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Tyson Foods Recalls Chicken Nuggets That May Contain Plastic

Tyson Foods TSN -0.21% has just issued a voluntary recall of two of its chicken nugget products.

The company decided to issue a recall after it had received complaints from customers who had discovered foreign matter in their food. According to the recall notice, the chicken nuggets may have been contaminated with hard pieces of white plastic during the production process.

The two products affected are a 5 pound bag of “Tyson Fully Cooked Panko Chicken Nuggets” and a 20 pound package of Spare Time brand “Fully Cooked, Panko Chicken Nugget Shaped Chicken Breast Pattie Fritters With Rib Meat.” Both products are labeled with a use by date of July 18, 2017 and the establishment number “EST 13556.”


A great quick pan sauce for low-carb enjoyment - Carb Check Diet

By Mike Thayer

One of the best compliments to any meat/fish dish is a great pan sauce.  Sauces add another texture and some moisture to your dish (and just in case you overcooked that pork chop or chicken breast, you'll need that sauce!), more importantly, it's another layer of FLAVOR! 

Knowing how to make a quick pan sauce can turn that plain pork chop into a mouth-watering entree or a boring chicken breast into a, "DAMN this is good!"  

One of my go-to preparations when I pan fry a meat or fish is rubbing that protein down with equal parts Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and seasoned salt.  I use that as a substitute for breading.  After you've cooked that Parmesan/garlic powder/seasoned salt rubbed protein in some olive oil to perfection, remove from the pan, but don't turn off the heat.

It's time to make a sauce.  You'll probably notice a bunch of "brown bits" in that pan.....  That's FLAVOR!  It's all that seasoning rub and olive oil goodness that didn't stick to the chop, chicken, steak or piece of fish.  In culinary terms those brown bits are called 'Fond' and that fond is the base for a great sauce.

All you need to do after you remove the protein from the pan is add liquid.  Just about anything will do, chicken stock, beef stock (I like to use low sodium varieties, because you've already added salt to the rub and you don't want to over-salt), wine (take the pan off the heat before adding any kind of alcohol), cream, heck even water will do the trick, about a 1/2 cup will do.  After adding that liquid, stir things up with a wooden spoon or a whisk to break up the fond and incorporate it into the liquid, creating the sauce.  This is a loose sauce, not a gravy, cook to desired thickness and pour over the meat.  Parmesan, seasoned salt, garlic and yes, even when combined with plain ol' water, is DELICIOUS!  It's another does of YUM!

Bonus, cleaning the pan just got a lot easier! 



Millstream Brewing Co.

Millstream Brewing CoIowa's Oldest Brewery

Three Amana men decided to revive the art that had not been practiced in the Amana Colonies for years - the art of brewing beer. Carroll F. Zuber and brothers James and Dennis Roemig dreamed of building a small brewery to produce small batches of hand brewed beer reminiscent of Europe's finest.

To brew the best they needed the best, so they called on one of America's premier brewers, Joseph Pickett Sr., who helped in the brewery design, in the development of the beers, Millstream Lager and the robust, Schild Brau. Later, Millstream brewers, developed the zesty Millstream Wheat Beer.

In 1985 Millstream Brewing Co. opened its doors - the first brewery to operate in Amana since 1884. So the Millstream Brewery was born and so it has come to be recognized as the home of quality brews of rewarding taste.

The Story Continues in 2000 with the sale of the brewery to Chris Priebe, Tom and Teresa Albert. Chris is naturally handy and keeps the brewery in tip-top shape. Chris also is a trained brewer from the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology and has brought many years of brewing experience to Millstream. Teresa is an excellent people person and handles all the sales and marketing. Tom is our warehouse and production manager. He is the "glue" that binds the place together. It takes a good team to run a good brewery!

These owners are committed to continually making quality brews, one batch at a time. With a current count of 33 national awards and 1 international award, Millstream speaks of some of the finest beer made in the Midwest today. The brewers have introduced many different styles of beer to Millstream Brewery and with the passing of the higher alcohol law change in spring of 2010, many more styles will be coming out! The Brewery hopes to be able to reach out to local consumers in new and exciting ways.

Millstream Beers - Year Round Beers, Seasonal Beers and the Brewmasters Extreme Series

Millstream Brewing
835 48th Ave Amana IA 52203
PH: 319-622-3672 


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Pork Nachos - a low carb snacking favorite

Mike Thayer 2016By Mike Thayer

It's football season and what better football watching snack is there than nachos?  And no, not the traditional kind made with tortilla chips......

Pork NachosI'm talking Pork Nachos..... BBQ flavored pork rinds, 4 strips of bacon, cheddar cheese, diced Fresno chili pepper and Louisiana hot sauce..... It's another dose of YUM!

