Archive for the ‘Things I Ate along the Way’ Category

I used to be hooked on hummus. Not just any hummus. I was hooked on Barry’s hummus. Every weekend I’d scurry to the nearby Farmers Market and throw myself (and my cash) at Barry’s booth.

It became quite the hummundrum, which I resolved by becoming a DIY hummus monster nearly a year and 1/2 ago. I haven’t gone back since (mostly to avoid spending $).

Well, I was at Whole Foods last week and heard the familiar cry of “Hummus Girl! Hey!” It was Barry. He’d been worried about me.

As we talked I knew he had hooked me again. I told him I’d see him this weekend. Just talking about his hummus made my mouth water. I could hardly wait.

There was lots to look at – local grains and honey, homemade yogurt and granola, a pickle stand (!)….

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But I went straight to Barry. He was expecting me.


I chose the original, red pepper and garden vegetable flavors and promised myself not to eat a whole tub in one sitting.

Barry makes his hummus from dried chickpeas and uses all fresh ingredients he chops himself (he roasts his own peppers!).


My goodness, y’all. I mean….can you see the bits of veg in there?


It should be said that I NEED my hummus to be chunky with a substantial amount of texture – no creamy hummus for me. Barry’s got it down.


Perfect for my favorite hummus vesicle.

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Now if you’ll excuse me…I have a tray full of hummus and a Netflix queue full of awesome. We’ll be in bed spooning.


Just kidding. But I totally could.

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TGiving 2011 019

Oh, hello there!

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Didn’t hear you come in. I was just having a snack.

You hungry? Wanna Share?

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No? Didn’t think so.

It’s just a little radish kimchi!

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Radish, Garlic, Scallions, Red Pepper & Salt…that’s all. Or…is it?

I purchased a new-to-me kimchi at the Korean mart. I never saw the radish julienned like this before. The cashier insured me it was radish kimchi when I double checked — the container wasn’t labeled.

Good Molly, it was good.

Did. Me. Right.

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Well into the night. <—Rhyme!

I was happily slurping away one evening…. (this may not have been after midnight….but it totally was. I’m a sick monkey aren’t I?)

I was sleepily snacking by the light of the fridge when I saw…something unusual.

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See it?

Something white, slick, and bulbous. Membraney. <—new word.

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My heart stood still, I must admit. I was like…”Uh-oh.”

An Unidentified Kimchi Object.

What the……

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I pulled out the offensive looking “thing-I-hoped-was-not-head-or-eyeball.” Whatever it was, I was sure it was “of the sea.”

Then I shrugged … and kept eating. The kimchi. Not the UKO.

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Hungry yet?

I write this is because I’m proud. I feel hard core. I wish I could have tried whatever it was, but…dude. No way. Not yet anyway.

In no way dissuaded,  I returned to the Korean Mart to get kimchi ingredients (some people bake cookies for the holidays….) and to ask what was in the kimchi.

The answer? Oysters.

And yes, I got more. (I didn’t take those photos during an after midnight snack party for one. This was today). I pick out the two oysters and merrily continue in my kimchi bliss. I must dig the taste the oysters impart but I can’t bring myself to slurp raw, fermented oyster. Not yet anyway. Still….

I’m hardcore.

Unrelated related note:  I also picked up soy bean sprout mix.

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Delicious. The soy “beans” are crunchy and the sprouts are noodley. They toss the sprouts with soy sauce, a little red pepper and a pinch of salt and sugar.

Yes, you heard right. Sugar. You see? I’m not as strict as some may think.


Anyways, my point is….I don’t have one.

In summary:

1). I bought Kimchi.

2.) It had two oysters in it.

3.) I’m hard-core.

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I need to work on my “hard-core” face.

  • Got a bizarre food moment? Care to share?
  • Not sorry I grossed you out. My ridiculous is my love.

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 Let me clear my throat.


People trying to convince me to eat sugar or flour — I just don’t get it. It’s the same as urging a vegetarian to eat meat. Unnecessary. Annoying.

