Grocery goodies and Chia Chili Cheese

Hey everyone! Hope your Monday has been bueno 😀 Mine definitely has been! The pilot was off work, so I got to chill with him before I had to train. I promised to post the grocery goodies for ya’ll but also wanted to post the rest of my Orlando foodie. Before we left yesterday, I got to feast two of my favorite places: Panera and Whole Foods!

At Panera I had lunch for bfast:

1/2 Mediterranean veggie on whole wheat with no feta, and 1/2 Greek salad with no feta and dressing on the side


I love how Panera uses real silverware. Fancy schmancy, eh? 😉

Later on, I had a lovely green juice while meandering around heaven on earth (aka Whole Foods)

This little baby had lemon, parsley, kale and green apple


I got some groceries (and actually didn’t buy nearly as much as usual) and also got some hot bar to munch on the way home


Miso slaw (my favorite!), roasted veggies, and salad topped with artichokes, hearts of palm, kalamata olives and baba ganoush.

Here’s what I picked up:


Thai coconuts, raw goat cheddar and Ezekiel tortillas for enchilada purposes


Nama shoyu, apricot spread, raw organic apple cider vinegar, Annie’s ketchup, lemon, Larabars


Mixed fruit, flax seeds, hot salsa, enchilada sauce


Produce! Avocados, cucumber, bell peppers, kale, juicy plum tomatoes, green apples, beets and carrots.

That’s it! Wow. I’m thinking the reason I didn’t go buck wild is because the health food store here actually has a lot of the items I love to buy. Thai coconuts and raw goat cheese are the things I need to travel for right now.

This morning, I started the day with a banana:


And a green juice:


It had 1/2 cucumber, 2 kale leaves, 1 green apple, 1 pear, handful of parsley and 1/2 lemon. I think I’ve finally gotten more juice hardcore because now I crave sour green juices more than sweet juices. The lemon and green apple really do the trick! I’m thinking it’s tied with the “Cullen juice” for first place 😉

I was kind of putzing around the casa for the first half of the day. We had a lot of fun this weekend but didn’t have very much down time, so we were moving a little on the slower side.

I made some cookies (oatmeal chocolate chip from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan):


Of course I tested one for quality purposes 😉

When it was time for lunch, I was way excited to try to make something new.

I took my favorite raw goat cheddar (same nutritionals and ingredients as the Alta Dena brand but around a dollar cheaper and has a better texture IMO):


And added strips of the raw goat cheddar with bell pepper, carrot, tomato, cilantro, sea salt and pepper into collard leaf wrappers:


After the roll up:


With an amazing dipping sauce…..

I bring you Chia Chili Cheese sauce! (Semi-inspired by Kristen’s Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce)


Check out that cheesy, creamy decadence 😉

To make the sauce, I soaked 2 tbs chia seeds in 1/2 cup water for 10 mins:


I was afraid of working with chia seeds (even though I’ve had a huge bag of them for a few months and haven’t touched them!) but since I know my good friend Heather is a fan, I figured I’d give it a whirl.

The chia seeds gelatinized and made an awesome base for the sauce!

Into the Vitamix went the gelled chia seeds and water, 1/2 yellow bell pepper, 1/2 ts chili powder, 2 tbs nutritional yeast, hefty sprinkle of sea salt, 1 clove garlic, pinch of pepper, and a diced dried chipotle chili (which can be omitted if you’re not a spicy fanatic like yours truly).

And here’s what I got:


It was soooooo good and would be even better with some raw chips dipped in there. Time for me to get some into the dehydrator 😉

The pilot and I went to the gym, where my friend Jeni and I chatted on the elliptical for 45 minutes. Classes at the base gym were canceled today because it was a “family day”. When we got back, we checked the mail and I was beyond stoked to see that Sarma’s new cookbook had arrived!


Since I pre-ordered, she signed my copy:


And included a free fig bar, which went directly into my mouth:


I already have some meals planned for this week from the new cookbook and I can’t wait to try them out!

Well it’s time for this girl to get into wind down mode (by catching up on your lovely blogs) and hit the hay.

Have a great night and I’ll see you in the morning!

