Tag Archive | Product Review

Product Review: Good Karma Non-Dairy Yogurt

Good Karma Non-Dairy Yogurt
All Photos By Gail

More and more it seems, food allergies or intolerances to commonly used ingredients such as nuts, wheat, soy and dairy no longer have to keep you from indulging in your favorite foods. For example, Yogurt lovers who have been missing out on this creamy treat due to a lactose intolerance can now enjoy healthy and great tasting Good Karma dairy-free yogurt, which I recently had the chance to taste test at home, after first meeting product representatives last summer at a food show.

Good Karma Label View

Vegan-friendly and free of major allergens, Good Karma is versatile, creamy, fresh and delicious.  This dairy free yogurt is made with flax milk (derived from cold-pressed flaxseed oil) which is a rich source of Omega-3 healthy fats. Each serving of Good Karma contains 5-6 grams of plant-based protein, plus 7 live and active cultures to aid digestion. Even better: each 6 ounce serving has only 90 calories!

Good Karma Blueberry CupGood Karma Blueberry

As you can see by the photo above of the Blueberry variety spooned into a serving dish, Good Karma is very creamy in texture and not at all gelatinous, as is Greek-style yogurt. The fruit is already blended in, rather than being at the bottom of the cup, so you get a very consistent fruit flavor in every bite.

Good Karma Raspberry
Good Karma Raspberry

Using plant-based milks, the company’s goal is always to create a delicious yogurt that gets as close as possible to a traditional dairy yogurt, while also being free of all major allergens, with added protein and a tangy, fruity taste that makes you smile!

Good Karma Strawberry Cup

Besides these three luscious fruit flavors, Good Karma dairy free yogurt also comes in comes in Plain and Vanilla varieties.

Parfait Recipe

I tasted the Vanilla Good Karma at the aforementioned food show, where I was served a tasty fun yogurt  parfait recipe that knocked my socks off! Find out more about Good Karma dairy-free products (made with Flax Milk, which, as you can see below, they also offer), plus get recipes like the one you see above, and download money-saving coupons good towards your first purchase of Good Karma, at this link!

Good Karma Flax Milk
Good Karma Non-Dairy Yogurt and Flax Milk Products!

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Brownie Brittle Introduces New Chocolate Almond Variety Plus Thindulgent Sandwich Cookies!

New Brownie Brittle Treats
All Photos By Gail

It is no secret that Brownie Brittle products are my snack-time jam. And what makes innovative baker Sheila G’s line of gluten-free sweet treats so endlessly exciting is the fact that they are always evolving the brand; introducing new varieties of the original Brownie Brittle chocolate cookie and developing new products that take indulgence to a new level entirely.

Chocolate Almond Brownie Brittle

Almond lovers are going to want to rush out to pick up a bag (or two) of their new Chocolate Almond Brownie Brittle, which is absolutely loaded with crunchy, fresh toasted almond pieces (and chocolate chips!) in every bite. I had taken photos for this review of the Chocolate Almond Brownie Brittle lounging seductively on a plate, but it somehow got lost in the ether between my iPhone and my Mac, so you will have to believe me when I say that, in person, it looks exactly as it does on the package photo — if not even more scrumptious. My advice is that, when snack time arrives, to just put a few pieces of Brownie Brittle on a plate for yourself, and then seal the package back up and hide it, otherwise you’ll be munching away happily and suddenly find yourself with an empty bag in your lap. Ask me how I know.

Thindulgent Cookie Sandiwches

Also new on grocer’s shelves are Brownie Brittle Thindulgent Sandwich Cookies, which exist among the most outrageously delicious edible things in the universe that you don’t have to bake yourself. Hallelujah!

