Tag Archives: produce

the one where I talk about the worm I found on my kale

Hi all. I haven’t been posting very often, and the reason for that is twofold: 1) I haven’t really been making anything interesting worth posting about, and 2) I’ve been kind of bored with my life and haven’t found much reason to update. But something so disgusting and so obscene happened just the other day that I’ve dragged myself here to write it down.

Around noon, when I was sitting at work, I got a craving for something salty and crisp. Remembering I’d purchased a big bunch of kale three days prior, I salivated at the thought of coming home to bake some kale chips. I was so excited because kale chips are the best, and I only recently discovered them. I got home from my workout and even before showering, I decided I wanted to get these puppies in the oven. I pulled out my bag of kale and picked out a few choice leaves.

As I was getting ready to rinse them, I noticed something black and white in the center of the best looking leaf. At first I thought there was just a small rotted piece. The rest of the kale looked fresh so I thought huh, how strange… I was getting ready to cut that piece out and then I realized it was not a rotted piece of the leaf: it was some sort of larva. Larva. In my kale. LARVA.

Did I want to take a photo of this? Yes. But I couldn’t stand the thought of this larva-infested piece of kale sitting on my cutting board while I went to find my camera. I have to assume it was dead but I didn’t let it stick around long enough to find out. My stomach turned. LARVA!

Needless to say, I did not eat any kale chips. I tossed the whole bunch. Poor kale.

This was bound to happen eventually, right? It only makes sense: produce comes from outside. And, duh, so do pests. But did I expect to find larva on my storebought kale? It wasn’t even organic kale, so no, I did not.

The sight of this white larva surrounded by black something-or-other has turned me off of kale for a while, I’m afraid. You best believe I’m going to be thoroughly inspecting my produce from now on. Ugh.

So, that was the bad news, but I have good news too. I’m down 13+ pounds since I’ve started working out in February. I expected a faster weight loss since I have so much to lose (I aim to lose about 40 more pounds). But, instead of beating myself up for this, I’ve decided to embrace it and give myself credit where it’s due. I’m doing well and I should be happy. And, for the first time since high school, I ran 2 miles straight the other day on the treadmill. No, it’s not quite a 5k, and yes, it’s on the treadmill–which is much easier to me than pavement–but it was 2 miles! I’m well on my way. I will get there.

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serious produce fixation

So I’m on a big budget and it’s been difficult with this whole new vegan diet thing. I’m happy to spend money on fresh food because fresh food means healthy me, but damn if it’s not expensive. I was reading this the other day when I was bored at work and even though it made me feel better about my situation, I didn’t find the tips too helpful. One of them was to stock up on frozen veggies rather than relying on fresh but ughhh I hate frozen veggies. Growing up we lived off of frozen broccoli but it is SO not the same as fresh. And frozen stir fry veggies? Forget about it! Call me a veggie snob but I really need them fresh. Organic would be ideal but that pushes my budget, too.

Part of this transition is a complete overhaul restock of the kitchen, too: agave nectar to substitute for the (poisonous) Splenda I was putting in my coffee every morning, wholegrain bulk products to replace the white rice and rolled oats I used to buy in bulk…and let’s not forget that I’m heading to the store 2-3 times a week to pick up fresh produce, and every time I’m there, I find myself picking up a new package of tofu or soy crumbles or a pizza crust to make homemade pizza…or all the baking ingredients I really don’t NEED to buy. And let’s also not forget that my boyfriend is a big snacker and every time he finds something that is “accidentally vegan” he buys it thinking I’ll be pleased. But really, I don’t need a reason to eat oreos or nutter butters or kettle chips. Or the three dark chocolate bars he’s brought home at various times in the past few weeks. Stop with the junk food! I’m the kind of person who can’t turn it down, so it’s best to just not keep it in the house, period.

I intended to stop at the store to pick up a few necessities and to keep it under $25 but I wound up spending $65. Yikes! Part of this was due to the paper towels, toilet paper and a new book of stamps I desperately needed so I can, y’know, pay my bills on time, but it’s discouraging to spend so much when I already have so little to spend.

My saving grace is that canned beans are super inexpensive and I feel like they’ve become a staple. Kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, oh my! I also have a pretty decent stock of oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and lentils that shouldn’t need restocking for a couple of weeks yet. The problem is my constant recipe-surfing, which leads to more buying. What I need is a vegan recipe generator where I can plug in the ingredients I already have in my kitchen and it will spit out suggestions. Does such a thing exist? What do you do to combat the vegan expense problem?

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