Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart

Both Ron and Emma were working all day today, leaving me on my own on a Saturday for the first time EVER. I mean-- seriously-- ever since she was born. After I dropped her off at work, I decided to head into Cary and let the Goddess of Soup lead me wherever she wanted and in the meantime take a leisurely look around town.

The first thing I noticed is that Kris Bailey, Judge, needs to get his campaign signs down. Of course this was this morning and it's only been a couple of rainy days since the election. This afternoon was nice, so maybe they're down now, but I was seeing them everywhere.

And then, Harrison Pointe Shopping Center is decorated for Christmas already. That makes the season seven weeks long, or 13.5% of the year-- and that's if they only just went up this past week. Come on! We can barely afford Christmas as it is this year-- we don't need MORE of it.

I don't go into Cary enough since we moved the office. It is seriously a boom town. So many new little places. I was driving and driving and wondering who had soup...

I ended up at Panera. I sort of knew that's where she was pulling me. I wasn't quite up for the Broccoli Cheddar yet, not after last night's cheesy soupfest, so I got the very saintly sounding Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean soup.

Or "saintly" so you would think. I did a nutritional chart of all the soups I've had so far and it fared only slightly better than the pack because it had the combination of lower fat, higher fiber and higher protein.

It has the highest fiber. Tomato soup has the lowest fat and a recipe I found similar to Food Factory's Chicken Orzo with Spinach had the highest protein (with Chick-Fil-A a close second). But black bean has the best overall profile nutritionally.

Unfortunately, it has two other strikes against it. At $4.59, it's expensive. It did come with a hunk of bread, but unlike last night, I didn't feel like I got my money's worth.

And then there was the cumin. I love black beans-- we put them in our chili and I make black bean quesadillas. But the cumin in the soup I ate today totally overpowered every good thing about black beans.

We like our black beans with shallots and red or green peppers. There were a few tiny bits of either tomato or sweet red pepper in the soup, but I couldn't taste enough to even know what they were. All I tasted was cumin.

And so-- it was a nice drive, but disappointing soup. I'd have to give it zero spoons for love and comfort, but a four for nutrition.

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