Sunday, May 29, 2011

Frisco Farmer's Market

Saturday we visited Frisco Farmer's Market!  I was excited about the produce and local vendors I had read about on their Facebook page.  The Frisco Farmer's Market is held on the square in Frisco.  For now it is a small area, which hopefully will expand as time goes on.  Honestly, it was a little disappointing as they were much smaller than expected.  There were just three produce stands, a local bee keeper stand (which was awesome, and the man who was attending to the stand was super knowledgeable!), a few local food vendors (meat, pasta, salsa, rubs and soups, and bread) and then a lot of vendors for candles, vases, a Pampered Chef rep, a Homemade Gourmet rep, and more of that type of vendor.  Here are the vendors, but do keep in mind not all vendors are at this location every Saturday.


Produce Selection: Medium variety.  The largest table there claimed local produce, but then also explained some of their products were from East Texas.  I guess it depends on your definition of local.
Price: Produce seemed a little pricey.  Local vendors were competitively priced.
Staff Knowledge:  We loved the Local Honey table.  Other vendors knew where their produce came from, local vendors were enthusiastic about their products.  You're not lacking from knowledge here.



Overall the experience was fair.  This is definitely the place to come for vendors or meat (and honey!), but if you're looking for more produce, you may want to stick to other markets in the area.


 This is one side of the square.
This side has the largest produce vendor.


Second produce vendor:

Third produce vendor:

 And the food vendors:



Not sure if you can read it, but it's PawPaw's various rubs.

 This says Sloan's Creek Heritage Meat
This is Twisted Pepper Co.  We bought a rub from here we will try and review for you all!  They also sell various mixes and seasonings.
The local honey.  Local honey has such great benefits for allergies and asthma!  I bought a few tasty honey sticks from here and they were delish!



Some close ups of the produce itself.



And some plants ;-)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

GoTexan.org

Did you know Texas has a whole movement brewing for finding restaurants and products that support Texas agriculture!  I love this concept!  I think this website has some more growing to do, but I know I will definitely be researching more information on this website!

Visit the website to learn a little more: www.gotexan.org.

Raw Food Detox - Day 1

So, I decided to do the raw food detox.  My goal is to eat raw (my version of raw) every day for a week.  Let me define: I eat raw fruits and vegetables, raw/unpasteurized cheese, raw nuts, and Ezekiel bread.  I know that Ezekiel bread is not technically raw; however, it is as whole and healthy as bread can be and it adds significantly to this diet so that it is more sustainable.  Therefore, I eat Ezekiel bread during this detox.  Also, I have heard that some nuts that are supposedly raw are not actually raw (especially my favorite - cashews).  I've decided, though, that if I make this a concern, it makes the detox to complicated.  So, I've decided to take the grocers at their word and if they say that a nut is raw, I believe it. 

Here I am on day one.  I ate perfectly today, though I have tons of cravings and wish I could go crazy at a Chinese buffet.  However, on to day 2.  Hopefully the cravings will eventually subside.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who Grows My Food?

I'm learning that it's hard to determine where your food comes from, especially if it's from a nationalized brand!  However, here are four websites to help you learn where your food comes from.

Organic Valley- you enter your zip code and find your local farmers.  Or, if you buy soymilk you can trace your soybeans.

Gaia Herb- (sold at Sprouts and various other natural foods stores) you can trace your herbs and it shows where they were grown and how they were cultivated.

Dolce Organic- You can find the farmer who grew it using the three digit code on the product.  Honestly, I didn't even know Dole had an organic line until I found this website.

Askinosie Chocolate- simply input the Choco-O-Lot number to learn about the travels and stories behind your chocolate.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Discovering New Foods

Since I have been eating more vegetarian, I have been trying to experiment with other foods. Something I recently discovered is that I really like green peppers. Now, when I was younger, Heidi used to eat greep peppers like apples and it grossed me out a little so I have never really taken to them. They are good in stir frys and cooked dishes but I rarely, if ever, ate them raw. Well, I have been having them in my salads lately and they are YUMMY! They add crunch and some bulk, have good flavor, and keep moisture in the salad.

