Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

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Tofu Shirataki Ramen

August 25, 2010

Back in my Weight Watcher years (2003-2005) Hungry Girl started mentioning House Food’s Tofu Shirataki Noodles. Hungry Girl posted a recipe for Fettuccine Hungry Girlfredo! that used Laughing Cow Light Cheese.  I couldn’t find the noodles (back in 2005) in any local stores. I ended up ordering them online – they came in a fresh packed cooler. Us Weight Watcher girls weren’t going to pass up a pasta option that yielded only 1 point per package. 40 calories with 4 grams of fiber and only 6 grams of carbs – FOR THE ENTIRE package.

Once I got my noodle delivery, I sliced open the package and OMG, they STUNK so freakin’ bad. People had talked about the smell on the Weight Watcher message boards. They had a fishy/formaldehyde smell to them. Come on, you know you want some after that glorious description. hah!

The ingredients included: Water, Tofu (Water, soybeans, calcium sulfate, glucono Delta Lactone), yam flour and calcium hydroxide. I honestly could barely stand the smell. The directions stated that you should rinse thoroughly and parboil for 2-3 minutes (or 1 minute in the microwave) to reduce the authentic aroma. Authentic? Yes, that would be a stretch. “Stank ass” would be a better description. I did get used to the smell and the parboiling was key – it did go away.

I was really excited when Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Raley’s/Bel Air and Nugget Markets all started carrying the tofu noodles. They became a regular staple in my Weight Watcher’s point counting diet.

I was never able to find the angel hair shaped noodles, only the fettuccine. I then stopped my Weight Watcher’s point counting obsession and I forgot all about the noodles for years. I was shopping at Trader Joe’s a few weekends ago and I saw them. They had the angel hair and I knew I wanted to give them a try. My goal was to create a less fattening ramen noodle soup. Did you know that a regular package of Top Ramen has close to 400 calories, 14 grams of fat, over 50 grams of carbs and nearly 2000 mg. of sodium? That’s crazy! I used to eat 2 packages for dinner while in college. Cheap, but definitely unhealthy.

The Ingredients:

1/4 Cup thinly sliced white onion
1 Bok Choy – washed – cut off the end to separate leaves.
1/2 Cup Bean Sprouts – rinse and pat dry with paper towels
1/2 Large Carrot  – sliced thinly
1 Package Tofu Shirataki Angel Hair Noodles
2 Cups Chicken Broth – you could use any broth – I only had low sodium, I would use regular next time.
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce – I also ended up adding a bit to the top of the bowl once served.
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil

I got everything washed and chopped. I then rinsed the noodles and put them into the microwave for 1 minute to take care of the parboil.

I got all of my veggies going into the Canola oil. The burner was set to high. I let the veggies sizzle in the wok for a good 3-5 minutes. I then added 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of the rice wine to get the flavors going.

Once the veggies took on a grilled appearance and the bok choy shrunk in size, I added the noodles.

I used a fork to separate the noodles and then I added the chicken broth and remaining soy sauce and rice wine.

I continued to let everything cook for a few minutes on a lower temperature. I then served my ramen in a new bowl.

The story behind the bowl… I helped a girlfriend a few months back with her garage sale. She was helping to sell another girlfriend’s stuff – she sold her house and moved from the west coast to the east coast and really paired down. I was looking through some of the boxes and I found the bowl. I loved that it had the hole for the chopsticks and the teal color was amazing. Then I turned the bowl over and I knew I had to have it. The original owner of the bowl (Emilyn) had actually painted the bowl and her name was etched into the bottom.  I scooped it up and now Emilyn’s bowl gets to be featured here on Foodiddy. I love my new treasure and that it has a story.

Pretty bowls and plates make eating that much more enjoyable. Treat yourself to some fun and exciting bowls, dishes and placemats. You are worth it.  I usually find mine on the sale shelves of HomeGoods, TJMaxx, Tuesday Morning or Ross. I have an entire shelf of single dishes and bowls and I love each of them for different reasons.

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A crispy conversation starter…

August 10, 2010

Last night was filled with life stuff (Higgy had to go to the vet, he’s o.k., just on antibiotics for the next 2 weeks for an infection).  So… I never got a chance to spend time in the kitchen cooking. I did however break into the best crackers/crisps I’ve ever tasted. I thought the Dr. Kracker crackers rocked my world… no my friends… let me introduce you to my newest find – Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps – Fig and Olive Crackers.

