Ore Ida Bagel Bites Review

Hello again. This week I’ll be reviewing Ore Ida Bagel Bites, with pepperoni. Ore Ida has a good line of frozen food products, many of which I’ve enjoyed over the years. Several of their varieties of frozen fries were staples in my younger days, as was the case with their bagel bites, miniature bagels with pizza toppings on them. Pizza bagels bring back many happy memories for me. As a youngster, I remember going to Camp Livingston in Indiana and looking forward to pizza bagels for lunch the most out of almost anything they’d serve us. The Bagel Bites from Ore Ida remind me of the ones we used to get, both in appearance and taste. They’re available on Amazon.

Bagel Bites go for $1.99 on Amazon Fresh, which is very reasonable. At your local store, you might find them for as much as $2.99 or even $3.49, depending on where you live. You get nine little pizza bagels per package. The total fat for a whole box is twenty percent, saturated fat is twenty-six percent, and total sodium is twenty-eight percent of your daily recommended amount. All of those are within the parameters of what I look for from a frozen meal. A picture of the uncooked bagels is below.

Bagel Bites Wrapped

 

These bagel bites are done after about three minutes in most microwaves. I like to cook mine a little bit longer, so they’re kind of crispy. For a guy like me, the picky eater, these are perfect. They’re relatively healthy, and there’s not a vegetable to be seen, just bagel, which serves as the crust, a little tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni bits. I don’t know what genius it was who came up with the idea of combining mini bagels with pizza toppings, but surely they deserve a place in the snacking hall of fame. I fully endorse Ore Ida Bagel Bites. Whether you’re bringing them to lunch or having them for a snack at home, these are pretty much perfect, bite sized, and they never fail to remind me of bygone times.

 

Bagel Bites Cooked

 

If you have them handy, I also recommend sprinkling these little guys with some garlic powder, oregano, or adding some fire with a dash of hot sauce or Tabasco sauce!

Lean Cuisine Baked Chicken Review

This week I’ll be reviewing the Lean Cuisine Baked Chicken entree, available on Amazon Fresh.

This is another one of the mini-meals that I brought for work. The cost on Amazon Fresh was $2.89, which is pretty good. The total fat for this meal is nine percent of your daily recommended amount, saturated fat is thirteen percent, and sodium is twenty-five percent. All of those are well within the acceptable range. This entree advertises “tender white meat chicken with savory stuffing and creamy red skin mashed potatoes.” Below is a picture of it, out of the package, but not warmed up yet. About four minutes in the microwave at work did the job.

 

Lean Cusine Wrapped

I would say this entree was just okay, not great. The main problem I had with it is with the stuffing. Stuffing is kind of a wild card for a picky eater, because you never know quite what’s going to be in it, unless you made it yourself. It can have all kinds of different ingredients, but the one you want to watch out for is onions, my old nemesis. Sure enough, there were onions in the stuffing, and celery too, both of which I’m not a fan of. The chicken was fine, as was the gravy-like sauce on it, though the piece that you get with a meal of this size is moderate at best, probably about four or five big bites. The mashed potatoes were also tasty, so no problems there.

So, to recap, both chicken and potatoes were fine, but I had to pick through the stuffing, and, finding it pretty much rife with onions and celery, I ended up discarding it. So while there were parts of this meal that I liked, I didn’t finish all of it, meaning that I walked away with my hunger still largely unsatisfied. I’ve had worse meals, but I don’t think this will be something that I get regularly, and so I won’t be recommending it. It turns out this is yet another one of those meals that is marred, for me at least, by the unwelcome presence of vegetables. Here’s another shot of the cooked version below…you can see the offending veggies peeking out from below the chicken.

 

Lean Cuisine Unwrapped

Smucker’s Uncrustables Review

This time around I’ll be reviewing Smucker’s Uncrustables, which are available at many stores in your frozen food section, and on Amazon Prime at the link below.

