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The Pyramid Becomes a Plate

Remember the food pyramid?  It wasn’t all that intuitive so the powers that be have changed it, and I for one think for the better – jughandle

From: http://kidshealth.org/PageManager.jsp?dn=KidsHealth&lic=1&ps=307&cat_id=119&article_set=10258

Plate = New Symbol for Healthy Eating

Goodbye, pyramid. Hello, plate.

The Food Guide Pyramid was the model for healthy eating in the United States. Maybe you had to memorize its rainbow stripes in school.

But the USDA, the agency in charge of nutrition, has switched to a new symbol: a colorful plate —called MyPlate — with some of the same messages:

  • Eat a variety of foods.
  • Eat less of some foods and more of others.

The pyramid had six vertical stripes to represent the five food groups plus oils. The plate features four sections (vegetables, fruits, grains, and protein) plus a side order of dairy in blue.

The big message is that fruits and vegetables take up half the plate, with the vegetable portion being a little bigger than the fruit section.

And just like the pyramid where stripes were different widths, the plate has been divided so that the grain section is bigger than the protein section. Why? Because nutrition experts recommend you eat more vegetables than fruit and more grains than protein foods.

The divided plate also aims to discourage super-big portions, which can cause weight gain.

What’s a Grain Again?

You know what fruits and vegetables are, but here’s a reminder about what’s included in the three other food groups: protein, grains, and dairy:

  • Protein: Beef; poultry; fish; eggs; nuts and seeds; and beans and peas like black beans, split peas, lentils, and even tofu and veggie burgers. Protein builds up, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body.
  • Grains: Bread, cereal, rice, tortillas, and pasta. Whole-grain products such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, and brown rice are recommended because they have more fiber and help you feel full.
  • Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified soy milk. With MyPlate, the dairy circle could be a cup of milk, but you also can get your dairy servings from yogurt or cheese. Choose low-fat or nonfat dairy most of the time.

First Lady Likes the Plate

First Lady Michelle Obama introduced the plate and said she will use it with her family, which includes the Obamas’ two daughters, Sasha and Malia. Mrs. Obama, who started the Let’s Move campaign to help kids get healthier, said the pyramid just wasn’t easy enough for parents and kids to follow. The plate is simple and useful.

“I can’t help but look at my own plate a little differently,” she said. “We’re implementing this in our household.”

The plate can be used for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That may make you wonder: Do I really have to eat vegetables with breakfast? The answer is no, but aim to eat a variety of food groups at each meal. And if your breakfast doesn’t include a veggie, consider a vegetable at snack time. (Yes, healthy, portion-controlled snacks are still OK.)

The plate also shows how to balance your food groups. There’s a reason the protein section is smaller: You don’t need as much from that group. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you eat fewer calories overall, which helps you keep a healthy weight. Eating fruits and veggies also gives you lots of vitamins and minerals.

Expect to hear more about the MyPlate. The USDA promises new online tools to help people learn how to apply it to their everyday lives at ChooseMyPlate.gov. [Please note: By clicking on this link, you will be leaving our site.]

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2011

Note: All information on KidsHealth® is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2011 The Nemours Foundation. All rights reserved.

Sun-Drying Zucchini the Sicilian Way | Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

Sun-Drying Zucchini the Sicilian Way | Hunter Angler Gardener Cook.

Serves 4 as a main course, or 6 as a side dish.

Prep Time: 36 hours

Cook Time: 5 minutes

  • 4 zucchini
  • Salt
  • Skewers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or espellette pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

 

  1. Slice zucchini into disks about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle salt on a large cookie sheet or two, then lay the zucchini on them. Sprinkle more salt on top. Leave at room temperature for no more than an hour — the longer you go, the saltier the zucchini will be. If you plan on preserving these in jars, go the full hour.
  2. Pat dry with a towel and skewer. Hang the zucchini in a hot dry place for 24-48 hours, depending on the temperature. You want them to be dry, but not hard. Think soft dried apricots…
  3. Once dried like this, they can be stored in jars, covered in olive oil, for months in the fridge.
  4. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the zucchini rounds and toss to coat with oil. Turn the heat down to medium-high and cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. In the final minute, add the cayenne and toss to combine, then do the same with the mint. Turn off the heat.
  6. Squeeze the lemon juice on the zucchini when you are ready to serve.
List of “Superfoods” we all need

Men’s health has an interesting article on the “25 Ridiculously Healthy Foods” that we need to eat.  Here is the list, but click the link and read it for your self.  This should be easy for everyone, I think there are only 3 things on the list I don’t eat regularly.  – jug

1. eggs -Egg yolks are home to tons of essential but hard-to-get nutrients, including choline, which is linked to lower rates of breast cancer (one yolk supplies 25% of your daily need) and antioxidants that may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. Though many of us have shunned whole eggs because of their link to heart disease risk, there’s actually substantial evidence that for most of us, eggs are not harmful but healthy.

2. Greek yogurt-Yogurt is a great way to get calcium, and it’s also rich in immune-boosting bacteria. But next time you hit the yogurt aisle, pick up the Greek kind—compared with regular yogurt, it has twice the protein (and 25% of women over 40 don’t get enough). Look for fat-free varieties like Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt (90 calories and 15 g of protein per 5.3-ounce serving).

