McDonald’s other new 2022 salad –chicken Caesar — no hailing Caesar with this one

Brown lettuce in my McDonald’s Caesar Salad, shame on you McD’s.

I’ve been writing about the return of salads to McDonald’s menu in 2022. My first try was its new Southwest salad, a pale reminder of the Southwest salad it once had. Today, I review its other new salad, a Caesar salad.

The packaging is the same as for the Southwest salad and has a use by date on the top, showing these are made somewhere offsite from McDonald’s stores. So they’ve been sitting somewhere waiting to be served. The one I bought had been sitting long enough that lettuce in it was brown, not very appetizing.

Unseal it and you see a tray with ingredients that include chicken, bacon and two compartments of cheese. That has to mean a lot of salt, both in the bacon and the cheese. The bacon bites tasted like real bacon, not some substitute. There are also croutons, likely also high in salt.

Continue reading “McDonald’s other new 2022 salad –chicken Caesar — no hailing Caesar with this one”

Another Pandemic Food casualty: after-Easter candy sales

The day after Easter was always special in my house. That was the day my mother and I got up early to go to a local candy store, Fanny Farmer’s, to buy Easter candy at half-price or even greater reductions. I’ve kept that tradition alive into my 60s now. But sadly, the Pandemic seems to have killed it.

My post-Easter sale find, a giant bunny. I’m showing it here near a Godiva one so you get a sense of how big it was.

Fannie May (local to the Midwest and eventually bought by the same company that bought East-Coast Fanny Farmer’s) had an after-Easter sale in 2020 when the Pandemic was beginning, but didn’t do it last year or this.

Local supermarkets and national drug store chains also had sales in the past, but this year the pickings were extremely slim — mostly white chocolate oddball items. Even the dollar stores had only a smattering of what they once had — coffee-flavored Peeps anyone?

A lot of driving from store to store on the Tuesday after Easter netted me only this mega-bunny from a Walgreen’s — $6, which still seems high for an off-brand of chocolate.

It did take me back to happier times though. I ate it all week, finishing it the following Monday, a small smattering of goodness on my otherwise heart-conscious diet.

First look: McDonald’s 2022 salads – a shadow of what they used to be

McDonald’s has always had a love-hate relationship with salads, offering them primarily for mothers of small children who came demanding Happy Meals. But for me, salads were the only half-healthy item I could eat at McDonald’s, so I modified them to cut salt and carried on.

When the Pandemic hit, McDonald’s pulled salads completely from its U.S. menu. But as this spring arrives, a new McDonald’s salad offering is on store menus. Here’s a first look at the new Southwest Style Salad.

The new McDonald’s salad comes in a deeper plastic bowl than the old one and has a tray of ingredients on top that you add to the salad to build it. I left off the beans.

You can see from my pictures, packaging is radically different than the pre-pandemic Southwest salad. Ingredients are in a little tray that sits atop the lettuce.

Continue reading “First look: McDonald’s 2022 salads – a shadow of what they used to be”

Portion control issues? Here are six hacks to try

How many chips can you eat? Likely the whole bag if you keep it handy. So put some ina small bowl instead.

Portion control is a constant struggle for Americans, we’ve been so conditioned to overeat and always “clean our plates.” I wrote about pre-portioning your snacks as one approach to keep from binge eating treats. Now Cooking Light magazine has tried six other portion control hacks.

These include everything from the color of the plates you use to measuring your portion size with the palm of your hand. There’s also one that counsels to turn off all your screens. Eating while watching TV or being online is a sure way to overeat.

Keeping a food diary also is tried. I used LoseIt for years and it definitely helped, until the point where my daily diet became so repetitious it seemed silly to keep putting it in every day.

Expect food prices to rise an average 4% this year, USDA forecasts

Expect rising prices at the supermarket this year.

Food prices rose throughout the pandemic and this year will be no different, with average food prices up 4%, predicts the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Looking at specific food categories, the USDA sees dairy products rising 5%, poultry items 7%, cereals and baked goods 4% and restaurant prices 6.5%.

Keep in mind that assumes we don’t change our shopping habits because of rising prices, something we all should be doing.

Check my posts on trying dollar stores and planning every shopping trip to get the lowest prices, among my other suggestions.

Diet trends to watch for in 2022 — know what ashwagandha is?

Cooking Light has out its look at which diets people are quitting in 2022 and what new food trends to expect. Keto is out. Intermittent fasting is in as is something called ashwagandha.

This is what ashwgandha looks like.

Why is keto out? “The diet’s restrictive nature is one reason we think interest is fading. Another reason is that consumers are realizing they can achieve desirable outcomes without eliminating carbs,” the article states.

And for that ashwagandha — “Ashwagandha grew slowly in popularity in 2020 and 2021, but it’s going to be bigger than ever in 2022 so get ready to see this adaptogen everywhere. Used in ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years, adaptogens improve the body’s physiological ability to cope with stress and include ashwagandha, turmeric, holy basil, goji berries, and others—but ashwagandha is one of the most studied.”

That explanation left me scratching my head, so I went to WebMD to find out what this stuff actually is. “Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that grows in Asia and Africa. It is commonly used for stress. There is little evidence for its use as an “adaptogen.” Ashwagandha contains chemicals that might help calm the brain, reduce swelling, lower blood pressure, and alter the immune system. Since ashwagandha is traditionally used as an adaptogen, it is used for many conditions related to stress.” WebMD states.

So it could be another miracle ingredient that really isn;t much of miracle at all. Always beware of any claims that foods can do other than feed you.

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