Sunday, August 9, 2009

Subway Chipotle Cheese steak

After living on hospital and rehab center slop for nearly 2 months, the Subway commercials got to me. The Big Chipotle Cheesesteak. I begged the Mrs. to pick one up for me.
She didn't get me the large, because my appetite is diminished, plus, well, I shouldn't eat that much anyway.
The half sub was plenty.

As far as taste, it was AWESOME.

Tender beef, and plenty of it, with a spicy chipotle sauce, and a smattering of jalapenos gave it a nice kick.

The sauce is kind of a creamy but, spicy, sauce. Not a lot of kick to it so that is where the jalapenos come in. Use them to make the sandwich as hot as you like it.

The sandwich costs around $5.50 for a half, so it's no bargain compared to the regular Subway menu. But sometimes you have to treat yourself.

This is rated 4.5 out of 5.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Hospital food

Because I've been in the hospital for a few weeks, I thought I'd review the food.

The hospital does proteins and pasta fairly well. They will deliver a piece of dry chicken covered in some yellow gravy. It will taste ok, and gravy covers the overcooking well. Pasta dishes are not too mushy, and the slightly sweet sauce can be doctored bedside with some Mrs Dash or pepper.

Be aware that any sides that accompany your meal will be terrible. Broccoli, green beans, and carrots will be so overcooked and mushy that they are almost baby food. Watered down baby food. Yes, even the mashed potatoes manage to have no flavor, save for the ever present gravy.

Dessert is where the kitchen comes through. It is as if they try to make up for the meal. Pudding is an excellent choice. Jell-o, of course is a staple, and graham crackers are always the snack of choice.

I rate hospital cuisine one half star.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wendy's New Chicken

I'm not sure what they call them, but Wendy's has some new chicken choices. They are available in different flavors and we tried them all.

The Buffalo style was spiced very well, and was hot, but not unpleasantly so. While Mrs was sure they were simply the nuggets sauced up, they seemed to be a little bit bigger. They were all white meat, and seemed to be a good value, costing 4 bucks for 8 decent sized nuggets.

The honey BBQ was slightly sweet, with a touch of spice. It was very good. It did have that artificial smoke flavor, which I don't like, but most people seem to.

Lastly was the Asian. That was our favorite. It was sort of a poor man's version of General Tso's chicken. The flavors were nicely balanced, it was neither too hot nor too sweet. I hope this one stays on the menu.

If we order again, Mrs will probably make some rice as a side dish, as that would work perfectly with any, especially the Asian one. The potato just didn't seem to fit.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kentucky Unfried Chicken

We hit the Colonel tonight as the Mrs couldn't wait to try the newest version.

She liked it, I was sort of blase about it. It was ok. Just seemed a bit on the dry side, and a little underseasoned for my taste. One reason I like KFC is it is something I can't make at home very easily. This chicken could be easily duplicated. In fact, Mrs makes it better. I suppose it is decent for food in a hurry if one is on the road. I wouldn't buy it to bring home again-- though I do enjoy the cole slaw.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pepsi Throwback

For a limited time, Pepsi is making soda the old fashioned way--using real sugar.

I couldn't wait to try it.

Well, today, the Mrs picked up a bottle at Stop and Shop, and we had some tonight. It's hard to explain, but it just seemed to taste better. Almost lighter, if that makes any sense. It certainly was more refreshing, and didn't have that cloying sweetness that usually accompanies cola sweetened with HFCS. (high fructose corn syrup)

Mrs was pretty much in agreement with me. She isn't a huge cola fan, but liked this one. After reading other positive reviews, I can only hope Pepsi makes this a permanent part of the lineup.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baja Fresh is the Bomb

Just finished a nice lunch from Baja Fresh, which is a slightly upscale Taco place, I guess. At least compared to Taco Bell, it is.

I had the triple taco combo or whatever they call it. It had a grilled shrimp taco, along with a couple mahi mahi ones.

I do like my fish tacos, so the mahi mahi was fine with me. And the shrimp tacos were delicious, served with a slice of avacado, and a bit of salsa, they were unique and quite a tasty lunch.

We had a coupon, so it was 5 bucks for lunch, which is a good deal. Without the coupon, it would have been $8. That is a bit on the high side for lunch, but it did come with a scoop of beans and some nice Spanish rice. Maybe I'm just cheap, but that is a bit more than I feel comfortable with paying for lunch from a take out place.

The tacos were good, with a modest piece (more like 2 fish sticks) of fish, and (4 or was it 5?) small grilled shrimp.

