Right Stuff vs. Food Porn

September 2011

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Right Stuff


Sweet potatoes are nutritional powerhouses, especially compared to their most-popular-vegetable-in-America-largely-because-they’re-usually-deep-fried white-potato cousins.

But sweets take at least an hour to bake. And some days, that’s an hour more than you have. (There's always 10 minutes in the microwave, if you like them cooked that way.)

That’s why you should check out Alexia Sauté Sweets. The bag contains a mix of sweet potatoes, black beans, sweet corn, red bell peppers, and onions. And it takes just 12 minutes from freezer to "Mmmm...delish."

If you manage to stick to the one-cup serving that's listed on the Nutrition Facts panel (and that won’t be easy), your side dish delivers 7 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, 100 percent of a day’s vitamin A, 20 percent of a day’s vitamin C, and 10 percent of a day’s iron. All for 240 calories, 1½ grams of saturated fat, and 310 milligrams of sodium.

Best of all, you could probably prepare Sauté Sweets blindfolded. Just thaw the pouch of chipotle-infused olive oil in a bowl of hot water, pour the oil into a skillet, add the veggies, and sauté for 10 to 12 minutes, until the spuds are golden brown.

Serve it as a side dish or add some broiled salmon or chicken or sautéed tofu to make it a main.

Sauté Sweets put plain white potatoes to shame.

Alexia: (866) 484-8676

Food Porn


"At Cold Stone, we’re all about making people happy-for the long haul!-which requires a balanced and sensible approach to eating fun treats like ice cream," explains the Cold Stone Creamery Web site.

"We therefore obsess, far more than most companies, about the nutritional aspects of our products as much as we do their taste."

Hmmm. You have to wonder how much obsessing Cold Stone did over the nutritional aspects of its Churro Caramel Crave.

A churro is deep-fried dough. (The fluted or twisted sticks are sometimes called "Spanish doughnuts.") Cold Stone is apparently so worried about nutrition that it rolls its churros in cinnamon and sugar before they're "smothered with French vanilla ice cream and topped with hot caramel and whipped topping."

If 700 calories and 22 grams of saturated fat (a full day’s worth) isn’t a "balanced and sensible approach to eating fun treats," what is? The Churro Caramel Crave’s day’s worth of sodium (1,610 mg ), perhaps?

Cold Stone also offers a Brownie a La Cold Stone, a Chocolate Lava Meltdown, and a No Fair Funnel Cake-all similarly balanced and sensible. True, they have fewer calories than most of the chain’s Signature Creations-ice cream, candy, fudge, and other "mix-ins" in a waffle bowl. (A cone is so 20th century.)

But isn’t that what you’d expect from ice cream purveyors who are so obsessed about nutrition and health?

Cold Stone Creamery (866) 452-4252

Dish of the Month

End of Summer Succotash

Sauté 1 cup each of fresh corn kernels, baby lima beans, diced zucchini, and diced red pepper in 1 Tbs. of canola oil until sizzling hot. Stir in 2 sliced scallions and 1 chopped tomato. Season with up to 1/8 tsp. of salt.

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