Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finals week

Miso Soup, Vegetable Sushi, and Condiments
This is a bit of a cop-out post.  I actually did do some cooking on Friday; a friend and I made sushi and tempura.  But I haven't been cooking too many recipes.  Between writing forty pages of my own papers, and grading over a hundred pages of students' papers, I knew this would be a busy week (*understatement!*). 

So, it's helpful to just have large amounts of food around that can easily turn into a meal.  I prepared several meals' worth of sushi fixings, and chopped up some tofu and scallions for quick miso soup (essentially instant!).  I also made a huge vat of a chili-ish soup that's not really worth blogging about here--potatoes, black beans, carrots, chipotle and jalapeno peppers, etc.

Avocado "Quesadilla" and Spicy Potato-Bean Chili

I did want to note the delicious avocado quesadilla--just mashed avocado and lemon on a lightly toasted whole wheat/corn tortilla.  You could add lots of other things, too.  What made this really fantastic was the quality of both the avocado and the tortilla.

It's surprisingly difficult to find a decent whole grain tortilla in the supermarket.  Now, there are plenty of tortillas in Jons, but I picked up these Mission multigrain tortillas that just tasted bad.

A comparison with the similarly sized Organic Whole Wheat and Corn Flour Tortillas from Trader Joe's was illuminating:
  • Though both tortillas were about 140 calories and 5 g of protein, the Mission one had 4.5 g fat (of which 1.5 g saturated) to Trader Joe's 1 g (of which 0 g saturated) -- even though the TJs one is more tender.  What's still more icky is that while TJ's has 7% of your daily sodium, Mission has 19%.
  • Mission has 34 (!) ingredients, including hydrogenated soybean and/or palm oil AND various preservatives, cellulose gum, and "dough conditioners" including something called "fumaric acid."  TJ's ingredient count?  9, and I know what all of them are (note that they do contain honey).
I don't get it.  The TJs tortillas have kept for two weeks in the fridge with no problem, and considering the Mission ones tasted bad to begin with, I'm not sure the preservatives are doing much good.  And of course there's the organic thing as well.  The real shame?  The TJs tortillas are significantly cheaper.

1 comment:

myer nore said...

Well, as far as I can tell you know you've "made it" culinarily when blogging a mouth-watering picture of a home-made meal, and calling it a "cop-out." This post serves as a shining example of how sustained interest in food leads to healthier lifestyles: you had sushi and embellished miso components "lying around," so you ate that because it was there. You're the healthy antithesis to the grad school stereotype; usually it's "chinese food at 2 AM followed by a pot of coffee." Hope your 40 pages are inspiring you and not melting your interest!

Awesome analysis of the mission tortillas vs TJ tortillas. You know, trader joe's around here has perishable pizza dough by the "grab tonight's ready-made dinner" isle. I don't think I've ever seen perishable pizza dough in a grocery store before! You know, with practice, you can make the same number in an hour for the week and save $2.50 ...