Sunday, February 12, 2017

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Grilled, Seasoned & Fully Cooked White Meat Chicken Strips

I popped into Wal-Mart one evening after work and for some reason ended up in the refrigerator section near the prepared meats (heat and eat bagged chicken, pulled pork/chicken containers, etc.). I wanted something quick and easy to have on hand so I opted to give the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Grilled, Seasoned & Fully Cooked White Meat Chicken Strips a shot.

I admit, I’m a big chicken snob. If there’s any fat on it, stringy bits or any hint of a vein my stomach pretty much taps out. Upon opening the package, I was surprised to see the chicken strips inside the package pretty much resembled the picture (you know how food marketing goes). The outside of the strips weren’t as darkly colored as the packaging, but it wasn’t a big deal. I weighed out a 3 ounce serving and wrapped the rest up for another day (which ended up being part of my lunch one day along with a salad).

I have to be honest and say I really liked these – much more than the Purdue Shortcuts. These are flavored well – they are not quite a barbecue, but they have a smoky flavoring to them. They come off as real white meat chicken strips – not chewy like some of the processed stuff can echo. I did find two small pieces of fat on two separate chunks of chicken – but even for my picky stomach that wasn’t a nail in the coffin.

A serving, 3 ounces, is 140 calories or 2 smart points.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Jones Golden Brown All Natural Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage

Breakfast sausages are one of my favorite breakfast proteins (aside from bacon that is). Unfortunately breakfast sausages typically don't have the best nutrition facts ... that is until I stumbled upon Jones Golden Brown All Natural Fully Cooked Chicken Sausage. What struck me was that these sausages are precooked, frozen and chicken!

I've naturally transitioned from pork sausage, to turkey sausage and finally to chicken sausage. Out of all the options, chicken sausages are undoubtedly my favorite. These Jones chicken sausages are quite tasty. They cook up perfectly either in a skillet, while they're also not bad in the microwave. I will stress, if you're going to be microwaving, keep an eye on them because depending on how your microwave cooks, it can pull some of the moisture out of them and make them a little chewier.

Taste wise they remind me of a milder tasting brown and serve pork sausage. They're satisfying and go perfectly alongside scrambled eggs, hash browns and even pancakes. I enjoyed them quite a bit and will undoubtedly make them a staple in my breakfast (or breakfast for dinner) game.

A serving, 4 links, is 80 calories or 2 points plus values / 2 smart points.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Peanut Butter Banana

I’ve been hitting the jackpot, or so it seems, when it comes to new Greek yogurt flavors at my local grocery store. Out of the triple zero line up - the banana is my favorite, so when I saw the Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Peanut Butter Banana Greek yogurt, I immediately jumped on it and purchased 2 containers.

Unfortunately after trying the yogurt I’ve come to realize that was a poor decision and I’ll either need to be in a bind before I’d willingly eat the second container. I know … there aren’t many Greek yogurt flavors I don’t like but this one was just truly gross.  I assumed having a love child between two of my favorite flavors: banana and peanut butter, this would be a home run. Sadly, it was anything but.

The flavor is nothing near peanut butter nor anywhere near banana. After looking over the ingredients list, I wasn’t surprised – there’s no mention of peanut butter or banana in the listing, so I’m not entirely sure where the flavor was supposed to come from.  It’s very plain in flavor with an odd background flavor. Nothing I could specifically pinpoint – but I also didn’t have enough interest to have my taste buds endure anymore than I tried to “enjoy”.

Sadly – I’d say, save your money on this one and just stick to a flavor you enjoy from the Dannon Oikos Triple Zero line.

A container is 120 calories or 3 smart points.

Dannon Light & Fit Greek Toasted Marshmallow

Stopping into my local grocery store this past week I glanced up at the Dannon Light & Fit selection and almost leaped out of my coat – I saw a new flavor! With a quick swift movement I snatched up two containers of the Dannon Light & Fit Greek Toasted Marshmallow before I could even question the purchase.

I had the yogurt today for my snack at work and I have to say … it is absolutely delicious! The yogurt, in a way, reminds me of the toasted coconut vanilla – which is one of my favorites, although it doesn’t have that bold coconut flavor (if that makes any sense). There’s an underlying creamy vanilla aftertaste which is what reminds me so much of the coconut yogurt. Flavor wise – it’s definitely marshmallow. I wouldn’t necessarily say toasted marshmallow, but it’s definitely got a marshmallow flavor to it.

It’s the same consistency in the full range of L&F yogurts, but it’s along the same thickness of the coconut (due to there not being any mix-ins on the bottom). Overall I really enjoyed this and will undoubtedly pick up a few more when they’re re-stocked.

