Organic or Not?

When I first switched over to a plant-based diet, my grocery bill was absolutely ridiculous. I went out and bought a LOT of produce, all organic. What I found was two things: 1) real food goes bad, fast and 2) buying everything organic is expensive. The solution to the first was simple, buy less. The second I resolved by only buying the items with the highest pesticide load organic. Of course, the ideal is to have everything organic, but this method will have to do for now.

To determine which produce I should buy organic, I looked up what is known as the “dirty dozen” and the “clean fifteen.” These list are put out yearly to help consumers identify the conventionally grown items that have been found to have the highest pesticide load and the ones that have been found to be the “cleanest.” The goal is to avoid conventional items on the “dirty dozen” list and only buy those organic. If you’re trying to save money, the items on the “clean fifteen” list are generally safer to buy conventional.

Here are this year’s lists

Dirty Dozen (taken from TheDailyGreen)

  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Kale
  10. Cherries
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes

Not part of the list, but these next 3 should be bought organic due to the amount of pesticides and/or chemicals found


These next 4 barely missed this year’s list but you should still stick to organic:

Leafy Greens

Clean Fifteen (taken from MindBodyGreen)

  1. Onion
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mango
  6. Asparagus
  7. Sweet Peas
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew Melon


Just because I felt like sharing some of the meals I’ve had so far this week….

Sunday: Eggplant Paprikash from Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen

Monday: Kale and Tomato topped with Sesame Seed

Tuesday: Homemade Chips and Blueberry Avocado Salsa topped with vegan sour cream

Wednesday: Quick Cool Pinto Bean Puree topped with avocado

Tonight’s Meal Ordeal

There are certain things that one would expect a responsible adult to know. Don’t cross the street without looking, don’t leave milk out, you know, stuff like that. Now, overall I consider myself a pretty responsible person, but nights like tonight I have to question that. First, I put parchment paper in the broiler. I knew I smelled something burning! But this wasn’t so bad. What really gets me is that I left the cover to one of my new plastic containers on the stove-top, with the oven on, right by where the heat comes out. It melted. **pouts**

Oh well, at least dinner came out good.

Tonight I made Collard-Herb Stuffed Portobello and Roasted Garlic mashed potatoes, both recipes from my 30-Minute Vegan cookbook. I’d say tonight’s meal was worth the ruined plastic container and the messy kitchen.

Thursday’s Lunch

You guys, look at this. Does this not look absolutely marvelous? Ok, so you’re probably asking, “what the heck is it?” Fair enough. It’s watermelon soup. Doesn’t that sound good? Who think of these things? I mean, who would think to mix tomato, watermelon, cucumber, onion and jalapeño together? People who don’t eat meat, that’s who. It’s another recipe that I pulled from Raw on $10. The flavors blended together beautifully and it was so easy to make. In fact, let’s take one last look at it….

Just looking at it makes my mouth water…

Hurray for CPK!

I recently found out that CPK (California Pizza Kitchen) not only has their nutritional information posted online, but they also have vegetarian information posted as well. They basically breakdown which dishes are appropriate for the different types of vegetarian and gluten-free diets. This made it super easy to select what I wanted to eat before I even went. After reviewing the calorie and sodium content of the vegetarian appropriate items on the menu what I decided on was the Moroccan Chicken Salad (without the chicken or the egg) and the Tuscan White Bean Minestrone. They were both deeeeeelicious!

The Story of Today’s Lunch

This is a picture of an empty plastic food container. At one point it had a Strawberry salad in it, but I ate it. My intention was to take a picture of it, but due to a series of happenings this morning, I never got a chance to.

So I was gonna take a picture of this salad and post it with a little blurp about feeling like a bona fide vegetarian cause I was eating Dandelion greens, yes like the weeds that just grow in empty fields. Continue reading “The Story of Today’s Lunch”

Random List of stuff I want but don’t need

1. New couch (I really want a sectional)

3. New end tables

4. Flatscreen TV

5. Basically I want to revamp my entire living room….

6. A maid

7. New bed

8. Windows 7 for my desktop

9. Summer vacation

10. Nap time at work

11. New wardrobe with clothes that fit

12. To get paid for doing nothing

13. An apartment with in unit washer/dryer

14. A dishwasher

15. The ability to selectively read minds…..

Ready to Run

Shoes, check. Ear phones, check. New running socks, check. It was 5:45 am on Sunday, July 11th and I was going through my mental checklist for all the essential items I would need for my first 5k run, the 17th Annual Keep LA Running 5k.

I hadn’t initially planned on doing the run. A few girlfriends of mine, including my bestest friend, had already signed up and convinced me to participate with them. I’m glad they did. I really enjoyed the whole experience. I came in 268th out of 601 with a time of 31:23. Not bad for my first time.

I don’t know how I felt about them taking pictures of us while we were running though. I don’t think mine came out that good (I was trying to avoid the cameras), but I guess you can judge that for yourself.

For anyone who has considered participating in a run, I would highly recommend it. Something about having that whole atmosphere, the crowds, the other runners, the little booths with giveaways afterwards, made it very enjoyable. Not to mention the sense of accomplishment you feel when you cross the finish line, it really makes you want to do it again (like, on another day).

Next run in August?

Mango Madness

I don’t know why, but I had a craving for mangoes today. And wouldn’t you know, Whole Foods had a sale on, guess what…. mangoes! So I bought a handful of ’em and searched Raw on $10 for some ideas of what to do with them.

The salad is just romaine with cucumber, onion and chunks of mango, topped with a mango dressing, diced jalapeños and red pepper flakes. The recipe for the dressing can be found here. I omitted the olive oil and just added another tbsp of cider vinegar instead.

The plate next to it is like a cucumber, mango pasta. I recently bought a mandolin slicer with a  julienne blade that allows me to slice stuff into thin, noodle like strips. So I used this to slice the cucumber and mango. Then I just added some onions, squeezed a little lime juice over it and sprinkled it with pepper. Yum! This was another Raw on $10 idea, again without the olive oil.

The smoothie was just a couple of bananas, a handful of strawberries and a half of a mango. Oh yeah, and I added some flaxseed and wheat bran. It was my dessert. And it was yuuuuummmy!

I wanted to make this Live Mango Gazpacho from my 30-Minute Vegan cookbook, but by the time I finished the other dishes, my kitchen was a mess and I was tired of being in it. I was just ready to eat. So I figured I’d save it for another time. Besides, I had the soup before but I hadn’t tried the mango dressing or the cucumber and mango pasta.

Overall, I think I did pretty good. My tummy sure did like it!