Archive for the ‘ Healthy ’ Category

Diet Sunkist Has Caffeine!?

So, apparently I’m on a soda kick lately. Definitely odd considering I have made the leap, and stopped buying soda to keep in my fridge during the week (It’s been rough folks). Well, I still allow myself to drink diet soda, but not having it in the house, in theory, reduces my consumption of the stuff.

One of my favorite “usual” sodas that I reach for is Diet Sunkist. I like orange soda, and this one is a better tasting diet specimen. Whenever I was driving late at night, and wanted a drink that wouldn’t wire me too bad, it’s what I’d grab at a gas station. It helps that it’s one of the sodas that Circle K usually offers at two for $2.

Anyways, today I learned that apparently it has caffeine. I really thought that all orange soda was caffeine free. Apparently this one is not. Duly noted soda people, you are off the late night soda list.

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Obscure Products: Diet Mountain Dew Code Red

Today I managed to taste an amazing revolution in diet soda. Sadly, it may have well been the last time that I’ll ever taste it again. Without delving into another long “Sorry I’ve been away” message, lets just say that I have started a new job, and have already been introduced to some new tastes by my coworkers.

One such thing is Diet Mountain Dew Code Red. You heard me right folks, diet Code Red. Let gamers, and couch potatoes rejoice, etc… In all seriousness though, it really does stink that all of Mountain Dew’s fantastic flavor creations never court to the diet minded crowd. When I saw my buddy at wok with this, I got really excited. When he gave me one to try, I was even more thrilled. In all honesty, this is one of the best diet sodas that I have ever tasted.

And that’s when the bombshell dropped. Where did he get this you may ask? Ohio… Yeah, he found it on vacation, and in his great wisdom brought 13 cases back with him. Very well planned, and even nicer that he shared one with me, but now what do we do. We have both agreed that this is a dilemma. We need more Diet Code Red. Looking online, so far, all I’ve been able to find is 34 packs on Amazon for $25 plus dollars. This will simply not stand!

So, point of the story? Diet Code Red is awesome if you are a fan of Dew, Code Red, or just cherry-like sodas. I didn’t even think it was diet when I tasted it. Oh, and the crushing disappointment that I may never taste this soda again. Here’s a call to post if any of you know where to get this in the North East. I will pay, and give major props to whoever can get me some more of this tasty liquid.

Recipe: Soda Roasted Root Vegetables

So, it’s been a pretty long time since I’ve had a recipe up heer, much less a healthy one. Well I have been off experimenting in the kitchen, and here is one of the results: Roasted Root Vegetables using soda! More specifically with root beer.

Now before you freak out, it’s not that horrifying. Cooking with diet root beer imparts an extra sweetness when roasted with vegetables I’ve found. In this rendition I used sweet potato, onion, and carrots with some salt, pepper, and garlic for seasoning. Oh yeah, and the root beer.

Now I roasted this for about 35 minutes, and found that I could have actually probably gone for 45 minutes (but I was hungry). The result was the always pleasant taste of roasted vegetables, but the root beer made it special. It gave it a caramelized taste that you really usually can’t get without butter. Using diet soda really is a great way to add sweetness to a recipe when you are trying to keep it healthy as well.

Well, as random as this post is (I’m feeling off my game as of late), give this kind of cooking a try. What else could you cook with diet soda?

Attempted: Two Ingredient Brownies

I know, I say brownies, and then I show a  picture of truffles. I’m a horribly confusing person I know. Still, there is a connection here! This Halloween weekend, like most 20-something adults, I decided to throw a small, spooky shindig. As such, food was in order, so I decided to get creative and adapt this interesting brownie recipe into something to serve to my friends…

So, this is actually a  recipe post for my version of 3G brownies. With my odd fascination with pumpkin, and creative cooking, the idea of simply mixing a chocolate cake mix and a can of pumpkin puree was pretty enticing, especially with everything else I needed to do to get ready for a party. Oh yeah, here is the recipe form if you want to get professional:

Two Ingredient Brownies:

  • 1 box dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can pumpkin puree

Directions:

  1. Mix cake mix and puree
  2. Put in pan
  3. Bake according to box directions

Yeah…it really is just that easy… I did try and mix this up a little. In an attempt to be classy, I actually baked these in a muffin tin, and put Lindt White chocolate truffles in the center in my attempt to create “Monster Eyes”. Yeah, it failed. The truffles browned in the heat of the oven, and caved in on themselves creating something that didn’t really…look..like..anything…Still, the flavor combination was spot on.

The pumpkin and dark chocolate really make to form a velvety cake texture. Yes, that means these really weren’t brownies, more like very silky cupcakes. Still, they were enjoyed by all, and the pairing of the white chocolate added the sweetness that was needed to make these truly a dessert item. My goal is to try them again with Ghirardelli white chocolate chips next time to more evenly spread the sweetness, and not waste Lindt truffles.

