Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

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The people at NERDSTEAK want to review YOUR product!

If you have a food related item that you would like an unbiased review of, please contact us!

  • Contact us and give a little detail about your product. We will provide a shipping address and timing of the review.
  • We will only provide an unbiased review of your item along with unedited photos.
  • We will contact you AFTER our results have been posted to provide you with any links, photos, or information you may need.
  • We will not return any unused or unopened items.
  • We will not review an item if it has been opened, broken, or tampered with in any way prior to our review.
  • We will complete a review with in-depth detail ranging from packaging appearance & functionality, product appearance, eating or use experience, value based on pricing, and overall review with a 1 thru 5 score.
  • You are allowed to use the review for any promotional opportunities.  If you need any specific focus on the evaluation, please let us know ahead of time.
  • We like everything from food, gadgets, equipment, clothing, ingredients…basically anything that can relate to food.
  • Examples of our reviews can be found in our previous posts.

AxeMenBBQ

The Axe-Men BBQ team out of West Dundee, Illinois is looking for supporters and sponsors for this years BBQ season. We are a new team that competed in our first KCBS event in October of 2014, and still ended up with a 9th place call for ribs, and 10th place call for chicken, even with minimal equipment.  Our team is planning to compete in at least 6 events next season, and our goal is to participate in high profile events like the American Royal Barbeque Competition in Kansas City, as well as the Jack Daniel’s Championship in Lynchburg. Many of the regional events we participate in will be in the Midwest. We are fully invested in competing on the KCBS circuit and making Axe-Men BBQ a grand-champion team.  We also would eventually like to sell our sauces, rubs, and marinades to the general public.

As you might be aware, these BBQ competitions take a lot of time, effort, and money to complete. We are interested in everything from grills, smokers, trailers, campers, and meat…down to cleaning supplies, tables, chairs, coolers, wood, charcoal, beverages, knives, utensils, promotion materials, entry fees, and cash donations. In return, we want to go above and beyond to help promote any sponsors who help us along the way. We would add your company/personal name and/or logo to banners, clothing, or any other allowable items.  We can hand out sell sheets, contact info, or samples of anything you wish to visitors of the events. We would add you to our email list so you can keep track of our competitions, as well as visit us at any time to sample some of our award winning BBQ. Also, we would be more than happy to have a representative from your company on site to discuss your products with the public or other teams. If you have any other requests on what you would like from us in return for sponsorship, we are more than happy to discuss. The team also has a large network on social media including personal pages, blogs, and professional contacts.
Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional information. Below are a few links to see how exciting some of the events and opportunities we will be participating in.
Thank you very much for your time, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!
Steve Quirk
Mike Haracz
Ribs

OlovesPackaging[1]The people at Oloves™ (http://www.oloves.com) were nice enough to send me some samples to conduct a consumer review.  I received the samples last week and here is what I thought:

  • Packaging Apparence – These olives come in a cool silver pouch with a tear away top.  It was very easy to open and all of the samples held up very well in the shipping box without the need for much extra packaging. This was obviously produced outside the US with the UK ingredient and nutritional statement on the packaging, but still easy to follow.  They have a very nice product shot on the front with a, ’50 calorie snack’ tag on the front.  It has a very simple yet upscale feel, along with enough support to be a great traveling snack.
  • Product Appearance – The olives themselves held up pretty well being in a soft pouch with little excess oil or brine, but you will notice that they don’t have the integrity of olives in a glass jar, which is to be expected.  I will note that the Mediterranean flavor variety was a much darker green than the Hot Chilli Mama and the Lemony Lover varieties.  Nothing on the package noted a different olive variety.  I liked that the olives were not swimming in oil or brine making it a better quick snack option.  The Mediterranean and the Lemon varieties had the appropriate amount of garnish for what I expected, however the chile version looked like it was lacking in chile flakes.
  • Eating Experience – Starting with the Mediterranean, I felt it had a great flavor with notes of garlic and basil, however the texture of the olives were overly soft.  They had just the right amount of tangy brine flavor and did not over saturate my mouth with oil like other olive brands.  Still, the olives being extra soft made this my least favorite of the three varieties and If they were the same texture as the other two, it could have easily been my favorite. Next was the lemon variety which had a much better olive texture.  There were some interesting lemon pieces in the package which tasty more like candied lemon than fresh squeezed lemon juice, but was still a nice little treat you would not normally find.  For me, I could have used just a touch more garlic flavor as well as a more natural lemon flavor in the olives. Last was the chile variety.  My first tasty was perfect, great olive texture, just the right amount of heat and a touch of lemon, however my next piece was over the top hot.  I noticed that the chile flakes were not evenly distributed over the olives, which makes me believe they added the chile flakes after the olives were brined.  This allows for ‘hot-spots,’ not an even amount of heat throughout the product.  Also, on their ingredient statement, it showed lemon pieces are supposed to be mixed in with this variety as well, but I did not find any in my particular package. All around experience was very favorable, but felt there could be some small tweaks to make it even better.  I will note that I did not find any pits or stems which you can sometimes find in other brands of olives.
  • Value – From what I researched, the cost of these seem to be in line with other pre-portioned olives out there.  You will get a better value buying olives in bulk, however with these, you get the convenience of an easy open and transportable snack. They also promote being all-natural, gluten/dairy/nut free, vegan and kosher.
  • Overall – I had a very favorable experience with Oloves™ olives.  I enjoyed the easy-open and fancy looking packaging, the lack of oil/brine to pick though, along with some good flavors.  I felt that if the Mediterranean variety used the same olives as the other two, if the lemon variety moved away from the candy lemon flavor, and the chilli variety had a more even heat, this would have been quite the product!  I give Oloves™ olives a 3.5 out of 5.

