I've had two days of really delicious meals to share.
As I've mentioned before, our local market has a number of neat food options. One of my favorite things about it are the variety of snack options that are friendly to my allergies. When I popped in to pick up a few things last night, I noticed a new product, Beanitos Black Bean Chips.
These chips are vegan, and they're also gluten-free, which makes them a great option for folks with celiac and other forms of gluten intolerance. They also have 4g of protein and 5g of fiber per 10 chip serving. If GMOs concern you, also note that this product is verified as Non-GMO.
The chips are light and sweeter tasting than your average tortilla chip. My guess is that the sweetness comes from the brown rice. They paired well with the avocado, tomato and sea salt you see on the right.
I know for sure that I've mentioned my love of Whole Foods many a time in this blog. Today, for lunch, I visited the Foggy Bottom store and enjoyed a number of items off of their prepared foods bar. I particularly like getting prepared foods at Whole Foods since they clearly label their allergens, as well as which items are vegan friendly.
In the picture to the right (left hand corner clockwise around), you'll find Quinoa Ranchero, raw dandelion, beets, kamut citrus salad and carrots with ginger.
This is my second time eating the kamut citrus salad, and it continues to be a favorite. The kamut has a chewy, nutty texture, and it's a good source of protein and fiber. The carrots were even more delicious than I was expecting. It was also my first time eating dandelion greens. Like most greens, they are an excellent source of vitamin A & C. They weren't as bitter as I expected, and I actually thought they were good mixed in with the kamut.
Changing gears. Sometimes, in the middle of my yoga practice, I get strong food cravings. Since part of yoga is listening to signals from my body, as long as the cravings are healthy, I listen to them. In my pre-vegetarian days, my cravings were for the fancy McDonald's burger with the red onions and a large fries (the fact that there is a McDonald's across the street from my yoga studio may have contributed to these cravings). However, as I embraced a pescetarian diet, and then a lacto-ovo one and now my plant-based/animal product free/veganesque one, I noticed that my cravings gradually became for healthier and healthier foods. For example, I might crave a large salad from Sweetgreen or falafel (or, better yet, the Sweetgreen salad with Falafel).
Today, my craving was for vegan pizza. Yes, specifically, vegan pizza. This was big for me. It's been about 19 days since I had my last serving of cheese. Yes, I fell back on the cheese wagon pretty hard last February. Recently, I decided it was time to eliminate it again. That is the subject of another post.
If that sounds like the terminology of an addict, it's a fair point. Dr. Oz and Dr. Neal Barnard back me up on this subject, and these guys know their stuff. I know that dairy and I don't get along - it upsets my stomach, makes me break out, gives headaches, makes me congested, you name it. Also, I tend to eat much larger portions of food when the dish has a dairy component. Plus, there's the whole ethics of vegetarianism that makes me pause when I think about dairy products.
That said, if you put cheese it in front of me, I can't stop eating it. So, it's best that I just kick it out of my diet altogether, and get my protein, calcium and Vitamin D from other sources.
So yes, the fact that I wanted vegan pizza, in my mind, was a good thing. I'm lucky that there are three good options for vegan pizza near our place: Pete's-A-Pizza, Z Pizza and, you guessed it, Whole Foods. Since Whole Foods is the closest to our apartment, we opted to go there. Their vegan pizza is always excellent. Rather than using daiya or another cheese substitute, their vegan pizza is cheese free and loaded with veggies like peppers, spinach and mushrooms. It's a little heavy on black olives for my taste, but those are easily removed.
The good news is that I didn't crave my husband's cheese pizza, so I am guessing that's another sign that I have kicked my desire for dairy. I'm looking forward to checking out more vegan pizza options in the near future!