June 16, 2009

Overdose of Pretty Food

I wasn't at my office today, and the result is photo documentation of all three meals. What with some extra pretty summer colors involved and plenty of natural light, this blogger was feeling in her element. I mean, come on:

I don't even have a fancy camera. Those strawberries were rockin' their own sexiness. I actually think produce from the farmer's market might be a little extra sexy. I'm just sayin'.

Along with strawberries, breakfast was a yogurt-Vitatop parfait (par-K?) with chia seeds and chocolate PB2 mixed in, alongside Amazing Grass's Chocolate Amazing Meal shaken up with unsweetened chocolate almond milk.

If you're about to call me out on eating yogurt after declaring the end of my relationship with cow dairy, you would be justified. To my credit, however, the yogurt was organic, and I'm not sure there isn't room in my life for a bit of organic yogurt. Not gonna throw it away just because of a blog post! It's milk itself I want to replace with non-dairy alternatives, mostly. Work in progress - I have to run it up the flagpole to see how it flies, ya heard?

Clearly, the parfait has taken a backseat to the berries as far as the photos are concerned, but in case you were wondering about how the addition of chia seeds affected it, I thought I would take this opportunity to also extol the virtues of this wonder (bird) food. In addition to adding a nice crunch and a pudding-y texture to my yogurt mixture, today's dose provided me with the following benefits as well (if I may poach from HEAB's post on the subject):
  • Chia is an amazing plant-based low sodium source of omega-3 fatty acids. The seeds have an oil content that ranges between 29-33%, and their oil contains the highest percentage of alpha-linolenic acid known (62-64%).
  • A study conducted in the UK to determine potential food allergens of chia found no evidence that chia exhibited any allergic response. This was the case even with individuals having peanut & tree nut allergies.
  • Chia seeds posses 19-23% protein, higher than many other cereal grains including wheat, corn, rice, oats, & barley. 1 TBSP contains 6 grams of protein.
  • Chia seeds are free of gluten and a good source of B vitamins.
  • Chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, & copper. In fact, chia seeds contain 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus, and 4.6 times more potassium per 100g of edible portion than does milk.
  • Chia seeds have 6 times more iron per 100g of edible portion than spinach, 1.8 times more iron than lentils, and 2.4 times more iron than beef liver.
  • Chia seeds demonstrate strong anti-oxidant activity.
  • Chia seeds are high in dietary fiber. They are made up of 5% soluble fiber, which appears as clear mucilage when placed in water. Clear mucilage = pudding like oats & extra thick smoothies. 1 TBSP of chia seeds contains 5 grams of fiber.
  • Unlike flax seed, you do not have to grind chia seeds to reap the benefits.
Also unlike flax seeds, chia seeds make wonderful pets. :)

Yesterday I diagnosed myself a health food store addict, what with my random purchases of almond cheese and Bragg's Liquid Aminos and whatnot. Well, I guess we knew it wouldn't be long before momma needed another hit.

Turns out there's a really big organic market like two blocks from my apartment and I've been living within spitting distance for over a year now. If it were a snake, it woulda bit me. Today's damage included a bunch of organic produce (grape tomatoes, Japanese sweet potato, red bell peppers, avocado, lime, orange, zucchini), organic salsa, raw organic cashews and a date-coconut treat, both from the bulk section (!). I also got a small juice made from carrots and mixed greens. This actually didn't cost me major bank - maybe $25 all told. When I'm good about only buying for what I plan to use this week, I don't overspend by much. Just shows you don't have to go broke buying organic! Now the juice, perhaps that was gratuitous. M'eh.

Surely you're dying to know how my "cheddar style" almond cheese tastes, no? Well yesterday Caitlin reminded me of savory oatmeal and how lovely and delicious it can be. First almond cheese usage on deck!

For this scrumptrilescent bowl of lunchtime oats, I used 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, carrots, spinach, Goya Adobo seasoning, plus the almond cheese and fresh ground pepper on top.

But does it melt?

I think that's a yes. :) SO GOOD! I won't lie, the taste and texture were closer to "cheeze" than cheese, but cheddar style it was indeed. I'll take it.

And for dessert, the wee treat I plucked from the bulk section at Perelandra today. Ingredients: organic dates, organic coconut. <-- Period.

Ohmygosh soft pillowy delicious goo of the health gods I will pay 37 cents for this every day for the rest of my life.

Definitely had to step out for a couple hours to clear my head of all the glory that went in my belly, as documented above. Non-food-related productivity: check. Back for round three.

Radventure time! Thank you yet again to Gena for the raw inspiration. This was the best raw meal I've had yet, restaurant-made or not. Zucchini marinara!

It's a dead ringer for bolognese sauce in the picture, isn't it? Rest assured no baloney went near it. Just a bunch of veggies, herbs and EVOO in a blender. GENIUS! I also took Gena's suggestion of including a little gratuitous avocado for satiety's sake. Please to excuse non-blogworthy oxidation thereof.

Ok, one more photo, but you really got to let me go now, ok? Sheesh, I have other things to do that aren't blog-related, you know.

That's a lie.

Before I sign off for today, some fun links:
  • Soap & Chocolate giveaway for "You might be a health blogger." Go.
  • I have called myself "flexitarian" in the past, but "recession flexitarian"? I wouldn't have made that connection, but Gourmet has. Where do you fall on that spectrum?
  • Update on what's in season at the Farmer's Market from Summer Tomato. Drool.
Bon soir, mon petites croissants.


Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

I'm a chia girl too! YIPEE! I was so scared to try it at first, nervous I would start sprouting. But I didn't and now love it! I switch every other morning between chia seeds and psyllium husk in my oatmeal! Love the sexy fruit pictures!

Brandi said...

i still haven't tried chia seeds. i need to check our little markets!

i love all the colorful food :)

K from ksgoodeats said...

I don't know what meal I like best! All three of those sound like knock outs! Par-K haha ;)

In regards to the dairy-uation: eat what you want! If you want yogurt, grab that spoon! I won't stop you!!

ttfn300 said...

wow, so much deliciousness, i need to get on chia seeds!!! and savory oatmeal, maybe that's what's for dinner :) or zucchini pasta. oh wait, no zucchini... ;/

Olivia said...

I love love love sexy strawberries. It all looks delicious!


Rose said...

Your savory oats dish looks super good!

First time commenter - just found your blog. Can't wait to read more!

Jenny said...

girl you were ON today with your foodie pics.. gotta love that natural lighting.

lunchtime oats?! I'm intrigued..