Thursday, October 29, 2009
BEST PACKAGED FOODS
Sabra Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
Velvety hummus kicked up with sun-dried tomato. Fights heart disease; promotes weight loss.
Per 2 Tbsp: 60 cal, 5 g fat (0 g sat), 3 g carbs, 140 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein
Taste Test: Classic Flavor Hummus Dip
Our volunteers tested 10 different samples of classic flavor hummus
The word means chickpea in Arabic, but to us, it’s a luscious Middle Eastern dip. Until the mid-1990s, hummus was unfamiliar to many Americans; now it’s a multimillion-dollar industry. No wonder — made nutty and tangy by its blend of chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon, hummus is perfect as a snack or as part of a meal. Bonus: It’s low in saturated fat, full of fiber, and rich in protein. We found countless variations, from horseradish to chipotle. To keep it simple, we stuck to the classic flavor of five national brands. Our volunteers tried 10 different samples — while some left tasters complaining of “sour” flavors and “pasty” textures, the winners were so good, we couldn’t stop eating. Dig into these results.
First place: Two Sabra varieties, Chunky Hummus and Hummus & Tahini, tied for top billing (despite their names, these are Sabra’s “basic” versions). What split the vote was texture: Some tasters went for creamy, while others preferred chunky. Volunteers found both types “bright” and “flavorful,” with the natural tastes of chickpea and sesame shining through.
Big Bite: Hummus
Hummus or hummos—however it's spelled on the packaging, these chickpea spreads are the best of the bunch.
Sabra Sun Dried Tomatoes Hummus
Sun-dried tomatoes are the center of attention here. A "supersmooth" chickpea base orbits "chewy, bright bits" of tomato. Just don’t let the crudités platter have all the fun: One taster raved that this "full-bodied and intense" hummus would add much-needed zest to a turkey sandwich. ($4 for 10 ounces, available at most grocery stores)
More On Sabra Hummus Coupon
A subscriber had a question about this week’s Sabra coupon (save $1.50 on Sabra hummus in Vol. 284). She was hesitant to print the coupon for fear that she would be automatically added to Sabra’s mailing list. This didn’t sound right to me, so I checked with Sabra and their answer is no–but if you want to, you can sign up for their mailiing list on their fan site. You can also follow sabra on Twitter @sabrahummus.
Sabra Hummus vs. Simply Enjoy — NO Comparrison
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Sabra Hummus is the best commercial hummus I have found to date. I have pretty much tried all the traditional store brands you can get in this area, as well as some in NJ, OH and FL. Nothing compares to Sabra and some brands are downright inedible (especially those in OH and FL — people must not eat hummus there).
So… when I was shopping at Stop & Shop in Dedham and saw that they had come out with a Simply Enjoy brand of hummus — which, incidentally, was located right next to the Sabra brand and comes in the exact same size and shaped container… I figured, why not? It was almost a dollar cheaper and I have had rather good results and success with S & S’s Simply Enjoy brand.
I finished up the existing Sabra container I had by wiping the remnants up with my pita. Pure goodness…
Then I cracked open the Simply Enjoy brand, dragged my finger right through the middle of the container (hey, I was home alone… no one has to know, okay?) and took a taste….
AWFUL… Inedible… It even smelled bad. The conatiner is still in my ‘fridge and will most likely land itself in the sink soon — to be rinsed out and recycled. I can’t eat the stuff.
It was bitter, not creamy enough and just didn’t taste good. It was acutally quite bad. I will not be buying it again and will continue to cough up the ridiculous cost of Sabra because it’s just that good.
Sabra Hummus Breaks National Campaign
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Sabra, a hummus brand partially owned by Frito-Lay, is launching its first national ad campaign this month, an effort that beckons consumers to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean without leaving home.
The TV, print and online campaign is also the first from New York agency StrawberryFrog. The campaign aims to acknowledge the clichés of traditional food advertising but subvert them by taking an unexpected direction.
A TV ad, for instance, shows a middle-aged couple sampling the hummus along with some wine as they observe a sunset. "It's like our own Mediterranean vacation," says the father. A second later, an object comes crashing through a window behind them and it is made clear that they are at home and their teenage son is throwing a party. "I thought you said your parents were in the Mediterranean," one partygoer then mutters under his breath to the boy.
With growth of more than 50 percent last year, the Astoria, New York-based brand, which is also co-owned by the Strauss Group, hopes to ride the eat-at-home trend and a movement by U.S. consumers towards more exotic foods. "We hope to spark a movement through this campaign inspiring consumers to experience the world through the sounds, cultures and foods of the world right in their own homes," said Rodrigo Troni, CMO of Sabra Dipping Co., in a written statement.
