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Food

Consumer Product Review: Bagel Bites Are Delicious Mini Pizzas

After years of seeing them in the frozen food sections of the various supermarkets where I shop, I finally tried eating Bagel Bites (R) this week. I must say, the quality and taste of these mini bagel pizzas surprised me. The mini- bagels themselves are quite palatable and not at all overly- chewy, as I expected them to be. In fact, the Bagel Bites (R) mini- bagels seem to maintain a fresh, pleasurable texture very similar to the bagels that I normally buy at the supemarket deli.

The taste offered by the Bagel Bites (R) blew me away. Being a pizza- fanatic, the reason that I bought the Bagel Bites (R) was because they are essentially mini- pizzas, which use miniature bagels as a crust, or platform. Until I ate them, the whole concept of mini- bagel pizzas seemed strange to me and I thought that the tastes and textures might clash. I certainly was wrong. These little pizzas are delicious.

I must confess that I am a huge fan of frozen foods. Their convenience and quality control certainly appeal to me, although I am aware that many frozen foods are obscenely high in sodium, sugar and fat levels. Not so with Bagel Bites (R). Upon examining the nutrition labels on the two packages of Bagel Bites (R) that I purchased, I was pleased to see that they are quite low in levels of calories, fat and sugars.

Like with many other supermarket items that I try, it was because a weekly sales circular from a local supermarket chain contained a discount coupon for Bagel Bites (R) that impeled me to purchase them.The supermarket where I purchased these mini- pizzas had five different varieties of Bagel Bites (R) in- stock and each variety looked absolutely delightful.

After much scrutiny, I decided to buy one box of the nine- count Cheese, Sausage amp; Pepperoni and one box of the nine- count Supreme Bagel Bites (R), using the coupon for one box and paying the reasonable full price for the other. I couldn’t wait to get home to sample these little pizza pies.

When it was time to cook the Bagel Bites (R), I removed three “Bites” from each box and placed them on an aluminum baking sheet. The cute little bagel- pizzas were coated with an adequate amount of real cheese and nice little pieces of sausage, pepperoni and red and green peppers. In a 350* oven, I cooked the mini- pizzas for approximately 12 minutes, until the cheese on each bagel was fully- melted and the aroma of tasty pizza filled my kitchen.

I had to restrain myself from removing one of the Bagel Bites (R) from the oven before they were done, because they smelled so wonderful. Before I even took a single bite, I noticed that the aroma given off by these frozen items smelled very much like a real, quality pizza.

As I sat down to eat the Bagel Bites (R), I noticed that the cheese was melted nicely over the other ingredients and that the other topping ingredients looked as if they were of high- quality. Upon first bite of the Cheese, Sausage amp; Pepperoni Bagel Bite (R), I was amazed at how truly delicious the mini- pizza tasted.

The tomato sauce contained a nice, zesty flavor that was a great complement to the fresh- tasting, real, creamy cheese and the sausage and pepperoni tasted just as flavorful as similar toppings on the highest- quality frozen pies.

The Supreme variety of Bagel Bites (R) possessed the same agreeable texture and flavorful pizza sauce as the Cheese, Sausage amp; Pepperoni variety, but the addition of the red and green peppers made this variety sing- out with a pizza parlor- like taste that absolutely floored me. I am now so impressed with the flavor, texture, convenience and reasonable price of Bagel Bites, that I am proud to say that they have become one of my new favorite frozen food items.

Nutritionally, the Cheese, Sausage amp; Pepperoni variety of Bagel Bites (R) contain 210 calories, with 60 calories from fat, per four- piece (88g) serving. The Supreme variety of Bagel Bites (R) contain 200 calories, with 50 calories from fat, per four- piece (88g) serving.

Made with real cheese, Bagel Bites (R) are baked not fried and contain 0 grams of trans fat per serving. All things considered, Bagel Bites (R) are truly delicious snacks that this food writer heartily recommends.

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Food

Best Mexican Food In Midland, Texas

For a city with a population just over 100,000, Midland, Texas offers a nice array of dining choices for those with finer tastes as well as someone looking for a grab-and-go lunch. Mexican food is no exception. Below is a short sampler of restaurants serving up good Mexican food at reasonable prices. In no particular order, and of my opinion only:

Martinez Bakery

Most famous for their tortas, Mexican-style sandwiches, and their great selection of pastries. This local bakery and restaurant is very consistent in serving traditional Mexican food at reasonable prices. Besides tortas, the restaurant also offers burritos, tacos and other local favorites. The bakery offers preservative-free pastries baked fresh daily.

