Category Archives: Frozen

Garden Lite Vegetable Soufflé

Two amazing things have happened to me so far in 2012, and both of them happened yesterday, on January 2nd. I can’t say I’m surprised. The date was 1/2/12, and though I have never believed that dates like 11/11/11 hold any sort of significance or are the slightest bit interesting, yesterday’s occurrences may have me singing a different tune.

It wasn’t supposed to be a phenomenal day. I was in Philadelphia visiting my grandparents, and since my mom had insisted on bringing our two dogs with us on the trip, I was covered in white fur and one of the dogs clawed a hold in my tights. I know I was annoyed about the dog hair, and I was even more annoyed when we went to a diner for lunch and it took so long to get our soup that I had to really threaten the waitress. I didn’t want to have to fight with a waitress so early into the New Year, but when I finally did get my soup it was freezing, and I couldn’t hold back. “What’s your name?” I asked her. “Sarah,” she said. “Well,” I said, winding up for the big moment, “well Sarah, I’m gonna Yelp you!” It must’ve scared her a bit because she was very apologetic (though not at all faster) throughout the rest of the meal. Covered in dog hair and filled with frozen soup, my day could’ve just gone done in my personal history as a pretty mediocre day.

But then I got a text from my friend, Jess. “G- are you watching Lying Game tonight?” I nearly fell out of the car. I don’t know how I forgot. I’ve been waiting for this moment for months, since the fall finale of Lying Games way back in October. Yes, Lying Game may be part of ABC Family’s teen-heavy Monday night line-up, and I know I may be a few years out of high school, but not since season 1 of Gossip Girl has there been a show so wonderfully intriguing. I made it back to my parents’ house on Long Island in time for the show, and I am still thinking about it now, 12 hours later.

It was around 9pm last night that the second amazing event of my day happened. I was hungry while I was watching Lying Game, and during a commercial break I ran down to the kitchen for a snack. I found some weird frozen package in the freezer: Garden Lite Zucchini Soufflé. I wasn’t particularly interested in a frozen vegetable soufflé, but when one of the twins in Lying Game, Sutton Mercer, is missing one has to get back to the TV to see what happens next.  So I put the soufflé in the microwave for 3 minutes, really not expecting anything good to come from this. Boy how I was wrong. With only 140 calories, the soufflé is a good size, and it is AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS. I can’t stress this enough. It tastes creamy and like you are eating something made at a bakery. They come in many varieties– zucchini, spinach, butternut squash, roasted vegetable, cauliflower– and I can’t wait to set up a smorgasbord so I can sample them all.

I know this is a bold statement, but I think that out of all the snacks I’ve ever recommended this is the one I most wholeheartedly urge you to try. Either it was really that life-changing, or I was just too excited by Lying Games to recognize any flaws. Which is totally possible.

This will have to become my weekly Lying Game snack

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Frozen Grapes

I think it’s common knowledge that the grape is a pretty average fruit. Eating a grape certainly doesn’t leave you feeling refreshed, like eating a sweet summer watermelon does, and the grape does not possess the apple’s uncanny ability to capture the essence of an entire season with one crisp bite. Grapes don’t have a category, they don’t have a season. Grapes are just…grapes– and as I’m not usually one to settle for mediocrity, I tend to reach for a fruit that’s a bit less, um, pedestrian, when perusing the produce section.

But this was all before I discovered frozen grapes. Frozen grapes are not a new product; they are just ordinary grapes that have been in the freezer for a few hours. It’s hard to believe that the simple act of freezing can transform this uninspired fruit into something that tastes so regal. That’s right. Frozen grapes actually taste like royalty.

Like swallowing velvet.

Non-frozen grapes often taste dry and chalky, but put your grapes in the freezer and they’ll taste like velvet. One of the biggest problems with eating grapes at room temperature is that you run the risk of accidentally grabbing a soft, soggy one. Just stick your grapes in the freezer and problem solved! When frozen, grapes don’t become rock-hard as one might expect. Instead they have a pleasantly firm outside while the inside has a bit of a crunch but still retains its juiciness. Frozen grapes are like the french fries of fruit.

Just remember to dry the grapes before you put them in your freezer…

I forgot to dry them before I put them in my freezer....

