Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - What gourmet or specialty food products do you buy that make your diet easier?




Suzanne 3FC
01-15-2008, 03:06 PM
Do you buy any gourmet or specialty food products that make your diet tastier? Maybe a tasty sauce, or a special salad dressing? Any seasonings or rubs for your fish or veggies?

For example, products that count could be a special glaze, that while high in sugar or calories, doesn't add much per serving when used in a prepared dish.

I'm not referring to Kraft products, Wish Bone spritzers, or anything highly processed or "diet", thanks :)

If you buy it online, please include a link :)


Suzanne 3FC
01-15-2008, 03:08 PM
Black Forbidden Rice by Lotus. It's very unusual, is whole grain, and it tastes good all by itself without salt or seasonings. It's also fantastic in a salad or as a base for any dish that calls for a non-sticky rice. I've never cared much for rice (white or brown) but really like this. You can read more about it here (http://www.worldpantry.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prmenbr=127574&prrfnbr=146780) It's also available at many or most health food stores, and occasionally from Amazon at a great price per case.

mandalinn82
01-15-2008, 03:22 PM
Lundberg Family Rice Blends - particularly the brown and wild rice blend. YUM.

Stash teas. Especially the decaf vanilla chai. Really solves a particular sort of craving (spicy-sweet) for me, so it is excellent.

World Foods sauces. These can be a little calorically pricey, but I spread the flavor by using these as bases for stirfry sauces and thinning considerably with chicken broth so each portion ends up with half a serving or so. My favorites are the Thai Coconut Galangal sauce and the Spicy Ginger Chili dipping sauce. Both make great stirfry bases.

Jarred roasted red peppers. Instant flavor, minimal effort, and great as stuffing for a pork tenderloin.


Glory87
01-15-2008, 03:24 PM
I spare no expense for groceries, usually :)

One of my absolute favorite, priciest items:Eden Cherry Butter (http://www.edenfoods.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=103315) - tart, delicious, I just need a thin scraping on a Kashi waffle. Love this stuff!!! Even at $8.00 a jar, it lasts me forever.

I also pay WAY too much for teas - all kinds of fancy teas. Currently, I have a can of The Republic of Tea - Pomegranate Green Tea sitting on my desk at work. Great stuff.

I'm not sure if it counts, but I love buying the microwaveable brown rice from Trader Joe's. It's delicious and not TOO expensive (unless you consider how cheap it is to buy bulk brown rice and make from scratch). It's not exactly gourmet, but it's definitely a speciality food item that makes my life a lot easier.

mandalinn82
01-15-2008, 03:28 PM
Oooh, and to add onto Glory's post...

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter! Glorious, can be used in savory and sweet applications, and wonderful to keep on hand.

Suzanne 3FC
01-15-2008, 03:58 PM
Really good, aged balsamic vinegar. Not supermarket varieties.

I use it straight on salads, without oil, along with some cracked black pepper or other spices from the grinder. It's kind of expensive for a salad dressing, but I love it and it doesn't take much to make an impact. I buy a lot of my vinegars at TJ Maxx because they frequently have excellent offerings at good prices.

Suzanne 3FC
01-15-2008, 04:01 PM
Herbs and spices from World Merchants Spice in Seattle. You can't get better quality and freshness, and you buy just how much you need and put it in your own jars. Their blends are excellent. We order from them quite frequently.

http://www.worldspice.com/

mandalinn82
01-15-2008, 04:09 PM
Ooooh Suzanne, you'd die at my Christmas presents. My FIL's went to Italy in October...they brought us back a bottle of the most outrageously wonderful balsamic, as well as a bottle of first-press olive oil (it was pressed in NOVEMBER). So amazing to drizzle a teeensy bit on top of a stew or soup.

Glory87
01-15-2008, 04:11 PM
Oooh, and to add onto Glory's post...

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter! Glorious, can be used in savory and sweet applications, and wonderful to keep on hand.

Ha :) I love this gourmet pumpkin butter too (although I do eat the Trader Joe's stuff as well): Stonewall Kitchen Maple Pumpkin Butter (http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/prdsell.aspx?L0=MaplePumpkinButter). Nearly 8 bucks for pumpkin butter! I don't buy this as often as I would like it. It's divine for adding a tbs to cooked butternut squash. I also like to heat up a tbs and dip a really ripe banana in it.

