Not Just Tofu

Archive for July, 2013|Monthly archive page

Taste Tested: Nutrition Bars

In Editorial, Food on July 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm

How many of you have found yourself so hungry and on the go that you will eat almost anything to kill the hunger?  I am one of the worst offenders.  It is crazy what you will do for your kids but not for yourself.  When you have babies you will pack multiple meals and forget to pack something for yourself.  Since Lucas has diabetes, I always keep snacks in the car for him and nothing for myself.  So I finally took my mother’s advice and started to carry granola bars in my bag.

As I was shopping in Whole Foods, I decided to check out nutrition bars.  Nutrition bars are not to be confused with power bars which can be very chalky and dry.  I was surprised to see the development and variety of nutrition bar over the last decade. So I decided on the much talkedd about Larabar, gluten-free  Kind bar and Luna bar created for women.

Image

Larabar: I chose the chocolate coconut chew flavor.  This was not my favorite. It looked so moist but taste so….well not so good. I think that if I were a die hard vegan, I would enjoy the texture, the natural sweetness made from dates and the dark chocolate which I really don’t like. I tried but I will not buy this again. I give this bar 1 star out of 4

kind bar

Kind Bar: I chose the Madagascar Vanilla Almond and this was a nice surprise.  It was like someone took my favorite nuts, mixed them with honey and vanilla and formed them into a bar.  I ate this before taking on my hour long hill hike and it held me. The texture is good, the taste is delightful and I would buy this again.  I gave this bar 3 out of 4 stars.

Luna Bar: OMG this was the BEST BAR EVER!!!! Why you ask?  I chose white chocolate and macadamia nut and I didn’t even feel that I was eating a nutrition bar. The chocolate was sweet but not excessive and enough nuts to make me decadent.  I love white chocolate and macadamia nut cookies and if the healthier version is a Luna Bar, I am ok with this.  Hint: don’t leave the bar in a hot car because the chocolate will melt.  I gave this bar of 4 out of 4 stars. Luna Bar

 

What I like about these bars is that they average $1.00 to $1.50 making it affordable to buy a bunch at a time.  All are gluten free which is great for a gluten sensitive system like myself.  Most are vegetarian and even vegan plus they come into so many variety that everyone can find what they like.  So never be hungry again; grab a bar and go.

What’s on my Grocery List

In Editorial on July 19, 2013 at 10:55 pm

I get asked a lot where do I shop and what do I buy.  I just wanted create a quick list to let you know my thought process.    My weekly budget averages $150 a week.

trader joesFirst of all, I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe’s.  I like knowing that what I am picking up is nitrate, msg, artificial color and artificial flavor free. Yes it cost more than Shoprite or Pathmark but have you read a food label lately?

Trader Joes: fruit, eggs, dairy, frozen vegetables, cold cuts, pasta, sauces, vegetarian soy products, herbs, kids snacks, dried mango,nuts, pancake syrup, vegetable stock, and tea

whole foodsI purchase most of my chicken and sometimes beef from Whole Foods.  I know what you are asking.  How much does that cost? I set aside $25 to purchase chicken legs and boneless chicken thighs and wings.  Whatever is on sale is what I stock up on.  Why Whole Foods? I have compared Purdue to what I purchase from them and their is a texture difference and a lot less slime .  The poultry pieces also don’t look abnormally large.

Whole Foods: meat, bread and certain snacks, peanut butter

BJ

Lastly I shop at BJ’s because somethings I just need to buy in bulk like water, cereal, brown sugar, cornstarch etc…

BJ’s: Orange Juice, cereal, organic lemonade, organic apple juice, V8 Splash, evaporated cane sugar, cornstarch, brown sugar, popcorn and Pirate’s Booty, condiments

 

What to Cook During a Heatwave?

In Uncategorized on July 19, 2013 at 10:24 pm
National Geographic

National Geographic

Ok , so it has been over 95 degrees everyday this week.  I like many others don’t have central air in my kitchen and try to figure the best way to have dinner without having to buy it everyday.  So this is how my week has gone.

  • Monday: Tacos – 10 minutes to prepare
  • Tuesday: Pasta with Broccoli- 15 minutes to prepare
  • Wednesday: Purchased fry chicken – no time to prepare
  • Thursday: Homemade General Tso  – 20 minutes to prepare

salad

We have made it to Friday and I don’t know what to make.  Today is the worst day of the whole heatwave.  If I lived by myself, a great salad would fit the bill but I live with 5 other males. If I put a salad on the table they will ask me where is the rest of dinner. How many people can relate?

I believe that each meal should have a protein, starch and vegetables.  Tricks that have worked in the past are picking up a few rotisserie chickens, making a pan of rice and a large salad.  I am writing to say, there is nothing wrong with ordering a pizza and serving it up with salad on the side.  There is no reason why you should roast preparing a meal for your family. As long as you are doing the best with what you are giving you are in the right.

Saveur Magazine

Saveur Magazine

 

I think I am going to take a page out of Ina Garten’s book and pick up a few quality ingredients like fresh pasta, a quality sauce, fresh baked bread and don’t forget to stop by the  farmer’s market  to pick up some produce and voila!

Dear Reader,

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Dear Reader,

I watch almost every cooking show on the Food Network.  I read recipe after recipe from every magazine. I buy and borrow cookbook after cookbook only to  be inspired not to cook a new recipe.  My household is not full of foodies and I can’t afford to experiment just for experiment sake.  The aim of this blog is to share my original recipes and test published recipes so you don’t have to.  Lately I haven’t tried anything new.  I am starting to wonder if I should keep posting on the blog.  

002A lot of the time I cook dinner and I forget to take pretty pictures.  According to all the blog guides, to keep people loyal to your site you need pictures.  I have seen some impressive pictures at http://www.veganyumyum.com and http://www.pioneerwoman.com and know that my point and shoot camera can’t compete.  Then I see the frequency of post on http://www.101cookbooks.com and say she must not have kids why she is able to be so consistent.  I  just feel like there has got to be more I can write but I don’t know.  

I ask questions and rarely do you, the reader, answer.  The first year of the blog, when I was writing almost daily, I was able to have 5000 views over the course of a year.  The blog is 3 years old and I still haven’t broke 10,000 views.  Is it my pictures? Is it the fact that I don’t write every day or every week? Maybe you rather read about healthy but you don’t want to cook healthy. If there was only something I could write about that would produce a consistent product for both you and I to apply to our lives, but I have drawn a blank.  What should I do? Do I stop? Do I go on? I do feel I have more to share but I may need a new platform. 

So I ask you the question, what do you want to read about when you visit Not Just Tofu?        

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