Saturday, October 6, 2012

Snack Attack Food Review: Seneca Apple Chips Ganny Smith

Hi everyone.

I consider myself a sudo-conscious consumer. When I shop I read labels, mostly. I would have to say, I don't generally buy box or bagged foods unless they are cereal or tofu, but occasionally I get the craving for a not so heathy snack food and I find it hard to find one that's tasty, not sickeningly gross, and vegan.

I wanted to start a series of posts based on snacks. These are snacks I'm curious about from seeing them in the store. I'm going to give my prespective on how they taste to a vegan palette. I'm sure most of these snacks are not meant for the non animal eater, but still, we are a part of the market. None of the snacks I review will be over $5.

I should give a little back story. I snack. Not too much, but sometimes when I forget nature's candy (my own homemade trail mix or a piece of fruit) I make a jaunt to the local grocery two blocks from my work and grab something.

This store, like most major chain groceries, are filled with $2 giant pastries, junk foods and eatings that are honestly nothing but corn. I don't want bread, that just makes me sleepy, and often the fruit I forgot at home isn't want I'm after either.

I want to try something new, fun and something I wouldn't normally buy. These chips were on sale, 2 bags for $4. Okay. Ill try it.

I skimmed the package and all the seals and labeling of green and 'fresh apples' duped me, I must say. My mind was triggered by the brandings of USDA organic, and other such often meaningless labels and I have to say, I'm sure that this package design was not happenstance. I bet it played on those symbols and it got me. 

Of course the apples are 'fresh'. They are probably underripe. How else can you chop them up ad fry them? Yeah, fry. These chips reek of oil from the first bite. As someone who does not eat a lot of oil, its noticeable. But I do enjoy the occasional potato chip, and I'll just say my saliva felt like it got thicker from the oil eating these.

They are sweet. 9g of sweet considering this 2.5oz package has 2.5 servings. I juice granny smith apples all the time, and they have the least amount of sugar in the apple family. With these, I feel like I was eating a Fiji apple, so I can only imagine how sweet their other apple chips are.

I mean they look nice. It's clear these are 'fresh' apples. They just don't taste light like a real fresh apple would. I guess that was my own expectation.

Another drawback for me is these use an oil blend of safflower, sunflower and canola. Yuck. Canola oil tastes very heavy to me. Also those are sweetened with corn syrup. That should have been a big no no to begin with. It's not HFCS (or corn sugar as it's now called), but it's still corn. Lastly, the acids are most likely derived from corn. So I'm eating an apple fried in corn, and seasoned with corn. Oh joy.

I mean it is junk food, so I'm not expecting a superfood, but my own impulse shopping tendencies got the best of me with this snack purchase. I will not be buying these again.

If I had to pick the chips or the apple again, Ill get the real fresh apple.

Ratings Good 10 to bad 1:
  • Criteria: 
  • Taste, the flavor of the snack.
  • Health, how bad is it for you.
  • Price, paying for its value.
  • Ingredients, is it made of good or bad stuff.
  • Expectation, my overal take on this snack. Was it worth buying it?

  • Taste: 4
  • Health: 3
  • Price: 4
  • Ingredients: 3
  • Expectation: 4

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Make it at home!

A recent juice: apple, carrot and beet.
Lovely CSA

Its been a lovely week of food for me. I'm still eating out for lunch with my lunch buddies, but rumors around the workplace are a circling and we may be downsized. Crap. I've been here a year, and what I do is valid, at least that's what they tell me, but strange silent ninja things are a foot and whatever happens, I goes I've got to get back to cooking.

Watermelon, kale and apple.
I mean, without getting into too much detail, I have never felt secure about my job. I've felt like I've been on a rickety foundation for the longest, and turns out I'm not alone. A lot of people who work where I do feel that. I guess tis the agony of working for a start up.

On another note I made a light dinner this weekend. I had some beans in two of my CSAs and I wanted to use them before they went bad. I cut their ends of, sautéed the beans in a bit of water with a dried rosemary sprig and crushed garlic. I also used a secret weapon of mine. More on that in a later post. 

Finished dinner!
On a light bed of sushi rice these beans tasted delish. A quick meal in 20 minutes. I love that. Gotta stop being so lazy.

I also geared up at the Cost Plus Market on my 'international' stuff. I made sushi for the first time at home! It's pretty easy and relatively cheap.

Cost Plus total: $32
I snack on nori a lot at home and other than it getting stuck between my teeth at times, I thought I should take a crack at using it for what you are supposed to use it for.

I in no way shape or form have even attempted to prefect my sushi rice. The very first time I made sushi earlier last week I just used some rice I had made a few days earlier. What I did do though was pickle my own veggies. That was easy to do.

I boiled two cups of rice vinegar with a bit o sugar and let it reach a simmer, I then poured it over some veggies and put them in the fridge for the night. That next day I was ready to make my sushi!

The hard thing was cutting the roll. I don't have a fancy knife, so I just used a steak knife. Worked fine.

