Tag Archives: frozen foods

Work it Off: 3 Ways to Zap a 169-Calorie Gelato Bar

Did you know that Italian gelato has fewer calories and less fat than American style ice cream? Me neither! But upon learning this fun fact my first thought was, obviously, I’ve got to get some! A few months ago I had seen Bar Gelato for sale in the Bay Area and the brightly colored bars of frozen gelato looked delish! This week I tracked them down and, after much internal debate, I finally settled on a flavor: Pistachio. (Other front-runners included Recchiuti Burnt Caramel and Guittard Dark Chocolate Sorbetto!)

site2It was, in a word, heavenly. Much denser than most other ice cream bars thanks to the reduced amount of air added to the formula. Much more flavorful than a lot of other ice pops and frozen treats I’ve had, thanks to the natural flavors. And, on an unseasonably sunny and warm day it really hit the spot.

Of course, there’s always a trade-off. This afternoon indulgence weighed in at a fairly reasonable 169 calories, but it was still more than I’d bargained to eat as a snack.

What are some fun ways to burn off 169 calories? (more…)

Dr. Oz Calls Organic Eaters “Elite” and Promotes Canned Vegetables

Oh, Dr. Oz what have you done now? Just this week an article titled “What to Eat Now: The Anti-Food-Snob Diet” was released in Time Magazine. Dr. Oz wrote lengthy reasons as to why frozen and canned foods were just as healthy as organic products. A man’s entitled to his opinion, right? So what’s the big deal? Well, the organic community is up in arms because the good doctor used to be on their side promoting organic food as the safest, most healthy option. And when they say “used to be,” they mean like two months ago. It seems the famous doctor has got some explaining to do.

In the Time article Dr. Oz says there is very little difference between the produce at the farmers market and the products in the freezer section or canned food aisle.

Dr. Oz said, “After several years of research and experience, I have come to an encouraging conclusion: the American food supply is abundant, nutritionally sound, affordable and, with a few simple considerations, comparable to the most elite organic diets.”

Many people did not take kindly to being called “elite” because they have chosen to heed the advice of many experts and shop organic. Dr. Oz also referred to those who purchase organics as the 1%.

“Save the cash: the 99% diet can be good for you,” he wrote.

Interestingly though, writer and editor of NaturalNews.com, Mike Adams, pulled out one of Dr. Oz’s quotes from just two months ago. In October 2012, Dr. Oz stated, “so you’re being told organic food is no more nutritious than conventional and it’s not worth your extra money. Well I’m here to say that it is worth the investment. Why do I say that? Pesticides.” (more…)

Frozen Meals Just as Time Efficient as Drive-Thru, but Markedly Healthier

Busy is often an excuse people give for making poor meal choices. Many will hit the drive-thru because they were too busy to pack a lunch. Or others will order pizza or grab pre-made food from under the heat lamps because they simply don’t have time to make dinner.

It’s true that our lives are too busy sometimes. However, there really are healthy options that are as quick and convenient as far less nutritious ones. You may be surprised to know you can find a great meal in your freezer section. A balanced meal can be achieved from frozen food, but the trick is knowing what to avoid and what to look for while shopping.

Our resident nutrition expert, Mary Hartley, RD set some guidelines to follow when choosing a frozen meal.

For a 250-gram serving, you want to look for:

  • Calories: 300 – 450
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Fat: < 3.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: < 1 g or < 15% of total calories
  • Fiber: > 5 g
  • Sodium: < 600 mg
  • Sugar: < 2 g
  • At least 10% of the Daily Value for at least three: vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium

Hartley also advises that you avoid certain ingredients in addition to the guidelines. “Personally, I strongly dislike and avoid questionable artificial sugars: saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame-K. I [also] can’t see any reason to eat sodium nitrates or food dyes,” said Hartley. (more…)

Kashi’s New Steam Meals Make a Healthier Dinner for One

Kashi has just launched a new product line. Instead of adding a new breakfast cereal or another on-the-go granola bar, they’ve added a whole new line of easy-to-prepare steam meals. The bags come microwave-ready so all you have to do is find it in the freezer aisle, throw it in the microwave, and serve.

These steam meals come in four different flavors, each containing an average of 35 grams of whole grains, 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and only 9 grams of fat. Different flavors vary. Each are the same in that there are no artificial ingredients and they’re all minimally processed. The bags come in a single-serving size making it easy for you to not over indulge, however, multiple bags will need to be bought if you plan on serving the whole family. Listed below are the four different flavors currently available.

Sesame Chicken

This meal contains natural white and grilled chicken, 7 whole grain sesame pilaf, carrots, edamame, red peppers, and roasted green beans. It’s all topped off with a spicy citrus sesame sauce that seems to be not too heavy nor not too light. The nutritional facts are 35 grams of whole grains, 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of fat (guideline is 3.5 grams or less). The meal has 300 calories, which is inline with nutrition guidelines for a meal like this. It does slightly exceed the 600 milligrams or less guidelines for sodium. (more…)

Listeria Contamination Forces Recall of 325,000 Pounds of Frozen Meat

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced over the weekend a recall of nearly 325,000 pounds of frozen, ready-to-eat meat products manufactured by Buona Vita Inc. because of a possible listeria contamination. Listeria bacteria can cause listeriosis, a potentially fatal bacterial infection.

