Friday, December 27, 2013

Chicken red medallions with coconut curry sauce

What to get: a box of Chicken red medallions with coconut curry sauce

Where to get it: cooler section at Trader Joe's

Why we approve: this dish is simple yet full of flavor. 22 grams of protein per serving, not too bad on the carbs (18 grams total). By the way package suggests 4 servings and that's wishful thinking as it's exactly two (unless you are a very tiny human, which we are not). The chicken is very well cooked and the sauce is excellent.


Preparation: The package suggests you microwave of warm up in hot water. We did the latter. Once the pouch is out it's really easy to heat it up. Just place in boiling water for a few minutes.


Variations: You could potentially eat this cold if you were in a hurry. The next time we buy this item we will probably add extra chicken strips to it. You can also serve over rice noodles or rice if your diet permits. We enjoyed this with a giant green salad and steamed baby green peas.


Pros: no cooking, good amount of protein, no nasty ingredients.

Cons: not enough chicken in our opinion, and maybe a bit high on sugar for a main dish

Monday, April 1, 2013

Wild Planet Canned Tuna

What to get: many cans of tuna, Wild Planet

Where to get it: Pavilions,healthfood stores, online

Why we approve: tuna is a satisfying and rich source of protein. This little can is 5 oz and packs around 30 grams for hardly 200 calories. Which means your fat loss diet will love it. Which means you can have it often. It's not fishy. It's sustainably caught. The can is BPA free. There is no extra oil or extra water in it. It packs omega 3s. Best of all - it's not fishy. The same company makes amazing sardines, however, they ARE fishy (well, they are sardines). Another thing about those sardines - you can get them for about 3 dollars. Same sardines at healthfood store - 8 dollars. Just saying. Check prices online before you put a can of golden anything in your basket. For 8 dollars you can have a grassfed steak.

Preparation: open the can and chop on top of salad, or mix with avocado (my favorite way).

Variations: In most grab and go scenarios, you will need to eat this fast. Squeeze lemon and season with pepper and salt, spread on seaweed, enjoy in salad, or if you eat wraps and sandwiches, use that as a filling. If you have more time, you can make tuna cakes or casseroles. It's that awesome.

Pros: no cooking, tons of protein, delicious.

Cons: you don't like fish? You are afraid of too much mercury?

Enjoy and let us know what you think on Facebook!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Quick Meal of Chicken, Guacamole, and Corn Salad

Often times, people forget that dinner is just ingredients, put together on a plate. Mom used to make chicken, veggies, and a starch. It had no fancy name, and it was always a different combination. You don't always have to have a 'dish.' Remember that dinner can also be just have a few tasty foods.

A Quick Meal of Chicken, Guacamole, and Corn Salad

What to get: Roasted or Deli Chicken from the supermarket (Pavilions, in this case), Calavo Guacamole, Spicy Corn Salsa or other deli salad.

Where to get it: Pavilions, Vons, Ralph's and other supermarkets.

Most supermarkets have a deli section, where they sell some sort of roasted, baked, or rotisserie chicken. Check the ingredients, to be sure there are no (or few) bad guys!

While you're in the deli section, pick up some sort of salad. I chose roasted corn salsa, in this case, but it's more like a corn side dish than salsa. It was pretty good stuff!

Grab some Calavo's Guacamole (near the bagged salad greens) and you're good to go.

 Guacamole Ingredients: Hass Avocados, Tomato, Onion,
Jalapeno Pepper, Serrano Pepper, Cilantro, Garlic, Salt.

Why we approve: Chicken is a healthy source of protein and fat, and when it's not fried, you're usually pretty safe. Avocado is a great source of healthy fat and fiber, and corn salsa (or salad) is a starch that's pretty rare to overeat. Corn doesn't have all than many calories, and it's rarely something you binge on.

Preparation: Put it all on a plate, and serve. I also made a side salad, because I my daughter asked for it, and the dressing was simply guacamole, thinned with a little water and white vinegar.

Variations: This would make a great salad if you had a bed of greens. Thin the guacamole with a little water and/or vinegar to make a dressing, and then toss everything together!

If they don't have guacamole already made, you could easily make your own or simply eat half a ripe avocado with your meal.

Pros: Easy, and variations are available at virtually EVERY grocery store.

Cons: If you don't get there early, the chickens might be gone, since they are pretty popular. The other prepared meats (meatloaf, meatballs, ribs, etc.) tend to be FILLED with bad guys, so beware.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rosemary ham

What to get: Trader Joe's Rosemary Ham
Where to get it: Trader Joes cold section

Most supermarkets have a deli section, where you can grab some cold cuts if on the go.It's fast, delicious and convenient and as close to packing some meat from home as it gets.

Why we approve: it's convenient, ready to eat and high in protein. Other than ''natural flavor'', which we will never be able to determine the nature of, it is pretty clean of bad guys and it's an acceptable snack. The rosemary really gives it a nice touch!

