Need I Say More?

Did anybody else have a fly by Saturday?! I can hardly think that far back, butΒ I started my morning with Mr. Farmar before enjoying this lovely kitchen sink oatmeal.

The Base:

The Toppings:

  • chia-flax icing
  • cashews
  • Naturally Nutty White Choco Coconut PB
  • and a compote of blueberries, sweet cherries, shredded cococnut, and a chopped date simmered in a splash of almond milk

I guess I was facing fruit indecision, hmm? Actually – ever since having the best jam ever (SaraBeth’s brand) that was blueberry-cherry, I have loved blueberry cherry. Especially since being able to find frozen cherries! I die. P.S. You all MUST try Peppy Kernels!

I had a new coffee this morning too – but obviously still Green Mountain. I had Heifer Hope!! This coffee is another reason why Green Mountain is so awesome.

“Heifer Hope Blend was created to support Heifer International’s fight against world hunger. With our support, Heifer helps coffee farmers diversify their incomes by raising livestock. We help raise awareness by showing people how their purchases can support sustainable development.”

I thought I had read, too, that a portion of sales were donated to Heifer International – but I don’t see that in the description now so maybe I made it up in my own head.

Other than the almond milk, I just realized my breakfast was unintentionally organic and/or local! Go me. πŸ˜› I even kickstarted with yoga – who am I?! I’m not complaining.

I woke up to a bit of drear again, but that was okay – I knew it was supposed to clear up. It was probably for best – I still had to clean my office in town, which was on the way to the farmer’s market and Hannafords. If it was beautiful I never would have wanted to stop in there!

But, eventually I found my way to the market. It was still a bit overcast and chilly, and I won’t lie…I didn’t behave myself very well. Case in point?

No, you’re not seeing this wrong, that is a loaf of bread. Yes, I just made a loaf of bread on Thursday. Normally I’m not this bad, since obviously, some of the bread I made is going to get wasted. And I hate wasting. But you see…I knew I was going to be faced with this temptation today, and I realized: it’s okay if you “waste” something you’re not crazy about. I eat to enjoy food. Sure, i can disguise some ingredients within a sandwich, but when it comes to the bread…well, you can’t fudge mediocrity there. And when I saw this seeded whole grain bread (cough-and the boys selling it-cough) I had to have a loaf. And that was that. And it was huge! That’s only half of it in the picture. Not kidding. The other half is in the freezer. You know what else it is? Pure bliss. There go my desires to find the perfect recipe to bake myself, because for $5.00, I can buy this and be 100% happy. And it was just baked this morning. And they gave me the largest loaf. I couldn’t say no when they asked, I mean really. Β By far the best bread I’ve ever had. Need I say more? “My” loaf will become horse treats and breadcrumbs. It won’t see the garbage, still πŸ™‚

Random Story? As I was driving home I kept smelling McDonald’s French Fries. Well, actually – I couldn’t quite put my finger on the smell, but that’s the closest thing I could think of. It made sense at first since I was sort of near a McD’s – but as I still smelt it half an hour later, I was baffled. When I was unloading, I stuck my nose in the bread bag and realized it was the bread! I thought they’d wrapped it in plastic first (must not have fit) but I guess not – and it made my whole car smell great. Because once I realized it was fresh bread that I smelt and not greasy fries, I was much more able to appreciate the smell. I was starting to get a little concerned with the fact that I was thinking it smelt good, if the only conclusion I could draw was that it was fires from a fast food joint. Aha. That’s a long story. Don’t know why I needed to share. Do with it what you will.

I also bought this heavenly dressing by a man who totally knew how to sell a product. He had some amazing marinara sauce and balsamic vinegar as well, but I settled on this dressing. I’m not usually one for dressings – but it had a great sesame flavor and it was local. And he took a lot of time to explain reducing balsamic vinegar to me. Had I not just purchased sub-par balsamic, I would have gotten that for surely. Never had reduced balsamic before – when he poured me some and told me to drink it, I was baffled. And then pleasantly surprised.