It really fizzles my sparkle.

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Back off! You know?

I live sugar-free and flour-free and I’m proud.*

*feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something, contented, satisfied 

I have firm beliefs about both of these things, beliefs that have been reinforced by solid research and fact. I have no desire to eat more sugar than I do, which is a miniscule amount.

It is what I (<—Me, Melissa Ann Miller) choose, NOT my eating disorder.

It works for me. I don’t believe anyone needs sugar or flour in a healthy diet.

Natural sugars and carbs? Yes. 

 bananas  beans1222748285root-vegetables three-grapes

Grains? Maybe.

rice A wheat field with blue sky background

Sugar and Flour? Not so much.


I would say not at all.

I admit my current “diet” and lifestyle is not healthy, but disordered eating and living are the culprits– not sugar and flour avoidance.

I don’t eat dogs, either. But I do not consider that a "rule" and I certainly don’t think that is disordered.

I don’t think I should consider eating dogs. I don’t want to eat them, and I am doing quite fine without.

I’m no Doctor and no advocate. I don’t proselytize my beliefs on anyone. Eat whatever you want.

Eat Sugar.

Eat Flour.

Eat a dog.


I’ll eat whatever I want, too.

PS- Except Maybe don’t eat a dog.

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Oh, hello there!

*taptap* Is this thing on?? *ahem*

Hello again, my sunshines.

Guess what I got here…

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If you guessed Nori and Kimchi, you are technically correct but the answer I was looking for is:

Breakfast of Champi-Yums

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Yeah, Breakfast. Yeah, be afraid. Go ahead. My brother was.

He started coughing and gagging from the other room. I said, “I can’t believe you can smell it from in there.” To which he replied, “Smell it? It about knocked me over.”

And this my friends, was before I even opened the bags.

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Bags. Plural. Yes. #whyimstillsingle

(For more on Kimchi read this)

My point it – wait, I don’t have one. But I do want to share the giggle I had while reading the Nori package.

(You know, to count up all the 0 calories that are in nori. Sigh.)

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You better believe I had to read this twice.

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Because the first time? I totally thought they went there.

But enough about me.

I miss hearing from you guys and dolls.

Eaten anything unusual or freaky lately? Wanna tell me a story? Ask me a question? *taptap* Is this thing on??

PS- No, I will not be taking Kimchi to the office anymore. I do, after all, have a heart.

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If you take the corn out of a tortilla chip, can you still call it a tortilla chip? Hmm..good question.

Either way – I found some corn-free chips that make me smile.

You read that correctly. No Corn. It’s a chip even Clean Eating Chelsea can eat. Hooray!


I found Beanitos on the interweb and instantly fell in love. First of all, the company is based in Austin, Texas where cool people live. (I used to be one).

I also love the idea of taking corn out of the equation. Corn is ubiquitous in our diets. Avoiding it is kind-of like socking it to “The Man.”

By using beans and rice in lieu of corn, these chips are a source of complete protein. Score!


The ingredients list is super clean.


Check out those flax seeds!


They taste a bit like a deep-fried Mary’s Gone Cracker. Sounds good, right?

Yes, they’re fried. Fat-free they are not. (Thank goodness. One more “free” and they’d look like a healthy-label whore.) 


Anyways, it’s apple season! Why not pair a non-traditional chip with a non-traditional salsa?

Here’s how I made mine, so you get the idea.

Apple-Cucumber Salsa


  • 1 cup diced English (Seedless) cucumber
  • 1 cup diced Macintosh Apple (Macs are firm, crisp and tangy sweet)
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion (I LOVE onions…use your judgment)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • Sea Salt
  • Optional – sweetener of choice (I used a packet of Splenda)
  • Optional – couple dashes of light olive oil or canola oil.
  • Fresh cilantro or mint would rock this salsa out; I didn’t have any.

Put everything in a container and stir. (Duh). Surprisingly the apples stay crisp and do not brown for days in the fridge. The longer the flavors have a chance to wed,  the better the salsa.