Salted Caramel Thindulgent Sandiwch Cookie

The Brownie Brittle brand stays on-trend with the introduction of these light and delicate cookies that pack a flavor explosion. Salted Caramel Thindulgent Sandwich Cookies feature a dynamic duo of crunchy caramel biscuits plus a rich chocolate filling studded with chewy cameral bits. Insane! It took me 2 days to eat the entire box, and that is only because I was trying to show restraint. These lighter-than-air biscuits are very similar to the Pepperidge Farm European style cookies, specifically the wildly popular Milano Cookies, of which am a huge fan. The thing is, I like these even better!

Toasted Coconut Thindulgent Sandiwch Cookie

Toasted Coconut Thindulgents have the coconut baked into each biscuit, with the same luscious chocolate filling layered between them. These did not last long in my pantry either!

Find a site near you that sells Brownie Brittle products at This Link!

New Plant-Based Pastas from Explore Cuisine!

Explore Cuisine Packages Display
All Photos By Gail

There is no denying that Pasta is a popular go-to ingredient for creating quick, versatile and delicious meals to please any palate. For Pasta Lovers who may have had to eliminate this tasty staple from their diets due to a gluten intolerance, there are now many gluten-free pasta options on the market that make it possible for everyone to indulge. Explore Cuisine has a line of organic pastas made from beans and other plants that are a great place to start when you want to prepare a tasty, healthy meal for yourself or your family. Take a  look at a few of the super quick and easy dinners that I’ve recently prepared for myself with Explore Cuisine Pastas and absolutely no advanced planning!

Edamame Spaghetti Package

I bet that you had no idea that Edamame, familiar to most as the little green soybeans that everyone likes to nosh on before the meal at Japanese restaurants, can be use to make some of the most delicious pasta you will ever taste. Explore Cuisine makes a few different varieties of Edamame pasta, including everyone’s favorite; spaghetti.

Edamame Spaghetti Package

Edamame Spaghetti can be used in all of your favorite recipes as a substitute for wheat-based pasta. You might find that you like it even better, and it’s good to know that Explore Cuisine’s Edamame Spaghetti contains nearly half of your daily protein and fiber requirements in just one serving!

Edamame Spaghetti Serving Suggestion

I made an easy and scrumptious Primavera by adding frozen mixed vegetables that I had on hand, and tossing the pasta in butter, salt and pepper to taste.

Edamame Spaghetti Serving Suggestion

Then I covered it with cheese, which is how I like my pasta!

Chickpea Fusillii Package

Explore Cuisine also specializes in a line of Pulse Pastas; a term that may be unfamiliar to you. Pulses are part of the legume family, and the term ‘pulse’ refers to the dried seed. Dried peas, dried beans, lentils and chickpeas are the most common varieties of pulses. Pulses are very high in protein and fiber, antioxidants, and low in fat! This where Explore Cuisine’s Organic Chickpea Fusilli comes in.

Chickpea Fusilli

Chickpea Fusilli is a healthy and delicious mealtime choice that contains only four organic, whole food ingredients. This pasta also contains 11g of protein and nearly 20% of your daily dietary fiber requirement per serving. With its soft and supple texture, and mild taste, Chickpea fans will be in Heaven!

Chickpea Fusilli Serving Suggestion

Since this pasta is a bit more sturdy than the spaghetti, I topped it with Trader Joe’s frozen meatballs and jarred sauce. Delicious and satisfying!

Red Lentil Penne Package

Red Lentil Penne is also a pulse pasta. With the smooth texture of flour pasta and the benefits of lentils, the Red Lentil Penne is a fantastic choice for any penne based pasta dish. Comprised of only two ingredients, Red Lentil Penne pasta is  protein rich  and a good source of fiber. Organic, gluten-free and free of GMOs, it’s pasta reinvented!

Red Penne Pasta Serving Suggestion

Here is the penne topped with a light tomato vodka sauce and a dollop of creamy cottage cheese (you could also use Ricotta, if you had that on hand). Out of this world delish!

Explore Cuisine Packages Display

Explore Cuisine’s Italian style pastas were created in the Apulia region of Italy, which is famed for being the home of pasta. Explore Cuisine worked side by side with pasta masters and professional chefs to deliver the authentic taste and texture of the best Italian pasta but made with the goodness of chickpeas and lentils.