206 E. Florida, 
Midland, TX 
79701

(432)-618-0589

Rosa’s Café

With three locations in Midland, Rosa’s Café is a local favorite for parents and teens alike. Seen by some as a local hangout, and others as a family tradition, Rosa’s, as it is affectionately referred to, serves up fresh tortillas, enchiladas, fajitas, tacos and other favorites. As far as being “real” Mexican food, that is largely up for debate. The food is more Tex-Mex, but it is undeniable that it is more than satisfying. For fast-food style Mexican food, the prices are a little steep, but it is still a local favorite serving up great food daily.

On the Border Mexican Grill amp; Cantina

This casual family-style restaurant serves up some of the best Mexican food and a chips and salsa that should never end. Also offered are appetizers, soups, salads, healthy choices, grilled items, a “taco stand” to choose from a variety of different tacos selections and dessert. Some favorites to look out for are the chicken and sour cream enchiladas, empanadas, quesadillas, fajitas and pretty much anything off the grill.

4306 W. Loop 250 N., Midland, TX 79707

(432)-694-9922

Jorge’s Mexican Cafe

Jorge’s, with two locations in Midland and one in Odessa, offers daily drink and lunch specials. Weekends also set up for early morning breakfast specials to be enjoyed.

There will be many who disagree, but for me, Jorge’s hands down has the best chicken enchiladas with green sauce. There is absolutely no comparison. The enchiladas alone put Jorge’s on my “best” list. A close second is their chile rellenos and fajitas.

Taco Villa

With three convenient locations in Midland, Taco Villa is one of the best grab-and-go stops for great Mexican food. It’s cheap, it’s fast and it’s always good. The meat burritos are the one of life’s simpler pleasures. The tacos, fajita burritos, fried apple burritos and family pack meals never fail to please even the pickiest of eaters.

Vickie’s Burritos

Located just outside of downtown Midland, Vickie’s Burritos is a like a hidden gem. Cheap and delicious, there is no better combination. The breakfast burritos are great in bacon or chorizo. A personal favorite is their steak, potato and cheese burritos. I can eat them for weeks on end.

406 N. Terrell St., Midland, TX(432)-686-7234

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Food

Best Vegetarian Thai/Pan Asian Food in Seattle, Washington

Vegetarians typically have a limited amount of dining choices when it comes to eating out in the Seattle, Washington area. However, if it’s Thai food that they are seeking, then their vegetarian options are more abundant.

Thai food is delicious as well as a healthy alternative to those who do not eat meat. Thai food focuses mainly on deep sauces mixed with vegetables and some form of noodle. Tofu is a popular ingredient in many Thai cuisines such as basil fried rice; Phad Thai and vegetable stir fry dishes.

Many “vegetarian friendly” restaurants end up having very limited vegetarian choices and leave customers in a huff. However, there are two vegetarian Thai restaurants that stand out above the rest and should be visited by those who are vegetarian, or want to be vegetarian for a day.

Araya

Araya is located on the corner of 11th avenue and NE 45th street and is within the heart of the University District. People who are used to eating a lot of meat dishes will realize that they are not missing out on the meat when they go to this restaurant. The secret to success in any vegetarian restaurant is that the food needs to be flavorful without the addition of meat.

The most popular dish at any Thai restaurant is the Phad Thai dish. Phad Thai is made with Thai spices, rice noodles, peanuts, tofu, egg and an assortment of vegetables. Besides noodle dishes, Araya serves a variety of curry dishes with zesty curry paste and coconut milk. The menu variety alone is enough to impress many vegetarians and will leave the appalled at the amount of choices that they have.

Teapot

The Teapot is located on the corner of E. Thomas St and 15th Ave E in the Capitol Hill area. The Teapot focuses on Pan-Asian cuisine such as Thai, Indonesian, Singaporean, Japanese and Chinese. All the food here is vegan, meaning that all the cuisine is prepared without milk, egg, meat, or animal products. Many people are apprehensive when they hear the word “vegan”.