Any interesting salsa concoctions you’d like to share?

PS- I still can’t believe I used the word whore. What has come over me?

PPS- The people from Beanitos were kind enough to send me these chips when I could not find them locally. (Thanks guys!)

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Our economy is tanking. We’re in deep doo-doo. You may have heard.

The details are out there but I like to keep things simple.

Deep doo-doo.

One can easily forget this while reading blogs that detail trips to Whole Foods for $4 Kombucha drinks, $2 organic apples and $12 salads. Heck, it’s easy to forget when I’m IN Whole Foods – engaged in a dance of desire with so many tempting (and pricey) items.


Guilty. As. Charged.

But seriously? I know someone who’s down $100,000 because the stock market tanked. In my line of work, I see it every day. (Don’t freak out, we’ll rebound. Trust me).

By the way, I’m an inch from bankruptcy. The fire sprinkler incident is costing many pretty pennies. Magical pennies. Imaginary pennies – I don’t have a clue where to find them.

I’m no good at making magical pennies. But I am good at couponing.

Can I get a witness?

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Yup. Mad Skillz.

That’s $36.66 I saved at the grocery store on things I would buy anyway.

I repeat – things I would buy anyway. Products I always buy. Things I need.

And I bought quit a bit.

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Unlike what you see on TV I did not walk away with 25 bottles of hand sanitizer and 60 cans of corn. Where’s the glory in that? Life is fleeting. If I die tomorrow what good is a 4 year supply of q-tips and barbeque sauce?

I got plenty of tricks up my sleeve, but the best thing you can do is seek out coupons for the products you buy anyway.

You can also save with a DIY approach in the kitchen. Here’s a quick an easy way to save (star)bucks by making your own frozen coffee elixir. And get this – you can do this in the office without a blender or the mess.

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Freeze coffee in an ice cube tray and refrigerate some brewed coffee overnight in a travel mug. The next day add some milk and sweetener of choice and maybe something chocolate.

(See that syrup? That is a big BIG deal for me. A marked departure. Naughty-pants. But that’s another day’s story.)

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Then you gotta get a … Bee Gas* cup that can handle an immersion blender. This is key.

*I don’t like Hugh Jass and so I made up Bee Gas. I don’t like that either. But I wanted to get your attention. You need a big cup.

Stick a hand over the top and zshooshe it around and voi-tothe-la:

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Save your big sturdy straws (or steal them, I won’t tell) and revel in your poorness.

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*I thought winking was supposed to be cute. Whatever. Totally Fine.

  • Are you scaling back in today’s economy? How?

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I love produce.

It goes well beyond my passion for vegetables. I love the entire industry, from the farmers to the wholesalers to the Produce Managers at the supermarket.

Working at a magazine for the Produce Industry afforded me many opportunities to learn the ins-and-outs of selling vegetables. My clients were farmers trying to feed America and turn a profit at the same time.

Easier said than done. But that’s another story.


While working at the magazine, I attended the Produce Marketing Association’s annual conference in California for a week and loved every second. There was so much to learn and so many people to meet. I ate it up. Literally.

Food samples were ABUNDANT. My friend Jen and I went ballistic.

She’s a veggie freak, too.


(By the way she is 100 times more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside. She’s other-worldly I swear.)

I’m positive we ate our weight in Dragon Fruit. For free.


Jen and I both adore hummus. So we were floored when we encountered the green garbanzo bean. We never heard of such a thing.

The farmers harvesting the crop were happy to tell us all about it.


The guys at the booth had some roasted garbanzos  and hummus for sampling. Jen and I spent a lot of time at that booth eating and, you know, schmoozing. But mostly eating.

Though I’ve looked for years, I’ve located neither hummus nor bean in any store. This made me sad.

But look what I found at Whole Foods today….

Nature’s Healthy Gourmet Green Garbanzo Hummus


This makes me happy.

I put away a sufficient amount with a spoon.


