Saturday, January 7, 2012

Getting Canned

Coffee is an essential part of many people's daily routine.  But let's be honest - how many people actually have the time or the energy to fire up their espresso machines, their French presses, or even just their regular-ol' drip machines every single time they want an extra jolt of energy??

Surfacing in 1969 in Japan, canned coffee has become a popular & convenient alternative for the multiple-times-a-day coffee drinker; & sometimes even for the non-regular coffee drinkers.  Its existence has spanned worldwide & has even been made into energy drinks.  But do canned coffees really deliver on the same levels as real coffee?  Being ever so curious & adventurous, the Boy decided to pick up 3 different types of canned (or bottled) coffee & did a taste test.  Here are the results according to him...

Specimen #1: UCC Original Coffee with Milk
     The first to introduce canned coffee to the world, the UCC Original Coffee with Milk smelled bland.  The taste was overly sweet to the point where it tasted artificial & more like condensed milk than anything.  The Boy actually said that the after taste of the coffee made him thirsty...but not for more.  A can costs about $1.28 and it contains 17.7g sugar per 8oz.

Specimen #2: Sangaria Milk Coffee
     Priced @ $2.13 a bottle, this coffee was really, really, really sweet.  It's so sweet that it can be classified as milk with a little bit of coffee flavoring.  After only 1 sip, the Boy called it quits.  Even though this was much sweeter than the UCC, it only has 16g super per 8oz.

Specimen #3: Pokka Milk Coffee, Real Brewed
     Credited as the company that put the canned coffee industry on the maps, this can of coffee was also really, really artificially sweet.  While it does have more coffee taste than the Sangaria, its after taste was cloying on the tongue.  This was the cheapest of all 3 brands - only $0.93 - but it had the highest sugar content of 17.8g per 8oz.

While the wanted to try as many brands of canned coffee as he could get his hands on, the Boy decided to discontinue his experiment in order to prevent premature Diabetes.  So the final verdict is UCC > Pokka > Sangaria; but none of the specimens could truly be considered as coffee.  While almost all Japanese drinks companies & many European/US companies (i.e. Starbucks, Illy) offer canned versions of our favorites coffee beverages, nothing can really compare to the real deal.  So next time, when you're looking for a quick caffeine fix - or when you just need that taste of coffee in your mouth - but you absolutely don't want to break out the big guns, can the canned stuff & go for something like a Starbucks Via or just shell out a couple of dollar and go to a cafe.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Nothing Homemade - Double'y Clam'y Linguine

Ever had a day where nothing goes as planned?  It's 4pm & you just got off work.  Your plans for dinner fell through & so you had to get groceries, get home (which takes ~1.5 hours), & put dinner for 2 on the table in less than 30 minutes.

That was my Monday.

Yeah - pizza delivery was definitely an option but it would've taken $15.00 out of my wallet & put in 620 Calories - along with 26g of fat, 1600mg of sodium, & 76g of carbohydrates - into my body*.  No thank you!  Instead, I bought $7.28 of food & made a delicious dinner in 10 minutes.

All it took was 1 package of Trader Joe's Linguine with Clam Sauce, 1 box of Trader Joe's Steamer Clams in Garlic Butter Sauce, & 3 tablespoons of water...

Start cooking the steamer clams according to the instructions on the box.  Add in the linguine after 1 minute & cook that according to the instructions on the package.  In 10 minutes or less (I timed!) you are going to end up with 2 servings of delicious food that looks like this...

You might think this plate of yummy'ness is going to be disastrous in terms of its nutrition.  As it turns out, 1 plate contains 310 Calories, 11g Fat, 670mg Sodium, 33g Carbohydrates, 90mg Cholesterol, 21g Protein, & 2g Dietary fiber.

There you have it!  At half the price of a pizza, you can consume half the Calories & other bad stuff from , & be able to enjoy twice the goodness.

* Nutritional contents were calculated for the consumption of 2 slices of Papa John's pepperoni pizza.