Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some Great Food and a Greater Buy

Lunch this week comes with a bit of guilt. I made the Spanish Empanadas, along with Red Rice and Beans. Its supposed to be served with a salad of cucumber and mango, but my mango isn't ripe yet. The reason for the guilt...the empanada pie crust. It called for shortening, and in Canada, or at least here, I can't find any trans-free shortening yet. Anyone have some substitutions that work well? I rarely, if ever, eat things with trans fats in them, but I still hate knowing that I'm eating some this week. I don't think the yummy crust is worth it, and I think next time I'll use her equally good pizza dough, and make more of a calzone. The filling was simple, Italian ground round and some sauteed onion, and I added some black beans. The rice and beans are good too. The rice was cooked in tomato juice and veggies.

Dinner is courtesy of Vive le Vegan: Greek Basmati Rice and Lemon Herb Tofu. I was skeptical about the tofu, since I don't usually like eating just tofu (flavoured or not), but I sliced it really thin, and the marinade and herbs got soaked into the tofu while baking. It is delicious! The rice is good too, although I'm not a big fan of mint in entrees.

So this week its a Spanish lunch and a Greek dinner, the closest I can come to traveling on a student's budget.

While picking up a parcel at the drug store today, I saw some fitness DVD's on sale for 6 bucks. I picked up a Walking Pilates workout. I just finished it, and it is a good workout. It'll add some variety to my routine.


Veg-a-Nut said...

Your meals look yummy. I am with you on transfats. I don't know if you can order direct from spectrumorganics.com, but they have a transfat free shorting. I have heard that you can use coconut oil too. Hope this helps.

thesundaybaker said...

I'm guessing you live in a small town. Crisco does have a new shortening that isn't transfat but saturated fats. I'm sure I saw it at a Safeway. Ask the general manager at your local supermarket to bring it in. It helps if some of your friends also put in a request. A written request is better than verbal) As long there is a demand and it sells well. The special shortening will be found on the shelves.
Luckly, I live in Vancouver, BC, (Friendly vegetarian and vegan town) where it isn't hard to find non transfat shortening like Earth Balance or Spectrum. Well, you can't find at a Safeway, Save-on-Foods, or Real Canadian Superstore. You can find them in the alternative food supermarkets like Capers, Whole Foods, or Choices (Canadian-owned) or in the smaller natural/organic food stores.

KleoPatra said...

Variety is the spice of life, hope those Pilates are a great addition for you for your workouts.

Love the food here, Melissa! Spain and Greece in the same week, without leaving the States. Abondanza!!

Melissa said...

veg-a-nut, I've also heard about coconut oil, I'll have to do some research.
Sunday, its good to hear its at least in Canada now. I emailed Crisco a few months ago about their trans free shortening and they said it was not available in Canada. I will write a note to the manager of the Superstore here. I've asked the health stores before too, but nothing has shown up.

Thanks Kleo :)

Tracy said...

Hey Melissa, that rice and beans looks hmmmmmmmmyummy!
BTW, here in Nova Scotia, Sobey's in larger areas carries Earth Balance shortening. (Not in my small town though...I have to stock up when i'm in the city. It's awesome stuff.)

Melissa said...

thanks Tracy. I'm heading through Ottawa Easter weekend, I'll have to look for some EB.

theONLYtania said...

Hey.. but the empanada looks soooo good! Lately I've been using avocado as the.. whatever that part of the recipe is.. the oil.. or fat or whatever.
That second meal is funny.. it's like you made a bunch of stuff you don't normally like (tofu and minty rice) good thing it wasn't bad!

Johanna3 said...

love the food, looks very good!

Carrie™ said...

Grrr! I hate when big companies have products in the USA, but not available in Canada. It's like a big tease. We would like the trans-fat free shortening too.
The first time I made the lemon herb tofu, I wasn't expecting it to be so flavourful because it just seemed too simple. I've made it lots of times and it travels well to be microwaved for lunches. Re: the PC chana masala - I love it! I've been buying it for a long time now. Same as you...for emergencies. Or days when I'm too lazy to get a lunch together. There are so many ethic frozen entrees available by PC, but 99.5% of them are meat! Maybe in time they'll get inventive.
Are Billy's Flames going to make the playoffs? It's pretty tight.