Smarter Than Pancakes

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu and Bok Choy from VT

Happy Pancake Day, everybody!  We had blueberry pancakes this morning, but I don’t want to be cliché, so I’m not posting a pancake recipe.  Instead, I’ll post a recipe for a stir fry that I got from the latest Veg Times.

This stir-fry was really good!  I’ve been trying all kinds of vegan recipes from that issue, and I can’t believe how good they are.  And surprisingly filling!  I figured that we’d be hungry again in about an hour, but we haven’t been at all.

You can tell that I'm no food stylist. I didn't notice the sauce on the rice in the pink bowl until I uploaded the picture. Now it's going to drive me nuts, so promise me you'll just ignore it.

Stir-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms with Tofu and Bok Choy
Vegan – Adapted from Vegetarian Times Feb 2010 issue.
Serves 4 – 6 WW points per 1 cup serving

1 tsp cornstarch

2 Tbs soy sauce

2 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 tsp Thai chile sauce, such as sriracha (I had never had sriracha before—it’s really good. It doesn’t make the dish super-spicy like you’d think.)

2 cloves garlic, minced (I used about a tbs.)

1 tsp sesame oil

3 Tbs canola oil, divided (I used peanut oil.)

1 14-oz pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into bite-sized cubes (See draining directions below.)

1 lb bok choy, washed and cut into 1 1/2 –inch pieces (I love me some bok choy.)

2 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (It took all of a 3.5 oz. box of shiitakes.)

  1. (To drain tofu—take it out of the package and put it on a plate.  Put another plate on top, and put some kind of weight on top of it for a little while—I’ve been known to use canned goods for weight.  Every so often, go back and pour off the water that has collected on the plate.  Tofu is like a sponge, and if you don’t do this step, it won’t soak up as much flavor.)
  2. Stir the starch into 1 tsp of water; then add the soy sauce, ginger, sriracha, garlic and sesame oil.
  3. Heat 1 Tbs of canola (or peanut) oil in large skillet or wok over med-high heat.  (I used my electric skillet.) Stir-fry the tofu until golden brown, then put it on a plate.  (I put mine on paper towel to get rid of more oil.)
  4. Add one more Tbs of oil to the pan; then throw in the bok choi for about 4 minutes.  Move that to the plate with the tofu.
  5. Add remaining 1 Tbs of the oil, then cook the mushrooms for about 2 minutes, or until tender.  (I don’t think I added all the oil each time.  I don’t think it needed it–my electric skillet is nonstick.)
  6. Add the bok choi and tofu back in with the ‘shrooms, then pour the sauce over it.  Cook that all together for about a minute–or until hot.
  7. (I served mine with basmati rice—because that’s what I had.)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Minestrone with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and White Beans

Ok, I’m starting out my healthy eating posts bent with several recipes I’ve tried from the latest (February 2010) issue of Vegetarian Times.  Even though I’m not a strict vegetarian, I am a huge fan of Veg Times.  I’ve had a subscription since 1993, and this may be one of their best issues yet.  (Of course, that might be because of my newfound interest in healthy eating—who knows?)

The first on the list is a soup that we liked so much that I’ve made it twice already!  It’s delicious, takes less than half an hour to get on the table, and has only 113 calories per one-cup serving.  What’s not to like?

Minestrone with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and White Beans
Adapted from Vegetarian Times Feb 2010 issue
(Vegan & Gluten Free)
2 WW points per 1 cup serving
Yield 4 cups

1 Tbs olive oil (Oil from the jar of oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes adds a lot of flavor)

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried basil

1 ½ cups diced onion (That’s about one medium onion)

1 cup sliced carrots (One or two carrots?)

1 cup sliced celery (Three stalks?)

2 Tbs minced garlic (Six cloves?)

½ cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes (I used oil-packed, dry is fine.)

15-oz canned Cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh or frozen green peas

2 Tbs. white wine vinegar

  1. In a three-quart saucepan, heat your oil then put your dried herbs in to sizzle for about half a minute.
  2. Add the carrots, and let them cook for a minute or two; then add the onion and celery. Cover and cook until the onion is translucent.
  3. Throw in the minced garlic and let it sizzle for less than a minute.  (In the original VT recipe, they threw the veggies in at once, but our carrots wound up being really crispy in the first batch.  I also worry about burning my garlic, so I always add it last.)
  4. Add the sliced sun-dried tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more.
  5. Add the beans, a quart of water, and a little salt and pepper.
  6. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to about medium-low, and cook in a low simmer for about 10 minutes.  (I think my stove is wonky, because it frequently doesn’t simmer on the burner settings they suggest.  Just keep an eye on it and make sure that you’re still getting small bubbles and lots of steam.  You don’t want a rolling boil, but make sure you’re simmering.)
  7. Add the peas, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes more.
  8. Stir in vinegar, then taste for seasonings.  Add salt and pepper if needed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Slow But Sure Post–Now with FRUIT SMOOTHIE!