Also, I have been trying more of Amy's organic foods. I have always loved their tortellini but tonight for dinner, I tried the mushroom and olive pizze....YUM! It was so falvorful and tasty. They also do a vegan pizza but I don't think I can give up cheese yet. :)


Friday, May 20, 2011

Vegetarian Times

It's been 5 weeks since I last had cow or chicken. I was vegetarian for a full month and in the last week, added a little fish. (The one exception was I went to a dinner party where meat was part of the main dish but I mostly had other things.) It's been an interesting experience. I don't know that I have ever gone this long without meat. I haven't supplemented appropriately in my diet, however, so a little research is needed.

So, I am looking for good, vegetarian recipes. I'd like to do a lasagna and eggplant dish. Any suggestions?? In general, I have switched all my yogurt to organic and intermittently get organic veggies. I don't shop that often and the organic veggies go bad more quickly so I am still figuring that out. Anyway, all in all, not as hard as I thought it would be.

Raw Food Cleanse?

Okay, so I'm considering something pretty radical.  I've done it before but not for a long time.  I'm thinking about eat only raw foods for 1 week as a cleanse.  Here's the deal, I have a HUGE presentation in about 1.5 weeks in front of some top executives for my company.  I would like to present my best self and thought it would be good to do a cleanse of some sort so that I have great energy and feel good about myself.  So, I'm thinking about doing a raw cleanse for one week.

I've done this in the past (actually, I've been raw for several weeks at a time in the past), but never was able to sustain it for very long. I came to the conclusion that it is not possible to be 100% all the time and shifted my focus to simply eating more fruits and vegetables in general.  However, I still think that every so often, spending a short amount of time only eating raw foods is a healthy thing to do. 

It is hard in TX, though, as there are not tons of options available.  Since my family did discover Cafe Elite in Plano recently, I think that would be helpful. They have a couple of raw dished on their menu.  Also, I could use Whole Foods which has a raw section, though the prices in general for raw food treats are quite expensive.  I think I would mostly stick to fruits and vegetables.

If I decide to do it, I'll definitely blog about it and try to take some pictures of the food. I'm thinking I would start next week and go from Monday - Sunday...  More to come.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Whole Foods Coupon Matchup



For Whole Foods coupons, you can find their printable coupons online at wholefoods.com/coupons or you can grab The Whole Deal books at the front of their store.

Earth's Best Organic Waffles Normal price $3.39, I got each one for $2.39.
WF $1 off two products and

365 Soy Sauce Normal price $2.69, I got for $1.69
WF $1 off

Cascadian Farms Normal price $3.99, I got for $1.99
WF $1 off per box and
Save $1 off each

Back to Nature Granola Normal price $4.69, I got for 2.69
WF $1 off per box and
Save $1 off each

Back to Nature Chocolate Chunk Cookies Normal price $2.99, on sale for $2.50, I got for $.50
WF $1 off per box and
Save $1 off each

Odwalla Normal price $2.69, on sale for $2/4, I got for 1.45
WF $.55 off each

DeLallo Organic Pasta Normal price $2.99, I got for $1.99
WF $1 off/2 boxes and
Save $1 off/2 boxes

Seventh Generation Dish Soap, Normal price $2.99, I got for $1.49
WF Save $1 off and
Save $.50 off

Finally, if you buy a rotisserie chicken you get one side free (and these sides are big!)  The chicken was $8.99 and the side was $5.99, but we got it FREE!  These are awesome for days you don't want to cook, healthier than pizza, and cheaper too!  Plus, once you eat all the meat, simmer the bones for chicken stock to freeze for later!

Total before coupons $51.17, Total after coupons $28.47.... that's a HUGE savings!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Amy's Kitchen Organic Frozen Foods

Today for lunch I had Amy's Teriyaki Bowl.  This is one of those things that I saw at the store that I had all but forgotten about.  I don't know why, though.  It was very good.  I was drawn to the low calorie count - only 290 for the whole bowl.  And, I didn't even mind the tofu.  It had a very tasty teriyaki flavor and was quite filling. 

So, I thought I would look into Amy's and research what this company is about.  Here's some information from their website:

Products

Whether it’s a Black Bean Enchilada, Veggie Pot Pie, Lentil Soup, or Vegetable Lasagna, people love the organic convenience foods created by Amy’s Kitchen. Here are some reasons why:

It’s delicious and tastes homemade!

