NEWS: Lean Cuisine Continues To Reproduce At A Rate Greater Than Nadya Suleman

Lean Cuisine frozen meals reproduce at a rate that would cause rabbits to be appalled. The chefs at Lean Cuisine recently helped give birth to four new flavors of their frozen meals that appeal to dieting women, people who can’t boil water and the folks who run frozen/microwaveable food review blogs. The new varieties are:

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken – Tender white meat chicken with cavatappi pasta, zucchini, black olives and Parmesan cheese tossed in a sun-dried tomato pesto sauce. (290 calories and 9 grams of fat.)

Pasta Romano with Bacon – Delicate bow tie pasta in a flavorful fire roasted tomato sauce with smoky bacon and topped with Romano cheese. (280 calories and 7 grams of fat.)

Linguine Carbonara Linguine – Pasta with savory bits of bacon, flavorful red and green peppers, peas and basil, all tossed in a creamy Parmesan sauce. (300 calories and 8 grams of fat.)

Beef Chow Fun – Tender strips of beef over bed of flat noodles with snap peas, red peppers and water chestnuts tossed in a sweet and spicy Asian-style sauce. (320 calories and 5 grams of fat.)

All of them should be available now at your local grocery store in the frozen food aisle with the 50-something other Lean Cuisine meals.

REVIEW: Hello Kitty Rice Seasoning Mix

Death by Hello Kitty is not how I hope to leave this Earth, but the Hello Kitty Rice Seasoning Mix has the power to make it happen with its 2,739 milligrams of sodium per package.

Although that’s not how I imagined Hello Kitty would truly off me.

I figure if Hello Kitty wanted to end me, she would use Hello Kitty chloroform or Hello Kitty roofies to knock me unconscious, restrain me with Hello Kitty handcuffs or Hello Kitty duct tape, keep me silent with a Hello Kitty gag rag, throw me in the back of a Hello Kitty van, drive me to the nearest Sanrio shop, secure my body to a Hello Kitty torture rack, pour water all over me with a Hello Kitty bucket, wake me up via electrocution with Hello Kitty jumper cables connected to a Hello Kitty car battery, break my nose with the butt of a Hello Kitty M-16 assault rifle, place several connected sticks of Hello Kitty dynamite around my body with a long fuse, light the fuse with a Hello Kitty blowtorch, say to me “Goodbye, Kitty,” walk away and I blow up moments later.

The Hello Kitty Rice Seasoning Mix (or furikake for those of you who like to keep it real) is made up of Hello Kitty-shaped pieces of dried seaweed, strips of dried seaweed, rice crackers, bonito powder, monosodium glutamate and a shitload of salt and cuteness, both of which can cause high blood pressure.

When I first received the product, I expected it to contain nothing but kawaii Hello Kitty-shaped pieces of seaweed, but it came with all of the not-so-cute ingredients and only 5-7 Hello Kitty-shaped seaweed in each of the three packets. The amount is enough to satisfy a casual Hello Kitty fan, but not enough for a Hello Kitty maniac who would probably use the pieces to create an extravagant stop motion video and post it on YouTube to prove that she is THE Ultimate Hello Kitty Fan.

Each packet has enough to sprinkle over 3-4 bowls of rice or, if you’re feeling lucky, one-soon-to-be-very-salty bowl of rice. The product was much like other rice seasoning mixes I’ve had. It had a fishy and salty taste, although it was significantly saltier than others, but I guess it should be since salt is the first item listed in the ingredients list. I’m surprised that my blood pressure didn’t rise by just having it in my apartment. The rice crackers added a little crunch, but didn’t add to the taste since the salt and MSG overwhelmed everything, like the smell of a stripper after receiving a lap dance. Even with its disappointing taste, I can see Hello Kitty fanatics buying this to make their bowls of rice more adorable.

Besides increasing blood pressure, the Hello Kitty Rice Seasoning Mix proves that the people who own the license to Hello Kitty have no shame and love the money from licensing Hello Kitty to any company who is willing to dish it out. If Hello Kitty wanted to, she could probably get rid of those greedy bastard by using the second cutest way to die, which is Sailor Moon hair strangulation.

(Nutrition Facts – 16.5 gram package – 36 calories, less than 1 gram of fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 2739 milligrams of sodium, 7 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Item: Hello Kitty Rice Seasoning Mix
Price: FREE
Size: 3-pack
Purchased at: Received from sister
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Cute. Dried seaweed shaped like Hello Kitty. Rice crackers add crunch. It’s from Japan.
Cons: Extremely high in sodium. Contains MSG. Not a lot of Hello Kitty-shaped pieces of dried seaweed. No pink. Sailor Moon hair strangulation. Death by Hello Kitty. The whoring of Hello Kitty.

