Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bang for the Buck

It's been a productive day! I got a ton of work done, unpacked, grocery shopped, and managed to squeeze in a much-needed vacuuming and dusting. Life is so much calmer with a clean house! Contrary to expectations summer has finally arrived in Chicago and it's in the mid-90s today. We have a window unit in place but since it's only in the 80s in the apartment I'm leaving it off to keep the fresh air a-coming and enjoying lounging around in shorts and a tank top. When I left last week only the thought of the South Carolina heat got me out from under the best sleeping bag known to man.

Have I told you about my favorite produce shop here? It's most commonly known as Stanley's but I've been known to refer to it as my mecca. Seriously, this place is fantastic. It's almost nothing but produce with a few local bakeries represented and a month-old deli. One half of the store is dedicated to organic produce and the other is conventional. My favorite part of shopping there is that I don't have to break the bank to get fresh, organic produce. I absolutely adore Whole Foods but like so many others find that my bank account is not quite as fond of them. Stanley's isn't perfect. They don't always carry everything (no cucumbers today, really?) and sometimes I have to pick up an item from the conventional side, but I don't mind since I'm also supporting a locally-owned and operated business. Six on one, half a dozen on the other. Here's a glimpse at today's loot:

Organic Items:
-2 Pink Lady apples
-2 d'Anjou pears
-1 mango (sneaky little bugger isn't in the photos because he tried to hide in the bag when I got home!)
-1lb baby spinach (anyone familiar with the Green Monster understands why so much)

Conventional Items:
-looseleaf lettuce
-1 red bell pepper
-5 ears corn
-2 portabella mushrooms
-2 tomatoes
-8 bananas
-green onions

The best part? ALL of that came to $35.02. Really. It should last me about a week and a half. You might notice a couple other items here as well - my precious Trader Joe's Raw Almond Butter, and a couple of bars to try while I'm on the go this week. The amount of produce I picked up could probably feed an army when combined with the grains and fish already here at the house, so I don't put much stock in the argument that it's not affordable to eat healthy. I buy organic when I can and that does cost a bit more but overall I'd still rather eat conventional fruits and veggies than a host of overly-processed junk labeled as "healthy". Can someone help me down from my soapbox? Thanks.

Anyway, when I returned home and lugged the gatherings back from the car it was HOT! I wasn't terribly hungry but wanted something fun to taste so I made a Pina Colada version of my Green Monster. A little coconut milk and pineapple on a sweaty day goes down quite nicely! Add a banana and four cups of spinach and you've got yourself a well-rounded drink. Gustus Cat seems to think so as well.

I have an event to attend this evening that is offering appetizers but I'll probably try to stay away from them for the most part. It's being held in an Italian restaurant and it's always hard to tell at these functions what does and does not contain meat. I learned that lesson the hard way last week after a delicious but dangerous stuffed grape leaf. As such I want to eat enough to be able to handle a glass of wine to mingle with but keep me from getting too hungry, so I also had a Boca burger topped with a bit of cheese and ketchup. A bun would be too heavy today with the heat but a little bit of pretzel bread isn't!

Time to go get ready and head downtown!

1 comment:

Angie Eats Peace said...

Wow! Lots of yummy looking produce there!