar in appearance, but I’d say carob has a deeper smell, and a different taste. I noticed that my brownies had a very rich and deep chocolate-like taste, with just a slight bit of bitterness.

Have you ever tried carob powder? What do you use it for?

1 tbsp is 20 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar and 0 grams of protein.

Another granola review from the New England Naturals line! Last time I tried the Banana Walnut and thought it was pretty good. Now today is the New England Naturals Organic Antioxidant Granola with Superfruit Berries and Vanilla.

So this one, according to the package, has “36 grams of whole grains”, and is “rich in Omega-3”.Now, to be fair, I believe somebody got a hold of this bag of granola before I got to try it, so half the bag was gone (I have some hungry people living in my house apparently!!). So I thought well, if half the bag is gone, this HAS to be good! I opened it up and saw mostly oats, with some pieces of dried fruit and an occasional sunflower seed/ walnut piece, which were crunchy and fresh tasting.

Anyway- the granola itself had a good crunch and had a mild sweetness. It had a vanilla flavor and a bit of cinnamon as well. I imagine this being a great granola for putting on yogurt! There also were plump and sweet raisins, and red bits of dried fruit as well. I thought they were all cranberries. And although there were some cranberries, they were NOT all cranberries. I did NOT like the other orangey/red pieces- I looked at the ingredients and found out they were goji berries. I have tried goji berries before in other products and thought they were ok, but these had a horrible aftertaste. Bitter, and just NOT my kind of berry. I was glad the sweet raisins were there- I think they came to the rescue!

However, all together- quite tasty! I loved the consistency of the granola, and the overall flavor, minus the goji berries, was quite good. A serving of 1/2 cup has 4 grams of fiber and only 6 grams of fat, so that’s pretty good in my eyes. I also love that it’s organic, of course! 3 1/2 stars.

1 serving ( 1/2 cup) is 230 calories, 6 grams of fat, 37 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein.

Are you a fan of Goji Berries?

I received this granola to try for free from New England Naturals.

11 Jan 2011, Comments (1)

Lean Cuisine Four Cheese Pizza

Author: Healthnuttxo

Browsing the grocery store, all of a sudden I thought Pizzzzzaaa. I want some pizza!! So I decided to try something I haven’t tried before, a Lean Cuisine Pizza. I picked this particular one because the ingredients looked pretty good, and there was 20 grams of protein in one of the pizzas.

I pulled it out of my freezer around 4:45 thinking I could put it in the oven for 40 minutes or so and then have it for dinner, but when I went to refer to the box for directions, it ONLY provided a microwave option! So microwave it was. There were directions to follow on how to open the box with a silver part of the box facing up that I would then put the pizza on. Well, to be honest, it took me a minute or so to figure out how to open the box. I’m also what they call “an eager beaver” and opened up the wrong side of the box before I read the instructions. So. Anyway-

I put my pizza and my steamed broccoli (broccoli? When do I ever eat that?!!?) on a plate. I was impressed that the pizza did in fact crisp up- no soggy bottom! So, first I took a bite of the crust on the outside, expected something tasty, garlicy and delicious. How was it? BLAND. I can’t even describe how bland the crust was. Almost like a flavorless crouton. It really needed something- even just some garlic or a dusting or parmesan cheese.

Moving on to the inside of the pizza, the first thing I noticed when I took a bite was the sauce- it was a sweet tomato sauce that was seasoned pretty well. The cheese was also good, I detected mostly a parmesan flavor. It was a bit salty, not stringy or greasy at all. In fact, this whole pizza wasn’t really greasy at all.

Overall, 2 1/2 stars. The crust was such a let down to me, it wasn’t even really doughy, kind of airy. The cheese and the sauce were pretty good, but the pizza as a whole reminded me of a typical frozen pizza. I did like that my hands weren’t all greasy when I finished the pizza, and that it also had 30% of calcium needs in 1 pizza.

1 pizza was 340 calories, 6 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar and 20 grams of protein.

Ever tried Lean Cuisine products? Which one is your favorite?