It was fair at five bucks, pricey for 8.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Butter Chicken

We went to an Indian restaurant and got an order of butter chicken. It was on the menu as something else, riki tiki tavi or something like that.

We've never had it before, but we will order it again.

It is delicious. Little pieces of chicken in a sauce that reminded me of creamy tomato soup, served over basmati rice. The sauce was spicy, but not painfully so as some Indian dishes can be.

For lack of a better word, I'd describe the sauce as "rich." It was smooth and creamy, with a blend of spices, none very overpowering. It was perfect.

We tried a few other Indian dishes, and I have no idea what they all were. One was a dosa, which is sort of a pancake stuffed with chunks of potatoes. I liked that, but it was pretty heavy, too.

One thing, the meal was priced very reasonably. The two of us ate for around $20, and we had plenty of leftovers. Next time, we'll just get the butter chicken, and that should be enough for the 2 of us for about 10 bucks or less.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

White Castle Goes Country

White Castle is probably the most innovative of the burger chains. Last night we saw a commercial for their newest treat, a BBQ pulled pork sandwich.
When I told Mrs. about this, she came up with an excuse to go out today to the Castle.

We each had to have one, and do a taste test.

To begin, the sandwiches were very reasonably priced at 99 cents. Of course, they were White Castle sized, so the average person is going to need at least a couple.

There is not a lot of filling (hey, what did I expect for under a buck?) but it was pretty tasty.

I've had plenty of pulled pork and before you suggest that NJ isn't exactly the BBQ capital of the world, we have attended festivals and had BBQ from some world class BBQ makers. We are not experts, but not exactly novices, either.

So, our analysis of the sandwich: The BBQ sauce was slightly sweet. We both personally prefer a more tangy sauce. The pork was tasty, and tender. If White Castle still has the sandwich when we go back, we would probably get it again, but get a few sandwiches, and double or triple up, combining the filling to make a super sized sandwich. It was just too "bready" for us. I think White Castle would have done better to make a thicker and sloppier sandwich. Sure, it would cost more, but the sacrifice for a price point left me unsatisfied. I would have much preferred paying $1.89 or even $1.99 for a double helping.
Sure it would be messy, but that is part of the BBQ experience. I remember having to nearly hose off the Mrs. after one festival. And it was so worth it.
On a scale of 1-5, I'd rate the sandwich a solid, and tasty 3.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ben and Jerry's newest

A few of their flavors (I've had Cherry Garcia and Chocolate Fudge) are now available in Dixie cup sized containers. At 220 calories, it is one way I can enjoy my favorite Cherry Garcia without overeating it. Yeah, we all know how tough it is to put down the spoon once a pint is opened up. 4 servings? Like that is going to happen.
The cup comes with a tiny spoon and the chocolate bits seem to be sized perfectly.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Stuffed Shells

One of my favorite Italian dishes is stuffed shells. They are pretty easy to make, but take time.

So, last week, the Mrs. was at the prepared food section of the grocery store, and picked up shells already made up, in a nice tomato sauce. Not only were they pretty good, but the price was very reasonable. She paid $6 for 8 of them. The local pizza shop sells a dinner with 4 shells, and some bread for over $9.

So, it was a little bit cheaper, and much more convenient. Mrs. heated it up on the stove, so she didn't even need to turn on the oven.

This can be a better alternative to picking up dinner from a restaurant. It's not quite as good as home made, but sometimes, one has to take a shortcut.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Let's eat seasonally

One of my favorite things is to eat seasonally. While tomatoes are probably my favorite vegetable, I won't eat the flavorless ones that come in the cello pack in the winter. Same with most other veggies. I'll either eat frozen, or seasonal.

Ok, what dos this have to do with today?

Asparagus will be starting to show up, if it hasn't already. They are one of my favorite green veggies.

Here's a tip for prepping them: the woody part at the bottom, which isn't tasty at all, should be used either in compost, or to make broth. But how do you know where to cut to get the woody part off?
Just bend the stalk, and it will snap at the right part.

And what can be done with the delicious top? Cut into bite size pieces, then saute with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Tossed with some pasta, and sprinkled with a little Parmesan or Romano cheese, makes for a delicious dinner.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Veggie Patch Meatballs

Meatless meatballs usually taste like cardboard liberally sprinkled with some faux Italian seasoning.

Not so with


They are really good. Very similar to the regular meatballs like you would get from a decent Italian restaurant.

A serving of 4 (I had 3 as my serving and was happy) is very filling, and has 120 calories, 4 g of fat, 16 g of protein, 7 g of carbs, and 4 g of fiber. They make a nice addition to the spaghetti, and are a good sandwich meatball.

