Tuesday, June 28, 2011

dirty dozen

I made the mistake of going to Trader Joe's for my weekly shop without a list on Sunday. I stayed within budget, but I bought wayyy too much produce! Oh well... there are worse things to buy too much of. All this produce has forced the whole post-vacation self control on me whether I like it or not.
Don't believe I overdid it? This week I bought ORGANIC raspberries, green bell peppers, sweet potatoes, baby greens, baby spinach, fresh strawberries, frozen strawberries, zucchini, carrots, oranges and bananas. I also bought CONVENTIONAL eggplant, whole fresh pineapple, avocado, frozen pineapple, mushrooms, and frozen white corn.

Why the CAPITAL distinction between conventional and organic? Because just a few weeks ago the Environmental Working Group released their Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce which focuses on the"Clean 15" and "Dirty Dozen." The EWG looks at pesticide levels in produce after being washed and releases these lists to help guide consumers. Those foods on the "Dirty Dozen" should be purchased organic if AT ALL possible due to their high pesticide levels. On the other hand, when trying to be frugal, purchase the "Clean 15" as conventional produce... especially if there is a great price difference. I highly suggest taking a look and printing the list. Keep it in your car, reusable shopping bags, or wallet- wherever you know you'll be able to find it when you go grocery shopping.

Breakfast this morning kept in the produce theme- 2 egg, 4 egg white frittata with baby spinach, roasted red peppers, a slic of bacon (for flava), garlic and 1 oz Havarti. Half for breakfast today and half for tomorrow. ( I have to admit... I was starving when I got home and I had a pice of a leftover cheeseburger... who DOES that at 9 am?)

And my most creative use of produce this week showed up at dinner time with those Zucchini Carrot Ribbons

Tonight I also threw together a salad of baby greens and green pepper (and wheatberries!) to keep the produce coming and tossed it with TJ's light champagne vinaigrette.

As for my work lunches this week, I roasted tofu, sweet potatoes, and white mushrooms in TJ's Island Soyaki marinade and tossed them with quinoa (1 cup uncooked... prepared according to the box) and 1/2 cup cooked wheatberries (for texture). To flavor the dish I added more Island Soyaki, chopped parley and mint (from the garden), and a few pieces of diced pineapple. Simple and nutrient packed. Never would have expected to miss tofu, but after a week away I did!

Now it is off to work... I may have to toast a piece of bread and slather on some Babganoush. I made a batch with the eggplant in order to cut down on the intimidation factor of so many veggies! Used the same recipe as last time but took of the skin. I liked the skin off, but still think the garlic would be better roasted. I was lazy and used fresh garlic again and the bite is just too much for me. Anyone need a full time experimental chef? If I was getting paid I wouldn't skip details such as roasting garlic. :)

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