Soup up my lunch: turkey sandwich and salad

Top picture: my lunch; Bottom picture (clockwise from top): Brianna’s dressing, “Primo Taglio” turkey slices, cheddar cheese, Fage 2% greek yogurt, EarthGrains 100% natural thins, organic baby spinach

Thanks to everyone who commented on Pimp my lunch: tuna melt. Your feedback was *amazing* — I can’t thank you enough. There is much for me to learn about eating better in general. Please know that I am learning new things right along with you too.
I submit to you my lunch today (Monday). On the last lunch post, some of you questioned my “thin” bread so I wanted to show you the brand “EarthGrains” (no HFCS – high fructose corn syrup). My husband bought it unprompted by me (!). The cheese is the store brand that I’m trying to use up. The brand of the deli turkey is “PrimoTaglio” — there were no nitrates in it. BUT those two slices contained 510 mg of sodium (21% of my daily requirement — as much as any microwave meal)!!! I’m floored. What do you eat in your sandwiches?
I could have jazzed up the sandwich with a slice of tomato… By the way did I tell you I only started eating tomatoes when I was 25? I disliked them, but I started eating them to increase my daily veggie by one. Truly though I do have to “hide” them in a sandwich to eat them. Or I will eat them with fresh mozzarella, but that is a special treat.

The Yoplait I ate last time did have HFCS in it — I shouldn’t have been surprised since I didn’t read the label. I’m done with Yoplait now that I know that. Instead I bought greek yogurt based on your suggestions (even though I have had it before and I’m not a fan). I have to force it down because of the thick, extra clumpy texture. I wanted to drizzle honey on it, but I couldn’t find my honey in the cupboard or in the fridge door! I know I have some…it’s just a matter of finding it. Where do you store your honey?

The salad is in a deep bowl (I’m not sure you can tell from the shot). I sprinkled raspberries (organic) and walnuts on the spinach leaves (like I said before I’m not a fan of plain lettuce). I bought new poppyseed dressing (we have some vinagrettes in the fridge – eh) and it was tasty (I’ve had the Brianna’s brand before – good stuff). I enjoyed every mouthful of today’s salad. And I made the salad again for dinner.

I know this lunch is better than my “tuna melt” meal. Today I felt full until around 4 pm, which is longer than any of the school lunches I ate during the school year. On the other hand, demands at home are less than working at school so it’s possible I didn’t burn as many calories. I welcome your thoughts and feedback on what I ate for lunch!

“Pimp my lunch” is going to be a regular feature this summer. If you would like to participate by posting your lunch and having readers critique your midday meal, fill out the little linky form below. Make sure to post the link to your actual blog post. I’m looking forward to seeing what you are making at home (and giving you feedback if I can think of anything to improve).

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63 thoughts on “Soup up my lunch: turkey sandwich and salad”

  1. The best way to eat good yogurt is to make your own… it's a matter of heating milk to 180 degrees, cooling it to 105 degrees, adding 1/2 cup of good yogurt, and keeping it between 90-110 degrees for four hours. There are several good reasonably priced yogurt makers on the market. I use one by Yogourmet that makes 2 quart batches. Instead of $5 a quart, it costs me about what the milk costs.

  2. If you want your greek yogurt to taste better, try vigorously stirring in some fruit with it. I usually do blackberries and raspberries with mine, but you can pretty much get away with anything. Stirring it gives it a more whipped texture that kind of reminds me of soft-serve ice cream.

  3. FYI A tomato is a fruit. 🙂

    I make my sandwiches with and english muffin (Thomas makes a whole wheat no HFCS one that is delish!) or with only 1 slice of whole grain bread (and eat it open faced). I like leftover chicken or pork tenderloin in my sandwich, with pickles, lettuce, mustard and cheese. And cucmber slices instead of chips.

    I don't like Greek yogurt either and, as I am a 34 year old woman, why force myself to eat something I do not like? I get that it is better for you and all, I can't stand the consistency or taste.