Filed under: Alton's Smoothie (tweaked),Healthy Junk Food,WW Points — shaye3 @ 3:31 pm

For those of you who are here looking for the marble cake or the rolls, I swear I’m working on them!  Long recipes take longer to type out.  I have to type a paraphrased version of each recipe for copyright reasons, and both of those recipes are kind of long.  I’ve been working on them, but I’m also homeschooling and just started a new job.  I’m starting with a super-easy recipe, and I’ll try to get to the other two very soon!

Sooo, you already know about how good intentions pave roads–no need to expound on that one.  My grand scheme was to start the big diet on January first, except we were still in full holiday mode and had all kinds of company that first week.  Not to mention that Steve’s work decided that they should let everyone wait an extra week between pay periods the first of the year because there were too many weeks in the year or something.  I don’t know, but the budget got tighter that first week in January.  It actually worked out well because we ate out of our pantry for a while, and got rid of a lot of fattening foods that I didn’t want to have around anyway.   When we finally hit the grocery, we came out with lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  I guess that should cushion the blow that we came out almost $300 lighter.  (In all fairness, we were out everything.  It does cost a little more to stock up on staples when you’re completely starting over with only healthy versions of everything.)

Steve finally got paid on the eighth, and the ninth is my half birthday–which means I have exactly six months to take off this weight before it becomes permanently glued to the body on my fortieth birthday.  (At least I’ve heard that it’s impossible to lose weight after you turn forty.  Hopefully it’s an exaggeration since I’ll still have a little more weight to lose after this initial fifty pounds I’m hoping to drop by mid-July.)

It seems that all the cool people are dropping weight now-a-days.  I just watched an extremely gaunt-looking Alton Brown do a show on that very topic.  (Somebody please tell me when I get too thin. I don’t want to look unhealthy like Alton.)

Anyway, one of Alton’s recipes from his show “Live and Let Diet” was a fruit smoothie that he has for breakfast each and every day.   (I’m not the type who could stand having the same thing every day for breakfast, but I say more power to him!)  His recipe makes 24 ounces of smoothie, which seems like way too much for a normal person to drink.  I made a whole batch and split it with my son for a mid-morning snack.  It was pretty good, but it needed some vanilla in my opinion.  All smoothies need vanilla in my opinion.

Alton’s Buff Smoothie

Alton’s Buff SmoothieMakes 24 oz–which serves two in our house. 3 WW points per 12 oz. / 6 WW points for the whole thing

(Know that Alton is a little strange, so he weighs the whole thing.  I did it like he did and just put the tank of my VitaMix right on my food scale and then zeroed out each time I added a new ingredient.  It worked easily enough.)

4 oz low-fat plain soy milk (I used unsweetened Silk, but the vanilla would be really tasty.)

4 oz Concord grape juice (Grape is cheapest, but according to him you can also use pomegranate or acai juice.)

4 oz frozen strawberries (All fruit is unsweetened–naturally.)

4 oz frozen bananas (I didn’t have any bananas in the freezer, so I just peeled one straight off the counter.)

4 oz frozen blueberries (You can use blackberries, but I don’t like that many seeds.)

4 oz frozen peaches or mangoes (I calculated the points using peaches.  Mango is tasty, but it has more calories and less fiber.)

A splash of vanilla extract (Alton doesn’t call for this, but it needs it.  I added maybe 1/4 tsp. to my half of the finished smoothie, and it was a big improvement since I like everything to taste like ice cream.)

  1. Alton measures the ingredients into blender the night before and blends the next morning.  I didn’t, and it was a pain to mix because my fruit was really frozen.  I used a Vita-Mix, which has a power-boat motor.  I don’t know if it would have worked otherwise.  That fruit was rock hard.
  2. If you want to know the exact nuance of how he mixed it, check the food network site.  I figure it’s a smoothie–you can’t really do it wrong if it comes out smooth in the end.

