By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tips to spice up meals
Lunch a go-go Fit & Fresh’s Smart Portion Chill Containers will fit into small lunch bags or purses, and the measures are easy to read. Best of all are the super-thin ice packs that snap into the lid. A set contains four 2-cup containers with multi-colored lids and 2 ice packs, and costs $9-$10 at Target and by mail ( or 800-421-1223). Frozen finesse Jeni’s sweet corn with blackberry ice cream is as odd sounding as it is fabulous, and just one of the flavors in Ohio pastry chef Jeni Britton’s arsenal of ice creams and sorbets. The ultra-premium treats — many using seasonal ingredients — also include salty caramel, black walnut and riesling-pear sorbet. Six pints cost $70; but two-day shipping is just $10. Mail-order only: Chew on this Chewy Granola Bars with Protein from Quaker can satisfy a craving without tanking a diet. Each bar (nutty peanut butter or peanut butter and chocolate) contains 5 grams of protein but just 110 calories. A box of 8 bars costs $2.70-$3.50 at local grocers. A whole new twist on whole grain pasta At last, encouraging financial news: Getting those FDA-recommended 48 grams of healthful whole grains daily can be cheap. Supermarket brands Barilla, Ronzoni and Mueuller’s make whole-grain rotini that passes the test for taste, texture and nutrition, and they’re well-priced, too.Barilla Whole Grain Rotini ($1.55, 13.25 ounces), made with whole wheat and oat fiber, offers 28 grams of whole grains per serving. Unlike the first wave of whole grain pastas, which skewed either toward gravelly or gluey, Barilla cooks up delightfully al dente with a flavor that’s slightly nutty but subtle, making it game for any sauce. Each serving contains 200 calories, 7 protein grams and 6 fiber grams — triple the fiber in regular semolina pasta.Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Blend Rotini ($1.79, 13.25 ounces) gives you more whole grains per serving (34 grams), plus 360 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, thanks to the addition of flaxseed meal. It also has a more in-your-face wheat flavor and a coarser texture. It works best tossed with lots of vegetables and a bolder sauce like a zesty arabiata. It equals Barilla in fiber and protein content with 20 fewer calories per serving (180).Mueller’s Whole Grain Rotini ($1.39, 12 ounces) delivers the entire 48-gram recommended daily allowance of whole grains in a single serving, along with 190 calories, 8 protein grams and 5 fiber grams. The neutral-tasting noodle is a bit too chewy and sits a tad heavy in the stomach, but hey, a bargain is a bargain.You can spend more than twice as much yet wind up with less. On paper, Hodgson Mills Spirals ($2.89, 10 ounces) has everything you’d want in a whole grain pasta. The pasta is organic and flaxseed-enriched, with an excellent 500 milligrams omega-3 per serving as well as 215 calories, 8 protein grams and 6 fiber grams. However, these taupe, tightly coiled twists have a texture and taste reminiscent of old rubber bands.Go for value. Barilla, Healthy Harvest and Mueller’s won’t cure our economic woes, but they deliver great grains for less green. Bank on it.— McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Sign up for our e-newsletters