Real Food


It is officially the weekend! Hope that most of you are also having time off

from work. I do feel bad for those who are weekend ‘warriors’ or have to

go into a job, while others are off. It all balances out, I suppose. My oldest

daughter is one who works weekends, gets a couple of weekdays off, along

with my son. Both are busy parents and partners with someone who is the

one who is home over the weekend. While during the week, I may keep a

healthy eating balanced ‘diet,’ on weekends; I enjoy ‘splurges!’

My friend and I walked to Dairy Point, to get our ‘end of summer’ meal

there. Mine is a hot dog with onions, pickles, relish and mustard, fried

mushrooms with ranch dressing to add more calories and dip into and

a sundae. This place roasts nuts, they have what they call, “The Nut

House,” as part of their business. This will let you in on why I get so

excited to go there, (remember that I like butter pecan ice cream?)

I usually ask for their hard ice cream in the butter pecan flavor, a big

dose of hot caramel, real whipped cream, a cherry on top with roasted

salty pecans added over the top. This was my meal. No apologies, to

the ones who don’t eat animal by-products nor the ones who are possibly



I love this quote that is attributed sometimes (accidentally) to George

Carlin, the comedian. It is actually taken from the book, “The Vision of

Buddhism: The Space Under the Tree” by Roger J. Corless:


“Trying to be happy by accumulating possessions is like trying to

satisfy your hunger by taping sandwiches all over your body.”


In order to ‘redeem myself’ and make myself not feel too guilty about my

innocent ‘splurge,’ I am going to let you in on some healthy and yummy

foods to snack and enjoy over the weekend!


Here are some appetizing and delicious natural food products that can be

purchased in your local grocery store or Trader Joe’s may have another

equivalent, more fresh choices available, too.

1. Sabra.  Have you tried this brand yet?

I love the Classic Guacamole with healthy fat, fiber and Vitamin C.


2. Wholly Classic Mild (or you may try a spicier blend) of Salsa.

I like blue corn chips to dip into this and feel the tomatoes and

flavors are almost as good as homemade salsa. In this healthy

snack, there are only 10 calories in the salsa, but keep in mind

the word:  moderation when it comes to the chips!


3. Triscuit’s have a great line called, “Hint of Salt,” which makes

this a good one to add a slice of low sodium cheese or peanut

butter to make it complete.


4. Here’s another cheese to try on those Triscuits, woven crackers:

Kerrygold Reduced Fat Dubliner cheese. This is made from milk

from grass fed cows, smooth texture with 1/3 fat.


5. Another choice of cheese is Vermont Creamery Fresh Goat Cheese.

I love this natural, lower fat cheese with the flavor of sourness, like

it is made out of sour cream.


6. My youngest daughter and I had an antipasto box and added hummus

with sliced carrots and cucumbers from Opa’s Greek Restaurant, located

across the street from my apartment to watch a movie. We felt self-righteous

and healthier than our usual buttered popcorn and chocolate candies, we

usually buy to eat when we are sitting on a mattress in my living room floor.

We watched the movie that Beth recommended, so I must write a review soon

on the movie. Coming Soon at a blog near you!


7. A delicious and acquired taste that was shared with me by a friend, is the

Kalamata Olive Spread that supplies good olive fat and that tangy flavor of

olives. I enjoy this on pita corners, supplied by the Opa’s Greek Restaurant

or spread directly on a thick slice of cheese.


8. Planter’s Nuts has come up with a great new product called, “Nut-ration

Heart Healthy Mix.” This can be a great protein snack that meets some of

your salty taste buds’ needs! (Hint: 50% less sodium than their other cans

of mixed nuts.)


9. If you are one, like one of my old boyfriends, who likes to have pizza to

‘chow down on,’ you may wish to try Amy’s brand, which has a whole wheat

kind of crust or Amy’s Pesto Pizza, with has less saturated fat and sodium,

along with baking it will bring out the fresh taste, you can also add some of

your garden herbs and vegetables. You may find this brand either in the

general frozen foods’ aisle or you may need to look for Amy’s in the healthy

frozen foods’ section. In our local Kroger’s, I found several variations of

this name brand in a separate area of the store, close to the produce


10. Since I mentioned deep fried mushrooms, on my lunch menu today, I

should offer a healthy alternative: “Alexia Mushroom Bites with Roasted

Garlic and Olive Oil.” They are a non-greasy yet tasty substitute. I like to

add a low fat ranch dressing, which if you haven’t tried Cindy’s Kitchen

brand, their product line offers Fresh Buttermilk Ranch. Yummy!


When I mentioned that my youngest daughter and I viewed a movie,

while eating the antipasto and hummus with vegetables, I would also like

to include in this post a recipe for:

“Spiced Chickpea Yogurt Dip”

Serves 12 people.

a. Rinse and drain 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas.

b. Add to food processor, with 6 T. of 2% plain Greek-style yogurt,

2-3 T. of fresh lemon juice, 2 T. of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp.

minced garlic and 1 and a 1/2 tsp. Moroccan seasoning (McCormick

has this, along with other shops sell different variations).