Ok, I’m off to nag my son to get his math done, and to work on that stupid marble cake post. 😉

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What does your grocery list look like when you’re eating healthy?

Filed under: Healthy Junk Food,Meal Plans,Menu Planning,Opinions,WW Points — shaye3 @ 10:12 am

I’m on Weight Watchers again, and I’m working on my grocery list.  I was talking to a couple of Facebook friends earlier about the types of healthy foods we try to keep on hand when trying to eat healthy.  I shared a few things that I’ve come up with, but I’d love to hear other people’s suggestions!

Here are some of mine:

I hate to admit it, because I seriously do try to avoid processed foods when I can, but it’s a lot harder when you’re dieting or doing Weight Watchers.  I tend to keep a few Lean Cuisines or Lean Pockets in the freezer for emergencies or when I’m just feeling extremely lazy–they’re easy and don’t have a lot of points.  I also tend to keep a can of milk chocolate Slimfast powder in the cupboard for the same reason.  While I’m doing true confessions, I also use butter sprinkles or butter spray when I’m doing Weight Watchers.  Yes I know it’s like one molecule away from being plastic, but I still do it.  (There, I admitted it.)

Other than those seriously processed things…

I try to buy a lot of produce, then wash and chop it the next day so it’s easy to grab at a moment’s notice.  (Grocery shopping can be exhausting, so I usually never do it right when I get home from the store.)

I buy romaine & other lettuces, spinach, radishes, carrots, sprouts, and any other salad-bar things that would be low or no points.  I also get some slightly higher cal/higher protein items  like sunflower seeds, garbanzo beans, olives,  and 2% cheese–but I try to make sure to weigh those things before putting on my salad because they can rack up points quickly.  I keep all of it–chopped, washed and ready to eat–in small containers in the fridge.  (My own little instant salad bar!) I also keep low cal salad dressing, which I also try to remember to measure when I use it when I’m counting points.  I try to make my own salad dressings because it’s hard to find dressings that don’t have HFCS.  The Annie’s dressings don’t, but I’m just not crazy about bottled dressings to begin with.

I also try to get stuff like zucchini, summer squash, fresh mushrooms, onions, eggplant, red peppers, and other similar veggies that I’ll chop up and saute in a small amount of olive oil while I’m prepping all my produce. (I usually saute them one at a time, then throw it all in together.  I just keep a big container of cooked veggies in the fridge so I can warm some in the microwave to go into my Egg Beaters omlet in the morning with a couple of Tbs. of 2% cheese.  It’s a fast, healthy, and fairly quick breakfast.

The other day, I figured out that I can peel and chop up an apple, throw it together with a little sweetener, pinch of salt, butter spray, cinnamon and nutmeg; and then nuke it until it’s soft.  It’s awesome on a toasted whole grain English Muffin when I’m craving a pastry.

When I buy any bread product, I check the label to make sure there’s no HFCS, then I check to make sure it says “Whole Wheat” or “Whole Grain”.  After that, I check the nutrition label to figure out which one has the most fiber and the fewest calories.  If there’s more than one that fits that criteria, I get the one that feels softer. 😉

In the summer, we love frozen grapes.  I’ll buy a bunch of grapes, wash them really well and cut the stems so that when you grab them you’ll get a proper serving size.  Then I just throw them in the freezer.  They work really well when you want something cold and sweet like a Popsicle.  (They don’t satisfy a chocolate craving though.  I’ve been known to keep the fat free Fudgesicles on hand for that purpose.  Only one point each!)

My doctor suggested another one to me.  He’s completely against all sweeteners.  (He prefers sugar or honey to HFCS, but would prefer we avoid all of them with the history of diabetes in our family.) He suggested that a calorie free, yet refreshing drink is flavored water.  He told me to take a pitcher of water and put in sliced lemons, limes, even cucumber.  Throw it in the fridge overnight, and it makes a really good drink.  I’ve tried cucumber water at a spa, but I keep meaning to do this at home.  I love to put water in the fridge anyway.  It’s handy to have cold water, and I swear it tastes better after the chlorine has had a chance to evaporate away.

We also love to make 5-minute tomato soup.  I’m pretty sure I’ve posted it on here before, but all you do is put a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan, warm it a little and then throw in a little fresh garlic.  (Roasted garlic is even better!) Then you let that sizzle for less than a minute before you add a can of crushed tomatoes and a little dried basil.  You let that simmer for about 5 minutes, then either take a stick blender to it, throw it in your regular blender, or leave it slightly chunky.  We love it, and it’s almost point free!

Ok, there are a few of my healthy food tricks.  Now it’s your turn to comment and share some of yours!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My all time favorite salad

Filed under: 7-layer salad,Side Dishes,WW Points — shaye3 @ 10:09 am
Tags: , , ,

Every Easter, I make a 7-Layer Salad for dinner.  It’s one of a few traditional dishes that we always have to have for Easter, but it is one that I’ve been known to serve several times in the weeks before Easter too.  For some reason, this salad is the epitome of spring for me.   Steve and I LOVE it.  Simon doesn’t really care for anything that has the word “salad” anywhere near it–which is strange because it’s one of the few things I craved when I was pregnant for him.

Anyway, it started as a recipe from a cookbook called  Mealtimes & Memories, but I’ve changed it quite a bit.  I’ve eliminated iceburg lettuce in favor of the greener and more nutritious Romaine, and added green onions.  I’ve also replaced the quite tasty but HFCS full combo of Miracle Whip and mayo in the dressing for a lightly sweetened mayo that is much healthier–and we can’t taste the difference.


Seven Layer Salad
Servings 12
WW Points 6 (Points determined using Hellmanns canola mayo and real bacon.  Using 4 Tbs soy bacon would make it 5 points.)

10 oz bag baby spinach (You can absolutely use non-bagged and just wash it really well, but bagged spinach is the one bagged green I do use.)

1/2 lbs bacon–cooked & crumbled OR 1 cup soy bacon pieces (Since my family believes that bacon is a vegetable, I usually cut the raw bacon into small strips, cook the whole package, and about half makes it onto the salad.)

10 oz bag package frozen baby peas (I’m serious about the baby part. Get the ones that say “baby” or “petite”.)

3 green onions—chopped (We like green onion so I use the whole bunch.)

1 head Romaine lettuce—cut into bite sized pieces and washed (Sub at will for any lettuce you like.)

6 hard-boiled eggs—sliced (This amount totally depends on the size container you’re using. You need enough slices to completely cover the top, so if you’re using a wide container you’ll need more.)

1 cup mayonnaise (This amount also depends on your dish. You need enough to cover the top of the eggs completely by about 1/8-1/4 inch.)

1/2 tsp sugar—optional (The original recipe calls for 1/2 mayo and 1/2 Miracle Whip. Since MW is chock full of HFCS, I don’t use it. I did like the sweetness it gave the dressing, so I add a little sugar to the mayo for the same taste.)

1 cup shredded cheese (I usually use cheddar or colby jack, but the original recipe called for Swiss)

  1. Layer each item through eggs in order in a trifle dish. (Or any dish you want.  My aunt makes it in a 9×13.)
  2. Combine mayo & sugar and frost over egg layer.
  3. Can be covered tightly and stored in the fridge up to overnight.
  4. Just before serving sprinkle cheese on the top.

This is one of my default pitch-in dishes, so if you invite me to come over and ask me to bring a salad, this is probably the one you’ll get.  It looks impressive, is easy to put together, and tastes amazing!

…And just because I haven’t mentioned any small appliances lately–here is my beloved egg steamer.  I realize that it’s completely senseless for me to have an appliance that  has the sole purpose of cooking eggs, but it is SOOO much easier to just throw some eggs and water into this thing, turn it on, and in a few minutes have perfectly cooked eggs.  It does boiled, scrambled, and poached.  What more could you ask for??    (And in case you’re wondering, this is another one I got from my mom.  I don’t actually spend good money on all of my senseless appliances.) 😉


Monday, January 12, 2009

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Filed under: Desserts,jelled pineapple rings,WW Points — shaye3 @ 9:10 am


This, my friends, is what happens when you know you won’t have many points left after dinner, but you’ve been craving sweets all day.

Gross, huh?  Yet surprisingly not that bad.

Take a tall can of pineapple rings in juice and drain the juice.  Then you dissolve a package of sugar free gelatin with once cup of boiling water, let it cool just a little, pour it back into the can with the pineapple, and throw the whole mess back into the fridge.

After it sets up, you just eject it from the can (warm water around the outside of the can helps), and then slice it between the pineapple slices.

Depending on how much you eat, a serving is just a point or two.  (Plus it has the cool can-line thing going on–like the canned cranberry sauce that people seem to insist on for Thanksgiving.)

Yum.  (Ok, not quite yum, but at least we enjoyed it.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

White Bean Chicken Chili for a chilly day!

