REVIEW LIGHTNING ROUND – Dr Pepper Gum, Doritos Ranch Hot Wings Jacked, Tostitos Cantina & BK Loaded Tots

Here are some quick reviews of new-ish products we’re too lazy to write full reviews for:

Wrigley's Hubba Bubba Dr Pepper Bubble Gum

Item: Wrigley’s Hubba Bubba Dr Pepper Bubble Gum
Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: 5 pieces
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tastes almost like Dr Pepper. Soft chew when it has flavor. Flavor lasts for a few minutes. If I had the ability, I could blow bubbles the size of my head with this gum. Sweetened using sugar, corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners.
Cons: My inability to blow bubble gum bubbles bigger than my fist (I have small fists). Only five pieces. Not a soft chew after the flavor goes away; it gives my jaw a low impact workout. I feel like I need to brush my teeth after chewing it.
Nutrition Facts: N/A
Other reviews: TV and Gum Are Awesome

Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wings

Item: Doritos Jacked Ranch Dipped Hot Wings
Purchased Price: $3.50 (on sale)
Size: 10 oz. bag
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Pleasing tangy hot wing sauce flavor with a bit of creaminess. There’s a slight chicken flavor thanks to the ingredient chicken fat. Hearty crunch. Huge chips. New Doritos logo.
Cons: Red hue makes them look evil, but they aren’t very hot. Not as addictive as most other Doritos varieties. Smelling them will burn nostrils, just like real hot wings. Not for MSG haters.
Nutrition Facts: 1 oz. – 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 290 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
Other reviews: Junk Food Guy, Brand Eating, Chip Review

Tostitos Cantina Thin & Crispy

Item: Tostitos Cantina Thin & Crispy Tortilla Chips
Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like other Tostitos tortilla chips. Simple ingredients. Crispy. With some Corona beers and these chips, you could make your Taco Bell meal seem like it’s from a cantina.
Cons: Tastes like other Tostitos tortilla chips. Too fragile for thicker salsas.
Nutrition Facts: 1 oz. – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 110 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of protein.
Other reviews: Spoil Your Dinner

Burger King Loaded Tater Tots

Item: Burger King Loaded Tater Tots
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 8 pieces
Purchased at: Burger King
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: At times, it kind of tastes like a loaded baked potato. Slightly crunchy exterior. Longer than BK’s Cheesy Tots. Better than Burger King’s fries. Available in 8, 10, or 12 pieces. BK’s changing menu.
Cons: Not a lot of bacon flavor and can’t taste the bacon at all in some tots. Light cheese flavor. Potatoes inside looked more like mashed potatoes than tater tots. Not as satisfying as BK’s Cheesy Tots. Made with partially hydrogenated oil.
Nutrition Facts: 380 calories, 22 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 640 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of sugar, and 10 grams of protein.
Other reviews: Junk Food Betty, Brand Eating

REVIEW LIGHTNING ROUND (FREEZER AISLE EDITION) – 4/2/2013

Here are some quick reviews of new-ish freezer aisle products we’re too lazy to write full reviews for:

Hungry-Man Garlic Sauce Saute Chicken Power Meal

Item: Hungry-Man Garlic Sauce Saute Chicken Power Meal
Purchased Price: $3.99 (on sale)
Size: 12 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Hearty meal. Lots of corn, carrots, and broccoli. Pasta cooked perfectly. Nutrition facts are closer to Lean Cuisine meals than to other Hungry-Man meals. Corn tastes like the stuff in Swanson frozen meals, which I kind of like. Long plastic tray make me feel like I’m eating from a trough.
Cons: Need a stronger garlic sauce or more of it. Could use a bit more chicken. Pricey. Chicken was more salty than flavorful, and was a little dried out. Left a fine grittiness in my mouth.
Nutrition Facts: 320 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 630 milligrams of sodium, 47 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, 20 grams of protein, 30% vitamin A, 10% calcium, 30% vitamin C, and 10% iron.