These "Pork Nachos" only have 4 carbs! Also packing 21 grams of protein, let's compare that to a same sized portion of traditional nachos; tortilla chips, ground beef, cheese & jalapeno pepper.... 55 carbs and 19 grams of protein. Both versions of nachos as served have about 600 calories.

If you haven't had pork rinds before or eaten them in awhile, they are very worth your while.

Related:  A replacement for nachos


Mike Thayer's Carb-Check Diet: Green beans, a go-to veggie in a low carb diet

Mike Thayer 2016By Mike Thayer

Carb-Check Diet_smallOne of the most carb-friendly veggies out there, green beans can be prepared a number of different ways and pairs well with a lot of different ingredients.

Simply put, green beans should be a staple in your low-carb diet.  A serving of green beans puts the following into your body:  Just 20 calories, no fat, 1 gram of protein, 2 grams of natural sugar, 2 grams of dietary fiber and just 4 grams of carbs - GOOD carbs! 

If you're not eating green beans because the only way you know how to eat them is how your mother prepared them.....  Opening up a can and dumping the contents, water and all, into a sauce pot and heating them up (BORING!)......  Shame on you!

And what else do green beans do?  They add life to the low carb menu.  Here's a great recipe that tastes delicious, a step up from Mom's standard green beans or Aunt Kathy's green bean casserole at Thanksgiving.


  • One 14.5 ounce can of cut green beans, drained
  • Three strips of bacon, rough chopped
  • One Tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Heat up a medium sized frying pan over medium heat, throw in the chopped bacon.  When the bacon starts to brown, drain off some grease, then introduce the remaining ingredients.  Saute all that greatness together for another couple minutes or until you have crispy bacon, the beans are getting a bit of caramelization and that Parmesan cheese is looking golden brown and delicious.  The only carbs in this dish are from the green beans and everything is better with bacon!

Eating breakfast at home vs. fast food

Mike Thayer 2016By Mike Thayer

Breakfast kick starts your day, providing your body the fuel it needs to drive through the day.  But it's important to eat right whether you're on a diet or not. 

I suggest eating at home if you can.  Not only will you save a few bucks, you'll save on some calories and believe it or not, time as well. 

Consider this, you get ready for work, but you have to leave early so you can either sit down at a fast food joint or wait in line at the drive through.  Don't leave early, don't wait in line, eat at home.

You can whip up a great quick breakfast, right in the comfort of your own home.   In the amount of time you had to leave early, eat at the restaurant or sit in a drive through then eat in your car or at your work station, you can scramble some eggs, fry up some bacon and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

Don't Eat This:

McDonald's breakfastCosting you about $6, this breakfast comes with over 1,000 calories (that's half the government's daily recommended allowance), over 100 grams of carbohydrates (you don't need that many, especially all those at once in one meal) and 17 grams in sugars.  And don't forget the time factor, time to drive to the fast food joint (5-10 minutes), time spent in it or in the drive through (at least 10 minutes dining in, around 5 minutes in the drive thru (and hopefully they got your order right).  And about consuming that meal, you have to weigh it against eating in the comfort of your home.


Eat This Instead:

Veggie egg scramblePictured left, a veggie egg scramble with cheese and a side of bacon breakfast.  This meal took about 10 minutes to prepare is all, cost about $2 in ingredients and here's the nutrition breakdown:  About 600 calories, about 7 grams in carbs from the veggies and 1 gram in sugars.  Yes, this meal will make you feel full, satisfyingly so, not overstuffed like the McDonald's meal will (and never mind the pending carb/sugar crash that goes with that).

The best part of this meal, you get to eat in the comfort of your own home.  I don't know about you, but I'll take that over eating in the car or at the office!


Bachelor on the Cheap: Cooking vs. Fast Food

Mike Thayer 2016By Mike Thayer

Why be on the rush for fast food, when you can enjoy something you cooked?  Why shell out $7 for a burger, fries and a drink, when you can fix yourself something just as good for about $2 or $3?

And no, I'm not overlooking the convenience of fast food, I just happen to think that your kitchen is far more convenient than a fast food joint is, especially if your lunch time is only 30 minutes.

Even if you don't cook, think hard about exploring the potential of your kitchen, because eating fast food frequently hurts not only the wallet, but the body as well.  The key to eating at home or brown bagging it is time.  You may not think time is your friend during your lunch break, but that's actually missing the boat.  The time you spend prepping meals when you're not working is the how you enjoy better meals, save money and have more time for yourself at lunch. 

The Fast Food Trap

OK, you clock out, you've got 30 minutes for lunch, you leave your work station, jump into your car and head for the fast food pick of the day.....  There's five minutes, maybe ten right there in travel time.  If you do the drive-thru because you don't have time to go inside and eat, there's another five minutes spent ordering, paying for and getting your order.   Assuming your order was done right, now you start traveling back to work, open up the bag to start munching on fries, take a drink of pop to wash them down and finally, eat the burger in your car in the parking lot at work or at your desk.   You've got five minutes to piddle around with your phone before you have to clock back in to work.  Does this sound like you?  Does this sound attractive to you?  This lunch trap most likely cost you around $7 and it's far from ideal.  Do that on a daily basis and you're spending about $35 a week on lunches and the caloric intake is going to cost you as well.  There's a better way.

