McDonald’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap

I was awarded a Klout perk to try the new McDonald’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap. I was interested in trying it because I’ve tried the Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken McWrap and found I quite enjoyed that one. I figured with “southwest” in the title, it was going to be spicy.
The McWraps come in both grilled and crispy (fried). I always opt for the grilled version because I just find that to be more satisfying. The grilled sandwich itself is described as “Grilled chicken breast with cilantro lime glaze, crunchy tortilla strips, fresh spring greens, sliced tomato, shredded cheddar jack cheese, and a spicy, creamy habanero ranch sauce — wrapped up in a soft, warm flour tortilla.” Upon ordering my McWrap I opted to order it without cheese and tortilla strips because it was just a personal preference.
Bringing my sandwich home I unwrapped it and was anticipating it to be a little spicy … after all McDonald’s slogan on their nutrition page for the sandwich says “add a little spice to your day.” Now, I’m not a wimp when it comes to spice – I can pretty much handle my own.  I took one bite and it was okay, but rather plain because the sauce wasn’t on that part. I took another bite and whoooooo-weeee! It was spicy. I took another bite and my mouth was on fire.  After taking a fourth bite my nose was running, my mouth was in a blaze (I felt like I could breathe fire), and I was just overall uncomfortable. McDonald’s calls this sandwich spicy? This sandwich takes that statement to a WHOLEnew level. In fact this should come with a warning because this is not for the faint of heart … nor is it for those who, like me, enjoy a pretty moderate level of spice in their food.  It was too spicy to be enjoyable, let alone palatable.
One day while out with my mother she mentioned something about the new McWrap.  She’s not a spice lover, so I told her to not even bother. I actually told her, I feel this sandwich could be fed to people on Fear Factor – except those folks would have to eat 5+ of these before their head blew off their shoulders from all the internal “steam”.
The grilled southwest McWrap as is without any substitutions is 520 calories or 14 points plus values.
The grilled southwest McWrap as I ordered it without cheese and tortilla strips is 430 calories or 11 points plus values.
If you wanted to order it without cheese but with the tortilla strips it would be 470 calories or 12 points plus values.
I can’t say I’d ever order this again … in fact, I’ll stay as far away from it as I can.
QUESTION:
Have you given the new Southwest McWrap a shot? If so, how’d it fare on your taste buds?

<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–>

McDonald’s Deluxe Quarter Pounder


I was sent a $5 McDonald’s Gift Card from Klout to use to purchase any of my favorites from McDonald’s.  One night, my boyfriend and I decided to head to McDonald’s and I originally went in wanting the grilled chicken ranch McWrap but upon arriving I was told that they didn’t have any grilled chicken.  Weird, right?  So, instead of driving well across town to the other McDonald’s, I decided to just order the Deluxe Quarter Pounder without the normally added cheese and mayonnaise. The Deluxe Quarter Pounder is a newer addition to the McDonald’s menu.
Low and behold when I got home, I realized my sandwich was without lettuce, and mustard but it did have a helping of bacon (which I kindly removed and discarded).  Since I can’t eat burgers plain, I added a little ketchup and mustard onto my sandwich and ate it as such.
I have to say it’s not the greatest thing on the planet, but its okay for a burger you’d order from McDonald’s. I wouldn’t run out and order another one, but if in the future I was in the mood for a McDonald’s burger and I wanted to make a meal out of it, I’d probably order another … of course without cheese and mayonnaise but I’d ask for an extra helping of veggies.
It is hefty on the points plus scale.  The sandwich, sold as is (with cheese and mayonnaise added) is 540 calories which calculates out to 14 points plus values.  The sandwich as I ordered it (without cheese and mayonnaise) was 440 calories and 11 points plus values.
Granted, as I admitted high particularly when you can have a bigger (and essentially better) burger at home – but if out on the go and McDonald’s is the chosen fast food joint and you want to be one in the crowd, it’s an option. Just as anything in the world is.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the new McDonald’s Quarter Pounders?

Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Honey Citrus Chicken

I was awarded a Klout perk, so I was mailed a coupon to try out the new Lean Cuisine Honestly Good line. While shopping at Walmart, I browsed through the selection available and decided to pick up the Lean Cuisine Honestly Good Honey Citrus Chicken. I decided to have it for lunch.
What struck me as interesting at first was that the meal came with a number of step by step directions to follow before consuming. Unlike most frozen meals, this isn’t one of those you just throw in the microwave and retrieve in 5 minutes.  Inside the container there is a packet of sauce – you have to remove the plastic, retrieve the sauce and submerge it in a cup of water to thaw.  Putting the film back on the meal, you place it in the microwave for 3 minutes.  When done, remove the plastic, pour the sauce over the meat and return back to the microwave to finish cooking.  There are implicit directions that state the sauce MUST be cooked before consuming.  So when after 2 minutes, my food was still a little cold I put it in for another minute.
Looking at the meal after it came out of the microwave, I could tell the summer squash was soggy – but since there weren’t too many pieces, it was okay. Taste wise the meal is ok but it is nothing to brag about. Oddly enough, I found the pasta to be the best part – it was cooked al dente and seasoned just right. The chicken was rather soft and being a texture person that kind of weirded me out.  The sauce wasn’t bad, it blended the meal together.
I will say, these Honestly Good frozen meals are pricey as far as frozen dinners are concerned (roughly $4). You could essentially get two Smart Ones or two regular Lean Cuisine meals for the same price.  I wasn’t terribly impressed with this one, so I’m not sure if I’ll dabble into trying anymore.  By the way, the meal is 320 calories — 8 points plus values.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the Lean Cuisine Honestly Good meals?

