Easy Eats – 3 Ingredient Stuffed Zucchini

Easy Eats - 3 Ingredient Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

4 Zucchini 5 ozs. Goat Cheese 2 Cups Marinara Sauce Chopped Parsley (optional)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven or grill to 400F.

    Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, leaving the zucchini hollowed out. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and place on baking sheet.

    Using half of goat cheese, spread a small amount in the bottom of each zucchini. Spoon marinara sauce on top, then dot with remaining goat cheese.

    Grill or bake until goat cheese is soft and marinara is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Easy Eats – Charred Corn with Chile and Cheese

Easy Eats - Charred Corn with Chile and Cheese

Ingredients

4 ears of corn, husked 1 large shallot 1/2 red chile, with seeds, thinly sliced into rings 1/4 cup fresh lime juice Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 2 oz. fresh Cotija cheese or queso fresco, crumbled 1/4 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems

Directions
  1. Prepare grill for medium heat. Cut kernels from 1 corn cob and toss with shallot, chile, and lime juice in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper and set aside.

    Brush remaining 3 ears of corn with 2 Tbsp. oil and grill, turning occasionally, until very tender and charred in spots, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.

    Cut kernels from cobs and add to reserved corn mixture along with cheese, cilantro, and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper.

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Mary’s Memo – August 15th

OPEN SESAME


Sesame seeds, those tiny tasty toppings you may encounter on bagels, breadsticks and hamburger buns, are called the “queen of oil seeds” for good reason. Though they are not as much in the limelight as flax seed, chia and other so-called “super seeds,” they are a notable source of nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, copper. vitamin E, thiamin, calcium, magnesium and manganese, plus unique lignans (sesamin and sesamolin), phytosterols, fiber and other potentially beneficial compounds. By weight, about half the seed is fat, mostly unsaturated. An ounce (3 tablespoons) has about 160 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. The seeds vary in color from tan to black depending on their type and preparation, grow in pods of a flowering plant native to India and Africa. The pods resemble okra and like okra are technically fruits. When they ripen, they split open at the slightest touch, releasing seeds …. hence, one possible explanation for the expression “open sesame.” Each pod contains 50 to 100 seeds. The seeds are typically hulled (soaked to remove the outer husk) and lightly roasted, which gives them a nutty flavor and a browner color. From Babylonia to the Far East, people have been consuming sesame seeds and using them medicinally for thousands of years. Bottom line: Sesame can add flavor and may have some health benefits. But don’t take supplements (several products contain high concentrations of sesame lignans, in particular) since these have not been well studied, and their effects, good or bad, are largely unknown.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter. August 2016.

FDA UPDATES NUTRITION LABELS


After a two year review period, the US Food and Drug Administration formally adopted changes to the Nutrition Facts panels that appear on some 800.000 food products. The update labels will be required by July 26, 2018, except for small producers who will get an extra year to comply. Despite objections from some in the food industry, the update includes a separate line for “added sugars.” Among key changes:

Serving sizes will be revamped to more accurately reflect what people typically eat.

Calories appear in larger type.

Following current science that says not all fats should be avoided, with unsaturated fats now seen as healthy replacements for saturated fats, The “Calories from Fat” will be deleted.

Added Sugars will appear below the line for total sugars, along with a Daily Value (DV) percentage based on a maximum 50 grams for 2000-calorie diet. Although all sugars affect the body similarly, added sugars like those in sodas don’t come with beneficial nutrients as the natural sugars do.

Data for vitamin D and potassium nutrients the FDA noted “some people are not getting enough of” will be mandatory and include actual amounts as well as DV percentages.

Data on vitamin A and vitamin C, which most Americans get plenty of, will now be optional. Vitamin D and iron take their place in the “nutrients of concern” part of the label.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, August 2016.

TEST MARKETING A NEW PRODUCT


Columbus and Cincinnati Ohio are among the top 25 US cities to test market new products and available now in Chief Supermarkets. My popcorn of choice is Skinny Pop. I like it well enough to buy it by the case. Since I cannot buy it by the case, I’m assuming it is being test marketed in Ohio because a 4.4-ounce bag of White Cheddar is available at Chief Supermarkets. White Cheddar Skinny Pop White Cheddar ingredients include popcorn, sunflower oil, non-dairy Cheddar flavor, salt, rice flour, natural flavor and lactic acid. It’s dairy free, non GMO, gluten-free, peanut free, tree nut free, preservative free, no artificial flavors, zero trans fat and delicious (having consumed a bag)!