The green garbanzo tastes sweeter, lighter and creamier than the traditional garbanzo. The hummus, in my opinion, has a guacamole-ish texture.

In fact, I recall telling the farmers that people who might shy away from hummus would probably purchase this if they placed it next to pre-made guacamole in the Produce Department and called it a dip.

With this in mind, I got more civilized when I got home.


Green Garbanzo Hummus, Corn Thins, salsa and scallion. And a plate (civilized).


Besides being delicious, the green garbanzo bean is also a “greener” option for the environment. The bean is naturally resistant to pests and require neither pesticide nor fertilizer. They are also higher in protein than the “traditional garbanzo.”

That being said, there is no replacement for traditional hummus. But you should try this new spin on it (if you want). 

  • Have you heard of the green garbanzo?
  • Ever met any farmers? They’re good folk.

PS- I should pre-emptively add that to make this a complete meal you should…add a meal. Just in case anyone wants to leave a comment along those lines *winkwink*

PPS- I didn’t get paid to write this, nor free hummus.

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I’m crazy about Brassica.


Readers who came here for fun not for fancy-word learning say WHAT?”

 Brassica is the family of vegetables us common folk refer to as “greens.” Spinach, Kale, Collards, Brussels, Broccoli…etc. It’s one big happy family of nutritional powerhouses and I can’t get enough.

I love ‘em like a fat kid loves cake.*

*Raise your hand if you think I’m hilarious.

I’m a bit of a BRASSica Monkey.

Beastie Boys anyone? (Click here for the soundtrack to this recipe.)

Brassica Monkey Salad

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, FDA approved, Dentist Recommended


Basically, this is a massaged Kale salad with cannellini beans, tomato, onion and steamed broccoli. But I gave it a name. That makes it mine.

First you have to massage your Kale (<—-it helps to say this in a seductive voice.) Tear the Kale into bite size pieces (no stems).  Add dressing and sea salt and *seductive voice* Massage.

I used this dressing:


I LOVE this stuff. Check out the ingredients.

Can you spot the Brassica?


I also used nutreast.


When your done working the Kale, let it Chill in the fridge for a while. IMG_0040

Rinse, drain and dry your beans. Steam your broccoli. Chop your onion and tomato. Then…make a salad!


This salad has fats, carbs and protein. For a heartier meal, add grain or pasta and tofu, fish or veggie burger. Quinoa would be an excellent addition; adding protein and carbs in one fell swoop.


By the way, if you eat Brassica Monkey Salad here’s how ya feel:

You put your left leg down, your right leg up”


Tilt your head back


and finish it up!”


That Funky Monkey.

  • What’s your favorite salad combo?
  • Have you ever *voice* massaged your Kale? Have you gone all the way with it and made *gasp* Kale chips?

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My father is a wise man.  His colorful aphorisms have peppered my life.

Of his many tropes, my favorite is about acquisition:

If you can’t eat it,

and it doesn’t make you money…

what good is it?

I recognize there are many things wrong with this statement. Clearly- this is not the logic to use when considering things like having a child or adopting a pet.


My father would buy me as many books as I wanted. He sent me to camp each summer and encouraged me in extra-curricular activities. He knows the importance of enjoying life’s pleasures.  In fact, he is cruising the British Isles as I write this.

This is not the logic to employ when navigating life’s more philosophical pursuits.

No- This is the type of logic one needs to pack when navigating the aisles of Target.


When you head to Target for two things:


It is quite easy – dare I say unavoidable – to be distracted by items you do not need. Items you never knew you wanted until you saw them.

If You Can't Eat it

They are “out of sight, out of mind” items. You easily fall for them upon first sight – and they are quickly forgotten when you walk away. Unless they wind up in your shopping cart.

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It’s during these pivotal moments when I hear my father’s voice. 

If you can’t eat it and it doesn’t make you money, what good is it?”

I’m often able to walk away.

Did I leave Target with just two things? Ah, hail naw. I’m female human.


