Veggetti Veggie Pasta

Veggetti Pasta Maker
– a Review
VeggettiI never dreamed that veggie pasta would become one of my most desired food staples on the dinner table. The Veggetti will turn just about any reasonably sized squash or zucchini into a pasta dish in a couple of minutes or less. We’ve all probably seen spaghetti squash dishes used as pasta substitutes in the past. The Veggetti, though, which uses the narrower zucchini gives you a better taste and two different sized textures of vegetable pasta.  Unlike squash, the flavor won’t over-power your sauce, and the texture is just as firm as your favorite brand of al dente spaghetti. Some of you are probably asking why anyone would prefer veggie spaghetti over good ol’ regular pasta.

How do you rate the Veggetti? 

Our Reader Score
[Total: 1 Average: 5]

The answer is, carbs and gluten. Doctors and nutritionists are proving that our food pyramid has been deliberately and wrongly turned upside down for the last several years. Our bodies were meant to eat a diet with less carbs and richer in saturated fats and cholesterol. Books and blogs such as Wheat Belly and Grain Brain are changing the way we view carbohydrates in our diets. Furthermore, a higher number of people seem to be suffering from wheat or gluten intolerance these days, and Celiac disease is on the rise. Why wheat has suddenly become suspect in all of this is still Uncooked Veggie Pasta being debated. It could be that our bodies were never designed for grains, or it could have something to do with the way wheat and grains have been genetically modified. It is not the intention of my article to elaborate on this topic; there are plenty of other websites and books that go into that. One thing I do know for sure is that I have never enjoyed packaged spaghetti pasta as much as I used to since they started removing the eggs due to the phony cholesterol fear. My mother always had our favorite brand in the cupboards: R&F Egg Vermicelli. The eggs gave the pasta texture which as I will explain, is the most important characteristic of pasta.

Read more

Share Button
Our Reader Score
[Total: 1 Average: 5]

Healthy Low Fat Snacks

The other day, I was feeling hungry while shopping the aisle of my local grocery store. Yet, I refused to buy any of the snacks simply because of the disappointing claims that they contained less fat. You see, ‘low-fat’ doesn’t Low Fat Healthy Snacksmean the same thing to me as it does most of the world. Believe me, it used to. There was a time when I was a fanatic about all of these low-fat, health ideas. I was convinced that I would jeopardize my heart and life if I didn’t remove the fat from everything I ate. Before, I even delve into how and why that as all changed, let me just simply state the way I feel today:  The truth is, I want all of my food to contain good, saturated and natural fats, even my snacks.  So, when I read that the infamous package of Gardetto’ Snack Mix claimed to be reduced fat, I had no interest in buying it. The reason I was craving a snack in the first place was because my body was hungry for fat, oil and salt. Unfortunately, today’s food industry has removed all of the healthy, natural fats from their products.  For example, coconut oil and lard – these things are considered bad for us and nobody will touch them with a 10-foot pole.   Even the RF, Egg-Vermicelli Spaghetti my mom used to buy as a kid is no longer available because eggs contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is bad, right? Not really. Nobody has ever died from high cholesterol; nor has it made anyone more likely to have a heart attack. With some research of the data with a critical eye rather than one that accepts popular propaganda, we will eventually learn the truth: Low fat diets and lowering one’s cholesterol neither improves one’s health nor lower one’s weight.

The Misnomer of the so-called, Healthy Snack

If you are looking for healthy low fat snacks you are fighting a losing battle. Nothing that is labeled low-fat or less-fat is healthy. Believe me, nobody has ever become healthier by eating less fat … period. The problem is that we’ve been fed the big fat lie in our world that fat is a villain to be avoided like the plague. Fat, particularly animal fat, is what our body craves.  Snacks which claim to be made with ‘50% less fat’ or ‘low-fat’ are the ones we should avoid. Aside from the big-fat lie that fat is bad for our heart, has anyone lost one single pound because they bought foods at the grocery store which were labeled, ‘low-fat’? Unfortunately, the foods that use to be healthy have been loaded up with lots of sugar and starches to compensate for the lack of the flavor. There is overwhelming evidence that sugar and starch are the bigger cause of problems like heart disease, weight-gain and diabetes. Is it any coincidence that these three problems grew proportionately with the decrease of fat and increase of sugar in our diets?  Many people laugh at fried pork-rinds, but in reality, they are practically harmless compared to most snacks. Most fried pork rinds have only two ingredients. Fried-out Pork fat and salt. Neither of these ingredients are as harmful as sugar and trans-fats. In fact,  fried pork rinds will satisfy your hunger. 

