My Body is a Temple (Or, “How I Justify Blowing my Rent Money at Whole Foods”)

I love food. I love really amazing, wholesome food made from quality ingredients – the fewer the better. Bonus points if I can pronounce all of said ingredients. (And gluten-free brownies. Which I’m not sure fit into either of those categories.)

Above all, though,  I love trying new foods and I’m even down for finally learning to cook something besides “My One Dish.”

So, in the spirit of culinary adventure, I would like to institute a new weekly tradition: EAT SOMETHING NEW SUNDAYS. (Mostly because I sat here for way too long fruitlessly trying to come up with some clever alliterative title before deciding that, clearly, less is more here).

Having just returned from a business trip to Nashville where, in addition to scarfing some fantastic grub (if you ever go, Rose Pepper + Jeni’s Spelndid Ice Cream in East Nashville is where it’s at), I spent three days with women who eat in a variety of strange unique ways: The Paleo Diet. Whole Foods. No Dairy. No Gluten. No Red Meat. Only Red Meat (actually, that just might have been me trying to stir things up…). You name it, we discussed, dissected and learned the juicy deets of everyone’s diet. While I don’t think I’ll ever be completely sold on any trend or on giving up entire groups of foods (I’m already wheat-free out of no choice of my own) and will forever fight the good fight for “All Things in Moderation” I was intrigued by some of the crazy sh#t (for lack of a better term) my friends eat. So for this week’s edition of Eat Something New, I dove headfirst into my neighborhood Whole Foods, and when I came up for air, I was starving and ready to put my new finds to the test.

Nutritional Yeast

The first time one of my coworkers brought this ingredient up in conversation I may have thrown up a little in my mouth. I believe she was talking it up as a popcorn topper at the time, or maybe a salad dressing, but either way, it definitely had me questioning her judgement and perhaps her sanity. Then she compared it to grated parmesan cheese and threw in that it has enough B Vitamins to rival a Red Bull, and suddenly I was listening. I found these yellow flakes in the bulk section and, despite their uncanny resemblance to sawdust, scooped some into a plastic bag, tied it up and off I went.

Crispy Kale

Okay, so I’m no stranger to kale. In fact, I’m a massive sucker for these little bags of something called Krispy Kale that generally costs its weight in gold (a snack-sized bag retails for about $8). So tonight I attempted to reproduce the wonder that is Krispy Kale in my own kitchen. It’s this easy: Rinse the kale. Tear the kale up. Toss it in a bowl with olive oil, salt and obscene amounts of nutritional yeast (sawdust never tasted so good). Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Resist your inclination to leave it in a little longer for extra crispiness. This will only result in Burnt Kale.

Yes, it was a bit overcooked, but did that deter me from eating the equivalent of an entire bunch of kale in one sitting? No. No it did not. And while I should probably be a little worried about that, I just ingested more than 600% of my daily Vitamin C and 800% of my Vitamin A, so suck on that digestive system!

Skyr

This last one was admittedly a horrible, horrible, damn-you-aesthetically-pleasing-and-cleverly-designed-packaging impulse buy. I’ve managed in the recent past to finally acquire a taste for Greek yogurt, and while scouring the selection for my usual brand, this little guy caught my eye:

And how could it not? Everything about its quaint little label, its many assurances (All natural, Milk from grass fed cows, No aspartame, No sucralose, No gelatin, No Gluten, No artificial colorings, No preservatives, No high fructose corn syrup) and its Icelandic roots and unpronounceable name guaranteed it a spot in my basket. The fact that even the snappy employee stocking the shelves knew nothing about it sealed the deal.

For starters, this stuff is rich. Zero percent milkfat be damned, this yogurt has the texture of ricotta cheese and is definitely not as sweet as most yogurts (just a touch of low glycemic agave nectar) and to be completely honest with you, I’m not sold on it yet. Still, I could see it as a great way to make a healthy, creamy marinara sauce or a fantastic fruit and granola parfait. Or, you know, you could use it to re-groute your shower.

Not a bad start to my food adventures, really. I’d love to hear your suggestions on other must-try ingredients or recipes, too. I’m ready. Bring it.

(Unless it has feet or glows in the dark)

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