The best part of these though has nothing to do with their simplicity or their flavor. I got my friend who loathes pumpkin (or at least thinks he does) to eat one, and say that they were awesome before telling him halfway through a mouthful that 50% of what he had just crammed into his mouth was pumpkin. He wasn’t thrilled, but the rest of us sure got a good laugh. Just goes to show you that it’s always good to try new things, and expand your horizons…or ask what something is made of before eating it.

Oh, last note on the nutrition of these things. It’s just a guess, but I think we’re talking somewhere in the vicinity of 200 calories a muffin without the truffles in them. No point value as of now as I wasn’t aiming for health food on Halloween.

Blast from the Past: SpaghettiO’s

Oh the foods of our youth. Growing up, one of those was Spaghetti-O’s, a staple of the daycare I went to as a young-un. Well, recently, Campbell’s latest marketing campaign has been about not telling kids that the pasta rings in tomato goop is actually good for them. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t check this out right?

Well, cue a trip to my grocery store with my trusty Weight Watcher’s slide rule, and me hunching down in the aisle as mom’s shovel the cans into carriages for a look-see.

Looking into it, each can has 2 servings, but I combined the nutrition as I polish off a can myself. For sheer points, I looked at a can of the “Plus Calcium” because why not? More calcium? Sure! Nutritionally we’re talking 340 calories, 2g of fat, and 6 g of fiber per can giving us a point value of 6. Not too bad at all for a 66 cent price point.

What’s more amazing is what else these can’s have to offer. With my workout, I’m always looking to add more protein to my diet. These cans are packing a whopping 12 g per pop, not to mention 60% of my daily calcium, and 50% of vitamin D as well as other basic vitamins and minerals. This stuff is good…for you.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit it folks, as an adult, Spaghetti-O’s have become my staple go-to quick meal when I don’t have much time to cook dinner. I serve them up with a chopped up 98% Fat Free turkey dog, and some green beans and I am good to go. Freakishly nutritious, and childishly delicious. Hey, whatever works right?

Review: Smart Ones Pasta with Ricotta and Spinach

So, those of us in the diet world are all to aware of what waits for us in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Moving past the temptation that is the ice cream, and dessert section, we fall upon the frozen foods. Here we can focus on our three pillars: Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice (I’m sure there are other options, but these are what stare me in the face).

Over my years of dieting, I have learned one main rule of diet frozen food: sometimes it is good, and sometimes it is very very bad, and it has nothing to do with what the “intended” meal was. It’s just the way it goes, as some things lend themselves more easily to diet-ising. Some of my favorites are the Simple mac and cheese, or pasta with meat sauce. Salisbury steak is to be avoided at all costs. And still, that’s just my preference.

Anyways, Sunday night saw me trying to end the weekend on a positive note, so I was looking for cheap, easy, and healthy. Hello Smart Ones. Well, I say the “new” flavor, and said why not. It’s hard to go wrong with pasta and cheese.  Talk about luck, we have a winner folks.

This new frozen meal is awesome. The pasta in it was made up of hardy ribbons that oozed the surprisingly tasty and filling white cheese sauce. I mean, the stuff had substance. The pasta was weighty, and didn’t turn to mush in my mouth. The ricotta cheese sauce was actually thick, and flavorful without being a paste. If I hadn’t microwaved this, it might have been homemade for all I knew. I’m just saying this folks, for 5 points, you can’t go wrong here.

I will be buying this again, and keeping it as a staple in my freezer. You should do the same. It’s not a compromise, this stuff is a treat.

Limited Edition: Gingerbread Pop-Tarts

Okay, so I swear I’m not on some creepy Pop-Tarts related fix. I think it’s just been their push for the seasonal treats that has caught my eye. For me, it was the Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, but for my roommate, it was these: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Gingerbread Pop-Tarts.

So I’m going to jump straight into my thoughts on this. First off, the package advertises soft and chewy. Okay, so I went to try my first one of these sans toaster like always. Nope, not soft. Definitely get more of a graham cracker vibe from this particular pop-tart. Still, the gingerbread flavor is decent if not mild. The frosting in the middle is different, more like a glaze than the standard pop-tart paste. Overall, I was pretty meh about these, and happily left them to my roommate.

Well, he continued with these pop-tarts, and found that they are a whole new animal when toasted. So, I had to try them again. Oh boy was he right. I didn’t get a chewy feeling from the pop-tart after toasting, but with the frosting all warm and gooey, these pop-tarts were in their natural form. Soooo much better.

Overall, these are another novelty item. They’re fun to try for the season, but past that they’re really just another pop-tart. I won’t turn one down, but you won’t see me go out of my way for them again. Still, if you LOVE gingerbread, you might be obligated to give them a shot. As a final note, I’d say these are much more a snack than a breakfast, although that goes for almost everything in the pop-tart family.