Sunday, June 29, 2014

Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Mini Chocolate Sandwiches

As I mentioned in the past, the past few months I’ve been finding myself scanning the selection in the ice cream section at Trader Joe’s. Admittedly, due to the positioning (tucked away toward the back of the freezer) and the packing on this product I would have never noticed it. If it wasn’t for a fellow shopper picking up 4-boxes…. it peaked my interest and that’s when I decided to pick up a box of Trader Joe’s Soy Creamy Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Mini Chocolate Sandwiches.

The ice cream sandwiches are sold in both chocolate and vanilla. Typically, I’m a vanilla ice cream girl in frozen treats … but since my fellow shopper got the chocolate I figured those were probably the tastiest. They’re low fat, non-dairy and give a perfect hit of chocolate flavoring with a chocolate cake like sandwich.

These do cure the want for an ice cream sandwich … although as expected, you can tell this isn’t ice cream. It’s not as creamy as traditional ice cream sandwiches; they have a mild soy flavor, which isn’t that noticeable due to it being chocolate. They’re the perfect individual size (they’re half the size of a traditional ice cream sandwich).

Each sandwich is 90 calories or 2 points plus values.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You’re only as sick as your secrets...

Let’s have a real talk moment ….

In all honestly, I feel like a steaming pile of poo (sorry). I’ve been struggling the last couple months, primarily because I’ve been dealing with a lot of “life issues” – but most of them have been brought on by others. I put myself, as a priority, on the backburner … and that’s where things went wrong. I've been reverting back to old bad habits. Pre-gamming dinner, taste testing things, not eating breakfast on weekends, eating my emotions or feelings, eating just crap, eating out of the cabinet instead of eating food-food, a bad meal turning into a bad day/week, eating well because I have a mouth to put things in, eating sneakily (because at 30 you act like a 12 year old - sigh). To top it off I feel disgusting, I feel huge, and I feel ashamed.  And … I don’t like feeling this way because these are feelings I haven’t had pertaining to myself in over 4 ½ years.

I had surgery April 2013 and for SIX months I could barely move. I couldn't exercise; I could barely walk or lift anything because somehow I woke up from abdominal surgery with a neck and shoulder issue. For six months I was basically told "don't count points! Don't try to lose weight! You're healing your body - focus on Protein! Focus on getting better." For the first few weeks (I was in the hospital a week) and after coming home I didn’t count points. I drank protein shakes and ate what I could handle ... but I wasn't strict or saying I don’t want that (as I normally would say).  After that, I then started counting points but I allowed myself to have some of my weeklies as my protein shakes were a little higher in “points.” Then again during that time… I wasn't eating junk either.

After the initial 6-month period I was told I could try exercise and I did ... and quickly hurt myself so I had to back off, nurse the injury and once I was able to get back at it I had to really watch myself. The exercise part, to this day, I still have to modify to what I can handle. But the eating is something that I've willy nillied for a while and I'm finding it's so much easier to eat OFF plan than ON. I struggle with dealing with other people's bullshit (that I let effect me) ... and I'm tired of it. I don't like the gain train; so I'm throwing out my boarding pass and taking a one way ticket to Loserville.

Thursday (tomorrow) is a new week (on Weigh Watchers) for me and I'm going back to basics. I need to figure out meals and have them handy and I just want control back.  Since I work full-time I’m going to meal prep Sunday and Wednesday’s so it takes the guess-work out of things. I’ll prepare a meal plan for the week and work from that. I want to feel like the girl who’s unstoppable. I need to spark that little inner voice that says “yes, I can” while having a little inner voice who tells me “that’s not worth it.”

I’ve already got the right feet forward because my lunch and breakfast is all set for tomorrow and my dinner only involves heating it up.  I’ve got eggs boiled, shelled and on hand in the refrigerator. While I’m heating up my dinner tomorrow, I’ll put together breakfast and lunch for the following day. I’ll make it part of my nightly routine … and I’ll show MYSELF that I can do it again.