Other than the rolls being a bit bland from the lack of seasoning in the rice, they tasted great and I do plan to make sushi over and over again at home. It cost me no more than $1 a roll! So much for that $4 sushi rolls i keep getting thinking they are a good price. Feh. Ha! I love experimenting with food!

This week's CSA!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fresh Veggies in the Summertime

Its been a lovely summer of color and fruits and fun. 
With work, I've been able to go places and try foods and experiment with my vegan diet in ways I couldn't do before.

$7 haul from my local farmer's market.
It's strange, I'm running into more and more vegans when I go out, and more restaurants are catering to vegan folks alongside meat eaters.

You will always have those snarky people, though. You know, those that will always think of your veganism as being something 'other'. Jerks. But I keep on keeping on, enjoying my vegan lifestyle and I'm happy with my deisions.

Speaking of which. I'm being rather good at eating all my veggies.

CSA of the past couple of weeks.

 My juicing is just amazing. That juicer was the best investment. I juice every morning and sometimes at night. The juice fast ended rather well after 10 days. I felt different, not really cleansed, but more like I was able to reset my stomach. My portions are different now and I feel in control of my eating more so than before.

I don't remember all these juices, but I thought you all would enjoy the colors :)

 The juicing experimentations are so much fun. With apple bases, I just play and play. I make sure to get my greens in, but my new favorite juice is cantaloupe and grapefruit. Man, that is some amazing side of good.

I also bit the bullet and decided to make my own sushi. I often go out with co-workers for sushi and even though it's not too expensive (because I get vegan sushi), I decided to get some supplies and try and make my own.

A haul from Cost Plus World Market. Yeah, I got a lot of ginger...

Fresh cut veggies.
Veggies with apple vinegar and a bit of sugar.
The next day once the pickled veggies had time to cure, I made my sushi.

The bleeding pink is the beets.
Yeah baby! I'm still working on my rice. It needs more flavor, but this sushi cost no more than $1. Dude!
 I like eating out with co-workers. It's fun and I consider it part of my social life, but I'm spending nearly $15 a meal and when I eat out with them 3-4 times a week, it adds up. I'm either going to have to work more on making lunches or ordering cheaper items.

We will see. I know one thing, I really like making sushi!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Juice Fast

That's right, I'm doing a juice fast. I re-watched Fat, Sick, and Dying and I decided to try it.

My CSA came on Sunday, and this past evening I went to the grocery and picked up some goodies for the juice machine. I'm looking for a re-boot. Get some change in my life. I need it.

My CSA: $40

My grocery splurge: $56

I don't mind paying so much for a crap load of produce. Being re-inspired on the juicing, I'm going to venture out of my comfort zone and get creative.

Here are some of my recent creations.

Day One:

Cucumber, heirloom melon, and granny smith apple.

Cheery tomatoes, apple, and beet.

chard, radish leaves, red onion, red leaf lettuce, and tomato. 

Day Two:

Apple, tomatoes, lettuce, and pear. 
Lunch was celery, lettuce, chard, and radish.

Lettuce, apple, carrot, beet, and grapefruit.

Soooo much juice. I did have a cup of soy milk the first day, but not today. I'm just looking for a cleaning out from this, not so much weight loss. I'm also taking a fiber tablet in the morning to hopefully help with the flood of sugar from the fruit.

It's a shame I started this juice fast this week. I just roasted some yummy veggies so I had to put them in the freezer so I could do this. Ha!

I'll have more juice later in the week.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The rainbow of juicing

Hi everybody! Man, these last couple of months have really gotten away from me. What can I say, my life is busy and I love it. I have a good job, am due for a raise, have four people beneath me, with more on the way, and I feel I'm respected. It's awesome.

I've been eating better, feeling better and since my move, I live better. It's been a good year for me and with two years of hardness, I think I'm due.

I'm not taking it for granted. I feel I'm investing in myself, and food is one way. 

Look at these fruits and veggies! This is from the same CSA I mentioned earlier. Now that summer is here in California, I get amazing items in amazing colors. Those colors translate so well to juicing. Let me show you!

Apple, celery and lemon. 
Char, celery, apple and orange.
Kale, celery, apple and orange.
Watermelon, pear, char, celery, lettuce, and lemon.
Apple, kiwi, pear and beet.
Watermelon, beet, apple, char, lemon and mango.

Red cabbage, apple, kiwi and lemon.
Char, beets, cucumber, and apple.
Beet, cucumber, apple and kale.
Juiced veggies for soup stock.
Juice plus veggie pulp equal a lovely veggie soup!
This juicer has been so much fun. Along with my CSA it's already paid for itself. I waste less food now from spoiling, and I juice for breakfast and I'm golden.

My CSA is $40 bi-weekly, delivered. Each of the below is a week's worth delivered. These are the middle sized boxes.

All the colors and brightness and beauty. All the creations I get to make and challenges of items I get to try. Yummy! I love it. I'm absolutely loving it! $20 a week for pounds of fresh organic produce, hells yeah!

I know some CSA's take food stamps, but that may depend on your state. If you can go for it, I say do it. Sure, you don't choose what you get, but that's life. You can't always choose what you eat. Sometimes you have to make due!

More to post later!