Learn more about Explore Cuisine foods, and get recipes, at This Link!

Product Review: Muuna Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese Pyramid
All Photos By Gail

Hey, do you like Cottage Cheese? I sure do. I grew up in a household whose refrigerator was never without a container of cottage cheese. Because Cottage Cheese is Awesome. When I was a small child, my Mom would give me and my brother cottage cheese mixed with canned fruit as a snack, and we just loved it. Cottage Cheese with Pineapple has been a thing forever, but now Muuna, a new, innovative food company, has launched a line of healthy and delicious cottage cheese products with a variety of fresh fruit chunks already mixed in.  Attention Cottage Cheese Fans: this is cause for excitement!

Muuna is on a mission to change the way consumers think about cottage cheese, having re-imagined this dairy favorite in single-serve cups of melt-in-your-mouth creamy and protein-rich cottage cheese with delicious pieces of fruit, including Strawberry, Blueberry, Pineapple, Peach and Mango. Kill me! Each 5.3oz cup contains  15 grams of protein and only 130 calories. Muuna also offers its single-serve cups in Lowfat Plain, which has 19 grams of protein and 120 calories.

Blueberry Cup

Muuna Cottege Cheese with Fruit has already replaced fruited yogurt as my go-to office snack or lite breakfast. Here I am about to enjoy the Blueberry variety at my desk.

Blueberry Fruit

The above photo was minimally art directed to show the creaminess of Muuna cottage cheese. The fruit is on the bottom of the cup so you can stir it up to blend. Let;s take closer look and the blended action.

Blueberry Cottage Cheese Close Up

Mango Container

Mango is my personal favorite, because it tastes like you just cut up a fresh, sweet mango and tossed it into the container!

Muuna Peach Cottage Cheese

Look at this beautiful stuff. Just look at it. The contrast of the juicy fruit pieces and firm, tiny curds create an exceptionally delightful mouth feel that makes Muuna Cottage Cheese, dare I say it, fun to eat!

Breakfast Toast
Serving Suggestion

Here is one of my weekend breakfasts at home: a tasty cup of Muuna Strawberry Cottage Cheese, and toast with berry jam. Mmm, yummy! All Muuna products contain zero high fructose corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners, and are also free of artificial flavors and colors. Not to mention (but you can see I am about to) Muuna is gluten free and certified kosher.

Plain Varieties

Muuna has also launched two multi-serve varieties: Classic Plain Cottage Cheese, with 4% milk fat, and Lowfat Plain, with just 2% percent milk fat.

Plain Cottage Cheese Serving Suggestion

I enjoy regular Muuna Cottage Cheese by itself, and also as a side dish (or even an ingredient!) for lots of savory dishes such as Pasta and Mexican food. It is so delicious, no matter when or how you eat it!

Meatball Dinner

The New Way to Cottage

Visit Muuna online at This Link for more information on their products and to find a store in your area that sells Muuna Cottage Cheese!

Product Review: Cucina & Amore Ready-to-Eat Farro Meals!

Cucina and Amore Farrow Meal
All Photos By Gail

Farro is an ancient whole wheat grain that, along with grains like Quinoa, is enjoying a rise in popularity (although it’s been around for thousands of years). Not only does Farro taste great — it’s also very good for your health; being an excellent source of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Before it’s cooked, Farro looks similar to wheat berries, but afterward it looks similar to barley. It’s a small, light-brown grain with a noticeable outer layer of bran. Farro is loved for its nutty flavor and unique, chewy texture.

Grilled Vegetables and Herbs

At Cucina & AmoreKitchen of Love, they are giving this an old world cuisine a modern twist. Cucina & Amore’s new ready-to-eat Farro Meals leave even the busiest person with no excuse to skip lunch, because each healthy and tasty meal is fully cooked and ready to eat! The meals taste great served chilled or at room temperature, but they are packaged in microwave-safe containers if you wish to heat yours up in the office microwave. They even come with their own spoon! Preservative and GMO-free, these farro meals are packed with nutrients to keep you energized during your long day.