3. fat-free milk- Yes, it does a body good: Studies show that calcium isn’t just a bone booster but a fat fighter too. Recent research from the University of Tennessee found that obese people who went on a low-calorie, calcium-rich diet lost 70% more weight than those who ate the least. Vitamin D not only allows your body to absorb calcium, it’s also a super nutrient in its own right. Recent research found that adequate D levels can reduce heart disease risk, ward off certain types of cancer, relieve back pain, and even help prevent depression, but most of us don’t get nearly enough of the 1,000+ IU daily that most experts recommend.

4. Salmon- Salmon is a rich source of vitamin D and one of the best sources of omega-3s you can find. These essential fatty acids have a wide range of impressive health benefits—from preventing heart disease to smoothing your skin and aiding weight loss to boosting your mood and minimizing the effects of arthritis. Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t reaping these perks because we’re deficient, which some experts believe may be at the root of many of the big health problems today, like obesity, heart disease, and cancer.

5. Lean beef- Lean beef is one of the best-absorbed sources of iron there is. (Too-little iron can cause anemia.) Adding as little as 1 ounce of beef per day can make a big difference in the body’s ability to absorb iron from other sources, says Mary J. Kretsch, PhD, a researcher at the USDA-ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, CA. Beef also packs plenty of zinc (even minor deficiencies may impair memory) and B vitamins, which help your body turn food into energy.

If you can, splurge on grass-fed. Compared with grain-fed beef, it has twice the concentration of vitamin E, a powerful brain-boosting antioxidant. It’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Because this type of beef tends to be lower in overall fat, it can be tough—so marinate it, and use a meat thermometer to avoid overcooking.

6. beans- It’s hard to imagine a more perfect food than beans. One cooked cupful can provide as much as 17 g fiber. They’re also loaded with protein and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most women fall short on—calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers.

The latest dietary guidelines recommend consuming at least 3 cups of beans a week—3 times the measly 1 cup we usually get. Keep your cupboards stocked with all kinds: black, white, kidney, fat-free refried, etc. Use them in salads, stuffed baked potatoes, and veggie chili or pureed for sandwich spreads.

7. nuts- In a nutshell: USDA researchers say that eating 1½ ounces of tree nuts daily can reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Walnuts are rich in omega-3s. Hazelnuts contain arginine, an amino acid that may lower blood pressure. An ounce of almonds has as many heart-healthy polyphenols as a cup of green tea and 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli combined; they may help lower LDL cholesterol as well.

8. edamame and tofu- 

Soy’s days as a cure-all may be over—some claims, such as help for hot flashes, don’t seem to be panning out—but edamame still has an important place on your plate. Foods such as tofu, soy milk, and edamame help fight heart disease when they replace fatty meats and cheeses, slashing saturated fat intake. Soy also contains heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, a good amount of fiber, and some important vitamins.

Soy’s isoflavones, or plant estrogens, may also help prevent breast cancer. Some researchers believe these bind with estrogen receptors, reducing your exposure to the more powerful effects of your own estrogen, says Prevention advisor Andrew Weil, MD. But stick with whole soy foods rather than processed foods, like patties or chips, made with soy powder. Don’t take soy supplements, which contain high and possibly dangerous amounts of isoflavones.

9. oatmeal- Fiber-rich oats are even healthier than the FDA thought when it first stamped them with a heart disease–reducing seal 10 years ago. According to new research, they can also cut your risk of type 2 diabetes. When Finnish researchers tracked 4,316 men and women over the course of 10 years, they found that people who ate the highest percentage of cereal fiber were 61% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

To reap the benefits, eat 1/2 cup daily—preferably unsweetened. For a versatile breakfast, top with different combinations of fruit, yogurt, and nuts. You can also use oats to coat fish or chicken or add texture to meatballs.

10. flaxseed- Flaxseed is the most potent plant source of omega-3 fats. Studies indicate that adding flaxseed to your diet can reduce the development of heart disease by 46%—it helps keep red blood cells from clumping together and forming clots that can block arteries. It may also reduce breast cancer odds. In one study, women who ate 10 g of flaxseed (about 1 rounded tablespoon) every day for 2 months had a 25% improvement in the ratio of breast cancer–protective to breast cancer–promoting chemicals in their blood.

Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseed a day on your cereal, salad, or yogurt. Buy it preground, and keep it refrigerated.

11. olive oil- Olive oil is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), which lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. It’s rich in antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, like Alzheimer’s.

Look for extra virgin oils for the most antioxidants and flavor. Drizzle small amounts on veggies before roasting; use it to sauté or stir-fry, in dressings and marinades, and to flavor bread at dinner in lieu of a layer of butter or margarine.

12. avocado- These smooth, buttery fruits are a great source of not only MUFAs but other key nutrients as well. One Ohio State University study found that when avocado was added to salads and salsa, it helped increase the absorption of specific carotenoids, plant compounds linked to lower risk of heart disease and macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. “Avocados are packed with heart-protective compounds, such as soluble fiber, vitamin E, folate, and potassium,” says Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of 10 Habits That Mess Up a Woman’s Diet.

