Label Me

by Jenn (eating bender) on September 30, 2008

I’m so glad that everyone seems to have liked the Blogger Secret Ingredient choice for this week! To answer some of the questions that appeared in the comments…

1) Yes, Mr. Butternut Squash was posing rather seductively on my bed.

2) The submissions are due by the end of the day on Sunday!

Glad we got that cleared up :) Particularly the one about the bed.

Yesterday’s lunch was absolutely fabulous and perfect for fall. I had a similar combination last week, but the addition of two extra ingredients really made everything come together.

The base of the soup is the Imagine Bistro Fire Roasted Tomato Bisque. I used 1 1/2 cups of it this time for a bigger bowl. I then added one serving of sun dried tomatoes and 1/2 cup spinach before microwaving on high for 2 minutes.

When the soup was hot enough, I topped it with 1 oz. fat free feta cheese and 4 whole wheat mini pitas. Again, the pitas make the soup extra good this time because you can dip and pour the soup into the pita. It’s almost like a creme-filled doughnut if the creme is soup and the pita is the doughnut 😉 Ok, that’s an awful comparison but seriously, it’s an excellent soup and very easy to make.

I also ended up using the leftover rice from my trip to Big Bowl with last night’s dinner. I couldn’t help myself – I went to Whole Foods and picked up an order of the sesame tofu. Later this week, I have plans to actually make it myself. But it’s always so tempting to just grab ‘n’ go!

The rice was a little mushier the second time around but it was still good. Pretty much anything paired with this tofu will taste good in my mind :) I looked up the ingredients list online and plan to incorporate some of the recipe into mine when I finally make it. You can find it with the nutrition information here.

And finally, it goes without saying that this next bowl will be making quite a few appearances at my side while doing homework at night this week.

I added some more frozen fruit to my repertoire: raspberries and pineapple. They are pictured here with the already-too-obsessively-good frozen mango.

I know some of you said you can find the frozen fruit for cheap – my Whole Foods seems to like charging an extra buck or two for everything :( But I’ve decided that since the bags are still much cheaper than other “treats” and much better for you, too, they will become a weekly staple.


Good news! Starting today, food retailers across the country are being required to label items like meat and produce with the location that they came from. The only confusing thing is that some of the products which fall under the labeling requirement actually don’t have to be labeled because they are considered processed (such as bacon). You can read more about it by clicking this link.

I know this question has been asked by others, but now I’m curious. Do you make every effort to buy locally grown or produced food? Why or why not?

Let me know what you think! Have a great Tuesday!

1 Megan September 30, 2008 at 9:54 am

Everything looks delicious! I need to try that soup!

2 Jordan September 30, 2008 at 9:55 am

I’m glad you picked squash! I loveeeeee cooking with butternut squash. I’m excited to do the contest now, woohoo!

3 Christie I September 30, 2008 at 10:36 am

I am late chiming in, I love butternut squash and for the first time since the BSI started, I actually have some on hand!

4 Natalie September 30, 2008 at 10:40 am

I loved your doughnut comparison lol, that just gave me an idea for savory doughnuts.

The frozen fruit and tofu dish look great!

5 Erin September 30, 2008 at 10:59 am

That tofu looks scrumptious! Even though it was a little softer.
I definitely don’t make an effort to buy everything locally, mostly because I can’t. When I lived in Oregon it was easy because the ecology is such that anything grows!! Not here. A local saying illustrates this very well: “Welcome to Lubbock, where the wind blows and nothing grows!”

6 Danielle September 30, 2008 at 11:07 am

Oh yum, yum, yum, yum. I know you don’t always have all the resources available like you would in a full-stocked home kitchen but just looking at your eats make me miss being able to cook quick and simple meals for myself in my old apartment. Oh the good ol’ days :). Great secret ingredient by the way, I’m excited to see what everyone comes up with and desperately wish it was in season here so I could contribute!

Interesting article… I try to eat as local as I can. At school I got delivery from a nearby organic farm and being abroad it couldn’t be easier since both my family rely heavily on produce from the farmers markets.

7 ChocolateCoveredVegan September 30, 2008 at 11:10 am

You can also always freeze regular fruit. I do it all the time with cherries, peaches, honeydew, raspberries, strawberries… and of course grapes!

8 Fit Bottomed Girls September 30, 2008 at 11:15 am

I do try to make an effort to buy local, but I’m not very good at meeting that goal. Hopefully the new labels will help me make better decisions!

9 Melissa S. September 30, 2008 at 11:30 am

Mmmm….love the soup! and the doughnut comparison ROCKS MY SOCKS! hahaha!

and i try to buy locally by going to the farmer’s market…i try to get everything possible from spices, to fruits and veggies, to jewelry for presents for people, even spices, and of course homemade fresh bread/baguettes/pitas…etc. i believe the less it travels, the better…because that’s less that has to be put into the environment.

have a great tuesday!

