Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things...

My slacker blogdom has come to a close...it's time for another feature post!

I want to share with you a few of my favorite things, specifically some products that help me make the dishes I eat with the greatest frequency: sandwiches and smoothies!

Sandwiches
Arnold Sandwich Thins
A few months ago, Rena from Arnold Bread was kind enough to send me a few packages of their elusive sandwich thins. These English muffin-sliced bread hybrids make for quite the versatile meal component. You can enjoy them plain, toasted as an accompaniment to a meal, spread with your favorite condiments (almond butter, anyone?), or assembled into your favorite sandwich. They also make a pretty awesome crust for hummus pizza! Arnold's sandwich thins have a subtle sweetness to them, which I find to be a nice complement to savory and sweet items.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy sandwich thins:
Sandwich Thins are available in two varieties, whole wheat, and whole grain white. Each sandwich thin contains 5 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, all for a mere 100 kcalories. Plus, they are free of high fructose corn syrup, which can be rare nowadays in the bread aisle. The suggested retail price is $2.99 for a package of 8. Unfortunately, sandwich thins are available only is select areas of the country

Edited to add: I have been informed that Sandwich Thins contain sucralose, explaining their sweetness. If you would prefer to avoid sucralose, then these might not be the right product for you.

Trader Joe's Reduced Sugar Blueberry Preserves
When it comes to PB & J, are you a strawberry or a grape person? Personally, I am neither--I much prefer TJ's blueberry jam. Why settle for the ordinary when you can have the extraordinary? Although I do not have a TJ's near me, I make it a point to stop in for a jar of this deliciousness whenever I visit Chicago. As the name suggests, these preserves contain less sugar than regular jam...without the addition of artificial sweeteners. It's just berry goodness in this jar (plus a slew of antioxidants!)
While I enjoy this jam in combination with my favorite Sunbutter, you may choose to enjoy it in alternative ways. Consider stirring it into your oatmeal, spreading it on a sandwich thin, or using it as a topper for crackers and soft cheese.
Each tablespoon contains 30 kcalories, all from carbohydrate. You can find this at a Trader Joe's near you.

Smoothies
Nutribody Protein
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a particular infatuation with all things blended, specifically evening protein shakes. I am always experimenting with new protein powders so as to avoid boredom in my nightly smoothie-fest. I was fortunate enough to receive a canister of Nutribody Protein a few weeks ago. I'll admit, I was skeptical of this new vegan protein, but after one blended concoction, I was hooked. Nutribody is made from rice and pea protein, so for those of you who limit your soy intake, this provides an excellent alternative.
A generous 4-tablespoon serving provides approximately 120 kcalories and a whopping 26 grams of protein. Yikes! Nutribody is also entirely free of sugars and artificial sweeteners. Although I wish this powder contained some added minerals, such as calcium, overall, I would recommend this to any of my fellow smoothie enthusiasts out there.

Check out the Nutribody Website for more information about the product and about where to buy it. There are some recipes available as well!

Nature's Path Ginger Zing Granola
I'll admit that I was a die-hard pumpkin flax girl in the past, but I think I have been converted to the ginger-y side of granola. Who doesn't love the combination of spicy ginger and crunchy cashews? Ginger granola is a perfect topper to any smoothie of course, but it also makes a great topper for berries, applesauce, oatmeal, and cold cereal. If you're feeling more adventurous, try using it as a topping for spiced pumpkin or pumpkin pudding. Yum!

A 3/4 cup serving contains a 250 kcalories, which is far less than other granola products out there. In addition, there are 6 grams of protein, and 10 grams of healthy fat, along with 4 grams of fiber. I purchased my box at Whole Foods for $4.69. This price may strike you as high, but remember that granola is a food best enjoyed in moderation; a single box will last for an extended period of time.

I hope you enjoyed today's much delayed feature post. What are some of your favorite things?

16 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Great post!! My current blog post features my favorite things, ironically enough :-)

Anonymous said...

I hate to tell you, but the "subtle sweetness" you refer to in the sandwich thins comes from sucralose, which is a chemical. Personally, I'd be much more concerned about ingesting that than high-fructose corn syrup.

Why not eat something without chemical ingredients, like Ezekiel bead or Rudi's or even Whole Foods brand?

flower said...

Im so so so glad I read this post, I am in much need of inspiration for my sandwiches I take to work now I can look forward to my packed lunch again

ChickPea said...

VeggieGirl: I know! I LOVE your favorite things...Larabars and PB Puffins rock.
Anonymous: Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I should have scanned the ingredients list more carefully. Now that I know that they contain sucralose, I am not sure that I would purchase them were they available to me.
You are entirely correct in endorsing Ezekiel and Rudi's brands; they are two of my favorite companies.
Flower: Glad you got some inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I actually just logged on again, because I thought about my comment and was afraid you might've taken my post as a criticism against you, and I wanted to clarify that I wasn't trying to be critical, just warning. But you'd already responded. Wow you're quick! I, myself, purchased something once that didn't say it had sucralose on the front, and only after eating it a few times did I discover it :(
Why do they feel the need to ruin otherwise good products?

Erica said...

Great post! It is really annoying that so many products have terrible chemicals in them! I just bought these light "natural" bagels with only 110 calories...didn't check the back. Sucralose!

K said...

Love the post!

My favorite things: Chobani, cottage cheese, Barney Butter, and carrots with salsa - I eat all of those almost daily!

shelby said...

Darn it! I just bought those sandwich thins today and I forgot to look at the back. Oh well, someone will eat them =/

That blueberry jam sounds phenomenal!!!

Anonymous said...

wow I feel bad but... sunbutter has 100 kcal per tablesoon, not 30.

loveofoats.com said...

mmmmm i love those sandwich thins and your creations are amazing!

runroamrecycle said...

anon>> haha I'm pretty darn sure she's talking about the blueberry jam ;]

I haven't jumped on the sandwich thins bandwagon yet.. maybe I just don't make sandwiches that often or something, but I'd rather have bread. I'm intrigued by the protein powder though.. seems pretty convenient to just toss in a smoothie or shake! Have you tried any of the recipes on the companies site? YUMM! =]

vegannurse said...

I LOVE that Ginger Zing granola.. it's one of my favorites!

That protein powder looks good, too.. thanks for the reviews!

Have a great week, and if you have any finals: good luck!

ChickPea said...

Anonymous: I agree; sometimes they sneak unnecessary ingredients into the most unlikely foods. Such a bummer.
Erica: Yeah, sometimes it IS better to just stick with brands you trust...but the foodie in me always wants to try new things!
K: I am def with you on the cottage cheese thing, although I've only had Chobani once and never tried Barney Butter. I am so jealous of all you who have access to it!
Shelby: I'm sure someone will find good use for it. I'll probably end up finishing my package.
Anonymous: Yeah, the calorie count refers to the product being reviewed--the jam, not the Sunbutter.
LoveofOats: Thanks!
RunRoamRecycle: Good call on the calorie count...haha
The sandwich thins really aren't all that different from bread--I think their novelty is part of what makes them appealing.
The Nutribody protein is pretty awesome. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet...any of them look good to you?
Vegan Nurse: It's great to hear from you! Glad I have a fellow Ginger Zing fan:) Good luck to you as well!

Whitvia said...

Please help!!!What type of blender do you use for your smoothies? The ones you make look so smooth.

ChickPea said...

Whitvia: I alternate between my Magic Bullet (sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond)and my Hamilton Beach Ensemble (red) 12 Speed Blender. I think they sell it at Target. I hope that helps!

whitvia said...

Thanks