One day a time right?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rice Krispies Treats Crackle Snaps - Fudge Drizzle

I popped into the grocery store one night simply to pick up some breakfast items. Low and behold I spotted an item that I simply could not leave behind ... that item being the Rice Krispies Treats Crackle Snaps in Fudge Drizzle.  I more importantly couldn't leave them behind due to the nutrition facts.
I'm a snacker. I look forward to my couple snacks during the day ... and I'm normally looking for something that's going to satisfy a particular craving. There are times where I'm in the mood for crunchy, yet sweet ... and these treats fulfill both qualifications. They're light, crispy little round crisps - that resemble rice cakes, which have a drizzle of chocolate over one side of the crisp.
Each bag is filled with light, airy, crispy, slightly sweet crisps. The bags themselves are pretty full - which I have to admit is appreciated.  Each bag is a single serving which makes for easy packing of snacks and limits the ability to double dip (well ... unless you eat two bags).  These are also available in a caramel drizzle.
Each pounch is 60 calories or 1 points plus values.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pepperidge Farm Banana Nut Cookies

Growing up Pepperidge Farm desserts were an item my parents enjoyed and we had on hand frequently. It also didn’t help that we had a Pepperidge Farm outlet not that long of a drive away. That aside, when I spotted the Pepperidge Farm Banana Nut cookies at my local Stop & Shop I was sold. I’m a banana dessert sucker … if it says banana, I’m probably going to want to try it. … so to the cashier the bag went with me.

Admittedly when I see Pepperidge Farm cookies, I automatically assume they’re going to be crunchy. Truthfully, I didn’t see these were soft baked cookies until I removed a cookie from the packaging … but considering its banana flavored, I shouldn’t have assumed they were crunchy cookies. The cookies are quite tasty, they’re not overpowering on the banana flavor, nor do they provide any artificial banana flavoring. Sprinkled over the top of each cookie are some chopped walnuts which add a bit of crunch to the dessert. They are a bit reminiscent of banana bread … yet not quite a dead ringer for the delicious treat.

Each cookie is 130 calories or 3 points plus values.

Evol Chicken Apple Sausage, Egg White & Cheddar on a Multi-grain Flatbread

After trying out  few Evol products, I decided to pick up the Evol Chicken Apple Sausage, Egg White & Cheddar on a Multi-grain Flatbread on a quick trip through Target. The description alone sounded delicious and just like something I’d enjoy for breakfast.

Heating the sandwich up in the microwave, in 2 minutes breakfast is served. I will say, like with most breakfast sandwiches that have cheese on them … most the cheese tends to melt right off the sandwich. That side, the sandwich was quite tasty … the sausage was undoubtedly apple, but it wasn’t an overbearingly sweet flavor, it was mild. The flatbread held up exceptionally well – it did not get soggy or fall apart at all. The flavors came together perfectly and made for a delicious breakfast sandwich. Filling, packed with flavor and took no time at all to heat up.

I added a sprinkle of hot sauce and a dot of ketchup onto my sandwich and it was perfect.

Each sandwich is 200 calorie or 5 points plus values.

Chewy Chips Ahoy! Oreo Crème Filled cookies

A friend of mine shared this with me on Facebook and I immediately put it on my mental list of things I’d have to look for at the store. Low and behold, on a quick run through the market to get some fruits and veggies, I spotted the new Chewy Chips Ahoy! Oreo Crème Filled cookies and in that instance, they landed in my shopping cart.

Oreo’s are undoubtedly one of my favorite cookies. So seeing two enjoyable cookies morphed into one definitely peaked my interest. I had tried the Birthday Frosting cookies before these and wasn’t that impressed …. so I had high hopes for these.

The cookies are just as they’re shown … it’s your traditional chewy chips ahoy chocolate chip cookie, which nestled in the middle of the cookie is a layer of crème which is inside Oreo cookies.  Taste wise, they’re good …but they’re not mind blowingly fabulous.  It’s an interesting take on a classic to say the least.  I will say if you nibble on it you can truly taste the cream …but if you take a normal sized bite the cream flavor isn’t that noticeable.  The one thing I feel would totally knock these out of the park would be to nestle a whole Oreo in the middle of the cookie. Talk about potential mind blowing!

I shared these with family when they came over to visit and my 2-year old nephew completely loved them … so much that I let him take the package home with him.