Buona Vita Inc., based out of New Jersey, makes precooked, frozen Italian food products. Products affected include meatballs, dinner loafs, salisbury patties, breakfast patties, and burger patties made with chicken, pork, beef, and turkey.

Brand names included in the recall are:

  • Buona Vita Inc.
  • Cupino
  • Mama Isabella
  • Vincent Giordano
  • Dirusso
  • Silver Lake
  • Argenta Pride
  • Whitsons Food Service
  • M&R Frosted Food Co.
  • Orefresco
  • Bullpen
  • Napoli
  • Whorle’s
  • Buonamici
  • Monabella (more…)

Biggest Loser’s Simply Sensible Meals Make Dinner for Two a No-Brainer

So you want to eat like a Loser? Then Simply Sensible meals seem like an easy solution. You’ve probably seen them in your grocery store, in the refrigerated prepared meals section. They’re relatively affordable, about five dollars for a meal that will feed two people.

But are they really that good for you? We spoke with Cheryl Forberg, RD, the nutritionist for Biggest Loser, and she told us that she was involved with the creation of the Simply Sensible meals, albeit “not in the kitchen.” We also spoke with Mary Hartley, RD, the nutrition director at Calorie Count, for a more third-party voice.

“Anything with the Biggest Loser brand is something I look at,” Forberg told us about her involvement with the show’s branded foods items. “This is especially true of the [Biggest Loser] eating plan because I co-wrote it.”

Forgerg explained that the meals were developed based on the Biggest Loser eating plan, a balance of lean protein, carbs, and good fats. (more…)

Taste Test: New Weight Watchers’ Smart Ones

Weight Watchers Frozen Meal Weight Watchers recently added four new dishes to their line-up of Smart Ones frozen meals. Many people find Smart Ones a convenient approach to portion control and calorie cutting. All Smart Ones products now incorporate the new PointsPlus program.

There are two new breakfast options and two new Signature Sundaes. The new breakfast items are French Toast with Turkey Sausage and the Egg, Sausage and Cheese Wrap. The wrap has scrambled egg whites with cheese sauce, veggies and sausage in a soft tortilla. The wrap may seem small at first glance, but I found it to be quite filling. It has six points on the PointsPlus program, 240 calories, seven grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein.

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NutriSystem Offers New Frozen Fresh Food and Lower Prices

Just in time for healthy New Years Resolutioners who are ready to make 2011 the year they kicked those last 15 pounds or dropped numerous dress sizes, the weight loss program giant, NutriSystem has come out with a new line of fresh-frozen meals and lower prices on the weekly membership.

According to NutriSystem, these new changes are part of Nutrisystem’s Hooray You! New You Revolution initiative to empower and celebrate the success of its members. With these significant changes it will make Nutrisystem weight loss programs more accessible to a wider audience than ever before. The new Nutrisystem 28-day program will now include one-third frozen foods and two-thirds of pantry foods. Additionally, the program previously cost $399 per month and it will now cost $299, including an additional free week of pantry foods, a gourmet money back guarantee and free shipping. (more…)

Amafruits: Acai Without the Gimmicks

amafruits AcaiThere’s been a lot of hype surrounding the Acai berry, an Amazonian fruit with alleged super-nutrients. While Acai isn’t a miracle weight-loss food (no such thing exists), it is a rich source of many of the nutrients you need, including vitamin A, minerals, potassium and iron.

Acai berries themselves are difficult to find whole, but many companies offer juices and extracts. Last night I tried out Amafruits’ Acai puree. The puree comes frozen in packs of four, with a choice of Acai Energy Mix with Guarana or Acai Pure & Unsweetened. A pack of either flavor counts as a serving of fruit. Many other Acai juices add a lot of sugar to compensate for the berry’s slightly bitter taste. The unsweetened fruit pulp is about as close to eating the berries as you can get: no pills, pyramid schemes or other fruit juices added for bulk.

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Frozen Vegetable Recall Due to Glass Fragments Affects Kroger and Wal-Mart Store Brands

In more food recall news, this time frozen vegetables are being pulled from shelves and consumers are warned to review the items in their homes to return for refund. The voluntary recall by Pictsweet Co., reports CNN.com, was not prompted by any injury reports, only a preventative step. These frozen vegetables may have glass fragments in the packages.

Important Recall Details:

  • Store-brand frozen vegetables: Kroger brand and Great Value brand
  • Frozen vegetables sold in Kroger and Wal-Mart stores nationwide
  • May contain glass fragments
  • Return recalled packages to retailer for full refund

Recalled Products:

  • Kroger 12-ounce Green Peas (UPC 11110 89736). Production Codes of 1440BU, 1440BV, 1440BW, and 1600BD.
  • Kroger 12-ounce Peas and Carrots (UPC 11110 89741). Production Codes of 1960BD and 1960BE.
  • Great Value 12-ounce Steamable Sweet Peas (UPC 78742 08369). Best by dates of July 20, 2012; July 21, 2012.
  • Great Value 12-ounce Steamable Mixed Vegetables (UPC 78742 08026). Best by date of July 15, 2012. (more…)