    BTW, thanks for keeping this up during the summer! Yours is the only blog I read regularly and I would miss you!

  4. You can make your own 'vanilla yogurt' by using 1 lg Fage 0%, 2 lg Fage 2%, 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste and 1/3-1/2 cup of sugar; I use a stand mixer (whisk) on medium for 5 minutes. It makes the texture much smoother and I put it in individual containers for lunches/snacks. This is NOT cheaper than buying 13 individual yogurts, but I know exactly what's in it and it can go in smoothies, on top of pie, great with granola, mixed with fruit, etc. My toddler LOVES this stuff and it's just another option.

  5. QUOTE:
    "I sprinkled raspberries (organic) and walnuts on the spinach leaves "

    Walnuts! Great. Every time I make a salad (or just about anything else), I love to sprinkle on a few nuts (walnuts, pecans, cashews, whatever) for added texture and taste. They can turn a bland salad into a great salad.

  6. A suggestion: drop the bread and see how you feel. I went off bread (and all flour) months ago and when I picked it back up, I realized how bloated and just plain gross it could make me feel. It IS awfully convenient, but even spelt bread (my preference) really piles on the calories with not much nutritional benefit.

    My compromise? Rolled up slices of low sodium turkey with a slice of cheese (I like the vegan cheese made from rice – and I'm far from vegan!), dipped in spicy mustard or other low calorie sauce. My brother and I used to eat baloney like this when I was a kid, so there are also pleasant childhood associations, but it makes me feel like I'm getting the best parts of my favorite sandwich without the bloat or extra calories. (Still haven't worked out how to do this with PB&J…!)

    As for your salad, sprouted beans and lentils are a great, healthful addition that add crunch. I sprinkle these over every salad. A little goats cheese (which is low in fat and calories, as cheeses go) lends a creamy texture that goes really well with the sweetness of fresh or dried fruit. (Beware of dried cranberries and cherries, which are almost always coated in invisible sugar.)

  7. Sandwiches – Sodium is a problem for us since my husband is on a low sodium diet due to heart disease. I also worry about the kids eating too much. Before any concern trolls get their panties in a bunch, I know that some sodium is necessary, but *not* the amount that is available in today's diet. The amount of sodium out there (now that I've started reading labels) is ridiculous. Cooking from home and putting salt on when needed is much better in regard to sodium.

    But anyway, for lunch meat, we make our own. I started doing that a long time ago just for budgetary reasons, but it's also much better if you are watching sodium. I get chicken breasts from the store and grill them either on the BBQ (in the summer) or on an indoor grill (one of those George Foreman knockoffs). Then when they cool, I slice them and freeze them in small portions (so I can take out only what I need for a few days). My husband eats it in salads and my daughter eats it in wraps with tomato slices. We got a free turkey for Easter (no, not organic or free range – our budget doesn't allow that) and after having one meal out of it, we portioned off the rest of the meat for lunches and had so much we only ran out this month.

    Honey – cabinet. It doesn't need to be in the fridge does it (?). And then it gets hard to pour.

    Salad – funny. My husband doesn't like cooked spinach but will eat it raw. Me, I don't like it raw (but will choke it down) but enjoy it cooked 😉 That salad looks really good though!

    You know what I'd like to see? Pimp your breakfast. Lunch and dinner and snacks I'm usually eating plenty of veggies and some fruits but not breakfast. When I eat a breakfast that involves veggies I feel better and more energetic but I'm not a morning person so my brain isn't exactly working first thing int he morning. I'd love to see what everyone eats for brekkie.

  8. Hi!

    There's nothing fundamentally better for you about Greek style yogurt vs. a quality American Style yogurt–especially if there are no live cultures in either of them (I haven't checked Fage or Chobani). The main difference is that it's strained of some of its water content to give it that thicker consistency. In fact, I think you'll find it higher in fat per same size serving (even at 2% fat) than its American cousin because of the higher concentration of "product" you're eating all around.