SMUCKERS UNCRUSTABLES FROZEN SANDWICHES PEANUT BUTTER & GRAPE JELLY 4 CT PACK OF 3

Amazon Prime only has these available in the strawberry flavor. There’s also a grape flavor out there which I like better, but the strawberry is okay. An Uncrustable is basically a crustless, circular peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich, which is frozen, and then you thaw it out for about forty-five minutes and it’s good to go. If I have one of these and I take it with me on the train to work, by the time I get there, it’s ready to eat. They come four to a package, and a package is $2.99 on Amazon. You might find them for as much as four dollars or four-fifty in some grocery stores. A picture of one of the individual sandwiches is below.

Uncrustable No Wrapper

Health-wise, an Uncrustable is pretty good. Total fat content is thirteen percent, and saturated fat is nine percent. Sodium content is ten percent. All of those are right in the wheelhouse of what I shoot for in those categories. Simply put, there’s nothing really objectionable to be found about an Uncrustable. The thought behind it and the execution of it is like something I might have come up with in elementary school, and I mean that as a compliment. The crusts, the part of the sandwich that most people don’t like, are done away with, and the peanut butter to jelly ratio is perfect. Not only that, because of the circular design, the toppings are safely inside and have no danger of leaking out until you bite into it.

Smucker’s came up with something really well thought out here, and, after trying this for the first time, I knew it was going to come into my regular rotation as a staple. I enthusiastically recommend this product. It hearkens back to an earlier time in my life, when Mom packed my lunch for me and a PB and J was almost always going to be in there. Those days may be fading ever further into the past, but seeing and tasting something like this always makes me a little nostalgic, and never fails to brighten my day.

Campbell’s Chicken and Stars Review

This week I’ll be reviewing Campbell’s Chicken and Stars…Andy Warhol would be pleased. I was running low on food between grocery deliveries from Amazon Fresh, and I found myself in Manhattan lacking one of my mini-meals at lunchtime. I went to Morton Williams on Park Avenue South, and started looking for an inexpensive option that also fit the health criteria I usually look for from pre-packaged meals. I looked in the soup section and came up with the Chicken and Stars single-serving from Campbell’s. A picture of it and a link to it are below.

Campbell’s Chicken & Star Shaped Pasta Soup on the Go, 10.75 Ounce Microwavable Cups (Pack of 8)

 

Campbell's Back

First, the good. The cost of this item at Morton Williams was $2.49, which is reasonable, although the portion size wasn’t exactly huge. This would do for a snack, not for a significant meal. I liked the package design, which allows one to open the soup with a pull tab, then it’s only a matter of popping it in the microwave for a minute or so. It was a cold day, and the smell of the soup cooking made my stomach rumble.

Now, the not so good. Health-wise, this product has two percent of your daily total fat recommendation, and three percent saturated fat. Those are both great. The problem, predictably enough, was sodium. A whopping forty percent means that even if I had loved this meal, I don’t think I’d be getting it too often, just because of the salt content. I know it’s not easy, but Campbell’s really needs to find a way to cut down on that.

Simply put, this soup wasn’t that great. It’s kind of hard to ruin broth, and that part was fine, but despite promising “chicken and stars,” there was virtually no chicken to speak of. I think I might have seen one or two scraps, that’s it. As for the stars, they were really tiny, and there was quite a bit of cubed carrots for filler. As the great vegetable hater, I don’t really have a vendetta against carrots, though I don’t really care for them when they’re cooked. The softness and mushiness of them isn’t something I’m fond of. I had to fish those out, and what I was left with, when I was done with that, was, well, not much of any real substance. So, to recap, we had almost no chicken, tiny star noodles that didn’t really satisfy, and altogether too many mushy carrots.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this product. You always are taking a chance when you’re trying something new, and this time I was game, but I don’t believe this is going to make its way into my regular rotation. Sorry Campbell’s. Better luck next time.