Saturday, July 24, 2010


In exploring alternative forms of food to go along with my efforts to reduce my weight and control my intake of carbohydrates I have been eating a variety of dried foods. My daughter found a nice mix called "Fruit and Nut Medley" at Costco. She also found a nice blend of rice crackers at that same source.

I have been experimenting with blending various snack blends from the Dollar Tree, as well. I like their Santa Fe mix, containing some cracker bits, roasted corn, peanuts, and a few other things. To that I add their dried pineapple and mango snack, and the chili and lemon flavored dried garbanzo beans.

Unfortunately, neither Costco nor Dollar Tree stock any dried vegetable snack items. I have not yet found a good source of dried cheeses that will fit in with my current program of frequent small meals. These dried snack items I have so far found are mixed into a big plastic jar. I recently added some beef jerky from the Dollar Tree, and found those bits add a lot to the mix. I add only a little, cutting the jerky into small bits.

The spices that flavor the Santa Fe mix and the garbanzo beans tend to stick to the dried fruit pieces. I happen to like the flavor combination. The chili and lemon flavoring on the dried garbanzo beans is not particularly hot, though some who are sensitive to hot spices may find the mix not to their liking.

I am generally eating a small meal every two to three hours. I do not eat unless I am hungry. I then plate up a volume of my snack blend according to the calorie and carbohydrate count rated per serving. Most of the time my beverage is water, though I do have coffee or tea once in a while. I eat slowly, and stop eating when I no longer feel hungry.

Generally I will have dinner with the family. Since we are busy with getting ready to move to another state in a only a matter of days, I have not been doing much cooking. I eat what is prepared, watching my portion sizes.  My daughter has been doing the cooking, and is trying to be conscious of balance, calories and carbohydrates as she prepares meals.

Once we have moved I will further explore local and Internet sources for food items that can be blended in a jar and carried almost anywhere. Camp food, road food, or just portion control and balance food. I hope to find some good and affordable sources of dried vegetables and experiment with various blends.

I also hope to create a kitchen laboratory in which I will learn the art of drying foods. One area I really want to explore is drying grilled vegetables. I also want to experiment with grinding my dried foods to create bases for soups and sauces.

Barbecue is certainly not out. My Char-Broil Silver Smoker will go to my son, Matthew. He is remaining in the area from which we are moving, and I don't really want to haul the heavy smoker with us on the move. I shall find a nice replacement, and continue my barbecue adventures.

Though I am working on weight loss, I am not giving up good food. I am exploring new areas, and learning to eat wisely and well. I hope to continue to record my adventures and share them here.