Season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth.

c. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

(Makes 1 and 1/2 cups.)

Serve with pita chips, corners or crudités for dipping. Or as I

mentioned, we chose to add carrots and cucumbers.


Which, by the way, the fun walk and lively conversation, along with the

tasty treats, were ‘way’ worth it the calories and ‘danger’ to our arteries!

Yet, definitely not ‘worked off’ on our 1 mile walk home.  My friend chose

a chili dog, a peanut butter shake and also a side dish of French fries. No

ranch, just ketchup.


Have fun any way you can this weekend!

Closing with a ‘real’ quote from great comedian/philosopher, George Carlin:

“Those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music.”





40 responses »

  1. What a great post. We were talking about different kinds of foods last night after a friend’s cookout. He was trying to make a point about “real” food by grilling all kinds of things that really weren’t what they appeared to be…though I’m still not sure what point it was he was trying to make. One was cat-food he’d disguised to look like tofu, and two of the guests actually got sick when they found out.
    I love the George Carlin quote–I think I’ll send it to our “gracious host.”

    • Eeewee! I’m trying to wrap my mind around your friend’s idea. Because you call him a friend, I have to believe he was well-intentioned. But YUCK! He was certainly misguided in using an actual meal to make a point about food politics.

      Someone ought to tell your friend that the ages-old advice about not mixing food with politics is eternally sacrosanct.

    • This was kind of funny, if you weren’t there to know the way it was happening. I don’t think it was such a good idea to use cat food, not sure if that is what I would expect at a picnic. Thanks, Marylin for this interesting addition to my post! Glad you enjoyed the real George Carlin quote, too!

    • I really appreciate this comment, Marylin! I think it is a little strange that your friend served up something like this, but he was making a point, I guess! I don’t believe in not being open about ingredients, so would be glad if you sent my post, since there are many tasty treats and have ingredients listed! I do think ‘real’ food to me, is vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, and other products with less ingredients that are fabricated. But, once in awhile, at a baseball game, on a walk to celebrate the end of summer, return to school and all, hot dogs are delicious. At a cook-out, with lots of choices, I usually won’t eat the hot dog, but a hamburger. Just because I don’t like animal by-products, plus those preservatives added. Thanks for also inspiring a comment from a fellow blogger, Tracy!

    • I think people say “Opa!” in Greece, when they add liquor to cheese or instead of “Skol!” in Germany. So, may or may not be related. I think that is a good question, TLK! I will check next time in there! Maybe their website may reveal this fact and tie-in?

  2. I’m glad you didn’t try to eat a quart of fried whole-belly clams with your order….that WOULD HAVE BEEN GLUTTONY! I’ve bought myself some unsweetened almond milk this week–not bad. Doesn’t need any sugar, for me! At least you know George Carlin got some of his material from a good source. CAN YOU IMAGINE….ole George actually narrated THOMAS (THE TANK ENGINE) AND HIS FRIENDS…for some years? I have had Sabra humus…hard to keep crackers in supply when my wife discovers them! 🙂

    • I love whole belly clams! I loved being on the East coast in Massachusetts, I have shared the love of seafood ever since with friends and family, Jonathan! No, I cannot fit that much food in my body, but I was about 45 lbs. heavier in my forties… Smiles, Robin

  3. Happy weekend to you, Robin. I will salute you with this comment: Hummus is yummus!

    Have you ever tried hummus with falafel? With a salad with Middle Eastern dressing? Maybe a beef chwarma? We have a restaurant here called King David’s that makes all of that to die for. Until I went there, I’d never eaten any of that style. I didn’t know what I was missing!

      • Good to know we have something else, besides music, movies and life in common, ha ha! Smiles and hope to eat Greek meal at King David’s with you and Karen some day… Robin

      • I am sneaking in here to refer y’all to a good Greek/Middle Eastern place (they call their food “Middle-terranean”) not too far from you. It is called Mezze and it is on North Hamilton Road in Gahanna (Ohio). Excellent food.

    • Thanks, Hollis! I will have to tell you I am heading to the pool, will be reading posts tomorrow. So sorry about saying “Hi and Bye” right now! I am glad you liked the butter pecan sundae idea and we are similar in a lot of ways, I feel!

    • So thankful that someone will try the foods I listed, PLGC!! I will be visiting people’s blogs tomorrow and will be in touch… Thanks for the use of ‘great’ with my post!

    • It seems we all are like this when we have people writing about food! I am so glad you ate breakfast, too, Eva! I will have to say, “Have a great weekend!” and head towards the pool with grandsons. I will get to the library at noon tomorrow and check out everyone’s posts! smiles, robin

    • Life is meant to be enjoyed, you are so right, Jill! Any way we can make it more happy and less serious, will help us through those many trials and worries we may face! Happy Sunday, sorry I headed off to the pool and could not get all the comments returned… Fun times!

