Category Archives: Fresh & Easy

Spaghetti Squash

IMG_1608Craving some saucey pasta, but don’t have the caloric budget for a full blown pasta dish? Then please welcome this glorious spaghetti squash into your life. Takes little to no effort to cook (your oven does the cooking), and is very versatile in your everyday meals. You can bake it, steam it, boil it, karate chop, and kung-fu it any way you like — just cook it.

Usually there are stickers on squashes to tell you how to prepare them, but this one did not. Chef Google told me to slice it in half vertically, clean out the seeds, and bake it face down in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes at an oven of 375 degrees. I followed the directions, but since my squash was pretty large, it needed an extra 10 minutes or so. It came out beautifully. Once the squash is fully cooked, use a fork and start scraping it. Golden strands will fall out and there you have it — spaghetti squash noodles. Collect it in a bowl and use it anyway you like. They store and reheat very well.

A popular way to use it is of course in place of pasta noodles. Half a cup of pasta sauce (50 calories), one cup of spaghetti squash (42 calories) and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (10 calories) and you have your 100 calories snack here. Make it more filling by adding some form of protein in it. Other ideas to incorporate spaghetti squash are: baked casseroles, mix with some veggies and make it into a wrap, toss some in soups and on top of salads, be the “mac” in your mac and cheese, the sky is the limit with such a versatile squash. Last night, I microwave a cup and added a spoonful of salsa and it was just as delicious.

If there was a marketing label, it would look like this:

Low Carb, Low-fat, Low-calories, Cholesterol-Free, Low-Sodium

Good source of fiber, Vitamin A, Calcium, and Potassium

Only 42 calories per serving

The squash itself is not a very sweet type and does not have a strong distinctive taste of it’s own so it is perfect as a base to any of your dishes. Takes up the personality of your dish really well. Over-cooked, they can be a little soft, but when done perfectly, it has a little crunch to it.

A one cup serving (5.5 ounce) is only 42 calories, 0 WW, 0.5 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 28 milligram of sodium, 10.1 grams of carbohydrates, 2.2 grams of dietary fiber, 3.9 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 32.6 milligram of calcium and 181.4 milligram of potassium.

I’ve been rocking some major spaghetti squash meals lately because I found them very inexpensive at my Fresh & Easy. Butternut squashes, spaghetti squashes, and acorn squashes (any size) were all up for grabs for only $1.98. Naturally, I picked the biggest and heaviest one which clocked in at a nice 5.4 lbs. A steal for under $2.00.

Retails: $1.98 each @ Fresh & Easy
My Cost: $1.98
Calories: about 42 per cooked cup (154g)
WW: 0

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Filed under Fresh & Easy, squash, WW: 0

Tasty Bite Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce

IPicture 111 am an Indian food newbie. I’ve only dined at an Indian restaurant once and ordered all the wrong things. I’ve always heard that Tasty Bite makes Indian food cooking at home very easy so I picked up the Tasty Bite Tikka Masala simmer sauce. I have no idea what goes in a Tikka Masala, but I wanted to be adventurous and just “wing” it. In the pot went 1 spray of PAM, 1 red onion, 2 red peppers, all chopped into bit size pieces. Stir fry a little bit and then add 1/2 a pouch of the Tasty Bite Tikka Masala sauce and stir them all together. I also added a pouch of Kashi Fiesta Fiery pilaf into the mix. The veggies bulked up my otherwise dinky meal considerably. The sauce was just enough to coat everything. Split the pot in half and you have yourself an amazing meal. Veggies checked. Whole grains checked. High fiber checked. High protein checked. (Twitpic here) What I like about this simmer sauce is that is has only 45 milligram of sodium which is pretty low considering it is from a pouch. The sauce itself is a tomato based with lots of seasoning such as garlic, cumin, pepper, cloves, etc. Not water thin, but not thick either. The color is a yellowish brown. A little on the bland side with low sodium so next time I will add some garlic and basil in it to bring out some more flavors. What I did not like about it is that it is pretty high in the saturated fat department and it has 20 milligram of cholesterol.  Bummer in an otherwise very convenient sauce.  One serving of 3.5 ounce is 120 calories, 3 WW, 10 grams of fat (4.5 gram saturated), 20 milligram of cholesterol, 45 milligram of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Ingredients
Tomatoes, water, cream, onions, butter, green pepper, sunflower oil, sugar, tapioca starch, chilies, cumin, coriander, clove, cardamon.