    I actually buy regular yogurt and strain it because I like the thicker stuff but don't like the price tag. You could just as easily add some liquid back in to thin it out. Plain water or milk will do but you can add some flavor with fruit juice (orange, grape,tropical…). I buy plain, strain it, and stir-in some honey and a spoonful of my favorite jam or preserves, which is essentially what "fruit on the bottom" is anyway.

    Incidentally, if you strain plain yogurt all day or overnight (in a paper towel-lined sieve over a bowl in the fridge), you'll get to a spreadable consistency like cream cheese. Add some honey and maybe some walnuts and pecans and you have yourself a great spread for bagels and whatnot that's probably healthier (though admittedly, I've never done the math on the nutrition label).

    Again, I love the conversations you stir-up. Keep up the great work!

    PS – I'll be posting about this very topic on my own blog soon (www.EatMyAsparagus.com). Feel free to check it out.

  9. I don't put meat on my sandwiches. Or cheese. (I am a "Vegan Before Dinnertime") My sandwiches are usually:

    Whole Wheat Bread or pita
    smashed up avocado
    cucumber
    tomato
    purple onion (thinly sliced)
    lettuce
    alfalfa sprouts
    Condiments are usually yellow mustard and red wine vinegar.

    I honestly don't miss the meat or the cheese but sometimes I will add a Boco Chik'n Patty for a treat. (I really don't like to eat a lot of processed soy.)

  10. Maybe it's just me, but this seems like a big lunch for a day with less work than you usually have. Or a day without alot of physical activity.
    I would have left out one of the three things, or divided it up and eaten one as a snack during the afternoon.

  11. I agree with what other people have said– don't force yourself to eat the yogurt if you don't like it! It looks like you got the plain, unsweetened one–which is kind of gross in my opinion. If you like yogurt (and don't want to make your own, I would go with the Stoneyfield Farms yogurts. They have many varieties (including Greek yogurt) that are very good and they are all organic and gluten free and most of them are made with real fruit. I eat the strawberry whole milk yogurt because it is sooo good and it is lower in added sugar than most.
    Hope this helps! 🙂

  12. hummus is a great sandwich item and super easy to make. garlic, garbanzos, tahini (ground sesame seed paste), olive oil and lime, salt and peper. put in the blender. BAM! super low cal. super filling. high protein. high fiber.

  13. The consistency of Greek style yogurt is one of the reasons I prefer it over American style! I agree with some of the other commenters, if you don't like it, I think you are at a place where you don't have to eat it.

    Honey – I keep it all over. No, just in the kitchen cabinet and in the bathroom (use it as face-wash). When we lived in student housing in TX, we kept a lot of stuff in the fridge, like PB and honey, because of an ant issue in the building. Now, I like for it to have sugared a bit, as that is my exfoliater when I wash my face!

  14. Your lunch looks great! Very balanced with a good nutritional profile. I don't think it is too much food at all.

    If you have some fage you need to use up (i personall love the stuff, but so expensive!), try letting it come to room temp before you eat it. It takes on a more whipped texture that I find more palatable for eating on it's own. I usually just buy plain yogurt in a large container. I get either the dannon all natural (it's JUST cultured milk), or the brand from costco (they add a small amount of pectin). Whole Foods carries a vanilla-flavored stevia sweetener in packets. I bought it by accident (don't grocery shop when your eyes have just been dilated! LOL), but it is perfect for flavoring a serving of plain yogurt! I add a splash of lemon extract and some fresh fruit, or sometimes will just add a teaspoon of homemade jam purchased from the farmer's market.

    Between the sodium and the nitrates, I gave up lunch meat altogether this year. It's been an adjustment! If I'm really wanting some, I buy a 3 lb. cooked turkey breast from costco and I slice it really thin. Otherwise, I don't really eat many sandwiches. This week, I made a vietnamese chicken salad full of veggies and fresh herbs. Ate it plain yesterday, but got some boston bibb lettuce at the store last night to use for lettuce wraps.

    I love the conversations your blog brings! Keep it up!

