March 15, 2009
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.
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.
March 5, 2009
Furthering my quest for a good frozen pasta dish, I picked up Lean Cuisine’s Cheese Ravioli at the grocery store yesterday. Ravioli may qualify as the best invention ever, and if I can eat it every day for only 240 calories I would be in heaven. Lean Cuisine offered just that, saying the dish contained “delicate ravioli stuffed with Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, then topped with a robust tomato sauce accented with basil, onion and garlic”. You’ve got to love it when Lean Cuisine starts using “robust” in their product descriptions.
Needless to say, the ravioli was not robust. Even though microwaving it smelled incredible, when I took it out I was disappointed to find only 6 small ravioli pieces. They were only just covering the bottom of the little plastic container! Deciding that this would be better suited as a side dish, I reheated some chicken Parmesan and served myself the ravioli to go along with it. Were I eating just the ravioli, this would be massively disappointing. I would have to eat at least two of these for them to qualify as a dinner.
As far as taste is concerned, the ravioli definitely ranked well above the previously reviewed Angel Hair Pomodoro. The pasta shell had a much better texture and the sauce was not as runny. Despite all this, they were not packed with flavor. You could taste the cheese (although the ravioli could have contained more of it) and the tomato sauce had some hint of the basil, onion and garlic. All together, though, this did not hit the spot. If you’re looking for a full meal, you’re better off going a different route. As a small side dish to something more substantial and tastier (I served myself about 2/3 of the package), it actually works decently well. Massive reduction on the overall rating due to the serving size, though.
Nutritional Facts: Serving Size: 1 Package. 240 Calories. 50 calories from Fat. 6 g Fat. 3.5 g Saturated Fat. 40 mg Cholesterol. 600 g Sodium. 540 g Potassium. 38 g Carbohydrates. 3 g Dietary Fiber. 10 g Sugar. 11 g Protein. 5 Weight Watchers Points.
: : : : : : : : : : :
March 4, 2009
From Lean Cuisine: “Delicate angel hair pasta in a chunky marinara sauce and topped with melted Parmesan and zesty Asiago cheese”.
If I had to describe Lean Cuisine’s Angel Hair Pomodoro in word word, it would be forgettable. Craving pasta again last night, I popped this in the microwave looking forward to what I was hoping would be a satisfying, healthy alternative to ordering out from an Italian restaurant. Size-wise, this was fairly substantial for only 250 calories. Taste-wise, this wasn’t what I would call a winner. Despite subtracting 30 seconds from the cooking time, the angel hair pasta was a little overcooked and gummy (by no means al dente). The sauce, while it wasn’t incredibly watery, didn’t really taste like much at all. While the chunks of tomatoes were tasty and sizable, they were also somewhat sparse. As for the Parmesan and Asiago cheeses, I could barely tell they were there.
While I wouldn’t describe it as bad, it wasn’t necessarily good, either. There was enough pasta to make it a full meal, but the only way I would buy this again is if I needed a 5 minute side pasta dish to something more flavorful and filling. Also, its good to keep in mind that this contains a whopping 620 mg (26% DV) of sodium. Better bet? Boil a small pot of water and drop some pasta in it and add some marinara sauce. It seriously only takes about 12 minutes longer and you will be a much happier camper.
Nutritional Information: Serving Size: 1 package. 250 Calories. 45 Calories from Fat. 5 g Fat. 2 g Saturated Fat. 0 g Trans fat. 5 mg Cholesterol. 620 mg Sodium. 470 mg Potassium. 42 g Carbohydrates. 4 g Dietary Fiber. 10 g Sugar. 8 g Protein. 5 Weight Watchers Points.
: : : : : : : : : : :