REVIEW: Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes

Eating mashed potatoes is a rare treat for me. I eat a lot of rice because I’m Asian and I’m afraid if I don’t eat enough of it my ancestors’ spirits, who were probably rice farmers in Japan, will come and take away my chopsticks and slanted eyes.

Of course, getting my RDA (Rice Daily Allowance) is easy here on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean because rice is by far the number one starch. It’s rare to have the option to consume mashed potatoes, even at Thanksgiving or on August 19th, which is National Potato Day. The only times I get to enjoy mashed potatoes are at nice steak restaurants, buffets or after I accidently step on my Wendy’s baked potato.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had mashed potatoes, so I was looking forward to trying the Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes, which is made of up a bag of frozen cubes of potatoes that you steam in the microwave and then mash to your heart’s content in a bowl. This product not only allows me to nosh on the butchered and crushed relatives of Mr. Potato Head, it also provides the missing link that enables me to describe my work ethic in terms of mashed potato preparation.

I can be mashed-potatoes-from-scratch diligent, Ore-Ida-Steam-n’-Mash somewhat reliable, instant-mashed-potatoes lackadaisical or accidently-stepped-on-my Wendy’s-baked-potato lazy.

There isn’t a lot of physical labor with the Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash, compared with making mashed potatoes from scratch, which involves washing, peeling, cutting, boiling and other actions that infomercial gadgets promise to do. I just heated the bag in the microwave oven for ten minutes, let it sit for two minutes to cool down, poured its contents into a bowl, added 2/3 cup milk and then mashed it like a cockroach.

Its taste was bland, despite the garlic. If it weren’t for the addition of several tablespoons of butter, I probably would’ve made my rice-growing ancestors smile by throwing it away or making naughty sculptures with it. Its texture wasn’t too fluffy and there were a few raw, uncooked potato chunks here and there, which were unpleasant to bite my teeth into, but that was probably because I mash things instant-mashed-potatoes lackadaisically.

The Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes are convenient and can be more than decent if you add other ingredients to the mix. It’s not close to smashed spuds made from scratch, but it’s better than instant mashed potatoes and a Wendy’s baked potato I accidently stepped on.

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 330 milligrams of sodium, 250 milligrams of potassium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, 2 gram of protein, 2% Vitamin A, 0% Calcium, 15% Vitamin C and 2% Iron.)

(Note: Heat Eat Review took a look at the plain russet potato version.)

Item: Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash Garlic Seasoned Potatoes
Price: $4.50
Size: 24 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Convenient. Easy to make. Tastes better when butter is added. Better than instant mashed potatoes. Allows me to describe my work ethic in terms of mashed potato preparation. Being mashed-potatoes-from-scratch diligent.
Cons: Bland. Still had a few chunks of uncooked, raw potatoes. Not close to being as good as mashed potatoes made from scratch. My mashing abilities. Being accidently-stepped-on-my Wendy’s-baked-potato lazy.

NEWS: Yoplait’s Three New Flavors Could Make a Billy Joel Song Even Better

Yoplait yogurt comes in so many flavors that you could probably rewrite Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” with nothing but Yoplait yogurt flavors.

Don’t believe me. Below is a list of almost all the flavors. Have at it.

Cherry Orchard, Banana Crème, Tropical Peach, Mango, Dulce de Leche, Blackberry Harvest Boysenberry, Coconut Cream Pie, French Vanilla, Red Raspberry, Harvest Peach, Very Cherry, Guava, Blueberry Patch, Passion Fruit, Piña Colada, Strawberry, Strawberry Banana, Strawberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Kiwi, Strawberry Mango, White Chocolate Raspberry, Apple Turnover, Apricot Mango, Banana Cream Pie, Berries ‘N Cream, Blackberry, Boston Cream Pie, Lemon Cream Pie, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Raspberry Cheesecake, Red Raspberry, Strawberries ‘N Bananas, Strawberry Orange Sunrise, Strawberry Shortcake, Very Vanilla, White Chocolate Strawberry, Chocolate, Chocolate Raspberry, Lemon Meringue, Peaches ‘N Cream, Raspberry Mousse, Key Lime Pie, Mountain Blueberry, Mixed Berry, Pineapple, Strawberry Mist, Orange Crème, and Lemon Burst.