  15. I love love LOVE your blog and this type of new feature sounds great! Your lunch sounds amazing too! I'm definitely going to be checking out the thin bread you used.

    But one little thing I was going to ask you to consider is maybe changing the title? There is a big push to stop sex trafficking here in America and internationally and one of the things is a push to stop glamorizing the word pimp. I know it's everywhere and I know you meant no harm at all in using the term but it would be great if you could maybe consider a different title for this new feature. Just a thought…if you'd like to learn more about sex trafficking and how to help, check out these websites:

    http://www.captivedaughters.org/
    http://www.ijm.org/
    http://www.causes.com/tstop

  16. this looks like a pretty good lunch! I like adding other veggies to sandwiches, like cucumber, onion, even yellow squash or zucchini slices! Hummus is also a great spread for sandwiches – just be careful of the brand you buy because some are much higher in calories than others.

    Justin – have you checked the nutrition stats on greek yogurt? It has much more protein than regular American style. Also, if you buy low fat or non-fat (0%) then the calories are comparable for chobani and fage and very low (or no)fat. I'd say that's a pretty good difference.

  17. we keep our honey near the olive oil, soy sauce, etc on a small shelf between the wall and cabinet. no doors to open to get to things used frequently!

    i don't eat sandwiches a lot, since we don't go through bread very quickly at my house. i'll buy a loaf and it just sits there – unless it's from a local bakery, in which we eat an entire loaf in like one day – just two of us! so, not much bread enters the house. but, sandwiches i'm fond of…. earlier mention of apples and cheese is ditto'd here – cheddar is yummy. i like sliced cucumbers on a sandwich sometimes – it adds an extra crunch and sweetness. no need for meat, either – i haven't bought deli meat for almost 2 years now, and i'm also a teacher who brings lunches to school. just load a sandwich up with fresh veggies and cheese and some spicy brown mustard. hummus is a great suggestion as well. i like using mashed avocado instead of mayo.

    what do i do during the school year since i don't pack sandwiches? once a week i will make a large pot of veggie heavy spaghetti sauce – the last one was a trip to costco of bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes along with some onions I already had, just sauteed with garlic and italian blend herbs – and a pound of pasta and divvy it up in pyrex dishes and pop them in the freezer. it's healthy, keeps me full, has lots of veggies, and people always come into the teacher's lounge asking what smells so good! another one i'll do is turkey chili, using sodium-free canned beans, ground turkey, corn, chopped bell peppers, onions – again, cramming it full with vegetables and protein. the recipe i figured for that one broke down to something like 500 calories for a warm yummy filling bowl of turkey chili with sour cream, cheese, and even a handful of tortilla chips – with lots of veggies!

    now that it's summer i'm eating lots of salads since i have more time. chopped veggies with lettuce, and i'll add a garlic naan from trader joes to help fill me up a bit.

  18. Yes, if you don't like the Greek yogurt, try Stonyfield's plain. We get the whole milk one because my son is only 1 and needs the extra fats, and we all love it. It's great with berries mixed in, or with some cereal or granola to give it a little crunch. I like the Fage too, but the Stonyfield has a smoother texture.

  19. ummm, could ya name it something other then pimp my lunch. The word pimp is so not right. Just. saying.

  20. Try Chobani Greek yogurt. You can even get 12 packs for cheap at Costco. They stock it at most grocery stores, including Super Target. But they do fruit-on-the-bottom fat-free versions, and the fruit makes it like a dessert. It has about 20 grams of sugar, which I guess is a lot to some people, but it also has NO fat, 14 grams of protein, and lots of calcium, so I figure the good outweighs the bad. And they don't use and artificial sweeteners or anything. Try it out! It is WAY tastier than plain, which can be kind of intense.

  21. Store your honey in the cupboard, storing it in the fridge just makes it hard to use. Honey is antimicrobial and will keep just fine in the cupboards.

    If you have trouble with your honey always crystallizing into a big block I recommend getting creamed honey. The difference is that in creamed honey small crystals are encouraged that still allow pouring rather than giant crystals that seize up.

