Friday, January 31, 2014

Eating Whole Foods without Breaking the Bank

Healthful eating tips. It's not rocket science, but it helps a ton and saves the dough you need for more important things like.... Avalon's Thrift Shop $1 sale! And going on month long missionary trips in Italy. :-)

  • Eat more whole (unprocessed) foods.
Think outside of the box. Literally! If it's not in it's "whole" state then it's processed. I'm not saying you can never eat, but choose the whole (a baked potato with fixings) over the part or the processed (fries, mashed potatoes) and you will likely be getting something more nutrient dense and filling with less calories.
  • Eating healthy does not have to break the bank account.
If it's out of your budget (protein powder) then buy something else (tempeh, tofu, quinoa) or the cheaper version( dry beans vs. more expensive (albeit convenient) canned beans).
  • If you'd like to expand your health food repertoire, don't go buy a whole bag of it.
Get a small amount from the bulk foods section of Market District or Whole Foods or East End Food Co-op.
  • Also, if you don't like a food on the first try, try it again.
First impressions are not always right. Ask your best friend who you originally thought was dumb as rocks. Okay, don't. But you know what I mean.Try it in a different way and see if the preparation alters your perception.For example, raw zucchini made me gag the first time I tried it. Sautee some zucchini with onions and garlic and you will have to fight me for it.
  • Eat more (preferably organic) fruits and vegetables.
Sorry, but fruit cups don't count. Get apples, grapes, watermelon or whatever fruit is in season. Organic is awesome, but worry about the dirty dozen and save money buying local, conventional versions of the less polluted fruit/veg. Frozen fruit/veg of the organic persuasion are less pricey, but just as nutritionally dense.
  • Buy in bulk.
Think organic frozen veg from Costco, a big box of shelf stable items like brown rice from SAMS club and the bulk section of your favorite grocery store.

Some healthful and flavorful ideas:

Alfredo Quinoa with steamed veg

Frozen grapes

Oven Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

Insanity salad

Quinoa and Kale with Yellow Sweet pepper


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Recent Eats and Yummy Treats

As soon as it snows it is officially pancake season! Yay!
Oh wait.... It is ALWAYS pancake season!

Triple yay!

Just looking at pictures of pancakes makes me want some!

Topped with some melty peanut butter and Tastefully Simple blueberry burgundy jam. Oh the benefits of living with a consultant! Whoever thought it was a good idea to combine blueberries and burgundy wine is a complete genius! Get. It.
I ate half this jar for research purposes only!


moving on....

Whole Foods dinner.....

What is it with shopping for food that makes me too tired to cook? So I didn't even try to fight. Stuffed faux turkey with olive oil mashed potato and faro stuffing. Oh that farro stuffing is so creamy and delicious.


That fabulous Italian store Merante Brothers Market in Washington county  still sells the sundried tomato risotto. And my family was nice enough to bring me some when they went there. What sweeties! I made some for lunch today with spinach. It needed something "fresh" to health it up.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fall (ing Snow) and Chocolate

Can you believe what is happening outside?
It seems like only a few days ago I was saying
goodbye to the last wave of the tomato harvest.

Waving goodbye to the beautiful leaves of summer as they
beautifully decayed in splendid shades of yellow, orange and red.

And now it looks like this outside.
Beautiful! Right?
I need some coffee....
Oh there it is!
Tall skinny blonde with soy milk...
With one pump of vanilla.

This calls for a big bowl of soup!
1/4 cup of quinoa, 1/2 zucchini chopped, 1/4 cup chopped kale
and 1/4 c pepper sauce (pinjur or salsa)
1) throw it all in the pot
2) let it simmer until the quinoa is done
3) warm your insides!
Look at the creepy snow outside!
Now it's time for chocolate truffle bar.
1/4 c cocoa powder, 4 T sweetened vanilla coconut milk, 1t coconut oil
1) mix it then sprinkle with cracked sea salt
2) top with a bit of pb
After that indulgence have a bit of detox food.
Steam veg with quinoa and a side of sauerkraut.