A serving (2 cookies) is 150 calories or 4 points plus values.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chewy Chips Ahoy! Birthday Frosting Filled cookies

I admit … I’m a sucker for birthday cake/frosting flavored foods.  Birthday cake ice cream will forever have a soft spot in my heart … so when I heard there were Chewy Chips Ahoy Birthday Frosting Filled cookies I had to pick up a package.  Admittedly I was intrigued because Chips Ahoy has been really stepping outside the box lately and I hoped these would be as delicious as I imagined in my mind.

The cookies are your classic chewy Chips Ahoy! Chocolate chip cookie … but nestled in the middle is a birthday frosting. It’s a white frosting with colored confetti sprinkles running throughout it. Think of it as the chocolate chip cookies ode to an Oreo. Initially I thought these would be sweeter than normal … but surprisingly, they’re not that sweet. They’re about as sweet as a regular ole Chips Ahoy chewy chocolate chip cookie. The cookies are soft and the frosting is slightly stiffer. The two different worlds finding a unique balance with one another.

My thoughts? I think they’re decent cookies … but they’re definitely not game changing. The birthday frosting flavor isn’t at the forefront … which lands these along the boring sidelines. They’re unique in the fact that they’re different and in a league of their own … but my only hope would’ve been a little more bang on the birthday frosting notes.

A serving is 2 cookies which is 150 calories or 4 points plus values.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Weight Watchers White Cheddar Popcorn Crisps

I noticed a new product on my Weight Watchers store location shelf and I had to pick it up. I love white cheddar popcorn and I figured they sounded good … so to the scales a box of Weight Watchers White Cheddar Popcorn Crisps went with me. It also helped that the snacks were on sale, which was a double win.

When I opened a pack I was surprised with how full the bag was. Quite a generous serving, particularly in comparison to some of the other Weight Watcher brand snacks sold at store locations where the bag is more than 60% air.  The popcorn crisps were nearly full to the top of the bag.  Unfortunately that’s where the perks ended. I just wasn’t a fan of these at all … they’re not very cheddary and they have the texture of stale popcorn. They’re not that crispy/soft texture you typically get with cheddar popcorn, which is disappointing – particularly because I have texture issues.

Each bag is 90 calories or 2 points plus values.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Trader Joe’s Mini Hold The Cone! Vanilla Ice Cream Cones

I’ve always looked at the ice creams at Trader Joe’s but I hadn’t purchased many of them … until recently. I guess with the warmer weather coming, it just feels more appropriate to cool down with a nice cold treat. And a nice cold treat these are.

Hold the Cones are miniature ice cream cones which are great for when you want something small, sweet and refreshing but you don’t want whole lot of something. They’re perfect because they not only taste delicious but they’re also adorable and miniature. I find they give you the right amount of everything. A few bites of ice cream, a few bites of chocolate coating, and a few bites of a delicious crunchy yet chewy ice cream cone. The icing on the cake comes at the end … the cone is filled with chocolate. YUM!

The ice cream cones are packaged in a box, which are housed in a sleeve that is encased in plastic wrap/packaging. It’s available in vanilla or chocolate … but I’m more of a vanilla ice cream girl so I can’t vouch on the chocolate, but I assume it’d be good too. But I can vouch that these are kid tested … adult approved.

Each cone is 70 calories or 2 points plus OR you can have 2 ice cream cones for 3 points plus.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Artisan Bistro Thai Style Yellow Curry with Chicken

This past weekend I needed something for lunch … and since I didn’t have anything in the refrigerator to cook, I decided to grab a frozen dinner. After giving my options a once over, I decided to go with the Artisan Bistro Thai Style Yellow Curry with Chicken bowl.  I had never tried any Artisan Bistro meal before but just from the looks of the dish on the box I was intrigued.

I really enjoy curry dishes, but outside of Jamaican curry, Thai curry is one of my favorites. Since I don’t have Thai food often, this seemed right up my alley … and it definitely was.  Outside of it being a Thai curry dish – what intrigued me was the fact that it’s made with organic brown rice, quinoa and vegetables.  The dish is all natural and gluten free. Since I am known to have texture issues with frozen chicken microwave dishes I was glad to see it contained free range chicken.

After a quick trip into the microwave, lunch was done and ready to be served … and it was delicious! The curry had a bit of sweetness to it which calmed down any potential heat that would’ve been there. There was enough sauce to coat all the contents in curry sauce with a few stirs with a spoon. The chicken isn’t chewy, the vegetables are plenty and the rice and quinoa mix is spectacular.  The amount provided is perhaps equal to a cup size portion … but I found it to be quite satisfying.