LindaT
01-15-2008, 05:45 PM
Sorry Suzanne, but it's all from Trader Joe's :D

Roasted Eggplant and red pepper spread
mini apple cranberry or blueberry fiber muffins
Brown rice blend with daikon radish seeds and black barley. They also make one with red quinoa, isreali couscous, orzo and baby garbanzo beans blend that is quite good
Their greek yogurt - not the fage stuff, but the store brand. cheaper.

I'll stop now. Hungry :hun:

cbmare
01-15-2008, 06:10 PM
Ooooh Suzanne, you'd die at my Christmas presents. My FIL's went to Italy in October...they brought us back a bottle of the most outrageously wonderful balsamic, as well as a bottle of first-press olive oil (it was pressed in NOVEMBER). So amazing to drizzle a teeensy bit on top of a stew or soup.


OK. Hand over the balsamic and nobody gets hurt. I'm jealous. Lucky you.

There is a little place in Livermore by the Eckert Winery. The guy grows and bottles his own olive oil. Between that place and the Olive Pit in Campbell. They both have excellent olive oils. Of course, where you are, you probably have those types of places all around.

WaterRat
01-15-2008, 06:12 PM
Hmmm, I have several things from Stonewall Kitchens. I really love the cranberry horseradish jelly/spread/whatever they call it. You only need a little. (We won't talk about their carmel sauce that my DH loves :lol: )

Oh, and like Amanda, I like the Lundburg Family rice blends. I can't get them locally, but they do have them in Anchorage. We try to shop at a specialty grocery and/or the organic grocery there every few months. The specialty one started out as strictly an Asian grocery, but they've added a lot of other more unusual things. It's a hoot to try and guess what's in some of the Japanese canned goods though. Just the picture, no English. They have awesome seafood there too.

gailr42
01-15-2008, 06:34 PM
Love the subject! For me, the hunt and capture of these kinds of goodies makes my journey to healthier eating much more fun. I tend to spend too much on special food, but, on the other hand, I almost never eat out.

Light Chevre(goat cheese) from Trader Joe's. TJ's Greek Style Yougurt - even the fat free is yummy. Amore tomato paste in a tube. TJ's 72% dark chocolate. TJ's frozen scallops - I got some at Costco the other day and find that the TJ's are much better. From Costco, I get those mini sweet peppers. From TJ's a little plastic box of something called "Micro Greens" - Includes radish sprouts among other things. TJ's frozen "haricots verts". Pounds and pounds of tree ripened peaches from an orchard about 90 miles away. Nuts and seeds from TJ's to make my own snack mix. Watercress. Fresh, wash-it-yourself spinach. Much better than the bagged stuff. Boring, but useful - individually frozen, bonless, skinless chicken breast from Costco. Costco's is much better than my local grocery store.

Maybe a little off the subject, but I recently discovered the Chicken Cesar Salad at Costco's snack bar. You get a bowl full of romaine lettuce, a lot of chicken, a sprinkling of shredded parmesan (the real stuff, not out of the green can), and a separate package of croutons and another sealed cup of dressing. When we make a trip to Costco, I carry a little container of whatever salad dressing I like, and substitute that for the Costco dressing. Ideally, I don't eat the croutons. I used to always get the Hebrew National sausage, so the salad is quite an improvement. The salad is $3.79.

We grow our own red onions. last year, I made a bunch of Balsamic, roasted red onions from Ina Garten. I froze them in little patties to use on a salad, sandwich or whatever. I also made a big vat of Martha Stewart's peach chutney, using peaches from the local orchard, and froze it the same way. Both items provide a tasty little jolt of flavor to my meals.

This is probably way more than you want to know.....Thanks to everyone else for sharing your special foods. I especially want to try the pumpkin butter which has been mentioned before.

BlueToBlue
01-15-2008, 06:38 PM
Mustard: I will spend ridiculous amounts of money for fancy mustards. I love mustard and use it on all sorts of stuff besides sandwiches (salad dressing, chicken roll-ups, eggs, etc.).

Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce: Fontana Farms (http://www.farmacopia.com/store/page4.html) is one source for it, they also sell it (although a different brand) at Cost Plus. It's great on chicken and in sandwiches. I also make little pseudo pizzas with pitas and use 1 tbsp as a topping instead of tomato sauce. It's very spicy so a little goes a long way.

