Archive for June, 2011

June 10, 2011

Panera

by jem614

by Jessica Michael

Go Vegetarian, all the cool cats and tomcats are doing it!  Panera is no exception, on their menu is this fantastic Mediterranean sandwich and vegetarian black bean soup.  This is my go-to meal at Panera, mostly because it’s the only vegetarian sandwich unless you count the hot tomato mozzarella panini (although you could probably change the other sandwiches to be vege, they probably wouldn’t be that filling).  They do make it a delicious finger-licking sandwich to make up for the lack of choices; it’s on a almost pink-shaded bread:

“Zesty Peppadew™ piquant peppers, feta cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cilantro Jalapeño hummus on our Tomato Basil bread.” (www.panerabread.com)

Just the way they describe it is positively yum-worthy.  It is a tasty treat and only 300 calories if you get the 1/2 sandwich (yes, it’s a bit high in calories).  Plus it has 11 grams of Protein which is a good kick-in-the pants to your protein for the day.

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Missing here is the piece of bread, I was too hungry to wait.  They allow you three choices for your side- be it healthy “apple slices”, a little more heavy “bread”, and on the fatty side “potato chips”.

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Another great part of eating at Panera is their member card which allows you to rack up points for free swag like “a pastry” or even a free meal if you get enough points.  As you can see, I love me some member cards, I have them for every single place I can get one from (do not be embarrassed to save money, it’s not embarrassing being smart).

For information on nutrition and where to find a Panera near you go to http://www.panerabread.com.

June 8, 2011

Falafel Gone Wrong

by jem614

by Jessica Michael

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In my quest for bigger and better, I mistakenly thought I could add onions and corn to my falafels.  What I ended up with is a pot of mush.
More in the morning…..

It’s morning.  I left this disgusting mush on the stove last night after cooking because I just didn’t have the energy to throw it away.  I ended up double bagging it and tossing in the trash.  On a happier note, my husband’s meatballs and spaghetti came out fantastic (I didn’t eat it because it was real meat).

Has anyone else had this experience with boxed Falafel mix?  It may just be me and my inexperience but these did not fair well at all.  I hated to even fry them in oil so maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t get to eat much of it.  I did manage to salvage three tiny balls which I put in a thin pita with some Greek yogurt spread that mimics tzatziki sauce.  That didn’t work out well either because the falafel balls were so soaked in oil that I ended up eating mostly just the bread and throwing the rest away.  What a waste.  I do recommend trying this in the oven and maybe reading the directions better.

I’m not sure what to give this store-bought falafel mix as I didn’t wait the 15 minutes it suggested to let the water soak in (could that really have been the trick?) and I fried them instead of baked them.  I would say two carrots for ease and leave how they taste for a later date and time.

June 6, 2011

My Biggest Weakness- Italy Today

by jem614

by Jessica Michael

If you were to ask me today what my absolute favorite meal would be, I would have to say the Greek Salad Pizza at Italy Today in Miami Lakes.  It’s like Kryptonite to Superman, I seriously get weak in the knees when I think about this pizza.

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I’m sure it’s not the least caloric food in the world but just look at that healthy greek salad on top of the whole wheat crust, sprinkled with olive oil and crumbles of Mozzarella.  Is your mouth watering yet?  How about calamata olives and onions and diced tomatoes thrown in?  On top of that, if you go for the lunch special it’s only $7.50 including a drink (be aware that this is only for sit-in, if you order take out they charge you $10 for just the pizza, not including the drink). This pizza is so simple you could probably make it vegan at home with some sprouted grain tortillas (Ash’s suggestion) and vegan cheeze (especially since I’m TRYING to go dairy free).
The only negative of Italy Today is that the service is not always the friendliest, they don’t always greet you with a smile but the food is still worth it.  Our waitress today was actually really sweet, a couple of months ago it was a gentlemen that could have cared less we were in his section.  He obviously didn’t care about tips and I made sure mine wasn’t memorable (in a good way anyway).
This restaurant is right in the heart of Main Street in Miami Lakes, for a view of their menu go to http://southflorida.menupages.com/restaurants/italy-today/.
Overall, I should say they get 4 carrots because of the touch and go service but the pizza is so amazing, I’m basing it on the pizza alone.  5 Carrots!