Also, don’t forget to add Yoplait’s three newest flavors — Cherry Pomegranate, Blackberry Pomegranate and Blueberry Acai — all of which contain a superfruit that’s high in nutrients, antioxidants and farmer’s market cred. All three flavors are available now at your favorite grocery store with all of the other dozens of Yoplait varieties for the suggested retail price of 72 cents.

The Week in Reviews – 2/14/2009

Here are a few product reviews from other blogs from the past week wrapped in an HTML shell and served with immature writing.

I don’t know whether I should be impressed or disgusted by this frozen burrito battle. But I am now jonesing for some frozen burritos. (via Eyunta)

I would pay to see a movie that involves Jason Voorhees beheading the Friday the 13th movie franchise. (via Pajiba)

Chili and chocolate flavored potato chips? I’m disappointed that Americans didn’t come up with this idea first. Or the Japanese. (via Jim’s Chocolate Mission)

This is the most comprehensive chopsticks review on the internets. Actually, I’m not 100 percent sure of my statement and I’m too lazy to find out if it’s true because I’m not going to sift through the 209,000 results I received after I Googled “chopsticks review.” (via The Tasty Island)

The only liquid I’ve ever consumed from a potion vial was Gummiberry Juice, so I wonder if the Health Energy Potion will also give me temporary super strength. (via Screaming Energy)

If you watched the movie Idiocracy, you know Brawndo’s got electrolytes and that’s what plants crave. (via The Girl Who Ate Everything)

I’m scared to eat this strawberry candy from Japan because I’m afraid it will eat me first. (via Japanese Snack Reviews)

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Extra!

I’m disappointed in the new Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Extra!, but not because of its taste. I’m disappointed by its use of the exclamation point, which is a symbol that expresses surprise, anger, pain and how hard you’re ROFL!!!!!!

The use of the exclamation point has got me dismayed for two reasons:

1. I was hoping the cereal would contain something extra beyond the extra because of the exclamation point.

2. I don’t know whether or not to shout the word “Extra” whenever I say the cereal’s name.

To clarify my first reason, I was basically hoping for a toy in the box, but there wasn’t any found, unless you consider the ingredient pyridoxine hydrochloride fun. I know what you’re thinking, I’m a little too old for a toy. While that maybe true, I’ll never be too old for a surprise. Besides toys don’t have to be cheap plastic figurines made in China, they could also be cheap plastic electronics made in China. The Raisin Bran Extra! box may be small, measuring 10″ high and 6.5″ wide, but it’s still big enough to fit shitty digital cameras, crappy cell phones, or Microsoft Zunes.

But alas, there were no toys in the box of Raisin Bran Extra! There were just things you might find in a homemade trail mix or on the floor in the self-serve natural foods aisle at your local grocery store: bran flakes, cranberries, raisins, yogurty clusters, and almond slices.

Compared with the raisins found in regular Raisin Bran, the raisins in this cereal were smaller and lacked the traditional Raisin Bran white sugary coating. The cranberries weren’t noticeable since they were hard to distinguish from the raisins in both looks and taste. The almonds didn’t provide any flavor. All they did was provide some crunchy texture after the bran flakes got soggy. As for the yogurt clusters, they were probably the only ingredient that brought some flavor to the table — adding a nice vanilla sweetness.

The overall flavor of the cereal was all right and I would probably prefer it over regular Raisin Bran if it didn’t come in such a small box. The extra ingredients may not have done much for the flavor, but I think they made the cereal healthier. Cranberries have antioxidants, almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats and the yogurty clusters provided something that could’ve easily been chocolately clusters. Also, the additions helped increase the fiber content to seven grams per serving.

Oh wait. Lemme edit that last sentence.

Also, the additions helped increase the fiber content to seven grams per serving!

That’s better.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 190 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 140 milligrams of potassium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of dietary fiber, 13 grams of sugar, 24 grams of other carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)

Item: Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Extra!
Price: $7.89 (seriously)
Size: 14 ounces
Purchased at: Star Market
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Yogurty clusters provided a nice vanilla flavor to the cereal. Almonds and yogurty clusters gave the cereal a crunchy texture after the bran flakes got soggy. High in fiber.
Cons: No toy included. Almonds didn’t provide any flavor. Box is kind of small. Couldn’t distinguish cranberries from raisins. Raisins were smaller than those found in regular Raisin Bran. Slipping on spilled food in the self-serve natural foods aisle at your local grocery store. Contains high fructose corn syrup. Unsure reason for exclamation point in name.