I have a few friends headed to Canada (they are made in Canada) and I’m about to ask them to fill their car up to the roof before heading home, hah!

1 serving is 6 crackers, there are approximately 6 servings per box. 130 Calories per serving | 3 grams Fat | 0 mg Cholesterol | 270 mg Sodium | 21 g Carbs. | 2 g Fiber| 4 g Protein.

They are definitely boutique crackers and along with that comes a pretty hefty price.  I paid $5.99 at a specialty market – they also have them at Whole Foods in my area, but they are $7.99 on Amazon. My girlfriend had tried them at a party – the host served them with Brie and pear slices – she recommended them and I knew I needed to give them a try. I wasn’t expecting to fall truly, madly, deeply in love 😉

The cracker crisps combine the saltiness of  Kalamata olives with the sweet flavor of Adriatic figs. They also have pumpkin, flax and sesame seeds – oh me oh my.

The trademarked saying of the raincoast crisps  is “A crispy conversation starter”. No doubt. These are definitely coming to my next party invite.

I love that they are a fresh cracker with no preservatives. You need to store them in an airtight container once you open them. One cool thing about the packaging is that it comes with serving suggestions and pairing options.

  • Raincoast crisp crumbs make a great coating for chicken. Dip the chicken in flour, beaten egg and then crumbs. Add cayenne and you have raincoast jerk chicken. Yum!
  • Sprinkle raincoast crisp crumbs on top of mac and cheese or your favorite casseroles and you’ll have a fabulous crunchy topping.
  • Serve with soft cheeses such as chèvre, brie or triple crème.

The raincoast crisps come in different flavors.

The Original – According to the website – a nutty flavor with a slightly sweet finish
Salty Date and Almond
Cinnamon Raisin – only available in Canada
Cranberry Hazelnut
Rosemary Raisin Pecan

The lesleystowe.com website is full of cool recipes.

I can’t wait to try some of the featured recipes – especially the holiday ones.

The only thing better than these crisps was finding the following on my desk this morning.

Jackpot! Say it isn’t so… OMG, a second round of scalloped tomatoes in my near future.

I opened up the bag and yep – they smelled just as awesome as the first bunch. I really think the key to the recipe is using the smaller tomatoes. I will most definitely be stopping at the store at some point in the week to make the delicious dish – again! Thanks Yuba John!

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O.N.E. Coconut Water

August 1, 2010

I was cruising through the grocery store mid-week and they were pimping this O.N.E. Coconut Water in the health food section of the store. I tried a sample that had a splash of mango and it was really good. I grabbed a couple of other flavors and was on my way. Several running bloggers have been talking about using coconut water to re-fuel during their runs. Now I’m not a distant runner by any means, but I have been knocking out some CRAZY miles on the new treadmill. I got back to it in early July. In 20 days I have covered just over 100 miles.  My two longest sessions have been 7.5 and 8 miles. I am doing run walk intervals with the higher percentage of miles going to walking. I’m really being cautious because I’m going for consistency, not injury. 

It has felt really great to get back into it. I have my DVR all set with light viewing pleasures – House Hunters International, Selling New York, Bang For Your Buck, Food Network Challenges, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, 24 Hr. Restaurant Battle, Diners Drive-ins and Dives and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. I tell myself that the reason I’m on the dang treadmill is so I can enjoy “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” type foods.

Today was a 7 miler. I stopped just short of jumping into the pool. I grabbed a O.N.E with a splash of pink guava and it was the perfect recovery drink. My legs felt like Jello.

Reading from the side of the drink – O.N.E. Coconut Water with a splash of pink guava is a blend of the natural water from inside a young green coconut and mouth-watering pink guava juice. It has five essential electrolytes, more potassium than a banana, no fat, no cholesterol and no preservatives.

There were 78 calories in the one serving. 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 128 mg. of sodium, 302 mg potassium, .5g fiber, 18.8g carbs and 0.8 g protein.

I sometimes make a smoothie in the evening and end up having that for dinner, but this was a refreshing change. It’s definitely better for me than the 2 pitchers of margaritas my girlfriends and I enjoyed by the pool yesterday 😉 gotta indulge sometimes. I think the non-stop laughter and fun was just what the doctor ordered.

I’m off to my bro’s birthday celebration BBQ.