Much love,


What’s your all-time favorite cookbook?? My top three are definitely “Eat, Drink and Be Vegan”, “Raw Food, Real World” and “Everyday Raw”. We’ll have to see how Sarma’s new book fits in there, but I can already tell I’m going to love it!

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  1. traveleatlove on July 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I have a tattered old cookbook from Moosewood that my aunt bought in the 70's and gave to me awhile back. It has a lot of her notes in it, so its fun to discover recipes she likes, substitutions she made, etc.
    Also totally love Nigella Express and hope to have it as a giveaway very soon!

  2. lilveggiepatch on July 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    When I have more time, I really need to get into raw cooking. Everything you make always looks so good!

    The recipes I've had the most "success" with are probably Veganomicon and all of the Moosewood cookbooks.

    Enjoy your night!

  3. Normal Gal on July 6, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    You are inspiring me to try new things and get out of my comfort zone with food. I tried some goat cheese this weekend because of one of your posts I read, and omg, now I understand, simply put! haha nice haul at WF, too!

  4. shelby on July 6, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    What section are the juices in at your Whole Foods?! I don't even think mine has juice avalible =(

    Mmm, LOVE those cookies! They are my mom's absolute favorite! I always replace the raisins with choc chips too =)

  5. VeggieGirl on July 6, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    SARMA'S NEW BOOK IS PHENOMENAL!!! I literally read the entire thing in 2 nights 🙂

  6. katherine on July 6, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    I can't wait to hear what you think of that book!

  7. Kailey (SnackFace) on July 6, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Ya know, we get books supah early at VegNews, and I was fact-checking a piece about that book and as I was looking through it I thought, "oh my god, G's gonna love this." It's a beautiful book with fab recipes.

    I'm so not good with making things from books. I just want to throw a salad together and call it a day!

    Oh, and I'm so with you about wanting green juice all day. But I don't have a juicer, so I'm just eating a lot of green.

    I hope you have a fabby night!

  8. Emily on July 6, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    That juice looks great, I need to get a juicer, yours always looks so good!

  9. fittingbackin on July 6, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Wow – i love how fearless you are with trying new things and mixing it up! Can't wait to see what you think about the cookbook! right now my favorite cookbook is Hungry Girl! 🙂 My first step into eating different!!

  10. sweetandfit on July 6, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    your collard lead roll ups look amazing!

    random question: what do you do with the apple cider vinegar?

  11. Andrea of Care to Eat on July 7, 2009 at 12:09 am

    I love that sticker on the banana!
    My fave cookbook is Google – I have a really hard time finding recipes, so what works for me is Googling what I have in mind, and going from there! Drives my husband nuts because I have 40 cookbooks on my shelf at home 🙂 Glad you got to spend some time with the Pilot!

  12. Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) on July 7, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Oh my gosh – so making that chia chili cheese tomorrow as I have all those ingredients. Love it Gina! Oh, and thanks for the chia see shout-out. 🙂

    Lovely trip (as always) to Whole Foods. Miso slaw, huh? I must recreate that recipe. Love me some miso.

    Favorite cookbook? That's a tough one. I think it would probably be Country Life Vegetarian Cookbook. Bought it years ago from a vegan restaurant her in Nashville – I don't think it's even in print anymore.

  13. glidingcalm on July 7, 2009 at 12:16 am

    now i know what to do with my chia seeds!!! SOOO EXCITED!! book marking this FA SHO.

  14. RunningWithin on July 7, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Hi Gina! I was wondering what your thoughts are on juice fasting, whether you've ever tried one, and if you think they are beneficial.

  15. Kristen's Raw on July 7, 2009 at 12:27 am

    Great variation of my recipe… Sounds delish!

    Sarma's fig bar is so yummy. I had some when we were in NY.


  16. ChickPea on July 7, 2009 at 12:53 am

    Amazing goodies!
    I actually just devoted a video post to my fave cookbooks. My favorites include ED&BV, Totally Vegetarian, and Imus Ranch Cookbook.

  17. MarathonVal on July 7, 2009 at 1:05 am

    I'm very intrigued by the chia seeds cheesy dip! Thanks for sharing that! That's something I would NEVER have probably made myself if you had not gotten me interested!

