Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Healthier Boca Spicy Chik'n Sandwich

Well, it's time to repeat a previous lunch and attempt to make it a little bit healthier by cutting back on the fat and simple carbs. There's not much I could do to the chik'n patty. The Boca Spicy Chik'n Patty is my favorite replacement for a chicken patty, and while they are FULL of sodium, it's basically all the sodium that is found in this meal. I always cook using No-Salt (KCl), and this will be the only thing like this that I eat today, so this may very well be all the sodium that I ingest today. Even though I sometimes eat a specific item that has a lot of sodium in it, like this patty, I think I am doing well at keeping my sodium intake below (usually WELL below) 1800mg a day.

The bun, on the other hand, WAS something that I could do something about. After comparing the nutritional info of the white buns and wheat buns that I used to buy, I saw that there was no difference. Since they were "wheat" buns and not "whole wheat" buns, they didn't contain any more fiber. I think all they actually did was add something to dye them brown so they would look healthier. Anyway, I have gotten into the habit now of making my own buns using my favorite pizza dough recipe and replacing 100% of the flour in the recipe with whole wheat pastry flour (I also modify the water amount to 1 1/4 cup, add 3 Tbsp. of Vital Wheat Gluten and use Olive Oil for the oil). This gives me a much healthier bun which is full of fiber and only contains 6 ingredients. Who knows what half of that stuff is that is in the storebought buns. And, as an added bonus, my homemade buns taste a lot better than storebought. I am still working on their size though, and I need to select something else that is a little bit smaller to use as my cutter because this batch of buns was just a tiny bit too large. That's the other good thing about making my own bread too... I can make items the exact size that I need so that everything will always fit perfectly into my lunchbox.

The little blue container holds some Grape Seed Oil Vegenaise. I used to buy the regular version made with Canola Oil, but Grape Seed Oil is supposed to be really good for you (I need to do a lot more reading on that) so I switched. Anyway, with the homemade whole wheat bun the sandwich became a little bit healthier, and a lot more tasty.

A simple little change that produced big results, as far as making the lunch healthier, was to leave out the onion rings that I had in my previous lunch and just replace them with some fresh raw broccoli. I was getting in the bad habit of eating french fries and/or onion rings all the time, so this time I just left them out and replaced them with veggies, only adding a smaller container of some herb roasted potatoes & onions to satisfy my potato craving. I DO love potatoes, but the small container of homemade potatoes & onions roasted with some olive oil, garlic, No-salt, pepper and rosemary on them is probably healthier for me than a large container of storebought french fries.

I also didn't pack anything like the bad-carb-laden brownie that I had last time. Instead I opted for a healthier dessert, that would fit into the small amount of space that was left, and threw in my favorite, an Apple Pie Larabar. GOSH! Those are so good. So there I've got 1 1/2 servings of raw fruit in that tiny amount of space. DEFINITELY better for me than a brownie.

Well, I guess that about does it for today. Today's lunch is certainly healthier than the last time I packed one of these chik'n sandwiches. I have been reading some more about raw food and am really starting to get interested in it, especially when it comes to making healthy snacks & desserts. I've got a huge recipe book on its way, and I have ordered an Excalibur dehydrator so I can start making things really soon. I'm still throwing all of this around in my head at the moment, but I am thinking that I would like to start making my lunches at least 50% raw. I don't think that would really be that difficult to do. I mean, even today's lunch is 50% raw with 1 big container and 1 small container filled with raw food. I guess we will see how this progresses, but I have been looking at a lot of raw recipes and it all just sounds so interesting. Hopefully, some of it will start showing up in the lunchbox in the next week or so.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope everybody has a great Tuesday and I will see you right back here tomorrow!


scs said...

I am totally with you on the grapeseed vegenaise: that stuff is so good! I just made chickpea salad sandwiches with it last week and they were very tasty.

I too have been interested in raw food lately after reading Juliano's RAW cookbook. I will look forward to seeing what you make.