Farro Meals include both farro and red and white quinoa, and they available in three different flavors: Artichoke, Lemon & Roasted Garlic, Grilled Vegetables & Herbs (with a medley of eggplant, zucchini, & artichoke), and Roasted Peppers & Artichoke.

Box Top

Recently, I made the Artichoke, Lemon & Roasted Garlic farro meal for a quick lunch while I was home blogging. Here’s what the farro meal looks like during easy preparation.

Cucina and Amore Farrow Meal Preparation

While the cup holding the grains is deep and roomy enough to hold the vegetables, I used a separate bowl to mix and eat from to give you a better view of the ingredients.

Cucina and Amore Farrow Meal Preparation

Here’s everything in one bowl before mixing. You can see the nice-sized pieces of artichoke and red pepper, which is marinated in a garlic, oil and lemon juice, and seasoned with salt, peeper and parsley for a fresh, light taste.

Cucina and Amore Farrow Meal Ready to Eat

Co-workers will think you’re eating a delicious Mediterranean dish that you cooked and brought from home. Farro Meal  are shelf stable to they are perfect to take on-the-go, and so quick to prepare if you only have a short lunch break. Delicious, healthy and super easy!  Kitchen of Love’s new Farro Meals and other fine products are available at grocery stores nationwide. To find a store in your neighborhood visit This Link!

Cucina and Amore Farrow Meal Packaging

Brownie Brittle: New Holiday Varieties Are Here!

Brownie Brittle Holiday Selection
All Photos By Gail

Do you have a favorite snack that tastes so delicious, you literally cannot believe how good it is? And maybe you buy a bag of that snack, and sit with the entire bag in your lap and just eat and eat until there’s nothing left in the bag except crumbs, but then you pour the crumbs out of the bag into your hand and lick them off of your palm? Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.

For me, the sweet snack that makes my head explode is Brownie Brittle, which I first discovered at a food show about three years ago. If you are not yet hip to the Mother of all Sweet Snacks, let me explain that Brownie Brittle is a cookie-like baked treat that tastes like the well-done edges of the Brownie where the batter meets the pan. There are a few lame imitators out there but Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle is the original, and it is just insane.

Brownie Brittle Bites

Brownie Brittle comes in a varierty of delicious regular flavors that are available in your local market year-round, but during the Holiday Season each year they come out with few new, seasonal varieties and they always hook me up, because Brownie Brittle is my Holiday snack time jam. This year is no exception. Let me give you a quick run down of these irresistible, available for a-limited-time-only treats so you can add them to your holiday shopping list

Salted Caramel

The salted caramel chocolate treat is still very much on-trend again, and Browne Brittle leads the charge this Holiday season with its Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle — for added festiveness! Some of you may not know that adding salt to chocolate does not make the treat taste saltier, but rather it enhances the flavor, and makes it taste like the most delicious chocolate on the planet. I brought a bag of Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle to the office to share with my team, and not only was it was devoured within minutes, but my co-workers simply would not shut up about how amazing it was. They are still talking about it.

Chocolate Chip BB

Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle — a year-round favorite — gets all dressed up for Santa with the addition of a little sweet white drizzle on top. Check it out!

Chocolate Chip BB

This particular variety of crunchy, chocolaty goodness is really special when broken up over a dish of ice cream with maybe some Trader Joe’s frozen cherries tossed in for good measure. Yummy.

Thindulgent

Things start to get a little crazy with what they are calling Thindulgent Dark Chocolate Bark, which is Mint Brownie Brittle pieces covered in dark chocolate, topped with peppermint flakes and a white chocolate drizzle. Sassy! Bring this to the Holiday Party and make lots of friends!

Dark Chocolate with Peppermint

Also brand new this year are Brownie Brittle Bites, which combine the best parts of  candy and cookies all in one outrageously indulgent morsel. Kill me!

