The nice lady at Food Should Taste Good told me she had a package of the Chocolate flavor for me to try. I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. This enormous box arrived containing not only the Chocolate, but Olive, Multigrain, Lime, and Sea Salt and Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips Kettle Cooked.  These were all sent free of charge for me to review.


The first package we opened was the Sea Salt and Vinegar Sweet Potato Chips.  I have had Sweet Potato Chips before, and I liked them.  I was a bit leery of the Salt and Vinegar flavor because I am not, in general a fan of either very salty or of sour flavors.  I was not reassured by the aroma when I opened the bag.  All I smelled was the vinegar.


I have to report honestly that neither myself nor my husband cared much for these as just a snacking chip. He thinks the vinegar and sweet potato is just not a good combination to him.  Anyone fond of Sea Salt and Vinegar flavored food would probably have a totally different reaction.  We did think they might go well with something like a sweetish chicken salad on them, or perhaps a chopped ham spread or salad.  


I have a Sweet Potato- Chile Soup recipe that we love, and I think they might provide a nice crunchy accent topping if crumbled over the top of that.  What I do think I would just love would be Sea Salt and Cinnamon Sugar! :)  Another flavor I think might be good to me would be based on a recipe I found online, and that my sister-in-law made for our combined birthday dinner [our birthdays are 12 days apart, so we have one birthday dinner for both of us].  IT was Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole.  The seasonings in the recipe are salt, rosemary, cinnamon, chili powder.  My sister-in-law cannot handle hot, so she omitted the chili powder.  I think the combination with the chili powder on sweet potato chips would be awesome!


Then we opened the Lime chips.  Unqualified hit! I think it tastes like a horizontal margarita, without the risk of becoming horizontal yourself!  My husband took one bite and said "I LIKE these!"  On their own, I consider them a tasty snacking chip.  At the same time, I want to try them with guacamole, con queso, and crumbled over a taco salad.


I'm saving the Chocolate for later.  One Warning, I will be trying them with cream cheese, nutella & peanut butter on them, as well as alone.


The Salt and Vinegar Sweet Potato I will pass on to my step-nephew.  He's of that age where he will surely know another teenage boy who will enjoy if he doesn't want them himself!   I am certain someone in his crowd will just love them!
 
 
So excited to open my mailbox last week and find that I had received three coupons for a FREE bag of the Food Should Taste Good  (FSTG) Chips. I received these for agreeing to blog a review about them.


 I ran right over to my local HEB on Bunker Hill, which I knew carried them.  Unfortunately, they only carry three flavors:  Blue Corn, Sweet Potato, and Multigrain.  I decided I wanted to try the Blue Corn right  NOW!  I will have to go a bit farther afield to Whole Foods on Woodway in hopes of finding the Chocolate and Hatch Pepper I want to try.


I should start by confessing that I am not, routinely, a chip snacker.  The primary reasons for this are fats, salt content and a desire for a high-fiber diet.  There are, however, two times I just HAVE to have corn chips:  with guacamole and with chili con queso.  Neither of these on celery sticks or carrot sticks is truly satisfactory.


Part of the reason I was eager to try these chips was their nutritional content.  I can have about 10 chips for 140 calories (60 from 7 g fat - 0.5 g saturated fat-- NO transfat). That's about 3 more chips for the same calories, and HALF the saturated fat of my usual brand 80 mg of sodium. which is about 35 mg LESS than the chips we usually buy.  That difference alone is very appealing.  I also like the 3 g of dietary fiber, compared to 1 g in our usual brand. There is 1 g of sugars in these chips, whereas the other brand has none. FSTG has twice as much iron, but lacks the 2g of calcium.  I can live with that because I get plenty of calcium.


So what's in the Blue Corn FSTG chips? Organic Blue Corn, High Oleic Sunflower Oil and/or Safflower Oil and/or Canola Oil, Oat Fiber, Brown Rice Flour, Flax Seeds, Evaporated Cane Juice, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa,
Soy Flour, Sea Salt.


I decided that for purposes of the review, I should taste the first few with nothing on them.  The first flavor I taste is the salt, teasing and tantalizing.  The lingering aftertaste is the sesame seeds.  In between, is a kaleidoscope of flavors, dominated by the corn, with bright accents of flax, sunflower seeds, quinoa, and a light sweetness, The earthy undertones of Oats, Brown Rice, and soy swirl through subtly. providing a background without ever overcoming the other flavors.


On a whim, I dipped one chip into my natural, chunky peanut butter.  I was surprised by just how tasty the combination was. I dipped one into the VERY hot red salsa we get when we buy pollo asada, and found that the flavor of the chip held up quite well under the fire.  Even better was the one dipped into the green salsa we get from the same place. 

I am envisioning crunching a few over a salad with black beans, grated cheese and my own habañero vinaigrette, and just a touch of sour cream.  I'm also dreaming of guacamole and Chili con Queso.  

For that, I shall have to wait until my PSH (poor suffering husband) takes me to Whole Foods for the chocolate and Hatch Chili flavors. 

I am disappointed to report that it seems to be impossible at this point to find the Chocolate and Hatch Pepper chips.  On way back from our birthday celebration dinner at my brother's, we stopped at the Whole Foods near him (W Alabama @ Kirby).  The stocker working the aisle reported that they stopped carrying the Chocolate flavor, and he had never heard of the Hatch Pepper. 

