I don’t live very close to any Whole Foods locations. I incorrectly thought that the two closest were each about 45 minutes away (one of them about 5 minutes from my work) but I discovered that there is one location closer. It’s still about 30 minutes away, a drive I wasn’t too inclined to make just for soy yogurt. Suddenly it dawned on me: when vegetarian-high-school-me was constantly getting sick (tonsilitis, mono, the whole nine), my mom took me to a local health foods store to get a specially-formulated vegetarian multivitamin. This was several years ago and I decided that the chance this store was still in business after the economy crashed was pretty unlikely. A quick google search and I found that they’re still up and running. At only a 5-minutes drive away, that’s a hell of a lot closer than Whole Foods!
I made a short list of things I wanted that I couldn’t find at a “normal” grocery store and we set out to scour the aisles of the alternative grocer. Also, they have an in-store smoothie bar that serves almost primarily vegan and gluten-free items, so that was a huge plus. 🙂
I was able to pick up…
- Quinoa (in bulk!)
- Organic/vegan tortilla chips
- Sliced almonds
- Braggs liquid aminos
- Light agave nectar
- Two fresh smoothies from the smoothie bar (for me and the boyfriend) and…
- A vegan brownie, bought entirely on a whim
(After all my excitement, completely forget to check if they had any soy yogurt w/o active milk cultures, d’oh!)
The prices weren’t cheap, as can be expected at an alternative grocery store. All in all, I spent about $43 on these purchases. But, I have a $5 off a $25 purchase coupon and I picked up a flyer for a free qigong class, which I might check out…who knows! The staff was very friendly and they have so many items in bulk–I almost picked up some steel cut oats but resisted because I am really working off a budget after my last paycheck…between the way the pay period fell and the huge increase in my health insurance premium, things are a little tight right now, to say the least.
So I came home and prepared this quinoa recipe. I had never eaten quinoa before but it was delicious. I made a few changes to the recipe–I added a lot more cumin and cayenne because the reviewers said that it was a little bland, I used a little bit less cilantro, and I used canned corn instead of frozen. I warmed up some pita bread and served it like this:
If you look closely, you can see that some of the quinoa split. Having never cooked it before, I’m not sure if this is normal. I did read that some quinoa should be soaked in water before cooked, which I didn’t do. Can anyone shed some light on proper quinoa preparation techniques?
My new yoga class starts tonight and I’m so excited. I took a fundamentals class that ended in mid-December and haven’t been back to my yoga studio yet, but they’re great and I’m glad I stumbled upon this specialty class. It meets 2 hours per week for 7 weeks and it’s a “yoga + book club” class. We’re going to be reading Women Food and God. I hope to be enlightened. That will be 6:30-8:30 pm on Sundays. What was the most inspiring class you ever took, whether it be yoga, some sort of other exercise, or even a school course?