22 March 2006

Midweek Munchies (3-22-06)

MIDWEEK MUNCHIES: What LESLIE is contributing for the week.

I just wrote this whole thing out and it disappeared! This is my third MM and the third time I have typed everything out and it went away! I am frustrated and I wish there was an undo on the internet. Now I am just going to make this quick. As you all know, I didn't post a Midweed Munchies last week because I ate out a lot and was out of town, but I also had advanced planning and the week before bought enough food for 2 weeks.

I'm back in the Midweek Munchies ring and I am pleased to present to you all my very fine shopping list. Actually, 2 lists, as I shopped for the cheapest stuff first (but less quality, so I didn't get everything) at the Sunflower Market, and then I went to Whole Foods Market (WFM) for the rest of the stuff.

I have been tired of going to the Sunflower Market just for coffee, although this week wasn't the case. I decided that instead of buying our regular 2 bags of coffee (over a pound in each, ground), I would buy three and that could save me some "we're almost out of coffee" every so often. So, three big-ass bags it was. And is, from now on.

I used to just buy all of my produce at the Sunflower Market, but the quality isn't as good as WFM, and you certainly get what you pay for. In that case, I bought a few things first, and then saved for the WFM adventure. I would rather have good organic carrots than ugly conventional cheap ones anyway, for example.

On to the lists...

First up, the Sunflower Market:
red wine vinegar
Silk Chocolate Milk, individual size for me to drink right out of the store
5 kiwis for a dollar!
2 garlic bulbs, 25 cents each
2 bigass red bell peppers for ONE DOLLAR (for both, not each. At WFM they're $1.99 each)
a shitload of coffee
4 lemons for $1
3 stupid tiny limes for $1 (kinda crappy)
raw walnut halves, $4.99/lb, I got 1/2

Then I went to WFM and actually spent less! That's because I didn't buy almost $18 worth of coffee there, though!

Whole Foods Market:
2 kinds of organic apples, red and green
yukon gold potatoes
organic pasta sauce, 2 jars
barley sweetened chocolate chips
tahini, blah, should have bought it at Haji
raw sugar
coconut, shredded
organic peanut butter, ground myself
sourdough and rustic breads
carrots
kale
parsley
onion
bag refund, a whopping 10 cents off!

Click here for the Midweek Munchies code
Click here for Harmonia’s blog




27 comments:

Catherine said...

Leslie,

I see kale on your list . . . what's your favorite way to prepare kale? I'm just starting to get into greens, and am looking for lots of ideas.

My local co-op does a bag refund, too -- each time you bring your own bag, you get a "green patch" (one for each bag.) If you save twenty, you get a buck off. Kind of a pain, but I bring my own bags anyway, and I figure, I'll take a buck off any way I can get it!

What kind of coffee do you get? I purchase a locally-roasted, fair-trade and organic brand that is delivered by bicycle. It's mighty tasty, but ass-expensive. It kind of drives me crazy that I can spend fifty bucks at the store on produce, coffee, and nuts! WHY is it so expensive to eat healthfully??

Welcome back, by the way! It sounds like you really enjoyed your spring break!

~ Catherine (a fellow Midweek-Muncher)

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi Catherine. My favorite way(s) to prepare kale is 1: steamed with a bit of garlic, salt and pepper. I also like it sauteed and steamed, either way, and I like most spices with it. The second way I like kale is in Sloppy Lenties (which I have been making about twice a week). I just rinse it off, and put it in the food processor (raw) with carrots, onion and garlic and add it to the lentil stew. I like adding lots of veggies and greens that way, chopped or minced up like crushed herbs. I also love the combo of tofu and kale together.

EatPeacePlease said...

Oh, and your coffee deal seems to be fabulous! I wish I had someone bike-ride me some organic, local coffee. Mine isn't organic (I could buy that kind, but I'm weird) but I like to get morning blends and vanilla nut coffee beans. As long as I add a ton of sugar, I'm fine with any coffee.

I don't find it that expensive to eat healthy, in fact, I find it more expensive to buy packaged crap and junk that could be devoured in an hour, for no nutritional value whatsoever. I find that nuts are the hardest ($$) for me but everything else I try to get in bulk and I shop around for deals and such and make a lot of homemade stuff. Where do you live?

Sweet Pea said...

Hey, the same thing happened to me a while ago when I tried to post. It just disappared. I managed to retrieve it by clicking on one of the tabs. I think it's called Retrieve or something like that. Good luck!

Sweet Pea said...

Hey, the same thing happened to me a while ago when I tried to post. It just disappared. I managed to retrieve it by clicking on one of the tabs. I think it's called Retrieve or something like that. Good luck!

Shawn Powers said...

Have you ever bought whole bean coffee? Even with a cheap $15 grinder, the taste from fresh ground is very noticeable.

I like the flavored coffees too, but it's hard to find them without caffeine (which I can't have... *sigh*)

I might have to try kale, it's supposed to be SOOO good for you...

As far as expense goes -- it does really stink to live in little podunk town. I have to drive 35 minutes to get to a little Health Food Store, and the only other store to buy good food would be about 2 hours away.

I'll stop whining. ;)

EatPeacePlease said...

Shawn, I buy whole beans and grind them at the store. I suppose I could grind them in the wonderful Vitamix, but I feel like I am getting more coffee (am I?) when I pack in the grounds at the store, per pound. I keep the coffee in the freezer. And yes, try kale. I love it, I have some cooking in Sloppy Lenties right now. I keep putting more and more kale in the recipe.

Sweet Pea, Thanks for the tip. I hope I don't need to use it, but hey, let's see what happens next Wednesday.

Shawn Powers said...

Nah, a pound is a pound. (If it was sold by volume, you'd get more for sure -- but not so by the pound)

Next time you buy coffee -- see if you can tell a difference with the coffee you *just* ground at the store versus the coffee that's been ground at home for a week or so. You should be able to tell.

(See, now I'm talking about coffee... How long can comments be...)

The key is that the carbon dioxide in the bean prevents it from oxidizing. Oxidation is hard on beans, much like it's hard on cars here in the north. (ie, rust)

Too much CO2, and the coffee is bitter, which is why roasters give beans a while to "de-gas" before packaging them up. Usually the perfect bean is about 2 weeks after roasting. AND, that precious CO2 escapes very fast once the coffee is ground, so it is best to grind it RIGHT before brewing.

And there, in a nutshell, is more info than anyone probably ever wants to know about coffee beans. ;o)

Sorry to blabber on so...

Shawn Powers said...

Oops, I forgot something else too...

If possible, only buy as much coffee as you'll consume in a week or two -- and then keep the beans at room temperature. Freezing (specifically unfreezing) causes the water which collects on the beans to absorb and start to deteriorate the quality. Beans also tend to absorb "freezer tastes" if they are left in too long.

If you must keep the coffee for longer than a week or two -- just make sure not to defrost the beans and re-freeze them. Keep them frozen and use them directly from the freezer.

Sorry for the coffee lectures. I plan to open a coffee house one of these years, and it's sort of a passion of mine...

KaiVegan said...

Shawn really knows his coffee, doesn't he? (Shawn, how's that coffee shop plan going?)
I do agree with him on the freshly ground coffee. Big difference. I remember in my coffee days, people would wonder why I'd go through so much trouble, then they would comment on how good my coffee is! boink!

I do spend $$ on nuts too and I'm thinking of going to another store next week to see what they have.

I am really loving this midweek munchies thing. It inspires me to see lists like yours, and just going through the other lists make me think harder about the choices I make. I could never thank you enough for leading me in the "less processed food division." I mean, that was already in my heart before, but didn't really think I would/could do it.

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi Shawn, you know, I just plain don't know why I don't grind my own beans. I guess I'll start as soon as these 3 bags are gone. And to answer your wonderings, I never worry about coffee going bad. I worry more about not having any for the next morning (I am soooo bad). Thanks for all your tips, I appreciate them.

Hi Kai, you are so sweet, thank you. I remember when you found me the first day and I opened up a whole new world of whole-food-goodness to you. I am so happy to see you stick around, join Midweek Munchies, as well as seeing you all over sites I go to too. I am enjoying your new discoveries almost as much as you (I'm just not eating them from way over here). Ok... see ya later.

Harmonia said...

Hi! It's been a hell of a week...sorry I didn't stop by and comment before this! Great list! Sorry the code is still wacky...you don't have to use it...no worries!!!

My question is what kind of breads are you buying these days? Specifically a good vegan sour dough. I have only seen sour dough with sour cream and/or butter and other dairy in there. HELP!

:)

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi Harmonia. I get all breads, whole wheat, Seduction Bread, sourdough, Wolfgang wheat/barley, etc. all in the Whole Foods Bakery, the kind that they bake there. I don't have many more specifics, other than going to the bakery section, although the stores vary by location.

Patty said...

We found shopping Whole Foods is better than some of the smaller health food stores for the same reason you mentioned, fresher produce. And the sales are good at times. Our WF's is about 40 miles away so we don't go weekly but bi-weekly. The little stores hold us over though.
Enjoying your blog a lot

Anonymous said...

I made another sweet, go figure ; )

-jess

EatPeacePlease said...

Jess, funny. I'll check it out if you posted it.

Hi Patty, I hate to say this but I can walk to the Whole Foods. There's only 2 in AZ and one is .25 miles away, and the other is right near where Ray works, about 20 miles away. We are spoiled! At least you have the "health" stores to tide you over. Do you ever shop on the internet?

Patty said...

I have to say I had a bit of a chuckle when I saw you like Ravi Shankar. I have been listening to him for about 35 years. Yup, I am an old hippy ! Been a fan of his for most of my life.
We don't do credit cards except if it was an emergency. So no shopping on line for us. Grow most of our fruits, veggies and herbs. Our trip to whole foods every couple weeks is like a date for us. We get a bite to eat there and just enjoy the moment.
Mind if I link your blog on mine ?

Patty said...

I just wrote a big long comment and it vaporized in cyberland !
I had a bit of a smile when I saw you like Ravi Shankar because I have been a fan of his for about 35 years ! Yup, I am an old hippy.
We don't do credit cards except for emergency so no on line shopping for me.
How fortunate for you to be close to Whole Foods, not sure that would be a good thing for me though, might go there a bit too often.
We grow most of our fruits, veggies, culinary and medicinal herbs so shopping often isn't even necessary for us. Texas weather lets us have a year round garden most years. When we go to WF every couple weeks we make a date of it, yeah we still date after nearly 28 years.
We grab something to eat there and sit and enjoy the atmosphere.
Mind if I link your blog on mine ?

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi Patty. Thanks for asking if you could link me, in fact, it would be an honor to me to have my site be on yours! I will do the same if that is ok to you too.

I wish I could grow my own herbs, etc. My excuse has always been that I am waiting to have a *real* garden, somewhere that I love and where I am not renting! I live in a townhouse where paid lanscapers of the HOA take care of the yard, etc and we don't even go in the front yard, just on our brick porch. Then I think about planting mini pots, but then I remember I am challenged in the gardening department, as well as keeping houseplants alive, ugh. Plus, the weather will be 100 plus before I blink my eyes! I am in PHX, Arizona.

And about WFM, yes, we do go there more than we probably should. I find myself running there for 2 carrots, 3 apples and a loaf of bread... and that's after I've gone grocery shopping for the real list!!!

Thanks for all your comments, as I look forward to more and reading more on your blog.

EatPeacePlease said...

Oh, one more thing Patty, I chuckled when I saw that you liked Ravi Shankar as well!!! I would love to own and play the sitar one day soon.

Catherine said...

Leslie,

I live in Minneapolis, blocks away from a food co-op. I cook a lot and buy mostly whole foods and as much in bulk as I can, but it just kills me that the organic stuff costs so much more. It's important to me, so I do it, but it's tough. Produce is also stinking expensive here, because we have a pretty short growing season.

Thanks for the kale ideas! I've sauteed it with garlic before, and will have to explore other options.

Hey -- you mentioned in a previous post that you are a nutritionist. I'm thinking about going back to school and pursuing a career change, somewhere in the area of nutrition and dietary counselling. Could you tell me a little more about what kind of degree you have, and a little about what you do for a living? Thanks!