  18. Sarah (LovIN My Tummy) on July 7, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Thanks for the cookbook recs. I was just browsing on Amazon for more raw "cook"books!

    I too need to find a closer locale for the Thai coconuts. At this point, I think Thailand is about the closest place to me to find them.

    Have a great Tuesday, Gina!!!

  19. Balance, Joy and Delicias! on July 7, 2009 at 6:12 am

    I tried raw food for the first time when I went to NYC last weekend and I loved it!!!! That chia Chili Cheese looks delicious! 🙂

  20. carla on July 7, 2009 at 6:49 am

    please come over and stage an intervention.



  21. Lauren on July 7, 2009 at 7:16 am

    That seems like such a great cookbook. I've been keeping my eye out for a really good Raw Cookbook so let me know how this one is.

    I get the exact same thing at Panera. The Med. Veggie sandwich is out of this world! 🙂

    Hope you have a wonderful day dear!

  22. Christina on July 7, 2009 at 7:56 am

    I love the new site design! My favorite cookbook right now is Betty Crocker Whole Grains, altho I'm about to order Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan after hearing so much about it!

  23. eatingbirdfood on July 7, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Love this post for many reasons…

    Panera is one of my favorite "fast food" restaurants and the Mediterranean veggie sandwich is the best! Although their tiny water cups annoy me.

    Love all your Whole Foods purchases. I still have yet to try my hand at whacking open a young Thai coconut. I should probably get on that.

    AND. CHIA SEEDS are so fun to experiment with. Your recipe for the cheeze sauce looks awesome. I personally love them in oats and smoothies.

  24. Amanda on July 7, 2009 at 8:39 am

    My favorite cookbook is my binder with the recipes I've collected from other cookbooks, magazines, friends, and my mom's cookbooks and binders. The best part is if I try a recipe and don't like it, I can get rid of it. I think I need a bigger binder – this ones bursting at the seams!

  25. lilrrh on July 7, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Hi! I'd love to know what you do with the Thai coconuts. I always see them at Whole Foods, but am a little intimidated by them.

    BTW..thanks for being such a great inspiration. I drink my coffee to your blog every morning. Your like having my own trainer right here at home.

  26. Zoe on July 7, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I love those lettuce wraps! And the goat cheese…yum!

  27. Gina on July 7, 2009 at 9:11 am

    hi lilrrh- thanks so much- i'm so happy to hear you enjoy my little blog.
    here's a great site on how to open a thai coconut:
    there are SO many things you can do with them, but my favorite way to use them is to make raw ice cream or put them into smoothies. let me know if you need any recipes!

  28. justine on July 7, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Hmmm. I wonder if that Chia Chili Cheese would be a good dressing or dip for squash fries? I am to cheap to buy cookbook so I go to Barnes and Noble and copy down recipes. I have a bunch of raw ones that I cant wait to try!!


  29. Annie D. on July 7, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Ani Phyo Raw Food Kitchen. YUM! Her Raw Apple Pie is the BEST!

  30. brandi on July 7, 2009 at 9:55 am

    that chia chili cheese sauce sounds awesome!

  31. Shannon (The Daily Balance) on July 7, 2009 at 10:40 am

    can't wait to hear (and see!) how you like the book 😉

  32. Sweetie Pie on July 7, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Great haul from the store, and I'm loving your green juice!

    I don't think I can pick a favorite. I love having a bunch of cookbooks!

  33. K from ksgoodeats on July 7, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Panera + WFs = two things I adore oh so much! Nice grocery haul!!

    I am in LOVE with that cheesy dip – I need to get some chia seeds ASAP!!

  34. Emily on May 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Wow looks great! Would the dip work without the yeast?

    • Fitnessista on May 4, 2011 at 9:32 pm

      no, the nutritional yeast gives it the cheesy taste 🙂

  35. RachelG on August 22, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Hi Gina! I was just reading old posts and I’m salivating over the ingredients in that fig bar! I was in the natural food section of Stop and Shop yesterday and felt like all the “natural” snacks had added ingredients that didn’t need to be there. Even the dried fruits had added citric acids and sugars…is that Ok/normal? Maybe my expectation of just seeing “pinapple” listed was too high. All the best! 🙂

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