Fresh Fish: I get it from my local farmers market. Sometimes it has literally been caught that morning and is so fresh you can eat it raw. It costs a small fortune but the taste is so superior to grocery store fish that I can't eat the store-bought stuff anymore.

Pickles: I love pickles for a snack and will spend any amount of money for something new and different. I spend $10 to get a quart jar of dill pickles from a stand at my farmer's market, but they are the best dills I've ever had (and no sugar added). The same stand also makes a really low calorie veggie soup that I also pay $10 a quart for.

Also, balsamic vinegar and other high-end vinegars. I try not to think about how much they cost.

And I'm not sure if these count but also:

Light chevre from Trader Joe's. I love this stuff and use it in any recipe that calls for cheese. I also eat it on sandwiches.
SnacLite PowerPB (http://www.gnc.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2761103&cp=2167100.2102410&parentPage=family). 80 cal per tbsp, half the fat, twice the fiber, and twice the protein of regular peanut butter. And it tastes like peanut butter and has the same consistency as peanut butter.
Penny's Low Fat Muffins

cbmare
01-15-2008, 07:05 PM
Barbara, where is your farmer's market? I love farmer's markets. I love supporting the local people and you are making me want some pickles.

Thank you for the link for the spices. We grow quite a bit of our own herbs. However, I'd like to get some spices. I don't like paying grocery store prices for something that is probably almost near its shelf life.

gailr42
01-15-2008, 07:11 PM
Wow, I just went back and read all the links. Great stuff - Thanks!

CountingDown
01-15-2008, 07:18 PM
Many of the items already listed. A couple more that I love:

European extra dark chocolate
Porcine mushroom sauce from Meijer's "Gold line"
European deli cheeses (we have an Austrian chef that owns a butcher shop, deli and gourmet restaurant)

gailr42
01-15-2008, 07:27 PM
Meijer's has such a wonderful mix of things! We need one in southern CA.

kaplods
01-15-2008, 07:46 PM
We have a liquidator store (like a private Big Lots) that gets gourmet products in once a month from gourmet and health food stores. This is always fun to find new things to try (unfortunately, if I get hooked on a product it may never show up again, and I have to hunt for it in the shops and pay gourmet shop prices).

I love the Spices,Etc catalog. I haven't placed an order recently, because I've been buying my spices from a baking supplies store very inexpensively, but I think I'm going to try to get a few friends to go in on an order because they have a few products I just love. The wine and cheese powders for example, and the broth powders. Unlike bouillon, the broth powders do not have salt or seasonings added, just the meat. The wine powders add the flavor of wine, but no alcohol, and especially if you don't use or drink much wine, they're nice to have on hand. They have several "flavors" including sherry, chablis, and burgundy. They also have several good curry blends besides the generic american "curry powder."

BlueToBlue
01-15-2008, 11:34 PM
Barbara, where is your farmer's market? I love farmer's markets. I love supporting the local people and you are making me want some pickles.

I go to the one in downtown Pleasanton on Saturday mornings. I usually start with a swim a Dolores Bengstrom pool in Pleasanton and then stop by the farmers' market on the way home. The market isn't at it's best right now because it's winter, so on a good day when it isn't raining, it only has about half the vendors it has in the summer. But even with only half the vendors I can still get fish, eggs, soap, excellent prepared Indian food (for my SO, sadly not for me), pastries (also sadly for my SO), bread, pickles and soup, grass-fed beef, nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, jams and jellies, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, flowers, and tortillas (the best corn tortillas you've ever had and only 70 calories a tortilla). And that's in addition to all the vegetable stands. You can pretty much get any vegetable or fruit that's in season--there are even a couple of stands that will have fresh strawberries all winter. If it's raining, though, not all those venders are there (but there are still plenty of fruit and veggie vendors and the fish guy will be there). In the summer, when there are twice as many vendors, it's a huge market.

In the summer, the Fremont farmers' market (in Centreville, I've never tried the one in Irvington) is also excellent. It operates in winter but there are so few vendors there it isn't worth it.