Catherine

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi Catherine. I find that organic doesn't cost *that* much more than conventional foods, but I do shop around and feel that it is completely worth it. You miss out on so many important vitamins, minerals and there's added junk in conventional foods. Think of it as just what you get and it is what it costs, and try not to compare organic and conventional, because it's just that- a big difference!

I have a Nutrition/Food Service Management bachelor's degree. I just finished school and I am going through my mid-20's-finding-what-I-really-want-and-where-I-want-to-be-Stage of my life!!! And I plan on moving within a few years, but where?!?! If that makes sense, as I don't want to post too much of everything, as this is a *fun food blog. Anyway, I would like to pursue either a Masters degree in Microbiology or Holistic nutrition but it's hard to get a "legit" degree in Holistic nutrition (long story). I would at least like to keep taking a few courses here and there.

I would ideally like to own and operate my own vegan restaurant or snack shop and also sell the jewelry and aromatherapy items I make there, as well as have a stage for live jazz. It would also have a large ice-cream-shop part of the place (because I love ice cream so much). I have so many ideas in my head...

I would also like to work with school districts and food service operations, but in a way that I could make positive changes and not be behind the scenes in the kitchens there (cafeterias, etc). I would also like to educate children at schools about nutrition and healthy foods.

Finally, I would like to just hang out with animals all day in a beautiful place, have a garden to eat from, cook amazing things all day in a grand kitchen and have fun (and live in a warm place).

Back to you... what would your career change be from and to? There are many aspects of studying nutrition, food (I love food science), and food service, as well as dietetics (which I hate US standards, etc). I am interested to hear what you like.

Shawn Powers said...

Leslie, I'll pick your brain a bit too...

I work at a school full of obese kids. (It's sad but true)

What type of help to schools are you thinking of? I ask, because our existing (pre-packaged everything) school lunch program is losing money -- and with budget problems we're looking at ways to increase the amount of kids that eat at school. Sadly, the "plan" is to make the food more attractive to kids, which basically means even WORSE food choices.

I'm just the technology guy, so my voice isn't very loud in this area. I'd like to be able to point our school board to someone in your area of study/career -- but I don't know where to start looking!

It would be quite a commute for you ;o) but where would you suggest I look for help in my area?

(Feel free to email me spowers at inlandlakes dot org.)

Thanks!

Vicki said...

I notice the red peppers on your list...is it just me or does it seem like the price of peppers has gone up considerably? I made some stuffed peppers for a party and the oranges ones were 1.50 each!

gotta say the milkshake looks delicious! and what's that yellow surface you take photos on? It looks awesome...& kinda retro.

EatPeacePlease said...

Hi Vicki. Funny, I think peppers have gone up as well, but when I bought these they were 2 for a dollar! woo hoo, but not organic. The other conventional ones at another store were $2 each, and that's just crazy!!! The orange ones (and yellow) are always more and I find that the green bells are the cheapest, but red's my favorite.

As for the "yellow" surface, those are our original 1960s countertops! Our whole kitchen is yellow with white cabinets and yellow handles with a yellow counter(s). We do have new appliances though! It's an older townhouse that we rent and I love the yellowness, it's certainly bright and cheerful.

Catherine said...

Leslie,

I currently have an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education, and am licensed to teach "regular" ed, birth through third grade. I am becoming disenchanted with the field of teaching, and fed up with the lack of respect and stress level, although I love the kids. I am currently looking for a new job, and think I will nanny until I figure out what it is I want to do.

My dream job would be owning my own catering company. (A locally-sourced, organic, vegetarian catering company with most, if not everything, available with a vegan option, of course!) Unfortunately, I think I need to attend culinary school in order to make that happen. Do vegetarian culinary schools exist? I need to find out. In the meantime, I thought a degree in nutrition/food science might be a worthwhile pursuit. I'm currently in the information-gathering process.

EatPeacePlease said...

Catherine, what state do you live in and can you send me your email?!? I would love to chat more about all this. I am just past the information-gathering process and starting to pursue but need help, partner(s), and it seems there's quite the network already!