  22. Greek yogurt, (if you're not eating true ewe's milk yogurt) is ordinary yogurt that has had more of the whey drained off to give it a cheesier, thicker texture. (See http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-greek-yogurt.htm.) If you don't like it, there's really no reason to eat it.

    My favorite commercial yogurt is Nancy's organic nonfat plain. If I want it sweetened, I add honey and or fresh chopped fruit. Sometimes I cheat and add one of my favorite jams or fruit preserves. Btw, we keep our honey on the kitchen work table, with the salt and pepper, etc., where it's handy for cups of tea and such.

    My son-in-law makes yogurt guacamole, which is delicious and super simple. Mash an avocado to guac consistency, add as much yogurt as you like and eat plain, as a burrito topper, or his favorite way, as a dip with white tortilla chips.

  23. Based on your feedback I changed the name of the post to "soup up my lunch" which lacks the negative connotation of the word "pimp."

  24. 1. I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't like tomatoes (I can't even eat them in a sandwhich).
    2. If you don't like greek yogurt, why bother eating it at all? It seems like wasted money and calories for something you don't like.

  25. I recommend mixing fresh or thawed frozen fruit with Greek yogurt, as the plain is just too "blah" without it. I find it hard to stomach without add-ins such as fruit or nuts.

  26. I think you have realized everyone seems to have strong yogurt opinions.

    I also fall into the camp of not enjoying Greek yogurt. I really wanted too but I do not like the thickness.

    I also suggest with everyone of trying to make your own, but I am too lazy, so as I said previously, try out the Stonyfield brand (it can be pricey but their website has coupons) or otherwise the 365 whole foods brand, which is ultra delicious.

  27. Unfortunately I don't like most veggies, so if I don't eat them because I *should*, I'd be quite the bad influence to my 3 kids. I don't even like many fruits. I do find my taste buds are changing a bit with age (I'll be 40 this year), so hopefully veggies will keep growing on me. I keep eating them even though I don't like them. If anyone has another alternative there, I'm all ears!

  28. I'm a Stonyfield Greek Yogurt fan! I get the Vanilla bean flavor and mix in blueberries, strawberries and 1/2 cup of original Fiber One cereal for my post workout snack. The high protein content is great for muscle recovery. The fruit really sweetens it up and the juice from the berries thins it down a little. (Personally, I like the thinker texture.)

    For sandwiches I don't do lunch meats anymore. They just have way too much "junk" in them. I grill chicken breasts as needed and use those cut up on my favorite bread – Dave's Killer Bread http://www.daveskillerbread.com/. Leftover steaks, roast or salmon are also great on sandwiches.

    I don't eat a lot of salads but I do love fresh, raw vegetables. I get the Organic Mini Carrots from Costco. They are in nice little packages that are great for grab-and-go snacks or adding to a lunch. During the spring and summer I get lots of fresh veggies from the local farmer's market. My favorites are Blue Lake Green Beans and Sugar Snap Peas.

    Keep up this great blog. It's so full of great discussions and ideas. 🙂

  29. The salad looks very yummy! I love the addition of nuts, dried fruits, etc to salads AND yogurt. You could soup up your yogurt with some granola (I make my own) and call it breakfast or snack or what-have-you. As far as sandwiches go, I really like cucumbers and cream cheese inside of a bagel or even a whole wheat English Muffin. It just tastes so much like summer because it's cool. I like the really small cucumbers that you can get from the farmers market or the english ones that you don't have to peel. That would be good w/in your sandwich thins.
    OR take a low sodium ham or turkey, I buy boars head as they have no nitrates, additives and specifically have a low sodium have that is wonderful. I will sometimes take a piece and put a very light coating of cream cheese on the inside, it's delightful and less fat than a whole piece of cheese. Cottage cheese is also very good mixed with fruit. I buy the all fruit spread and might drop a teaspoon or so of that in cottage cheese, delightful. I have a hard time eating a hot meal here in Phoenix, Az in the summer, it's 111 here today! Enjoy!