13. broccoli- Pick any life-threatening disease—cancer, heart disease, you name it—and eating more broccoli and its cruciferous cousins may help you beat it, Johns Hopkins research suggests. Averaging just four weekly servings of veggies like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower slashed the risk of dying from any disease by 26% among 6,100 people studied for 28 years.

For maximum disease-fighting benefits, whip out your old veggie steamer. It turns out that steaming broccoli lightly releases the maximum amount of sulforaphane.

14. spinach- We’ll spare you the Popeye jokes, but spinach has serious health muscles. For one thing, it contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in egg yolks. Aside from guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness, lutein may prevent heart attacks by keeping artery walls clear of cholesterol.

Spinach is also rich in iron, which helps deliver oxygen to your cells for energy, and folate, a B vitamin that prevents birth defects. Cook frozen spinach leaves (they provide more iron when cooked than raw) and serve as a side dish with dinner a few times a week.

15. tomatoes- Tomatoes are our most common source of lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect against heart disease and breast cancer. The only problem with tomatoes is that we generally eat them in the form of sugar-loaded jarred spaghetti sauce or as a thin slice in a sandwich. For a healthier side dish idea, quarter plum tomatoes and coat with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 400°F oven for 20 minutes, and serve with chicken.

16. sweet potatoes- One of the best ways to get vitamin A—an essential nutrient that protects and maintains eyes, skin, and the linings of our respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts—is from foods containing beta-carotene, which your body converts into the vitamin. Beta carotene–rich foods include carrots, squash, kale, and cantaloupe, but sweet potatoes have among the most. A half-cup serving of these sweet spuds delivers only 130 calories but 80% of the DV of vitamin A. Replace tonight’s fries with one medium baked sweet potato (1,096 mcg) and you’re good to go—and then some.

17. garlic- Garlic is a flavor essential and a health superstar in its own right. The onion relative contains more than 70 active phytochemicals, including allicin, which studies show may decrease high blood pressure by as much as 30 points. High consumption of garlic lowered rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers, according to a research review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Allicin also fights infection and bacteria. British researchers gave 146 people either a placebo or a garlic extract for 12 weeks; garlic takers were two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.

The key to healthier garlic: Crush the cloves, and let them stand for up to 30 minutes before heating them, which activates and preserves the heart-protecting compounds, according to a 2007 study from Argentina.

18. red peppers- Citrus fruits get all the credit for vitamin C, but red peppers are actually the best source. Vitamin C may be best known for skin and immunity benefits. Researchers in the United Kingdom looked at vitamin C intake in 4,025 women and found that those who ate more had less wrinkling and dryness. And although getting enough vitamin C won’t prevent you from catching a cold or flu, studies show that it could help you recover faster.

Vitamin C has other important credentials too. Finnish researchers found that men with low levels were 2.4 times likelier to have a stroke, and Australian scientists recently discovered that the antioxidant reduces knee pain by protecting your knees against arthritis.

19. figs- When you think of potassium-rich produce, figs probably don’t come to mind, but you may be surprised to learn that six fresh figs have 891 mg of the blood pressure-lowering mineral, nearly 20% of your daily need—and about double what you’d find in one large banana. In a recent 5-year study from the Netherlands, high-potassium diets were linked with lower rates of death from all causes in healthy adults age 55 and older. Figs are one of the best fruit sources of calcium, with nearly as much per serving (six figs) as 1/2 cup of fat-free milk.

Serve by chopping and adding to yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or green salads. Or enjoy them as a savory snack: Cut a slit in the side and stuff with 1/2 teaspoon of a low-fat version of a soft cheese such as chèvre or Brie.

20. blueberries- Blueberries may very well be the most potent age-defying food—they’re jam-packed with antioxidants. When researchers at Cornell University tested 25 fruits for these potent compounds, they found that tangy-sweet wild blueberries (which are smaller than their cultivated cousins) packed the most absorbable antioxidants. Research shows a diet rich in blueberries can help with memory loss, prevent urinary tract infections, and relieve eyestrain.

Add up to 1/2 cup of blueberries to your diet a day for maximum health benefits, recommends Ronald Prior, PhD, adjunct professor of food science at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. This alone provides just about double the amount of antioxidants most Americans get in 1 day.

21. asian pears- One large Asian pear has a whopping 10 g of cholesterol-lowering fiber, about 40% of your daily need. People who ate the most fiber had the lowest total and LDL cholesterol levels, according to a recent study of Baltimore adults. The same researchers found that people who ate the most fiber also weighed the least and had the lowest body mass index and waist circumference.

Serve by dicing it into a salad of Boston lettuce, crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, and mandarin oranges. Or make it a dessert: Add peeled and cored pears to a saucepan with 1 cup white wine, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, and enough water to cover the pears. Cover and simmer 40 minutes or until pears are soft.

22. lychee- A French study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that lychee has the second-highest level of heart-healthy polyphenols of all fruits tested—nearly 15% more than the amount found in grapes (cited by many as polyphenol powerhouses). The compounds may also play an important role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer.

Serve by peeling or breaking the outer covering just below the stem; use a knife to remove the black pit. Add to stir-fries or skewer onto chicken kebabs to add a sweet, grapelike flavor.

