Friday, September 9, 2011

Making a List (and checking it twice!)

One of the main focuses of today was getting my grocery list in order. I spent quite a bit of time online researching different ingredients. I think I'm quite a creative cook so I wasn't really looking for recipes. I was mainly looking up nutritional values of things so that I could try and make the healthiest choices for my big shop on Sunday.

I also took some time to look up egg white substitutes. Now, before I traveled, my friend Raine was looking through some of my recipes and she asked me what exactly was in egg white substitutes - an ingredient in my Spinach Ricotta Quiche - and I couldn't tell her. I didn't know what the egg whites were being substituted with! My research today helped me clarify two things. First of all, there's an error in my recipe - I actually did not use egg white substitute, but instead used all liquid egg whites. Second of all, egg white substitute can actually be composed
of different ingredients, but they are all natural (whew! I was nervous about what I would find!). I looked up the info on several websites, but found this article to be the most helpful.
There was also some useful info about egg whites and their substitutes here. In any case, I wouldn't hesitate to use either the 100% liquid egg whites or the egg white substitutes - I've found it to be very helpful when trying to come up with a high protein quick snack in the middle of the day (recipes to follow soon!)

I'm a bit short for time at the moment, but I'm hoping to be able to move away from pre-packaged nutrition bars and other foods and start making things more from scratch. This is particularly because there are a lot of foods that aren't easily available here. For example, Larabars (which are supposed to be excellent) or Kashi products. Also, I like the idea of being able to control the ingredients in my food. Anyway.

Another thing I looked up was the nutritional value of fresh versus frozen vegetables. I try to eat fresh vegetables whenever possible, but lately the produce in Kuwait seems to be in a rather sorry state. Produce that is imported (rather than the local products) is often much better quality, but sometimes I wonder at how fresh the broccoli from Australia really is ... Someone once told me that frozen vegetables were just as good if not better than fresh vegetables - today I took the time to try and find out. There are several articles on the Internet that do say there is no problem eating frozen vegetables (and yes, they do say that in some cases frozen is better). Two of the main things the articles talk about are 1) the flash freezing of the vegetables actually locks in most of the nutritional value and 2) the vegetables are picked and frozen when they are at their peak and this contrasts to what may be available to you at the supermarket (could have spent days in transit). Having a good stock of frozen vegetables in my freezer will be a huge time saver when it comes to cooking, especially with how busy things are going to be over the next few weeks.

I'm looking forward to getting back to cooking! What are favorites on your grocery list?


  1. Like you, wondering what was in the substitute version freaked me out :D Glad it's all good ;) I went to Dean and Deluca yesterday and they had a nice selection of fresh fruit and veg. American peaches seem to be really good at the moment. They also had really yummy baby spinach leaves... I made a salad with the leaves, sliced peaches, and a splash of olive oil and muscatel wine vinegar. Simple but yummy. Love frozen brussel sprouts and also just bought some frozen broad beans which I add to rice along with a bunch of dill while it's cooking (a traditional Arabic dish, but my family just calls it "green rice" lol). Sultan Center actually had a good selection of fruit and veg for the first time in like, years! My sister went to Lulu Market today and said their fruit and veg sucked... You just never can tell what you are going to get, so frozen is a good option! Happy shopping and cooking :)

  2. I use egg white substitute all the time. It's fantastic!
    I think you're doing an amazing job working on your nutrition.

    My staples include broccoli and red bell peppers to be added to some hummus on a whole wheat pita.

  3. I like the idea of making things from scratch at home and being in control of the ingredients that you use in your cooking. I only I wish I had the time and the discipline to do it!


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