  4. Wonderful blog Robin and some great foodie ideas!! You’ve got the right attitude……weekends are for kicking back, indulging in your favorite foods and spending time with family!! Have a wonderful weekend!!! 🙂

    Cathy x

    • Hope you had some fun, favorite foods and got to kick back, too! Cathy, I ended up at the pool with my 9 and 1/2 year old and my five year old grandsons, for 4 hours! Thank goodness, for sunscreen! We had this lovely snack called “Walking Tacos.” Have you ever tried this? They are started in mini tortilla chips bag, with hot taco meat, sprinkles of that Mexican cheddar cheese mix, given a fork and eat on a beach towel! I mentioned this to someone in my apartment building this a.m. and they had heard scouts and campers do this, making the meat mixture ahead and warming it up on a campfire, to add to the bags. It was quite filling with about 1/3 cup of hamburger with taco seasonings and about 1/8 cup cheese over the top, Skyler and Micah swish it all together and enjoy this concoction. So, enough about the day’s adventures, but I missed commenting back yesterday and wish to be extra-nice to those who had to wait a day to hear back… Smiles, Robin

  5. so funny my twin, because we have such similar tastes. i love butter pecan, with caramel and pecans on top the best and cannot get enough of guacamole. i know i have to reel it in a bit and take command of my eating habits once again, apparently i’ve enjoyed the summer just a bit too much!

    • Oh, you know Beth, you will be a ‘busy beaver’ with the school kids and hectic schedule! I think I am more of a slacker in the Fall through Winter months, so I expect an increase in my eating habits, then! I already am salivating over the idea of Delaware County fair food, Beth! Loved this comment and yes, we would have to have turtle sundaes, or our caramel ones together, if only there were transportation like the Jetsons’ had! (Or like Bewitched with a twinkle of our nose, or in I Dream of Jeannie, a nod of our head!)

  6. Robin, it seems you have hit a responsive chord with your food story. That is true for me as well. I was never a big fan of hummus until I tried Trader Joe’s Red Pepper hummus. I also just picked up my first ever box of the Hint-of-Salt Triscuits, so I am looking forward to trying them together.

    Your ice cream craving reminded me of my visits to the Tillamook Creamery on the Oregon Coast. They are famous on the west coast for their cheddar cheese, but they also have a line of ice cream, and they have flavors that are seldom seen in supermarkets. My favorite is root beer, and their pumpkin spice is better than any other brand. I love the banana flavor, too.

    I love the Roger Corless quote and your ideas for healthy snacks. I may have to try your recipe for dip, too. Thanks for your fun, mostly-healthy post! – Mike

    • I am so glad you mentioned the different homemade flavors up in the Tillamook Creamery, Mike! I would love the ones you listed, especially in a combination with another flavor, root beer with vanilla, pumpkin spice with coffee and banana with peanut butter or chocolate… I would have to have a double dip to create balance with my taste palates! Glad you liked the quote and will possibly try to recipe. You can always chop up peppers or use red pepper flakes in this one!

  7. Oh I love love love goat cheese. Hummus is now a favorite of mine as well. And I found a little store way out out out of the way that sells a salsa I am hoping to find again today and get some more. Good stuff Robin! Happy Weekend! 🙂

    • I love all kinds of salsa, Colleen! I have become a fan of ones that even have peaches and fruit in them, some of my coworkers make these and they are a combination of spicy and sweet… I wondered what do you like to use goat cheese with and how do you serve it? It was one that I can imagine using a variety of ways and like personal recommendations… Thanks!

      • Well I actually I don’t serve much food! 😉 But I have had goat cheese on many occasions. My favorite so far is set on fire! With lemon to put out the flame. 🙂

    • Some of the healthier choices, at the bottom of the post, may still fit into a diet, Luanne! But as a last hurrah for summer time, I recommend splurges! You are out in a warmer climate, probably do this more than I since I cannot go to the three ice cream places that ‘close up’ for winter… But there are still the chains of Tim Horton’s, United Dairy Farmers and Dairy Queen here, to be my downfalls! I was smiling at this one, I can take the weight of the blame, if you like! xo Robin

  8. I’ve been eating Amy’s pizza since I was a young woman. The cornmeal crust with goat cheese is amazing. I did read last week that Butter Pecan was the second most popular flavor last year, always a runner up to boring vanilla.

    • So thankful that you have been eating this since you were young! You probably have a much healthier inner body, than most people who order their pizza from take-out menus! I wish I had discovered this a long time ago! Thanks for also telling me about Butter Pecan, hey! You didn’t mention your favorite kind? Smiles for writing on this older post, Kerbey!

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