Monday, September 21, 2009

pepper steak and chocolate covered antioxidants

Let's go in reverse, shall we? I am just finishing my very first bag of these guys:
I love Nestle. Regardless of the 30-year-old formula debacle, Nestle still insists on trying to convince consumers that chocolate-covered fruit is good for you (and not just less bad for you than, say, Mike 'n' Ikes). Mister has a bad habit of buying candy from an indie convenience store up the street from our home...sometimes he takes me with him and sometimes I cave in...such was the case yesterday when we were out and about. I saw that Nestle wasn't content to only cover raisins with chocolate and I was kind of curious how chocolate-covered dried cranberries would taste, so I got a bag. Besides, it was just a 100 calorie bag. By the way - they're pretty good. A little sweeter than I'd like, and like most dried fruit, they stick in your teeth, but I would get them again if the mood struck. I was, however, amused as heck to turn over the bag to examine the ingredients list (not too many, actually) and see:

Dried cranberries are one of nature's best sources of fruit

That may be true, but there's this ridiculous thought poking me in the back of the head that somehow sweetening them with sugar and oil and then smothering them in milk chocolate probably counteracts any nutritional benefit they provide.

In order to be sure I covered my fruit servings, though, I did have that Cranberry, Apricot & Almond Nectar bar today. The apricot flavor really stood out in this bar, but it was just a little too sweet and kind of tough. I don't know if they're all like that when they "age" but I think it was actually the Apricot holding it together with leathery determination. Final Answer? Not worth hording.Finally, for dinner tonight I made Seitan Pepper Steak from The Accidental Vegan by Devra Gartenstein. I also made some brown rice because I felt like we needed a base and I didn't have confidence that the recipe would yield as much as it did. It turned out to provide roughly 5-6 servings and the rice was really unnecessary. I had a little, but I saved some to add a little more chunkiness to the corn soup I plan to reheat on Wednesday for dinner. It was very good, though the seitan was a little dry or tough or something. I think it would have been nicer to braise the seitan in something before adding it to the peppers. By the way - I don't know how long it takes you to thinly slice 4 large bell peppers, but make sure you are willing to make that time investment before you try this recipe. I think it actually took less time to cook the peppers than it did to slice them, but it gave me an opportunity to tell Mister about my day. It seems easiest to talk about work when I have a sharp knife in my hand...

I've been eating a lot of "crap" lately (not the dinner posted here, though) and I'm torn between two opposites: a really big (and seemingly growing) part of me really wants to detox and affect a kind of fast from all the sweets and various other garbage I've been eating while telling myself it's okay to indulge once in a while since I normally eat good, healthy food. Unfortunately, my "once in a whiles" are getting closer together... then there's the part of me that is painfully/blissfully aware that I haven't made my other recipe for cupcakes yet and I've gathered all the necessary ingredients to make them this week. So I'm thinking October will be a good month to renew my cleaner eating habits and try to detox myself...just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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