I’m baaaack! Miss me? I took an unplanned week off from life last week. I barely worked, barely cooked, yeah, I was doing some serious chillin’! I did do a lot of shopping, though! I guess that will have to count as my physical fitness, lol. When Aunt Flo showed up last Monday she set my casual pace for the week. We all need a break now and then, some more often than others, hehe.
I did have a pretty busy week despite my minimal efforts.
Monday: I went to the doctor; I lost 14 lbs since my last visit a few months ago. Not too shabby I suppose. My blood pressure was a little high: 134/74, but she said my home glucose test results were good. She gave me a prescription to have some blood tests done at the hospital, but I haven’t gone for them yet. I was waiting for Aunt Flo to head out of town, she really runs me down. The doc suggested I take evening primrose oil to alleviate her discomfort, so I bought a bottle and took a few. I didn’t notice any changes, but I also didn’t take more than one dose. I might give it a try again, I’m undecided. Has anyone had any experience with it?
After the doctor appointment we took a short trip to Nature’s Pantry in Newburgh. I was well-behaved and bought only the evening primrose oil and a few other things. Ok, by “few” I mean about a dozen, LOL.
Sami’s Bakery Millet and flax seed bagels – made with gluten-free ingredients but the packages warns that it contains traces of gluten, whatever that means.
I like the low sodium content. I’ve never seen a packaged bagel so low in sodium, BUT they also don’t taste exactly like a bagel. They are basically the same as their sandwich buns with holes in the middle, lol.
I also picked up one of their millet and flax pizza crusts made with the exact same ingredients, lol.
Edited to add a link to Sami’s Bakery web site where you can buy their products if you can’t find them locally:Sami’s Bakery
I guess when you find a formula that works you stick with it!
I made a cheese pizza out of this. Sorry, no pics! I was surprised that t really puffed up for something made without gluten flours. I’m wondering what their definition of “trace amounts” is… hmm. I wouldn’t recommend these for anyone that has Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but if you can tolerate “trace amounts” of gluten they are a tasty wheat substitute. I’d contact them about the gluten content if you are curious. I might do that someday if curiosity gets the best of me.
I also picked up…
Edward & Sons reduced sodium miso soup mix. Only 270mg sodium per packet and made with 100% wholesome ingredients. Rock on! I hope to make some yummy soups in the upcoming chilly days.
Artisana raw Cacao Bliss packets!! Cannot wait to try these! I’ve seen Cacao Bliss on other blogs for the longest time now, I was excited to find it!
My homeslice Kath is always singing the praises of coconut water, so I decided to pick up a small box of it. I was impressed by the potassium content:
515mg potassium for a 45 calorie serving and contains only ONE ingredient? Stellar.
I also replenished my snack bar stash, as if it was getting so low.
One day I am going to start making my own fruit + nut bars and blow these right out of the basket!! Ok, maybe not, but a girl can have dreams.
Wednesday: Dustin, Aunt Flo, and I went on a serious shopping spree. First, we went to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets . I bought several fall outfits, but Dustin out-shopped me. Whatever, I was shopping with a handicap. Aunt Flo was holding me back, man!! I had planned that trip for awhile, so I was determined to do it with or without her. I had A California roll and a veggie roll from Wasabi Jane’s Rice and Noodle Works. It was underwhelming. I should have had the cinnamon roll from Cinnabon instead.
After the outlet mall, I loaded up on Advil and we headed to Paramus, NJ to the mother ship: Whole Foods!! I haven’t been there in over a year, I was pretty excited. It was a little anti-climatic when we finally got there. We were already walking around stores for 6 hours by then, so the excitement I had built up faded and I didn’t get that adrenaline rush I typically get upon entering Whole Foods. The produce department was a good size, but I didn’t get that much. Some fresh spinach and some verrrrry expensive organic honeycrisp apples. $3.49/lb — geez! 2lbs of apples (4 of them) was $7 bucks. That’s insane.
I guess between Mother Earth’s, Nature’s Pantry, and local grocery stores that carry many of the same products, Whole Foods isn’t as cool as it once was to me. I’ve been to 6 different Whole Foods locations and my favorite is still the one in Duluth, GA. I think that’s the only thing I miss about living in Atlanta, LOL. The Paramus store didn’t have the greatest selection of produce and the seafood department was very limited. Another major issue: Their meat department isn’t much better than a regular grocery store. They had very few grass-feds meats, I’d say maybe 1 in 10 were marked grass-fed, and they are only grass-fed if it specifies it. Their case boasts that the meat is fed an all vegetarian diet, but that probably includes a lot of corn and other vegetarian feeds. They charge 2 to 3 times more than regular store meat, but honestly, the quality isn’t THAT much better, unfortunately.
Whole Foods has a lot of healthy foods and exotic items, but they really do carry just as many unhealthy products as a regular grocery store. Even their brown rice sushi has corn syrup in it! They sell a lot of expensive junk food that’s really not any different than the mainstream crap that you can buy for half the price. They sell a TON of processed foods, as do most “health food” stores these days. So buyer beware: organic and natural and expensive does not equal healthy and wholesome. Whole Foods is still one of my favorite stores, but definitely do your research, buy locally when possible, look for wild caught fish, and make sure your meat truly is grass fed, hormone free before you pay twice as much for something that might not be.
I didn’t pick up many things as Whole Foods, but I did grab another flour for my Bob’s Red Mill collection: quinoa flour!
Oh, yeah! I have some plans for this little gem.
Fast forward to the weekend…
Handy dandy cookie scooper
“No, Dustin, they’re not peanut butter cookies!” I had to leave him a note specifying that because I know he’d come to the kitchen and bite into one thinking they’re a cookie and be traumatized for life when he tasted it, LOL.
Chickpea No Meat Balls (vegetarian friendly)
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup TVP (textured vegetable protein)
2 large eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup loosely packed raisins
2-3 TBSP dry Italian seasoning or to taste
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt or salt to taste
Hydrate 1/2 cup TVP with 1/2 cup hot water; mix with fork
In food processor add in: chickpeas, hydrated TVP plus 1/2 cup dry TVP, flour, olive oil, eggs, raisins, seasonings, salt, and garlic. Process until all ingredients are blended and a thick batter, almost like a dough consistency forms. Add more flour, TVP, or water if needed.
Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line cookie sheet(s) with nonstick foil, parchment paper, or coat with oil or cooking spray.
Using a cookie scoop or your hands, scoop golf ball-sized balls of the batter onto the baking sheet about an inch or so apart.
Bake on 375F for about 20 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
Yields approx. 34 golf ball-sized balls
I had 3 of them with angel hair pasta and homemade tomato sauce. They were delicious! Even my carnivorous mother liked them and she’s one of those, “if it ain’t meat, it ain’t right” kind of people.
Plus a crispy side salad with Bolthouse Farms chunky blue cheese vinaigrette. A pasta dish is incomplete without a side salad!!
They even look like real meatballs, don’t they? Save money: make your own meatless meat products at home.
I was pretty pleased with the texture. They do still have chickpea flavor, but for a meatless meatball they were pretty darn awesome. I froze most of them so I can enjoy them at a later time without any of the prep work. They were really easy to make, too. I wasn’t sure if they would turn out like I planned, but they met my expectations. I’ll definitely make these again when I run out.
I have a BIG announcement coming tomorrow, but it’s late now so I’m not going to get into it. Ok, well, it’s not that amazing, but I think it’s fun. I’ll give you a hint: it’s probably the last thing that you’d expect from me.