Plated Membership – ft. Chicken Tacos w/ Mango Salsa & Spiced Flank Steak w/ Couscous and Carrots


<!–[if !mso]>st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } <![endif]–>

I was awarded a Klout Perk which provided me with a free monthly membership to Plated as well as four plates for the month.  I admit I was pretty stoked to receive the perk because with my weight loss journey I’ve learned that I truly do love to cook.  Plus, with Plated, it would provide me with “out of the box” foods that perhaps, I would not consider to make for myself at home.
In case you are not aware, Plated (see website here: https://www.plated.com/)is a new subscription service in which you pay $10-12/per plate as well as a flat membership fee.  A menu is presented to you for the week and you get to choose the plates of your choice (minimum order of 2-plates per menu item).  Typically the dishes contain either a poultry, beef or a fish.  Currently vegetarian options are not available but the website does plan to launch those in the near future.  The idea is to be able to cook yourself a gourmet meal within 30 minutes with the stress of meal planning and grocery shopping being lifted off your shoulders.  All items are delivered to your home address the day after the items are shipped (typically menu’s are listed on the website for a week and once that menu has “closed” the shipments ship out by the promised date).  All ingredients are provided within the box, along with the recipe card for easy preparation.  Typically there is one item which is a “pantry” item (typically it’s olive oil) which is the only item you’d need to reach for within your pantry because everything else will be provided to you. Also, every week a member is subscribed Plated donates a pound of food to a local food bank.

For those who follow Weight Watchers, I found it was quite simple to find out the points plus values for the dishes.  I used the Recipe Builder on the Weight Watchers website.  Since the recipe cards were provided to me, I put everything in.  Since I know I typically only eat certain amounts of food (like 1 cup of starch, 3-4 ounces of meat) I adjusted my grains and proteins around that on my tracker.
If you would like to sign up for Plated, please feel free to use my referral link: https://www.plated.com/invites/620cba.  Also, if you would like to try a FREE 1-month & 4-plate Plated box during the month of June, please sign up using the following code: junefreegift.
With my membership I decided to try two different dishes – a chicken and a beef.  I ordered 2 plates each of Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa and Spice Rubbed Steak with Baby Carrots and Israeli Couscous.

My box arrived and unpacked it all to put the items away.  One of my barbecue sauces was exploded, but it wasn’t a big deal.  I put the majority of the items away and aside.  I was more excited about the Chicken Tacosso I opted to make those the first night.  My boyfriend cleaned the chicken (because raw chicken grosses me out!) and I then marinated it in the barbecue sauce.  The preparation for the mango salsa was quite simple – just some dicing and chopping.  The mango was perfect, just the way I like it – at the stage where it’s ripe enough to eat and sweet.  I decided to use ¼ of the jalapeno because I’ve learned using too much jalapeno can make dishes unappetizing.  The salsa came together and was delicious.
I cooked my chicken in a grill pan until it was perfectly done. I then went to cut up my avocado and quickly learned it was not ripe.  I could barely get the seed out of it and I couldn’t scoop the avocado out of the skin. It was like rubber.  I’m not the biggest fan of avocado (I occasionally like guacamole but that’s about it), so it wasn’t a huge loss.  I just dropped it into the garbage pail.
We heated through the taco shells on an open flame, assembled and dove on in.  I have to be honest … I was not a fan of the chicken tacos at all.  I’m a flavor lover and these were just plain jane to me. I couldn’t eat my second taco because I was not enjoying it.  It would have been better if there was some sort of sauce to put on it.  The mango salsa was good but it needed another level of flavor.  My boyfriend even thought it needed an added boost of flavor.  It was not worth the 7 points plus values this calculated out to be (for 2 tacos, not 3).
The next day it was Spice Rubbed Steak with Baby Carrots and Israeli Couscous on the menu.  The preparation for this meal was so simple.  I’ve never made couscous before so I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, or if I was going to like it.  I seasoned my steak in the spice rub and let it sit out for 10 minutes while I peeled and sliced my baby carrots, tossed them in the honey, butter and cumin mixture and set them into the oven to roast. I added 2 cups of water to a sauce pan, brought it on to boil, added my couscous and let it simmer for the recommended amount of time.  I then brought out my grill pan, put my steak onto it and let it cook.