FROM THE ARCHIVES


At a recent musical event at church a couple ladies read about it in their church bulletin and decided to attend. During the social time, one of them said “Everything Cookies” is still one of her favorites cookies. Thinking it was one Marilyn Sachs of Bryan had given to me, I called her. Although it wasn’t Marilyn’s, she did share the recipe, published on memo 516 in 1974. Recipe makes 6 to 7 dozen.

EVERYTHING COOKIES


• 2 sticks butter
• 1 cup light brown sugar
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 1 cup canola oil
• 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
• 3 cups unsifted, all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 cup quick oats
• 1 cup coconut
• 1 cup Rice Krispies
• 1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until lightly browned on top.

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Mary’s Memo – August 8th

OPEN SESAME


Sesame seeds, those tiny tasty toppings you encounter on bagels, breadsticks and hamburger buns , are called the “queen of oil seed” for good reason. Though they are not as much in the limelight as flaxseed, chia and other so-called “super seeds,” they are a notable source of nutrients including protein, iron, zinc, copper, vitamin E, thiamin, calcium, magnesium and manganese, plus unique lignin’s (sesamins and sesamolin), phytosterols, fiber and other potentially beneficial compounds.

From Babylonia to the Far East, people have been consuming sesame seeds and using them medicinally for thousands of years. Today websites tout them for everything from improving digestion and eradicating wrinkles to preventing diabetes and cancer. Needless to say, most of the claims are not backed by research. On the other hand, a number of studies have assessed sesame with some promising findings.

Bottom Line: Sesame can add flavor to foods and may have some health benefits. But don’t take supplements (several products contain high concentrations.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, August 2016.

EATING FRUIT DAILY LINKED TO LOWER CARDIOVASCULAR RISK


If you need more motivation to substitute an apple or a pear for that bag of chips or indulgent dessert, a new Chinese study might help you reach for the fruit bowl or bag of berries in the freezer. In the most comprehensive such research to date, following a half million people for seven years, greater fruit consumption was associated with lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Consuming about 3.5 ounces of fruit daily was associated with about one third lower risk of death from cardiovascular causes. The study focused on fresh fruit because that was what was available, but finding should apply to other forms, such as frozen.

How much is 3.5 ounces of fruit? That’s roughly one cup of sliced fruit like apples or peaches, or one small fruit or 20 grapes. If you prefer berries. it’s a little less than a full cup. In short, you don’t have to consume a whole orchard.
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, August 2016.

AUGUST IS NATIONAL SANDWICH MONTH


According to Ginger Hultin, MS, RD, LDN, food lore claims that the fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montague (1718-1792) invented the sandwich out of necessity. Food lore claims that this Earl was gambling for 24 straight hours one night and requested something he could eat without interrupting his game. The London club he was playing at provided beef slices and cheese between two pieces of bread, achieving a meal now familiar to people around the world.

Ginger Hultin is a Chicago-based writer and dietitian at the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care specializing in integrative health and whole food-based nutrition. She serves as President for the Academy of Nutrition and dietetics. Follow her on Ginger’s blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Because of the availability of locally grown tomatoes this time of year, a BLT is my sandwich-of-choice.

Or how about a homemade Coney dog?

Although no longer in business, a popular restaurant in Delta, OH, was Ms. Alcorn’s Sandwich Grill. One of her specialties was:

CONEY DOG SAUCE


• 2 pound ground beef
• 2 large onions, chopped
• ½ teaspoon thyme
• 1 tablespoons ground cumin
• 2 tablespoons chili powder or more
• 1 tablespoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 3 cups tomato juice

Brown the beef in a large skillet. Drain fat. Return beef to skillet and add all other ingredients. Simmer one hour.
Source: Ms. Alcorn’s Sandwich Grill, Delta OH, via Vickie Smith, office manager at the Bryan Chief.

ENCORE FOR CAJUN CABBAGE


One of the advantages of this recipe is that reheated leftovers taste as good as when eaten fresh.

CAJUN CABBAGE


3 strips thick sliced bacon
½ of a large head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 14.5-ounce can Del Monte Tomatoes Seasoned with Green Peppers and Onion
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or electric skillet until crisp. Drain bacon, reserving drippings in skillet. Stir in cabbage, tomatoes, vinegar, Cajun seasoning into hot drippings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer 45 minutes. Before serving, crumble bacon and sprinkle on top of cabbage mixture. Recipe makes 6 servings.

