Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sharwood's Korma Simmer Sauce

I'm not very experienced with Indian food, because I have the (possibly wrong) opinion that it often contains nuts or legumes. So I have nothing "authentic" to compare this to, not even takeout. That being said, I've made chicken korma with this sauce a few times, and I think I like it. It's definitely a different flavor profile than I'm used to, though! The sauce is creamy and spicy, but not hot-spicy (the bottle says mild and that's certainly true), more like cinnamon and cardamom and other gingerbread-cookie-ish spices. Which is weird to me in a savory food, but once you get over that mental hurdle, it's legit. This makes a very large amount, by the way; I usually use 2 chicken breasts, half a package of mushrooms, and a cup of rice, and I still have a lot of sauce leftover. I do like this and I hope to someday branch out into some other dishes, maybe even actually spicy ones!

Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 6/10

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Stouffer's Vegetable Lasagna

Mmm. OK, so, like Elaine in Seinfeld, I don't think of Vegetable Lasagna as being very exciting. But this is way better than any other frozen lasagna I've had, vegetable or no. I do like regular lasagna, but it's not as delicious. This sucker is a dense rectangle of maybe 3 lasagna noodles, cheesy creamy sauce, a few carrots (but they don't even taste like carrots, they taste like the good sauce), possibly bits of brocco or squash or spinach but really all you can taste is noodle and sauce. And a little crispy breadcrumb topping. It's pretty great. It's probably not great for you, but hey, there must be some veg in there! It's about 400 calories and takes an unfortunately long time to cook (maybe 12 minutes) even in the microwave. On the plus side it always comes out well, good texture, a lil crispy but not burnt, and very moist. I try not to buy frozen meals too often (ha ha) but if this is on sale I'll always pick it up, it's a classic!

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 8/10

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nature's Bakery Fig Bars

Check out this trendy new packaging! Anyway, these fig bars are solid. I'm not sure when they came out, but I first noticed them in the ~healthy~ section of my grocery store about 5 years ago, and since they were nut free and about a dollar (the single-serve option is a mega plus) I picked up a variety of flavors. Bear in mind that all the flavors are still fig flavors, but with other things there too. So these are like dolled up thick Fig Newtons. If you like that aesthetic, you'll probably like these. They're 200 calories for the two bars in each package, and so they make a filling little snack on-the-go. I see they also make brownie bar things too, which I will have to check out! They have a separate gluten-free line which is not very tasty, so I'm glad they kept it separate. And everything they make (at least that I've seen so far) is nut free!

My favorites are probably apple cinnamon, lemon, and solo fig, but they're all decent. Blueberry is good too!

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 8/10

Monday, August 7, 2017

Moe's Southwest Grill

At first I hated it because of the dumb names they give all their food options (named after mostly bro-y TV and movie lines), but I will say that they have more options than your Chipotle or even your Qdoba, and they give you free chips + a salsa bar raid with every order. Now, are the chips + salsa good? No, they're terrible, soft, and tasteless, but they are free, which I appreciate. Also they give you just a little guac, which might sound bad but I think calorie-wise it's a plus.

The contents are your standard non-cilantro'd rice, meats (a little flavorless, especially the chicken, but they have decent steak and they offer ground beef), beans, fajita veg (plus mushroom, a nice touch!) and tasty queso that costs extra and also is terrible for you. Plus corn/salsa/lettuce etc. The flavor isn't as good as chipotle, especially the rice, corn, salsa, and meat, but when it's all mixed together it's still decent and very filling. So I don't hate it any more. I wish they all offered breakfast, though. A breakfast option would shoot any Tex-Mex chain up to a 10/10 instantly :9

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 7/10





Sunday, August 6, 2017

Yum Earth Organic Lollipops

So, these lollipops really get around in the gluten-free/organic/whole foods sector, but they're also nut free, and therefore I am interested in them. From YumEarth (originally called Yummy Earth -- good change, I think), these come in a bunch of different flavors, but each pop is about 70 calories and a nice size.

They are also made with real fruit extract, but like....it's still a lollipop. Health food this is not.

The flavors (at least as of now) are: Strawberry, Grape, Mango, Peach, Berry, Pomegranate, Watermelon, and Cherry. I haven't gotten to try the first three, but I like the Cherry and the Peach best, they both have bright, strong flavors. The berry is fine, but I'm not really sure which berry it's supposed to taste like. Maybe the always mysterious blue raspberry? The pomegranate and watermelon are OK, but not amazing. The nice thing about these is that they're pretty easy to buy both online and in stores, and they aren't super expensive even though they're gluten-free/organic/etc. A nice treat for the common folk, if you will. I'm happy to have a few of these a month; they're a nice sweet treat that doesn't make you feel like I-just-ate-a-box-of-oreos garbage.

Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 6/10


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Enjoy Life Soft Baked Minis - Snickerdoodle

I see that these aren't actually called "cookies" on the package, which is apt since they aren't cookies as much as little crumbly spheres! But I digress. Enjoy life makes a lot of nut free snacks, which I appreciate, but I think they are also a top-8 allergen free company, which I appreciate on a solidarity level but on a taste level, not so much. Still, considering what they're working with, these are a pretty solid snack. They are soft and cute little orbs with an unfamiliar 'spicy' note to them, which I am assuming is the konjac in there, since I haven't had it in anything else (but I am not allergic, now I know!).

