Gourmet Park and Nutty Butter Fats

The other day I got a package from Maranatha – 2 jars of nut butter. They sent me one jar of no-stir peanut butter and one jar of no-stir almond butter.

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Let me tell you – I thought I didn’t really like almond butter… I was so wrong. This almond butter is great. Both the almond butter and the peanut butter are slightly sweetened with organic cane sugar.

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Thanks, Maranatha! I can’t wait to experiment with these. So far I’ve just had them plain, in oatmeal, and on rice cakes.

I work long hours so recently I have been going to Gourmet Park for dinner. My favorite thing to get is the unlimited topping salad for $6.95. You pick a base (I get romaine), one “meat’” (I get either bacon or shrimp, depending on my mood), and unlimited gourmet toppings.

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This one had (I think I’m forgetting some): roasted oily eggplant, roasted oily Brussels sprouts, broccoli, roasted peppers, corn, peas, water chestnuts, baby corn, mandarin oranges, artichoke hearts, sprouts, and probably some other things. I always get the honey mustard dressing on the side.

Gourmet Park also has a sale on their prepared food after 6:00pm – it’s all half off. So I get prepared food for $4/pound (normally $4/half pound).

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This one was some Asian-inspired cooked salad of broccoli, black sesame seeds (Coco likes these!), peppers, and some other unidentified veggies. Underneath (hiding) are a bunch of oily peppers. I’m really into oily veggies lately – they are so good. Fat is good.

Tonight I got a big dish of something with cauliflower. It was Indian-inspired, I think.

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I topped it with some beef, salmon, and crab (salmon and crab are in that left corner). I also got some oily eggplant and some mashed potatoes. Very filling. Gourmet Park is helping me eat a variety of foods without having to worry about planning my meals.

In terms of exercise I’ve been sticking with my walking routine. Today I actually walked 4 miles instead of 2 because I walked home from work while chatting with my parents.

How often do you talk to your parents? Sometimes I talk to them every day and then other times I will go a week or even more.

Review: Joe’s Shanghai In Chinatown (New York)

My coworkers think this post should be called The Salad Girl Exposed”.

Disclaimer: all photos in this post are from Yelp.

Today’s lunch (Saturday) was at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown. Bobby and I met up with my 2 coworkers, their significant others, and a few other friends (11 of us total) for a huge meal. Joe’s is pretty famous; it has a great reputation and I was really psyched to try it. It did not disappoint. Joe’s is a pretty standard Chinese restaurant (not Dim Sum) and it’s very cheap (but rather expensive for Chinatown).

We let G do the ordering for the table and he did a great job. We started off with Joe’s soup dumplings. There are 8 in one order ($6.65 for crab/pork; $4.65 for pork) and I’m pretty sure that G got 12 orders of them (6×8 of crab/pork; 6×8 of pork). There were only 4 dumplings left by the end of the meal and Bobby and I got to take them home.

These were amazing. Apparently soup dumplings are something of an art form in China, and Joe is a celebrity. The dumpling contains a savory broth and meat in the middle. You bite a small piece of the wonton-ish dumpling part off, slurp out the soup broth, and then eat the dumpling. They are served atop steamed napa cabbage, which I happily ate as well.

We also got a soup – I think it was the Hong Kong Style Hot & Sour Soup ($6.35). It came with shrimp, some meat (chicken or pork?), mushrooms, tofu, egg, and maybe more. The broth was your standard hot and sour broth.

This was really delicious as well. Lots of variety in the flavors and ingredients, very fresh and hot – it was perfect for a miserable weather day like today. (For those of you not in this area – today it was raining/snowing all day and absolutely freezing. I am so glad to be inside my overheated apartment right now.)

Those were just the appetizers. We also got 2 orders of shrimp fried rice ($8.95)… (it was okay; I’m not really a rice person).

A bunch of scallion pancakes ($2.35 each) (freaking amazing – I could not get enough)…

A tofu dish called Bean Curd Home Style ($8.95), which was pretty good for being tofu. I liked the veggies best. I couldn’t find a picture.

Another (unpictured) dish was the String Beans Szechuan Style (With Pork) ($8.95). These were sauteed string beans with little pieces of pork – kind of like chorizo. They were pretty good, but very salty.

We also got Clams In Black Bean Sauce ($13.35), which were really good as well. I love clams!

And for dessert we got a fried red bean pancake that I can’t find on the menu. It looked pretty much like this… (picture source).

I had like 5 pieces of it. I think red bean is my most favorite dessert thing ever.

After lunch we walked over to a boba tea shop called Ten Ren but on the way we stopped to get Chinese dried fruits and candies. More on that later. Bobby got a Hot Taro Milk ($3.00) drink with jelly in it and shared it with me. Today was a perfect day for a hot drink. It is so cold outside.

The milk was purple!

I’m sitting on my couch now eating some grapes from Chinatown ($1.80 per pound for sketchy grapes totally beats Whole Foods’ $3.99 per pound organic grapes).

Question of the day is… what’s your favorite Chinese food dish?