Sunday, October 5, 2014

Already Tested: Chicken Cordon Bleu from Food Network

I don't think this dish is particularly healthy, but I'm sure it isnt' terrible and not as bad as restaurant food. But man, it tastes great. I baked it, which is great because oil or butter isn't used, saving you calories. Also it uses chicken breast which is also lean. The only two factors I feel are "fatty" are the prosciutto and cheese used in each roll/log.

Oh by the way, this was a dish I made a few weeks ago already but now am posting it.

This portion I'm about to break down for you comfortably fed both my boyfriend and me with no leftovers but we were still full, granted we did have some pasta to go with it.

This is the cost break down for a portion for 2:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced into thin slabs then pounded out to be 1/4 inch thick ($1.88/lb)
    • NOTE: This pound yielded around 5 rolls/logs in the end that are approximately 3-5 inches long
  • 8 THIN prosciutto slices ($3 for 10 slices at Target from the deli, therefore $2.40)
    • NOTE: Some chicken slabs will be bigger after being pounded out so I had to use 2 slices since the prosciutto isn't very wide
  • 1 cup 4 cheese Italian blend from Sam's Club (I think it was $8 for 1lb tub, therefore I think this may be $1-2 worth)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour ($2 for a huge bag so maybe 10 cents tops)
  • OMITTED salt and pepper because the prosciutto is very salty and flavored the chicken enough
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs ($1.90 for the box, so approx 45 cents used is my estimate but I may be wrong)
  • OMITTED the fresh thyme (expensive to buy fresh herbs and this dish was great even without it)
  • OMITTED garlic (didn't need it honestly. I'm sure there might more of a kick of flavor but that prosciutto already packs a lot of flavor)
  • OMITTED butter (I don't know why this recipe needs butter honestly. It's extra calories and my dish still turned out delicious)
  • 1 egg (20 cents)
GRAND TOTAL: $7.03 for 2 people, not including the pasta I cooked with it, to which I used 1/2 a box of penne pasta which would literally amount to $1.50 used if that

Here's my instagram crappy picture of the turn out. I used cream cheese in this photo but normally I use the 4 cheese Italian blend as mentioned.

 photo chickencordonbleu_zps5cc57b9e.jpg

Looks much better after you slice it out and arrange it on a plate in an artful way! This is fresh out of the oven.


VERY delicious, even though I omitted the thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic. Honestly it tasted GREAT despite omitting those. I don't need to spend an extra few bucks to get that thyme. This wasn't difficult to make. It was just tedious. You need a meat tenderizer mallet to hammer out the chicken thin so that it will roll. My picture, if you compare it to the foodnetwork picture, looks more or less the same, so I'm happy to report that you get what you see once you make it, as opposed to a lot of other recipes we try out and they end up looking sad haha.

I really do not recommend adding extra salt because I stressed already that the prosciutto really packs on a lot of flavor already. My boyfriend completely loves this dish and didn't think that there was anything missing in flavor when eating it. He wants me to make it again haha. It's really a great dish that looks presentable enough for a party and tastes great. Just be prepared to be in the kitchen for an hour to make a 2-person portion if you're an amateur in the kitchen like me.

I also apologize for not approximating the cost exactly. It's difficult to look at a huge bag of flour that doesn't cost very much and estimate how much you've used when you barely used anything. But the overall message is that this dish won't cost you very much. It isn't dirt cheap but for what you get, which is a delicious and well presented meal, it's affordable.

This is now a favorite of mine and my boyfriend. I will be sure to make this again and again.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments!

See y'all in the next post!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

BEFORE YOU BUY REVIEW: thinkThin Salted Caramel Lean Protein & Fiber Bar

Just to say as a disclaimer before you think I'm some kind of expert doing this review: I am just an amateur cook and an average person stating my opinion about this bar. I'm no nutritionist and cannot talk about the heath details of this. I'm just speaking from the point of view from someone who was curious of these bars by seeing them recommended on the

Having said that, lets get on with the review and what I have to say.

Here's the link to thinkThin's website for this particular bar flavor:

They claim and say:

Bite into smooth caramel covered in dark chocolate, with a crispy salty finish.
A dreamy experience at 150 calories


At only 150 calories, thinkThin Lean Protein & Fiber™ bars deliver the perfect balance of 10g of protein and 5g of fiber to give you energy and help keep you full and satisfied.

So let's address everything they said.