23. apples- One of the healthiest fruits you should be eating is one you probably already are: the apple. The Iowa Women’s Health Study, which has been investigating the health habits of 34,000 women for nearly 20 years, named apples as one of only three foods (along with pears and red wine) that are most effective at reducing the risk of death from heart disease among postmenopausal women. Other massive studies have found the fruit to lower risk of lung cancer and type 2 diabetes—and even help women lose weight.

In fact, one of the only things that could make an apple unhealthy is mixing it with sugar, flour, and butter and stuffing it into a mile-high pie. Instead, have one as an afternoon snack with a tablespoon of peanut butter, or add slices to sandwiches or salads.

24. guava- Native to South America, this tropical fruit is an excellent source of skin-healing vitamin C, with 250% of your RDA per serving. One cup of guava has nearly 5 times as much C as a medium orange (377 mg versus 83 mg)—that’s more than 5 times your daily need. It’s also loaded with lycopene (26% more than a tomato), which may help lower your risk of heart disease. And according to research by microbiologists in Bangladesh, guava can even protect against foodborne pathogens such as Listeria and staph.

You can buy guava juice, or simmer chunks in water as you would to make applesauce. Guava also makes a super smoothie: Blend 1/2 banana, 1/2 ripe guava, a handful of strawberries, 1/2 cup soy milk, and a few ice cubes.

25. dark chocolate – Thank you, dark chocolate, for making us feel good—not guilty—about dessert. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoid antioxidants (more than 3 times the amount in milk chocolate) that keep blood platelets from sticking together and may even unclog your arteries.It may also help with weight loss by keeping you feeling full, according to a study from Denmark. Researchers gave 16 participants 100 g of either dark or milk chocolate and 2 hours later offered them pizza. Those who consumed the dark chocolate ate 15% fewer calories than those who had milk chocolate, and they were less interested in fatty, salty, and sugary foods.

Try a chocolate with 70% or more cocoa. Two tablespoons of dark chocolate chips with fresh berries as a midafternoon snack or after-dinner dessert should give you some of the heart-healthy benefits without busting your calorie budget.

 

Pantry 101-General Goods & Condiments 1-6

General goods & Condiments
1. rice
2. dried pasta in different shapes
3. dried onion soup mix
4. tomato paste
5. tomato sauce
6. canned tomatoes
7. peanut butter
8. jelly
9. canned tuna
10. raisins
11. chocolate syrup
12. cereals
13. chicken or beef stock
14. canned soups
15. canned beans
16. olives
17. canned pears
18. canned peaches
19. applesauce
20. vegetable oil
21. olive oil
22. red wine vinegar
23. white wine vinegar
24. vegetable shortening
25. nonstick cooking spray
26. mayonnaise
27. ketchup
28. mustard
29. salad dressings
30. soy sauce
31. hot pepper sauce
32. Worcestershire sauce
33. barbecue sauce
34. salsa
35. honey
36. maple syrup
37. white wine for cooking
38. red wine for cooking

1) rice
A couple of important things to consider about rice are: Like any food the less processed the food the better it is for you. Brown rice is generally better for you than white. Long grain is generally better for you than short. Jasmine is higher on the Glycemic Index than Sugar. That means that when you eat Jasmine rice, your blood sugar is going to spike faster than it would if you ate sugar. Basmati rice is much lower on the index, meaning that it take much longer for your body to digest and break down the starch into the simple sugars your body uses as full. A longer digestion time means sustained energy over a longer period of time and no crash.

The largest collection of rice cultivars is at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), with over 100,000 rice accessions [16] held in the International Rice Genebank [17]. Rice cultivars are often classified by their grain shapes and texture. For example, Thai Jasmine rice is long-grain and relatively less sticky, as long-grain rice contains less amylopectin than short-grain cultivars. Chinese restaurants usually serve long-grain as plain unseasoned steamed rice. Japanese mochi rice and Chinese sticky rice are short-grain. Chinese people use sticky rice which is properly known as “glutinous rice” (note: glutinous refer to the glue-like characteristic of rice; does not refer to “gluten”) to make zongzi. The Japanese table rice is a sticky, short-grain rice. Japanese sake rice is another kind as well.

Indian rice cultivars include long-grained and aromatic Basmati (grown in the North), long and medium-grained Patna rice and short-grained Sona Masoori (also spelled Sona Masuri). In South India the most prized cultivar is ‘ponni’ which is primarily grown in the delta regions of Kaveri River. Kaveri is also referred to as ponni in the South and the name reflects the geographic region where it is grown. In the Western Indian state of Maharashtra, a short grain variety called Ambemohar is very popular. this rice has a characteristic fragrance of Mango blossom.
Brown Rice
Polished Indian sona masuri rice.

Aromatic rices have definite aromas and flavours; the most noted cultivars are Thai fragrant rice, Basmati, Patna rice, and a hybrid cultivar from America sold under the trade name, Texmati. Both Basmati and Texmati have a mild popcorn-like aroma and flavour. In Indonesia there are also red and black cultivars.
2) dried pasta in different shapes
The following site is great for showing shapes of pasta and what they can be used for. It’s nice to make your own pasta, but there are many times when a good dried pasta is better. For you health try to buy whole grain pasta, just as you would bread. Spinach, whole wheat, semolina, rice and others are all good types to experiment with.
http://www.ilovepasta.org/shapes.html

3) dried onion soup mix
Hold on Mittie, I only left this one on the list so I could say how nasty is is. I can’t think of a legitimate reason to use Dried onion Soup. It almost always has MSG and other chemicals in it, not to mention a whole lot of salt. Don’t buy this stuff to make your dips, or soups or casseroles. If you have an old recipe that you love that uses this stuff send it to me and one of us will fix it for you.

