Tag Archives: Eat This?

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Mini Feta Herb Sundried Tomato Quiche


 Need an easy, healthy appetizer to make for a special occasion?  Try these mini quiche using premade pastry shells.  The fat content of this hors d’oeuvres is reduced compared to its traditional counterpart by using egg whites, fat-free evaporated milk, and reduced-fat feta cheese.  To help you find the ingredients that fit best with your nutritional and health needs, use your “Shop to Lose“, “Eat This?”, and “Eat What?” apps for the iPhone.  Click here for the recipe.

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Filed under appetizers, Eat This?, Eat What?, healthy food, iPhone apps, low-fat, PICKKA, Recipes, Shop to Lose

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Eat What?

Eat What? recommends what to eat from grocery stores and restaurants.

Last month, PICKKA launched a cool new app for the iPhone – Eat What?. This nifty app provides you with a list of recommended products to buy at the grocery store and/or suggestions of menu items from a restaurant based on your dietary objectives (e.g., management of diabetes, prediabetes, weight, cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and/or adhering to healthy eating).  Eat What? is simple to use.

First, select your health objectives.

Second, specify whether you want to search restaurant menu items or products from the grocery store.  Then, type the name of the restaurant, product brand, or food category for which you would like recommendations.

Third, review the list of recommendations.  Nutritional information is provided as well as consumer ratings of taste to help you narrow your choice.

“Eat What?” eliminates the guess work out of deciding what to eat so you can spend more time enjoying your food and less time analyzing it.  For an easy way to stay on track, download the “Eat What?” app for your iPhone.

Don’t have an iPhone?  Try PICKKA’s “Eat This?” app now available for the Android market.  Visit Eat This?” to learn more and to download the app to your Android phone.


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Filed under Eat This?, Eat What?, health, healthy eating tips, healthy food, iPhone apps, nutrition, nutrition labels, PICKKA, restaurant meals

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Lemon-Olive Oil Tuna Noodle Casserole

This healthier version of tuna noodle casserole relies on a lemon-olive oil dressing rather than a heavy cream base for flavor.

I came across the idea for this healthier version of tuna noodle casserole a few years back and, after a few tweaks here and there, have used it ever since as one of my “go-to” recipes when I’m in a pinch.  Most of the ingredients are staples found in the pantry and ice box so it is easy to throw together when you are short for time. 

By replacing the heavy cream base of the traditional tuna noodle casserole with a lemon juice-olive oil dressing, the saturated fat content of this meal can be reduced.  Although I am an advocate for using whole-grain pasta, for this particular dish I wanted a milder tasting noodle that would not compete with the other flavors.  Therefore, I used my Evincii/PICKKA’s “Eat This?” app for the iPhone to help me find a satisfactory alternative.  After entering my health objectives, I started scanning pasta products.  To my suprise, my choice for a milder tasting pasta fell into the “Good Choice” category as did its whole-grain counterpart.  I was content with my choice and felt reassured that it was a healthy alternative.

Lemon-Olive Oil Tuna Noodle Casserole


1 (14.4 ounce) box of farfalle pasta, cooked according to package directions

2 green onions, chopped

1 small yellow pepper, chopped

3/4 cup frozen peas, cooked according to package directions

1 (12 ounce) can of solid white albacore tuna packed in water, drained and broken into pieces

1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Lemon-olive oil dressing (recipe below)*


Rinse cooked pasta in cold water and drain.  Place pasta into a large bowl.  Add yellow pepper, green onion, peas, and tuna fish.  Mix to combine the ingredients.  Pour lemon-olive oil dressing over pasta mixture and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Serve with whole-grain bread.

*Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing:  In a small bowl wisk together 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil; 3 TBS lemon juice; 3 crushed cloves of garlic; 1 tsp white vinegar; 1/2 tsp of sea salt; 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper.

What is your favorite way to eat tuna fish?  Share with us, we want to know!



Filed under easy meals, Eat This?, healthy food, healthy pantry staples, homemade meals, PICKKA, Recipes

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Easy Father’s Day Dessert

A broiled peach topped with reduced-fat ice cream makes for a healthier, yet sweetly satisfying, dessert.