A container is 80 calories or 2 smart points.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Aldi - Little Salad Bar - Three Layer Hummus

In recent months I’ve really given Aldi another shot as being one of my go-to grocery stores, especially after news that one of my local grocery store chains is closing.  Since I haven’t had a chance to get to Trader Joe’s, I’ve figured I’d frequent Aldi to kind of lessen all the grocery store blows.

On one of my last trips to Aldi, I spotted and picked up the Little Salad Bar - Three Layer Hummus. This reminded me of a three layer hummus I had tried at Trader Joe’s years ago (you can see that review from 2014 here. This particular hummus layers are: Classic, Jalapeno Cilantro and Supremely Spicy.  There is another version containing roasted red pepper hummus and (if my memory serves me correctly) roasted garlic and classic hummus flavors.

Together the flavors compliment one another well. The classic hummus helps reduce the heat that comes from the supremely spicy (even though it’s on the bottom of the container). The cilantro jalapeno hummus is my favorite out of the lineup – and I find the cilantro really helps bring everything together and tones down the generate heat that can be packed in a bite. The supremely spicy is exactly as you’d imagine – very spicy, sometimes fire if you get a pepper in a bite.  The label doesn’t necessarily break down each hummus flavors ingredients, but based on what is listed – I’d say this has ground up red jalapenos in it. Together this is one incredibly delicious hummus and I really hope it becomes a permanent item in the Aldi hummus selection. Whether it will or will not be permanent, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the jalapeno cilantro will become a single packaged hummus variety.

I brought the container to work to have as a snack during the week along with baby carrots. The second time I had it (and all subsequent times since then) I have used 2 tbsp as a spread on a deli meat sandwich which is a great alternative to mustard, etc.  I love this hummus so much I purchased another container when I went to Aldi last night.

A serving, 2 tablespoons, is 50 calories or 1 smart point. A 4 tablespoon serving will cost you 100 calories or 3 smart points.

Halo Top Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

There's one thing about my taste buds when it comes to ice cream. If I'm given a choice between vanilla and chocolate - I am without a doubt going to go with the vanilla. Don't get me wrong - I love chocolate (cake, candy) but I am not a big fan of chocolate ice cream, shakes, etc. Low and behold when I spotted the Halo Top Vanilla Bean Ice Cream on my grocery store shelf, I picked up a pint without hesitation.

I had read reviews on the ice cream and I recalled reading the ice cream itself was creamy. I knew the consistency of the flavors ranged depending on the flavor/consistency/etc. The strawberry was creamy, the birthday cake wasn't ... so I was quite pleased to find this ice cream is in fact on the creamier side. The ice cream isn't riddled with ice crystals as in the case of most low calorie ice creams.

You may think vanilla ice cream is so boring, but this one isn't. It's a bold, pure vanilla bean flavor. Very vanilla-y and not plain at all. There are little specks of vanilla bean running all throughout the container. It's a healthier alternative on ice cream but it doesn't taste like it's a better-for-you version of ice cream. Tastes like any full fat high quality vanilla bean ice cream.

Overall I quite loved this and it certainly ranks up there with my favorite Halo Top flavors.

A serving, 1/2 cup is 60 calories or 2 smart points. Whereas 1 cup is 4 smart points, 1 1/2 cups is 6 smart points and the whole pint is 8 smart points.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Bridgford Original Sweet Baby Ray's Beef Jerky

I remember as a kid my mother would make beef jerky for my brother in our dehydrator but I never gave it a try. I think the idea of eating dried meat just weirded me out. As I got into adulthood and began following Weight Watchers I'd heard from the grape vine that it was a great snack substitute that offered a substantial amount of protein.  A savory sort of snack that would take a little time to eat but would pack enough of a protein punch that it wouldn't leave you looking for something else.

I had tried various beef jerky brands but either it was too dry, smelled funny, reminded me of dog treats (I know....I know...) or I just didn't like the flavor. That is until my fiancé and I went on vacation to Tennessee last year and his friend told him he should try out the Brigford Original Sweet Baby Ray's Beef Jerky. I was skeptical at first and didn't have any of the first bag - but when he opted to pick up another bag during the week, I decided to give it a try.

Truthfully I was quite surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. The jerky is softer in texture, it's chewy, some pieces are slightly tougher than others but for the most part it's a palatable texture.  Flavor wise - it's your classic Sweet Baby Rays barbecue sauce flavor. Smokey, sweet. Together it's a home run. I was glad to find it sold at my local Wal-Mart so now I can pick up a bag to have on hand whenever I am in the mood for a different snack.

There are a few other flavors available - teriyaki, sweet n spicy, honey barbecue and honey chipotle.

A serving, 1 ounce, is 90 calories or 2 smartpoints.