Totino's Pizzeria Cheesy Garlic Rolls

Item: Totino’s Pizzeria Cheesy Garlic Rolls
Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 19.8 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Pleasant garlic flavor. Easy to make. 40 rolls per bag. Better when heated up in the oven. There’s some about the crust that I love.
Cons: Garlic not strong enough to fend off vampires. Slightly weird buttery flavor. Innards oozes out in the oven. Innards oozes out in the microwave. Trans fat.
Nutrition Facts: 6 rolls – 210 calories, 80 calories from fat, 9 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 390 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein.
Other reviews: Fat Guy Food Blog

Totino's Pizzeria Meatball Marinara Rolls

Item: Totino’s Pizzeria Meatball Marinara Rolls
Purchased Price: $3.00 (on sale)
Size: 19.8 oz.
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tasty. Its flavor reminds me of a sausage Totino’s Party Pizza. Decent tasting sauce. Lots of sauce. Frozen ones can be used to pelt your enemies.
Cons: Sauce, cheese, and meat oozes out in the microwave. Sauce, cheese, and meat oozes out in the microwave. Not a lot of cheese. Good source of trans fat. Being the target of people throwing frozen Totino’s Pizzeria Rolls.
Nutrition Facts: 6 rolls – 200 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 7 grams of protein.
Other reviews: Fat Guy Food Blog

Morningstar Farms Mediterranean Chickpea Veggie Burgers

Item: Morningstar Farms Mediterranean Chickpea Veggie Burgers
Purchased Price: $3.99 (on sale)
Size: 4 patties
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Mild chickpea flavor with a bit of onion and garlic. 100% vegetarian. Low fat. Good source of fiber. They look and taste better than Morningstar Farms regular veggie burger patties. Decent source of protein.
Cons: Chickpeas tend to explode in the microwave. Spinach and tomatoes aren’t noticeable. Patties will look small on top of premium buns.
Nutrition Facts: 1 burger – 110 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 170 milligrams of potassium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar, 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW LIGHTNING ROUND (YOGURT EDITION) – 3/28/2013

Here are some quick reviews of new-ish yogurt varieties we’re too lazy to write full reviews for:

Yoplait Pro-Force Mixed Berry Burst

Item: Yoplait Pro-Force Mixed Berry Burst
Purchased Price: $2.49 (on sale)
Size: 4 3.5 oz. cups
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Nice generic berry flavor. Fat free. Good source of calcium. No berry seeds. Good source of protein and calcium. Contains live and active cultures. Product name doesn’t have a Z that replaces an S.
Cons: No chunks of fruit; blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry flavors come in the form of puree. An adult eating kids yogurt. Product name is kind of silly; it’s as if they’re saying they want to force protein into kids.
Nutrition Facts: 1 container – 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 9 grams of protein, and 25% calcium.

Yoplait GoGurt Twisted Strawberry Mango Tango

Item: Yoplait GoGurt Twisted Strawberry Mango Tango
Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 8 2.25-oz. tubes
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Strawberry Mango combo is tasty. Very portable. Contains live and active cultures. Gluten free. No spoon needed.
Cons: It’s disappointing the yogurts were not in separate chambers. Two colors in every tube that look like one color when I open the box. Not that great of a source for protein and calcium. Trivia printed on tubes will help your kids become know-it-alls.
Nutrition Facts: 1 tube – 70 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 30 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, and 10% calcium.

YoCrunch Blueberry Yopa

Item: YoCrunch Yopa! Blueberry with Granola
Purchased Price: 62 cents (on sale)
Size: 5.3 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Nice blueberry flavor. Fruit on the bottom. Good source of protein. Contains live and active cultures. Granola provides a nice crunch.
Cons: Unnecessary exclamation point in name. Not as tangy as other Greek yogurt I’ve had. My urge to say, “Yopa! Gangnam Style!”
Nutrition Facts (with topping): 180 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar, 13 grams of protein, and 15% calcium.

YoCrunch Yopa! Toasted Almonds Greek Yogurt

Item: YoCrunch Yopa! Vanilla with Toasted Almonds
Purchased Price: 62 cents (on sale)
Size: 5.3 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Surprisingly good (I thought it was going to be boring). Vanilla-y with a hint of almonds. Crunchy almonds. It’s got live and active cultures: it’s what digestive systems crave! Almonds provide more protein and vitamin E. Good source of protein.
Cons: May seem like a boring flavor to some. Not as tangy as other Greek yogurt I’ve had. Stop it with the exclamation points. See, I didn’t use one in the previous sentence; I totally could’ve. Has same amount of sugar as a Pop-Tart.
Nutrition Facts (with topping): 200 calories, 8 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 15 grams of protein, 20% calcium, and 20% vitamin E.