However, after having one bite of Teapot’s “Vegan Cheesecake”, all apprehension will melt away. The Vegan Cheesecake is to die for and taste exactly like cheesecake (without all the fat!). The menu is expansive and includes anything that a regular Asian restaurant would carry (except meat dishes).

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Food

How To Transform An Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich Into A More Exciting Sandwich!

An egg mayonnaise sandwich is a comfort food that is easy to prepare and is tasty into the bargain. But it can also get boring after a while if you use the same old ingredients every time, sliced eggs, mayonnaise and two slices of bread. This article will offer some alternative ways to enjoy the traditional egg mayonnaise sandwich that will be sure to please.

Rather than using your normal brand of full fat mayonnaise, why not use reduced fat ranch or blue cheese dressing? As you chop or slice the eggs, place a small amount of the dressing onto the bread, and spread it as you would with butter.

Alternatively, just place a tablespoon of ranch or blue cheese dressing onto the top of the eggs. It’s surprising how different the egg mayonnaise sandwich will taste. It will still taste good and refreshing, but it will not be full of fat. This is a healthier alternative to the traditional egg mayonnaise sandwich.

When I make an egg mayonnaise sandwich, I also add vegetables to the egg and dressing mixture before applying it to the bread. Thinly sliced celery, green pepper or even sliced mushrooms will work well.

When all the ingredients have been blended together, season it with black pepper or a sprinkling of herbs. It gives the egg mayonnaise sandwich a crunchy texture, plus, you can squeeze in some vegetables too.

An egg mayonnaise sandwich does not have to be out of bounds for people who are watching their cholesterol levels. If you choose to use an egg alternative, such as Egg Beaters, you can still enjoy the genuine taste of real eggs, but without the cholesterol content.

Simply pour a small amount into the pan and cook as you would scrambled eggs. Once the mixture has cooled down, mix in your dressing, and/ or mayonnaise and any other ingredients you wish to add. Season the mixture and then add it to your bread.

When preparing an egg mayonnaise sandwich, you do not have to use 2 slices of bread. Try alternatives such as pita bread, chapattis (Indian bread), naan (Indian bread) and other types of bread. Cut the bread lengthways and stuff the prepared egg mayonnaise into the middle of the bread.

You can also finish this off with lettuce, sliced onion, tomato and meat. An egg mayonnaise sandwich can be easily transformed into a more exciting and tasty meal option if you just use your imagination and add your favourite ingredients.

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Food

Canned Foods “Can” Be Healthy!

The latest controversy about canned food is BPA–Bisphenol-A–leaching into foods from the lining of cans. A 2004 study by the CDC-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-revealed that this hormone disrupting chemical can found in the bodies of 95% of Americans.

The plastics industry says that a little BPA is not harmful. (www.Bisphenol-A.org). However, there is much contradictory data from watchdog agencies such as: www.environmentalhealthnews.org or www.bisphenolafree.org.

What canned foods are safe?

First, anything in glass jars or paper boxes will not contain BPA. This includes many of the spaghetti sauces, salad dressings, oils, fruits, jams, soups, alternative milks (soy, almond, rice, coconut) and juices, Pomi tomatoes in boxes, or BioNature tomatoes in glass jars.

Some of the foods that are actually in cans are also safe because the companies have taken the initiative to provide BPA-free cans. Here is a partial list:

Eden beans, and rice and beans, Bearitos refried beans, Vital Choice salmon, Native Forest coconut milk, and pineapple, Wild Planet light tuna, Trader Joe’s canned vegetables-corn, beans, chicken, seafood, (their chili and soups are not in BPA free cans,)

Imagine, Pacific and Kirkland boxed soups and broths. Muir Glen states that they are “in transition” regarding BPA free cans, so watch for specific products.

Canned foods like the ones I have listed are a wonderful convenience. Who has time to cook their own tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes? Or cook a pot of beans all day? Or make your own chicken, vegetable or meat stock for soup? And who doesn’t love a good tuna or salmon salad? Canned fish keeps all its food value, even when canned, and is a great source of protein.

All of these foods are wonderful for winter meals. I think I’ll go open up a box of organic butternut squash soup, and a can of refried black beans!