I picked up a new bathing suit (my pool eats a bathing suit every two weeks), a travel tumbler (saves money in the long run) and some nude eye shadow (why do I even bother?). All practical items.

Then, you know, I saw these. They don’t make you money.


But you can eat them.

You can eat them together!

Lightly steam your carrots, sprinkle with gomasio and make this nutty dip:

Far-East Nutty Dip Baby Dip

  • 3 T nut butter (I used the almond, peanut & cashew blend from Target)
  • 2 T Bragg’s Aminos  or soy Sauce
  • 2-3 T water for desired consistency.
  • Cayenne, Garlic Powder and Sweetener to taste.

Nuke it and stir until smooth, it thickens as it cools.


Totally Money.


Dip Baby Dip!!!

Oh, and about that sparkling coconut La Croix. IMG_0024

Not for everyone, but I like it. Tastes like the smell of suntan lotion.

Curious? If you put it on your Target list now, you won’t feel so bad when it winds up in your cart later.


  • What was your last Target acquisition? If you don’t have a target by you I don’t know whether to pity you or envy you…
  • Do you like to steam or blanch your veggies for crudite? I always do.
  • Did/does your Dad have any sayings?

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Happy Birthday Buddha!

Koreans are celebrating Buddha’s 2555th birthday during their Lotus Lantern Festival and I wish I could be there. It looks amazing.



I can’t even imagine the spectacle, the festivals, the parades.

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I wanted to make a lantern of my own to celebrate. Look at how beautiful!


But instead I decided to make food. Korean food. Specifically Bibimbap. Not only is it fun to say, but it looks pretty simple (and delicious).


Bibimbap is essentially a mix of rice, seasoned vegetables (namul) and gochujang (red pepper paste). It is usually served with beef and topped with an egg.


Sounds good, right? Now that I’ve baited you with beautiful pictures from my cookbook, you must know I have my own way of doing things. I decided to make:

Lazy White Vegetarian Girl Bibimbap

After all, it’s Buddha’s birthday and he’s down with non-action right? Oh, and I’m pretty sure he’s vegetarian. Oh, and I don’t really cook as much as assemble.

So this is what I did in about 10 minutes. Yes. Ten minutes.


Ingredients: Brown Rice, Broccoli slaw, Radish Kimchi, Scallion, Garlic, Egg, Bragg’s, Gomasio, Chilli Garlic Sauce, Seasoned Toasted Nori.

I cook my rice in my handy-dandy “Flavor Steamer” by Black and Decker. Set it and forget it (I pressed play in the morning and went to work). EASY (and lazy).


I steamed broccoli slaw. Far be it from me to slice and dice all that namul. I added garlic, scallions, braggs and gomasio (sea salt and black sesame seeds).


I ALWAYS have kimchi handy (what you don’t?). This is just radish (daikon) kimchi. Want to make your own? Click here.


About that gochujang. I could easily pick some up at the Korean Market but it’s loaded with sugar and starch and I’ve mentioned before I am not Zen about sugar and flour.

I used this Chili Garlic Sauce, which is like Srirachi sauce but has no sugar. (I use this all the time. So good).


My beloved toasted Nori is optional. You can buy it at Whole Foods and Trader Joes (and be robbed), get some from a Korean Mart or make your own (click here).

See? It’s different from sushi nori.


About that egg. I love my egg whites but I don’t do the yolks too often. In keeping with my lazy ways I decided to soft poach an egg in the microwave and call it a day.

Then you put it all together.

I don’t cook. I assemble.


Man, I wish I had fried that egg.


Bust open the yolk and stir it all up.


It was very good, but I won’t get too attached. Buddha wouldn’t want that.

Besides, I really want to make a legit version soon. I know Koreans would cringe at this bastardized version.

Until then, I’ll just chill.


  • Did you know it was Buddha’s Birthday? If not you an file that under “I learned something new today!”
  • Do you love my weird, ugly food or are you gagging. Be honest! I know you love me anyway.
  • What’s your “lazy” meal of choice?



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