  30. I would have added some spinach to the sandwich. I tend to either buy deli meat at the deli counter or to make my own – really badly shaped – slices out of leftovers. If I buy it at the deli counter I have more choices and can choose different flavors or fat/sodium counts.

    I keep my honey in a cupboard. Honey never spoils and it easy to uncrystallize. My dad – who was an apiarist – always put a jar on the roof in the summer to make it liquid again. There's no better summer memory for me than sun warmed tomatoes from the vine and sun warmed honey from the roof.

    Alternately, you can always put it the jar in a pot of hot water; but what's the fun in that?

  31. I changed my bread from regular bread to Ezekiel bread which is sprouted bread. It is much much easier on the digestive system as it is not processced like other breads and doesn't have as much stuff in it… here is a link to the food for life website http://www.foodforlife.com/

    If I am in a rush and don't have time for a proper lunch then I like mashing beans (home cooked and not canned) with Avocado into a spreadable consistency, top it with tomato, lettuce, sprouts, nutritional yeast on Ezekiel bread or wrap. YUM!

  32. As far as the Greek yogurt goes I think a little honey does a long way. There is more protein in Greek yogurt, so that's a plus! I don't really like the flavor without adding honey. I keep my one container of honey at home in the cupboard and another at work to have with tea. I get local raw clover honey (a little stronger flavor) and sometimes wildflower honey (different flavor). People say the local honey can help with allergies so that's a plus there too.

    My boyfriend bakes bread for us, usually white, but I encourage him to use half whole wheat when I can. I don't worry about our carb intake, we're training for a marathon so we need lots of complex carbs.

    We sometimes buy those same sandwich thins and put fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato, and vinaigrette on it. Or hummus, baby spinach, tomato, goat cheese.

    I don't understand why so many people are turned off to tomatos, I love them and sometimes eat them whole and raw.

  33. We, too, use real meats (leftovers usually) sliced thin for sandwiches. I'll also eat all-veg sandwiches: spinach, tomato, cucumber, etc is really tasty!

    We make our own English muffins, too, so there's *loads* of control over the ingredients. I've put up my recipe at http://www.notmolly.wordpress.com under "Food Nifty".

  34. I noticed your dressing which I love. I use it in a special salad I make for lunch. I batch lasts me a whole week of school lunches. It's 1 bag of broccoli slaw, a package of pre-cooked chicken pieces, 8 oz of pineapple tidbits, half cup of the dressing and 1/4 cup of cashews.

    Looking at your ingredient picture, I was struck by the number of 'name brands.' I try to buy as many store brand items as I can (for budget reasons). But it is harder to find the 'healthy stuff' with the store brands – wonder why that is and how many others are in the same boat?

  35. I didn't eat tomatoes (or peppers, or onions, or a whole host of other things) until I met my husband in my early to mid-20s. I MISSED SO MUCH! I try to make up for it now!

    Have you ever tried making your own salad dressing? I've only just recently started and it's actually really easy. I usually just use a fresh squeezed orange or lemon, e.v. olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. I would like to branch out & start using some more herbs but I admit that I'm still scared. And I always look up a recipe before I start, because I forget the oil:acid ratio.

  36. Try this for the Greek yogurt: Stir in maybe about a tablespoon of orange juice, a little honey (honestly maple syrup or a small sprinkle of brown sugar would be fine too 😉 ) and granola on top. The acid cuts through the richness of the yogurt. I eat Greek yogurt a lot, but rarely plain.