4) tomato paste

Tomato paste is a thick paste made from ripened tomatoes with skin and seeds removed. Originally it was an artisan product that is still made the traditional way in parts of Sicily, Southern Italy and Malta. The artisan product is made by spreading out a much reduced tomato sauce on wooden boards. The boards are set outdoors under the hot August sun to dry the paste until it is thick enough, when scraped up, to hold together in a richly coloured dark ball.

Today this artisan product is hard to find and most people use the industrial (much thinner) version. Depending on its manufacturing conditions, tomato paste can be the basis for making ketchup or reconstituted tomato juice. Its most common culinary usage is to enrich the flavour of sauces, particularly tomato sauce. It is most commonly available in tin cans and squeeze tubes.
Try to find a brand that is made in Italy if you can. As the article says, you can use paste for lots of things. It is great to thicken and add a tang of acid to a sauce.

5) tomato sauce

A tomato sauce is any of a very large number of sauces made primarily out of tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish (rather than as a condiment). Tomato sauces are common for meat and vegetables, but they are perhaps best known as sauces for pasta dishes.

Tomatoes have a rich flavor, low liquid content, very soft flesh which breaks down easily, and the right composition to thicken up into a sauce when they are cooked (without the need of thickeners like roux). All of these qualities make them ideal for simple and appealing sauces.

The simplest tomato sauces consist just of chopped tomato flesh (with the skins and seeds optionally removed), cooked in a little olive oil and simmered until it loses its raw flavour, and seasoned with salt.

Water (or another, more flavorful liquid such as stock or wine) is often added to keep it from drying out too much. Onion and garlic are almost always sweated or sauteed at the beginning before the tomato is added. Other seasonings typically include basil, oregano, parsley, and possibly some spicy red pepper or black pepper. Ground or chopped meat is also common.
Italian tomato sauces

The tomato has been central to Italian cuisine since its introduction from the Americas. Outside of Italy, this perception can be quite exaggerated: many people know little of Italian cuisine beyond pasta with tomato sauce. Italian varieties of tomato sauce range from Puttanesca sauce, seasoned with anchovies, capers, garlic, chili peppers and black olives, to Bolognese sauce, a predominantly ground-meat sauce which normally contains a small-to-moderate amount of tomato.

Most often, Italian tomato sauces can be switched with more authentic white sauces; cavatelli is best served with traditional Italian white sauces (consisting of mostly fresh parmesan and cream), and many other traditional ingredients. Some Italian Americans on the East Coast refer to tomato sauce as “gravy”, “tomato gravy”, or “Sunday gravy”, especially sauces with a large quantity of meat simmered in them, similar to the Italian Neapolitan ragù. “Gravy” is the literal English translation from the Italian sugo which means sauce.
Mexican tomato sauces

Tomato sauce was an ancient condiment in Aztec food. The first person to write of what may have been a tomato sauce was Bernardino de Sahagún who made note of a prepared sauce that was offered for sale in the markets of Tenochtitlan (Mexico City today). Then, Spaniards brought the use of tomato to Europe.

Basic Mexican tomato sauces are tomato sauce (salsa de tomate rojo o jitomate) and green tomato sauce (salsa de tomate verde). Mexican tomato sauces usually contain large portions of Corona Light or home brewed tequila. The tomato sauce is stock for spicy sauces and moles.
Tomato sauce in the United States

In most of the U.S., “Tomato Sauce” refers to a tomato purée with salt and small amounts of spices sold in cans. This product is considered incomplete and not normally used as it is. Instead, it is used as a base for almost any food which needs a lot of tomato flavor, including versions of many of the sauces described on this page.

Marinara is a US-American-Italian term for a simple tomato sauce with herbs—mostly parsley and basil—but, contrary to its name (which is Italian for coastal, seafaring) without anchovies, fish or seafood. In other countries marinara refers to a seafood and tomato sauce.

American supermarkets commonly carry a variety of prepared tomato sauces described as “spaghetti sauce” or “pasta sauce”. Common variations include meat sauce, marinara sauce and sauces with mushrooms or sweet red peppers.

Louisiana cajun and Louisiana creole tomato sauces

A spicy tomato sauce known as sauce piquante is common in Louisiana Cajun cuisine, that can contain any seafood, poultry, or meats such as wild game. It is typically served over white rice. In Louisiana Creole cuisine, there is a tomato sauce known as a creole sauce. It is similar to Italian tomato sauce, but features more Louisiana flavors derived from the fusion of French and Spanish cooking styles. They both usually contain the traditional holy trinity of diced bell pepper, onion, and celery.
Indian tomato sauces

Indian curry, especially as it has been exported out of India, is recognizable for heavily spiced sauces, often made from a tomato base.

