View all posts filed under 'Health/Nutrition'

The Verdict on the New Veggie Grill & A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 3. December 2012 5:25

A taste of Veggie Grill's Papa's Portobella Burger.

With no offense to vegetarians, I admit that I have often had a love-hate relationship with wheat gluten products that try to masquerade as bona fide meat.

I love the idea. But I hate the taste and texture, which have always seemed a true letdown.

I can remember once going to a Chinese Buddhist restaurant with friends. After one of the dishes was set down at the table, my friend’s Dad dived in excitedly, then proclaimed that the molded, pressed wheat gluten slices tasted just like Peking duck.

I almost blurted out, “Are you high?” But I managed to restrain myself and just smile in silence.

Now, Veggie Grill is making me eat that thought.

The first branch of the Southern California fast-casual vegetarian restaurant recently opened in San Jose’s Santana Row. As a local food writer, I received a couple of coupons to try a few of the entrees on the house.

I went in with trepidation. But I came out a fan. Yes, even of the wheat gluten.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Health/Nutrition, New Products, Restaurants | Comments (8) | Author:

Unreal Candy That Tastes Real Good

Wednesday, 10. October 2012 5:25

They resemble M&Ms, but they have less sugar.

Is it too early in the month to already start talking about candy?

I think not.

Especially when it’s candy that’s made with better, more healthful ingredients.

Unreal Brands candy is the brainchild of 15-year-old Nicky Bronner, who got so peeved one year that his parents had confiscated his Halloween loot that he decided to come up with new versions of his favorite candies that his parents would approve of.

Of course, it helps that his father is Boston entrepreneur Michael Bronner who founded Digitas, a digital direct marketing company, and Unpromise, which reinvented the loyalty program model. It also didn’t hurt that his father is friends with the likes of Tom Brady, Giselle Bundchen and Matt Damon, all of whom are now Unreal brand ambassadors.

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Category:Chocolate, General, Great Finds, Health/Nutrition, New Products | Comments (8) | Author:

Get Your Mojo On In A Delicious Way & A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 1. October 2012 5:26

Clif Mojo's White Chocolate Macadamia bar.

Sweet, salty, crunchy and chewy — all in one bite.

Is it any wonder that Clif Mojo bars are among my favorite energy snacks?

OK, with chocolate chips in some of them and as much as 30 percent saturated fat, they might not be the epitome of health food. But at about 200 calories per bar (varies depending upon the variety), you could do a lot worse, especially when the ingredients in these bars are 70 percent organic.

They come in a variety of flavors, including: Chocolate Almond Coconut, Dipped Chocolate Peanut, Peanut Butter Pretzel, Mountain Mix and White Chocolate Macadamia.

I like the profusion of rice crisps and nuts in them because they make for a satisfying texture.

Stash one in your desk drawer, purse or carry-on luggage, and you’re good to go.

Win one of each of five varieties.

Contest: Five lucky Food Gal readers will win a sampler pack of Clif Mojo bars (one of each variety named above). Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Oct. 6. Winners will be announced Oct. 8.

How to win?

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Health/Nutrition | Comments (8) | Author:

For the Last of Summer’s Nectarines

Wednesday, 5. September 2012 5:25

Use the last of summer's nectarines in this light-bright farro salad.

(With apologies to those wacky DirecTV commercials.)

When you lose track of time…

You buy an expensive watch…

When you buy an expensive watch, people notice…

People like Shifty Sam and Three-Strikes Joe, who will sneak up on you on a dark street and snatch your watch…

When thugs steal your watch, they conk you on the head and toss you in a dumpster to fester with yesterday’s fish heads.

Don’t sleep with rotten fishies.

Don’t lose track of time.

Enjoy nectarines for one last fling before summer ends.

One of the best and most healthful ways to do so is in this salad of “Farro with Nectarines, Basil and Toasted Pine Nuts.”

It’s from the new “Grain Mains” (Rodale), of which I received a review copy, by my friends and prolific cookbook writers Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough.

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Category:Fruit, General, Health/Nutrition, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (12) | Author:

Fruit and Nothing But the Fruit — Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 3. September 2012 5:25

Peeled Snacks' "Paradise found'' variety with organic bananas, mangoes and pineapple.

In this day and age with ingredients lists a mile long on food packaging, you have to hand it to the “Much-ado-about-mango” one.

Its ingredient list?

Organic mangoes.

That’s it.

Peeled Snacks of Brooklyn makes conveniently packaged dried, organic fruit that has no added sugar, no preservatives, no sulfites and no gluten.

As a result, this dried fruit actually tastes like real fruit and not a souped-up sweetened version of it.

The resealable snack pouches come in 10 varieties, from “Cherry-go-round” (organic cherries) to “Farmer’s Market Trio” (organic raisins, apples and cherries).

Recently, I had a chance to try some sample bags.

Although the fruit is dried, it still has a nice soft texture. I can’t get over how vibrant the fruit tastes when it’s not masked by sugar, as is the case with so many other dried fruit products.

I especially liked the “Paradise found” with its thick, tender chunks of dried banana (none of those thin, hard chips here), along with pieces of mango and bits of pineapple. Call me a purist, but my favorite was probably the “Much-ado-about-mango,” which is just big shards of mango the color of a sunset and the taste of the tropics.

Just mango.

One serving has about 120-130 calories, depending upon the variety.

Tuck a bag into your child’s lunch. Or toss one into your purse, workout bag or carry-on luggage.

A 4.4-ounce bag is $3.49 and is available at select Whole Foods, CVS and Starbucks stores.

Available in resealable bags.

Contest: Two lucky Food Gal readers will get a chance to try a free variety-sampler pack of Peeled Snacks (a $25 value). Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Sept. 8. Winners will be announced Sept. 10.

How to win?

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Category:Fruit, General, Health/Nutrition, New Products | Comments (8) | Author: