Monday, March 9, 2009

There's A Lot

There's a lot to talk about today.  I'll try to do it mostly through pictures.  

First though, I wasn't around and didn't do anything too special (food-wise) this weekend because I had an interview today and I was freaking out/preparing for it.  It went well, we'll see if they call back next week.  Anyone have any tips on a follow up?  Send a thank you email, a thank you note, etc?  For teaching positions you usually interview, then give a demo lesson, and the lesson is what comes next, if anything comes next.  

Anyway, food last week was good.  Nothing exciting, but I didn't have peanut butter for dinner even one night :)  

Monday I tried some of Yves' Canadian Bacon.  I have an confession....I have always loved Taylor Ham.  Even when I was in college and too lazy to cook much of anything, I would almost always buy it when I did get to the grocery store.  So, I bought this in hopes of igniting some old memories.

Verdict?  Its good!  No, it doesn't taste like Taylor Ham, but it doesn't taste like Canadian Bacon does taste good though.  If you're wondering, its mainly made of wheat gluten....which means the protein is pretty high:  3 slices = 80 calories and 13g protein.  I approve.  Of course, I had to have it with some tofu scramble!  

Wednesday is the night I made dinner, and I decided to finally break out Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.  I've had it for awhile, but the only things I had ever made was the marinated tofu feta (which is awesome, by the way).  I bought some Field Roast Italian Sausages on my way home from work, and we had Roasted Sausage, Peppers, and Onions with Polenta.  This was one of the best recipes I've made from a cookbook in awhile.  The sausage was too spicy for mom, but my brother and I both really liked it. 

If you aren't familiar with Field Roast, they primarily make what they call "Grain Meats".  Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has mentioned them on her podcast Vegetarian Food for Thought many times, so I felt comfortable buying them and feeding them to omnivores.  Sausage is just a mess of gross meat by-product anyway, you can barely even tell it isn't meat, except it isn't gross and fatty.  

A few months ago I bought The Yoga Cookbook.  This is a lacto-vegetarian book, although most of it is vegan, and if the recipe does contain dairy, there is usually a vegan substitute suggestion. I bought it kind of on a whim, and it was purely because of one recipe that looked really good.  I don't remember its name, but its essentially sauteed fennel with white beans and curry powder, topped with the sauteed zucchini ribbons with parsley.  

I made it this past weekend, and it was pretty good, although nothing groundbreaking.  My brother and I both had it, and we were both huge fans of the butter beans!  Neither of us had ever had them before, and I was wary of these gigantic beans, but they were so soft and yummy, and my brother says, kind of like potatoes (he loves potatoes).

I have been feeling very very lazy, so I picked up this Spicy Peanut Bake coating by A Taste of Thai this past weekend after yoga.  I planned on using it for tofu.  It did not work.  I'm not sure why.  It kind of melted off.  It still tasted good, and it stuck to the top side, but it wasn't as crispy crunchy as I had hoped.  Baked tofu is good no matter what though, (50 minutes on 400 degrees is perfection) I served it with some roasted asparagus, and some brown rice.

I'm so happy I have some brown rice.  This probably sound gross, but I love having leftover brown rice, because I heat it up and mix it with hummus.  Good?  YES.  Okay, it is a little weird, actually, but I still really like it.  I forced some down before my interview today because I didn't want my belly rumbling.

Wait wait, I'm not done.  Product time.  I have some fun stuff this week.  

First, perfect pasta.  I kid you not, this is a ridiculous product.  Same calories as regular serving of pasta (200 calories), but 23 grams of protein.  23 GRAMS OF PROTEIN?  

It is made from non-GMO soybeans, so its gluten free, and it tastes really good, actually.  It has a bit of a chewy bite to it, and I would recommend a more Asian type noodle dish, rather than an Italian pasta dish, but its really good.  I had a half serving (which is pretty large), with the leftovers of the White beans etc etc.

I also got to try the Chocolate Coconut Raw Organic bar.

If the package looks like its totally is.  Hi, um, this is awesome.  Actually, it probably ties with the Chocolatey Chip Raw Organic bar, which I've talked about before.  I'd say this one is perfect to have instead of a candy bar really.  I had it at the movies.  I'd mainly consider this a superfluous snack back because the protein in this bar is lower, 230 calories and 5g protein.  It is soo very good though.  

I got some other fun stuff today.  For some reason, even though the interview went well, I was feeling kind of down afterwards.  I think because I have to wait to hear back from them until next week.  That's a long time to wait.  So, I went to Whole Foods.  First off, I'm not a big Whole Foods fan.  I much prefer my less commercial health food stores, mainly because I think they cater much more to vegetarians and vegans.  Whole Foods is just all about happy food.  And they don't want to upset their customers who want their happy food, by providing options that may make them think about their meat.  I just don't really agree with their philosophy.  Granted, I'd rather have people buying organic produce, but this Whole Foods, especially, I believe others are different...they didn't even really have any tofu options at their salad bar (there was one, an ugly tofu "egg" salad).  This is very lame.  I ended up getting some soup, which was good.  

Everything else I ended up getting was kind of...well, not the healthiest.  That was all I wanted.  I *did* talk myself into putting down the vegan donut holes (yes, there was a small section of vegan cookies/donuts/scones, etc), but I don't think I bought anything really good for you.  Okay, so a lot of it was dried fruit, should know me by now, I try to focus more on protein products, sugary fruit doesn't exactly cut it as "healthy food" for me.    

Sweetriot, I don't know if you are familiar with this company, but they rock.  They feature local artists on their packaging, they use recyclable reusable material, and their cacao and cocoa is fair trade from Latin America.  

I bought an unBar (it stands for "unofficial bar of the world, according to their website...weird), but its already been consumed.  It was delicious.  Mine had 70% dark chocolate, with crunchy bits of cacao nibs, and a plump raisin in each bite.  

Really yummy, and only 180 calories for what felt like a pretty big chunk of chocolate.  

I also bought what seems to be their signature product, dark chocolate covered cacao nibs in flavor 65 (meaning 65% dark chocolate, they also have flavor 5o and flavor 70).  These containers are so cool.  The artwork is really awesome, and even if you go crazy, the whole tin is only 140 calories, making each "peace" only 1-2 calories.


They're totally yummy.  Perfect when you just need a chocolate fix, not a whole bar.

I also bought some Chili-Lime flavored mango...YUM.  And its raw!  

I don't think there is anything better than dried mango.  It is by far my most favorite dried fruit.  And flavored?  It really just doesn't get better.  

I did get some bulk oat bran, and some pistachios, so that wasn't too bad.  Then I also got some dried cherries because I love them, and I was feeling disappointed.  

Hopefully I have no reason to be disappointed, but I can tell you that if I don't get called back, I'll be opening this bag.  

Ike & Sam's Kickin' Cayenne Kettle Corn.  For some reason, I know some people don't like kettle corn, and if you are one of those people...I think you're crazy.  But then, I (obviously) love sweet things.    
This stuff is totally fantastic.  It is a pretty sweet snack, but its got the perfect spicy kick that lingers on your lips.  

Last, I am so excited about this:  Cinnamon Sugar Soynut Butter.

Whenever I see soynut butter, I'm surprised that it doesn't have more protein.  Well, this was more what I expected:  200 calories and 10g of protein.  Its pretty yummy too.  It doesn't have whatever kind of addictive drug they put in peanut butter.  Plus, its a small jar, so I'll eat it slower (yes, I play mind games with myself).      

So, like I said, I know its a lot, but I don't think any of it was too difficult to digest (haha, food blog pun).  Who knows if I'll have anything else to post this week.  So far the plan is fairly loose, so who knows.  

Have a good one, everybody!  I'll let you know if I get called back or not.  


  1. Love all the food but what's really catching my eye is that Chili Lime Mango and the Cinnamon Soynut Butter. Delicious!!!

  2. I am not a huge fan of Whole Foods either. When they bought out the WIld Oats in Memphis I was really bummed. But here in Nashville, they make me want to bang my head against a wall. Finding anything vegan there is like finding a needle in a haystack. I finally realized my local Kroger has cool things like TVP and nayonaise.

  3. I love leftover brown rice. I've never tried it with hummus, though...sounds tasty!

  4. Good luck with the interview--I hope you get the gig!

    Is the yoga cookbook you have called the Kundalini Yoga cookbook? I got that out of the library once, and everything is measured in handfuls. It's so fun to make those recipes.

    Everything looks really great!

  5. wow, so many goodies :) where did you find that soybean pasta?? I'd heard about it but never seen it...

  6. Chili Lime Mango? I took a trip to the health food store today and feel so cheated by the regular dried mango I bought.

    I love dried fruit when I feel like something sweet - especially dried pineapple. Eating one piece makes me back away from the bad candy. haha

    I definitely picked up that raw chocolate coconut bar today and then put it down because I have a cupboard FULL of bars that I need to eat. I get tempted with new ones though. I'm sad now I didn't buy it.

