Food Log Summer 2017 Week 3
Eating out with friends used to stress me out. I would take forever to decide on what restaurant to go to and what menu item to order. I was so focused on the food that it was impossible for me to enjoy the experience. This week, I focused on enjoying food as part of a social experience. A lot of the food isn't pictured because I didn't feel like pulling out my phone to take a picture.
Here are some highlights from my week 3 food log:
Weekend activities shape where I buy groceries and what food I make for the week. I didn't have specific goals for my grocery trips and just dropped by the most convenient grocery.
Last Saturday, I went to Chinatown, so I bought some produce from a street vendor. No receipt, but total was $9.32. Here's what I bought and the status of items a week later:
- Strawberries, blueberries - Berries are delicious and convenient, so I finished these plain and with yogurt.
- 2 oranges - I always eat oranges as an afterthought because they're messy to peel. Sometimes, I forget about oranges until they get dry and sad, but I finished these 2 oranges this week.
- Forelle pear - This was my first time getting a Forelle pear! There are many different types of pears, and usually, I get Asian pears from Chinese grocers. If you ever stumble across this yellow-red pear, I would highly recommend trying it. Many pears from regular grocery stores are hard as rocks, but this one was perfectly ripe, juicy, and sweet.
- Broccoli - I chopped up the broccoli and cooked it in beef stew.
- Japanese yam - I haven't gotten around to eating this yet because it requires long prep and cook time. Fortunately, tubers have good shelf-life, and I'll eat it this week.
Last Sunday, I wandered around Mission with some friends. We stopped by some grocery store, but I don't recall the name. Packaged goods were more expensive, but produce and meat was cheap. Here's the status of each grocery item:
- Traditional oats, raisins - I made no bake oatmeal raisin balls to mail to my friend. Smaller packages generally have a higher unit price than bigger tubs. However, I don't like raisins, so I didn't want any leftover raisins.
- Cumin, paprika - My apartment has tons of Asian sauces, but few spices. I bought cumin and paprika to make beef stew.
- Whole canned tomatoes, ground beef, onion - My go-to for a flavorful stew liquid is either coconut milk or canned tomatoes. I made coconut milk curry last week, so I went for ground beef and tomatoes this week.
- Plain whole milk yogurt - Last week, I raved about Trader Joe's plain cream line whole milk yogurt. This yogurt is worse. First, it costs almost twice as much. Second, it is very tart, and I need to add honey to make it palatable.
- Papaya - One of my favorite things about California is affordable and fresh tropical fruit. Papaya is one of my favorite fruits. It tastes tropical and sweet with the texture of a juicy avocado. I finished the papaya, and it's good plain or with yogurt.
I used the Trader Joe's chicken burgers and pre-cooked beets from last week to put together some quick, wholesome meals. The chicken burgers are pretty good for convenient protein. The meal above was either simple or boring depending on what you're craving. I like plain meals sometimes to balance out saltier, richer restaurant foods.
I packed the second chicken burger for lunch. This time, I found the meal was too healthy-tasting, so I added a slice of cheese. Melty cheese makes everything better.
I also cooked a more elaborate stew. It's hard to make stew look delicious unless you add fancy, but less tasty, garnishes. Ingredients were onion, can of tomatoes, ground beef, broccoli, cumin, paprika, salt, oil. I served the stew with Trader Joe's couscous. I just cooked an individual serving in the microwave, and it takes 3 minutes. Melty cheese also made this meal better.
For snacks, I prepared a papaya. Cutting papaya is similar to cutting melon. I got a huge papaya (5.4 pounds), and it's a total of 8 cups. Pictured below is 1/4 of the papaya in one of my trusty 2-cup Tupperware containers. It's a lot easier to remember to eat fruit when it's convenient.
I often worry if my friends are well-nourished, so I mailed one of my friends some no bake oatmeal raisin balls. No bake oatmeal raisin balls are a pretty great food to pack for trails or the airport.
Here are some nice properties they have:
- Shelf-stable: You don't need to store these in the refrigerator.
- Convenient: You don't need many ingredients, and the ingredients are shelf-stable.
- Simple: It's easy to understand the purpose of each ingredient.
- Calorie dense: Oats, peanut butter, and honey are filling and wholesome.
Here's a quick recipe for no bake oatmeal raisin balls:
- Ingredients: 1 part honey, 1 part raisins, 2 parts peanut butter, and 3 parts oats. I don't have cup measurements because I couldn't find a measuring cup.
- Microwave the peanut butter and honey. This makes things easier to stir.
- Stir all of the ingredients in a bowl.
- Shape into balls.
After climbing on Sunday, my friends and I went to La Taqueria, a popular taco shop. I got a lengua taco and a carnitas quesadilla, which were quite good. The place is also comparatively cheap for San Francisco.
On Thursday, I met my second cousin for lunch at Lao Table, which is close to work. We got the Lao sausage, vegetarian crispy rolls, and duck with rice. Overall, the presentation was spot on, and the food was good, but it's on the pricier side.
I also had several not pictured meals:
- Bi-Rite Creamery Saturday afternoon after hiking at the Twin Peaks
- I used have really strong ice cream cravings, and I'd be able to eat a pint in a sitting. Over time, I learned how to enjoy ice cream in moderation. I had a single portion on a waffle cone. Did you know that ice cream actually tastes better when licked?
- Lemonade Tuesday lunch at work
- Eating lunch in downtown San Francisco is quite pricey ($14!), so I plan on packing lunches this week instead.
- Hard Knox Cafe Thursday evening after climbing
- This has become my default food place after climbing because it's so close by and reasonably priced. It has American comfort food. Ordering a main dish comes with 2 corn muffins and 2 sides, so you get a lot of food.
- House of Pancakes Friday evening after karaoke
- Initially, I thought there would be fluffy pancakes with maple syrup like you would get from IHOP. Nope. It's a Chinese food joint. There's doughy pancakes with meat fillings, steamed and fried dumplings, and stir-fried vegetables.
- The Sandwich Shop Saturday afternoon after climbing
- I used to think refined carbs were bad and aggressively discard bread from sandwiches even when it would make the sandwich tastier. It's nice to just enjoy sandwiches. I had a pastrami on toasted honey wheat bread.
Want more food logs? Also, let me know if you're in San Francisco and want to hang out. My favorite things to do in the city are climbing and checking out new restaurants.