Directions
1. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a med sized skillet. 2. Saute 1-1/2 cups of diced chicken, tofu or vegetables until fully cooked. 3. Add simmer sauce, salt to taste, water to thicken (optional). Stir well. 2.Cover, reduce heat & simmer 8-10 mins, stirring occasionally. 3. Serve over rice and enjoy! Caution: Pouch will be hot. Do not use conventional or toaster oven. Do not consume if pouch is leaking or swollen.


Retails: $1.59 per 7 ounce pouch @ Fresh & Easy
My Cost: $1.59
Calories: 120 per 1/2 pouch
WW: 3

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Filed under Fresh & Easy, Sauce

Wildwood Organics Royal Thai Baked Sproutofu

IMG_0614Wildwood Organics Royal Thai Baked tofu is similar to the smoked tofu in terms of texture. They both have the water pressed out of it and are already flavored and the tofu is dense and chewy. The Royal Thai Baked Sproutofu is a combination of flavors such as lemon grass, ginger, cilantro, and red peppers.  The package is vacuumed sealed and comes with 2 ready-to-eat servings. Again, the 3 ounce looks pretty small, but with all the water pressed out, these dense tofu blocks are packed with 15 grams of protein and are really filling. Eat with your stomach and not with your eyes and you will be really happy with this product. Since I feel like my meal is small when I enjoy these tofu blocks, I like to incorporate lots and lots of vegetables to my meal to make it seem like my meal is bigger. With this Thai flavor, it works excellent for homemade Thai dishes. Following a Thai theme, I whipped up a Peanut Butter Boy sauce and dipped the tofu in it. Now THAT was delicious. In the future, I can see myself using this to make tofu pad thai and tofu kabobs. You really can’t go wrong with Wildwood Organic sproutofu line — just pick a flavor you enjoy. I enjoy both the smoked and baked varieties equally. Many flavors to choose from: Baked Aloha, Savory Baked, and Teriyaki Baked. One serving of 3 ounce is 150 calories, 3 WW, 5 grams of fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 290 milligram of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar and 15 grams of protein.


The #1 Selling Flavored Tofu in the West!
Made with Sprouted Soybeans for Enhanced Nutrition

Retails: $3.99 per 6 oz package @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 150 per 3 ounce
WW: 3

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Filed under Fresh & Easy, Organic, Tofu, Whole Foods, WW: 3

Wildwoods Organics Shiitake Tofu Veggie Burger

IMG_0612Wildwood Organics has tons of great items. I was excited to try their sproutofu veggie burgers since they boast the “live soy advantage.” Supposedly, they are easier to digest because the soybeans are sprouted. Each Wildwoods Organic Sproutofu Veggie burgers come in a vacuumed package with 2 ready-to-eat patties. The patties are ready to eat, but I nuked it in the microwave for a quick hot meal in the form of a burger (twitpic here). The bowl was pretty oily afterward which was a little disappointing. Not very good shiitake flavor. The patty is a melody of vegetables and sprouted tofu and tasted chewy like real meat. Don’t over cook it or else it will get hard.

The second time around, I got smarter and microwaved it for a shorter period of time with a paper towel on the bottom to soak up some of the excess oil. It came out pretty oily and even more oil came out after I pressed the patty with the paper towel. I ended up just eating the inside of the patty and peeled off the outer layer which left me with pretty much next to nothing to eat. So much oil leads me to think that these veggie burgers are fried. I think it will be much better if they were baked. The shiitake flavor is faint, the texture chewy, but on the oily side.

One patty is 170 calories, 4 WW, 11 grams of fat (1.5 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 240 milligram of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein. Despite the not so high fiber and protein content for these kinds of veggie burgers, it was quite filling. Other Sproutofu flavor includes Original & Southwest. I like most of the Wildwood Organics products, but I will have to pass on their tofu burgers because of the oil factor. Tons of Wildwood Organic coupons here.

Authentic – The “True Original”
Made with Only Sprouted Soybeans for Enhanced Nutrition
#1 Selling Fresh Burger in the US – Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth
25% Organic Vegetables – Gluten Free – Easier to Digest


Retails: $3.99 per package @ Whole Foods
My Cost: Free
Calories: 170 per patty
WW: 4

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Filed under Fresh & Easy, Veggie Burger, Whole Foods, WW: 4