Filed under: crock pot,Soups,White Bean Chicken Chili,WW Points — shaye3 @ 7:15 pm

Look ma!  I’m posting!!!  Can you believe it?!  Me neither.   First my internet went out, then I got internet back and lost my camera.  I tell you what, I was not destined to post any new recipes until today.  (And today is actually the 2 year anniversary of my non-food blog that turned into a food blog on Vox.  Maybe I should make a post to it, too…)

Anyway, it’s chilly here in central Indiana.  Not as cold as it could be, and I need to lodge a complaint that we did NOT get the snow they promised us, so I’m just sitting here being cold without the snow.

Everyone knows that when you’re chilly you have to eat soup–and what better soup than chili?!  Steve and I have really been hitting the Weight Watchers, so I tried to find a recipe that was point friendly.  This one started out point friendly, but then I had a whole pound of chicken defrosted instead of the 3/4 lb. that it originally called for.  Then, when you add the “optional toppings”, it bumps up even more.  THEN, the amount they consider a serving really isn’t a serving around here, so that effectively doubled the points.  All that to say that if you can get six servings out of it, you can include the extra 1/4 lb. chicken and all of the optional toppings for a thrifty eight points per serving.


White Bean Chicken Chili

(The person I got this from said it originally came from a Prevention cookbook, but of course I tweaked at will.)

20 min prep

6 hours or 30 minutes cooking time–depending

SERVES 3 – 16 points per serving  (Or 8 points per serving if you make it serve 6.)


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces (I used scissors.)

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry white wine or chicken broth

2 cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt (Add more salt if you’re using wine instead of broth.)

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional Toppings

3 oz. baked tortilla chips

2 Tbs. shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (2 tsp per bowl)

3 Tbs. reduced fat sour cream

  1. Spray a large skillet with Pam-like spray, then sauté chicken over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Remove and set aside.
  2. Lower the heat a little, add a little more spray to the pan, and cook the onions until softened.
  3. After the onions are soft, add the garlic and cook for about a minute. (Don’t let the garlic burn. Burnt garlic is nasty.)
  4. Place all of the ingredients into your crockpot and cook on low 5-6 hours. (Or, if you’re impatient like me, you can throw it in a pot on the stove and cook for half an hour or so.)
  5. Serve with optional toppings. (I used baked Scoops and ate it like bean dip.)

Yum–and warm!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What to do with ALL OF THE TOMATOES!!

Ok, so we bought four tomato plants, two of them actually lived, and of course neither living plant was the Roma or the cherry.  (Romas are my favorite, and I have an awesome recipe for stuffed cherry tomatoes that I wanted to make.)  That means that I now have tons and tons of tomatoes that fall into the “other” category.  For some reason, a lot of the tomatoes on one of the plants have turned black on the top and started cracking.  I think it’s because of all the rain we’ve gotten recently.  Fortunately, the other plant seems to be fine.  More than fine.  Prolific.  Exuberant.  Crazy!

So here’s what I did.  I decided to oven dry them.  I dried two huge trays of them, and then proceeded to eat all of them like candy.  I guess it could have been worse, they could have been actual candy.  I swear, I can’t resist them!  They’re really sweet, and kind of chewy.  They have this amazing concentrated tomato flavor, and I just sit and eat them like popcorn or something.  I probably ate a dozen tomatoes worth before they were even off the tray.  It’s probably shameful, but if it’s wrong I don’t wanna be right!  (And the best part is, they pretty much count as 0 ww points!)

Here’s how you do it-

Wash your tomatoes, cut them into 8ths, run your finger through the sides of the slices to get rid of the liquid and seeds, and cut off the bits of core stuck to the top of the wedges.

Put them on a foil-lined baking sheet that you’ve oiled with about two tablespoons of olive oil.  Lightly sprinkle with salt.  (You can also throw some dried basil on them if you’d like.  I didn’t this time.)

Put the trays in a 275 oven, and leave them for an hour.  After the hour, come back and shake them to loosen any that are sticking.  Put them back in the oven and let them continue to dry.  Eventually, you can flip them over if you’d like.