Have you tried this?
It's thick and creamy like greek yogurt.
Not to sweet but the strawberry flavor is fabulous.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Random Lunch...Zuchini Chips

Red Lentils and Kale on Olive Pane
Do you ever get meal inspiration from something you read? There are some literary works that purposely attempt to inspire hunger, but there are times when my culinary imagination is set afire accidentally.

This particular meal was inspired by my Bible reading and research. Can you guess what I was reading about? I'll give you a clue: Twins, Birthright, Red.

Got it?

You guessed it! Our Sunday lesson revolved around valuing spiritual things and we were discussing the experience of Jacob and Esau at Genesis 25: 27-34. Well, while I was reading this it popped into my head that I had some red lentils in the cupboard and the idea sort of grew from there.

I made the red lentils and added kale in the final minutes of cooking along with a sprinkle of lemon pepper and sea salt. Finished with a drizzle of oil.

Interestingly, I found out that this olive Pane, which I bought as a splurge item is $3 cheaper at Whole Foods than where I bought it. Bummer! Bummer because I feel like I was slightly robbed, but also because the price tag is the only thing that stopped be from buying this excessively. *sigh* #FoodieWeightlossProblems If only I could find a gluten free version of this bread. Excess gluten and weightloss do not add up in my body. Sadly!

Do you know what this means? I may never be Italian. #dreamscrushed

How do you feel about hashtags? I find them hilarious. Obviously!

I'll close this out with a picture of deliciousness...
Angel Hair with Kale, Nooch, and fresh Tomatoes
Oh wait there's more!

Sliced zucchini on parchment
I made zucchini chips!
 Well, sort of.
I couldn't wait until they were done.
So, some were crisp and chip like and some were not..
But all were delicious.
Beautiful and yummy way to munch your veggies!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Accidental Lentil Chili

Accidental chili! With avocado! Exclamation point!
I have been craving chili like crazy.
And you know how I love accidentally creating things.
So I was going to make more lentil soup.
Like this:
Using this:
Pinjur by Konex Foods
But I added too much in my zealousness to get more veggies in.
And it amazingly turned into chili (see pic above).
When I tasted it and realized how much it tasted like chili
I did the only natural thing you do when you realize you have accidentally made chili.....
grab an avocado!!!!!
Get you some!
I got this accidental chili starter at Big Lots.
It's loaded with: peppers, eggplant, tomato paste, garlic.
Some of the best things in the world!
It tastes great on bread, on sandwiches, in soup, as a chili, on pasta or just on some rice.
Side note: It's from Bulgaria.
I suddenly want to go to Bulgaria and eat things.
Who knew they had such yumminess?
Lentil Chili:
Serves 2
Easy recipe that isn't even a recipe:
1 c lentils
1/2 c brown rice
1/2 jar pinjur
1) cook rice and lentils together
2) throw in the Pinjur
3) let simmer 10 minutes if you can wait that long
the smell is some kind of wonderful
Random question: Do you eat rice with your chili?

Stupid picture of delicious bread taken in a car
This is sweet potato bread. It's beautiful, right?
It is sooo good! My brother made it.
He's a genius in the kitchen.
I'll give you the recipe soon.
Or maybe I won't.
We'll see...
That is all....

Friday, October 11, 2013

What's for Breakfast? What's for Leonard?

What do you eat for breakfast?

In Italy it was tea and a pastry
Or leftover pasta...

What's for breakfast?
Common vegan question #13.

Cracklebred topped with nutbutter, jam, dried fruit and nuts..
Cracklebred topped with Fakin' bacon, tofu eggs...

Scrambled tofu with tempeh bacon and a side of whole wheat toast..
Pancakes for one topped with maple syrup or warm fruit compote..
Oatmeal with coconut butter, peanut butter and strawberry rhubarb jam
Oatmeal with nut butter, nuts and dried fruit, jam, etc..
Rice and vegetables..
Leftover pasta...

