Monthly Archives: August 2009

Amy’s Southern Dinner

south

Let me start off by saying I love Amy’s. Yes, Amy, you are expensive. Yes, you continually eat up my extra cash in my wallet. But, yes, you continually will remain in my freezer, my microwave/oven, and my happy stomach. Amy’s Southern Dinner IS THE BEST dinner i have had so far. I have tried MANY of her dinners, all satisfying, but this one really takes the cake. It is cornbread & beans with greens and sweet potatoes, of course made with all natural/organic ingredients.

I’ll admit, picking this dinner up i was a little iffy. Eh, spinach? I don’t like spinach i thought. And sweet potatoes? i normally pass on those at Thanksgiving. Was this dinner really worth the $4.99 i was about to pay?
YES YES AND YES.Let’s just start with the breakdown of this meal.

The Beans- Pinto beans to be exact. I really am not a fan of beans. But these were yummy. Soft and tender, they reminded me of baked beans you would get in a can (but better!). I especially enjoyed the crusty edges that form from the sauce when you cook it in the microwave (i dont know if that’s just me, but i enjoy that “crusty overcooked” part in pretty much every frozen dinner…)

Greens- a medley of spinach, collard greens and swiss chard. There was also hidden mushrooms that popped up under all that green goodness. As i said before, i HATE spinach. I dont care if Pop-eye eats it. I dont care if it’s like the BEST vegetable to eat. I HATE IT. But not if Amy is cooking it! The greens were buttery and garlicky and just yummy. An enjoyable experience with veggies. 🙂

Cornbread=yummy & yellow. It actually had kernels of corn in it you could see, and little red pimientos throughout the cornbread. It was light, a little grainy, but sweet and delicious. It was my second favorite component of the meal (sweet potatoes won me over).

Lastly- Sweet Potatoes. Holy. Moley. THESE=HEAVEN. So creamy and buttery i was SO HAPPY eating this. I never wanted them to end! I never really had a sweet potatoe straight up, and whoever cooks them at my Thanksgiving dinner NEEDS to take some cooking advice from Amy, because SHE ROCKS AT MAKING SWEET POTATOES. Ahh these were so delicious.

Overall, i can’t wait to buy and eat this again. CAN”T WAIT. It was so satisfyingly delicious. Normally you get a part of a frozen dinner that is “eh”, but this WHOLE dinner is good.

One dinner is 310 calories, 7 grams of fat, 51 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, and 11 grams of protein. Nice 🙂

apparently there’s cheese in this meal?? i didn’t really taste any. but. who cares!?
ORGANIC PINTO BEANS, FILTERED WATER, ORGANIC SWEET POTATOES, ORGANIC COLLARD GREENS, ORGANIC SWISS CHARD, ORGANIC LOWFAT MILK, ORGANIC ONIONS, ORGANIC CORNMEAL, ORGANIC CORN, MUSHROOMS, GRADE AA BUTTER, ORGANIC TOMATO PUREE, ORGANIC WHEAT FLOUR, NONFAT YOGURT, ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, PIMIENTOS, CHEDDAR CHEESE, SEA SALT, ORGANIC GARLIC, EXPELLER PRESSED HIGH OLEIC SAFFLOWER AND /OR SUNFLOWER OIL, ORGANIC MAPLE SYRUP, ORGANIC CORNSTARCH, SPICES, BAKING SODA, ORGANIC APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, ORGANIC BLACKSTRAP MOLASSES, BAKING POWDER, ORGANIC GREEN BELL PEPPERS, ORGANIC CELERY, ORGANIC BLACK PEPPER, NATURAL HICKORY SMOKE FLAVOR, MUSTARD SEEDS, GRAIN VINEGAR.