I think Palo Alto also has a really nice farmers market. You can get a list of all the farmers' markets (http://www.sfgate.com/listings/search.php?events) in the bay area at sfgate.com; I can't remember where you are at but you might be able to find one closer than Pleasanton. For me it's just a short trip through beautiful Niles Canyon. There's also a number of CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) in the bay area (http://kqedbayareabites.blogspot.com/2005/09/community-supported-agriculture.jsp) if you can't get to a farmers' market.

jade408
01-19-2008, 03:19 AM
1. Variety of olive oils (great for finishing and salad) Stonehouse is pretty good. Or I go cheap and get some interesting ones from Trader Joes. Or there is a local place that has awesome blood orange oil
2. Since I see a few bay area people here I'll mention Phoenix Pasta...good stuff. Some times in te regular grocery, usually in the whole Foods, sometimes makes an appearance at a few farmer's markets
3. Pomegranate molasses (or pomegranate glaze from trader joes. Here is how I use it: pomegranate chicken, mixed with balsamic vinegar as sauce for grilled salmon
4. Frozen mangos (great mixed with plain yogurt! or topped with shredded coconut)
5. Good hot chocolate or sipping chocolate. The trader joes one is pretty yummy. I also like the Dagoba
6. Soy ginger broth from Trader Joes (great for an instant soup!)
7. Flavored Vinegars (anything is fair game here: fig balsamic, organge flavored, rice wine, champagne...etc
8. Marcona Almonds. These are the best for a little snack!
9. Sundried tomatoes
10. Capers
11. Roasted peppers (combine the items 9-11 with some parsley, garlic, and lemon juice for a killer sauce on chicken, bread, chickpeas or pasta
12. smoked paprika (great to add depth to MExican inspired foods
13. Piave cheese (really sweet and buttery cheese in the vein or parmesan
14. Dry jack chease (this is so great!)
15. jicama (great as a snack or on a salad)
16. sparkling water (just to add a touch of class to my dinner)
17. Whole Foods brand wheat pasta...almost tastes like white pasta!
18. Sumac (used in Persian foods, middle eastern foods) great to add a pinch of tartness to a dish ..maybe to add to rice as is done at persian places or to kick up a sauce
19. Lavender Salt. This is a bit weird, but adds a cool touch to chicken, herbs de provence or even some honey. A little goes a long way, but I tend to mix it with a bit of thyme for roasted chicken/potatoes

knitsforfive
01-20-2008, 09:08 PM
Miso paste. I combine it with rice vinegar, olive oil, and the spices used in ranch dressing for a yummy dressing. I also add it to soups and stews.

cbmare
01-20-2008, 09:35 PM
We found some Russian red kale at the farmer's market this morning. We also got another one that looks like romaine but it is another type of kale. I made a pot of white bean and kale soup for tomorrow night. That red kale is awesome!

I love farmer's markets.

PhotoChick
01-20-2008, 11:00 PM
Spices from Penzey's (http://www.penzeys.com). I redo all of my spices every year to keep them all fresh. It's a worthwhile expense to me.

Olive Oil - there's an Australian olive oil that you can get at Trader Joe's that is to die for. Just a little of it has amazing flavor and I use it for dressings and sauces. Mmmmmm.

Sushi from our local gourmet grocery store. I will sometimes have sushi for dinner as a splurge.

Sorcha33
03-26-2008, 12:52 AM
The main thing I do is treat myself to the best quality ingredients I can afford - I want to eat real food, not fake stuff. Organic meats and dairy products are a big deal to me, and I'll happily pay more for them any day of the week.

Other than splurging on better quality meats and dairy, I also love greek olive oil, wildflower honey, Fage yogurt, really good quality dark chocolates, and smoked salmon is a favorite "treat" of mine! :)

beegoss
03-28-2008, 09:12 AM
These are my favs:
-bragg's, it's sort of like a soy sauce with tons of protein
-almond breeze, so low cal, and so good with cereal

JuleeCeeS
05-04-2008, 06:02 PM
Trader Joe's has crushed garlic and ginger in bottles. It is fabulously intense and easier to deal with that grating or slicing fresh. I also love the herbs (basil, garlic and something else) that come int he little frozen cubes. I have seen them in the frozen section at TJ's as well.

Also, for you tea lovers, Good Earth original tea. Very spicy sweet, nees nothing added to it. It comes in regular and decaf and the flavor of the decaf does not lack at all.