  • Smooth caramel: You will NOT be getting actual caramel as shown in my picture below
  • Dark chocolate: This thinly coats the bar but doesn't add any chocolate flavor that I can taste. I honestly think the chocolate is just to coat the bar to prevent the actual product from sticking 
  • Crispy: They have tidbits of crisps inside the bar so you do get a slight crunch, but don't expect it to be like you're biting into rice krispies treats bars
  • Salty finish: I barely tasted the salt, but enough saltiness was there to taste just a hint of it
  • Energy: I am always fatigued and looking for energy, but this bar didn't give me what coffee would, and I didn't expect it to, but I thought to mention that in case some of you want an actual energy boost. The energy you feel is simply by having food in your stomach
  • Feeling full and satisfied: This will be from a biased point of view since I get hungry every 3-4 hours. So this absolutely can not be a meal replacement for me. This has been eaten as a snack between early breakfast and lunch. It helps hold me off between those hours, but that's about it.
Additional comments I have about this bar:

  • This caramel is really just like what you'd see in any protein bar. Not real caramel. The flavor isn't strong but isn't weak either. It's got this slightly artificial caramel taste to it rather than you feeling like you're eating real caramel. To me, that's expected from a bar that doesn't actually have caramel.
  • It has the same consistency as most protein bars. Slightly powdery/chalky/dry rather than moist like chewy granola bars. Don't get me wrong, that isn't necessarily bad, but thought to tell you in case you were expecting some dream chewy bar for a protein bar.
  • The size of the bar is quite thin, but long, which is fine. Don't just expect a thick bar you'd find in the cereal and granola bar aisle.
  • Tastes good, but I'm not blown away
  • Expensive. $6 for a box of 5 at Target, but at my local organic grocery store it costs $2.50 per bar alone. However this is less expensive compared to some other protein bars.
  • I appreciate the 10g protein and 5g fiber and that this is low calorie for a protein bar. Most ones I see are 250-350 calories per bar. This is 150 calories as stated.

Would I repurchase? 

I don't think I will. Not because it's a terrible product. But because I feel it tastes average. But maybe I'm just expecting too much from a protein bar that more or less tastes like this from my experience. I read the description on the box while at Target and gave the bar the benefit of the doubt that it will taste better than other protein bars I've tried, but really, it's more or less the same. 

Here are two pictures of the product:

 photo thinkthinbar1_zpsf1ee6e49.jpg

 photo thinkthinbar2_zps0dec2b8f.jpg

Have any of you tasted this bar before? What are your thoughts on it? Do you agree or disagree with me? What are some other protein bars you have tried and tested that you would recommend?

See y'all in my next post!

Testing Out My Version: Nutella and Cinnamon Oatmeal with Almonds

I can't take credit for coming up with my version of this oatmeal. I was inspired by the 's "Chocolate Brownie Oatmeal".

Here is the link to her recipe:

So basically this isn't testing out the original recipe. This is me testing out my own version based upon what ingredients I have in the apartment. But I thought to share with you anyway how it turned out. I didn't have cocoa powder or walnuts or flax seeds and I forgot to put honey or Stevia to make this more sweet. I will do that next time.

I recently bought oatmeal to try to eat healthier breakfasts, but one knows that oatmeal can get boring, or is boring from the get-go, especially if eaten completely plain.

I'm not fond of putting bananas into my oatmeal like others so that's why I had my attention caught with the's recipe. Because, well, I love chocolate.

Here's the cost and breakdown of what I used:

  • 1/2 cup dry rolled instant oats ($2 for the entire can but used 15 cents for the portion)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk sweetened version ($3 for the carton but used 19 cents for the portion)
    • NOTE: I don't like my oatmeal runny with milk. I prefer it drier while still moist. Feel free to use more milk if you like yours more soupy.
  • 1/2 TBSP Nutella ($3.48 for the jar but used 4 cents for the portion)
  • Sprinkle of slivered almonds ($2 for a small pack, used 25 cents for the portion)
  • 3 quick bottle shakes of ground Cinnamon ($2.25 for the bottle but used 2 cents max)
GRAND TOTAL: 65 cents!


  • Oatmeal: 150 calories
  • Almond Milk: 30 calories
  • Nutella: 50 calories
  • Almonds: 20 calories
  • Cinnamon: 5 calories
TOTAL CALORIES: 255 calories

Here's what it looked like after I put it together this morning:

 photo IMG_8294_zpsbf9c12a5.jpg


I really wanted to put a full 1 TBSP of Nutella to make the chocolately flavor stronger, but I wanted to save calories. So this portion turned out a good hint of chocolate, but isn't strong enough to taste like you're eating Nutella on a slice of bread. I was slightly disappointed because I was hoping even the small amount of Nutella would flavor the entire oatmeal enough, but I should've known better. 1/2 TBSP of Nutella really isn't much, so next time I might just use the full 1 TBSP and eat up the additional 50 calories, making the portion 305 calories, which isn't terrible, but still not preferable.

Still though, the hint of chocolate was enough so that I could eat the entire bowl of oatmeal without feeling like I'm eating cardboard. And the crunchy texture of the slivered almonds helped. Couldn't taste the cinnamon that much but it was enough to get the smell of it, which was pleasant.

Would I make this again? Sure! This beats eating my oatmeal plain even though it isn't optimal. But it was my fault for not putting in some honey or 0 calorie Stevia to make it sweeter. I might try that next time to see how it turns out.

But hey, my picture doesn't look too shabby now does it? I think despite the taste turn out, the cost was ridiculously cheap and it physically looked good.

What oatmeal concoctions have you tried and liked? Please do share!

See y'all in my next post!