Friday, November 30, 2007

Celebration Roast

Still holding to the vegetarian diet (lacto-ovo). So I picked up a "Stuffed Celebration Roast" from Whole Foods in San Rafael which is made by the Field Roast Grain Meat Company. It looks very tasty through its clear wrapper. And the label listed the stuffing as field roast, butternut squash, apples and mushrooms. That sounded good too!

Celebration Roast with cheesy potatoes

To pair with the roast I made a variation of a potato recipe that I learned from a long time friend (schoolmate's mother) in Marysville, WA - Mrs. Ethel Cage. She made these potatoes using a Campbell's cheese and broccoli condensed soup, but I could not locate that variety, so I settled for the Cheddar Cheese condensed soup. Basically, into square pan, layer sliced onions and potatoes (I used Yukon gold) then cover with an undiluted can of the soup, then bake covered (with foil if no lid) at 350F for about 40 minutes, until potatoes are tender. The field roast was great! It had a nice texture and flavor and it paired well with the cheesy potatoes. A nice starter of mixed greens and dessert of a sweet navel orange made a satisfying and nourishing meal.

Since potatoes and onions are definitely herbs, not to mention all the veggie things in the celebration roast, I'm entering this post into , hosted by Kalyn the originator of the event at her blog Kalyn's Kitchen. Be sure to check her site on Sunday for a delicious round-up of vegetable/herb/plant postings from around the globe. About.com has a nice write up about Yukon Gold potatoes. And Vegetarian Nutrition has a nice write up about the health benefits of onions.

Deconstructing the Campbell's Soup Label: Don't read on if you don't want a spoiler to your soup memories. Actually, it's not as bad as I thought, and I'll be continuing to eat Mmmm Mmmm Good Soup, but as with current practice, sparingly. It's not exactly local food, and it has some interesting ingredients, although some are normal things with scientific names. It's mostly water, milk, cheese, starch and margarine/oil. Take a look, and follow the links if you are interested.

Cheddar Cheese Condensed Soup

INGREDIENTS: WATER, CHEDDAR CHEESE (MILK, CHEESE CULTURE SALT, ENZYME), WHEAT FLOUR, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, MARGARINE (PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL FLAVOR, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, BETA CAROTENE [FOR COLOR], VITAMIN A PALMITATE), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% of THE FOLLOWING INGREDIENTS: SALT, SUGAR, ENZYME MODIFIED CHEESE (MILK, WATER, MILKFAT, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES, VITAMIN A PALMITATE), SODIUM PHOSPHATE, LACTIC ACID, APOCAROTENAL FOR COLOR, XANTHAN GUM, GUAR GUM, FLAVORING, SODIUM CITRATE, ENZYME MODIFIED BUTTER, NONFAT DRY MILK, VEGETABLE OIL (CORN, COTTONSEED OR PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN), BUTTER, CREAM POWDER, LIPOLYZED BUTTER OIL, OLEIC ACID, BUTTER OIL, BUTTER FLAVOR (ENZYME MODIFIED BUTTER, ACETIC ACID), ENZYME MODIFIED CHEDDAR CHEESE (CHEDDAR CHEESE [MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES, CALCIUM CHLORIDE], WATER, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE).

I got started on this ingredient adventure because although the cheddar cheese soup appeared vegetarian (lacto), it didn't have a vegetarian label, nor a kosher label (kosher labels are helpful as it would show more about whether there was meat in it). So I tried calling the Campbell's folk, and surmised that they have not sub-contracted their customer service outside the country as their hours are based on Eastern Time. So I wrote them an e-mail asking about which items are vegetarian and got the following response:

"Unfortunately, we're not able to supply you with a definitive list of our vegetarian products. At this time, the following products are considered vegetarian:

1. Campbell's V8 Vegetable Juice
2. Campbell's Tomato Juice
3. Campbell's V8 Splash
4. Pace Thick & Chunky Salsa
5. Pace Picante Sauce
6. Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable Soup

Product recipes change frequently and ingredients are periodically added and replaced which makes it difficult to maintain an updated list of products that either contain or lack a particular ingredient."

Thinking about this some more, I realized that when you see "enzyme" associated with cheese, it is more often than not, rennet, a meat product, which would probably mean it couldn't be labeled vegetarian. I guess how much Campbell soup I eat may depend on just how vegetarian I want to be.

3 comments:

Kalyn said...

Very interesting post. I love the deconstructed soup label. I confess that I have a recipe for Thanksgiving Broccoli with Cheese Sauce that my family loves which uses that cheese soup. I always wondered just how bad it was, and I'm happy to hear that it's possibly not quite so bad as I was imagining. (Of course, I was imagining the worst!) I bet it would taste good on potatoes too!

Laurie Constantino said...

Good detective work Anna! Detailed looks at processed food labels is a little scary. My husband Aunt Fran makes a similar recipe, but uses real cheese and no soup. I'll try to find it...and, if I do, I'll send it your way (don't hold your breath as my recipe, er, filing system for the insane, is a wee bit disorganized).

Anna Haight said...

Hi Kalyn: That recipe sounds good too!

Larie: I know about finding things, I have the same issue! When you find it, I'd love to try it - my e-mail is anna AT annalou DOT com.