Eat in your own home or brown bag it (and I'm not talking bologna sandwiches)

OK, you clock out, you've got 30 minutes for lunch, you leave your work station, jump into your car and head HOME!  That sounds better than sitting in a fast food drive thru right?  There's five minutes, maybe ten in travel time.  But now, instead of sitting in a line of cars at the drive thru, you are putting a pre-made meal you created in the microwave or are pulling something delicious out of the crock pot.  Yes, the crock pot is your friend.  In the comfort of your own home, you can eat a delicious meal, hot and homemade.  Meatballs and marinara, pot roast, grilled chicken and yes, even burgers.  You can go home and nuke a pre-made meal, faster than you can get through the drive thru at a fast food joint.  BONUS:  Check to see if you got any snail mail, pet the dog, water the potted plants, you have the time.  And if you live too far from work to do that and have to do the break room thing, then you get even more personal down time during lunch because you got smart and prepped a meal for the microwave.  BONUS #2:  You're also saving money.  Throwing a chicken breast and Italian dressing with some potatoes and carrots in the crock pot before work can cost as little as $3.

Time management

I like to prep a bunch of meals during my days off.  I put together up to seven days worth of meals, food prepping and/or cooking all the meats, veggies and sides I'll need for some great lunches in the coming week.  I might grill up a bunch of fare, I might pan sear some meats or oven roast them. I'll chop veggies, move items from the freezer to the fridge for thawing, whatever I can do to help make my work day meals more enjoyable and more importantly, easy to heat up for lunch.

Cooking more than what you'll eat for dinner on a given night is a lunch time-saver as well.  For example I always cook more bacon than I'm going to eat for breakfast so I can have some bacon with a burger, or crumble some bacon for a tossed salad.

Another lunch-time saver thing you can do, is marinate some meats for the crock pot the night before.  Chop up some veggies and tear up some lettuce for a salad the night before, heck if you're an early riser, you can also do some food prep the morning before work.   Food prep doesn't really take that much time, you can marinade some meats while you're watching Big Bang Theory or a football game.   Putting a combo of tasty items in the crock pot before work takes just minutes to do and it's WAY worth it!  And what would you rather smell, awesome aromas coming from your kitchen, or car exhaust in the drive thru?

Don't risk spilling a fast food bite on your shirt as you change lanes or shift gears scurrying back to work, don't feel the 'road rage' building up because the drive thru is taking WAY too long......  Prep a meal for the microwave, or better yet, enjoy a no wait crock pot meal.

Better food, money better spent.....

Crock Pot Mac & Cheese


  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • One 15 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese, be it mild cheddar, colby jack, pepper jack, shredded American, or Velveeta...
  • 3 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
  • A healthy pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 ounces of elbow macaroni.  Spirals or bow ties work too.


Crock pot mac and cheeseCoat the crock pot with cooking spray.  Combine the milks, beaten egg, salt and pepper and garlic powder in the crock pot, whisk until smooth.  Add the macaroni and cheese, gently stirring things together with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.  Cover and cook on low for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

Options:  Throw in some diced ham.  Some folks like tuna, browned ground beef is good too for the cheesburger mac meal....  

Even with the optional add of a meat, this meal didn't even come close to costing you $7 to prepare.  And you can't get this kind of deliciousness at a fast food joint!

Mike Thayer's Carb-Check Diet: The Carb-Check Diet Replacement for Nachos

Mike Thayer 2016By Mike Thayer

Pork Rind NachosRegular readers know that I am a chip-aholic.....  Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos was/is my favorite chip, LOVE 'em!  Tortilla style chips, any style, were my go-to.  Chips and salsa, Chips and Chile con Queso, Nachos........  Who doesn't love Nachos?  For me that was all chip heaven, the ultimate in snacks!  But I don't eat that kind of thing anymore, in fact I haven't had a chip since July 15.  

With my Carb-Check diet, I've found a replacement for chips - pork rinds, a.k.a. chicharones -  so I guess it is only appropriate then that I found a replacement today for nachos and the like using pork rinds.  This recipe is not only delicious and easy peasy to prepare, but it only has about two carbs!

Mike's Carb-Check Diet "Nachos"


  • BBQ Flavored Pork Rinds
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • One jalapeno, diced
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste


Spread an even layer of BBQ flavored pork rinds on a plate, sprinkle on some shredded cheddar cheese, nuke it for a minute. While the plate is in the microwave, dice up a jalapeno pepper. After nuking, sprinkle on the jalapeno and dash the Louisiana Hot Sauce to taste. It's ANOTHER dose of YUM!