JulieJ08
05-04-2008, 06:28 PM
Fresh Fish: I get it from my local farmers market. Sometimes it has literally been caught that morning and is so fresh you can eat it raw. It costs a small fortune but the taste is so superior to grocery store fish that I can't eat the store-bought stuff anymore.

Every time I eat fish (and I'm trying to learn to love it), I think of the trout I had last fall that my brother-in-law caught that day at Convict Lake (near Mammoth). *That's* how to eat fish :)

JulieJ08
05-04-2008, 06:37 PM
15. jicama (great as a snack or on a salad)

19. Lavender Salt. This is a bit weird, but adds a cool touch to chicken, herbs de provence or even some honey. A little goes a long way, but I tend to mix it with a bit of thyme for roasted chicken/potatoes

1. How well does jicama keep? I've been wanting some for snacking, but they're big and I only shop for me.

2. My sister once had lavendar mints. They were good.

KristasMom
05-12-2008, 02:48 PM
Canfield's Chocolate Fudge Soda

0 calories

enough said

gailr42
05-12-2008, 04:23 PM
My local stores no longer carry Canfield's! I thought maybe they didn't make it anymore. Anyway, yummo! I think that anyone who likes chocolate would like this.

KristasMom
05-14-2008, 10:28 PM
Found it at Krogers, over by the pharmacy, next to the glucerna shakes (don't ask, I got lost).

A six-pack a month makes me feel so spoiled.

meggoat
07-09-2008, 07:27 PM
Just discovered great pickles from Rick's Picks - lots of different varieties and shipped without breakage. Great for a crispy, savory low-calorie treat http://www.rickspicksnyc.com

sandyfanny
08-07-2008, 10:49 AM
I discovered this in a New Orleans grocery. N.O. Brew Coffee Concentrate is made in Harvey, LA - it's the real deal. Just add milk, cream, or half and half...and you have the best fancy latte ever! Out of your own refrigerator...No calories, No fat, No sugar...just a big jar of deliciousness.

It's my go-to pick-me-up in this hot, Southern summer when I want a treat. Since I'm doing Atkins, I dilute a little heavy cream with water and add to the concentrate with lots of ice.

Great flavors...mocha, french vanilla, decaf available on-line. They're super-nice and ship it to you quickly and cheaply.

www.nobrew.com

grneyedmustang
08-07-2008, 11:03 AM
Trader Joe's almond butter -- mmmmm. I made a dessert with a sprinkling of cocoa and some SF whipped cream on top, along with the almond butter. It was yummy!!

Trader Joe's pesto - spread on top of a beefsteak tomato, top with mozzarella, and broil for 5 minutes. Yummy!

zeffryn
09-16-2008, 11:26 PM
I completely refuse to eat most supermarket cheese since I started buying artisan cheeses online. DH frowns at the bill...but smiles when he tastes it.

I also buy different finishing salts.

Williams Sonoma has the best steak/chop rub ever. Their coffee and spice rub is a staple in our house.

Really good quality, raw honey is a favorite around here as well.

We buy 1/2 cow once a year (which we just lost due to Hurricane Gustav :(). It is cert. organic from a local farm. The cost isn't THAT much more, but enough that we don't eat meat every day of the week. We also buy organic chickens and eggs at the local farmers market. Last week, I saw fresh goats milk and cheese, so I'll have to pick some up. It makes meat so much more enjoyable!

zeffryn
09-16-2008, 11:28 PM
Oh, and I don't drink often (well, never right now) but when I do....I don't drink cheap stuff. We splurge on beer (franziskaner is our favorite) and wine. It makes our drinking experiences much more enjoyable and something to remember!

the slim me
10-18-2008, 10:32 AM
Oh, my favorite subject, food!!

Like barbara, i love the specialty mustards. i love dill mustard and some of the hot ones too. Some of them aren't available locally so I stock up when I find them.

Pickles too. I'm lucky, my mom makes the best ones ever. And the price is right, she always makes me a few jars. And her sourkraut is the best ever.

'm so jealous Amanda!! Think next time your FIL goes to Italy he could stock up for all of us?

I'm a regular TJ shopper and big fan. I always find something new and delicious there. And their prices are good. I find some pretty good stuff at T.J.Maxx too.

We have a few farmers markets pretty near and I usually find some interesting things there too.

