Last week I was invited to a special VIP I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter event in NYC to find out who would be their new spokesperson. The night before my fellow food bloggers and I tried to pry the big secret from the PR people. Was it Paula Dean? Rocco DiSpirito? Justin Bieber?
We were kept in suspense until the following day when we were taken to Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s Butter Restaurant. (Or as it was called for the day, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” Restaurant.) She’s the Food Network star of the show Alex’s Day Off.
Chef Alex sat down with us and shared how she felt about cooking with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. She was surprised how well it worked in her recipes with very little fiddling. She said, “It tasted good and worked as advertised. It was an eye opening experience.” Chef Alex told us she used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! in all kinds of cooking including making spreads with herbs, berries or marmalade. (Check out her recipes for Fresh Cranberry Spread and Savory Herb Spread.)
She then explained that since her mom was a cookbook editor (she editing The Cake Bible) she grew up eating the best food available. Even so, her mom always had I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter in the refrigerator. “It’s all about the taste,” Chef Alex said.
The main event
After we talked with Alex, we were ushered into the main dining room at Butter to sample some of the spreads at a “toast bar.” (See the picture above.) Not me, unfortunately, since I have to avoid gluten and most grains. Then, along with members of the press, we were welcomed by Christin Cea, Director of Marketing Communications at Unilever and Barry Sands, Senior Brand Manager at I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
Dr. Douglas Balentine, Director of Nutrition Sciences at Unilever, spoke to the importance of lowering saturated fats. One of the things I like about I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light (the kind I usually buy) is that it only has 1.5 grams of unsaturated fat per serving. Other buttery spreads and even the “natural” ones like Good Earth, are much higher in saturated fats per serving.
Food sensitivity wise, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter has a teeny bit of milk solids. However, other spreads like Good Earth (original) have corn oils in them, so not a good fit for me. Whatever your food sensitivity is, make sure to read the label - even the various types within one brand will have very different ingredients, so check closely.
Kim Cattrall, star of the new I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter campaign
Then Kim Cattrall was introduced. She looked fantastic – slim, beautiful, glamorous. Kim’s funny and plays the “sexy cougar mama” persona to the hilt.
As she’s quoted in the official campaign announcement, “Enjoying I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! is kind of like finding a deliciously gorgeous man, and then discovering he's single.That's the spirit that we're playing with in this campaign – we're showing women they can have it all – delicious taste, with fewer calories and less fat than butter.”
She just came back from Argentina filming four commercials - “Naughty & Nice,” “Dish,” “French Toast,” and “Muscle.” We were shown a teaser reel with outtakes from the commercials. As usual, Kim looked gorgeous and was playfully flirtatious with several very handsome younger and older men. The commercials will come out in March, I believe, and will be entertaining and a lot of fun.
Dining at (I Can't Believe It's Not) Butter
We were then treated to a brunch cooked up by Chef Alex and her staff – Unbelievable Biscuits, Crustless Quiche with Goat Cheese and Scallions, Buttery Grilled Shrimp with Tomatoes, and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Cookies.
Most of the food bloggers I talked to loved the biscuits and cookies. However, not everyone was crazy about the quiche since they didn’t care for goat cheese. (Are they crazy? I love goat cheese.) Still several thought having crustless quiche in a ramekin was a cool idea.
I only had the shrimp, since I couldn’t eat anything else. (I only found out about the cumin and lemon later, but didn’t have any ill effects from those ingredients.) It was tasty and wished I had more of it. Why no one doubled up the serving after learning I couldn’t eat the rest of the dishes was beyond me.
Here’s the recipe for you to try.
Buttery Grilled Shrimp With Tomatoes
Preparation Time: 10 Minute(s)
Cook Time: 10 Minute(s)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 3 Tbsp. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spread
- 30 colossal or jumbo shrimp (about 3-1/2 lbs.)
- 1-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, divided
- 1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper, divided
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 6 medium tomatoes, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 2 tsp. honey or agave syrup
- Heat cumin in 8-inch skillet over low heat until warm and slightly toasted, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat, then stir in I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® Spread until melted; set aside.
- Brush shrimp on both sides with Spread mixture, then season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Grill, turning once, until shrimp turn pink, about 3 minutes.
- Toss shrimp with lemon juice and 1/2 of the basil; set aside.
- Arrange tomatoes on serving platter, then sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper, honey and remaining basil leaves. Top with shrimp and their juices.
- Calories 320
- Calories From Fat 80
- Saturated Fat 2g
- Trans Fat 0g
- Total Fat 8g
- Cholesterol 10mg
- Sodium 870mg
- Total Carbohydrates 10g
- Sugars 5g
- Dietary Fiber 2g
- Protein 47g
- Vitamin A 40%
- Vitamin C 40%
- Calcium 15%
- Iron 35%
Weight Watchers POINTS = 7
This Mama’s food sensitivities substitutions
- Use something spicy and smoky instead of the cumin like smoked paprika, chili powder or even coriander. Or you could go Italian and use basil, oregano and parsley.
- Eliminate the pepper and add a bit more of the spicy or smoky ingredients or a bit more basil.
- Use lime instead of lemon. Or if you’re using Italian seasonings, maybe a some dry white wine or even grapefruit juice would work.
- For honey or agave, use stevia instead.
Disclosure: I received an all-expense paid trip to NYC from I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!