Preparation: just open the packet and enjoy

Variations: If you are low carbing, serve it with some avocado and nuts of cheese for extra calories, and maybe some veggies on the side. Otherwise, you can roll it up in a tortilla wrap or use it in a sandwich. I have shown my low carb version above. That ham would be pretty good in an omelet, too!

Pros: easy to grab and eat right out of the bag when in a hurry

Cons: as usual, there is natural flavor in it (^&^%%#!!)


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bacon wrapped scallops from Target

What to get: a box (or more) or Archer Farms bacon wrapped scallops
Where to get it: Target frozen food section

Why we approve: it's a good source of protein and fats, and the ingredients are ok. All the nitrates you see are coming from the bacon and if you have been keeping up with recent studies, you would know they are not a big deal at all. Just make sure you don't eat this every day 3 times a day and you will be fine. Honestly it's very convenient if you want a quick appetizer or even if you want to make this your main protein source for the meal. 250 cals and 14 g protein for one serving or double up for a meal!

Preparation: preheat the oven to 375F.  We transferred the frozen bits to a cast iron pan, but you could do it on a cookie sheet or a foil covered pan (to save time from washing). Cook for 20-25 min or until you see the bacon is golden brown.

Variations: Like I said you can serve these as an appetizer, before your meal, or eat them as a main protein source alongside some salad or soup. They would be amazing with some tomato basil soup and rice crackers on the side (if carbs permit). Another good option would be to combine them with split pea soup (Trader Joe's have an excellent canned version). For the person in a hurry, while they are cooking, you can just toss some salad greens with balsamic dressing and top your salad with the bacon and scallops.

Pros: Good amount of protein, satisfying, great taste. Moderately easy to prepare and great for company.
Cons: Price is around 5$ which is a bit much for the amount of calories, but the quality was good for a frozen product so we are still giving it a positive review!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Trader Joe's Mahi Mahi Burgers

What to get:
Trader Joe's Mahi Mahi Burgers

Where to get it:
Trader Joe's

Why we approve: Fish is good for you.  It has no nasty ingredients and lots of good-quality protein. Has the coveted Omega 3's we all need, albeit a pretty small quantity as this is a fairly low-fat fish.

Heat oil of your choice in pan. I used coconut oil, but olive oil would be fine. Pan fry until lightly browned on each side--be careful not to overcook.  Easy! Add any vegetable of your choice and you have a great lunch or dinner.  I had two for dinner and was very happy; the picture shows the burger atop a pile of sauteed "broccoslaw". 

Variations: Try with broccoslaw: saute broccoslaw in some coconut oil, add salt and pepper.  Dill seeds or other spices would be nice.
On that note, adding a touch of fish seasoning such as Old Bay seasoning is very tasty. 
If you're a guy, on maintenance, or if this is a post-workout meal, try adding a potato or rice.  Putting the patty on top of Ezekiel Bread, adding tomato and lettuce, is a great meal as well.
One time, I added Trader Joe's frozen Kale along with some other leftover veggies I had in the fridge and ended up chopping up the fish with my spatula since I was kind of in a hurry. Add some soy sauce and you have instant stir fry!

Pros: Nice slug of protein (15 grams per patty), easy to prepare, tasty, gets your servings of fish in.  The Mahi  Mahi is mild and has a good texture, even my fish-hating teenage boy liked this one.

Cons: None really.  Not great for lunch unless you like cold fish or a microwave.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cashew Kale Chips - a new snack from Trader Joes

What to get: A bag of Kale chips from the packaged snack isle, close to the toasted seaweed
Where to get it: Trader Joe's
Why we approve: we must admit veggie chips are a disappointment 99% of the time, but not this time. The recipe kicks ^$$!. This bag gives you two servings of delicious kale and dried veggies, some cashews and no nasty ingredients. There are not too many calories (150) and plenty of satiating fiber.

Preparation: Open the bag and try not to eat the whole thing. Someone with a sense of humor put a zipper on top to keep it fresh assuming the one who tries this stuff actually has self control. It's crunchy, it's delicious and you won't be sealing the bag so find someone to share it with.

Variations: You can eat this as a snack alongside some blander foods like string cheese or some Greek yogurt, or tuna for that matter. Other than eating it straight from the bag, you can use the chips to top some green salad or as a way to top an appetizer, such as goat cheese bites or roasted stuffed mushrooms. As a meal survivor item, I would pair this with a convenient source of protein: cottage cheese, hard boiled egg, fish...

Pros: This snack saves you a lot of time - just imagine cleaning, drying, and roasting the kale chips, let alone coating them in delicious salty-sour nutty mixture like TJ's have done! No way! This is a great way to get dried veggies in and add crunch to your lunch, snack or salad.

Cons: Most people would frown at the price of 3 + dollars since this bag only has 2 servings. May I kindly remind them that buying kale and adding the other ingredients + time would definitely come up to more than 3 dollars. Yet price is a limiting factor when it's only 2 oz of food. Another negative is that it's hard to stop at just one serving ;) No cons indeed.

Let us know what you think and enjoy!