Thursday, 23 August 2007

Smoked Tofu and A Cup Of Coffee

Mmmmm, I think I am becoming addicted to smoked tofu. This has to be wrong somehow, but my is it delicious. I had approx 100g of it with my lunchtime salad today, and yum yum yum. My salad was also full of delicious vegetables courtesy of P and an evening spent in Wholefoods last night - I had yellow rainbow chard, and vine tomatoes, and mushrooms, and artichokes, and some olives, a scattering of pumpkin seeds and all dressed with lemon and black pepper. And then I ate a completely unnecessary fat-free vanilla yoghurt and two Victoria plums for dessert. Yes, it's a London day and I can't weigh or measure - hey ho.

Yesterday I was a complete and shameful carb fiend. When I left home I was on 830 calories courtesy of a craving for toasted pitta bread with honey, twice. And then I ate a slice of walnut and blue cheese bread for dinner. I just cannot have bread near me. I just eat it if it's there; it drains my willpower. :-) In my defence, I was very hungry; I had spent the evening watching P eat a platter of fruits de mer in the Wholefoods Food Hall, refusing to eat myself because for all the foodie deliciousness up there, there was actually nothing suitable for veggie CRON. In the end, alongside the piece of bread, my dinner when we got back home was a plate of steamed kale and chard, two heirloom tomatoes of the grown-in-gold-dust-by-rare-and-special-pixies variety (judging on price), and some slivers of cheese.

There was no excuse apart from gluttony for having a slice this morning as well though.

I've just bought a fabulous dress in H&M, the one on the right of this picture. It's so grey and miserable today in town that I felt in urgent need of retail therapy. Isn't it bright and cheerful? :-) I've also just had a very strong cup of coffee, so this post is brought to you courtesy of procrastination and caffeine.


Linda said...


It's good for me to see a CR blog from someone not on the other side of the planet! I live in London and have yet to visit Wholefoods but look forward to doing so in the near future. What are its best points?

Christina said...

Hi Sara! *Very* pretty dress - with your coloring, I bet it looks great! :)
Good job on the restaint in whole foods, too. It was quite inspiring to read your story.
Hope you have a great weekend, -Christina

Sara said...

Hello Linda.

JD is also a London CRON blogger, and Matt is in Cardiff...

Oooh, the best points of Wholefoods? I guess having all that artisan produce under one roof; there are grocery products there that you'd have to try hard to hunt down elsewhere. The wine bar is a nice idea too. :-) And I do love the concept of the salad bar, although I have to be so careful not to overload on the heavy veggies (at £1.79 per 100g, it adds up fast!).

The bad side is that it really is very, very expensive (I couldn't afford to buy veggies there on a regular basis, much as I'd love to) and there is something about the sheer scale of it that seems somewhat obscene at times. I wonder where all the unsold fresh produce goes, because they cannot possibly sell everything every day. There is a little board hidden away on the way to the loos that I found the other day where someone asked that question, specifically relating to the salad bar items, and they said they gave it all away at the end of the day to charities, but there is always a niggling doubt... I'd also like them to be a bit more honest / upfront about air miles and provenance.

Still, overall I hope it keeps going. It's a great addition to the High Street and it makes my lunchtime wanderings more interesting as long as I keep my purse firmly in my bag!

JD said...

I've said it before: Whole Foods is essentially a food museum. In 50 years time we will look back at WF et al as the pinnacle of food extravagance.

The waste issue throughout the supermarket food supply chain concerns me much more than the waste at the end with unsold food, particularly with organic produce. Did you notice how all Whole Food's fruit and vegetables are uniform and perfect? That's very difficult to do with organic produce which often grows haphazardly (see farmer's markets). One might refer to this as the 'uniqueness and beauty of nature' but supermarkets don't tend to see it that way. They want uniformity for their upmarket clientele. Imagine that for each row of unblemished organic melons, peppers, tomatoes, what have you, several rows of their imperfect brothers and sisters are likely sitting somewhere rotting and rejected.

Having said that, Whole Foods is by no means the only offender in that respect and I do sometimes frequent the Fresh & Wild store near me because they stock Ripple Farms cos lettuce (the only one I know of that will last a week in the fridge).

It's very dangerous for CRON because there are an awful number of tasty cheeses, baked goods, snacks etc that don't normally tempt me in regular supermarkets but in Whole Foods they just look sooo good. My strategy is to try to get in and out as quickly as possible buying only the items I needed before I went in. The willpower required is enormous.

I was also quite disappointed with the absence of low-calorie treats one might expect an American supermarket to stock. I guess I'll hold my breath for a Trader Joe's...

Sara said...

Low calorie treats? Is there such a thing? :-)

The bread and cheese get me too. I wouldn't buy them for myself alone, ever, but then when I am here I am buying for both P and I... and he has no truck with CRON at all!

Ali said...

Smoked tofu? That sounds awesome. Maybe I could substitute that for the smoked Gouda I've been devouring lately. Ali

Linda said...


I was inspired to start a blog of my own but it insisted on displaying my email address on the pages which I didn't want it to do and I couldn't change it. How did you set your up so it doesn't show your email?

skinnybitch said...

Ah, Whole Foods.

JD, you bring up great points and I know you're right. But when I walk into my local Whole Foods, I can almost hear the angels singing as I see the beautiful produce lined up in perfect little rows. I'm such a sucker for presentation.

That said, I've only been to Whole Foods once this summer because I can stock up on good produce at my local farmers' market every week. I much prefer doing that, truth be told. There's just something magical about seeing the person who actually grew what will end up on my dinner table.

Alas, here in New England, the farmers' markets only run until mid-October. After that, it's back to Whole Paycheck if I want green leafies that haven't been sitting on the shelf for a month.


skinnybitch said...

Forgot to say...
Thanks, Sara, for your supportive comments on my blog. It looks like the child care thing is going to work out.

Sara said...

Linda, I *think* you only see your email address if you are logged into Blogger; no one else sees it. Otherwise there's almost certainly a setting somewhere (go to settings, when logged in, or profile) that will do that. I certainly see my email address on the nav bar at the top of the screen if I am logged in, but if I am not I just see "Create Blog / Sign In".

Definitely start one! :-)

Linda said...

Hi Sara - thanks so much, yes you are right, I only see my email when I am logged into my account, so I have started a blog with the address of minicronnie