Soy Vay’s the Way to Go

March 19, 2009

soyvayteriyakiIn honor of National Poultry Day, I am reviewing a way to use one of my easiest, tastiest, fastest ways to cook America’s staple meat: chicken.  Some time ago I impulsively found Soy Vay’s Marinades and Sauces at the grocery store.  Initially I just like the design of the bottles: little boats and fun looking writing on a larger-than-usual bottle.  I was further intrigued when I discovered that not only are all the sauces completely organic and preservative-free, but they’re also completely kosher because, in their cute little story, “Jewish Boy Meets Chinese Girl and SOY VAY!  A Sauce is Born!”.  Nutritionally, they’re relatively low-calorie, although the sodium content is very high (although expected in soy-based sauces).  My personal favorite in the line is Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki. In fact, this stuff is so good it’s not only the only teriyaki marinade I use now, it’s also the only teriyaki sauce that Trader Joe’s even sells.

Initially I used this alone just to figure out how it would taste cooked when chicken was marinated in it.  It’s a little thicker than regular teriyaki sauces, and you have to shake the bottle pretty well to ensure that all the sesame seeds that aggregate at the bottom are mixed in.  I had some chicken thighs, so I dumped them in a plastic bag with a generous amount of the sauce.  About 2 hours later, I removed them from the bag, put them on a baking dish with some of the sauce and cooked them at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.  What I ended up with were honestly some of the best chicken thighs I’ve had.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Boca Bruchetta Tomato Basil Parmesan Veggie Patties

March 16, 2009

boca_bruschettaSo once again I succumbed to the ever-excitable “new!” flag and picked up the Boca Bruchetta Tomato Basil Parmesan Veggie Patties.  At first I laughed, thinking maybe the length of the name was a sort of Napoleonic complex to make up for the lack of meat.  To be completely honest, I’ve never understood vegetarians.  Nothing excites me more than the prospect of going out for a steak dinner, and my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving for all the obvious reasons.  In fact, the entire idea of a veggie patty kind of freaks me out.  Why not just eat a burger?  But since I’m on this little health(ier)-food kick though (and more importantly, I have nothing to grill a burger on), the juicy deliciousness of a double bacon cheeseburger was not on the books for lunch today.  So when I saw the Bruchetta Tomato Basil Parmesan Boca Burgers out of the corner of my eye, I inspected the box with interest.  Boca described them quite appetizingly as containing “oven-roasted tomatoes, basil and Parmesan cheese—it’s all the best flavors of Italy packed into a wholesome veggie patty”  I like tomato.  I like basil.  I like Parmesan.  I love bruchetta.  So these meatless wonders must be a hit, right?

Needless to say, my foray into the world of vegetarianism was not bad!  I nuked the patty, toasted myself a bun and topped the whole thing with cheese, diced onions and tomato (a la bruchetta).  The whole ensemble actually made a very good-tasting lunch, and it seemed drastically more substantial than my usual turkey sandwich (yet somehow calorically equivalent).  Unlike the mouthful of a name, the patty is unfortunately on the thin side and kind of an unusual dark orange color.  This may be true for all veggie burgers; I really wouldn’t know.  All together the sandwich was delicious!  I detected a pleasant little bit of heat in the burger, and an inspection of the ingredients revealed paprika.  I was surprised to see oats on the list as well, since I didn’t really taste any.  The balance of tomato and onion was perfect, and the texture was closer to that of a beef burger than I thought it would be.  The only part that I really missed was the juiciness.  These were disappointingly dry and didn’t give me the experience that biting into a real burger affords.  All in all, though, these are a welcome addition to my lunch rotation.  I don’t think they’re quite savory or large enough to be a dinner, but they were a filling and satisfying lunch.  Nutrition-wise, I was pleasantly surprised.  While it was a little high in sodium, it was also high in protein and fiber and contained both calcium and iron.  To top it off, it was only 70 calories!

Next time I think I will top one off with a little marinara or pizza sauce, some mozzarella cheese and some diced tomatoes and onions.  I think the sauce will make up for the dryness of the patty.  Even better, some toasted Tuscan bread and some homemade bruchetta topping would take this Boca burger from good to absolutely delish.

So for all you vegetarians out there, the good folks at Boca have now made a believer out of me.  I won’t be giving up my love of eating meat (ever.), but since I can’t reasonably eat a burger every day, I will no longer scoff at the notion of a veggie burger.  I actually think I’m going to have to try other kinds now!

Stars: 4/5

Nutrition FactsServing Size: 1 Patty.  70 Calories.  1.5g Fat.  0.5g Saturated Fat.  0g Trans Fat.  5mg Cholesterol.  290mg Sodium.  9g Carbohydrates.  3.5g Dietary Fiber.  0g Sugar.  10g Protein.  15% Calcium.  15% Iron.  1 WW Point

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Pepperidge Farm Light Style 7 Grain Bread

March 15, 2009

light-style-7-grain While I am someone who definitely enjoys bread, when I fix my own sandwiches I can never bring myself to eat 400 calories worth of it every single time.  Also, I can no longer justify spending at least 5 dollars on a sandwich everyday for my lunch break.  Since it’s time to start being frugal and creative, I was naturally led to one of the big staple sections of the grocery store: the bread aisle.  Let me tell you, as someone who always likes to try new brands and products, variety can be just as overwhelming as it is exciting, and the bread aisle is one of the most overwhelming sections of all.

I’m usually a huge fan of Arnold Bakery Light 7 Grain, but when I saw Pepperidge Farm Light Style 7 Grain, I decided to give it a try. Needless to say, Arnold beat Pepperidge out of the water. The Arnold bakery has a delicious, almost buttery taste and a nice soft crust that is never dried out; it has never seemed like a “light” bread to me. Even though I often toast my sandwiches, I would argue that the Arnold bread is at its best completely unheated. Alternately, the Pepperidge Farm bread had a strangely dry crust that tasted like cardboard and wasn’t the easiest to bite, so I decided to make another sandwich toasted to see if the taste or texture improved. They didn’t. The grains, while they clearly existed in the bread, were tasteless. Altogether it did not make for the moist, delicious light style bread I was hoping Pepperidge Farm would be able to put together. They should stick to items like Milanos, where the two main ingredients are butter and chocolate. They have those down to an absolute art form.

Stars: 3/5

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 Slice.  45 Calories.  0 Calories from Fat.  0g Fat.  0g Cholesterol.  90mg Sodium.  9g Carbohydrates.  1g Dietary Fiber.  1g Sugar.  2g Protein.  2% Calcium.  2% Iron.  1 WW Point for 2 Slices.

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