Tomato gravy – (Tomato Gravy is Delicious!!-Jerry)

Tomato gravy, which is distinct from the term as used by northeastern Italian Americans when referring to tomato sauce, is a gravy common in most rural areas where tomatoes were a staple food. Tomato gravy is prepared in a method similar to white gravy. The cooked tomatoes, some fat (usually cured pork fat) and flour are cooked together until thick, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Typically, tomato gravy is served over eggs, toast and biscuits.
6. canned tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are an very important part of the pantry. The best by far is the home canned tomatoes that we get from Alabama every year. Unbelievably good!!! Next to that are the Italian versions. You can use canned tomatoes for anything from starting a sauce to Bloody Marie’s. Keep several on hand.

I’m going to stop here for today because there is too much to say about the next few items and I’ve got work to do.

bye,
Jug

Recipe – Chopped Vegetable Salad

I stole this recipe directly from David Lebovitz’s blog.  Please visit his site for great insight to living and eating in France.

From DavidLebovitz.com

 

 

 

 

 

Chopped Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Garlic Dressing
Two servings
I guess I’m more French than I thought because I’m not a fan of very hard vegetables raw, like broccoli, cauliflower, or green beans. So if I use them, I blanch or steam the vegetables lightly, to make them a bit more palatable.
For the dressing:

2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup (60ml) olive or grape seed oil, or another favorite oil

For the salad:

6 cups (700g) mixed chopped vegetables and other additions, such as:

-Crumbled bacon
-Diced avocado
-Cubed grilled chicken
-Batons of baked tofu
-Crumbled feta, goat, or blue cheese
-Shredded romaine, radicchio, or gem lettuce
-Sliced or quartered radishes
-Grated or julienne-cut carrots
-Shredded red cabbage
-Minced parsley or chives
_Lightly steamed or blanched broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, or asparagus
-Diced hard-cooked eggs
-Pumpkin seeds
-Quartered cherry tomatoes
1. In a large salad bowl, mix together the garlic, lemon juice, salt, and mustard with a fork

2. Add the olive oil and stir with the fork until the dressing is well mixed. (I don’t emulsify the dressing as I feel it gets too heavy and thick.)

3. Add the salad ingredients and toss well.

Confessions of a Fat Man

I don’t know about you but my scale and the BMI say I’m “morbidly Obese”
Now, that is an ugly term. I don’t like it and I’d like to be just “obese”.

I haven’t always been this way. For most of my life I was an athlete. I lived and breathed it. Then in or around 1995 I was teaching a few 8th grade kids how to triple jump (My specialty in college.) I felt a pop in my left hip and to make a long story short, I’ve been on and off crutches ever since with a diagnosis of “Avascular Necrosis” of the hip. That is bone death and the only remedy is a $50,000 hip replacement. Since then my other hip has suffered the same fate. I only tell you this to explain that my weight gain is more or less food related and not due to lack of exercise. “What?” You say. “If you have a fractured hip you can’t exercise, please explain.” Ok, I believe that exercise is just a faster way to burn calories and an excuse to keep eating large. I love to cook and eat, I can’t stop. I can stop a lot of things cold turkey, but since we have to eat to live, it makes it hard to give up.  So I have to learn to eat and lose weight.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe in exercise, I just can’t do it like I need to.

I’ve tried most of the popular diets in the last 15 years.  I even lost 47 lbs 3 years ago by joining “SparkPeople” and counting my calories.  I hated it.  Since then I blossomed to my all time high last December at 287.  Wow, that is hard to write, but you have to own it to change it.

I’m an old 58 years, having had cancer twice, making me a survivor of sorts.  In January of this year I had a sit down with myself and decided I needed a permanent solution or resign myself to an early demise.  This blog is the result of my conversation with my alter ego, Jughandle, and also a way to give back to others for God allowing me to spend more time here on earth.

“Jughandle,” I said, “What the hell are we going to do about our ugly self?”

“Jerry”, Jughandle replied, “you know you can’t do a diet for more than a month, and you love to cook and eat too much to stop, you might as well go ahead and die…except for the fact that we both love living so much.”

“I’ve got it,” Jughandle snapped, “I’m going to read and study the interaction of the body to the food we eat and find the best way to lose weight while staying healthy and eating delicious meals.”  “Then we both are going to blog about it to share that knowledge with our friends and others who need it.”

Born from a mountain of fat is “Jughandle’s Fat Farm” and the NO Diet, Diet.

You might be asking, “Jug, have you lost any weight yet?”  Yes, I have, around 27 lbs since February.  Not anywhere near my ultimate goal of 87 lbs or 200 body weight, but a start none the less.

My point of all this conversation is that we can lose weight and stay healthy just by eating the proper type of food at the proper time of day in the proper amounts.

Will you join me.  I don’t care if you lose a pound, I just want you to be healthy.  And there IS a revolution in the making!

Jughandle and Jerry out.

