Right Stuff vs. Food Porn

September 2010

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Right Stuff


AB&J? Don’t laugh. Why limit yourself to peanut butter, when other nut butters are there for the tasting?

Take Whole Foods 365 Almond Butter.

The ingredient list? Dry-roasted almonds. That’s it. You won’t even find the few grams of added sugars or partially hydrogenated or palm oils that are added to some nut butters. (Without added oils, the almond butter’s oil may separate, so you’ll have to stir it before using. But it’s worth the 15 seconds.)

The rich, intense flavor of roasted almonds doesn’t even need salt to rouse your taste buds. So you skip the sodium that’s in most other almond butters (50 to 100 milligrams in every two-tablespoon serving) or peanut butters (120 to 250 mg). Tip: Whole Foods and many other stores now carry unsalted brands of peanut butter.

Almond butter is a good source of vitamin E (35 percent of the Daily Value in two tablespoons), calcium (9 percent), and protein (16 percent). And 365 Almond Butter has just 1 gram or so of saturated fat because nearly all of its fat is unsaturated—the kind that lowers cholesterol.

It’s not as cheap as peanut butter. And, like PB, two level tablespoons pack roughly 200 calories, so you’ll need to spread a thin layer—not a thick shmear—on your toast instead of butter or margarine.

Try a little on a sandwich with sliced bananas. Or use some as a dip for sliced apples or pears. Or stir a bit into a bowl of oatmeal or other hot cereal. Or mix a little into a balsamic vinaigrette for a quick sauce for steamed vegetables.


Whole Foods: (888) 746-7936

Food Porn


“Your choice of grilled steak, juicy chicken, shrimp, or a combo of two on a skillet that sizzles,” says the menu. “Served with lettuce, sour cream, pico de gallo, sautéed onions, red peppers, fire roasted poblanos, and shredded white cheddar cheese.”

Applebee’s Sizzling Skillet Fajitas don’t sound unhealthy. What could be wrong with grilled chicken or shrimp, veggies, flour tortillas, and a bit of sour cream and cheese? Not much...if you don’t mind 1,040 calories (shrimp) or 1,150 calories (chicken) or 1,180 calories (steak) plus 22 or 24 grams of saturated fat (more than a day’s worth) and 4,570 or 5,330 mg of sodium (at least a three-day supply) for dinner. Then there’s the rice that comes on the side (260 calories and 1,790 mg of sodium).

In case that’s not enough to fill you up, for just 99 cents more you can add guacamole (50 calories and 150 mg of sodium). Nice.

Why so much sat fat in chicken or shrimp? Like many Mexican restaurants, Applebee’s adds butter to its fajitas. And don’t forget the four white-flour tortillas, which probably contribute some 500 calories and 1,000 mg of sodium to your meal.

Restaurants must think they’re cheating customers who get fewer than 1,000 calories per dish. What? You should walk away hungry?

Our advice: Get your fajitas without butter, hold the sour cream, cheese, and rice, and eat just two tortillas. Better yet, split the dish with a friend.

Maybe if restaurants start selling one entrée for every two diners, the fajita fad will finally fizzle.

Applebee’s: (888) 592-7753

Dish of the Month

Creamy Cilantro Sauce

Pulse 1 bunch of cilantro, the juice of 1 lime, ¼ cup of reduced-fat sour cream, and ¼ tsp. of salt in a food processor just until smooth. Spoon over 1½ lbs. of grilled or sautéed boneless, skinless chicken breast or grilled fish.

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