Oloves[1]

NERDSTEAK is more than happy to review any food, beverage, restaurant, CPG or equipment items you have to offer.  Feel free to contact Mike directly at chefman316@aol.com to arrange for shipping of samples, or to schedule a review.

Brussels2

Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Coconut

3 cups quartered brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons Woodland Foods Sriracha Seasoning Blend
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 400°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil and Sriracha Seasoning Blend. Pour a single layer of brussels sprouts on the sheet pan, and roast in the oven until the edges start to brown and the sprouts start to become tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and add the almonds and coconut to the pan, tossing until evenly incorporated.  Continue baking until the sprouts are tender and the nuts start to brown, about 5 to 8 additional minutes.  Add additional seasoning to cooked sprouts if needed.

Makes about 4 servings.

You can buy the Sriracha seasoning blend right here!

ID-100128822You can hit that gym for 3 hours burning over 2,000 calories, or walk your dog around the block…depending on your fitness level, you still need to think about what to eat to recover after intense activity so you can keep yourself in top shape without turning into a zombie the following day.  It is recommended to have protein for muscle recovery and carbs/fat to replenish energy storage 30 minutes after activity.  Don’t assume that because you have SOME protein you will ‘bulk up’ as it is just as important for recovery as it is for muscle building. Here are a few good options for post workout recovering, or to recoup after shoveling all that snow:

  • Eggs – 1 large egg contain only 70 calories with almost 7 grams of protein. Pair some eggs up with kale, tomatoes, onions and avocado, and you have a super nutritious meal that will fill you up, and is surprisingly healthy.
  • Hummus and Pita – Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) have both protein and carbs, plus when blended with olive oil and tahini, you have a very dense mix of protein, carbs, and healthy fats.  Remember that this is a bit calorically dense, but since you just used up a bunch of energy, this is the perfect time to add energy back.
  • Trail Mix – Nuts for protein and fats, fruit for carbs, trail mix is natures candy! It also has the benefit of being portable…so mix your own and take it with you.  Pairing nuts with dried blueberries and banana will also keep your immune systems in tip-top form.
  • Quinoa – It is super trendy AND super healthy with even more nutrients than brown rice, plus the added fiber will keep you fuller longer.  It can be eaten hot or cold and can be snuck in meals anytime of the day.
  • Protein Shake – You may or may not consider this an option, but protein shakes have been specifically formulated for muscle growth, recovery, and storage.  However, make sure you do not overdue it, as you may be gaining weight in either muscle, or fat form.  You need no more than 20 to 40 grams depending on the type of activity you just finished.  Also make sure you have carbs in the mix to replenish your energy as well.
  • Stir Fry – Many people are very hungry after workouts, but as stated before, don’t assume you can eat truckloads of food. For those of us who like the ‘full’ feeling, its a good idea to bulk on on the low calorie veggies, with the addition of protein (shrimp, chicken, tofu…) and some whole grains.  Sodium is an electrolyte that needs to be replenished if you worked up a good sweat, so a little soy sauce doesn’t hurt either.
  • The Salad – Maybe not smothered is super high fat dressing or made with 50% cheese, but a well planned salad full of colors, crunchy nuts and seeds, and even some dried fruit would be an excellent choice after raking up all those leaves.
  • Sandwiches – Protein and carbs in sandwich form.  Easy to make, easy to carry, but tasty to eat!

There are 1,000’s of other options, so comment with your favorite post-activity meal or snack!

