Category Archives: Food

Not that I’m the food police, but this is Just Ignorant

An unhealthy relationship: Just Dance and Cheetos

Just Dance 4 comes out on all platforms next week, and usually the big retailers like Target will offer a bonus of some kind for buying it right away, from them.  For instance, the big bullseye packaged a bonus Zumba DVD earlier this year along with Zumba Fitness Rush.  So I looked at next week’s Target ad to see what they were offering for JD4.

And I groaned.

Per the above photo, Target will knock $10 off the $40 list price of JD4 as long as you buy a bag of Cheetos.  Not a little bitty snack bag, but a big daddy-size 9-oz bag.  The bag also features codes to unlock a couple songs in the game.

Okay, I’m no health-food nut.  I like Cheetos, although I can’t recall the last time I’ve had any.  My main objection as a mom is that neon-orange crud that gets all over everything; maybe not such a problem with Kinect, but who wants greasy orange-stained Wii controllers?

But I’m trying to keep junk food as a “sometimes” or “very rarely” food, and promotions like this aren’t part of the solution.  And it doesn’t do any favors for people trying to give exergaming a healthy image.  That includes Just Dance itself, which has featured a “Just Sweat” fitness mode since their 2nd game, and even has a blog featuring people who’ve danced off the pounds.

Why not enclose a free workout DVD like they did with Zumba, or a coupon for fresh apples, or a pair of socks, or anything that isn’t going to just add more empty calories and stain teeth?

Grrr.  I’ll buy the game, just not at Target.

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Be a junk food ninja and rack up “good” calories with Junk Fu exergame for Kinect

Junk Fu, or Nightmare Before Christmas (courtesy Xbox.com)

I love making virtual fruit salad with Fruit Ninja Kinect, a downloadable, active version of the popular app.  It makes a great warmup, finisher or just “something” when I don’t have time to do a “real” workout.

Now there’s another downloadable game coming up where you can punish those bad foods instead of healthy ones.  Junk Fu, coming January 30 on Xbox Live, looks kind of like a full-body Guitar Hero with empty-calorie targets like giant candies that you kick and punch as they approach on a giant conveyor belt.  Instead of points, you score “calories”, which I doubt match your actual calories burned, but it still looks like a fun way to burn them.

The game is reminiscent of an add-on to Kinect Sports, Calorie Challenge, where you compete against anthropomorphic, rather creepy food items like milk cartons, celery and chocolate bars (at least they offer a balanced diet), also for calorie-points.  This raises the question, does playing with your virtual food ultimately raise your hunger hormones, or lower them?

Celery jock from Calorie Challenge, courtesy Xbox.com

For me, it depends.  Strolling past one of the Burger Champ outlets in Walk It Out tends to whet my appetite, but an attack of the giant mutant food makes me feel more like Little Audrey with her tummyache blues.  Perhaps that’s a good thing!

(Via 123Kinect)

I wanna be a Fruit Ninja!

Frooooot salad!! (courtesy Xbox.com)

I just got the Internet back at home after more than a month without, which is why my posts over the last month have been sporadic and short – guess I’m to blame for McDonalds doing well in the stock market lately.  Sorry food police, but I’ve been lovin’ their iced coffee and free wifi.

Now once I get my wifi at home set back up, I’m gonna celebrate by downloading Fruit Ninja Kinect.  This popular smartphone game is now available on Xbox Live for $10, and there’s also a free demo.

Fruit Ninja is exactly what the title says:  you hack up flying fruit.  A lot of reviews are assailing it for being too simple and repetitive for home use, but I think it sounds like a heckuva workout – and I love other slashing and chopping games, such as Exerbeat’s karate and Gold’s Gym Dance Workout’s karate and sword-slashing.  Fruit Ninja Kinect allows 2 players, so my kids can join in the hacking instead of having to wait their turn.

$10 sounds like a great deal for a shoulder/core workout that also raises awareness about good nutrition.  McDonalds out, fresh local peaches in!

Here’s how Amazon celebrates Earth Day

Amazon is one of my favorite places to shop online – I’ve bought tons of stuff throughout the years, including video games, and I was thrilled to be invited to their Vine program in which they send free stuff to be reviewed.  But I got a giggle out of how they delivered the two latest things they sent for my review, a Pure organic blueberry bar and a Pure organic cherry nut bar.

Cardboard footprints

They packaged each 1.7 oz bar in its own separate shoebox-sized box, along with air-bag packaging, from the same address to the same address.  At least the bars didn’t get damaged!

Try some Japanese soul food: Oyako Donburi

It’s that time of year again for hot comfort food, and for me, growing up with a Japanese mom meant more than just spaghetti on the menu.  This is one of my favorite simple hearty dishes, with only a few “exotic” ingredients (my non-Asian husband and kids love it) and with holidays coming, a great way to use up small amounts of leftover turkey or chicken, and cooked vegetables.  The name literally means “parent and child in a bowl” – chicken and egg – get it?

Oyako Donburi

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp instant dashi (granulated fish broth)*
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin (sweet sake), optional*
  • 1 quarter of an onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped chicken or turkey (can be raw or cooked)
  • 1 cup frozen peas or mixed veggies
  • 5 eggs
  • cooked rice (preferable Japanese short-grain rice) for serving
  • chopped nori (dried seaweed) for garnish*
  1. Combine the first five ingredients in a large flat skillet or omelet pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken and onion, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until onion is softened and chicken is cooked (if raw).  Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add veggies to pan, spread everything around evenly, and swirl the beaten eggs over the top.
  4. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes – I like it to be slightly runny so the egg soaks into the hot rice, but you can cook it longer if you want the eggs harder (there will still be liquid in the pan).
  5. Put a scoop of hot rice in each serving bowl, and with a spatula or big spoon, put the juicy egg mixture on top.  Top with a big pinch of chopped nori and dig in!  Makes 2 dinner-size or 4 lunch-size servings.

*All of these can be found at most Asian food stores.  You can substitute 1 cup of chicken or veggie broth for the water+dashi.  Nori is that black paperlike seaweed used on sushi rolls; I like to buy jars of pre-shredded nori for easy garnishing (store it in the freezer to keep it fresh).

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