Amy’s food tastes so good because it’s made from the kind of real food ingredients that people use in their own kitchens…no additives, no preservatives, no GMOs. If a child can’t pronounce it, you won’t find it on an Amy’s label. The cooking methods are like those used at home or in fine restaurants. For mashed potato dishes, fresh potatoes are cooked and mashed instead of being prepared with dehydrated flakes. Pizza crusts are shaped by hand. Sauces and gravies are made the old fashioned way, starting with a roux

It’s made from organic ingredients.

Fruits, vegetables and grains are grown organically, the way nature intended food to grow, without the use of insecticides and other harmful chemicals. This benefits the growers, the consumers, and the environment.

Everything is vegetarian.

No meat, fish, poultry or eggs are used in any product. Cheeses are made with pasteurized rBST hormone free milk and do not contain animal enzymes or rennet.

You’ll never get bored.

We have a large selection of meals! In this section, you will find quickly prepared fast food items from pockets, veggie burgers, pizzas and burritos to complete meals like Country Dinner and Enchilada.

I've tried some of their other products in the past, but now I think I'll search them out more often.  This seems to fit the bill for a quick, healthy meal for someone like me that doesn't like cooking.  I love the fact that everything is organic and that the ingredients are simple and familiar. 

Chicken Tikka Masala

I've recently taken a liking to Indian food.  A few months ago my sisters introduced me to Masala.... of all types.  Their favorite is Chicken Tikka Masala.  I've had some Paneer Masala and some Beef Masala that's pretty rockin' though.  Anyway, I found a recipe for their favorite and decided to give it a try.  All organic (except one onion, but don't worry, it was local!)

The recipe can be found here.  The only thing I would change about the sauce itself is to add more chilies (I like it spicy) and add about 1/3 cup more heavy cream.  It really was quite delicious!

The organic tomato products (while no longer online, Whole Foods has coupons for Muir Glen products that expire 5/31/11, you can obtain them from the Mambo Sprouts newsletter at the front of the store.  I scored this tomato paste for $.19!):
 The organic cream (Organic Valley is often offering coupons on their products as well, "like" them on Facebook to be notified of new coupons!)
 And the finished product.  I loved the sauce, but need something to do to the rice to make it more flavorful.  The naan was store bought (I did make some a few weeks ago that was great, but didn't want to do too much in one day!)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cafe Elite, take 2!

So our mom read our blog and told us she wanted to go to this Cafe in Plano for Mother's Day... so we did because it's Mother's Day, and moms get what they want on that day.  We actually went on the Saturday before Mother's Day.  We wanted to update you with more pictures and notes of what we ate.

Once again, it was delicious and it confirmed our previous review!  Here are some pictures and some quick notes about what you're seeing.  And don't you worry, this time we ordered even MORE desserts!

This was Pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup.  Not having a lot of experience with Vietnamese cuisine in general I don't know how this compares.  But I loved the broth flavor.  To me, it tasted a little bit like Miso soup with a cinnamon flavor.
This is the tropical breeze smoothie.  Really a delicious treat.  It had a banana base, but had mango, cantaloupe, and various other fruits.
 This was the combination fried rice with egg roll.  Even my 18 month old son loved this, along with the chili (not pictured).
 I couldn't get a good picture of this for some reason, but this is the chik'n sandwich served with corn chips.
 The BBQ chicken served with a salad and over a bed of fried rice.
 The Vegan burger.  I LOVED this burger.  It was moist and really satisfied my craving for a burger!
 Berry Blast Smoothie.
 Sloppy Joe.  The Sloppy Joe itself was good, but we didn't have a lot of fans of the coleslaw it was served with.
 Chocolate Cake.  The cake was moist and very good.  The frosting seemed to be a little oily for my tastes.  But I don't have a lot of experience with vegan desserts.  Perhaps my opinion of the frosting will change as I dive further into the Vegan world.
 And finally, the star of the show.  Lisa ordered the raw strawberry pie and it was creamy and delicious!  You MUST order this when you go.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It Only Cost $5 at Whole Foods!

After I wrote my post on my Whole Food's trip, Heidi recommended I post some pics of the yummy foods, so here ya go!
 Yummy chips and fro-yo - with the coupons from WF's it was only $5 for everything. Pretty great deal!

The fro-yo

This is the yogurt I already had in my fridge but discovered it was Stonyfield and organic. I know it says organic all over it but somehow I didn't realize it.