Cold cereal and almond milk...
Puffed Kamut with soaked Goji berries and maple syrup
 Loaded sweet potato...
Sweet Potato with peanut butter, dried cranberries and sliced almonds
 My favorite especially when Im trying to control cravings is a smoothie.
To add protein my favorites are protein powder, hemp seeds, nutmilk base and/or nut butter topping.
Lunch, Dinner or Linner...Leonard!
What's a good lunch or dinner in a hurry?
If you say salad I won't be your friend anymore.
Okay I will, but only if it's a PACKED salad.
You know the type: so many toppings you've forgotten if there is lettuce in the bowl.Oh yeah! That's what Im talking about...
Wait what was I talking about? Oh yeah!
Some ideas for lunch and dinner incorporating nutrient dense whole foods.
Double your vegetable serving. Try steaming vegetables in veggie stock and fresh herbs or roasting them to bring out the flavor in them.

Oh you wanted some actual foods on this list...

Here you go:
Pasta with marinara add red lentils to the marinara or a nooch based alfredo type sauce.
Taco soup Time saving tip: throw the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and it will be ready  when you get home.


Salad with a side of Kale Chips...

Super Hero lunch!

Do you see any lettuce up in here? I didn't think so....

Black bean burgers on a brown rice tortilla or gluten free bread..or a bun..

side of tortilla chips and salsa...

vegburger on gluten free bread
Soup and a Sandwich...

Dr. Mcdougal's Salad Cups! Vegan, healthy cup of ramen type thangs!

That is all...
Go eat!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Fun + Favorite Places

Where do you go to shop (and maybe unwind or decompress)?
There are a couple of places I unwind shop at.
Fridays are a great day for this because...
Do you really need reasons why its great to unwind on Friday?
Oh. Okay. Well one reason is many get paid on Friday.
So you know exactly what you have to work with cash wise.
I head out shopping with a budget in mind.
Spending too much will add stress not decrease it....
Gourmet food deals abound at Home Goods. Coconut butter for $6!!!!  (regularly $12, but now that I know the Maranatha is always $6 at Walmart I want to give that brand a go) On a recent trip, I also bought some dehydrated orange slice which you eat peel and all. Yay vitamin C!
And another perk of Home Goods is that it's right near....

Be still my heart ...
I'm not even going to describe the great fun of window shopping at IKEA.
You can wander around and pretend you live in the display.
What? Don't pretend I'm the only one who does this. How can you know if you will really like an item unless you pretend to use it in a pretend kitchen?
And you can come out of IKEA spending under $10 with a load of booty.
Yesterday was talk like a pirate day by the way. Weird!

My friends Backyards, or front yards or living rooms.
Wonderful places to unwind they are...
Especially backyards where we can burn things.
Yay making s'mores!
ALL the toppings
Whole Foods Wexford is great for foodie finds.
It's a tad bigger than my regular Whole Foods so I tend to find new things to try there. They have a giant bulk section, so even if I only have a few dollars to splurge with I can get several tiny bits instead of one big thing to try.
On top of that they have an awesome wood fired pizza oven. You know how I love my wood fired oven pizza. On my most recent trip I had to wait 20 minutes for this pizza but it was so gooooooooood. Mediteranean on whole wheat crust. Sundried tomatoes rehydrated in seasoned oil, spinach, artichokes, kalamata olives on a red marinara sauce.
I'm still thinking about this pizza weeks later. You don't happen to have a slice on you do you?
snacks under $2 on a priceless book
Target always, but the clarance section is fab for clothes, staples, etc,
But sometimes I spend too much time in there and need a snack.
But they also happen to be awesome for grabbing a quick snack so....
Basically they solve problems and create new ones and then solve those too.
Isn't that nice of them?
Tacos on a pretty pink plate from IKEA
Trader Joe's is one of my favorite places for regular grocery shopping.
I bought some seasoned black beans from there that were
wonderfuly seasoned. Add some sautéed yellow and red peppers, red onion.
giant romaine leaves and we've got some Tacos.
It wasn't even Tuesday!