“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Recent Lo-Cal Eats

One of the great joys to a foodie like myself about working where I do is that we give out free samples and tasters and such, and because I have to be able to describe the products to people who have not tried them before, I have to sample them too, so that I am able to paint a word picture that gets other people's juices flowing and piques their collective interest. Plus, I love free food. Ya can't say fairer than that, can ya?

CAUTION; Shameless plug alert! Where I work, for those of you that have actually been paying attention, is a little place called COOK in the High Street of Tenterden. Just one branch of a 35+ chain, started about 14 years ago by two guys, Edward Perry and Dale Penfold, COOK's concept is a simple one: ready-made, frozen meals, using ingredients that the regular schmoe has in his or her kitchen, with no artificial guff and all that palaver. The result: food that tastes as good as home-made.

Anyhoo... I have to give a massive shout-out to the one we had yesterday... let me transport you, if I may, to a little less than 24 hours ago...

Tuesday, 1st March. Wet. Cold. Miserable. Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach (wait, that's Don Henley...)
In short, the town was dead as a doornail, and so were we. We were also bloody freezing, despite the heat being on, because we keep our front door open in all weathers, because it's the kind of door that when it is closed, people think the shop is also closed, despite it being daylight hours, all the lights on and people milling about inside. It's just that kinda door. I therefore took it upon myself to select for that day's hot taster a little chap called Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Curry.  Delicious curry flavours coming through, not a scorcher but definitely a winter warmer. Here's the full spec on this dish... "Oven roasted peppers and carrots with cauliflower, spinach and toasted cumin seeds in a chickpea and lentil sauce." That's straight from the COOK website at www.cookfood.net. A veggie curry that even the most dedicated carnivore would not turn his nose up at.
Here's a wee piccy too.

So of course, as we were deader than a really really dead thing, that's really dead, (I must sign up for Simile School sometime!), there was quite a bit left over. Which we ate. Yum. Without any guilt, either, as it's the lowest item in the shop for fat and calories. (221 cals per 100g serving).

Later on, I went to Waitrose and as usual, I hit the reduced shelf, which as I have often said on this blog, is the best thing to do in Waitrose as they are a bit on the pricey side. I picked up an interesting salad that was reduced to 49p. I thought why the heck not? For 49p I'll try anything.
It was Waitrose's own label Oriental Nanjing Rice Salad, which is pictured below.
And I'll tell ya what - it was nice. Very nice. Black or Nanjing Rice is nutty and slightly chewy, like Wild Rice, and the hoisin-based dressing along with the crunchy carrots and peppers were great too. And another thing is that it was vegan, and it was nut, egg and milk-free, and only around 250 calories or so for the entire 230g tub. Nice. Good job Waitrose - keep it up. Only thing is, to buy it full price means it's £1.99. Ah well, you can't have everything can you?

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