TrendSince everyone and their mother has been posting what they can expect from the food world in 2014, I thought I would add my own little list of things I expect to see rise and/or fall in the following year:

The fall of quinoa – Other than pumpkin spiced everything (yes I know it is seasonal), pretzel bread, and sriracha, quinoa has been taking over restaurant and retail outlets in the US…which also means as the demand increase, so does the price.  Consumers are going to find there there is a whole list of ancient grains they can incorporate into their diet which rival the nutritional value of quinoa, such as kaniwa, amaranth, buckwheat, bulghur, farro, freekeh, grano, millit, oat groats, spelt, sorghum, and teff, not to mention all of the non-processed rice varieties.  Hurry up and buy in bulk before these other options become ‘the next big thing’ and the price increases on those as well.

Hipster Sweets – Think of all the old school desserts which the hipster crowd is ready to reinvent.  One that I am hoping for is salted butterscotch, (salted caramel knockoff)!  With the boom of specialty beverages as well, we are going to see updated versions of bananas foster, cherries jubilee, baked Alaska, mangos diablo, and peches louis…half of which the hipsters never even heard of.

Turmeric-Shakur – Indian, middle-eastern, and mid-asian cuisine is becoming more and more accepted in the US.  One ingredient in particular climbing the ladder is turmeric. It has a bright color and has been used in curries for years, as well as a coloring agent for multiple purposes.  It also contains curcumin which potentially can treat a whole list of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and allergies.  Not of these claims have been definitively concluded yet, except for turmeric being a tasty addition to your spice cabinet.

Hot Chile Time Machine – Jalapeños, chipotle, cayenne, and habanero are only four of the hundreds of varieties of chiles out there.  It is time to bring in the specialty varieties like aleppo, aji amarillo, calabrian, puya, wiri wiri, mulato, and scorpion to increase heat, build eccentric flavor, and add variety to your menu.  Consumers are accepting heat in their foods more than ever before…thanks fast food!  Sriracha will have some more time at the top, then harissa will take over…

PB&Hey, That’s Not Normal – First, we had peanut butter, and it was good.  Then the alternate nut butters came along, and they were also good.  Now it’s time to raise the bar and flavorize all these tasty spreads.  Due to the fact that the US now wants to add fat back into their diets, we will see an increase of nut and nut butter consumption, but lets take it a step further. Pumpkin spiced walnut butter?!?!?! Maple and black pepper pecan butter?!?!?! Salted agave peanut butter?!?!?! Why not throw in some sriracha bacon rhubarb jam in the mix? (Maybe TOO trendy?)

American Comfort Story – We are going to continue seeing a rise in the American comfort food arena in the upcoming year.  Chicken & waffles made 1000 ways, mac & cheese with artisan locally sourced cheese, meatloaf with specialty game meats, pies with strange crusts, weird fruits, unfamiliar seasonings, salted red velvet cronut cake-pop cupcakes…!!!!!!!!! How many desserts can we mash together???

What are some of your predictions for 2014? Your guess is as good as mine!

ID-10057665Rapid fire food factoids…AAANNNDDD…GO!

  • The Trinidad Scorpion Moruga Blend is the current world record holder for hottest chile with over 2million SHUs.
  • It is recommended that honey should not be fed to infants, the elderly, or people with weakened immune systems due to the honey naturally containing botulism spores.
  • The myth of a McDonald’s hamburger lasting 12 years due to chemicals in the meat is false.  With little moisture, small size, and topical seasonings, the burger dehydrates before it can spoil almost preserving it like jerky.
  • The optimal doneness for a steak is medium-rare.  This allows most of the marbled fat to render and provide and juicy and flavorful steak.  Too rare, and you will have unrendered fat which will not provide optimal taste…too well and you will have excess fat and moisture loss.
  • The juice that comes from steak is nat actually blood.  It is called myoglobin, and is only found in the bloodstream during injury.  It normally resides in muscle tissue, which is the part we commonly eat.
  • It does not matter if you use Crisco, margarine, butter, lard, canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, or palm oil…they all contain 9cal/gram of fat.  There are other positive and negative health concerns associated with each, but they still supply the same amount of calories.
  • 80% of the world’s nations eat bugs as a form of food.
  • Heavy mayonnaise weighs less than regular mayonnaise.
  • One of the main flavoring agents in Worcestershire sauce is anchovies.
  • Taste, texture, and apparence actually have little do to with the flavor of food compared to its odor.
  • There are more Subway restaurants on the planet than there are McDonald’s.
  • There is only one McDonald’s in the world that does not have golden arches. it resides in Arizona, and is turquoise so it does’t clash with the natural red rock formations.
  • Durring emergencies, coconut water can be used as a substitute for blood plasma.
  • Alaskans eat more ice cream per capita than any other state.
  • Cotton candy only costs about $0.06 to make, making it one of the most profitable snacks at any state fair.
  • Bubblegum will melt at 125°F.
  • It is estimated that 40% of all bottled water is actually standard tap water with no additional treatment.

Add to the list!