Sunday, March 25, 2007

3 Favorites

Here's my 3 favorite things from last week and this weekend. A store, a meal and a movie.

One of my favorite places to food shop in Calgary is Planet Organic. They have a pretty good selection of fruits and veggies, lots of dried pastas, rice, spices and a great deli counter. Lots of organic stuff as their name indicates. The prices are excellent too, in fact better than at some of the bigger stores on the exact same items.

I bought some: eggless egg salad (Scott LOVES it), GinGins Hard Candy, mixed bean sprouts, miso, tofu, organic whole wheat tortillas (made in Calgary! Shout out to the 100 Mile Diet!), veggie pakoras and vegetarian bologna. Not pictured is some fruit, juice and soy yogurt I took to work.

Which leads me to a question for any one out there who eats soy yogurt. Scott and I are trying to cut back on our dairy consumption. It's going OK, but the soy yogurt I bought this day SUCKED. I think the brand was Nancy's? I understand it's not going to taste exactly the same as dairy yogurt, but still...anyone got any brand suggestions?

But my very favorite thing about Planet Organic is that they always pack my groceries in my canvas bags I bring. This might not sound like a big deal, but it seems to be a problem here. I take my reusable bags with me almost every time I shop and almost always the clerks don't use them. Here's how it went when I paid for my groceries at Planet Organic:

Me: I've got my own bags to use, thanks.
Grocery Clerk: You've got your own bags? Great!

Here's how it went at another store a couple of weeks ago:

Me: I've got my own bags here to use, thanks.
GC: These are your grocery bags?
Me: Yes.
GC: Did you want me to put your groceries in them?
Me: Um...ok...

And THEN! She packed all the groceries in plastic bags, then put the plastic bags into my canvas bags (I was on the phone and not watching her). This from a store that actually SELLS it's own reusable bags. Of which I have THREE.


Yesterday Scott and I went for a walk in Fish Creek Park and then went over to a big shopping area (I don't know what it's called) at Deerfoot and 130th Ave. They had a ton of restaurants, and we picked Ichizen Japanese Cuisine for lunch.

What an excellent choice. It was great; I can't wait to go back, in fact I've already started plotting out what I want to try next time. But yesterday we had a Lunch Bento Box and a Lunch Combination.

The Lunch Bento Box A ($9.95) consisted of a small Tempura, your choice of Teriyaki Chicken, Beef or Salmon, and a California Roll served with salad and soup.

Miso Soup. It was very good, with lots of tofu chunks.

The Bento Box:

Top left corner is the shrimp and veggie Tempura; then a green salad with a sesame dressing; steamed broccoli and carrots; the beef Teriyaki, full of onions; a totally amazing pickled carrot and maybe daikon salad; the California Rolls. For $9.95! Unbelievable.

The Lunch Combination was $11.95 and included salad, your choice of one of 3 udon soups and your choice of teriyaki beef, curry don or chicken katsu.

I chose the Tanuki Udon (mixed vegetable tempura on Udon noodles) and the Curry Don. I also got the green salad with the sesame dressing and a plate of condiments for the Udon - fried onions, some kind of picked radish, ginger and green onions. It was all great, especially the Curry Don. It was rice and lettuce with a very nice curry sauce. I was not crazy about the green salad but only because I don't like sesame oil.

I really really can't wait to go back! The menu is full of drool-worthy food and the prices seem reasonable. Check it out Calgarians!

Ichizen Japanese Cuisine
501-4600 130 Ave SE Calgary Alberta


Last night we went to the movies to see Fido.

This is just the best movie I've seen in a while. It's not a Zombie movie exactly; there is some violence and gore, but it's mainly about family and friends. And it is funny! Billy Connolly gives the most amazing performance. He doesn't speak one word, but he is just so full of emotion. Fido was an official selection at The Sundance Film Festival, and won the Jury Prize at The Gerardmer International Film Festival. It came out in Canada last week, I don't know if it's out in the US yet. But add it to your list!

And lastly, I've stared up a little blog called i like to cook goes shopping. I'll be documenting what I buy for the kitchen, food and other stuff. Who knows how interesting it will be, but check it out from time to time if you are in the mood.

Have a great day!


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Odd about the reuseable bags, they sell, don't use 'em. Go figure that one.
Lovely lunch!!
Have to watch for Fido.

peasantwench said...