Rather than hold up this promised review while I tried looking at the Whole Foods on Woodway, I elected to get the Hemp and the Jalapeno flavors  The other two flavorsI will keep looking and asking for until I hound some grocery manager into ordering them.


The Hemp chips, all on their own, have a slightly nutty, slightly kale-like flavor.  I think they would go well with either guacamole or chili con queso, but I think they would be excellent with black bean dip, or any of the sour cream/cream cheese vegetable dips/spreads on the market.  I also think they would pair well with brie and other soft cheeses. 


The Jalapeno chips start with the taste of corn, then the pepper slides in and caresses your tongue.  For those who like only mild heat, these are great chips for you, moderated by guacamole or a cool sour cream dip.  For those of you who love hot hot, eat 'em on their own, since the pepper keeps sliding in and building up until your mouth is delightfully toasty!  For those of you who prefer something between mild and hot hot, you can dip every other one into the guacamole.  To my mind, these are perfect for chili con queso. Not surprisingly, I am now doubly disappointed not to have found the Hatch Chili Pepper flavor!
 
 
I am about to sign the blogger agreement with Small Planet Foods.  I don't have the slightest ethical compunction about doing so.  There are 4 boxes of Cascadian Farms cereals sitting in my kitchen inventory at the moment,.  I have yet to meet a Lärabar I don't like, although I confess I'm out right now. We buy them when they are 10/$10 at Kroger, or we have a coupon that combined with a sale price somewhere makes them almost free.  I simply cannot afford to do anything else.  I'd love to try their chips!  Specifically, I want to try the chocolate Food Should Taste Good  chips with guacamole!  I'm having trouble finding a store that stocks this flavor so far.  Target has a few flavors, so does Walmart.  Whole Foods carries the brand and currently you can get a $1 off 2 pkgs here.  Also a coupon for $1 3 Lärabars, $1 off any 2 Muir Glen products*. [no expiration dates given]  They are offering a  $0.75 off one bag here.  Whether they have the chocolate I don't know'.


I realize they may reject me.  Good nutrition is difficult on an extremely tight budget, though, so I hope they will offer me the opportunity to tell my readers how good their products are.
* Organic Pasta Sauce 2/$6 this week
 
 
There's this rather spooky thing that happens to me.  Maybe it happens to other people as well, but nobody has ever mentioned it to me.  I have an innovative idea, and almost as soon as I voice it to anyone, someone else comes along and does it.  When I was younger, I quickly stopped telling anyone about my ideas, thinking that the people I was telling them to were passing them on.  However, I quickly reached an age where the likelihood that the person implementing my ideas had any contact with the person I told was inversely proportional to the physical distance between the person implementing the idea and myself.   Moreover, the only person I say these things to now is my husband,, and I'm sure he isn't telling anyone.  Sometimes I'm not even sure he really listened, so how could he repeat what his brain never took in?

 Then I reflect on God moving in mysterious ways.  What's wrong with me now is physical.  I don't have the energy or physical strength to implement most of my ideas.  The latest idea I had, some months ago, concerned the "urban food deserts" in Houston. These are areas in which access to fresh produce is limited or non-existent.  Residents reliant on bus services to get about, particularly the disabled and elderly, are hard pressed to make the journey to the stores which offer good fresh produce.m  I said "What if some grocery store had a big truck that could roll up to a community center or  deserted strip center, drop its sides and offer fres\h produce?"  Now, while it's not a grocery store doing it (yet)  Houston's Recipe for Success, founded in 2005 by Grace and Bob Cavnar to provide nutrition education, fight childhood obesity, and encourage long term health has instituted exactly such a program and hopes to be serving up fresh produce by the end of the year.

Perhaps my speaking about my ideas, putting them into the Ether, or Cosmos, are directed by God to the hearts of those with the energy and strength to implement them?  Maybe it's a coincidence, but it has happened so often, that the statistician in me  has to wonder why coincidences with a small probability keep happening over and over.  Could it be that this is a form of prayer?  Perhaps many were trying to come up with a way to get good food to the people in these under-served areas, and my thought went into God's inbox, and God looked around and said "Gracie! Bob!  Listen up...here's your next task in the pursuit of your goal!"  I don't know, but I am thrilled that the idea is going forward and wish to support it every way I can.  They need money, kitchen items for their cooking classes.  They take donations but are also selling a cookbook aimed at kids with healthy recipes. along with T-Shirts, hats, and other items. They have a wish list, and I happen to have Bed Bath & Beyond coupons available that I won't use.  So if you are moved to give them a gift, contact me by the form on my coupons page or message me on FB.  I'll get them to you one way or another.

Fresh produce vans will roll into Houston's 'food deserts'By Allan Turner, Houston ChronicleUpdated 10:29 p.m., Sunday, February 5, 2012 (interestingly, this photograph was taken at the school my mother and brother went to,  although I think perhaps it's been remodelled or updated or even rebuilt since then.  My grandparents house is now gone; it would be about the middle of the southbound feeder for Hwy 288 at Wentworth.)

Thanks to Gracie and Bob for starting this service, to Allen Turner for writing about it, to Councilman Stephen Costello for championing solutions, and to H.E.B. for opening Joe V's in undererved areas