  7. Delicious eats ... makes me want to buy some fun cookbooks!

    Good luck with the interview and may you have patience in the wait!! ; )

  8. babe i am sure u did good at your're a as for after....i think a thank you note is best. it's personalized and most wanna leave a mark and this is the best way:D

    ohhhh please keep me updated with your job thing. i wish u all the luck in the world gina gina!

    all the best


  9. So much goodness in this post Gina! I totally agree with you regarding peanut butter. Full of addictive drugs.

    Love dried mangoes. Chris and I used to buy them in bulk from Bare Fruit Co. We'd get the 5 lb bags of their uncut mangoes...dangerous. We had to cut ourselves off.

    I'm going to be on the lookout for SweetRiot products as you know I love my chocolate.

    Anyone who makes their own baked tofu with roasted asparagus and brown rice is sooo not lazy! :)

    I love leftover brown rice or any grain really. Put it in a bowl with spoonful of nut butter - my perfect meal!

  10. Shelby...both are delicious!! The soynut butter isn't too sweet either, which I like.

    Amberlyn, my local grocery store (Shop RIte!) has a great natural foods section, and for most part I'd rather shop there. Boo to Whole Foods...and it is SO EXPENSIVE. I was also in Westchester, but still.

    Hi Emily! Brown rice = yum. I should have made way more.

    Thank you Teresa! It is actually the Sivananda Yoga Center who put out the book. Handfuls as recipe guidelines sounds so fun!

    ttfn, I just happened upon it at my local natural food store. I was completely blown away, I bought two boxes, haha.

    Ashely, you must try it next time! It did not disappoint!

    lesley...I have far too many cookbooks, its a sickness, haha. I've only made 1-3 recipes out of most of them, I'd say.

    Thanks Denny, I will keep you updated. I really hope she calls back, but we'll see.

    Heather...I used to buy these dried mangoes from my grocery store, that claimed to be 120 calories for the whole package, so I would just eat the whole thing. After awhile, I realized that it was probably wrong, but they are SO good, so I had to stop buying them. Sad times.

    Thanks for stopping by everyone, I love hearing from you!

  11. Good luck with the callback!

    And yum! I wish we got sweet riot treats over here :( They sound perfect!

  12. Oh my goodness! So many fun new things to try. I avoid my Whole Foods simply because it's usually a mad house. Long lines, billions of people. But, maybe I'll drag my butt outta bed early to catch some of these delectable treats! Meanwhile, I'm in the midst of interviewing, too! Yeah for a job search buddy. I'm in education (a slightly different area, but education nonetheless) and have had a few phone interview this past week. I always send a thank you note via snail mail. I know when I interview people I like having an old fashioned note come through the mail, and have always been told that's the way to go. Good luck!

  13. I've tried those soybean pastas before, and I have to say... I really didn't like it! The texture was just unforgivable in my opinion, and even slathered with a heavy sauce to disguise the beany flavor, I couldn't get past that bizarre mouth-feel. Maybe they've improved since I picked up a package though... At least, I sure hope so!

  14. Dried mango is my favorite dried fruit. I buy it a lot.

    Where I work we constantly have interview candidates come in. We usually get a thank you card from them. I don't know if that helps.

    The food looks delicious and I love Butter Beans.

  15. white beans and curry powder go so well together. Infact, used both ingredients today!

    good luck with the job!

  16. Love the food:)
    Oh and loved the carrot cake giant cookies on the last post

    All those vegan product reviews make me save money to buy all those goodies when I visit the US :)

  17. Hi, Gina! I love Field Roast sausages- the Mexican kind are really spicy, but I like that! They're expensive though, so I don't have it very often. I know what you mean about Whole Foods- so many products that are for transitional vegans (but that may be a good thing)- too bad they can't offer better protein options at the salad bar- hummus and brown rice would be excellent ;) Anyway... thanks for stopping by my blog!

  18. i loooove baked tofu!!

    chili lime dried mango sounds so good.

  19. God, what a haul! I was just looking at those Raw bars and almost got one, good to know they are worth it. Sweetriot sounds awesome and I love the soynut butter, I've never seen any soynut butter that was flavored like that. Yum!

  20. Hopefully you get called back! Ahhh, interviews are scary!

    Hehehe, those zucchini ribbons are so pretty! The whole fennel and white beans combo sounds really tasty and fancy too.

    Field Roast products are soooo good! I really need to try the sausage.

    Gasp... You don't like Whole Foods?! I've been to the original one in Austin, and the company was founded by a vegetarian (I don't recall whether he is vegan or not). But Whole Foods is my mecca! Some have more vegan options than others, so I guess I'm on the really really lucky end here in the Midwest. I will say that WF sucks for selling veal, but they expose a lot of people to vegan products too.

    Annnyway...haha, that tofu looks so crispy and awesome! Tofu + peanut sauce is unbeatable.