Brownie Brittle Bites Peppermint

Imagine Junior Mints wrapped around layers of crunchy Chocolate Chip Brownie Brittle and you get the idea. Verdict: Out of Control.

Milk Chocolate Caramel BB Bites

Brownie Brittle Bites also come in Milk Chocolate Caramel in case you do not have diabetes yet. All of these varieties of delicious Brownie Brittle cone in a festive resealable, snowflake-print pouch, with bow on it and everything, so you don’t even need to wrap it! Find a store near you that sells Brownie Brittle, or buy it online, at This Link!

Chocolate Chip with Plate

Product Review: So Right Frozen Entrees!

So Right Frozen Entrees
All Photos By Gail

Working peeps know this much: buying lunch in the office cafeteria, or out on the street, provides you with a greater variety of tasty meal choices, but it can get pricey over the course of a week. The thing is, bringing lunch from home isn’t always an enticing option for those of us who don’t cook, and who don’t want to be stuck with a boring sandwich every day. We all want good taste and variety, but we want to save a little cash also. This is where So Right’s recently introduced line of  single-serve frozen entrees comes in!

So Right microwave meals (from Bellisio Foods)  are made with 100 percent natural ingredients like white meat chicken, roasted vegetables, and whole grains. To put an emphasis on a healthier lifestyle, they are free of trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial colors and flavors; and are preservative-free. Tempting flavor varieties include Sriracha Chicken Mac & Cheese, Chorizo & Potatoes with Cheesy Chipotle Sauce; and Creamy Chicken Corn Casserole — comfort foods that taste especially delicious when it’s cold outside! Best of all, So Right entrées come at an unexpected and affordable price – the average retail price is just $1.80 per meal! That’s insane!

After meeting brand representatives at the Health and Nutrition Editor Showcase event in NYC,  So Right sent me an assortment of five different meals (seen above) to review for The Gig, which I prepared in the office and enjoyed for lunches over the course of one work week. My findings follow!

Set against The Hype of a press release blurb on each dish, the entrées were judged in the following categories:

Appearance: What is the dish’s degree of visual resemblance, after coming out of the microwave and being sufficiently stirred, to the photo on the front of the box.

Quality of the individual ingredients: Self explanatory.

Taste: What were the most (or least) appealing  flavor and textural qualities once the food was in my mouth.

Enjoy-ability Factor: How good, on a scale of 1 to 10 — with 10 being best — did eating the dish make me feel.

Ready to have some fun? OK, here we go!

Chicken Burrito Bowl

Chicken Burrito Bowl

The Hype: We sliced up a piece of all-white-meat chicken and threw it together with a veggie mix of red bell peppers, poblano peppers, and corn, as well as some tasty black beans. We then topped it with some cheddar cheese and a red chili sauce rich with paprika and cumin flavors. The final result: One of our favorite meals that’s ready to enjoy in minutes.

Chicken Burrito Bowl

Appearance: Does it look like the picture on the box? Pretty much, yeah.

Quality of the individual ingredients: This dish contains many familiar-favorite southwestern-style ingredients (listed above), on top of a bed of white rice. There is also a red chili sauce, and a small amount of cheddar cheese that melts into the sauce upon cooking. As is the case with most pre-cooked chicken found in a frozen entrée, the meat was not exceptional, but it was decent. All other ingredients were of the quality that you would find in a home-cooked meal.

Taste: Who doesn’t love a Burrito Bowl in all of its endless variations? While it is not going to compete with the indulgence of a trip to Chipotle, the So Right Chicken Burrito Bowl is an excellent choice for a light lunch. Eating the So Right Chicken Burrito Bowl reminded me of eating chili over rice with some corn in it, so if you love chili, you will be very attracted to the comforting paprika and cumin flavors of the sauce. Very tasty.

Enjoy-ability Factor: 9. A dollop of sour cream or a handful of tortilla chips would have upped that factor to a 10.