CLICK HERE FOR MY FREE GIVE-AWAY OF MUSSELMANS APPLESAUCE

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Odwalla Bars

od

On my never ending hunt to find the perfect pre-workout bar, i discovered Odwalla Bars at my local Stop & Shop. They had a variety of flavors, ranging from fruity to nutty, and even ones with extra protein. Odwalla claims that their products are “where nutritious and delicious finally meet”, and only use ingredients found from Mother Nature. They also never contain any preservatives, artificial flavors or colors, trans fats, or GMOs, and their bars are made with whole grains. They sounded pretty good for a pre-workout bar with some fruit to me.
I picked up two of the flavors, Choco-walla Bar and SuperFood variety.
Next time i go to the store, iw ould liek to try the Mocha-walla and the Chocolate Chip Peanut. They were, sadly, sold out when i went to the store though 😦

Moving on, the taste…
Choco-walla– uh, can you say, DELICIOUS? Who knew chocolate for breakfast could be healthy and delicious?! It wasn’t overpoweringly sweet, which is a good thing for me, but rather just the right amount of sweetness. It was certainly chocolately too. Semi-sweet chocolate chips were used, and i even tasted hints of  almond and vanilla flavors as well. Odwalla claims that this bar will satisfy my sweeth tooth, and it sure did! I also really liked how this bar had 5 grams of filling fiber. Woo!  This bar is also a good source of Vitamin E & C, and beta-Carotene.

Each bar is 210 calories, 5 grams of fat,39 carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.

Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Rolled Oats, SemiSweet Chocolate Chips (Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Ground Vanilla Beans), Oat Bran, Organic Oat Flour, , Organic Evaporated cane Juice Syrup, Date Puree, Raisin Puree, Vegetable Gycerin, Oat Fiber, Plum Puree, Dutch Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Diced Dry Roasted Almonds, Less than 2% of Organic Soy Nuts, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Natural Flavor, Natural Chocolate Liquor, Organic Sunflower Oil, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Salt, Vitamin E (D-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate), Beta Carotene and Folic Acid

SuperFood- Okay, don’t freak out, but this bar is GREEN. Green like spinach. I opened up the package, and i was like wait, is my bar green? or is it just too early in the morning for me? Nope. It indeed, is GREEN. But in this case, GREEN = GOOD. There are 500mg of Spirulina which gives it the color. Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is the most nutrient rich whole food in existence. Nice! It tasted fruity, however, with banana flavors, soft oats and plump raisins throughout the bar. I also tasted a little bit of coconut too. This one’s definitely a keeper for me!

One bar is 200 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 39 carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.

Grape Juice Concentrate, Dates, Raisins, Dried Bananas, Rolled Oats (Organic), Diced Dried Bananas (Organic) (Bananas, Rice Flour), Oat Bran, Rice Syrup, Dried Unsulfured Unsweetened Coconut, Brown Crisp Rice (Rice Flour, Rice Bran, Rosemary Extract), Soy Butter (Soybeans, Soybean Oil, Salt), Vegetable Glycerine, Barley Flour, Oat Flour, Mango, Apple Juice (Apple Juice Concentrate, Water, Ascorbic Acid), Vanilla Flavor, Spirulina, Calcium Carbonate, Soy Lecithin, Baking Soda (Aluminum Free), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Folic Acid

Overall, the 2 bars i tried, i enjoyed. They are soft-baked bars with wholesome, natural ingredients. I can’t wait to try more. Which ones are your favorites?

CHECK OUT THIS GIVE-AWAY

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GIVE-AWAY TIME!

My first give-away!