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Busy… busy… busy…

July 27, 2010

The past week has been very hectic for me. I’ve been on graphic and website overload at work.  I’m also working on a few side projects and to deal with the stress, I’ve ramped up my evening workouts – which leaves little time to get all fancy with recipes and photography at night. Thankfully this is only temporary. I’ve got stacks of magazines and pulled recipes ready to go, just have to find the time to crank some out.

It’s been back to basics with eating for me. Lots of veggies, fruits, smoothies and greek yogurt. I do have a new food love. A reader (Thank you Melissa) sent me some Doctor Kracker samples. She doesn’t work for the company, she’s just a fan and has been eating them for a while and thought I’d like them, she was right!

Dr. Krackers are made with organic whole grains and the extreme crunch is like no other cracker I’ve had. They are artisan baked flatbread. I’ve tried 4 flavors now. Sunflower Cheddar, Pumpkin Seed Cheddar, Klassic 3 Seed and Seedlander. They are 100 calories per flatbread cracker, anywhere from 3-4 grams of fiber and they have between 10-11 grams of carbs. Nutritional information can be found on their website.

I’ve been melting cheese on them, eating the shrimp salad from the cucumber bites recipe, tuna salad and just about anything else I can think of throwing on a flatbread cracker.

I love all of the seeds. I’ve also been crushing them up onto salads as croutons, they really do pack a powerful crunch. I was reading some of the reviews on Amazon, a few people said that they had trouble biting into them. Um…wow, they must have some weak choppers. I was excited to see that they also have snack size crackers, I’m going to order some of those next. I have yet to see them in any of my local grocery stores. Haven’t looked at Whole Foods yet, it’s next on my “to do” list.

I’m finally starting to see the new Laughing Cow Light flavors in my local stores. Trader Joe’s started carrying the blue cheese and then I found the others at Safeway. I am in LOVE with the Queso Fresco and Chipotle. The Mozzarella, Sun Dried Tomato and Basil is really good too. I’m not a huge blue cheese fan, so I haven’t tried that one yet.  Have any of you tried the new flavors? If so, what did you think? Any fun recipes? I’ve been seeing some new ones on the Hungry Girl website.  I’m thinking of doing a stuffed chicken breast with the Sun Dried Tomato and Basil. I have already use the Queso Fresco and Chipotle with ground turkey to make some lettuce taco wraps.

Dan and I did manage to fit in “date night” Saturday. I can count on one hand the amount of times we’ve eaten out since I started Foodiddy. I just like knowing exactly what I’m putting in my body and weekends are when I have more time to prep/cook so I enjoy being in the kitchen on those days.

We decided on Macaroni Grill. Dan went for the classic spaghetti and meatballs and I ordered from the Mediterranean Grill section of the menu. It’s pretty scary to see the calories posted right next to menu items. I’m not counting calories, but holy crap, some of the dishes had calorie counts in the 1600-2000 range. Dan’s was 2400, hah!

I went with the Jumbo Shrimp Spiedini and it was fabulous.

Jumbo shrimp grilled with extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon zest and rosemary. It was seasoned just right. It came with roasted eggplant (which was a little too mushy), zucchini, red onion and red and yellow bell peppers. 320 calories and a boat load of sodium in case you were curious. I felt super satisfied, and still managed to share a bite off Dan’s plate and who can pass on Macaroni Grill’s bread? Yum!

It’s nice to go out every once in a while. Now I have a new meal to recreate in the Foodiddy kitchen. I picked up some shrimp at the grocery store last night and plan to put this meal into my rotation.

Not sure what else is in store for the remainder of the week. It’s hard to believe it’s only Tuesday. Dear weekend… Please hurry the heck up, I’m anxiously awaiting your arrival.

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Lazy Sunday and Artichokes…

July 18, 2010

This was the view I had of Higgy as I watched hours and hours of the Food Network and Cooking channels. I could not resist taking a photo of my cute little boy. I scooped him up after the photo and he became my TV watching pal. Higgy can no longer get on the furniture by himself. He’s still paralyzed in his left back foot/leg – he’s lost muscle mass, so he no longer has the strength to jump. Poor lil guy.

We were anxiously anticipating the arrival of Monty. We’re watching my parent’s dog for the week. Double Schnauzer love.  My parents arrived just after noon and it was like visiting the farmer’s market without ever leaving the house. They brought me a bag with lettuce, fresh green beans, mushrooms, two white nectarines and the best part – a cooked jumbo artichoke! My decision of what to have for lunch was decided for me, awesome… love when that happens!

We sent my parents off on their 45th anniversary getaway and I started salivating for my artichoke.