300 Calories. Read more about this entrée at This Link.

Chicken Lo Mein

Chicken Lo Mein

The Hype: Multigrain pasta and a mix of vegetables that includes carrots, broccoli, onions, and red bell peppers is the base for this dish. We added in all-white meat chicken and covered it in a tasty sesame garlic sauce to create a delicious Asian-style meal.

Chicken Lo Mein

Appearance: It could have used more broccoli.

Quality of the individual ingredients: The Lo Mein Noodles are quite clearly spaghetti noodles. Otherwise, all good.

Taste:  The distinguishing flavor profile is a sweet-soy sauce taste.  If Take Out Chinese Food is your thing, you will not be disappointed.

Enjoy-ability Factor: 8

270 Calories. Read more about this entrée at This Link.

Sriracha Chicken Mac and Cheese

Sriracha Chicken Mac & Cheese

The Hype: This delicious meal starts with the perfect cheesy base and adds an exciting chili pepper twist to create a cheesy sriracha sauce. The addition of pasta and all-white-meat-chicken make this a meal you’ll be sure to remember.

Sriracha Chicken Mac and Cheese

Appearance: This entrée’s appearance is remarkably faithful to the picture on the box, except that is has more sauce than in the photo.

Quality of the individual ingredients: Of the five entrees I sampled, the chicken in this dish was especially was tough and gristly. I picked it out. The pasta is on the well-done side, which I enjoy, and the sauce is very rich and flavorful with a powerful spiciness.

Taste: Once I got rid of the chicken, the meal was delicious! I’m a Mac & Cheese lover since birth, so the mix of tender pasta and creamy cheese sauce make this a very good comfort food choice. And when they say Sriracha, they aren’t kidding. The bold and spicy flavor kick from the sriracha elevates this from a kids’ meal to an adult meal. Unless your kids like the taste of fire.

Enjoy-ability Factor: Without the chicken, a 10.

390 Calories. Read more about this entrée at This Link.

Sriracha Chicken Mac and Cheese
Mmm…So Cheesy…

Creamy Chicken Corn Casserole

Creamy Chicken Corn Casserole

The Hype: All-white-meat chicken with pasta and a vegetable mix made up of yellow corn, poblano peppers, red bell peppers, and black beans is the base for this delicious meal. We cover it all with a creamy white cheddar cheese sauce to create a tasty casserole that has a twist that can only come from the southwest.

Creamy Chicken Corn Casserole

Appearance: Does it look like the picture on the box? It does.

Quality of the individual ingredients: While the Creamy Chicken Corn Casserole is somewhat of an unusual combo of beans, southwestern style veggies and noodles, it somehow works.

Taste: I enjoyed the tender pasta in this and the addition of corn and beans. The cheese sauce is really is very mild (so much so that it almost tasted like a gravy to me) but that gives it a homemade taste. It reminded me of eating a Pot Pie without the crust. I liked it.

Enjoy-ability Factor: 10.

310 Calories. Read more about this entrée at This Link.

Szechuan Chicken

Szechuan Style Kung Pao Chicken

The Hype: The right combination of all-white-meat chicken served over brown rice with a vegetable mix of broccoli, carrots, red bell peppers and green onions. We tossed a few water chestnuts and some Szechuan peppercorn spice into the sauce to create a delicious meal with the right kung pao kick.

Szechuan Chicken

Appearance: Does it look like the picture on the box? Yes.

Quality of the individual ingredients: This entrée had the best quality chicken of the bunch, with overall high quality ingredients and, especially, crispy water chestnuts! Bonus points for using Brown Rice!

Taste: The Kung Pao sauce had a sweet taste similar to the lo mein meal (which is expected) and it was spicy enough to make my nose run.

Enjoy-ability Factor: I’m going to put this one in the Take Out Chinese Food category and give it a 9.

290 Calories. Read more about this entrée at This Link

So Right Frozen Entrees

To find a store in your area that sells So Right entrees, visit This Link!