They are fully cooked, and can be heated up quickly in a nice red sauce. Using your favorite jarred sauce, and leftover pasta or a fresh torpedo roll from the deli, a really good dinner can be on the table in about 10 minutes. A box of 12 (3 servings) cost $4.49.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Barbara's Puffins Cereal

No, it's not made from real puffins. This cereal is pretty tasty. I don't eat it with milk, though I'm sure that would be fine. I eat it dry as a snack. It's not very sweet, and only has 6 gr of sugar per serving to go along with 6 gr of fiber.


The website has a live puffin cam, and features "best of" for the times of the year when the puffins are either not active, or not around.

Barbara's supports research and has helped bring the Atlantic Puffin back from the brink of extinction.

I bought the 12 oz box on sale for $2.50, so it was a good deal, too.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Alexander's Real Tea

What could be better than buying a superior product, and then finding out that it is locally made?
For me, that means Alexander's Real Tea, from North Brunswick, NJ.

So far, I have tried 2 different flavors, the Peach, and the Green Tea. The Peach is better than Snapple, it seems to have a fresher taste with more peach flavor. It is made with only cane sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.
The green tea, was ok, but it was a bit too sweet for my taste. It has some honey for sweetness, so most would probably enjoy it.


This company is a small start up, the iced tea equivalent of a microbrew beer, so the distribution at this time is mostly in central NJ, but don't be surprised to see it expand across the country.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wendy's new fish sandwich

It seems that Wendy's brings out a fish sandwich around Lent every year. Usually, it is not very good. Just your average fast food fish sandwich. This year, they claim to have a premium (aka expensive) fish sandwich. Coated with panko bread crumbs, it certainly looked good on TV.

So, today, the Mrs. stopped at Wendy's on her way home from work.

She brought me a fish sandwich, a baked potato, and a small salad.

The first thing noted is that the fish portion looks substantial. It appears to be bigger than the McDonald's Filet o'Fish sandwich, and at least as big as the BK Big Fish.

One huge difference, though, is the bun is more appropriate. The sandwich delivers a lot of fish per bite. It comes with a piece of lettuce and tartar sauce.

Along with my 2 sides, it was a decent dinner, and priced about 6 bucks. ($4 for the sandwich)

It wasn't the best fish I've ever eaten, but it was the best fish sandwich of the Big Three.

The Mrs. and I both rated it a 7 out of 10.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Amy's Burrito's

Tonight, Mrs. made me a couple burritos for dinner.

The directions on the package are for baking in the oven, or making it in the microwave. Mrs. just made it on the stovetop. It cooked pretty quickly, though, she did start out by putting them in the fridge to defrost this morning, and using a nonstick pan, it took about 15 minutes on each side on low heat. As they were nearly finished, she covered them with some salsa, and heated them for a few minutes more.

What I got was the equivalent of what some Mexican restaurants call a "wet burrito."

I had the cheddar cheese and a non dairy one. It was hard to tell which was which as the cheddar one wasn't particularly cheesy. But it was darn good. It had a nice balance of flavors, and wasn't overly stuffed with beans or rice. But, after two of them, I was very full. We sometimes go to Baja Fresh, and this tasted nearly as good as anything we ever got there, and absolutely kicked the crap out of anything from the Bell.

Price wise, it wasn't bad considering that everything is made with organic ingredients. We paid 2 bucks each on sale at Stop and Shop.


The burritos are relatively low cal (under 300 each) and less than 3 gm. of fat. The sodium level is not too bad either, at less than 600 mg.

The burrito is not very spicy, but that can be corrected with some Tabasco. It has all the good qualities of fast food, but with none of the bad ones.

Monday, February 9, 2009

5 Dollar Foot Long

I am such a huge fan of Subway's 5 Dollar Foot Long subs. It is a realy good deal for a sub that is, well, ok. I'm in NJ, the home of some of the greatest sub shops in the world, so a chain sub just isn't going to ever be considered really good. But, here's where the sub excels. It is a measured portion, and will fill one up for 5 bucks with food that is ok quality. Calorie wise, the turkey foot long, my favorite, comes in at about 650 calories. It has fiber from the whole grain bread I get it on, and the vegetables it comes loaded with such as lettuce, cucumbers, pickles, tomato, onions, and peppers. A large sandwich from MickeyD's or the King comes in at around 800 calories, and is loaded with fat.
The biggest difference is I can eat a large andwich from the burger places, and won't be satisfied. The sub can be two meals for me, or it is enough to share with the Mrs.
As far as taste, the Subway sandwich is ok. I like that it uses fresh ingredients, and a wide assortment of vegetables. Five bucks is a very fair price for a very decent sandwich.
They do offer many different choices for the special price, but I go with the turkey because it is the least processed.
On a 1-10 scale, I'd give the Subway sandwich a very solid 8 for value and quality.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Burger King Angry Whopper taste test

Ok, this burger is not anywhere on my list of healthy choices. It is probably around 900-1000 calories, and most of that is fat. But, I live dangerously.