I like to make weight loss/maintenance a game. It's fun to find things that help

Arlene Dallas
11-02-2008, 04:21 PM
Spices from Penzey's (http://www.penzeys.com). I redo all of my spices every year to keep them all fresh. It's a worthwhile expense to me.

I so agree-IMHO there are no fresher spices than Penzeys. I am lucky that their Dallas store is around the corner from my office and next door to my hairdressers so I stop there frequently. I highly recommend a subcription to their magazine...so many good ideas! We had taco salads for dinner last night (I make the taco meat with ground turkey breast and ground sirloin in equal proportions) and I use their taco seasoning-its the best! We also have some awesome bulk spices here in Dallas at Sprouts and Central Market.

Pepper Belly's Dirty Jalapeno olive relish with garlic and their Habanero salsas are a MUST in our house-my bf and I put them on everything. Actually, I have quite a collection of hot sauces. We have the Zest Fest here in Fort Worth every September (sponsored by Chile Pepper magazine) and I stock up each year with fresh sauces straight from the vendors...we like spicy and hot.

There is a fig balsamic vinegar that I buy in Williams Sonoma that is so good on grilled veggies. Actually I like a number of their oils.

Josephs Oat Bran & whole wheat pita bread is also a must. A whole pita is only 60 cal, 1.5 g of fat and 5 g of fiber- only 1 ww point! Also the Western bagels are good too for only 1 WW point and now you can get them (and their english muffins) in WalMart.

I almost forgot- Bell Plantation's chocolate PB2. It is SO GOOD and so much more diet friendly than regular or reduced fat peanut butter. It comes dehydrated (the oil is pressed out) and you mix with water. A serving is 52.2 cal, 1.42 fat g, 1.03 fiber g and 3.85 protein g-compare that to 11-17 g of fat for 1 T of regular pbs...its hard to find in stores (only 2 in Dallas carry it but their website has case specials.

mazza
11-02-2008, 04:33 PM
Don't know if it counts as specialty, but almost everything organic and a lot of our products direct from whole foods suppliers.

dreamingescape
11-08-2008, 02:42 PM
Meijer's has such a wonderful mix of things! We need one in southern CA.

great to hear that, as i work for meijer :) i've fallen in love with many of their store brand items, myself!

dreamingescape
11-08-2008, 02:54 PM
I discovered this in a New Orleans grocery. N.O. Brew Coffee Concentrate is made in Harvey, LA - it's the real deal. Just add milk, cream, or half and half...and you have the best fancy latte ever! Out of your own refrigerator...No calories, No fat, No sugar...just a big jar of deliciousness.

It's my go-to pick-me-up in this hot, Southern summer when I want a treat. Since I'm doing Atkins, I dilute a little heavy cream with water and add to the concentrate with lots of ice.

Great flavors...mocha, french vanilla, decaf available on-line. They're super-nice and ship it to you quickly and cheaply.

www.nobrew.com

i was about to order one of these, but without knowing if i'll like them or not...i hate to pay $7 in shipping (slightly poor at the moment, lol).

dreamingescape
11-08-2008, 02:58 PM
I completely refuse to eat most supermarket cheese since I started buying artisan cheeses online. DH frowns at the bill...but smiles when he tastes it.


where do you buy your cheese online? just curious. i love cheese but haven't really been introduced to anything "real"...lol.

blanna
11-12-2008, 06:48 PM
Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce: Fontana Farms (http://www.farmacopia.com/store/page4.html) is one source for it, they also sell it (although a different brand) at Cost Plus. It's great on chicken and in sandwiches. I also make little pseudo pizzas with pitas and use 1 tbsp as a topping instead of tomato sauce. It's very spicy so a little goes a long way.



I bought this today solely because I of this post! It sounded so good (Raspberry + Chipotle, how could you really go wrong?) that I had to go over to cost plus and see if they carried it. To my delight, they carry it not only in the big bottle but in a tiny sample size jar as well! I know you mentioned three examples above, is there anything else special you use it with? What do you put on the pita pizzas?