June 3, 2011

French Meadow-Indian with Potential

by jem614

by Jessica Michael

When I was 17, I graduated from High School and decided I wanted to save the world.  So… I went with a group to India and Nepal for two months to entertain orphans, bring food to those in prison, and hike the Himalayas. I cannot express what I learned from that trip, I will forever treasure it as the best experience of my life.

One of the things I miss the most is the food (by the way I lost like 5-10 lbs in those two months) which was something I didn’t really appreciate until I returned to the US.  While I was in India and Nepal, I could only dream of a big cheeseburger – (pre-vegetarian).  The most popular food we found when we were doing our travels was “Dal Bat” which is basically lentils and rice.  I have yet to find anything that tastes the same in any Indian Restaurant in the US.  I dream of Dal Bat, it’s so filling and spicy and fills every part of your senses.

Today, at Nutrition S’Mart, I found the French Meadow Indian Dal Makhani and was so excited to try it to see if it measured up.
Unfortunately, it was not the taste I was seeking.  This Dal is flooded with butter which is something I should have checked the label for before I purchased because I’m trying to kick the dairy habit.  It is really tasty but isn’t everything with butter? The Spinach on the other hand is kind of bland, something that could easily be remedied by using a little sea salt and garlic.

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One thing I can’t complain about is the fact that they use this really nifty packaging and it steams your food instead of frying it in the microwave.  You keep all the flavor and deliciousness in there until you open it!

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Overall, I think this company has alot of potential, they have other bakery products and may just be starting out on the frozen items so they could be just working out the details.  For sure they need to kick the butter out of this product, its no good for you (they do have vegan products so this may be a better option for those of you who want healthier foods).

For more information on where to find their “other” products, go to www.frenchmeadow.com.

June 2, 2011

Gluten Free, Vegetarian Delight: Garden Lites Roasted Vegetable Soufflé

by ashley

by Ashley Morgan

I love how the lights in the Publix freezer section turn on and off automatically as you stroll through the aisles. I know it’s simple mechanics and motion sensors, but for some reason it always fascinates me that someone even thought to invent it. As I was making my way through the section, a light turned on just a little late, illuminating the Garden Lites box like a beacon. Despite knowing that most boxes portray perfect specimens of their products on the cover, and containing something that doesn’t even resemble it inside, something about the freshness of the colors made me have to try it. Not to mention that I love soufflés, especially vegetable soufflés. And I was not disappointed.

While the product inside may not be quite as beautiful as the one on the cover, it tastes as if I had just whipped up the ingredients myself from scratch. Carrots, onion, spinach, broccoli, egg whites, potato, zucchini, red peppers…fresh, real ingredients in a list taken verbatim from the back of the box.  And at just 140 calories, 1 gram of fat and 350 grams of sodium, it truly is as healthy as it sounds.

While it is not vegan, due to it being a real egg white soufflé, it is gluten free and full of healthy, natural vitamins and minerals. One soufflé contains a whopping 250% of the daily value of vitamin A, which is an A+ in my book.

June 1, 2011

Jamba Juice makes the leap to Green!

by jem614

by Jessica Michael

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I love me some green smoothies but let’s face it, the chain restaurant world just hasn’t caught on as quickly to the green revolution drink.  A local smoothie place in Miami once asked me what Kale was (and they are supposedly an organic, hip health food restaurant).  After explaining to them that Kale is only THE most amazing for you, leafy green, they replied “and you want that in the drink? No we don’t do that here.”
Ash and I thought we had hit the jackpot at Robeks which adds spinach and celery to your smoothie, however it’s not every day that they offer it.

Lo and behold, last night I found the holy grail of smoothies.

Jamba Juice came to my rescue right when I needed a green pick me up.  I couldn’t believe it when I walked in the door and right there on the menu was “Apples and Greens”.  I ordered one immediately with a smile of satisfaction on my face; when did this happen that Jamba Juice got greens?

Here are the ingredients- see it has Kale!!

Apple-strawberry juice, Green Vegetable Juice (Carrots, Spinach, Bell Pepper, Kale, Spirulina, Lettuce), Peaches, Mangos, Bananas, Ice.

They get 4 carrots for leading the way in the greens department!

I’m sure you are all familiar with JJ but for those of you who aren’t, check them out!  For more information on Jamba Juice and it’s nutritional information go to:http://www.jambajuice.com/products/fruitveggie

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