When I became lactose intolerant, I tried every single soy yogurt (and soy product) I could find. The verdict? Well, Astro makes a lactose reduced yogurt that I can eat. Soygurt is one of the most vile soy products I have ever tried. And I managed to eat soy cream cheese. (Actually, to be honest, I have moved away from soy - I have lactose free: cheese, sour cream, yogurt and milk. I just don't like the taste of soy, and eat so little dairy over all that the lactose reduced stuff works.)

Oh, Superstore sells a total of one gelato without dairy products if you want an ice cream type thing. Raspberry.

I think maybe you mean Deerfoot Meadows? Ikea is around there, right? Unless it's the part north of Heritage, then it's called something like Heritage (something... meadows?)

Quellia said...

I love the Planet Organic bag you send me way back! It holds twice as much as the fabric bags I bought from my Farm Boy, is washable and folds up nicely! My clerks are so used to seeing me with my red bag that they tend to be surprised when I don't have it with me!
Your lunches look awsome!
Can't say I've even heard of the movie, but then, I don't get out much, except to the grocery store. :-)

Melissa West said...

Funny about the grocery bags, I have a similar scenarios at my grocery stores too.

I think it is interesting about the soy yogurt...I don't think necessarily replacing dairy with soy is the answer. Too much soy is not a good thing. I often wonder how vegans get live bacterial culture in their diet. I tried to eat yogurt the other day after not eating dairy for a long time (ok, with the exception of cheese) and I thought I was going to die with all the mucus in my throat and mouth and then the stomach ache... anyway, that was probably too much information... I do like the so nice brand of soy yogurt, the strawberry one is yummy. Somebody needs to invent an equivalent of natures balance "butter" for cheese and yogurt!

Meeta said...

What a gorgeous looking lunch. Made me crave for Japanese food!

Emily said...

I eat soy yogurt since I'm lactose intolerant. Really no choice in the matter. :(
I found a decent soy yogurt at Trader Joe's. Now, I live in France and they have the largest selection of soy yogurt I've ever seen. It's a dream. With the plain version, I like to add some sugar or honey to sweeten it up.

Lis said...

Sounds like you had a good week! The lunch looks totally drool worthy and although I haven't heard of Fido yet, I'll keep my eye out - thanks for all the recommendations :D


peasantwench said... I saw this and thought of you. Sorry if you've already seen it!

Emmy said...

Hi Sara, I'm not sure if they sell it in Canada, but we love Whole Soy soy yogurt. The mixed berry is my favorite and the apricot mango is a close second.

Glad you had a smooth experience reusing your bags at Planet Organic. I had to laugh at what happened when you brought bags to the other store

Anonymous said...

Not to be a total spoilsport, but why are you trying to limit dairy? A medical issue? Or just a fear of fat? And what's up with eggless egg salad?

Mike (the pressure-cooker guy)

Sara said...

Tanna - it's like they have to get rid of all the plastic bags or they'll get fired. very strange.

Morgan - no, it's more South than Deerfoot Meadows, and on the other side of Deerfoot too...

Quellia - i'm glad you like it so much, i almost bought myself one that day, but i already have enough bags, unforch.

Melissa - thanks for the comment. i doubt we will ever get rid of dairy altogether, but i am interesed in cutting it down and trying new things in general.

Meeta - we are going back in 2 weeks and i am counting the days!

Emily - sadly, no trader joes in calgary.

Lis - thanks!

Morgan - thanks for the link! i don't think i am feeling quite that ambitious yet. besides, we were at the market at the barracks on sunday and almost everything is from the us.

Emmy - thanks for the advice, i'll take a look and see if i can find it.

Mike - i am interesting in cutting down on dairy for a couple of reasons, the main one being that i have been doing a lot of reading about the chemicals and added hormones etc that we consume not only thru meat but also thru dairy. since these things have really only been added fairly recently in the big picture (decades vs two or three hundred years) what do we know about how they will affect our bodies in the long run? while i know that we (meaning scott and i) will probably never cut out dairy and meat completely, i think that easing up and trying alternative foods can't be a bad thing.

Sara said...

Mike - eggless egg salad? sooooo good. i like it better than real egg salad!

peasantwench said...

You have to let me know where - because that looked SO GOOD! I found the vague location on google, but what can I say? I grew up in Hillhurst. The deep south is still a mystery to me.