I grew up dipping my chilled artichokes (I don’t like them hot) in a mayo and lemon juice combo. I know some people dip their leaves in a butter or olive oil based dipping sauce. What do you guys do? I went on the Internet and did a search for “Artichoke Dip” not even thinking that what I really wanted was “Artichoke Dipping Sauce” – I got a lot of baked artichoke dip recipes 😉  – I found all kinds of suggestions on AllRecipes.com in various places.  I decided to whip up a new dipping combo using some of the suggestions from the site.

3 Jumbo Tablespoons of Plain Greek Yogurt
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
Balsamic Vinegar – a few splashes
Garlic Powder – a few shakes
Crushed Rosemary – a few shakes

It pretty much had the same consistency as my normal mayo dip. I liked the added tangy flavor. I should have taken a photo of the aftermath – the leaf carnage was crazy. The artichoke was more than jumbo, it was huge. Thanks Mom and Dad for the lunch delivery!

Once the dogs got settled down and Dan finished working on his car (He’s putting in a new engine) – I did a little shopping. HomeGoods and Trader Joe’s. Two of my favorite stores. I ended up doing damage at both.

I’ve been wanting new cookie sheets. I found some pretty decent ones. Oneida Commercial – 15″ and 17″. Thought I got a pretty good deal at $7.99 and $9.99 until I found them on Amazon for $5.99 and $6.99 – oh well. Already took the stickers and everything off. Serves me right for looking on the Internet after the purchase, Hah! I also got two new cookbooks. I just checked and I got a good deal on the Cooking Light Way to Cook Cookbook. $16.99, it’s $19.77 on Amazon. I also got a Perfect Vegetarian Cookbook, mostly because I loved the photos and it was only $1.99 – cheaper than a magazine and once again cheaper than Amazon – feeling better already. There are a few recipes that I will definitely be trying in the Perfect Vegetarian and a whole bunch in the Cooking Light one. I also found a bone colored plate on clearance for $1.00 and a lemon reamer for $1.99. All in all, a great shopping trip. Can’t wait to try out my new stuff.

I bought a bunch of food and flowers at Trader Joe’s. 3 bunches that I arranged myself. I know it seems like a shame to cut off the majority of the flower stem, but I like shorter/wider vases.  

Definitely a Foodiddy kind of day. Now I’m off to figure out what to make for dinner… too many choices after a day of grocery shopping.

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Zucchini Pasta

June 18, 2010

The last few weeks have been filled with carb loaded goodness, but it was time to start introducing veggies back into my world. I am feeling better now that the antibiotics are out of my system. Still not 100%, but my appetite is coming back and I’m once again excited about meal planning and cooking for the blog.

My parents got me a huge basket full of foodie heaven for my birthday. The bottom of the basket was lined with beautiful linens passed down from my grandparents. My Mom thought they would be fun to use in some of the photos, I agree. I also got some of the utensils and gadgets that I wished for on the blog,  a couple of cool books that I’ll talk about in another post, an awesome nutmeg grinder, a collapsible salad spinner and my new favorite kitchen gadget – World Cuisine’s Tri-Blade Plastic Vegetable Slicer.

The Slicer comes with three blades. They are shaped like pieces of bread and just slide right into the machine. The instructions that come with the slicer are pretty limited, but they do define the type of cut each blade makes.

The Simple Ingredients:

1-1.5 Zucchini per person/serving
Garlic and Parmesan infused oil  – One of my readers (Yuba John) gave me a small bottle of his home-brew  made  with sage, garlic, parsley, hot red pepper and chunked Parmesan infused extra virgin olive oil – Thanks John it was a killer addition to this recipe.
Garlic – I ended up not using my bulb, I used 2 cubes of Dorat crushed garlic from Trader Joe’s – found in the frozen section
Salt and Ground Pepper
Lemon Juice – not pictured – a few squeezes of my plastic fake lemon – hah!
Parmesan (Shredded as a topping)

First step: I selected the right blade and got my zucchini loaded into the torture contraption.

I suctioned the machine to the granite, chopped off both ends of the zucchini, pushed it onto the blade peg and brought the spikes closer. I then used the bottom lever to apply pressure while I turned the crank handle.

It was magic! I’m not joking when I say I seriously started jumping up and down in my kitchen. It was so easy to use and the zucchini noodles were coming out perfect! You can see the beginning of the circular core in the above photo.

