Monday, June 28, 2010

Passing Judgment - Snack Time

Trader Joe's (judged as a great grocery store) has a product I absolutely love, "Fiberful" fruit bars.* The bars are made of dried fruit with added fiber, rolled thin and formed into delicious, chewy bars. Fiberfuls come in multiple flavors such as apricot, passion fruit, strawberry, and mixed berry. I love to have these as an afternoon snack to keep me full until dinner.

Recently, while buying multiple bars in every flavor, I discovered a new Fiberful flavor, veggie.  Trader Joe's says, "Our new Fruit & Veggie Fiberful Bar takes that new standard to a higher level by including veggies with the fruit. The result is a great-tasting blend of apple, pumpkin, beet, carrot, broccoli, tomato & celery, with enough added fiber to bring the total to six grams in every bar!" I thought this idea might be gross, but I decided to try it. The veggie bar was fantastic! I loved the flavor which was a little sweet and generally well rounded and given that it has 6 grams of fiber, I should be full for a while.  Judged as super healthy and yummy snack. Way to go Trader Joe's!

*0 pts.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let's Move!

I am a firm believer that everyone should have healthy food accessible and available, especially children, which is why I am thrilled that Michelle Obama has taken on the issue with her Let's Move Campaign.  "Let’s Move will give parents the support they need, provide healthier food in schools, help our kids to be more physically active, and make healthy, affordable food available in every part of our country." This seems logical and something that we should have been doing all along, but haven't, finding it easier and less expensive to consume and provide processed foods.

One part of the campaign brings healthier food to schools while providing parents with recipes, tips, and resources for healthy cooking.  Earlier this month Obama brought hundreds of chefs to the White House to kick off the "Chefs Move to Schools" program which will bring chefs to their local schools in order to support healthier eating in their communities, "By creating healthy dishes that taste good, chefs have a unique ability to deliver these messages in a fun and appealing way to the larger audience, particularly children."  I judge this as a fantastic idea! As a teacher I spent many days in lunch duty observing the bought and brought lunches, realizing that the nutritional value was extremely poor if present at all. 

While I have high hopes for Let's Move, I think it is going to be a huge task with lots of red tape to get healthy food in school cafeterias (see the Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution) and affordable food to every part of the country, but if anyone can make it happen it's Michelle Obama.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Passing Judgment

Recently my friends and I went to Vapiano for dinner, "Somewhere between the nicest of fast casual and hippest of casual dining restaurants is VAPIANO. " Yes, this is the sentence they wrote, it doesn't seem to make sense and I am pretty sure they left out some words.  The main point of this sentence is that Vapiano is a really hip and fun way to get good food fast.

The decor was modern with potted herbs lining the walls and long tables surrounded by stools.  When you first arrive you receive a card and then go up to either the pizza, pasta, or salad stations to order. Upon finishing your order, you swipe your card and the dish is added.

My friends ordered the pizza and a salad while I ordered the wheat pasta with pesto sauce.  They said their pizza was good, though not exceptional.  The pasta was a little overcooked; however, the pesto sauce was great.  When I ordered the pesto sauce they put freshly pureed basil in a pan with freshly diced garlic, olive oil, and a few extra pine nuts.  Judged as okay food, with healthy options.

When we were done with our meal we went to the register, handed the hostess our cards, and paid for our individual meals on our cards.  My friends pointed out that because of the ordering and card system Vapiano is a great place to have dinner or lunch with a group -  people can order when they arrive and there is no check to divvy up at the end. Vapiano is also located near the Ballston Metro. Judged a  good place for groups with a hip atmosphere.