In the mood to bake something, I pulled out the Ella Scones Chocolatte All Natural Scone Mix I was sent to try for free from Ella Scones a little while ago. I tried another mix in the past, and was rather pleased, so I thought this one should be good as well. Plus, it has chocolate in it! One of the things I like about this mix is that on the package it says it is “rich in Soy & Omega-3, which in studies have showed to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease”. If I’m going to eat a baked good, it might as well be helpful to my body!

There was the option to make muffins instead of scones, and I opted for that. It required 1 1/2 cups of milk and 2 T of sugar (I used a sugar alternative, and a bit more than 2 T because I like a sweet product!), along with the mix. It didn’t really have any instructions for making it the muffin way aside from how long to cook it and what to add (there were instructions for the scones),  so I just mixed in a bowl but didn’t overmix. The mix was slightly lumpy at first, and then was smooth in no time with medium sized chocolate chips. I scooped it out of the bowl into a muffin pan and got 12 muffins out of the mix.

While it baked in the oven, I wondered why chocolatte? Would it have some type of coffee flavor? Or would it be the perfect accompaniment  to a latte? Guess I wouldn’t know until I tried it.

Once out of the oven, they smelled like biscuits, and they had a very smooth and rounded appearance. I took a bite of one after I let it cool for a few minutes, and found it to be somewhat of a dense muffin. Not super crumbly, but certainly moist and actually pretty good. They even had that “fudgy” consistency that brownies sometimes have. They were not too sweet, but the chocolate chips added a nice touch. I could sort of taste a hint of an oily flavor, but not too overpowering.

Overall, 3 1/2 stars. They are made with wheat flour instead of whole wheat flour (I would prefer if whole wheat or white whole wheat was used), but I do like that they have Omega-3 in them. I also LOVE that they were so moist. Nothing is worse to me than a dry muffin! I think they are a good snack, and the chocolate chips make them feel dessert-like!

Here’s the nutrition for preparing it the scone method. 1 scone (makes 10 scones) is 199 calories, 7 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 9 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein.

If you had to choose, scone or muffin?

9 Jan 2011, Comments (0)

Meals to Live White Chicken Burrito

Author: Healthnuttxo

Following my last Meals to Live review, last night I tried the White Chicken Burrito. It sounded delicious, and good for me too! It had 15 grams of fiber, 17 grams of protein, and only 5 grams of fat (and only 480 mg of sodium, which I don’t think is that bad!)

I opened the box, cooked it for about 5 minutes in the microwave, and took off the plastic. I saw a rather large brownish square with some green color on it as well from the green sauce. I then transferred it to a plate, and noticed that the “green sauce” as stated on the front of the box was more like a green paste or gel. It certainly didn’t have a lot of fluidity, and was just kind of like a spicy green jelly.

Anyway, I opened up the burrito to show you what it looks like. Here’s what I saw…

*apologies for the blurriness! I'm a horrible picture-taker 🙂 *

As you can see, it took up the majority of my plate, and was rather large. The inside had quinoa, black beans, corn and more. I decided to try the tortilla first.It was actually pretty good- chewy, slightly crispy on the edges, and quite yummy. The green sauce didn’t really add much to it, aside from a little bit of spiciness.

Next, I tried the inside of the burrito. It was rather dry, and kind of pasty. There were also pieces of chicken on the inside which were chewy, but good, and not overly salty tasting. There wasn’t a lot of unique flavor going on because it was SO SPICY! Honestly, I couldn’t really distinguish flavors of anything because it was so overly spicy. Perhaps if you like the heat in foods, you would like this, but so not for me. All I could taste was the spice!

Overall, it wasn’t exactly my favorite dish, but perhaps I would have liked it more if it wasn’t so SPICY!  And, it did have pretty impressive nutritional stats, leaving this dish at 2 1/2 stars.

1 package (255 grams) is 5 grams of fat, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 15 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 17 grams of protein.

If you could make the perfect burrito, what foods would  you put in it?

I was provided this meal to try for free from Meals to Live.

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