Michelina’s Harmony Shrimp Scampi Review

Filed Under (Lunch, Review) by Lisa on 10-12-2009

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This afternoon, I wasn’t in the mood for leftovers for lunch. I decided to have one of my frozen meals. I chose my Michelina’s Harmony Shrimp Scampi.

The package describes this entrée as “pasta in a light wine sauce with shrimp, tomatoes and carrots”.

I bought this frozen meal because I liked that it had shrimp in it. I have a new found love for shrimp and prawns. Price wise it seemed reasonable at $2.99, so I was sold on that.

Here are my thoughts on this pasta.

The directions on the package state to microwave the shrimp scampi for 3 minutes. That was exactly what I did, and it was way too long! I ended up dropping the package (and catching it luckily) because it was too hot. I think 2 minutes would have been a much more appropriate cooking time.

I was amazed at how little food was in the box. I don’t expect frozen meals to be that big, but this was the smallest amount of food for the size of the box that I have ever seen! What I found interesting was that there was a seemly huge amount of sauce for the very small amount of noodles. That is one thing Michelina’s could improve on. Add more pasta please! There was about 6 or 7 pieces of shrimp in the box which wasn’t much but I didn’t expect much as far was that goes. There was quite a bit of carrot (compared to everything else) and almost no tomato in this meal.


Taste wise it tasted very good. I would give it top marks for frozen meal taste.

Health wise the shrimp scampi didn’t fare well in my books. There are 280 calories in the whole package (which would be okay if the package actually filled you reasonably). There is 6 g of fat in this meal. That sounds great, but the 40 mg of cholesterol and 590 mg of sodium (eik, scary) don’t. The health pluses include 11 g of protein, and 15% of your daily intake of iron, and vitamin A.

I enjoyed the taste and texture of the shrimp scampi greatly, but everything else about it didn’t impress me. I won’t be buying this frozen meal again.

Macaroni and Cheese For Lunch

Filed Under (Lunch, Pasta, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 21-10-2009

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The weather these days has really cooled off. This afternoon I was really cold, so I decided whatever I had for lunch it had to be warm or hot. I was in the mood for cooking but couldn’t decide what to make, so I went with something quick and easy. I made macaroni and cheese (from the box) with a few special additions.

To give my lunch some added protein I added two sticks of turkey and  chicken pepperoni. I also added about 1 tablespoon of low fat grated cheddar cheese to my macaroni. This gave it an added zest that was very pleasing.

To balance out my meal I had my macaroni and cheese with a large amount of raw carrot sticks, and some left over green onion/garlic dip from a couple days ago.




How do you like your Mac and Cheese? Do you have a special recipe for it?

Spinach and Mandarin Salad

Filed Under (Appetizers, Lunch, Salads) by Lisa on 02-09-2009

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While I was in Nova Scotia this summer my uncle D introduced me to a new kind of salad; spinach and mandarin salad. I have always been a bit skeptical of mixing fruit and vegetables, in a salad together. However I gave his salad a try, and I loved it. I asked for the recipe, and he gave it to me verbally. I didn’t have a pen or paper at the time so I just tried to remember it. I think I remembered the ingredients just not the amounts.

I recreated this salad for lunch today and it was marvelous.

Here is my recipe.

Spinach and Mandarin Salad

Fresh spinach
One large mandarin orange
½ pinch salt
A couple shakes of black pepper
¼ tsp or less white sugar
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Place the spinach in a bowl. Cut each piece of mandarin orange in half and mix the orange pieces into the salad. In a small bowl add the vinegar, olive oil, salt, sugar, and black pepper. Mix well. Pour over salad. Toss, and serve.


This salad is super yummy! The orange pieces make it taste very refreshing. The juice from the orange also adds a lovely flavor to the dressing of the salad.

This is one of my favorite salads now that I will be making often!

A Healthy Lunch on a Hot Day

Filed Under (Lunch, Random, Salads) by Lisa on 03-06-2009

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Today it’s 30 degrees Celsius! I am sure not use to weather this hot. On Vancouver Island where I live we only have a few days that are this hot per year.

Since it is so hot out today, I didn’t want to do anything to heat up the house, when it comes to cooking. I decided to have a small salad to start things off. I made my favorite simple salad with some romaine lettuce, and my favorite home made salad dressing. Here is the recipe:

Lisa’s Simple Vinaigrette Dressing

Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Black pepper

Add all the vegetables to a bowl and add your desired amounts of the above ingredients. Toss and enjoy.

I topped my salad with some light grated mozzarella cheese and a small amount of low fat feta cheese. It was a simple, fresh and tasty starter. I had one of my favorite juices with it.

Green salad
strawberry kiwi juice

Next I had a left over egg roll from a few nights ago.

Egg Roll

Finally I had some expired no fat raspberry yogurt. It was 5 days past the expiry date. I am careful when I eat foods that are expired. It smelled okay, looked okay and tasted okay so I think it was safe to eat. I really don’t like wasting food, so unless there is something suspicious looking or smelling about an expired food, I take a chance and eat it.


What are your thoughts on expired foods? Do you automatically toss foods once they are past their best before date? Or do you eat them anyways using caution?

It’s A Wrap

Filed Under (Lunch, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 18-04-2009

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I have always been a huge fan of wraps of all kinds. I use to eat them often but haven’t had one in quite a few months.

