It’s been a big weekend of food experimentation at chez moi. It has become a weekend tradition to use Saturday afternoon to complete what my boyfriend so lovingly refers to as “the grocery tour.” You see, Whole Foods is quite a distance away but there are several smaller health food stores with less of a selection. And then there’s that whole I’m-on-a-budget thing, so I try to buy as much as I can at the big box stores. It’s not uncommon to stop at three (or four!) stores to stock up on weekly necessities. Yesterday was Jewel, Fresh Market and a local health foods store. I spent a ton of money! And I got tons of things I’ve never eaten, much less prepared…like kale! And brussels sprouts! And seitan! We also bought a new blender. The blender I’d been using is a hand-me-down that must be 15 years old. It was time for an upgrade! And since, sadly, a Vitamix is out of the question, I settled on taking a risk with buying a Magic Bullet. Yes, an “As Seen on TV” item. What is the world coming to? My coworker swears by it and honestly, anything would be an upgrade compared to the sad excuse of a blender sitting in my cabinet collecting dust. But more on that later!
The pièce de résistance of the weekend was my first rendez-vous with seitan. I borrowed this recipe because I was incredibly intrigued and I knew my boyfriend would approve. He loves buffalo wings and I knew, if I could pull it off, he’d love it. The risk was preparing roasted red potatoes and brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts get a bad rap and since I’ve never in my life eaten them, I was sure I could beat the odds and make them delicious. I don’t think I succeeded. I quartered the potatoes and mixed them with the brussels sprouts in EVOO, sea salt, pepper and garlic, cooked for 30 minutes at 400, and the potatoes were delish–but the sprouts left a lot to be desired. I don’t think I necessarily prepared them badly. And I don’t think it was the taste that necessarily turned both of us off. It’s just the texture. Not a fan of the mushy interior. But I did choke down about 3, which is more than I can say about the boyfriend!
The seitan, on the other hand, was a huge hit. I can’t believe how close to the texture of actual chicken seitan is. I’d never eaten it before and it was quite shocking. I had my doubts when I opened the package–the stuff doesn’t look too appetizing, but when all was said and done, it was very tasty!
Other notable finds from yesterday’s “grocery tour” include biscoff cookies, which I’ve been in constant pursuit of since early January (and I’m super excited to find that they have a coffee stand on Pier 39 in San Fran because we’ll be taking a vacation there at the end of April), and a spicy cayenne Theo bar! I’d only been able to find the salted almond previously. Next up will be the coconut Theo bar and then my chocolate fix will be satisfied. 🙂
This morning, I broke out the new Magic Bullet to prepare my first-ever green smoothie. Because the Magic Bullet is so small, you can only prepare one drink at a time. My boyfriend wasn’t very interested in the green part so I modified his recipe–no kale, and he doesn’t do well with citrus fruits so I nixed the orange from his too. Mine was about half a pear, about a quarter of an apple, a few sections of an orange, some kale, about half a banana, and 1/2 cup almond milk. I originally picked up some West Soy soymilk because it was on sale but after opening it and seeing the color/smelling the scent, I quickly opted out of that. It smelled awful and looked even worse. So, the before picture is a bit misleading:
I also didn’t wind up using that much kale since only one of the smoothies wound up being of the green variety.
The result was interesting. I wasn’t quite as impressed with the Magic Bullet as my coworker is. The kale never blended smoothly so there were chunks of it in the finished product. The taste wasn’t bad–I didn’t mind it much at all, in fact–but the texture wasn’t very appealing. I blended and blended and blended some more and it still never really was smooth. And since my boyfriend didn’t want anything of color added to his, his finished product was the color of flesh which doesn’t scream “yum!” to me.
I do feel very healthy after having consumed that as a substitute to my morning coffee! It wasn’t a total meal replacement, I’m embarrassed to admit…I did wind up eating a small bit of hashbrowns as well. 😛
All in all, it was a satisfying weekend of yummy, new foods. Today will be another lazy Sunday capped off with my yoga + book club. I missed class last week because of some bizarre stomach pains/chest pains that I think were just the result of acid reflux. Blah. I feel guilty for missing class so I’m going to really try to make the most of tonight’s class.
Did you eat anything tasty this weekend?