Trader Joes is here!!

I was so excited to finally shop at Trader Joes today. No more having to drive an hour to find my vegetarian meatballs (although with the traffic mess and impossible parking, it felt like an hour). It was like a giant party inside – all the foodies of Nashville came together to experience Trader Joes. It makes me happy to see people crowded around every aisle in the story, excited about new food items and checking out nutrition labels. Of course, I was one of the few who came with a reusable TJ bag (it’s my favorite one out of my fleet)… and I will admit to being disappointed that the cashier wasn’t impressed. Oh well. They’ve had a crazy busy day. Products were flying off the shelves. K had actually been in the store just an hour before I came in, and it turns out that in that hour, they ran out of bananas. Can’t beat 19 cents/lb! Or 69 cents/lb for organic apples!!

Speaking of organic: I’ve started to join the organic movement. I used to feel very skeptical on spending so much more for these products, when there are likely no health or nutritional benefits, and with foodborne illness, I sometimes feel less safe with organic. But I’ve been rethinking my philosophy on food/nutrition/health and why I make the decisions I do. I have especially been thinking about my reasons for vegetarianism a lot lately, because I seem to be getting the “If you don’t mind me asking, why are you vegetarian??!” question a lot nowadays. I have to say that my main reason for not eating meat is environmental. And if that’s obviously very important to me- than I should be making organic foods a priority. For even if there is no health benefit for me to eat organic, there’s a HUGE health benefit for the earth, and that’s pretty darn important too. So…. I’m working on changing my mindset from “gimmicky  money-making marketing scheme” to “grown in a healthier way for the planet, and therefore better for us”. A lot of this has come from reading Gary Hirschberg’s new book “Stirring it Up”. The CEO of Stonyfield Farms (the organic yogurt company) – it’s been a very interesting read that shows how big business can indeed be profitable using sustainable methods that put the environment first. He firmly believes, and highlights many companies that have shown, that what’s best for the planet is best for us and best for a company’s profits. It has been a great book to read and help me think more favorably of corporate America (or some of it at least). 

Dinner tonight was cottage cheese and apple pancakes, with cinnamon and walnuts… yum! Thanks to Mollie Katzen and the new Moosewood Cookbook; I was leery of making pancakes with cottage cheese, but I had some in the fridge leftover from my spaghetti squash I made earlier this week. Turns out that these pancakes were the best I’ve had in a while – the cottage cheese added a nice creamy quality, but I couldn’t really detect the taste. Also boosted the protein too!

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