And last, but not least – pear almond jelly and some goat cheese. I thought maybe I’d like the flavored goat cheese. And couldn’t resist the jelly, even if I am more of a fan of preserves and jams. Who says no to locally made pear-almond?

Other than that, there wasn’t much in the way of produce. Greens like spinach, lettuce, etc – but I still have plenty of spinach. So, I hit up Hannafords for some goodies (spaghetti squash!! and fiddleheads – what should I do with them?) but was a bit disappointed that there is not much in terms of fresh, in-season fruit at this time. I guess I’ll just be getting my fill of apples and bananas…

For some reason, my appetite hasn’t been much today! I wasn’t hungry for my morning snack, but had a banana anyways, and wasn’t much hungry for lunch by the time 12:30 hit. But then I read Susan’s post. And I was ready.

I went back to my savory-meets-sweet roots with this Katie-inspired tempeh panini. You may subconsciously be a vegetarian if you see a meat-based recipe and think “ooh, that’d be good with tempeh!” like I am always doing. Oh, well.

Not being one to follow destructions (well, that and I had no apricot preserves) I opened up this cranberry-orange-nut jam that I spotted at the co-op recently in place of the apricot jam Katie’s version called for.

To. Die. For. Even better was when it was mixed with some dijon, greek yogs, and cracked black pepper and smeared on that tdf bread – accompanied with baby spinach, red pepper, and tempeh. The tempeh was pan-fried real quick with some cinnamon, to boot. I died.

I enjoyed it with some fresh zucchini and that sesame dressing I picked up today. That stuff is gooood. I don’t like zucchini, but feed it to me with that dressing and I’m game.

Afterwards, I needed a little bit of a dessert, which came in the form of a hot applesauce mess.

Yes, please. Applesauce, NN almond butter, chopped dates, and some banana chips for dippage. I love really fresh banana chips. This, actually – is spitting image of another night time snack I’ll often have.

Fussed around with the caballos before getting snacky.

Sunbutter. Pretzel Snaps. Gala. Heaven.

and then played with my food.

terrific trio.

Aaaannd, now I’ll walk you through my dinner.

apricots

dates.

cook red lentils. cooked bulghur. dates. apricots. unsweetened coconut. red pepper. boat load of cinnamon. pepper. curry powder.

realize you're missing a key component: garden fresh chives.

greek yogs. dijon. lemon juice. paprika. curry powder. salt. pepper. more cinnamon.

decide you'd like a spot of honey.

thin with water if you'd like. i liked.

not pretty. but oh so delicious.

enjoy atop a coconut & curry rubbed balsamic grilled portobello with a side of fresh corn on the cob and fresh seeded whole grain. your life is now complete.

need i say more?

Apologies in advance for tomorrow’s post, though. Lets just say…there’s been some recent developments that are causing lunches to already be packed, and my breakfast is gettin’ cozy in a tupperware πŸ˜€

_______________________________________

Let’s Talk About…Sodium?

One thing you guys may not know about me (well, or may – I think I’ve casually mentioned it a tie or two before) is that i. love. salt. I mean, I guess I’m not as bad as I could be, but at the same time if I’m feeling lazy and maybe I didn’t cook something quite as flavorfully as I could have, I don’t hesitate to get a lil’ liberal with my friend the salt shaker. For the longest time, I had the thought of “well, I don’t have any health concerns that shouldn’t allow me salt – so why stop?” though recently I’ve been thinking about it more. But still wondering – how much is too much? Am I really out-of-hand, or am I actually pretty normal, considering the fact that the majority of people have problems with too much sodium because canned and pre-made goods are among the most commonly consumed in America. How often do I have dinner out of a can? That’s what I thought.