If you would like to win a FREE sampler from Musselman’s company of the three types of applesauce i reviewed previously (Key Lime Cupuacu, Pomegrante Berry and Raspberry Acai) along with a cute tote bag, then you must…
1. Add me to your blogroll [if you have a blog, website/ etc.]. if not, you may still enter
2. Leave a comment on this page or the apple-sauce review page telling me what your favorite thing to do with applesauce is/favorite flavor/brand.

the contest will go on until next week, where i will randomly select a winner.
Enter Quick!! 🙂

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Musselman’s Healthy Picks Applesauce

Healthy Picks Group Image

Yum. I love applesauce. Growing up, i would have it pretty much with everything. Chicken nuggets, macaroni & cheese, as a side with my mashed potatoes. I just love applesauce! Which is why i was super excited to try Musselman’s Healthy Picks Applesauce in cool flavors like Key Lime Cupuacu, Raspberry Acai, and Blueberry Pomegranate. Their line is “designed specifically for people with busy, active lifestyles”, which is just PERFECT for me. Musselman makes this line with no artificial colors or flavors, no added sugar, enriched with calcium and vitamin C, and is a good source of fiber per cup.

I decided to have these with a granola bar pre workout. Apples supposedly wake you up better than a cup of coffee (I work out in the mornings), and according to Musselman’s pamphlet i was provided with, “Apples contain complex carbohydrates that give you energy faster than eating something high in sugar”. Energy & Antioxidants-nice!

So how were they?
Berry Pomegranate- This one had a nice blueberry flavor too it. It wasn’t too sweet, and complimented my granola bar nicely. It had a slightly bitter aftertaste to it, probably due to the pomegranate.
Raspberry Acai- this one was sweeter than the pomegranate flavor. It had a hint of a lemony taste to it, and was tartish so to speak. It wasn’t bitter, but had a tart flavor to it. In my opinion it had more of a cherry flavor than raspberry, but i liked this one.
Key Lime Cupuacu-  uh.. YUM! This one was the BEST! It also was slightly tart, and sweeter than both of the other varieties. It had a nice blend of flavors that tasted like lime, lemon and granny smith apples all mixed together. This one was my favorite of the three.
All three of the applesauces had a “heftier” feel and texture than your typical applesauce. Not saying it was a chunky variety per se, but it had a bit more of a bite and wasn’t as smooth as other applesauce I have had before. They were also suprisingly filling (probably due to the 3 grams of fiber per cup).

Musselman’s also promotes a few healthy ideas and tips with their applesauces as well. You can pop one of these in the freezer until slushy for a frozen treat (which I tried- it was yummy and low- calorie!)
You can also use applesauce to replace the fat in some recipes to lower the overall fat and calorie content. I bet if i used the Key Lime Cupuacu to replace the oil in some recipes it would have people guessing what I used to give the recipe that “kick” , but i’ll never tell! 🙂

One cup is 70 calories, 0 grams of fat,  17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of protein. You also get 25% vitamin C and 10% calcium.

Berry Pomegranate-apples, water, dextrin (soluble fiber source), apple concentrate, blueberry concentrate, calcium lactate (u.s.p. grade) and ascorbic acid (vitamin c), natural flavor, pomegranate concentrate.

Raspberry Acai-apples, water, dextrin (soluble fiber source), apple concentrate, raspberry puree, tart cherry concentrate, acai puree,  calcium lactate (u.s.p. grade) and ascorbic acid (vitamin c).

Key Lime Cupuacu- apples, water, dextrin (soluble fiber source), apple concentrate, cupuacu concentrate, key lime concentrate, passionfruit concentrate, calcium lactate (u.s.p. grade) and ascorbic acid (vitamin c).

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Cedarlane Moussaka Eggplant Mediterranean

eegg

Let me just cut to the chase with this one.
THIS MEAL KICKS BUTT.

I never in my life tried a piece of eggplant. It looks nasty, it’s ugly looking (okay that’s 2 superficial reasons…) and it was just never my vegetable “of choice”. So i was skeptical to try this meal, eggplant? And Eggplant Moussaka? What does that mean? According to Cedarlane, “Moussaka” is just another word for Eggplant Mediterranean in the Old World.  Either way, THIS MEAL IS SO GOOD.
I decided to try it because after overindulging myself with 2 HUGE garlic knots from my local pizza place (oops!), i wanted a healthier dinner that was lower in carbs to balance out all that greasy dough. So i figured what they heck.