10 maggie September 30, 2008 at 12:10 pm

I just discovered frozen fruit and it’s amazing. I always used to microwave it to room temp but then Bobby got me hooked on frozen blueberries. Yummo 😀

11 jenngirl September 30, 2008 at 12:37 pm

haha I meant to say something about that seductive squash from last night!!

Love tomato bisque, your add-ins sound great!

I saw an article on this morning about the food labeling, and honestly I don’t think about where my food comes from as much as I should. But I think it’s a pretty neat thing that the government is requiring some changes in the food industry, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

Have a great day! :)

12 Sarah September 30, 2008 at 1:06 pm

that soup looks so good. now that the cooler weather is here I’ll be eating a ridiculous amount of soup, last year I think I had it pretty much 5 days a week, haha. I mix it up with lots of different flavors though!

Frozen fruit is the best thing ever! I think that frozen mango is my all time favorite, followed by frozen grapes.

I wish that I could buy all local and organic food but unfortunately right now I just buy whatever is cheapest. I hate being a poor college student!

13 Tina September 30, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Yum! Love the frozen fruit idea! :)

14 Amanda September 30, 2008 at 2:06 pm

ooh that tofu recipe is helpful! i tried just marinating and baking it with basically all of the sauce, but no flour. that would make it extra crispy and good. yummm thanks!

15 Kristie September 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm

You’ve just inspired me to make some soup for dinner. And to throw some sundried tomatoes and spinach in it. I can’t wait. Yum.

As for locally grown food, I’ll be straight up honest and say I probably make no effort at all to attempt to get locally grown. Most likely because I’m lazy and time constrained and just run to the grocery store for most stuff, grabbing whatever I need and not really paying attentiont to anything else about it. I think grocery stores around here sell quite a bit of local produce anyway though. I think the even bigger reason though would be that my mother buys most of the groceries anyway. So whether those include local items or not are more in her hands 😉

16 Christie September 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm

i think it is hard being on a budget and wanting to buy organic and local grown.. i am not familiar with the price range for local grown but I buy mostlyt from supermarket and specialty items at whole foos and trader joes… there are certain thing I prefer organic like milk, but others I have to go with what is cheapest!

17 VeggieGirl September 30, 2008 at 4:44 pm

Mr. Butternut is definitely a sexy squash 😉

Gorgeous bisque and frozen fruit!!

I try to buy locally whenever that option is possible.

18 ttfn300 September 30, 2008 at 7:38 pm

such GREAT looking eats!! i hope to get in an entry by sunday :)

19 Christie September 30, 2008 at 9:06 pm

I have a question.. how did u get the foodie blog roll to show up.. I have the special code but i cant get it to show up on my blog.. maybe I am entering it in the wrong place? If you can lt me know if you have time I woudl aprecciate it.

Thanks, Christie

20 Erica September 30, 2008 at 9:34 pm

Again, that soup looks fabulous! I buy my frozen fruit at BJs. It is so cheap and totally delicious.

21 Grounded Fitness September 30, 2008 at 10:26 pm

wow all of that looks so delicious! like magazine delicious! is there a cookbook in the works?

Kelly Turner

22 rhodeygirltests October 1, 2008 at 7:36 am

love the butternut squash idea, but not sure i’ll make it by sunday. i’ll try my best!!!

question: does it have to be my own recipe or just using the ingredient somehow?

23 eatingbender October 1, 2008 at 7:53 am

To all ~ I’m glad you like the secret ingredient choice and I was very interested to hear your opinions on eating locally. Thanks :)

Christie ~
I tried to answer your question on your blog, I hope it wasn’t too confusing :)

rhodeygirltests ~ Good luck! It doesn’t have to be your own recipe – just use it somehow and I’ll be satisfied!

24 fitnessista October 1, 2008 at 10:07 am

i can’t get over how DELICIOUS that soup looks! another reason to beg my madre to send me some TJs mini pitas (they’re my favorite). haha i love the doughnut comparison– a very healthy doughnut, indeed 😀
i would LIKE to buy locally, but since i live in podunk, georgia it’s difficult to find ingredients out here. i do pick my own strawberries, blueberries and grapes in the summer, but that’s pretty much it. i was thinking of doing a csa delivery when the hubby gets back, but for now it wouldn’t be worth it since i’ll be in tucson for a month!!
i’m way excited to make something outta mr. butternut squash.
have a happy wednesday!

25 HeatherBakes October 1, 2008 at 10:41 am

So you just snack on the fruit while it’s still frozen? Interesting! I’ve tried that with grapes, but nothing else. Good idea :)

Up until recently, I actually haven’t paid much attention to where my food was grown (bad, I know!)- but I’m trying to make more of an effort.

Those mini pitas look so good!

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