I looked to MayoClinic and found some interesting tidbits. My favorite part was that sodium is essential – the question is in how much sodium is essential. Sodium regulates the fluids in your body, and also helps to transmit nerve impulses. Furthermore, it influences the “contraction and relaxation of muscles.” All of this sodium is regulated by your kidneys. In short, too much leads to an increased blood volume, leading to your wonderful hearts’ overexertion. This has different effects on different people. Those who are sodium sensitive have an increased risk of high blood pressure, and some of us a re lucky enough to have kidneys that don’t mind our added salt. (thank you, kidneys.)

No matter what, however – your sodium intake does have an effect on your blood pressure. The “goal range” for adults is between 1500 and 2300 mgs a day. Equal to about 1 tsp of salt. The lower, the more beneficial to your blood pressure, and if you are above 50 or have high blood pressure already, kidney disease, or diabetes – you should certainly be aiming for the very low end. The median sodium intake for American women? Between 5800 and 7800 mg/day. Yep.

On average, the majority of sodium in a person’s diet comes from processed, canned, or packaged foods. Following that is sodium-containing condiments, and only after that is the salt that is naturally occurring in foods. Meat, poultry, dairy products…check.

The difficulty lies in the fact that often…something may not necessarily taste salty – but likely still contains a good amount of sodium. Take most breads, for instance. Often times, pre-packaged meals may not even necessarily taste salty, but you’d be shocked to look at the label and find that a serving also fulfills a day’s worth of sodium intake. We can, however – unlearn to be salt addicts, since salt is an acquired taste. But! Don’t cut it out completely – our body, like most things that can be bad in mass amounts – needs it to function.

What’s your take? Do you think you over-do it on your salt intake? Do you feel like you should cut back? I guess I’m both routes. When I buy canned beans, tomatoes, etc, I’ll always grab the low-sodium version. I was also a bit relieved (in a for me way) to see that the majority of sodium comes from canned or processed foods – those of which I don’t rely on daily, anyways. But, I was still curious. Here’s some of what I ate today, and their salt content: (note: based on serving size – not nec. how much I had)

  • Grains & Nuts Cereal, Peppy Kernels – 0mg
  • Ruth’s Chia Goodness – 120 mg
  • Cashews – 100 mg
  • PureAlmond – 150 mg
  • Fage 0% – 85 mg
  • Dijon – 70 mg
  • blueberries – 10 mg

Stuff without labels and fresh fruit and veggies I’ve had I didn’t care to check – basically because I’m not going to cut out natural veggies for sodium content. I investigated a little too – a can of reduced sodium red beans contained 150 mg/serving, compared to some regular garbanzo beans with 470 mg/ serving. Luckily – there are ways to help cut back sodium on stuff like that – rinse well in a colander before using! I tried finding something really high just for kicks, but couldn’t.

So – after my mini investigation, deduced that I’m not as concerned about my blood pressure any more πŸ˜‰ At least next to my salt shaker is my water bottle?

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21 Comments

Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, lunch, oatmeal, recipe, Uncategorized

21 responses to “Need I Say More?

  1. You don’t like zucchini?!?!?!!?! AHH you are nuts -kidding, but hey we both are nutty for nuts- Grilled and roasted zucchinni = love. Anyways I love me some spaghetti squash and had some tonight. Cut in half scoop out seeds, Sprinkle with garlic powder(or my new obsession these garlic bits I have kinda like garlic gold in el blogosphere..but they are SO GOOD and im not a huge garlic lover and I don’t have garlic gold near me :P, onion powder, sea salt, roast in the oven at 375 for like 40 minutes…Then scrape out seeds and enjoy its goodness I like serving it in a balsamic tomato sauce with veggies and canellini beans served over a bed of spinach, or homemade veggie “meat “balls..or a spicy tomato sauce with black beans and almond-cheddar or real cheddar ala mexico. It is really hard to not go back for more spaghetti squash and it is guilt-free unlike bowls of pasta. Anywho on the salt topic, some people (like my dad) literally put rain showers of salt on their food! I personally use sea salt it has less sodium and it is more flavorful you don’t need as much. Hope you enjoy some of my tiparoos

  2. I can’t get over your dinner – that mix sounds INCREDIBLE! I seriously must try that tomorrow or something πŸ™‚
    I always find it shocking how much sodium is added to foods- it’s mad! Plus I read today that too much sodium can cause the body to lose calcium :s scary!! I just add a little pinch of garlic salt to my dinner, and that’s it! Boo at salt.
    I want to hear about the events tomorrow…are they horse related!?