Thanks! I'm excited to try it.
:)

recidivist
12-16-2008, 10:53 PM
Hi, I'm new here...I love this thread...my favorite topic! Food! :carrot:

I can't suggest many products to purchase ready made, but I do have some ideas for things to make yourself, if anyone wants the recipes. There is one staple I buy and use in a lot of recipies because it adds the hot spicy flavor I love in so many dishes, and it's the best I've found. It's called "Chili Garlic Sauce" TUONG OT TOI VIET-NAM, by Huy Fong Foods, Inc. I buy it at Cash and Carry, a restaurant supply house that sells wholesale and retail. It is so hot and spicy, I just love it. I add it to my special diet "miracle soup" (a recipe I got off TV) to zip it up, and to most of my sauces. I find that the spicier the food, or the more flavorful, the more satisfying it is.

I also buy Mae Ploy curry paste (it comes in green, yellow or red) from Cash and Carry (much cheaper than the little tubs you can find in the grocery store). It is the best intense curry flavor I've found. I like the yellow and red...not so much the green.

I recently made some green tomato relish which is incredible. Itis sweet & sour, and would be great on many dishes, and the flavor is really pungent. It's made with green tomatoes, red onion, red bell pepper, vinigar and brown sugar and some spices.

I make my own salad dressing out of apple cider vinigar, splenda, salt, and the chili garlic sauce. You could substitute sugar for splenda, because it's so strong you don't need much of it. You could also add a small amount of oil, depending on your dietary needs, or fat-free, or low-fat yogurt to make it a little richer. I was trying to create a flavorful fat-free sauce to dip lettuce in at night, when I had cravings. I use this sauce for flavoring low fat cottage cheese, and in fat free yogurt, it would make a good veggie dip. However, I prefer curry and garlic flavor in my yogurt veggie dip.

I read a tip about sucking on Atomic Fireballs when you are craving food and don't want to eat (because they are super hot and spicy, and they are jawbreakers, so they take a long time to dissolve). They are not available in Oregon, so I need to order some on-line.

I have a wonderful recipe from Williams Sonoma for a basic stir-fry sauce, which is better than anything I've ever purchased, and is easy to make. I don't actually stir fry my veggies...I steam them and serve them on jasmine rice. Then drizzle with stir-fry sauce, sprinkle with a few drops of hot chili oil (SunLuck or any brand is fine), a spoonful of toasted sesame seeds (I buy them bulk and toast my own). Delicious. I lived on this the last time I dieted and lost a lot of weight.

I love Penzey's spices, but don't have a store near me, so I buy a few items from the catalog, but mostly use the catalog as a guide to blend my own custom spice mixes. I buy my spices in the organic bulk spice section of my local health foods store. Much cheaper than buying them from Penzey's catalog and paying for shipping.

My favorite treat every day is my morning latte. I bought a $40 espresso machine and brew a cup of espresso, topped with steamed whole milk (1/2 cup), and it's like having a dessert every morning, instead of just a cup of coffee. You don't need cream or half and half...1/2 cup of whole milk is only 75 calories, and it foams up so well with the steaming, it's like whipped cream...stirred gently with the coffee, and it's like having coffee flavored whipped cream.

You can add a touch of vanilla sugar sprinkled on top (less than a teaspoonful) to make it even yummier. I make my own vanilla sugar, with vanilla beans from Penzey's and it's much cheaper than buying it in the store...but I do have to buy baker's sugar (super fine) to make it, so for most of you, it would be easier just to buy it.

Thanks to the suggestion for wine powder. I've never seen that, and I would love to try it. I don't dare have real wine in the house, or I'd drink it rather than cook with it. :D

junebug41
12-16-2008, 11:15 PM
Hi, I'm new here...I love this thread...my favorite topic! Food! :carrot:

I can't suggest many products to purchase ready made, but I do have some ideas for things to make yourself, if anyone wants the recipes. There is one staple I buy and use in a lot of recipies because it adds the hot spicy flavor I love in so many dishes, and it's the best I've found. It's called "Chili Garlic Sauce" TUONG OT TOI VIET-NAM, by Huy Fong Foods, Inc. I buy it at Cash and Carry, a restaurant supply house that sells wholesale and retail. It is so hot and spicy, I just love it. I add it to my special diet "miracle soup" (a recipe I got off TV) to zip it up, and to most of my sauces. I find that the spicier the food, or the more flavorful, the more satisfying it is.

