3 To Know: Chick-fil-A introduces cauliflower sandwich, more

Naples Daily News
Chef Stuart Tracy said texture was just as important as taste in developing the new Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich.

1. Chick-fil-A introduces cauliflower sandwich

Chick-fil-A's newest sandwich looks just like its original, but it sure doesn't taste like it.

The Atlanta-based restaurant chain is debuting a new cauliflower sandwich in three different markets on this week.

It's the company's first plant-forward entree. 

"We are committed to chicken, and chicken is the hero," said Leslie Neslage, director of menu and packaging for Chick-fil-A. "But ... it was becoming more and more prevalent that customers really want to find ways to increase vegetables in their diet."

Customers can already order salads and other items without chicken, but Chef Stuart Tracy, senior lead culinary developer for Chick-fil-A, told USA TODAY, "We wanted it to be a purpose-built entree that was plant-forward."

The Chick-fil-A Cauliflower Sandwich may look like a chicken sandwich – down to the same seasoned breading, two pickle slices and toasted bun – but one bite and it's clear the star of this sandwich is the cauliflower, which is fileted and marinated in a mild buffalo-style sauce, before being hand-breaded and pressure cooked to a crispy finish.

Unlike KFC's Beyond Fried Chicken and Burger King's Impossible Whopper, which feature plant-based meat substitutes, this sandwich embraces the whole plant, which both Tracy and Neslage said customers in focus groups requested. – Eve Chen/USA Today

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2. Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet among 131,000 recalled cars

Faulty software, missing and improperly made parts are the culprits in the latest round of car recalls affecting over 131,000 cars this week. Honda, Toyota and General Motors each issued recalls. 

Check USA Today’s automotive recall database or search the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s database for new recalls. The NHTSA allows you to search based on your vehicle identification number to see if your vehicle is under recall. You can also contact your vehicle's manufacturer for further information.

Honda recalled more 114,686 Fit and HR-V vehicles because the display may fail to boot up, preventing it from showing the back-up camera video image, according to an NHTSA report. 

Affected vehicles:

  • 2018-2020 Honda Fit Hatchback
  • 2019-2022 Honda HR-V SUV

Toyota announced the recall of 16,679 hybrid RAV4 SUVs because defective software may cause the motor to suddenly lose power, increasing the risk of crash, according to an NHTSA report. 

Affected vehicles: 

  • 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime

General Motors is recalling 20 Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC vehicles because of a roll-away and crash risk. 

Affected vehicles: 

  • 2023 Chevrolet Blazer (8 vehicles)
  • 2023 Chevrolet Traverse (2 vehicles) 
  • 2023 Cadillac XT5 (4 vehicles) 
  • 2023 Cadillac GMC Acadia (6 vehicles) 

GM said in an NHTSA report that it identified 10 Chevrolet Blazer and Traverse vehicles with left-hand half-shaft assemblies that are missing an assembly ring. The missing part may cause the half-shaft inner joint to separate from the shaft, according to the report. – Orlando Mayorquin/USA Today

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3. Medicare targets drug companies that raise prices above rate of inflation

Medicare will begin collecting penalties in 2025 from pharmaceutical companies that raise prices on prescription drugs faster than the rate of inflation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service said this week. 

And on April 1, Medicare enrollees on Part B drugs, typically administered by a doctor, might benefit from more moderate coinsurance charges, CMS officials said. 

Medicare's rebate authority comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, which also empowers the federal government to negotiate prices for some of Medicare's costliest drugs. 

The federal law "lowers out-of-pocket drug costs for people with Medicare and improves the sustainability of the Medicare program for current and future generations,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure.

Enrollees won't get checks or other direct payments from the rebate program. But recipients who get Part B drugs administered in a medical office will see some modest benefits. Consumers typically must pay coinsurance equal to 20% of their Part B drug costs after reaching their deductible. If a drug company raises the drug price above the rate of inflation, a consumer's coinsurance amount would be capped up to the inflation rate.

And in 2025, Medicare caps out-of-pocket spending at $2,000. – Ken Alltucker/USA Today