Fresh & Easy Honey Wheat Braided Pretzels

Honey Wheat PretzelThese generous sized Honey Wheat Braided Pretzels from Fresh & Easy packs a subtle honey flavor that I am pretty fond of. The honey is glazed on, so that is going to be the first flavor you taste when you chomp on these. Delicious on their own and even better when I dip it with a side of honey mustard. Slightly thicker than the Trader Joe’s 100% Whole Grain pretzel sticks. The salt speckles are evenly distributed and I did not find these overly salty. The amount of salt is perfect and these pack a good crunch. Not particularly messy to eat, but pretzel “dust” fall off after each bite. I find my lap is a little “grainy” after I eat these. At times, the flavor reminds me of animal crackers. The color is a light brownish “honey pretzel” look.  I love having pretzel on the side along with my lunch. Easy to pack and very portable. No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Unfortunately, these are not 100% whole wheat so it does contain some enriched flour. One ounce serving  (about 10 sticks) is 110 calories, 2 WW, 1 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 200 milligram of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar and 2 grams of protein.

Retails: $1.59 @ Fresh & Easy
My Cost: $1.59
Calories: 110 per ounce (about 10 sticks)
WW: 2

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Filed under Fresh & Easy, Snacks, WW: 2

Wildwoods Organics Super Firm Tofu

Sp 10ozWish I had taken a proper photo of the package because I cannot find a picture of it ANYWHERE, not even on the official Wild Wood Organics web page. Weird. This photo is of the SprouTofu Super firm, but the one I got was the regular Wild Wood Organics Super Firm Tofu. I swear, Wild Woods Organics does carry that product, at least at Fresh & Easy. Fresh & Easy carries  a little selection of Wild Wood Organics savory tofu and firm tofu. My previous stir-fry tofu attempt was a failure because I did not know I was suppose to press all the water out of it before marinating it. The tofu ended up not soaking in the flavor which made it a disappointment. The Wild Wood Organics firm tofu has all the water pressed out of it so it was a firm block of tofu. It was easily manageable, not falling into pieces on me. I chopped it up into little squares and marinated in my Bone Sucking Good Sauce and marinated it overnight. The next morning, I plopped them into the oven and incorporated it on top of a huge bed of romaine lettuce salad. This was delicious!! The tofu took up a lot of flavor. After baking for around 40 minutes (flip 1/2 way), the tofu became really chewy. Not like meat chewy, just dense in texture. Another way I like to eat these is inside my La Tortilla Wraps. Usually I am content with just hummus, veggies, and salsa inside them, but adding some tofu gives my wraps more texture. I usually feel super stuffed after eating such a fiber and protein packed wrap.  Don’t take these little tofu block lightly, packed with 14 grams of protein, I find these REALLY filling for such a small amount.  My eyes were defiantly bigger than my stomach. You may laugh when you see the small block has 3 servings, but I recommend following the serving suggestion on your first try to see how filling these are. I think because the water is “pre-squeezed”, visually, the serving size looks small. A 3 oz serving is 100 calories, 2 WW, 4 grams of fat, no cholesterol, 45 milligram of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 14 grams of protein. I like this new find. Wonder what the sprouted version taste like?

Retails: $1.70 @ Fresh & Easy
My Cost: $0.85 on sale
Calories: 100 per serving
WW: 1

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Filed under Fresh & Easy, Organic, WW: 2

Fresh & Easy Taqueria Thick & Chunky Salsa Mild

04-29-09_1857This Fresh & Easy brand is my current  salsa obsession. Chunky and full of flavor. I love it on everything, especially in my wraps. Adds tons of flavor without adding tons of calories. Two tablespoon is only a mere 10 calories. I love the fresh taste of it. This is my go-to salsa for those salsa and chips nights. Some salsas tends to be overly sweet, but not this one. Sometimes, I dice some fresh red onions and tomatoes in it, gives it a lot more texture and “fresh” feeling. For a shelf stable salsa, the taste of this is very close to fresh salsa you would get at some Mexican burrito shops. The crappy economy has the price of everything going up. I remember these being only $1.34, then it rose to $1.79 and now $1.99. Three price hikes in a matter of months. Grrrrr… Two tablespoon is 10 calories, 0 WW, no fat, 160 milligram of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar and no protein. The simple ingredient list includes: diced tomatoes, water, jalapeno pepper,s tomato paste, onions, dehydrated onions, distilled vinegar, salt, dehydrated, garlic and natural flavor. When these were still $1.34 a jar, my kitchen sink had rows of empty F&E salsa jars all lined up in perfect order waiting to be recycled. Now with the price hike, I’ve started to wander off and found TJ’s Pineapple Salsa that I like in my salads for the same price.

Retails: $1.99 for 16 oz at Fresh & Easy
My Cost: $1.99
Calories: 10 per 2 tbsp
WW: 0

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Filed under Fresh & Easy, Salsa, WW: 0