Frito-Lay, a unit of PepsiCo, formed a joint venture with the Strauss Group in 2007, as Frito-Lay attempted to expand its portfolio of healthier snack foods. Hummus is said to use "healthier oils" than most snacks and contains no trans fats.
Tribe Vs. Sabra Hummus
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
"I already knew I was in love with Sabra from the start but wanted to see how it compared. It had a much better flavor to me. It tasted more natural and was also much creamier in texture. The boy also agreed with me that Sabra was much better."
Read the full article here
Sabra Hummus (Give Away)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Winner will receive VIP coupons for 4 containers of Sabra Hummus and a $25 gift card to use for veggies, chips, and any other supplies for their party.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Sabra Hummus Dips Giveaway
October 18, 2009
I used to be one that didn't try new foods, but since having my kids I have tried to be more open minded. I don't want them to be as picky as I was growing up. Sabra invited me to host a party to introduce people to their Sabra Hummus Dips. I was sent 4 coupons to purchase their products for my get together. I selected the garlic, classic, roasted red pepper and roasted pine nut flavors. I was so disappointed that my supermarket didn't carry the jalapeno hummus. For our dipping pleasure I chose Stacy's Pita chips, Veggie Chips and Wheatables. Hungry yet??
In case you haven't heard of Sabra before, let me tell you a little about them. Sabra Hummus is very nutritious and heart healthy. It contains no fat or cholesterol. Sabra Hummus offers more than 26 Mediterranean spreads and dips nationwide. They come in 7oz, 10oz and 14oz tubs just perfect for entertaining or snacking. They have even recently made "to go" servings for individual use. It includes pretzels for dipping.
The consensus at the party was that they were very tasty. They had a nice creamy texture and they all loved the different flavors. The Roasted Red Pepper was my favorite of the four. If I could have gotten the Jalapeno or Chipotle flavors, I am sure one of them would have been my favorite. I won't say I will personally be purchasing them for everyday snacks, but for entertaining they were a hit! Remember, I am a picky eater. I will say that everyone else at the party enjoyed them. Hey, I said I was trying to get better about what I eat.
If you want to try Sabra Hummus Dips, you can purchase them at your local supermarket and specialty stores.
Snazzy Sundays - Simple Pleasures
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I love a lazy Sunday where you're able to kick back and just enjoy being at home. It's even better when you can do this on a super chilly or rainy day. I always have hummus, crackers and wine which can become an instant way to relax while working online, reading or whatever it is that you're up to. Earlier this summer, I was able to try Yuca Crackers. Although I tried various recipes, I have to say that this organic gluten free cracker is best enjoyed with hummus. When it comes to hummus, I love Sabra - you can't go wrong with any of their flavors. Even when you're alone, you can enjoy a nice glass of wine and there's no reason to save your favorite glasses until you have company, I love the Mara glass from Crate and Barrel. The coasters are a great way to keep track of whose glass is whose or if you and your boyfriend are enjoying it, you can have your own wine tasting. These coasters have chalk that comes with the set so whether you're writing your name, the vineyard or kind of wine - it's easily identified. Make Sun special before you head back into a crazy week!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Healthy Grocery List
October 8, 2009
To Market, To Market
Cooking and preparing my own meals is a huge part of my life. I am sure I sound like a broken record, but it’s the number one suggestion I have for people when it comes to taking control of your health. It’s economical, it’s healthy, it’s political, it’s empowering!
But the fact is, you can’t cook without a well-stocked kitchen. While grocery shopping and meal planning may seem overwhelming, I’ve finally come to understand the meaning of the word “staples.” Most recipes and dishes contain the same basic ingredients. I’m to the point now where, yes, I plan meals for the week, and I keep track of the few special ingredients I may need on my Blackberry, but 99 percent of the time, I can head to the grocery store without a list. And almost all the meals and recipes I post here use these basics.
I absolutely love grocery shopping; I love to wander the aisles, taking my time, reading labels…I always walk out renewed and stress-free. It’s my church. So…I thought I’d share my list! I noted brand names when I am particularly loyal to a certain brand; otherwise, I buy what’s on sale or experiment with new brands. Also this is my list whether I’m cooking for one or for four; the only major difference when I lived alone is that I bought less of everything — particularly less meat. Meat is pricey, and it takes a single girl much longer to eat a pound of it.
- Fresh vegetables: romaine lettuce, cucumbers, baby carrots, broccoli, celery, green peppers, red/yellow/orange peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, lemons, limes. These are the cheap raw veggies that I always need handy for salads, wraps, or for a crunchy lunch side.
- Fresh fruits: apples, bananas, peaches. Again, usually not too expensive, so I can buy a lot — I generally eat one of each every day!