I’m not sure what retailers carry this brand of meals, but I do know it’s available at super Target locations.

Each bowl is 240 calories or 6 points plus values.

Jacquet French Crepes - Chocolate

I spotted these Jacquet French Chocolate Crepes while at Stop & Shop and decided to pick up a pack.  I enjoy dessert crepes and figured this would be an easy way to get the taste without actually having to make crepes (which I admit is a pretty simple task but cooking them all up is a timely manner). Since I was aiming for quick convenience I tossed a package into my grocery cart and of I went.

Reading over the package, the crepes can be eaten straight out of the packaging, or they can be heated in the microwave for a couple of seconds. I went with the heating method and popped the crepe into the microwave for 7 seconds. It was warmed, but not scalding hot. After the first bite ... I wasn’t a fan. Crepes are just one of those things that are served best moments after they are made. These crepes were a bit rubbery, stale, and just not all that enjoyable. The chocolate was a decent flavor, because it can be somewhat hard to screw up chocolate … but the total package wasn’t something I’d repurchase … nor was it something that I even ate again.

Well … you win some, you lose some … and this was a loss.

Each crepe is 130 calories or 4 points plus values.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Limited Edition Watermelon Oreos

While shopping at Target I had seen a new [or truthfully a repeat] Oreo flavor a few times. Initially I was like "Watermelon? No way..." until one afternoon on a trip through the store I decided to pick up a package of the Limited Edition Watermelon Oreo cookies for an Oreo taste test session.

Initially the package was tucked away in the cabinet until I decided to take them out and share with family at a barbecue. At first we were skeptical ... I mean watermelon Oreo’s? Opening them up, your nose is awarded with a watermelon scent. Then upon first bite ... you truly do get a watermelon flavor.  It’s what I would assume a watermelon gum flavor would taste like … that sweet artificial watermelon flavor. It's weird considering it's a cookie ... but Nabisco truly hit the nail on the head with the flavor in these. The watermelon flavor isn't overwhelming and it isn't sickeningly chemically as some artificial watermelon products can get.  The golden cookie definitely helps make this a smooth flavor ... because a chocolate variety would simply be repulsive.  Overall? These aren’t bad …

A serving is 2 cookies which is 150 calories or 4 points plus values. Or you can have one cookie for 2 points plus.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin British Muffins

I popped into Trader Joe's one afternoon to restock some grocery items. While picking up my beloved multi-grain bagels I noticed English muffins on the bottom shelf. Stooping low, I picked up a pack and the first thing I could smell was a delicious cinnamon raisin aroma wafting off the product. That's when the Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin British Muffins found a spot in my grocery cart.

I'm a fan of English muffins but I typically don't pick them up because they can be boring (particularly the plain variety).  I'm able to find light english muffins that are lower in points/calories but finding flavored english muffins that are lower in calories/points can sometimes be a bit of a stretch.

The muffins need to be cut in half with a knife and toast up beautifully in the toaster oven. They come out crispy, hearty and are rather filling on their own.  I find they are heavier than your average white flour or light English muffin (most notably due to the amount of fiber and protein in each muffin). I’ve enjoyed them with spray butter on them, peanut butter, alongside breakfast (eggs), and even in a savory nature – the muffin being the bread of a deli polish ham sandwich.

What I liked about these muffins was that not only did they smell delicious, they are whole wheat and they're flavored English (or as Trader Joe’s calls them – British) muffins that are healthier in stats. Not only that, but the list of ingredients are all items I can read, understand and actually know what they are. The one “downside” to being able to read the ingredients lists (as with nearly all fresh products available at Trader Joe’s) is they don’t have a very long expiration. Basically, they’ve got about a 5-7 day shelf life, depending on the date on the plastic tag on the bread bags. I’ve found they spoil quickly if left out at room temperature, but they tend to last a little longer if placed in the refrigerator.

