Right Stuff vs. Food Porn
"Originally developed in the late 1800’s by a Swiss nutritionist, Muesli is a delightful cereal made from a blend of whole grains, dried fruits, nuts and seeds," explains the label of Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli.
Delightful is right, whether you microwave or boil it for 3 to 5 minutes with milk or water to make a hearty hot cereal, or you just stir it into your milk or yogurt cold.
Either way, you’ve got a bowl of "whole grain rolled oats, wheat, rye, triticale and barley, along with sweet and chewy dates and raisins, sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts for a high energy Muesli," according to the label.
Okay. Forget that last part. When a label talks about “energy,” it means “calories,” not an energy boost. And speaking of calories, odds are you’ll get more than the 110 that are listed on the Nutrition Facts panel. That’s for a quarter-cup serving that won’t even cover the bottom of some bowls.
So let's say you use half a cup and get 220 calories' worth of cereal. Don't worry. They come with 8 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and no sodium. And the Muesli's whole grains are intact, which means they’ll help keep you regular (and help keep a lid on your blood sugar levels) better than whole grains that have been ground into flour. Bonus: there's no sugar beyond what comes naturally from the raisins and dates.
When Bob says "Old Country Style," he means it.
Bob's Red Mill: (800) 349-2173
DON’T KNOW JACK
T.G.I. Friday's is big on poultry. You can choose from a BBQ Chicken Wrap, a California Club, a Caribbean Chicken Sandwich, and a Jack Daniel’s Chicken Sandwich. Is this a health-conscious chain or not?
Not. Take the Jack Daniel’s. "A grilled chicken breast basted in Jack Daniel’s glaze and topped with bacon, mixed cheese and Cajun onion straws, not to mention lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and Jack Daniel’s mayo," croons the menu.
We didn’t notice any crooning over the sandwich’s 1,140 calories and day’s worth of saturated fat (18 grams) seasoned with close to a two-day supply of sodium (2,780 milligrams). It’s like eating a full rack of Friday’s Baby Back Ribs. The chain’s other chicken sandwiches are in the same ballpark (complete with oversized white-flour bun).
Oops. That’s without any sides. You’ve got your choice of seasoned fries (290 calories), side salad (40 calories without dressing), or, for another 99 cents, sweet potato fries (390 calories).
To its credit, the chain has a "Right Por- tion, Right Price" menu. Each item (though still too salty) has less than 750 calories. Some, like the delicious Shrimp Key West and Dragonfire Salmon, even come with steamed broccoli.
Hey Friday’s! Why not keep your entire menu under 750 calories? Or does your name really stand for Thank Goodness It’s Fattening?
T.G.I. Friday's: (800) 374-3297
Dish of the Month
Black Bean Salsa
Combine 1 can of no-salt-added black beans (drained and rinsed) with 1 chopped avocado, ¼ diced red onion, and a handful of cilantro leaves. Season with the juice of half a lime and ¼ tsp. of kosher salt. Use as a garnish for grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp or as a filling for tacos.