Hi and :welcome:

I can't believe someone else knows about this! This stuff is incredible. It doesn't take much, but I put it in EVERYTHING. I came across it at Safeway when I was hunting down ingredients to make healthy pad thai and now I'm hooked.

zeffryn
12-16-2008, 11:26 PM
where do you buy your cheese online? just curious. i love cheese but haven't really been introduced to anything "real"...lol.

Murrayscheese.com and artisanalcheese.com

Murrays is one of the best fromageries in NYC.

recidivist
12-16-2008, 11:35 PM
Hi and :welcome: Thank you! :)

I can't believe someone else knows about this! This stuff is incredible. It doesn't take much, but I put it in EVERYTHING.
I'm addicted. I buy it buy the gallon! :o

PhotoChick
12-16-2008, 11:46 PM
It's called "Chili Garlic Sauce" TUONG OT TOI VIET-NAM, by Huy Fong Foods, Inc.Best stuff ever. I made stir fry with it last night. I add it to a paste of ground peanuts and soy sauce. I mix it in soups. I use it in tons of stuff. I buy it at our Asian/Farmer's market.

.

SandiCO
12-17-2008, 03:53 PM
Grey Sea Salt ... perks up any dish!

recidivist
12-17-2008, 08:07 PM
Grey Sea Salt ... perks up any dish!
What does it taste like? Not just like regular table salt?

Ursula745
03-28-2009, 09:09 PM
Bragg's Liquid Aminos in place of soy sauce. Less sodium and has good amino acids. Love it!

ladynredd
04-11-2009, 03:48 PM
Recidivist, could you post your recipes for your "miracle diet soup" (I'm a big soup fan) and the Williams-Sonoma basic stir-fry sauce? And Jen, I'd loooove your recipe for Pad Thai, plus any tips for preparing it. In my little town there's only one place that even claims to make Pad Thai and their version is sad. Very sad.

lunameower
08-07-2009, 04:54 AM
In the bulk bins at my local Whole Foods is a dry bean mix, North Bay Trading Co. 32 bean and Vegetable soup, it is so good, I make myself a single serving size soup out of it with some garlic, low-sodium chicken stock and some diced tomatoes, very good and very filling, I love beans, even though my boyfriend isn't always thrilled with their effect on me.

Teachyrchildren
08-15-2009, 07:55 AM
I make sure that when I add oil or butter to foods, the addition is really flavorful. I skimp on fats while cooking, and instead add it as a condiment or in a dressing. I use tiny water bottles, prick some small holes in the lids, and put my special oils in them so I can 'shake' drops of oil. Favorites are pistachio oil and hazelnut oil from France, fresh Italian olive oil, Chinese toasted dark sesame oil. A fresh European butter is amazing, and a teaspoon on steamed vegetables gives a flavor and satisfaction wallop. If you have a TJ's or Whole Foods in your area, they have a nice selection.

ThickAZChick
08-27-2009, 11:47 AM
Soy Vay Teriyaki Marinade Sauce - I use this all the time and very little goes a long way as it is very intense in flavor. Alot of sesame seeds and minced garlic! Making my mouth water as I type- try 1 tablespoon per chicken breast in a marinade and cook the chicken as you would for stir-fry. I also cook the chicken and throw it in a salad!



http://tickers.TickerFactory.com/ezt/t/wDtZzO5/weight.png
(http://www.TickerFactory.com/weight-loss/wDtZzO5/)

Teachyrchildren
08-29-2009, 01:41 PM
Costco's own Kirkland brand eggbeaters. Lots of lowfat protein, 120 calories a cup. They're packaged in small containers, I think eight to a case. Much cheaper than eggbeaters or even grocery store brand egg substitute, with great taste and texture. They're usually dated 6-8 weeks till expiration.

ThickAZChick
09-07-2009, 10:40 PM
Went to Trader Joe's this weekend and bought some awesome additions to my pantry:

Organic Tomato Roasted Red Pepper Soup ($2.99 a carton, 2gm fat for 1 cup and has a bit of fiber and 8gm of protein-the taste is phenomenal. A keeper)

Grey Sea Salt- bought this and split the jar with my mom

Dried Fruit- Mashed banana. It looks as icky as it sounds but it is basically very ripe bananas partially dehydrated. The taste is like caramel w/ apples because of the sugar in the bananas! OMG it is sooo good. One package has 6 servings and was $1.49!!