They have a nice flavor overall; not too sweet but with a nice cinnamon aftertaste. Not too crumbly, even though they aren't anywhere near as soft as a "real" cookie. For 100 calories this is a pleasant snack that virtually anyone can enjoy, so I approve.

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 6/10

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Brooklyn Organics Craft Ginger Ale - Cola

So, this is made by the Bruce Cost Ginger Ale company, and I like their nice gingery sodas. But this is sugar free, so it gets a new line name (~Brooklyn Organics~), and it has stevia and no caffeine. What? What's the point? It's also cola flavored, which is weird. So my preconceptions of this drink are not good. Unfortunately, the drink is also not good. I think it's really just because I hate stevia, though -- it gave me a massive headache and has a weird flavor to me. If you use stevia as a sweetener regularly, then you'll probably like this! The ginger is strong and the cola flavor is normal cola flavor. At least it's only 10 calories! :P




Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 3/10

Monday, March 20, 2017

Laiki Red Rice Crackers

I don't know what I expected, but these sure are bland. A lot like a Triscuit, these remind me of a lightly salted basket. They aren't BAD or OFFENSIVE, but they aren't what I'd call "good" either. Better to have some celery or something. However, they are a low-calorie crunchy nut-free snack, in attractive packaging, with just 3 ingredients. I like the idea more than the execution, but if I had to say "yes" or "no" to the overall vibe of these, I'd give a mild "yes".





Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 4/10

Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch - Caramel

After the delicious mint selection from this line, I had high hopes! However, this didn't quite live up to my expectations, even though it's a candy bar I'm not allergic to so of course I baseline enjoyed it. The texture is fun, a soft outside with a bit of firm crunchy innards, but overall it just tastes like a thick Rolo or Carmello bar. Not a bad thing, but not special or super seek-out-worthy. I still have one more flavor to try though!







Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 7/10

Boboli Pizza Crust - Original

I love pizza, and I'd be the first to tell you that all pizza is good, even if it's bad pizza. But this crust honestly makes me re-evaluate such a sweeping statement. First of all, yes, it is very convenient, and sturdy and easy to cook. So I see the appeal. But the flavor is too sweet, too doughy, and not at all the floury wonder I desire in a crust. I can make a better one by hand for the same price or cheaper! It's also really bad for you, which sure, it's pizza, but I don't expect a 1000+calorie crust, especially if it tastes not great. However, this is a fine vessel for delicious toppings, and if you need a premade pizza crust, this is serviceable.


Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 5/10

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

La Croix - Lime

I am, admittedly, a couple of years late to the La Croix ("La Croy") trend, but I got there eventually, thanks to Amazon Pantry. Anyway, I get the hype. These are really refreshing, feel good on a sore throat, 0 calories, easy hydration on the go, etc etc. I guess the innovation here is popping flavored sparkling water into a single-serve can instead of a huge bottle, but it was on point. I'll probably get another flavor next time I go to the store, even though it makes me feel a bit like a tool.





Overall
Cost: 5/10
Taste: 6/10

Good Thins - The Potato One (Sweet Potato)

I didn't really know what to expect going into these! My friend really likes the Oat One, but those are very different from these. These have the texture of a popped chip, but the taste of a sweet, milder sweet potato chip. They have a light dusting of sugar, but not too much. The taste is actually really nice! I'm not sure that these are especially healthy, but even so, they taste better than most potato chips I've had. It's weird to eat them out of a box, though. But a very pleasant, smooth, still-sweet-potatoey flavor. I'm into it!




Overall
Cost: 7/10
Taste: 8/10

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Mrs Thinsters Cookie Thins - Chocolate Chip

These are pretty darn tasty! And they advertise their peanut-allergy-friendliness right on the front of the package, which is super sweet, considering they still have egg and wheat and milk (i.e. normal chocolate chip cookie ingredients), so they taste like a real cookie. I'm not sure that they're any healthier than a regular chocolate chip cookie, I think they're just smaller/thinner, but that's good too. They taste kind of like a Pepperidge Farm Nantucket cookie, but crunchier because they're thin, and also butterier (which is good!). I'm happy I tried these and I'll probably get them or another flavor again if I see them around!

Overall
Cost: 6/10
Taste: 8/10

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch - Mint

Why, hello there, new candy that doesn't contain nuts! :o

I saw these at Walgreen's today and had to check 'em out, even though for 9 mini-bars, this was pretty overpriced at almost 5 dollars. Anyway, these come in 2 other flavors (vanilla and caramel) but I needed to get the mint ones first in hopes that they'd taste like a Cookies 'n Mint bar of yore. And they taste Pretty Close, although not quite as good. These are a chocolate bar (split into 3 little squares) filled with little chocolate cookie pieces (like in an ice cream cake) and a green mint "creme". It's fun to have a mix of textures and the taste is good and refreshing. Plus, the little bars in this bag are 100 calories each, which is nice portion-management. I'm curious to try the 2 new flavors and I'm happy that (for now) these are nut-allergy-friendly! Hershey's is pretty good for that.

Overall
Cost: 3/10
Taste: 8/10