Each muffin is 130 calories or 3 points plus values.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Caramel & Cheddar Popcorn Mix

Popcorn and I have become good friends over the years. It's a light yet filling snack and I've given a number of brands a shot over the last few years. One brand I'm constantly intrigued by is Angie's Boom Chicka Pop line. I've tried nearly every flavor I've come across ... so needless to say when I spotted Angie's Boom Chicka Pop Caramel & Cheddar Mix I had to pick up a bag.

My initial thought when I opened and saw the popcorn was that of the popcorn tins ... you know the ones people gift to friends/family around the holidays? The tins typically have butter, caramel and cheddar popcorn in it all divided by a cardboard insert for the eater to eat it however they please. When I was a kid the cheddar and caramel popcorn was definitely my favorite and the butter flavor always was the one I left to its lonesome. This popcorn reminds me of mixing the cheddar and caramel popcorn from the popcorn tins. It’s delicious, it keeps the taste buds on their toes and it makes for a fun snack.

It’s definitely one of those savory snacks … it’s a classic strong cheddar popcorn and a crispy, sweet caramel popcorn. Grabbing a handful, it’s a decent mixture of the two flavor categories. What I will say, is I find it’s a lot easier to proportion the popcorn up as soon as the bag is open … otherwise it’s very easy to just open the bag and have “a little bit more.” It’s delicious … yet addicting, particularly if the bag is open and not portioned out to friendly serving size amounts.

If you’re interested in giving this a try, I do know this is sold at Target locations (I want to note, I saw these on the clearance shelf this past weekend Saturday, May 31st). I have yet to see these at Wal-Mart, but if you’re in the New England area these are sold at Market Basket locations.

A serving is 1 1/4 cups (28g) which is 120 calories or 3 points plus values.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fruit Tortilla

For nearly a week straight I was on a fruit tortilla kick. Since wrapping a banana up in a tortilla just wasn’t going to cut it I went peering through the cabinet. That’s when the light bulb went off and I decided to make a chocolate peanut butter concoction using PB2.

I put 2 tablespoons of PB2 into a small bowl and mixed it together with a little bit of water. I then drizzled in a teaspoon of sugar free chocolate syrup and combined the two. I then smeared the chocolate peanut butter mixture onto half of a tortilla – then topped with a sliced banana and strawberry.

I grabbed the wrong tortilla for these (each tortilla was 3 points plus a piece) so it made this little gem 4 points plus values. If I had purchased the correct tortilla, it would have only been 2 points plus.  The only thing that could’ve made this better would have been grilling it up to make it ooey, gooey and crunchy.

Pizza Bites

This delicious recipe is all thanks to a picture I saw on Pinterest. They looked delicious, seemed simple enough and since I saw the post around the same time I made a trip to Aldi I purchased a few things while at the store to have on hand.  The picture I saw used mini muffin tins and flaky biscuits ... but I opted to use your traditional regular size muffin tins and classic style biscuits.

I swapped out the biscuits from the jumbo flaky kind to your traditional classic plain biscuits. Since the biscuits I used allowed for 2 biscuits to be a serving, I just stuck each raw biscuit into the bottom of a greased muffin tin and called it a day.  The end result was a delicious, unique treat which refrigerated well and reheated well too (or was perfect to eat cold).  As a pizza fan ... I quite enjoyed these and will never look at a Bagel Bite the same again. These are great to have as a fun dinner while they’re great to serve as portion sized appetizers.

Here's how I made these Pizza Bites:
Serves 10. 2 Points Plus/serving. (2 biscuits = 4 points plus)

  • 1 can classic biscuits (I used a can with 5 servings, 2 biscuits per serving - Aldi brand)
  • 10 tbsp marinara sauce (I used Aldi’s Organic Marinara sauce)
  • 1/3 cup Kraft fat free shredded mozzarella
  • 20 slices Hormel turkey pepperoni
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • Nonstick cooking spray
Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Separate biscuits from one another and press into the bottom of each muffin tin, pushing biscuits out just slightly to go up the edges (enough to hold the sauce without ‘boiling’ over.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce into the center of each dough.

Evenly distribute the 1/3 cup (roughly 1 ½ tsp) of shredded mozzarella over the top of each biscuit with sauce.

Place 2 pepperoni slices over each pizza & sprinkle with a pinch of Italian seasoning.

Place muffin tin into a 400 degree oven and bake for roughly 8-10 minutes until the biscuits are perfectly golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!