And, lastly (and sadly) a warning about Boca burgers. Last time I checked (perhaps things have changed and that would be great), Boca (who is owned by Kraft, who in turn is owned by Philip Morris) uses genetically-modified soy in their products. (Go to http://www.soyinfo.com/haz/company.shtml and http://www.organicconsumers.org/Corp/mergers.cfm for more details)

It's super unfortunate that they do, because it basically nullifies our efforts to eat healthy if we are unknowingly consuming GMO foods.

I applaud your healthier moves in your lunches, though! Raw broccoli for french fries: it doesn't get any more radical than that.

Cassie said...

Just curious? How do you get your buns (the sandwich ones lol) in that "shape" ? I know, I know, dumb question probably, but all my baking breads have one shape :( el' loafo which my little ones are tiring of. DOH! I bet you just roll these out huh?

Theresa said...

I love that this blog shows the extemes of healthy vegan food and junk food vegan lunches. A non-vegan stopping by gets to see the full range of what we eat... it isn't always healthy, but of course it can be!


Jane M said...

I got to agree with Theresa. I am constantly being asked what it is that vegans eat...ok, we have all been there, done that, got the t-shirt and had the t-shirt shrink in the wash...yeahhhhh. I just sent them to sites like this and it shuts them up for awhile.

It is so great to get ideas for my own meals too! Keeps me from getting stuck in a rut!

kennyboy said...

Hahahaha. This website does come in handy now for when people find out I am vegan and ask "Well then what DO you eat?".

I just say "Look at my website."

Most people can't believe it when they see that we can still eat all of this stuff, and the only thing missing is the cruelty, suffering and death. And the absence of all that needless stuff makes the food even BETTER!

I was kinda' fascinated by that bun shape too cassie because I didn't do it on purpose. I just mixed up the dough and let it rise for about 15 minutes, then I rolled it out on the counter and cut the buns out using a glass, just like cutting out biscuits. I weighed one because I was shooting for 2 - 2.5 ounces, they were heavier than that but I thought I would be okay. Next time though, I will use a smaller cutter so they won't be so big.

I put them on a cookie sheet and put them close together so that when the rose they would bump into each other and rise up instead of just getting bigger and bigger all over.

The bun I picked out to use today came from the corner of the cookie sheet which had a raised edge. The bun was really close to that corner edge and then got squeezed in by all his neighbors so it actually kinda' ended up being a little bit square shaped. I guess it's kinda' shaped more like a big dinner roll than a bun.

Next time, I'm gonna' put them all close together, but not right up on the edge of the cookie sheet.

stephanie said...

Love your blog! It's getting me to think about doing more than my standard every-day tofurkey & vegenaise on whole grain bread.... but i'm always so rushed for time in the morning!!
The roll you made looks delicious, I've never tried making my own but I think I will try it soon! I definitely have all the ingredients. One question though - do the rolls freeze well? I don't think I'd use more than one or two a week, and I could cut the recipe down some, but even cutting the recipe down doesn't change the amount of TIME you spend making them! Have you ever tried freezing them?

Keep up the good work :)


kennyboy said...

Nope. I haven't tried freezing them yet. But I need to because the batch I made last week started to mold before I could use them all.

I used to freeze storebought buns all the time since I rarely used them up in time. Surely these would freeze just as well.

I'm glad you thought of that, because I hadn't, and I would hate to lose these yummy rolls just because I don't eat them fast enough.

P.S. I don't spend any time on this in the morning, well, maybe just a few seconds to stick it in the carrying case and add an ice-pack. I always pack my lunch the night before and just stick it in the fridge. That's one of the reasons why I put the Vegenaise in its own container, so the bread doesn't get soggy.

If I had to feed myself lunch based on what I felt like fixing when I got up in the morning, I would starve. :o)

veggievulture said...

Hey Kenny! Just wanted to say that I love your blog and the pics of the food you make!! I also LOVE how you are so excited about vegan food and passionate about the cause. It's a huge inspiration.
Everything looks great.

Keep it up!!

kennyboy said...

Thanks Angie.

You just inspired ME!

Merry said...

You're blog rocks! The Cherry Pie Lara bars are wonderful as well (if you haven't tried them).