A few days ago I decided to make myself a wrap for lunch. I used my left over cajun chicken breast, a whole wheat tortilla shell, marble cheese, ranch dressing, and romaine lettuce. It turned out super yummy. Here is a photo.
Wrap unrolled

The Best Salad Ever!!

Filed Under (Appetizers, Lunch, Quick Meals, Salads) by Lisa on 15-04-2009

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The Best Salad Ever

This afternoon I was in a mood for healthy food. I decided to make some salad for lunch. I was inspired by the recipe on fellow blogger Jenn’s blog at http://eatingbender.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/%c2%a1ensalada/

This salad is unique and yummy. The many tastes and textures combine to give this salad “zing” like no other. I was so full after. As usual I morphed the recipe. Here is my version.

Romaine lettuce


½ red pepper

Some cucumber

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 heaped tbsp low fat cottage cheese

A few shakes of ground light parmesan cheese

A small amount of grated marble cheese

2-3 tbsp medium salsa

Some sliced/slivered almonds

Prepare Vegetables. Combine all the ingredients in a medium-large sized salad dish. If desired have sections for each dressing ingredient. Toss if desired serve immediately.

I made myself a Pom-Wonderful Punch to go with my lovely salad with the juices below.


Pom Punch

A Simple Lunch

Filed Under (Lunch, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 15-04-2009

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bagel with cheese

Today I wanted something simple for lunch so I decided to have a plain toasted bagel with olive oil margarine and marble cheese. I used my favorite kitchen tool the cheese slicer, to create nice thin slices of cheese.

thin cheese

For an appetizer I had a lovely bowl of fresh cantaloupe.


I felt full and satisfied after I had this simple meal.

Cajun Chicken Green Salad

Filed Under (Appetizers, Lunch, Salads) by Lisa on 14-04-2009

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cajun chicken salad

A couple days ago I was in the mood for spicy chicken. We also had no bread in the house so I decided I would make a salad.

I fried up a couple chicken breasts. I spiced them with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and freshly ground Cajun seasoning. Once the chicken was well cooked I cut it all up into small pieces and put some aside for a future meal.

salad dressing stuff

Cajun spice


For my greens, I mixed romaine lettuce with iceberg. I combined them in a bowl and added my signature home made salad dressing.

For the dressing I drizzled some olive oil over my greens and then poured a generous amount of balsamic vinegar over the lettuce. I  sprinkled salt and pepper over my greens,  then I added some light parmesan cheese over top. Finally I added my Cajun Chicken. Viola lunch was served.

It was a wonderful yummy meal. I was surprised that I was quite full after, since I usually have a something else with salad.

I had some of my favorite juice with my delicious salad.

my favourite juice

Cauliflower, Cheddar and Parmesan Soup

Filed Under (Cooking, Lunch, Soups, Supper) by Lisa on 22-02-2009

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This evening I was in the mood for soup. Since we had quite a bit of cauliflower  in the house I thought I would find a recipe for cauliflower soup. I searched for a recipe and found one that seemed appealing on this website: http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/239/Cauliflower-And-Parmesan-Soup74416.shtml.

I morphed the recipe greatly.

The soup turned out super yummy. It makes quite a big pot of soup. Enough for about 6 very large servings.

Cauliflower, Cheddar and Parmesan Soup

olive oil

2-3 white onions (diced)

1-2 stalks celery (diced)

2 cloves garlic (diced)

5 medium sized pealed potatoes

½-1 head cauliflower

2 vegetable bullion packages (made according to box)

4 cups boiling water





garlic powder



cheddar cheese (grated)

parmesan cheese (grated fresh)

Prepare all vegetables. In a large pot coat the bottom with olive oil. On medium heat place the onions and garlic in the pot. Brown. Add the celery. Cook for several minutes. Now add the potato. Prepare the vegetable bullion according to box directions (I used ¾ cup water for each package of bullion). Add your prepared vegetable bullion mixture to the cooking vegetables. Cook the vegetables for 10-12 minutes. Add all the spices and herbs (be generous with these especially the salt). Now add the cauliflower. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Pour the vegetable mixture into a blender or food processor. Whiz for a few seconds. Then place back in pot. Do this until all the soup has been in the blender (I used a separate pot to pour my blended soup into). Once all the soup is blended on low heat add the cheeses continue to stir until melted. Sample the soup. If it is zesty enough serve if not add more of the same spices and cook for several more minutes.

I served this soup with some home made tortilla chips, and some fresh vegtables.

Enjoy J

The Not So Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Filed Under (Cooking, Lunch, Quick Meals) by Lisa on 20-01-2009

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When I was a kid my mom introduced me to what she called “grilled cheese sandwiches”. It was not until later in life that I learned that these sandwiches that she called “grilled” were not grilled at all. Instead they were baked.

I have had real “grilled” cheese sandwiches a few times in my life (in my 20’s), and from those experiences eating them I can say that they are nothing like the baked (grilled) cheese sandwiches that I grew up with. Both kinds are very good, but in different ways.

Here are the not so grilled cheese sandwiches that I grew up with.

I made them with whole wheat sliced Italian bread, and low fat marble cheese. I baked them in the oven for about 4 minutes on 375 degrees F. Then I placed some garlic style sliced baby dill pickles on top. That is it. There are no sauces and no margarine or butter. The fat in a low fat cheese is enough to make the bread (not dry).

I think the not so grilled cheese sandwich is a good alternative to “real” grilled cheese sandwiches because real ones seem to have butter or margarine in them (meaning more calories).