Snacks need less sugar and more Natural Fats

We need to send a message to the food companies that it is not less fat we want in our snacks, but less sugar. These so-called, ‘healthy’ low-fat snacks are usually made with added sugars to compensate for the lack of flavor missing from low-fat foods. If snack foods just used lard, coconut oil, real butter, and/or other natural, saturated fats, there would be no problem with finding healthy snacks. Unfortunately, the good guys have been made the villains. The bad guys like sugar and starch are largely ignored or considered a minor obstacle in the mission to replace the sinful fats that kill us all.  

McDonald’s was Healthier in the Olden Days

I remember when McDonald’s stopped using beef fat in their fries to make them ‘healthier’. Instead of lard, they went to trans-fats which are considered deadly and even banned in some places. Now that trans-fats are considered the world’s biggest health villains they are no longer used either. However, the new vegetable oils don’t taste as good and still not considered, ‘healthy’ by many experts. The beef fat fries were so much tastier, more natural and healthier. Haven’t we heard, “You can’t fool mother nature?” And now we’re supposed to believe the so-called health experts who pressured these changes upon food chains like McDonald’s that we’re better off with bad-tasting fats like, canola oil? I am simply amazed at how firmly the false ideas on low-fat and cholesterol have been etched in our minds. Would any snack or food company dare advertise that their products are made from real, natural, saturated fats and contain less sugar? If only we could get back to these real, natural, fatty foods, we’d be a healthier, happier lot of people. I would love to taste those old McDonald’s fries once again!

Who’s to blame? In all honesty, how can you fault consumers for doing what they think is best for their family and themselves? I’ve peaked into the grocery carts of some pretty obese people at the grocery store and I see things like, low-fat  cottage cheese, cholesterol-free pasta, fat-free this, that and the other thing. On top of that are breads and loads of other foods rich in starchy carbs – and yes, soda pop..both sugar and sugar-free. It’s like we are trying to fake our bodies into thinking they don’t need what they naturally want? You want real cheese, but you can’t have it? So, load up on the fake cheese? Or load up on the chips and dips with more sugar and less, natural saturated fats. Does that really make sense? The ingredients of the shopping cart of the average, obese person is right in line with the popularly accepted diet in America and most of the world because this is the low-fat fraud we’ve all had shoved down our mouths for 40 years or so. Yet, parents are failing both themselves and their kids on these high-starch, low-fat diets. It’s not their fault. This is what they have been told to do. The fact that it isn’t working must mean they are hopeless, right? It’s really pretty sad.

How to find Healthy Snacks

The key to a healthy snack is one with less sugar and refined carbs and more of the fats that were once considered, natural and not unhealthy. These fats include Coconut Oil, Lard, Butter and Palm Oil. Good luck finding something like this at your typical grocery store. In fact, most of the so-called, health food stores still don’t understand this. Our bodies crave coconut oil, butter, animal fats and salt. The carbohydrates won’t hurt us if we eat them in moderation. If your body craves something crunchy with oil and salt, your best bet is to make it yourself. When it comes to snacking, however, I realize that nothing beats the convenience of something you can pick-up at your grocery aisle that is ready for you to munch at a moment’s notice. Though they are few and far between, there has got to be a few healthy and delicious choices out there for us to choose. Please leave your comments about healthy snacks you’ve been able to buy and enjoy.

 

Share Button
Our Reader Score
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Garland Jacks Barbecue Sauce

Garland Jacks Barbecue Sauce

While the best barbecue sauce may be strictly a matter of opinion, you can’t go wrong with Garland Jacks Secret Six. I realize that everyone has their own opinions when it comes to how barbecue should be prepared, so don’t

Best Barbecue Sauce is Garland Jacks

expect us all to agree on the best barbecue sauce. In the south, they practically go to war over who makes the best barbecue ribs. If you tell someone from Kansas City that they make good barbecue in the south, you are likely to get skewered in their smoke pit. Let’s face it, people get very heated when it comes to their opinions about best barbecue.

