This Real World Food Challenge is shaping up to be a lot of fun! I am really enjoying all the blog posts, and the totals coming in from around the world!

Kara did a great job and majorly scored at the Marquette Food Co-op in Michigan coming in at $37.16. She did have to drive on snowy roads to get it done though, discipline! She also had to endure a nasty comment on her blog about the whole thing. I applaud you Kara, keep fighting the good fight, you brainwashed blogger you.

Donna is like a 12 hour flight away and she participated by comparing three different UK online shopping sites. Her all organic price came in at $49.80 (exchange rate applied). Her post really got me wondering what the price of the box would be if none of it was organic, I wonder what it would be at Walmart…could I even find pea shoots at Walmart?

Kelly rocked it out in Baldwinsville, New York by making a trip to Wegmans. Yes, this does sound like a funny name for a store, but we have “King Soopers” here, so I’m not judging! Kelly did pretty good with a total of $46.13, but similar to my experience she couldn’t locate organic kiwi, lime, or pomegranate. I had trouble with limes too, I can sympathize. Kelly experienced a similar phenomena as I did at Whole Foods. I could buy one conventional lemon, but if I wanted to buy organic, I had to buy a bag of 10 lemons. What is up with that? I love lemons and with all the Chuckie tea I drink, 10 lemons is not a problem, but I still just don’t get it.

So, folks, keep it coming! This is a lot of fun and I’m really loving all the price comparisons out there. Now I promised some recipes. Well, rather than recipes I’m going to give you rundowns, hopefully this will give you license to get started but keep you free enough to get your hands dirty!

Sooo, you’ve got some fennel on your hands? Here are a few ideas. Chop it up along with some sweet potatoes and any other root veg you have around that you need to use up (carrots, potatoes, etc). Toss it in some EV Olive Oil (EVOO), some Salt and Pepper, and throw it in a baking dish, 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Toss some balsamic all over it before it goes in too, that makes it extra yummy. Pull it out when everything has a nice roast. Mmmm.

Another one, dice up that fennel and saute it with some EVOO. Cook up some Israeli Cous Cous (or rice), and toss in some pomegranate seeds (to get the seeds see here). Whisk together (separately) some red wine vinegar, and oil (whatever you like, I like grape seed sometimes) and use that as a dressing. I like Thyme and Sesame Seeds in it as well. Major Nom Nom.

Why so many lemons? I admit, that is my fault. Fresh lemons alkalize the body (lemons are acidic, producing alkali chemicals in the stomach). Michelle and I drink a lot of what we call Chuckie Tea. It was one of the first things he had me do when I got sick once and the habit stuck. A tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (I get Organic Braggs), 1/2 lemon juiced, and agave or honey to taste. It’s a daily thing for me.

I’m also noticing that I am using a lot of lemons now as dressing. My favorite Kale salad right now is chopped kale with EVOO rubbed into the leaves, sunflower seeds, diced red bell pepper, ginger powder, diced avocado, grated carrot, and then topped with the juice of one lemon.

Juicing lemons used to be annoying until I went home and used what I thought was my moms overpriced and highly unnecessary lemon juicer. I immediately asked for one for Christmas, which she bought me on the spot, and it has become one of the most used kitchen utensils I have. Seriously how did I ever live without this thing?

PEA SHOOTS! What on earth can you do with them (Troy says “Tasty Snack”)? Well, they have their own webpage, ya gotta love a veg with it’s own website! I went ahead and served mine up via a recipe that I found in Clean Start by Terry Walters. Carrots, Chickpeas, onion, Avo, Pea Sprouts, and a nice Balsamic dressing. It really doesn’t take much more than that. After 2 weeks of eating crazy amounts of veg, we finally found a leafy green that Annie loves. We will be growing more of these on our own in our windowsill.

Well, I hope this helps get you started, or inspired. I certainly have been inspired. The more veg I eat and the more recipes I make, the more fun I seem to have. The next phase will be to teach Troy how to make some of my favorites so that when training time kicks back in we can continue to eat this way. He is really enjoying it, but I’m doing all the cooking (and chopping) right now, and I won’t have as much time when training is going again. He’s excited about it, and I am really thankful for that.

One last thing. I took this picture today at my local “King Soopers”. TODAY. I took it TODAY, can I say that one more time…..TODAY, as in December 15th. There were three separate stands like this, right next to the checkouts. Really?

Happy cooking, happy eating, happy training, and for tri-gods sake, stay away from the Easter candy!

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  1. I saw the Easter candy at the store and laughed thinking that somebody had found it in the back storeroom from last Easter that didn’t get put out.

  2. Easter candy?! Seriously!? What are these people trying to do to us?

    Thanks for allthe inspiration, Sonja! I’ll have to try pea shoots (Is that what they’re called?) and see if my kids will eat them too! I never make salads because I’m te only one who eats them.

  3. I agree with Kelly. When we went to visit my FIL’s mother, we would go to Wegman’s 2 times a day!…I’m wondering if the Easter candy is leftover from last year….blech!

  4. I didn’t participate because I wouldn’t know what to do with all those items. Plus I’m not too into the organic thing because I don’t really get it since you should be washing whatever is on those fruits and vegetables off anyway. But I thought I was being so cool and found organic kiwis individuals at our local Kroger only to see it was lemons you were having problems with. I’m not as cool as I thought I was. 🙂

  5. “overpriced and highly unnecessary lemon juicer” um…… gosh…. ahhhhhhh…..
    okay, I’ll just SAY it…. VITAMIX? Helloooooo!

    Just teasing you—but I still can’t understand why ANYONE would reduce Kale to a liquid in 3 seconds… 🙂 but the fact that you CAN is the cool thing, I’m guessing…

  6. Russell Stover—Yuck! Easter display? Crazy… however, I do see a Reeses someone put in the display…now that’s tempting. I’m sure it’s organic.

    Luv U–glad you’re having fun!

    Did anyone do a California Whole Foods?

  7. Funny, I saw the Easter candy and thought inside my own little head on Dec. 12th when I was at King Soopers the exact same crazy thought. “Really?!!”

  8. Hi Sonja –

    Well I went back online to look up what the “organic premium” is at the two shops I price checked.

    A staggering $10. So for Ocado it is a 25% premium, and for Tesco a 33% premium…

    It really makes me wonder what the Walmart pricing would be like… And it makes me very thankful that I can afford to eat organic…

  9. My thoughts on getting the seeds out of a pom- I keep thinking about trying that method but can’t stand the thought running a knife through those precious little gems.

    And Easter candy? What do they not have any Valentine’s candy to put out?

  10. Sonja – what is Chuckie Tea? Or is this the top secret go fast stuff you can’t tell us about? Haha 🙂

    I was wondering about non organic too. One of the things I wrestle with is the argument that “you can’t eat well on a limited budget” so that is a challenge I am doing in the new year… It is based on conversations with folks over on this side of the pond, and also a lot of the political discussions about cuts in benefits (and how much it costs to live). I will share the details on the “rules” in January – but it means I will be “non organic” for a while I am sure!

    Thanks for starting this challenge!

  11. I’m going to try some Chuckie Tea today!! And if you are ever where there is a Wegmans, you MUST go. It is the best grocery store EVER!!

  12. that was the problem I had when attempting this~I could not find organic pom’s or limes and no pea shoots

    And the walmart HERE — Im not quite sure I would even attempt to eat any of the produce from there. Ickky…

    that kale dish looks amazing~I just happen to have all ing’s on hand so I think I will add this to din-din tonight!
    **the kale is raw right?

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