1. baking soda –
2. baking powder
3. Cornstarch
4. yeast
5. flour
6. corn flour
7. corn meal
8. Salt
9. pepper -white and black
10. Sugar
11. confectioner’s sugar
12. brown sugar
13 light corn syrup
14. vanilla extract
15. ground cinnamon
16 whole nutmeg
17. ground cloves
18. Onion salt
19. dried chopped or minced onions
20. dried basil
21. dried oregano
22. chili powder
23. dry mustard
24. paprika
25. thyme
26. tarragon
27. Lemon Pepper
28. dried dill
29. All Spice
30. bay leaves
31. poultry seasoning
32. beef, chicken and vegetable bouillon
33. cream of tartar
34. unseasoned bread crumbs
35. unsweetened cocoa powder
36. unsweetened baking chocolate

28) dried dill

Fresh and dried dill leaves (sometimes called “dill weed” to distinguish it from dill seed) are used as herbs.
Like caraway, its fernlike leaves are aromatic, and are used to flavor many foods, such as gravlax (cured salmon), borscht and other soups, and pickles (where sometimes the dill flower is used). Dill is said to be best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, freeze-dried dill leaves preserve their flavor relatively well for a few months.
In Vietnam, dill is the important herb in the dish cha ca.
Dill seed is used as a spice, with a flavor somewhat similar to caraway, but also resembling that of fresh or dried dill weed.
Dill oil can be extracted from the leaves, stems and seeds of the plant. Dill seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals.
29) Allspice

Ground allspice is not, as some people believe, a mixture of spices. Rather, it is the dried fruit of the Pimenta dioica plant. The fruit is picked when it is green and unripe and traditionally dried in the sun. When dry, the fruits are brown and resemble large brown peppercorns. The whole fruits have a longer shelf life than the powdered product and produce a more aromatic product when freshly ground before use.

The leaves of the allspice plant are also used in cooking. For cooking, fresh leaves are used where available: they are similar in texture to bay leaves and are thus infused during cooking and then removed before serving. Unlike bay leaves, they lose much flavour when dried and stored. The leaves and wood are often used for smoking meats where allspice is a local crop. Allspice can also be found in essential oil form.

Allspice is one of the most important ingredients of Caribbean cuisine. It is used in Caribbean jerk seasoning (the wood is used to smoke jerk in Jamaica, although the spice is a good substitute), in mole sauces, and in pickling; it is also an ingredient in commercial sausage preparations and curry powders. Allspice is also indispensable in Middle Eastern cuisine, particularly in the Levant where it is used to flavor a variety of stews and meat dishes. In Palestinian cuisine, for example, many main dishes call for allspice as the sole spice added for flavoring. In America, it is used mostly in desserts, but it is also responsible for giving Cincinnati-style chili its distinctive aroma and flavor as well. Allspice is commonly used in Great Britain and appears in many dishes, including in cakes. Even in many countries where allspice is not very popular in the household, such as Germany, it is used in large amounts by commercial sausage makers. Allspice is also a main flavor used in barbecue sauces.[citation needed] In the West Indies, an allspice liqueur called “pimento dram” is produced.
Allspice has also been used as a deodorant. Volatile oils found in the plant contain eugenol, a weak antimicrobial agent. Allspice is also reported to provide relief for indigestion and gas

I bought the best Allspice I’ve ever had from San Francisco Herb company. Always buy Jamaican allspice when you can find it. I’ll send a great jerk recipe later.

30) bay leaves
Bay leaves are great in tomatoe sauces and meat dishes. I have two bay trees that are easy to grow. I can always get fresh leaves and the ones that fall off I save for dry use. Always put the leaves in your dish whole. The leaves have a sharp edge and don’t digest well, so pull out the leaves after cooking.

The aromatic leaf from the evergreen bay laurel tree, native to the Mediterranean. There are two varieties: Turkish (1 to 2 inch long oval) and California (2 to 3 inch long narrow) leaves. The Turkish is said to have the better flavor.
plural: bay leaves

Ingredient

Season: available year-round
How to select: Fresh bay leaves are rarely available.
How to store: Keep for 6 months in a cool dark place.
How to prepare: Flavor soups, stews and long-cooking dishes, but remove before serving.
Matches well with: beans, game, lentils, potatoes, risotto, shellfish, soups, stews, tomatoes
Substitutions: 1/4 tsp crushed bay leaf = 1 whole bay leaf = 1/4 tsp thyme
31) poultry seasoning
Poultry seasoning is used by a lot of people. I’ve never used it. I only use blended spices and herbs on occasion. I prefer to blend my own. If you want to do the same here is the recipe for Poultry Seasoning:

3/4 teaspoon sage, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon leaf thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon pepper
dash marjoram
dash cloves, optional

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients. If you make extra, store in an airtight container. Use for poultry stuffing or dressing, as a rub for chicken, or as seasoning for other dishes.

32) beef, chicken and vegetable bouillon
Bouillon is a great way to add quick flavor to a soup or sauce. It’s nice to have several types around when you need it. Bouillon comes in different forms, cubes, granules and paste are three that come to mind. Cubes tend to have a lot of salt, so when you use them reduce the amount of salt you would normally add to the dish. While not the first choice for many cooks, cubes and granules are space-saving and inexpensive. They are available in a variety of flavorings, including beef, chicken, vegetable, seafood, tomato, mushroom, and duck. The downside is that dehydrated forms are typically very salty and may contain other additives.

A tip from Jughandle to reduce salt in a dish where you have over salted it is to quarter a potato and add to the cooking food. Bring them to a boil then simmer for 10 min or so. Remove the potatoes and strain the dish. It should help some.