I decided to get a little “peachy” with the Father’s Day dessert this year.  My choice? Broiled peaches with reduced-fat vanilla ice cream.  Why? I wanted to make something that could be prepared in individual servings to prevent overindulging on leftovers later (as would happen with me and a pie).  Yet, I wanted the dessert to be satisfying enough that there wasn’t a residing feeling of being “cheated” out of dessert.

I used my Evincii/PICKKA “Eat This?” app for the iPhone to help me find the right ice cream and granola for my goals.  My first choice for ice cream fell into the “Not Too Bad” category.  I wasn’t pleased with this.  I wanted an ice cream that fell into a healthier category because the main course would be higher in calories because of the special occasion.  Therefore, I used the “View Healthy Alternatives” option of the app and found an ice cream that was categorized as a “Good Choice.”  Next, I used my “Eat This?” app to find granola.  My choice fell in the “OK Choice,” but I saw on my app that three other consumers gave it a five star taste rating.  Because only 1 tsp would be served to each individual, I decided it was an acceptable choice, especially since other purchasers indicated it was tasty.

I decided to use fresh peaches, rather than canned.  Although most of the recipes that I have come across for broiled peaches require you to sprinkle sugar and/or butter on the peach halves prior to broiling, I decided against it.  I chose to rely on the natural sweetness of the peaches combined with the creaminess of the ice-cream to give appeal to this dessert.  Therefore, I broiled the peaches “au natural.”  Here is how I prepared the dessert:


  • 3 medium ripe peaches, cut in half, pits removed, and skin left on (use more peaches if serving more than 6 people; figure a 1/2 peach per person)
  • Reduced-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (enough for one scoop per person)
  • Reduced-fat Granola (1 tsp per person)
  • Cinnamon (enough for garnish)
  • Honey (about 1/2 TBS per person)


Preheat the broiler.  Wash and pat dry peaches.  Carefully slice each peach in half and remove the pit.  Place peaches, cut-side up, on broiler pan lined with aluminum foil.  Place in the oven about 3 inches from the heat.  Cook until juices start to bubble and peaches are browned (about 3-5 minutes).  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes.  Place peaches on individual dessert plates.  Scoop reduced-fat vanilla ice cream on top of each peach half.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and granola.  Drizzle honey over the top.  Serve immediately.

What will you be serving for dessert this Father’s Day?  Will you use your “Eat This?” app to help you find the right ingredients?  Share with us, we want to know!



Filed under dessert, easy meals, Eat This?, Father's Day, Father's Day Dessert, fruit, gourmet, healthy food, homemade meals, low-fat, men, PICKKA, Recipes

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Chicken Salsa Soup

Using mostly canned ingredients, this "homemade" Chicken Salsa Soup can be made in a flash.

Several years ago, I visited a good friend with my one year-old son to have a “play date” with her five month-old son.  I vividly remember those days of trying to balance work and family life while being pregnant with my second child.  To me, at the time, it was a big accomplishment if I could have the diaper bag stocked and ready-to-go; so, when I arrived to her home and saw that she had homemade soup cooking on the stove for our lunch I was in awe.  I thought, “How was she able to do it?”.  Her secret was that she used mostly canned products.

The recipe she gave me for her Chicken Salsa Soup is one that I still use to this day.  Over the years, I have tweaked it to make it healthier.  To make this last batch, I chose to use my Evincii/PICKKA “Eat This?” app for the iPhone to see just how well I was doing with my health makeover of the original recipe.  I entered in my health objectives and scanned the barcodes of the products.  For my cheese selection I fell in the “not too bad” category, and although I could have found a cheese brand that put me into the “very good choice” I decided to keep my original selection because I knew it would taste better.  I was happy to see that my salsa selection fell into the “very good choice” category.  After reviewing the comments of the “Eat This?” app for my product selections, I think my health makeover of the original recipe was a success.  The recipe is as follows:

Chicken Salsa Soup


2 12.5 ounce cans of premium chunk chicken, drained

2 10 3/4 ounce cans of reduced-fat cream of chicken soup

1 11 ounce can of corn niblets, drained

1 15 ounce can of black beans – drained and rinsed

1 16 ounce jar of salsa or picante sauce

2 cups of skim milk

1 small chopped yellow onion

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 TBS cumin

1 TBS lime juice

2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheese (chedder or mexican-style)


Combine all ingredients, except for the cheese, in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to low and add the cheese.  Stir frequently and cook until the cheese is melted.  Serve with whole-grain tortilla chips (Note: you may wish to garnish with extra shredded cheese, a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream, and chopped chives).


