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On My Plate ... Part 1

February 27, 2012 - Phyllis Sigal
Several new food products have crossed my desk in the last couple of months that I've had the opportunity to taste.

I thought I'd share some of these items with blog readers out there, and as other new food items come my way, I'll continue to share.

• Good Karma Flax Milk and Good Karma Coffee Creamer — both are dairy and lactose free, free of trans-fat and gluten, and they are vegan.

Along with being all that, they are tasty, too! I don't drink milk on a regular basis, but there are times when a cup of coffee with creamer hits the spot. The coffee creamer — in French vanilla, hazelnut and regular — adds just the right creaminess and a hint of flavor.

The flax milk has quite an interesting flavor — like flax — surprise, surprise. But I liked its nuttiness, especially on cereal and hot oatmeal. I also used it instead of regular milk in a sweet potato bread recipe.

The flax milk comes in original, unsweetened and vanilla. It is organic, lactose free, gluten free, non-dairy, trains-fat free, soy free, allergen free, vegan and supports green farming. It also contains Omega-3s.

One cup has 2.5 grams of fat; the original and vanilla, 60 calories per cup, while the unsweetened only has 25 calories in a cup.

• Do you want Asian food without the take-out? Crazy Cuizine — love the name! — brings fully cooked items to your freezer.

Potstickers, Mandarin Orange Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken and Tangerine Beef are ready to heat and serve, are high in protein and free of preservatives, trans-fat and MSG.

I liked the potstickers, but I didn't care much for the dipping sauce that came with them — it was a little too vinegary for my taste. But I always have a bottle of dipping sauce in my refrigerator to use instead.

The Mandarin Orange Chicken was really delicious and with fairly health stats. It so easy to heat up — a great meal when my chef-husband Bruce is out of town!

• This was a fun product I was given to try: Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer. It is alcohol and gluten free. But it's certainly not free of imagination and entertainment!

According to the label, "Since 1374, the Flying Cauldron has been making this magical brew for under-aged wizards and wizards who are young at heart at their brew pub in Hogsbreath, England." That all certainly brings to mind the "Harry Potter" mystique.

"Some wizards claim that this brew places a ward of protection on those who drink it and that consuming this product has been known to accelerate wizarding abilities in borderline wizard cases," it continues.

I asked three of my "Muggle" friends — 11-year-old triplets, Max, Jules and Gabe Baier — their opinion of the magic brew.

Gabe pointed to the very strong "butterscotch" flavor; Jules noted it tasted like a butterscotch "Dum Dum" lollipop with hints of vanilla.

And Max — well, Max said it said it tasted like "molten gold." Sounds like the magic is already starting to work!

For a tasty potion, try the "Giggle Potion" — "Chill down a nice beer mug in the freezer. Put a scoop of ice cream in the glass. Then slowly pour the Butterscotch Beer over the ice cream. Watch out for an attack of delicious foam."

Yum! Sounds delicious!

• I have always loved Alouette Cheese Spread — especially the garlic and herb flavor. But I recently tried the Boursin brand of gourmet spreadable cheese in its new flavors: Spinach & Artichoke and Sundried Tomato & Basil. It also comes in Garlic & Herbs (regular and light) — which I tried as well — and Vermont Cheddar & Sage.

I even did a taste test with the Garlic & Herbs Alouette I had in my refrigerator. They were close, but I thought the Boursin was much creamier, with a more intense flavor.

I loved the artichoke and spinach, with its little chunks of artichoke.

Boursin is made by Bel Brands USA, which also makes Laughing Cow and Mini Babybel cheeses — two of my favorites!

Stay tuned for some more "On My Plate" ... I've got several samples that I've yet to try. (I'm especially looking forward to the cookies that are paired with wine!)

I am looking for:

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