- Canned goods: no-salt-added canned diced tomatoes are indispensable!! Ahhh! I usually buy two or three cans a week; they can turn almost anything into a legit meal. Also in this aisle: canned pumpkin, several cans of black beans and chickpeas, a can of light tuna, and a couple cans of soup. I love canned stuff because it’s not expensive and it keeps for a while; I definitely buy low/no-sodium though.
- Dairy: skim/soy milk, a 16-ounce container of fat-free plain organic yogurt, one type of inexpensive, reduced-fat cheese (like shredded Mexican, good Parmesan, or crumbled feta). The plain yogurt is a great snack and can be used in dips, sauces, and as a sour cream substitute. Whichever cheese you go with, try to plan meals that are in that flavor family that week.
- Liquid egg whites
- Bread: whole-wheat English muffins and one type of “lunch” bread (wraps, whole-wheat wraps, bread, buns, etc.). I try to change it up weekly.
- Protein: skinless chicken breasts, 96 percent lean ground beef, all-lean ground turkey breast, lean pork chops
- Fresh herbs: parsley, cilantro, basil. Herbs aren’t expensive, but they often get wasted because the bunches are rather big. I usually just choose one per week.
- Kashi Heart to Heart frozen waffles
- Garlic, sweet potatoes, red and white onions (these keep long enough to buy every couple weeks)
- A head of cauliflower, jicama, mushrooms, bagged fresh spinach, green onions, avocado (I like them, but I can go without them for longer)
- Thinly sliced deli turkey (same – I can survive meatless lunches or revamp leftovers from dinner)
- Morningstar original veggie burgers or black bean burgers
- Grains: brown rice, couscous, Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta (again, they last a while)
- An additional variety of fruit, based on what looks good, sounds good, or is just on sale.
- Luna or Larabars
- A few single-serving containers of fat-free or reduced-fat Greek yogurt
- A bag of Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips
- Sabra hummus
- Frozen salmon burgers or frozen salmon fillets
- Jarred pasta sauce (usually Newman’s Own)
- Trader Joe’s garlic chicken sausage
- Light firm tofu
- No sodium chicken and veggie broth
Once-a-Month (or less) Items
- Olive oil and canola oil
- Old-fashioned oats
- Balsamic vinegar and apple cider vinegar
- All-natural BBQ sauce
- A bottle of Newman’s Own Lighten Up! Dressing
- Bulk almonds
- Spicy brown mustard
- Two bags of frozen fruit; I mix up the varieties, depending on how the fresh fruit looks, but I like frozen peaches, cherries, bluebs, and strawbs for smoothies.
- Frozen broccoli and a few frozen ready-to-steam Green Giant veggie sides
- A few Amy’s frozen burritos
- Pre-ground spices: cinnamon, garlic, nutmeg, thyme, cumin, curry powder, basil, rosemary, lemon pepper, sea salt. If you don’t have a lot of spices yet, buy them a few at a time. The good thing is they keep for a year!
- A couple cans of light coconut milk.
- Almond butter
- Frozen shrimp
- One box of a healthy cereal or granola
- Cocoa powder
- Whole-wheat flour
- Coffee and tea
So-You-Worked-Some Overtime Items
- A second type of nut butter
- More fresh fruit
- More exotic/recipe-specific veggies
- Boxed snacks – Kashi TLC bars, Bear Naked granola, crackers, etc. These items tend to be pricey, so I just don’t eat them every day.
- Frozen shelled edamame
- Fresh fish
- A block of really good cheese
After a few years of experimenting, this is what I stick with to be as healthy and budget-conscious as possible. I’ve learned that I waste bread if I buy too many varieties of it. From the dairy to the deli, I only buy enough to use. I can count how many days are in a week. If I’m buying tofu, then I’m not buying beef. I know how many lunches I can get out of a pound of chicken breasts. That extra-few-minutes thought process has really helped me save money. I’ve also learned that it’s cheaper to make snacks out of whole foods (like fruits, cottage cheese, and nuts) than it is to buy the packaged stuff for convenience. I’ve stopped relying so much on frozen meals, but it’s good to have on hand, and when I’m broke, my frozen-to-fresh ratio for fruits and veggies definitely shifts heavily to the cold stuff. I also don’t buy ice cream or frozen bars; I think it’s overpriced and I prefer treats made from scratch and just plain fruit. Obviously this reflects my personal tastes to a degree, but you know how I eat — now you can see how I shop. When you have a well-stocked kitchen, cookbooks and recipes will be way less intimidating. It’s truly amazing how healthy your diet can be (and how much money you can save) by just sticking with the staples.