Anyway, I've read that the burge is too hot (spicy) and the commercials also indicate it is painfully hot.

It has sliced jalapenos, jack cheese, and hot (spicy) onions.

Ok, first off, I like eating hot things. Not crazy hot, like habaneros, but I often will kick up things with jalapenos, and always sprinkle hot pepper on my pasta. I like putting Frank's Red Hot sauce on most things. On a 1-10 scale, I'd put Frank's at a 2. When I buy jarred salsa, I usually get mild because that is what the Mrs prefers, and she winds up adding jalapenos to it. Go figure.

The burger is not that hot. It's ok. I've had one for dinner a couple times, and once it was mild as could be, and the second it was much spicier. I counted 8 jalapeno slices the second time, but didn't notice how many the first. I doubt there were that many, though.

My final rating?

If you like your food hot and spicy, it is a nice change of pace. Don't expect it to be painfully hot, because it's not. If a bell pepper is your idea of eating spicy food, then don't even think of trying this. I'd rate the burger a 2 on the heat/spiciness scale.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My breakfast recipe

The official diabetic breakfast is oatmeal.

There are qite a few reasons for this. Perhaps the best is that is is metabalized slowly, which is best for diabetics. The second, of course, is the fiber, which is beneficial for everyone. And it turns out that the best reason of all to have oatmeal for a diabetic is that it tastes great with cinnamon. This spice has been shown to help regulate sugar in diabetics.

I don't eat the quick oats that everyone sticks in the microwave. I prefer McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal

This takes a while to cook (30 minutes or more) so what I do is make a double batch (8 servings) so I only need to make it every week or so.
In the morning, I ladle out a portion, add a raw egg, sprinkle on some cinnamon, and heat it up until the egg is cooked.
It makes sort of a custard-like dish and tastes pretty good. It has a good amount of protein, plenty of fiber, and enough carbs for good energy to start the day.

BTW, I did want to mention that this isn't one of those paid posts. McCann's isn't paying me. This is what I eat when I'm doing the right thing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Easy salsa recipe and bonus

My humorblogger buddy Ettarose
was kind enough to share these easy recipes. They sound quick and simple, and the ingredients are controlled, nothing unpronounceable.

Three 15 oz. Cans Fumanos brand canned tomatoes with green chilis.
Three large Jalapeno peppers.
Garlic powder 1 tblsp Onion salt 1 tblsp
Salt to taste
I drain the juice from the tomatoes into the blender. I add all spices listed, cut the jalapenos into pieces and blend very well until peppers are very finely chopped. Pour into large bowl. Add one can tomatoes to blender and blend for a couple of seconds, just enough to make the chunks a little smaller. Add each can one at a time and empty into bowl with base liquid. Stir well, add additional spices if necessary and that is it. Very, very good and so easy to make. For a variation I sometimes add a couple of small cans of salad shrimp and green onions.

Gringo Spanish rice
2 pounds hamburger
Salt/pepper to taste
3 tsp chili powder
2 cups minute rice
15 oz can stewed tomatoes
Grated cheddar cheese
Brown two pounds hamburger and drain. Add stewed tomatoes and spices. Add rice and approx. one half can water. Simmer until rice is tender. Top with grated cheddar cheese and cover until cheese is melted.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Attitude

I'm starting to try to find new recipes that multi-task (several different meals from one preparation) and also ones that don't usually store well. For example, in the past, I've made pasta fagioli in a slightly different way so that it may be stored. I'm going to start measuring so my recipes can be shared. Anyone wishing to contribute to this site is welcome to email me to share a favorite food or recipe or any food related stuff.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Coffee Contest

I just entered a contest to win a great coffee Keurig maker (list price $199) at

I have an older, less fancy model, but I can assure you, it is a really great machine. It brews one cup at a time, which is perfect in our household. It uses those little cups of premeasured grounds, but an adapter is included to use your favorite brew.

In sorta related news, I am working on becoming an affiliate with a coffee distributor, and will let you know more as the story develops.

I love coffee.