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Shopping and Cooking

Posted by tinako on May 5, 2009

I bought a lot of food today.  I’m buying even more tomorrow.

I was at Tadco, a bulk food store, buying orange extract for $1/oz when I saw they had mini chocolate chips that happened to be vegan – our local grocery store only carries Nestle minis, and they have milk in them.  So I am all excited because now I can make chocolate chip ice cream without having to chop up chocolate chips.

Cans of organic beans were on sale at the natural food store, so I stocked up.  I keep them on hand to expand my options when I havent planned ahead, but I try to avoid actually using them.  I usually buy dry beans for economy.  A pound of organic dry beans, about $2, cooks up to the equivalent of 3-1/2 cans, at $2 each organic on sale.  Canned beans are also usually high in sodium, whereas dry beans of course have only what you add.  However, you can get rid of a lot of sodium by thoroughly rinsing the canned beans.

Why does sodium matter?  It robs your body of calcium.  For every 2300 mg of sodium (1 tsp of salt) you eat, you must eat 230-460 mg calcium (23%-46% of the RDA) to make up for the loss.  I find it very difficult to keep my sodium intake as low as I would like to.  My veggie juice is very high in it, and I don’t care for the no-salt kind.   I wish there were a medium salt variety.  Tortillas usually have a lot.   Consumer Reports rated Rice Krispies as a poor choice for breakfast cereal because of sodium.  So many things are high in sodium, even convenience whole foods.  I almost bought a can of Amy’s refried beans that had 440 mg sodium per half can serving, and Amy’s chili has 680.  I bought an Amy’s low-salt refried beans, which had 125 mg.  The cans of plain beans I bought were all about 125, but I see that my local store brand has 360.   Just rinse them.  Also look at the fat content of canned refried beans.  The fat-free varieties taste fine and just contain beans and spices.

So anyway, threading my way back to the point, canned beans are a very good nutritional choice, and nothing to feel bad about.  If you don’t have the time to cook beans and don’t care about the cost, canned beans are still very good for you.  So eat your beans.

Beany Burgers, Collard Greens, and Mashed Potatoes

Beany Burgers, Collard Greens, and Mashed Potatoes

Dinner was Beany Burgers (made with canned beans and leftover Chinese takeout rice) on a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato, Mashed Potatoes, and steamed collard greens with balsamic vinegar.

When I was vegetarian, pre-vegan, I used to eat a fair number of Morningstar Farms veggie burgers.  The nutritional info is not too bad, and certainly better than meat in most respects, but take a look at the ingredients list:

TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (WHEAT GLUTEN, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, WATER FOR HYDRATION), EGG WHITES, CORN OIL, CALCIUM CASEINATE, CONTAINS TWO PERCENT OR LESS OF MODIFIED TAPIOCA STARCH, ONION POWDER, CANOLA OIL, TRIGLYCERIDES FROM COCONUT OIL, HYDROLYZED VEGETABLE PROTEIN (CORN GLUTEN, WHEAT GLUTEN, SOY PROTEIN), DEXTROSE, SALT, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, SUGAR, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS FROM NON-MEAT SOURCES, CARAMEL COLOR, CULTURED WHEY, MALTODEXTRIN, GARLIC POWDER, SPICE, CELLULOSE GUM, DISODIUM GUANYLATE, DISODIUM INOSINATE, SOY SAUCE (WATER, SOYBEANS, SALT, WHEAT), VITAMINS AND MINERALS (NIACINAMIDE, IRON [FERROUS SULFATE], THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE [VITAMIN B6], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], VITAMIN B12), SESAME SEED OIL, CELERY EXTRACT, SOY LECITHIN.

Compare this with the ingredient list of the Beany Burgers link above.  These products are not a bad food choice, and the vegan burgers have fewer and more identifiable ingredients.  I just decided I wanted to eat more whole food.  I prefer my homemade burgers, since the food is identifiable, instead of a brown mystery patty.

I’m not done shopping.  Tomorrow I expect to buy 100 lbs. of flour.  I don’t fool around.

4 Responses to “Shopping and Cooking”

  1. […] have too much sodium.  This Moosewood meal was fine with 180 mg.  A guy I saw on the internet once was talking about […]

  2. […] last topic today.  I accidentally bought some full-salt veggie juice after having weaned myself away to no-salt (by buying no-salt and adding 1/2 t salt […]

  3. […] husband is watching his sodium, and when I looked on the beer brats package I got an eyeful.  For some reason four hot dogs is […]

  4. […] since after all the cooking gas isn’t free.  I’m also doing it to try to cut down on salt.  The bouillon paste I use, Better Than Bouillon, is awfully salty.  Despite my pretty healthy […]

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