August 4, 2009

Gorilla Food

Melissa has just returned to New York after several weeks in South Africa, and while I was catching up on her recap posts, I couldn't help but do a double take at the picture of the South African zoo's "gorilla food" list (at the end of this post). I was sitting at my desk at work and couldn't help but notice that the salad in front of me bore a striking resemblance to that list!

As I mentioned during last night's Radventure review, my project for this week is making raw lunches to take to work. It has involved a lot more washing and chopping than I'm accustomed to (considering my lunches were usually leftovers, heretofore), but I love all the produce from the farmer's market right now and the mental satisfaction of having created a whole meal from just those whole foods is immense. I even made my own dressing from scratch! It's basically Natalia Rose's Dijon Cider dressing, though without the stevia. It has a great kick to it! You can find the recipe in The Raw Detox Diet.

The seasonal bounty in my lunch included lettuce, green beans, green bell pepper, yellow zucchini, carrot, grape tomatoes, corn off the cob, dulse, dried cranberries and a wee cheater ingredient, wasabi peas. But so worth it!

I'm in love--UH! I'm all shook up:

Sorry for the lame Elvis joke. Couldn't help myself. I do love my salad shaker, though. :)

Not only was I truly eating gorilla food for lunch, but I'm pretty sure the portion I made for myself could have actually fed an alpha male. Note to self: raw vegetables do in fact take up room in the tummy.

Despite the mild food baby, however, I felt great after my little raw desk feast. None of that mid-afternoon energy slump you hear so much about.

The boyf and I went on a double date with the roomie and roomie-boyf tonight. For any New Yorkers out there, Lime Jungle is a delightful little burrito joint in Hell's Kitchen with some pretty healthy options and a fresh salsa bar. I decided to keep with my vegan theme of the day and order their vegetarian burrito in a whole wheat tortilla, without sour cream or cheese.

Not that you can tell from the picture, but there were all kinds of good things in there...guacamole, vegetarian beans & rice, grilled veggies...sometimes a good burrito is really...good.

Some other thoughts from Radventure-land:

For all my musings on the Great Kitchen Purge and ridding myself of less-than-ideal food items, it was only today that I discovered one of the greatest offenders of all, right under my nose! It was one of those condiment-type items that gets shoved around in the fridge door until you eventually forget it's there at all. Behold:

Honestly, what was I thinking when I bought these?! Well, obviously nothing similar to what goes through my head at the store these days, but I can't even remember when I bought these "bacon" bits, so chances are I was in a different nutritional headspace at the time. Seriously, check out the ingredients:

This product is wrong on so many levels! In fact, it's wrong on just about every level there is. There's not even one redeeming ingredient on that list, least of which being the trans fat (aka partially hydrogenated soybean oil, for anyone who hasn't memorized the code words yet!). Last night, I wrote that the Great Kitchen Purge is being done by means of consumption--I've been steadily eating down all these things I no longer want--but this was the first item I found in the fridge that went straight to the garbage (well, the bits themselves did--I recycled the bottle!). I really could not tolerate its presence, which says a lot for my more recent dietary standards. It also means that I've learned a whole lot since I bought those facon bits, including the true meaning of partially hydrogenated soybean oil!

I'd be lying if I said I don't enjoy a good bacon-y flavor every so often, but from a purely scientific, nutritional standpoint, I can no longer abide that kind of ingredient list in my body. These bacon bits are the ultimate manifestation of corn and soy having taken over the Standard American Diet.

And let me know if I missed anything above that could have been further italicized or bolded.

Food snob rant = over. ::mops brow::

On a more funner note, I shall now introduce you to my new basil plant, which a coworker bought for me last week. She rules. The coworker, that is.

Ok, the plant rules, too. I shall name it "Basil." That's Bah-zil, not Bay-zil, thankyouverymuch. There's a difference. Bah-zil is far more dignified.

I am loving the fact that I can just pinch a few leaves off whenever I want some extra fresh flavor in my meals! And without having to anticipate the need for it, either--that's probably the best part.

And for my next trick, watch me keep Basil alive! It will be quite the feat, I promise you. (Translation: Any green thumb-ish tips are welcome and appreciated at this juncture.)


Lainie said...

Aren't basil plants fun? I had one...but I killed it. That was a sad day. So I'm definitely not the one to ask for "green thumb" tips :)

Lia said...

For the basil, mine does best in the shade as opposed to direct sunlight....I should probably water it today actually, I forgot! A good friend for you Basil plant is a parsley plant. They make wonderful friends together :)

Andrea of Care to Eat said...

Mmmmm - gorilla food!
You're right...Bahzil is much more dignified.

Katrina said...

Good luck with Baaaahsil. I can't keep anything alive. I hope you have better luck.
Have you been to Risotteria? It is the BEST little Risotto restaurant in the world. You must must must check it out!

Gena (Choosing Raw) said...

Sadly, I always manage to kill my basil plants :-(

Dori said...

I feel exactly the same way about things like bac'n bits now. GROSS! I now know that eating real bacon from a sustainably raised pig is the absolute best way to get the delicious taste of bacon!

brandi said...

that salad looks great! and those bac'n bits are ridiculous! If I want bacon, I'll just have the real thing.

Missy said...

Oh man I used to buy those bacon bits all the time too! It is gross to think about now! That basil plant looks so fun! I want one!

melissa said...

the salad looks great. any gorilla would be proud to have you as their chef!

I need to grow some herbs, I can never bring myself to buy fresh since I never use them all and they are so expensive!

Anonymous said...

Mmm Burritos!

I want a basil plant!

Anonymous said...

I hate throwing things out too, but some stuff (like those bacon bits) I agree... are a bit TOO nastay nastay to keep around.

Haha, that gorilla food is hilarious! But you could never beat down a MASSIVE SALAD! You go on and EAT that monkay food!


Erica said...

mmmmm you lunch salad looks AWESOME to me- so clean and healthy! Maybe those gorillas really know how to do it right! Love fresh basil- amazing in so many dishes!

emily said...

This whole post made me giggle, man I am glad to get back to food-blog reading!

elise said...

hahaha, im DYING at your bac'n bits!! seriously, i am mortified to admit this, but i used to have spray butter. ok, it was back in college bc i didnt know anything about anything and my roommates used it, so i did too...but seriously WTF!!

ok, so your salads look like the most amazing monsters ever...i need to get some variety action in mine. union square farmers market, here i come!!

HangryPants said...

So funny because I actually commented on Melissa's post that I kinda liked the gorilla food.

Heather said...

I've purchased about 7 different basil plants in the past year. Needless to say, none of them are still living. I think I need an AeroGarden, since you apparently can't kill anything from that.

Bravo to throwing away the bacon bits. Those things are...terrifying. And I always felt like I chipped a tooth when I was eating them because they were so hard and crunchy. It was a terrifying experience, really.