Filed under easy meals, Eat This?, healthy food, low-fat, PICKKA, Recipes, soup

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA

Orange couscous with dried fruit and pine nuts is a quick and easy meal.

Orange couscous with dried fruit and pine nuts is a quick and easy meal.

Simplicity is the key to this couscous dish that is full of flavor and texture.  To add a nice citrus twist to this Middle Eastern staple, substitute orange juice for half of the amount of water used to cook the couscous.  This dish is a great compliment as a side to many entrees (e.g., salmon, chicken, etc.,) or as a meal of its own.  By using store bought wholesome foods, this dish can be made in about 15 minutes or less.

To help me find ingredients consistent with my health and nutrition goals, I used my Evincii/PICKKA’s Eat This? app for the iPhone.  I love this app because it is so easy – all I have to do after entering my health objectives is to scan the bar code of the product.  Then, Eat This? tells me whether it is suitable or not for me.


  • 1 box of whole-wheat couscous, cooked according to directions with the exception of replacing half of the required amount of water with orange juice
  • Orange juice (see amount needed in preparation directions)
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh chives


In a medium sauce pan combine equal parts orange juice and water (total amount determined by package directions).  Bring to a boil.  Add couscous, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes.  Peel and seperate orange into segments.  Cut each orange segment into thirds.  Chop the chives.  Place couscous into serving bowl, add remaining ingredients.  Combine.  Garnish with orange zest if you prefer.  Serve.

Have you eaten couscous before?  How did you like it?  Did you serve it as a side or as the main dish?  Share with us, we want to know!

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Filed under easy meals, Eat This?, healthy food, Recipes, whole grains

Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – A Light and Fresh Dessert For Memorial Day

Cream-filled Dessert Cakes with Fresh Fruit.

Memorial Day is fast approaching.  As is the case with many families on this day of remembrance, my family and I like to celebrate with a special meal that includes an after-dinner dessert.  I usually bake these special occasion desserts from scratch.  But, this year, I will be leaving for a trip shortly after our celebration; therefore, I need to make something that doesn’t require a lot of time.

I want to make a dessert that will be fresh and light.  My choice is to make Cream-filled Dessert Cakes with Fresh Fruit. I know I can buy pre-made ingredients (e.g., mini dessert cake shells) for this dessert to help me save time in preparation.  Because I want this dessert to be lower in fat, I have chosen to use my Evincii/PICKKA’s Eat This? app for the iPhone to help me find ingredients that meet my health goals.

Store bought mini dessert cake shells decrease preparation time.

Thanks to my “Eat This?” app, I was able to find pudding mix that fell within the “Alright Choice” range and the remaining ingredients in the “Very Good Choice” category.  Here is how to make a low-fat version of Cream-filled Dessert Cakes with Fresh Fruit:


3.4 ounce package of fat-free instant vanilla pudding

3/4 cup low-fat sour cream

2 cups fat-free whipped topping, thawed

12 pre-made mini dessert cake shells

flaxseed meal* (enough to garnish tops of cakes)

pre-made strawberry glaze (found in baking aisle next to canned fruit pie fillings)

fresh blueberries (or your favorite type of berries)


In a medium-sized bowl, combine sour cream and instant pudding mix (see picture).

Once combined, the sour cream/pudding mixture should resemble this.

Next, blend in two cups of thawed whipped topping at medium speed until smooth.

Blend whipped topping into sour cream/pudding mixture until smooth.

Fill cake shells with cream mixture.  Sprinkle flaxseed meal to garnish.  Top each cream-filled cake with 3 blueberries.  Next, pipe strawberry glaze over dessert to decorate (Tip: Fill plastic sandwich bag with glaze.  Seal top and cut tip off of one of the bag’s bottom corners.  Gently squeeze glaze onto dessert).  Makes 12 mini Cream-filled Dessert Cakes with Fresh Fruit.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

*flaxseed meal can be replaced by wheat germ or chopped nuts.



Filed under health, healthy food, low-fat, picnic recipes