You can make your own bouillon by saving the bones and scraps from you other dishes. For example, same all the ends you cut from your vegetables in a big freezer bag. When you get enough put on a large stock pot of filtered water and cook your vegs until they are mushy. Then strain the liquid and continue to boil it until it is reduced to about 1/4 of its original volume. You can add any seasoning you think it needs. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Use like you would bouillon.

33) cream of tartar

Cream of tartar is obtained when tartaric acid is half neutralized with potassium hydroxide, transforming it into a salt. Grapes are the only significant natural source of tartaric acid, and cream of tartar is obtained from sediment produced in the process of making wine. (The journal Nature reported some years ago that traces of calcium tartrate found in a pottery jar in the ruins of a village in northern Iran are evidence that wine was being made more than 7,000 years ago.)

Cream of tartar is best known in our kitchens for helping stabilize and give more volume to beaten egg whites. It is the acidic ingredient in some brands of baking powder. It is also used to produce a creamier texture in sugary desserts such as candy and frosting, because it inhibits the formation of crystals. It is used commercially in some soft drinks, candies, bakery products, gelatin desserts, and photography products. Cream of tartar can also be used to clean brass and copper cookware.
If you are beating eggs whites and don’t have cream of tartar, you can substitute white vinegar (in the same ratio as cream of tartar, generally 1/8 teaspoon per egg white). It is a little more problematic to find a substitute for cream of tartar in baking projects. White vinegar or lemon juice, in the ratio of 3 times the amount of cream of tartar called for, will provide the right amount of acid for most recipes. But that amount of liquid may cause other problems in the recipe, and bakers have found that cakes made with vinegar or lemon juice have a coarser grain and are more prone to shrinking than those made with cream of tartar.

34) unseasoned bread crumbs
Bread crumbs are used often in cooking. The most prized breadcrumbs by chefs are Panko Bread Crumbs. You can find them in most stores and they freeze easily.

35) unsweetened cocoa powder
Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder tastes very bitter and gives a deep chocolate flavor to baked goods. Its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes . When natural cocoa (an acid) is used in recipes calling for baking soda (an alkali), it creates a leavening action that causes the batter to rise when placed in the oven. Popular brands are Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, and Scharffen Berger.

The role of cocoa powder in cakes:

When used alone in cakes, cocoa powder imparts a full rich chocolate flavor and dark color. Cocoa powder can also be used in recipes with other chocolates (unsweetened or dark) and this combination produces a cake with a more intense chocolate flavor than if the cocoa wasn’t present. Most recipes call for sifting the cocoa powder with the flour but to bring out its full flavor it can be combined with a small amount of boiling water. (If you want to try this in a recipe, substitute some of the liquid in the recipe for boiling water.) Often times, you may notice that more butter and leavening agent are used in recipes containing cocoa powder. This is to offset cocoa powder’s drying and strengthening affect in cakes. There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-processed and it is best to use the type specified in the recipe as the leavening agent used is dependent on the type of cocoa powder. Some prefer using Dutch-processed cocoa as a slight bitterness may be tasted in cakes using natural cocoa and baking soda.
36. unsweetened baking chocolate
This is used anywhere you would use chocolate in baking or cooking. You can make shapes from chocolate, you can add it to dishes, like adobe, a great mexican dish.

General Hints
Choose a cool, dry day to melt chocolate for chocolate coating. Humidity in the air or even in the kitchen will cause chocolate to tighten up or become stiff and grainy, a condition known as “seizing.”
Only use very dry utensils when melting chocolate. Wet utensils (even with two or three drops of water) can cause chocolate to seize.
Break chocolate into small pieces to speed the melting process.
Chocolate can scorch easily. Stir melting chocolate periodically to help blending and discourage scorching.
Steam, condensation, or water droplets may cause chocolate to become lumpy and grainy. If during the melting process the chocolate product begins to tighten or become lumpy, it is advisable to add a small amount of solid vegetable shortening (not butter, margarine, spreads, oil, water or milk) to the chocolate, chocolate chips, chocolate squares, or other baking pieces. As an emergency measure only, stir in 1 level tablespoon solid vegetable shortening for each 6 ounces of chocolate you are melting. (6 ounces is equal to 1 cup baking chips or 6 1-oz squares of baking chocolate.
Baking chocolate — also known as unsweetened chocolate or bitter chocolate — is cooled, hardened chocolate liquor. By U.S. standards, unsweetened chocolate should contain between 50 and 58 percent cocoa butter. When sugar, lecithin, and vanilla are added, you get bittersweet, semisweet or sweet chocolate, depending on the amount of sugar present.
baking chocolate
©2007 Artem Efimov
Baking chocolate can come in several different forms.

Baking chocolate is used primarily as an ingredient in recipes such as brownies, cakes, and frostings. While the purest form of baking chocolate has no sugar added to it, the major chocolate brands represented in the baking aisles of most supermarkets often have several sweetened versions to choose from.

Unless a recipe specifically calls for “semisweet baking chocolate” or “sweetened baking chocolate,” go ahead and use the unsweetened variety. Otherwise, the chemical and baking properties of the recipe may be compromised.

Thats it for dry goods in the pantry. If you can think of anything else please let me know and we will add it. Tomorrow we will move on to the General items and Condiments (my favorite).-

Jug

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