Sugar-Free Popsicles

The only thing I love more than a sweet, low-calorie, frozen treat is a sweet, low-calorie, frozen treat that I can eat using only one hand (Shopbop isn’t gonna browse itself, people). And there are even more advantages to sugar-free popsicles. You don’t need a plate, which means you don’t have to wash said plate; it takes a while to eat just one (the Holy Grail of low-calorie food qualities!); and the colors are so bright and pretty, just like me.

You can have the whole box for 180 calories! But...maybe don't.

Popsicles are the perfect snack to eat while you’re at a computer, it’s like they were made for an office or study-room setting. I don’t even want to tell you how many of these I ate during college. Sometimes I stocked up on so many I’d have to take them out of the box in order to fit them all into my freezer (though admittedly, most of my other groceries had to go into the freezer as well). The brand of fruit-flavored popsicles that I always bought and highly recommend is the Popsicle brand, since who could possibly make better popsicles than the company NAMED “Popsicle”?! They only have 15 calories per popsicle, and absolutely zero of anything else remotely nutritious but who cares? Sure, they aren’t the “real fruit” ones with “no preservatives” or whatever, but come on, get over yourself–who are you, Michael Pollan?

And if you eat enough of them, you can make a popsicle-stick house, which could be one of those quirky conversation-starters that you use when you feel uncomfortable at a party.

100 Calorie Packs- Cinnamon Coffee Cakes

On Saturday I shattered the screen of my iPhone. On Sunday I lost my entire wallet. And now it’s Monday. Broken phone + no wallet + Monday= the trifecta of unhappiness. I am less than enthused to go to work this morning.

But as I was watching the Today Show this morning, sulking about the impending work day and the fact that Kathie Lee and Hoda come on an hour too late for me to catch them, I remembered something incredible: last week, I put a box of 100 calorie Cinnamon Coffee Cakes in my fridge. My day is beginning to turn around!

Good morning!

I’m a big fan of 100 calorie packs in general– low in calories and fat, perfectly portioned, a ton of varieties– what’s not to love?! For years I’ve been loyal to the Chips Ahoy 100 cal pack, but last winter I discovered Cinnamon Coffee Cakes, and I haven’t looked back since. There are 3 cakes per pack, each one so small and so delicate it’s like eating a petit delicious cloud. They are lovely. The Cinnamon Coffee Cakes are sweet and they work great as an afternoon snack, but this is a very versatile treat. I ate a pack this morning while waiting for Al Roker to inform me whether or not I needed to wear a jacket today, and it was a wonderfully surprising breakfast! Just throw a pack in your bag and you’re good to go!

I suppose most people store coffee cakes in their kitchen at room temperature, but a friend of mine once shared with me the trick of keeping 100 cal coffee cakes in my fridge. A cold coffee cake is a whole new kind of snack, but these coffee cakes are good any time of day, at any temperature!

Arctic Zero

THURSDAY 

It’s 45 degrees and raining outside; I wore gloves on my walk to work this morning; we have the heat on in the office; and all I want in the whole world is ice cream (and a red wool jacket from J.Crew, a new pair of black over-the-knee boots, and an unlimited gift card to Shopbop.com); but mostly ice cream.

I knew it was too good to be true...

My craving for a freezing treat is especially odd not only because Al Roker warned us just this morning that winter is on its way, but also due to the fact that I NEVER eat ice cream. I do not like it. I never have. My mom used to order Italian ices AND ice cream for my birthday parties when I was little– ices for me and ice cream for my guests.

I assume that this cold-weather-ice-cream-dreaming is some Freudian regression to make up for all the ice cream cones I rejected during my childhood, and I refuse to deny myself the delicacy I hear that ice cream is for one more second. Twenty-three and a half years is long enough!!

I’d love a pint of Ben & Jerry’s right now, but let’s be honest:  I’m no spring chicken anymore. Full-fat ice cream will do nothing for my waistline, and so I lament my fleeting youthfulness with a more reasonable serving of Arctic Zero. One pint of Arctic Zero contains just 150 calories– that’s less than one Luna Bar!! And Arctic Zero is fat free, low in sugar, and comes in eight flavors.

Despite the efforts of whoever designed the Arctic Zero container (putting “150 Calories per Pint” front and center was a seriously clever marketing move), swallowing a spoonful of this “ice cream” is more akin to sniffing a petite square of chocolate or chomping on a single coffee bean than savoring a sundae.

While Arctic Zero is essentially just chocolate flavored ice, when you’re craving ice cream this (kind of) does the trick.