Some of the noodles were over a foot long.  I ended up snacking on the core while I got my non-stick pan heated up. I added my zucchini noodles to the oil and added salt and pepper and a few splashes of lemon juice. I tossed the noodles for a good 2-3 minutes and when they started to turn the slightest bit translucent, I took them off the heat and put them into a bowl.

I topped the noodles with fresh Parm and WOW! I can’t even explain how awesome they tasted. My mind started racing thinking about the possibilities. Marinara sauce, teriyaki sauce – I can’t wait to try different combos. I will be adding this to my weekly rotation. I bet if you peeled the zucchini, added pasta sauce with ground turkey or ground beef, your kids could barely tell the difference. The texture is amazing! – it’s the green that gives it away as being a veggie.

I’m almost bummed that we have plans for the next 3 days – I want to spiral cut the entire produce section from my local grocery store. Thanks Mom and Dad for my wonderful birthday present, I love it!

Hope you all have a great weekend, it’s Friday – Woohoo!

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Better Oats in the morning

May 18, 2010

While grocery shopping over the weekend…I stopped at a huge display of Better Oats Oatmeal. I’d never seen it before. The sign said that they offer a product that is exactly what I’m looking for… Mmmkay… From Oat Revolution to Oat Fit to Raw Pure and Simple – with everything in between.

Being that I’m a designer, the packaging actually was the first thing to catch my eye. The second was the whole grains, flaxseed and real fruit pieces and chocolate morsel ingredients. There were so many flavors to choose from, I decided on three to start. I went to my “go to” oatmeal favorite, Abundance – Apples and Cinnamon. Then I grabbed Mmm Muffins – Blueberry and the last one was Lavish – Dark Chocolate – I thought the names were really creative.

They come 5 packages to a box… and they were on sale – 4 boxes for $5.00 – Whoops!  Just noticed that on the receipt… guess I should have grabbed another box.

Not sure the oatmeal dispensing system is necessary, but again… I’m a sucker for innovative packaging design.

You cradle the pouch in your hand and add cold water to the fill line. I’ve tried all three and used this method every time. If you don’t want to fuss with the package, you just add 1/2 cup of water to the bowl of oats. The package claims… “For easier and quicker preparation, tear open and try our measuring cup pouch!”  – There is a dotted line and me being an over-achieving perfectionist… I had to use scissors 😉

Brace yourselves for the action/pour shot… I gave it a good stir and put the bowl into the microwave for 2.5 minutes. The package said 2 – but I know my microwave better than Better Oats does… so I went with my tried and true 2.5 minute oatmeal setting.

Sunday’s oats were the Mmm Muffin – Blueberry and OMG! They smelled delicious, tasted just like a gooey muffin and I will DEFINITELY be purchasing the flavor again.

Nutrition Info. – 160 cal. | 2.5 g fat | O mg chol. | 220 mg sodium | 32 g carbs | 4 g protein

Monday morning I tried the Abundance Apples & Cinnamon. I’m trying to get back into the habit of eating breakfast before work, instead of bringing string cheese and fruit to eat at my desk.

I really liked the apple pieces and the cinnamon flavor –  the texture was perfect. I like a thicker oatmeal and this one delivered.

Nutrition Info. – 150 cal. | 2.5 g fat | O mg chol. | 90 mg sodium | 30 g carbs | 5 g protein – Much lower sodium and 1 extra gram of protein in this flavor.

In honor of my friend/blog reader Kristen’s birthday today – I got up at 5:30 this morning with Dan to bust a move with my Lavish – Dark Chocolate Oats. Sprinkles, a candle and chocolate oatmeal at 5:45 AM –  yep, the neighbors now officially think I have gone off the deep end.  Happy Birthday Kristen!

It was like eating a brownie for breakfast and you know what? I honestly don’t see a problem with that. Hah!

Nutrition Info. – 160 cal. | 2.5 g fat | O mg chol. | 220 mg sodium | 33 g carbs | 4 g protein – very similar to the blueberry muffin.

They have a lot of products and while I may or may not go for healthier versions next time – I liked all three of the ones I picked.  For Weight Watcher’s peeps – the Oat Fit line has no added sugar, 100 calories and calculates to 2 pts.

I noticed on their website that you can “Take the Taste Test” and get a 55 cent coupon – they also claim that if you share your experience in an email or video, they will donate 5 meals to help feed hungry families in the United States” – pretty cool!

Now I must get in the shower to really get this day started.