Saturday is always my favorite day of the week. Like usual we slept in until our bodies thought it was time to wake up. I love getting extra sleep on Saturday.
For breakfast we had oatmeal with mixed wild berries, cinnamon, powdered ginger, freshly ground flaxseed, sliced banana and walnuts. Like usual my oatmeal was made with water and to Dan’s I added stevia.
After breakfast we started talking about what I would make for the meal with my parents. This becomes more difficult each week. Since my parents are omnivores and eat processed food their diet is very different from ours. I could easily make unhealthy vegan food and they would love that but I don’t want to feed that to Dan and me. In the end I went with very simple food.
We started the meal with a simple lunch salad of red wine marinated thinly sliced cucumber, thinly sliced red onion, grape tomatoes, artichokes, hearts of palm, yellow bell pepper, seasoned with zatar and sumac over mesclun greens. Since my father loves marinated veggies he enjoyed this and I didn’t even need to add oil to his. ;-)
The lunch entrée was a quick dish of quinoa topped with mixed veggies, southern Italian tomato sauce with golden raisins added and topped with sliced almonds. I was in a Sicilian mood and this is what I made. By adding raisins to the sauce it took the sauce in a Sicilian direction.
After the meal with my parents we decided to run to the health food store in Towson (The Health Concern) to pick up a few things. I wanted to get herbs to add to my tea collection since I have started making different tea blends on the fly.
Here is a small sample of the bulk herbs they carry at the store. I picked up: lemon balm, licorice root, dandelion root, calendula, astragalus, bilberry, and echinacea. Dan got some sencha and gunpowder green tea to add to his office tea collection. I will be writing a tea post soon and will outline the benefits of the ingredients I picked up on Saturday.
They also have a nice bulk food area at the health food store. The prices on the bulk food are excellent in general particularly the organic beans.
However the item that stood out to me as a super bargain were the organic raw cashew pieces at $4.99 per pound. The organic raw whole cashews were $7.99 here and $8.99 at Whole Foods today. If you have a local health food store and use raw cashews for a cream substitute you should see if your store carries raw cashew pieces. This is the best price I have seen on these. As soon as I am low I will be buying my cashews here from now on.
I also bought organic kamut and millet to add to my grain stash. My pantry is like a little grocery store. I need to share that with you sometime. I probably have 30+ pounds of beans on hand at all time and another 20+ pounds of whole grains. Dan teases me that if “the shit goes down” we will have food for months. He may have a point, LOL. I guess I need to find a local chapter of “food hoarders anonymous”. ;-)
Next we headed to Whole Foods because we were out of kale and I prefer organic which is why we shop here. Can you imagine running out of kale? Dan was seriously missing his green smoothie option for breakfast meaning we needed to rectify the kale shortage by purchasing four bunches. ;-) We should have enough kale to last us the week now.
A few other items jumped into the cart like 4 pounds of tofu, unsulfured organic Turkish apricots and macadamia nuts (for nut cheese).
I stopped at the prepared food area to see what they had interesting. I noticed these lentil veggie burgers. However at $7.99 a pound I will be making a version of my own instead. Since I know Sheila and Troy like these I am going to use the ingredients as a starting off point for the next batch of veggie burgers I make. The ingredients are simple enough that I should be able to come up with something similar.
Once we got home I wasn’t really in the mood to cook. Dinner ended up being leftover soup Mexican flavored soup topped with quinoa, cilantro and raw pumpkin seeds. Are you starting to notice how much I rely on my intentional leftovers? We would not be able to eat only home cooked food without the intentional leftovers.
We had an orange and Brazil nuts (for the selenium) for our evening snack.
Like usual Dan had strawberry banana soft serve for dessert.
I wanted to cover this again for those of you that are new to the blog. My definition of intentional leftovers is that I cook once and we eat two or three times. Whenever I cook I intentionally make enough food for multiple meals.
Examples of this are that I always cook a pound of beans even if I only need two cups, or I make a gallon of tomato sauce though I need 4 cups, or that I cook a cup and half of brown rice when we only need a half cup for a meal. By doing things like this I can cook once but we eat more than once. I do the same thing when I make veggie burgers or seitan for the freezer. Additionally when I make soup I always make 6 or 8 servings so we have more for later.
If I didn’t cook extra food it would be difficult to avoid packaged and processed food. While I like to cook I also don’t want to spend hours every day in the kitchen. By making intentional leftovers I give myself some time out of the kitchen but we still eat homemade food.
Also I try to make food that can be used in many different ways so that while the food is leftover it isn’t the same every time we consume it. I assume most of you have noticed how I change things by adding different condiments, fresh herbs, nuts, or grains to dishes. That is one of the secrets to making leftovers work. I hope that helps you to understand how and why I cook what I do.
I do this so we can avoid eating processed food. Food that has been treated with chemicals and preservatives is not something I want my family consuming. I am convinced that chemically treated food is at the very least not as nutritious as fresh or frozen whole food and at worst is harmful. That is the reason you don’t see any commercial products like commercial faux dairy or meat analogs on my blog.
I just love the weekend and have many happy things to share today. Here are my happy thoughts:
• Dan spent most of the weekend with me, only taking a little time to work in his office from home. We had a good weekend together doing a whole lot of nothing special other than spending time together.
• We both enjoyed watching “The Future of Food” on Saturday. If you haven’t seen it I recommend it. We watched it on Netflix streaming. It is all about genetic engineering of food. If you don’t currently try to buy organic you will after seeing this.
• My cute little Binky boy woke me up this morning by crawling up on my back and gently licking my ear. He can be such a little angel when he wants to be. We are very lucky to have such sweet little babies in our family.
• Our weather this weekend was nicer than it has been. With temperatures back to our normal mid 40’s the snow is starting to melt which is nice.
• The scale has been friendly to me this weekend. The mystery pounds disappeared and took an additional 1.5 pounds with them. *happy dance* LOL, I know I get too happy about these things.
• I did something absolutely shocking on Saturday. I went to the health food store and Whole Foods without makeup. I know this may not sound like a big deal to most of you but I used to wear makeup to the gym so for me this is huge. If you haven’t tried it you should it felt very liberating in a weird way. ;-)
Time for me to wind down before turning in. I hope you had a great weekend. Talk to you again tomorrow.