YoCrunch Breakfast Blends with Post Fruity Pebbles

Item: YoCrunch Breakfast Blends with Post Fruity Pebbles
Purchased Price: $1.50 (on sale)
Size: 4 3.75-oz. cups
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Might possibly be better than Fruity Pebbles in milk. Fat free. Gluten free. Crispy Fruity Pebbles cereal. Contains live and active cultures. Perfect Fruity Pebbles to yogurt ratio.
Cons: Should’ve been Cocoa Pebbles (which is better). Size is only enough to be part of a complete breakfast. Not a great source of calcium.
Nutrition Facts: 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 80 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, and 10% calcium.

REVIEW LIGHTNING ROUND (STORE BRAND EDITION) – 3/26/2013

Here are some quick reviews of new store brand products we’re too lazy to write full reviews for:

Market Pantry 90 Calories Fiber & Chocolate Chewy Bars

Item: Market Pantry 90 Calories Fiber & Chocolate Chewy Bars
Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 5 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Pleasant chocolatey flavor and aroma. Nice chewiness; a bit chewier than a Rice Krispies treat. Same amount of fiber and cheaper than Fiber One 90 Calorie Chocolate Chewy Bars. There’s a coffee-like flavor at times.
Cons: Bars are on the small side. Only 5 bars, so if you’re sharing a box with someone, you may have to fight for the last one. .02 ounces lighter and half a gram more fat and saturated fat than Fiber One version.
Nutrition Facts: 1 bar – 90 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 85 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

Market Pantry Peanut Butter Crunchy Granola Bars

Item: Market Pantry Peanut Butter Crunchy Granola Bars
Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 12 bars/6 pouches
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Edible. 18 whole grains per two bars. Crunchy. Easy to chew. Two bars per pouch so you can share or eat one and then smash the other on the ground while a starving person watches.
Cons: Weird peanut butter flavor. Weak weird peanut butter flavor. They kind of look as if they’re decomposing. Extremely awesome at making crumbs.
Nutrition Facts: 2 bars – 190 calories, 7 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 6 gram of protein.

Market Pantry Fuji Apple Sparking Water Beverage

Item: Market Pantry Fuji Apple Sparking Water Beverage
Purchased Price: 69 cents
Size: 33.8 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: So good that I could drink a lot of this. When well chilled, it tastes very close to Fuji apples. Inexpensive. Zero calories, fat, and carbs. Naturally flavored.
Cons: Contains no juice. Artificial sweeteners stand out when it gets a little warm. No caffeine, but that’s usually the case with sparkling water. So good that I could drink a lot of this.
Nutrition Facts: 8 oz. – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 gram of protein.

Market Pantry Mango Colada Fruit Smoothie

Item: Market Pantry Mango Colada Fruit Smoothie
Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 8 oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Pleasant pineapple flavor. Awesome source of vitamin C. Tastes not bad when water is used instead of juice. The sound of ice being crushed in a blender.
Cons: Not much coconut flavor. Not much mango flavor. Yogurt comes in the form of a powder packet. If you like thick smoothies, you’re going to have to add ice. Might go well with rum.
Nutrition Facts: 1/2 package (made with water) – 140 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein, 20% vitamin A, 6% calcium, and 50% vitamin C.

REVIEW LIGHTNING ROUND (FAST FOOD FISH SANDWICH EDITION) – 3/12/2013

Here are some quick reviews of fast food fish sandwiches we’re too lazy to write full reviews for:

McDonald's Filet-o-Fish

Item: McDonald’s Filet-o-Fish
Purchased Price: $2.99
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Adorable wittle sandwich. Decent fish flavor. Soft bun. Topped with a lot of tartar sauce. Fish comes from suppliers with sustainable fishing practices.
Cons: Cheese just added orange color. Tartar sauce could use a bit more tang. Exterior not crunchy. Adorable, but wittle.

Jack in the Box Fish Sandwich

Item: Jack in the Box Fish Sandwich
Purchased Price: $3.99
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: At times it tasted like a McChicken Sandwich. Crispy exterior. Decent tartar sauce.
Cons: At times it tasted like a McChicken Sandwich. Needs a better name. Could’ve used more tartar sauce. Shredded lettuce falling out. Dry innards. Basic bun.