    (Also, to pimp out your granola, if you have a good bulk bin section at whole foods or a similar store, buy some flax seed. You probably won't need more than 1/2 a cup or so, and it's cheap. I usually mix a big pinch of it in with my granola. Flax has all those good omega-3's you need and fiber, and all sorts of other goodness. I put it on oatmeal also)

  37. ooh i like this feature!

    i'm not familiar with earth grains, but i generally don't trust "corporate bread." the only decent thing i've found at grocery stores is ezekiel bread. it has about 5 ingredients total, all of which are whole grains and the like, so it eliminates any "eating carbs" guilt and is very filling. as for the turkey, trader joe's carries the low-sodium variety of columbus brand turkey, and grocery store deli counters usually have at least reduced-sodium varieties (sometimes even no-sodium, which tastes just like thanksgiving turkey). whole foods sometimes carries prepackaged heidi's hens no-sodium turkey, but it's pretty pricey. i like to add sprouts to my sandwiches for volume, and if i'm feeling fancy, some cream cheese mixed with fresh herbs.

    i can't really help with the fage, i personally love the thick texture. but i find that it gets thinner in the blender (i've tried to make tsatsiki with an immersion blender before, and it turned into cucumber soup). maybe blending in fresh fruit will improve the consistency for you?

    as a final thought, i tend to avoid bottled salad dressings b/c of sugar/HFCS issues, but it seems like you're keeping an eye out for that, so i'm guessing that one is allright.

    happy lunchin'! 🙂

  38. I usually get the Fage that comes with honey on the side for you to mix in yourself. I actually love the thick creamy texture. I don't think it's been clumpy for me, but maybe that's because mixing in the honey whips it up as another commenter suggested. However, my favorite brand right now is Liberte's Mediterranee yogurt. OMG, it is decadent and filling (http://www.liberteyogourt.com/mediterranee.html). You probably have to go to a Whole Foods or local specialty market to find it. My favorite flavors are the coconut, lemon, and plum & walnut. The fruit is on the bottom, so you mix it in. It's made with milk, cream, sugar, live bacteria culture, milk protein concentrate, and fruit preparation (mostly fruits, sugar, and a starch). It is pretty high in saturated fat, but the ingredients are way better than something like Yoplait.

  39. Mrs. Q, good choices/changes! Others posted about hummus. You can also make bean spread with any other beans, I prefer white canellini beans, sauteed garlic and onions, olive oil, s&p. Whiz in food processor. I also poach whole turkey breasts, with or without the bones. Then I just slice off real turkey for sandwiches or turkey chunks for salads. Also, do you ever make your own salad dressings? When your current dressing bottle is empty, wash it out. I use a ratio of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar (cider is my preference. 2 parts lemon or lime juice as it's not so strong as vinegar). A squeeze of mustard, s&p. Sometimes I use a little maple syrup for sweet and sour. Put it all in the bottle, shake. It will keep until it's gone in the fridge. Options: dry or fresh minced herbs, minced garlic, a little grated onion, smashed anchovies.

  40. I can see where you wouldn't enjoy straight Greek-style yogurt (it basically is the same as strained yogurt, so it's a concentrated version – but to me the non-fat version is very creamy in texture) I usually use it as an add-in for salad dressings and mayo.

    You could replace it with fruit-topped cottage cheese (the old fashioned pineapple works well – even canned pineapple, which is one of the few fruits canned in juice) for about the same nutrition.

  41. Fage is by-far our favorite yogurt. We've had a hard time getting it here in Dublin (Ireland) because our Tesco keeps letting it go out of stock, but it reappeared last week. We buy the 0% fat version which my my wife likes because of the very high protein content (16g per serving). It makes great tzatziki–just add grated cucumber, parsley, garlic, lemon juice and a bit of salt.

  42. I used to eat Yoplait before I read the label, too. Try 'Wallaby Organic' if you can find it. I can't choke down greek yogurt on its own, so I poked around for some alternatives and I think this is the best. Also, avoid Stonyfield (similar texture to the greek stuff).

  43. Honey – try to find a local source and store in the cupboard.

    Nuts – always buys raw organic, they taste better and are really good for you.

    Sandwich – no salt turkey (co-op deli?), add spinach, tomato, red onion, hot peppers

    Cottage Cheese / Yogurt – Add Wheat germ/ flax meal

    I try to make sure our food meets 2 out of 3 requirements:
    1. Local
    2. Organic
    3. Real/Whole Foods

  44. I like Greek yogurt, but if you're not into the texture, thinning it with a touch or honey or even vanilla extract and fruit or brown sugar is delicious. Another great "regular" yogurt company is Brown Cow, but you may also be able to find a local dairy that makes their own.