One thing about me is I do NOT like meat that’s red in the middle.  I can eat a medium-well hamburger and steak tips (occasionally) but for the most part I don’t want my beef to moo at me.  Once my steak was done, I set it onto a cutting board to rest for 5-minutes and then sliced it.  It was SO red inside I had to put it all back into the grill pan to cook on each side for an additional minute or two.
When the couscous was done, I opted to skip on adding the olive oil, so I seasoned it with a bit of salt and pepper and a couple spritz of spray butter.  I tried it and I have to say, it was AMAZING!  So amazing, I am going to buy some couscous to have on hand as an option when we don’t want rice or potato.
This meal was quite delicious and only 13 pointsplus values!  The steak was spicy, but with the sides it really brought everything together.  My attempt to bring the heat down was to add steak sauce on top of the meat – but it was a fail because the spice had penetrated the beef and my taste buds were screaming Dixie.  If I knew the spice rub was as spicy as it was, I would have used far less to marinate my meat.  But we live and we learn – nonetheless the steak was undoubtedly 2 thumbs up!
I enjoyed the Plated membership and I think it would be perfect for the individual who doesn’t enjoy grocery shopping OR the individual who just wants to try something different.  I will admit, some of the recipe items are hit or miss (depending on your taste) but there are 2 dishes this week that I really would love to try.  If you do decide to give this subscription service a try – HAPPY PLATING!
QUESTION:
Have you ever tried Plated or would you like to?

McDonald’s Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie

I received a Klout Perk containing a $5 McDonald’s Arch Card (gift card) to try out the new McDonald’s Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie.  I have tried a few variations of McDonald’s smoothies since they’ve been introduced to the menu and I have found they’re pretty tasty and one of the better “on the go” smoothies to purchase in comparison to other items out there (like milkshakes, juices, etc).
The smoothie, as expected, was quite delicious.  I’ve tried a few different smoothies at McDonald’s and have yet to find one that I didn’t think was tasty.  I’m a big smoothie fan. I make them at home, granted, for a lot less points, but when out and about for convenience I occasionally splurge, especially if it’s something I want.  The smoothie is moderately thick and it does thin out as the ice in it begins to melt.  Flavor wise it was definitely blueberry pomegranate – both flavors being equally prominent in the beverage. The blueberry was a bit more noticeable, but either way it was tasty.  Not too sweet, not to tart it was just a perfect blend of the two fruits.  Refreshing and delicious.
I purchased a large smoothie which would have cost me 9 points plus values if I drank the entire thing – but I decided to split it with my boyfriend.  Half of the large ended up being 4 points plus values.  It was actually a lot cheaper (as it is with most fast food places) to buy the large size and since we were going to share it, it was worthwhile.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any smoothies from McDonald’s?

McDonald’s Sweet Chili Grilled Chicken Premium McWrap

I received a Klout perk to try out the new Premium McWrap’s which are available at McDonald’s.  Before being invited into the perk I had heard about the McWrap’s because they had pretty decent Weight Watchers Points Plus values associated with them (the grilled variety at least).  Granted, when making things at home you can make them for less (points) but I admit when going out to eat sometimes finding point friendly foods can be a pain in the keester.
Prior to the McWrap’s I used to order the grilled chicken sandwich, without mayo.  It’s nice to know there is now a new option, which is a lot tastier in my opinion that I can now choose from.
According to McDonald’s the Sweet Chili Chicken wrap is: The unique mix of juicy, grilled chicken breast filet, crisp cucumber slices, spring greens, shredded lettuce, all drizzled with sweet chili and creamy garlic sauce, wrapped in a warm flour tortilla.
The fact that there are actual VEGETABLES in a McDonald’s food item purely excites me!  Between the vegetables, the grilled chicken and the delicious blend of sauce (Sweet chili with a creamy garlic sauce – which reminds me of ranch) is just a straight up homerun.  The sandwich was delicious (granted it took me 2 trips to actually GET the correct sandwich – originally they assumed my grilled request meant crispy).  The grilled variety, as is, without substitutions is 9 points plus and PURE deliciousness.  It’s actually quite massive and VERY filling for something you’d get at McDonald’s.
There are 2 other varieties available – both of which come in grilled or crispy (fried) varieties.  The other two flavor choices are a Premium McWrap Chicken & Bacon and a Premium McWrap Chicken & Ranch.  I have not tried either of these varieties but I typically wouldn’t order either of those anyway because I’m more of a sweet chili fan on chicken sandwiches.
Nonetheless – great new addition, McDonald’s!  And bravo for it being relatively health conscious!
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of the new McDonald’s Premium McWraps?  If so, which one is your favorite?