So let’s begin. This dish is slices of roasted eggplant in a tomato sauce that has carrots, mushrooms, red bell peppers, feta cheese and other spices in it. Then on the top is a little smattering of a white sauce. The eggplant is amazing. It’s soft, it is bursting with flavor, and it melts in your mouth like butter. I am definetely an eggplant friend now 🙂
The veggies are awesome too. There are thick chunks of carrots, and the vegetables as a whole add a little spicy kick to the meal.
There is also “Ground Round”, or veggie crumbles. After all, this meal is vegetarian. They taste almost exactly like and have the same consistency of ground beef. They are also delicious.
Lastly the white sauce on top. I didn’t care for it too much, it was slightly bland compared to the flavor of the rest of the meal, and if it wasn’t there i honestly wouldn’t have missed it. But who cares. This meal is so good they can keep it or ditch it and i would be happy all the same.
Overall, this meal is tomatoey, gooey, savory and just DELICIOUS! You must must must try it!!

Hows the nutrition? Excellent as well!
per dish, it’s 230 calories, 10 grams of fat, 22 carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, and 13 grams of protein. You also get 20% calcium and vitamin C, and 35% vitamin A. Yay!

Eggplant, Milk, Crushed Tomatoes, Veggie Ground Round (Water, Textured Soy Protein, textured Wheat Protein, Natural Falvor, Malt Extract, Salt, Onion Powder, Evaporated Cane Juice, Carrageenan, Garlic Powder, Spices, Wheat Germ, Oat Bran, Vitamins and Minerals), Fire Roasted Tomatoes (Tomatoes, Tomatoe Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride and Citric Acid), Feta Cheese (Pasteurized Milk, Salt and Enzymes), Onions, Carrots, Mushrooms, Rice Vinegar, Organic Unbleached Wheat Flour, Canola Oil, Red Bell Peppers, Green Bell Peppers, Extra Virgin Oilve Oil, Parsley, Water, Spices, Garlic Powder, Cornstarch, Salt, Guar Gum, Lemon Peel.

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Seeds of Change Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles

 

Normally I pop something by Amy’s or Kashi in for my frozen dinners, but i was feeling something different. So shopping at Whole Foods (where else do i shop!?!), I picked up Seeds of Change Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles with Vegetables & Tofu. It looked pretty good, pretty much all of the ingredients were organic, and it looked healthy. Like there was a good amount of vegetables in there too, and since I LOOVEE peanut butter, I thought I couldn’t lose!
So how was it?
Well, after cooking it for 5 minutes in the microwave, my kitchen had the aroma of a Chinese food restaurant.
As for the taste?

In a word, SPICY. WOO. Have some water/milk near by. It’s not SOOO spicy that it’s overpowering, but you will feel a burn on your lips, in your mouth, and as the food goes down your belly. Or at least i did. I was happy I had some water near by, needless to say 🙂

The noodles are cooked perfectly. Not too chewy, and not too hard either. There was a lot of them too. I almost wish there was more vegetables than noodles, but that’s personal preference, I’m just not a pasta person. I also wish they were whole grain noodles 😦 .
The peanut sauce is so yummy. It has the consistency of an alfredo sauce, it’s creamy and has a hint of sweetness, and then a KICK of spice. I’m going to hold the cayenne pepper responsible for that! It has a nice peanutty taste to it too, and I even found a few peanut chunks in the dish as well.
The tofu was my favorite part. It soaked up the peanutty taste, and was perfectly cooked. Yum. How come when i cook tofu it never comes out as good as this (or Amy’s tofu!?) ?!
Lastly, the veggies. There are carrots, broccoli, onions and red peppers. The carrots were sweet and crunchy, which was good because it toned down the heat of the dish. The broccoli was delicious. Perfectly cooked, not mushy at all, and bright green. Ah, so good. The onions added a nice flavor to the dish, and the red peppers were good as well. They still had a crunch to them, I’m not really a red pepper fan, but these weren’t bad. They were a bit sweet too.