    Also, my sister and her husband use Greek yogurt as sour cream, as it's much lower in fat and less likely to contain weird chemicals.

    For lunch, I also like Brie spread on multi-grain toast (let the toast cool a little or it'll look disgusting), a little honey, and thinly sliced apple on top. Add some fresh vegetables and nom nom nom. I also like big spinach salads with nuts, dried fruit, grated cheese, diced boiled egg, bell peppers, snap peas, etc, with your favorite salad dressing, and fresh bread or crackers for a grain.

  45. Thanks for changing the title. I had no intention of posting a comment asking for a change, but the first time I read it, it literally took my breath away.

    Just this summer we found out my beautiful, intelligent, "small-town girl" niece is now living with her boyfriend who turns out to be an honest to goodness pimp who she claims is her boyfriend and loves her. We all know the truth, but as of now she will not listen to anybody. It's heartbreaking and up til this happened I honestly never really thought about it when people used the word pimp. Now it literally makes me sick to my stomach.

    So thank you for being so considerate and listening to your followers comments.

    I love your blog and have been learning so much about nutrition that I realized I didn't know.

  46. I LOVE greek yogurt and it's cool to see you tried my suggestion! Too bad you didn't like it, but I think any kind of yogurt without HFCS is a good choice. I was just shocked one time when I glanced at the label on a cup of Yoplait and realized that shockingly sweet taste was HFCS 🙁 They put HFCS in EVERYTHING! I have been checking labels at the grocery store to avoid the HFCS and it's hard to do. For example, I have only found one brand of applesauce that doesn't have it!

  47. Dear Miss Q,
    Please do not store your honey in the fridge. The cold will cause the honey to granulate. Instead store it at room temperture. If your honey does granulate, place it in the dishwasher and run it though a couple of times (in a sealed container, of course). The heat of the dishwasher will smooth the granulation and return the honey to its liquid state.

    I really enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work!

  48. Honey is the one and only food that never spoils (I think this is a Trivial Pursuit question). No need to refrigerate. I store mine in the cupboard above my stove. It gets enough heat up there to keep it flowy.

    I can't abide most yogurts that come with fruit in them. I used to cut the sweetness by mixing a carton of plain with a carton of fruit added yogurt. Then I tried plain Greek style yogurt on a trip to Paris and I was hooked! Shortly after my trip, Fage came out in the U.S. The 2% is my favorite. I always stir it a bunch to make it creamy before I eat it. Sometimes I stir in fresh fruit but no sugar or sweetener.

    I also like Chobani Greek yogurt that comes with fruit in it (I'm stuck on the pineapple). I think it has much less sugar added than Swiss style yogurts like Dannon and Stoneyfield.

    I occasionally buy an Icelandic style yogurt (called "skyr"). The brand is Siggi's and it's even thicker than Greek yogurt. I like the orange ginger which is mainly flavored with finely grated orange rind and very finely chopped ginger. It's divine but way pricey at $2.79 for a 6-oz. carton so I buy it very infrequently. It goes on sale once in awhile for $1.99 but still….

    I think it would be very hard to come down from all the sugar (and HFCS) in Yoplait to plain Fage. It's all about what you're accustomed to.

    I used to hate raw tomatoes when I was a kid. I think it was the googly stuff in the middle with those slimy little seeds. I love raw tomatoes now, though. I also wouldn't eat peanut butter as a kid but I'm making up for it now. I can't get enough of the stuff. And it has to be super chunk or forgeddabouddit.

  49. Oh, and a suggestion for bookbliss on the applesauce. You can buy unsweetened and add your own sugar (or honey or agave or other sweetener of choice). This also allows you to cut down on the amount of sweetness of the applesauce you eat if that's a goal of yours.

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