  3. Susan

    Hey twin! I say this because I love salt too. I don’t monitor my intake, but I have really low BP so I guess I don’t feel the need to. I obviously don’t like things swimming in sodium, but I think a dash of salt adds so much to the flavors of my food. Have you tried sea salt chocolate? It’s da bomb!

    Love that you made your own bread. Love your dinner photo journal. Love your face!

  4. Mo

    I don’t like zucchini either. It’s just a bad combo of flavor and texture. :S

    Yeah, I’m not worried about sodium. My mom says she rarely add salt to her foods since there’s already lots of salt in her food, like she’s being diligent or something, but the very simple solution to being able to be liberal with the salt shaker is to not eat the foods that already have a truckload of salt added! Since I avoid processed foods, most of the sodium I get is naturally occurring or from canned beans and canned tomatoes, and then I’ll use the salt shaker if I think something needs it. Which actually isn’t that often. πŸ™‚

    I did used to eat way too much salt though. I used to sneak into the dining room when I was really little and shake some into my palm and then lick it. I always thought I was being totally stealthy and then my mom would walk in and feel granules of salt all over the floor. And then there’s the time I was with my nana and she had a carton of salt out for some reason and I said, “I love salt.” To which she replied, “Well it doesn’t love you.” =|

  5. WOW! That’s crazy that your bread smelt like McDonalds French Fries

  6. I love the farmers market and am waiting a little longer before going so they have more in the way of produce. I LOVE fresh baked bread! So good! The farmer’s market actually gets me going on baking bread! I love grilled veggie sandwiches on home made bread! How do you not like zucchini? Food likes and dislikes are so fascinating! I LOVE zucchini. Green Mountain coffee pods are so good. I am fighting the urge to have one now! Salt, I am a little heavy handed with the salt, but have started to cut back. The thing is, I don’t eat many prepared foods, so I know I don’t get a ton of sodium from that kind of stuff. Any salt I eat is natural to the food or I put it on there. So, I am watching it, but I think I am ok…I will look tomorrow cause now I want to know! Have a great night!

  7. Thanks for the shout-out!!! Your sandwich looks AMAZING, of course! πŸ™‚ I made a tempeh, jam, and spinach sandwich last week and it was heavenly…I am a total tempeh-convert!!!

  8. I think if I thought it was McDonald’s I would have felt nauseous too, I’m glad it was bread. It’s kind of like eating something expecting one taste and getting another, it’s a weird feeling. I love salt too. It’s in my BLOOD. But I hate salt that’s already added in my food. When I use canned beans I always rinse them (like you said), but I usually use dried beans since you get more bang for your $$$ and there’s barely any sodium there. I was in Barnes and Noble today and I thought of you because I saw Moosewoods cookbooks and veganomicon and I wanted to buy them BOTH…but I settled with Thrive for now.

  9. I usually tend to overdo it with sugar more than salt. Although lately salt has been my thing. I think sodium is the last thing I look at on the nutrition label. That being said, I don’t buy canned beans because of the sodium. I buy dry beans and cook them without any salt (or a small amount if I’m making a particular thing).
    Ha! I love that your bread smelled like McDonald’s! I would definitely be confused!