Rating the Best Barbecue Sauce

In my opinion, the best barbecue sauce is one that doesn’t overshadow the quality of the meat. The sauce should be thick, a little sweet and smoky, but not too rich, hot, tangy or spicy. If you like your barebecue sauce super, spicy-hot, then add some Habanero, jalapenos, Tabasco or Sriracha. Not everyone likes spicy barbecue sauce. Unless you’re cooking for just yourself, why not leave some room for tweaking it and heating it up for those who do? My wife brought home a bottle of Garland Jacks Secret Six barbecue sauce and here is what I thought about it:

Garland Jacks Secret Six Original Barbecue Sauce Taste Review

How do you find the best barbecue sauce in the world? You have to try them all! The first thing that stands out about Garland Jacks is that it has a very thick texture. The second thing I noticed about this barbecue sauce is its smoky aroma. The sauce smells smoky from the start and pours on very thick. This means that Garland Jacks is a great sauce to use for marinating ribs or barbecue beef at the very last minute when it doesn’t have time to thicken from the heat of the fire.  I really liked the taste of Garland Jacks Original recipe. In fact, I’d pass up a bottle of ketchup every time for this stuff. It’s great on french fries, hamburgers, barbecue ribs, pork, beef or anything else you can get your hands on.

Read more

Share Button
Our Reader Score
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Great Value Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips

Great Value Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips

Spicy Salsa-flavored Great Value Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips have unexpectedly become one of my favorite snacks. I realize the front lines of Walmart are chalk full of bargain-priced, junk-food snacks and I am usually hesitant to try any of them. But, for some reason, the image on the bag of rolled, spicy salsa corn chips caught my eye on this particular Sunday and I threw them into our shopping cart as an impulsive, after-thought to our week’s worth of groceries.  I don’t like to make a habit of snacks that are full of seasoning and preservatives, but for some reason, my instincts told me that these might taste pretty darn good. As it turns out, my premonition was spot-on. 

Just before cocktail hour, I was feeling hungry and so I ripped open the bag of the Great Value Rolled Corn Chips and immediately loved them. These crispy treats have an amazing crunch and texture. They are pretty well seasoned and salty, but not so much that you’ll want to stop eating them after one or two. The corn texture is very thick, crunchy and firm. In fact, they are nearly as crunchy as Corn Nuts. The robust, firm texture in Great Value rolled corn tortilla chips is what sets them apart from other, lesser snacks in my opinion. Is there anything more important than texture when it comes to enjoying a snack?

Read more

Share Button
Our Reader Score
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Smoked Sea Salt

Smoked Sea Salt

Smoke Makes Everything Taste Better

It is no secret to me why food tastes better when it is cooked out doors. Grilling food gives it that authentic smoky favor that is hard to duplicate inside a kitchen using an ordinary Stainless Steel or Teflon pan. Having a little smoke-flavor to meat is almost never a bad thing. Even sauces, potatoes, rice, pasta and soups can benefit greatly from a little bit of smokiness. However, getting that hint of smoke into the foods is not all that easy. Smoke sauces never taste authentic to me even when they claim to be made naturally, so I rarely ever use them. I have found one way to bring smoke into foods, however, that is not only 100% natural, but tastes good on everything I’ve tried:

The Smell alone is Worth its Salt

Salish, Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt by Saltworks is like discovering the magic of smoke and the Washington Pacific ocean in a bottle.  I spotted this stuff in my local King Sooper’s Grocery stores produce section. The Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt comes in bulk, sealed plastic containers, labeled, Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt. It sells for $23.99 per lb. A 34lb container of smoked sea salt cost me about $8.00, which seemed outrageously expensive at the time. One smell of the aroma after I took it home, however, completely changed my mind.

Breathing in the aroma of the smoked salt for the first time is like sitting at the northwest sea by a smoky campfire. In fact, this stuff smells so good, that I often open up the container just to get a whiff of it as I pass through the kitchen. Just smelling the smoked salt made my imagination go wild wondering how how and where it could be used. A more difficult test for the imagination is finding foods where sea salt should not be used. This stuff makes everything taste better.

Read more

Share Button
Our Reader Score
[Total: 1 Average: 5]