I’d say it takes at least two hours, depending on how big and juicy your tomatoes were to begin with.  They dehydrate down to little bite sized pieces that you won’t be able to resist.

tomatoes (before)

tomatoes (before)

tomatoes (during)

tomatoes (during)

tomatoes (after)

tomatoes (after)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vegetarian Chik’n Noodle Soup

Poor Steve has picked up a summer cold, and this morning was rainy and almost chilly. (Ok, it was 70 when I took the dog out–but compared to the upper 80s we’ve been having it felt cool!) I have been having a hard time coming up with inspiration for lunches and dinner while Steve and Simon have been home, so inspired by poor Steve’s cold, I asked him if some old fashioned chicken soup sounded good. He said it sounded amazing, and Simon was amenable since my chicken soup is one of his favorite things. The only problem is that I’ve been avoiding meat and meat products as much as possible lately. I think I’ve had meat once in the past week or so, and it tends to sit on my stomach like a rock when I do eat it. Fortunately, the boys don’t mind being vegetarian–which is good since today I converted my normal chicken soup recipe to a vegetarian version. (Don’t worry, they both still loved it!)

Vegetarian Chik’n Noodle Soup
8 servings – 3.5 ww points per serving

As always with soup recipes, all of these measurements are approximate, feel free to use more or less.

For Bouquet Garni

10 whole black peppercorns

2 sprigs flat leaf parsley

1 sprig thyme

1 dried bay leaf

For Soup

2 Tbs butter

1 onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice (I frequently use more)

1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced and washed well (Don’t leave this out!)

64 oz Imagine brand No-Chicken Broth (2 32-oz cartons)

12 oz Quorn Chik’n Tenders (These are optional, but we like them.)

3 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch coins

2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4 inch C-shaped slices

2 cups egg noodles (I used whole grain from Ronzoni)

  1. Make the bouquet garni by bundling peppercorns, parsley, thyme and bay leaf in cheesecloth, and tying with kitchen twine.
  2. Heat butter in a stockpot over medium high heat.
  3. Add onion and leek; cook until soft and translucent (About 5-7 min).
  4. Add broth and bouquet garni and bring to a simmer.
  5. Meanwhile add carrots and celery.
  6. The vegetables will need to cook for about 18 minutes, so check the directions on your egg noodles, and let your veggies cook by themselves until you have just enough time on your timer for the noodles to cook. (My noodles needed to cook 7 minutes, so I let the veggies cook for 11 minutes, then added the noodles and cooked the last 7 minutes.)
  7. After the veggies and noodles are finished cooking, add the Quorn Chik’n to the pot until heated through.
  8. Taste and add salt as needed.
  9. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

You know, I still struggle with the whole non-processed foods vs. imitation meat thing. I know that most vegetarian meats are total franken-foods, but I still buy them. I guess if I’m mostly avoiding processed foods, that’s still better than nothing. Right? (I hope so.)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

This Cheese is Proof That Jesus Loves Me

Filed under: Opinions,WW Points — shaye3 @ 5:41 pm
Tags: ,

We ran to Indy on a grocery shopping trip last night. We made the rounds and hit Costco, Trader Joe’s and Wild Oats–which has now officially turned into Whole Foods.

At Whole Foods, we were just browsing, and Steve picked up a wedge of cheese and said “Oooooo, smell this!”

(Now, you can’t always trust my husband when he hands you something to smell. One of our favorite games back when we still had a Yankee Candle store nearby was called “Yuck, smell this!” Where you’d pick up something horrid, but not let on that it’s horrid until after the other person had taken a big, gag inducing whiff. Fortunately, this was not one of those times.)

This cheese smelled like the food of the gods! We immediately threw it into our cart, and went on our merry way. By afternoon today, the half pound block is gone.

I decided to Google the name of the cheese to see what I could find out about it. (When did I become the type of person who Googles cheeses?)

Here’s what I learned–It’s called Parrano Uniekaas. This is what the Zabar’s website said about it. (The above picture is also from Zabar’s site.):

It’s Dutch, but sort of Italian. How can this be? Dutch cheese producer UnieKaas has taken the best qualities of Gouda and parmesan and created this 20-month-aged pasteurized cow’s milk wheel. Tasting tangy, full-flavored, and nutty, its smooth, semi-firm texture makes it an ideal grating or table cheese.

The Cheese Reporter said that it is imported by Best Cheese Corporation, and that Best Cheese products can be found at Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Safeway, Albertson’s and Kroger. (And obviously Zabar’s if you live in the New York area.)

Oh. My. Gosh. Part of the reason I’m posting about it is to recommend it to everyone I know. The other reason is so that I’ll be able to remember the name later when I go back to find more…next week. 😉

(Oh, and just in case you’re wondering–I calculated it, and a 100 gram serving has 10.5 ww points.)

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