Overall, it was a good dinner. I probably wouldn’t buy it again because I’m not one for spicy, but if YOU like spicy, i would definetely invest in this dish. It’s healthy, unique and nutritious. If i’m ever craving some heat, i know where to look! I also like the quality of this dish- I’m excited to try their other meals!

One entree is 350 calories, 9 grams of fat, 51 carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of protein.

Cooked linguini (semolina wheat flour),water, tofu [filtered water, soybeans, nigari (magnesium chloride, a natural firming agent)], broccoli, soy sauce (water, soybeans, salt, alcohol), onions, red bell peppers, carrots, peanut butter (roasted valencia peanuts, salt), agave syrup, Grade A pasteurized cream, nonfat dry milk, apple juice concentrate, soy bean oil, corn starch, roasted sesame seed oil, natural cream flavor, garlic, red chilies, ginger, ginger powder, locust bean gum, cayenne pepper.

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Cedarlane Beans, Rice & Cheese Style Burrito

ceeeeee

After trying Cedarlane’s Enchiladas [ see my post here ] i had a good feeling about their other products, such as the Beans, Rice & Cheese Style Burrito. It is made with organic ingredients, such as the tortilla, beans and the rice, are all organic. But what’s this? This Burrito only has 1 GRAM OF FAT? How can it be cheesy? How can it be TASTY?! Well, readers, fear not, Cedarlane knows what they are doing!

So, I wrapped this burrito in a paper towel like I was supposed to and put it in the microwave. After two minutes, a spicy, flavorfull aroma filled my kitchen and made my tummy grumble. My mom even commented on “what smells so good?” and was totally jealous when i popped this baby out of the microwave. A little bit of cheese oozed out of the burrito, but that didn’t bother me a bit. It just means there’s plenty of filling on the inside to enjoy!
I cut the burrito in half, and there was a substantial amount of filling. They didn’t scrimp on it- it looked like it would actually keep me full! There is also a thick amount of bread as well as the filling. The bread has an almost “bisquity” taste to it, and is also slightly sweet. It cooked pretty evenly, chewy in some areas due to the filling and crisper in others, but it was good. I actually enjoyed the mixed consistency of crisper tortilla on the ends and a softer, doughy tortilla in the middle. It tastes like the inside of a pizza crust as well. Yum. When is that ever a bad thing?
Onto the insides, which were also delicious! There were a lot of beans and brown rice all smothered in a tasty tomato sauce with cheese dispersed. The cheese was so good- a great compliment to the burrito. It was soy cheese, which is how the burrito is so low in fat and still tasty, but if i didn’t tell you it was soy, you wouldn’t be able to tell (so don’t turn up your nose until you try it! 😉 )

Overall, I will be buying this burrito again. It was filling, delicious, and the right size for a quick dinner to be paired with a glass of milk and some veggies, or even by itself if your really pressed for time. One burrito is 260 calories, 1 gram of fat, 48 carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber (woo!), and 13 grams of protein. You also get 25% Vitamin C and 10% of your daily calcium needs. My only complaint (sorry!!) is that they didn’t use a whole wheat wrap 😦 There is plenty of fiber in this burrito already, and they did use brown rice instead of white, but this would be absolutely perfect if the tortilla was whole wheat. For now, it’s fine by me!

Burrito Filling (Organic Pinto Beans, Organic Brown Rice, Soy Cheddar Cheese [soy beverage {filtered water, soy protein and soy milk solids}, casein {a milk protein}, soy oil, food starch modified, natural flavors, powdered cellulose, salt, sodium citrate, citric and lactic acids, calcium phosphate, carotenal color, carrageenan {a natural seaweed fiber}], Organic Tomatoes, Organic Tomato Puree, Filtered Water, Green Chilis, Onion, Herbs and Spices, Tamari, Cilantro, Sea Salt, Corn Starch), Organic Unbleached Flour Tortilla.

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