Burger King Premium Alaskan Fish Sandwich

Item: Burger King Premium Alaskan Fish Sandwich
Purchased Price: $3.99
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Nice crunchy exterior. Premium bun makes it look taller. Thicker fillet than other fast food fish sandwiches.
Cons: Filet has a weak fish flavor. Slightly dry interior. Bun overwhelms flavor of the fish. Tartar sauce didn’t have a strong flavor.

Carl's Jr. Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich

Item: Carl’s Jr. Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich
Purchased Price: FREE (had coupon for free sandwich, reg. $4.99)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Good fish flavor and it’s lightly seasoned. Decent tartar sauce. Points for not doing a fried fish sandwich. It has tomatoes, which other fish sandwiches don’t. Wider than other fast food fish sandwiches.
Cons: Cardboard-thin fish fillet. Weak wheat bun. Putting way too much lettuce in my sandwich.
Other reviews: Man Reviews Food, My Burning Kitchen

Wendy's Premium North Pacific Cod Fillet

Item: Wendy’s Premium North Pacific Cod Fillet Sandwich
Purchased Price: FREE (had gift card via Wendy’s to try sandwich, reg. $3.69)
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Nice crunchy exterior (thanks panko). Sturdy buttery bun. If you hate shredded lettuce because it keeps falling out of the sandwich, you’ll like the lettuce leaf this sandwich uses.
Cons: Weak fish flavor. Weak breading flavor. Weak tartar sauce without any tang. Pale lettuce.
Other reviews: Fast Food Geek, Brand Eating

REVIEW LIGHTNING ROUND (FREEZER AISLE EDITION) – 2/26/2013

Here are some quick reviews of new frozen foods we’re too lazy to write full reviews for:

Weight Watchers Smart Ones Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza

Item: Weight Watchers Smart Ones Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza
Purchased Price: $2.39
Size: 4.4 ounces
PointsPlus Value: 8 points
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Better tasting than I thought it would be. Comes with crisping tray. Box turns into cooking platform (Transformers…More than meets the eye!). Crispy crust on the outside. Pepperoni had a nice spice. Good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Cons: Kind of sad looking. Microwave oven preparation only. Most of the crust was so chewy that it gave my jaw a good workout. Bland tomato sauce. Cheese looked dried out. Unless you take gigantic bites, you’re not going to get pepperoni in every bite.

Weight Watchers Smart Ones Turkey Bacon Melt Quesadilla

Item: Weight Watchers Smart Ones Turkey Bacon Melt Quesadilla
Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 2 pack
PointsPlus Value: 6 points
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Soooo much cheese that even when a lot of it gets lost on crisping tray, there’s still a lot of cheese. Nice smoky, cheesy, and tomato flavor. My goodness there’s a lot of cheese. Never mind fruits, this has 7 grams of fiber. Good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Cons: Lots of cheese end up on the crisping tray. Only filling enough to be part of a complete breakfast. Microwave oven preparation only. Cheese oozes out all over the place.

Weight Watchers Smart Ones Chicken Slider

Item: Weight Watchers Smart Ones Chicken Slider
Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 2 pack
PointsPlus Value: 5 points
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: They’re sooo adorable! Who’s a wittle one? Yes, you are. Mostly soft, bun. Decent chicken patty thickness. Quick to prepare. Appropriate slider size (2.75 inches in diameter). Good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Cons: Chicken breading didn’t have much flavor or crunch. At times, the chicken patty had a weird unrecognizable flavor. Bun did get hard in some places. Makes me yearn for some White Castle.

Weight Watchers Smart Ones Exclusive Flavor Spicy Chicken Slider

Item: Weight Watchers Smart Ones Exclusive Flavor Spicy Chicken Slider
Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 2 pack
PointsPlus Value: 5 points
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Soft, but sturdy bun. Mild spiciness at the back end. Not awesome, but a decent tasting snack. Easy to prepare. Good source of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. White Castle has nothing to worry about.
Cons: Some parts of the chicken patty were tougher than others. Microwave only. Breading not at all crunchy. Spicy heat gets lost with the heat coming from the microwaved sandwich. Why do I taste pickles when there are no pickles?