  10. Sigh…I’m a salt addict. Your last meal looks amazing! I would never think to put all that together!

  11. Haha boys selling bread?! Cute boys? Even better πŸ™‚ DO tell! I kid, I kid… the bread looks to DIE! And I know what you mean. I hate wasting food too but it’s silly to force yourself to eat something you don’t really enjoy.. life is too short to eat less than great food, you know!!?
    Girl, could you just come make all of those meals all over again for me? Puh-lease? The sandwich sounds amazing! As does your dinner!!! You seriously need to do something in the food industry! I think you would be a GREAT nutritionist!
    I don’t really watch my sodium. What can I say, I like salt! So sue me haha I do notice it sometimes it packaged things and I try to keep my intake of frozen foods and canned soup slightly low because of it but I don’t go crazy about it either.
    Have a fabulous Sunday love!!

  12. I want that bread. Smells like fries? It MUST be perfection.
    And I want all of your food. All of it. ALL. So… just send it on over my way okay? Okay. πŸ™‚
    I’m actually not a huge salt addict. I mean, I’m sure I get my plenty fair share but there are often times I find many things to taste way too salty and I’m not big on it, never really have been. I hardly ever add salt to anything. Craziness?

  13. I love salt too. You should see how much I put on popcorn! Other than that occasionally I don’t think my daily sodium is too high. I try to avoid processed foods.

    That bread looks delicious – I don’t blame you for buying it!

  14. Dee

    I know I take in too much sodium and I really need to work on cutting it down. 😦

    ps. your food always looks SO good. Will you become my personal chef? πŸ˜‰

  15. I need to try a farmar podcast one of these days! And that’s so funny your bread smelled like mickey d’s. I love fresh bread, there’s nothing else like it! Also.. that dinner.. why are you not a professional chef yet?!

  16. Yay yay yipee! I’m in England now and your site loads instantaneously!!!! Loving it! You’re trip to the market looks like it was very successful! I’m looking forward to going myself but a bit afraid of all the money I’ll spend, eek! Once I gain control of a kitchen I think I’ll have to start experimenting with oats as well…staying with the in-laws now so not sure I feel very comfortable just doing my thing in the kitchen yet.

  17. I love buying homemade sauces and jams from the farmer’s market. They usually have such a unique combination of ingredients and always taste amazing! I bought a maple honey mustard from the market last summer and I’m obsessed with it!

    I’m not really a huge salt person (my sweet tooth is more dominant haha). I think I just grew up with my dad adding way too much salt to everything. πŸ˜›

  18. Katharina

    GOOD BREAD!!! Oh my gosh I am the same way. I’ve got a favorite sandwich bread, sprouted bread, and I’m kind of a snob when it comes to rolls (only fresh from the bakery please), and loaves of artisan breads are my favorite. But nothing is more satisfying than baking my own. I use to bake my own Irish soda bread often since it’s so easy and doesn’t need to rise. BUT when I made my own first loaf of focaccia… I was in love. Everything in this post is soo yummy looking–especially your dinner recipe! That sounds like something I would love to have. When I go back to Florida to my parents place I’m going to get some chia seeds. They have a discount healthfood store near them. I just really want to make that icing!! And my dad has actually mentioned getting chia seeds before I ever mentioned them to him hahaha.

    As for the salt thing.. I don’t have too much and I don’t believe I have too little. I definitely add more salt if I think it’s needed. It sucks though when something is over-salted.. then there’s no going back.

    XO

    http://www.ohonemorething.wordpress.com

  19. my whole life my dad has had high blood pressure so I have never added salt to anything regularly. I don’t really have a taste for sodium and feel sick when something is supremely salty. It’s a shame because Trader Joe’s has fantastic frozen meals that I cant eat because of the high sodium content.
    -k
    http://kalliemarie.wordpress.com

  20. hey hey kitchen sink salad shoutout!!!

    and THANK YOU again so much for my pb! it’s been making its debut every morning on my oatmeal… i usually SPRINT out of bed for it πŸ™‚

    and p.s. – i’ll buy you a loaf of bread next week if you send me the boys!
    and don’t hate on fries. it offends me πŸ™‚
    -r

  21. Michelle

    I am still amazed by your beautiful photography and the craft you put into each post. I love how many of the ingredients you use is local and/or organic. I’m really trying to convert to more of that good stuff πŸ™‚

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