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Easy Eats – Watermelon Arugula & Feta Salad

Easy Eats - Watermelon Arugula & Feta Salad

Ingredients

3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed & chileld 1/2 cup crumbled feta 7 oz arugula 1/4 small red onion, sliced very thin 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil kosher salt and fresh pepper

Directions
  1. Wash Arugula and dry well. In a large bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss with the remaining ingredients and serve.

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Easy Eats – Honey Garlic Slow Chicken Thighs

Easy Eats - Honey Garlic Slow Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup ketchup 1/3 cup honey 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions
  1. Lay chicken thighs into the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Whisk soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, and basil together in a bowl, pour over the chicken. Cook on low for 6 hours.

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Mary’s Memo – August 1st

August is named after Augustus Caesar. Many events are happening this month. August 25 will mark the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. I was surprised at the number of National Parks in Ohio. It’s also the month of Family Fun, Picnics, Peaches, Eye Exams and Golf. If you need any more things to celebrate, August 3rd is National Watermelon Day and August 6th is National Mustard Day, a celebration that originated in Middleton, Wisconsin.

REPLACE SODIUM WITH SAVORY SEASONINGS


High sodium (salt) intake is associated with hypertension (high blood pressure) and consequently increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Over time, high sodium intake is also detrimental to kidney and bone disease.

“To reduce the sodium in your diet, replace salt with fresh herbs, spices and other flavorings not only to reduce the harm of sodium, but to gain additional health benefits,” advises Tanya Freirich, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell. Fresh herbs are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and polyphenols. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. For example, the anti-bacterial properties in cilantro can help prevent food spoilage. Other herbs such as parsley and mint help digestion, as well as contain high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, folic acid, calcium and potassium. Add either parsley or mint to a fresh chopped salad or serve with roasted meats for a burst of color, flavor and aroma. Fresh herbs are best kept in the refrigerator.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, August 2016.

ABOUT RAISING HERBS


I often wonder if shoppers realize how easy it is to grow herb. Some are annuals but many are perennials. Buy plants from a greenhouse or start them from seed. I planted arugula this spring for the first time.

KEEPING A SHAMROCK BLOOMING


Although it’s not seasonal to discuss shamrock plants, I haven’t had any luck keeping them growing until I took the advice of my sister, Ann, and brother-in-law, Sam, about placing it in a spot sheltered from the sun. As a result, it’s in full bloom in spite of the heat.

EGGCELENT TIME FOR EGG COOKERY


During the bird flu scare consumers cut back on eggs because they were so expensive. That said, they haven’t increased their consumption. Eggs are packed with important nutrients. Whether you eat them fried, poached or scrambled, in salads, casseroles, quiches, frittatas and desserts, there are few foods that rank so high in food value for so little money. When we were a family of 6, I scrambled eggs and to make them creamier, added a can of undiluted cream of mushroom soup. Today I would use Healthy Request without MSG. The suggestion was in a Campbell cookbook years ago.

ANOTHER WINNER FROM CALIFORNIA MOSAIC


Although it is not the first cookbook from the Junior League of Pasadena CA, it has to be their best! Daughter Mary Ann and I have not made a recipe that we didn’t like, the latest being Sausage and Vegetable Frittata. For a vegetarian entrée, omit the sausage and sauté the vegetables and spices.

SAUSAGE AND VEGETABLE FRITTATA


• 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
• 3/4 cup shredded zucchini
• 3/4 cup shredded carrots
• 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms (we use cremini)
• 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
• 3/4 cup chopped onion
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 10 large eggs
• 1 cup ricotta cheese
• 12-ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375oF. Cook the sausage in an ovenproof skillet for about 10 minutes or until brown and crumbly, stirring frequently; drain. Add the zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, to the skillet and sauté until vegetables are tender; drain. Whisk the eggs in a bowl until blended and stir in the ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the sausage mixture and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the eggs are set. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Recipe makes 8 to 10 servings.
Source: Adapted from recipe in California Mosaic, a cookbook published The Junior League of Pasadena.

GADGET GURU STRIKES AGAIN!


Years ago I had a brush to clean mushrooms but nothing lasts forever and since then I’ve wipe them clean with moist paper towels. Then along came the 2’n1 Veggie Brush from Casabella that includes a pop out soft brush with silicone bristles to clean mushrooms. The vegetable brush itself has harder bristles for cleaning other vegetables. It’s top rack dishwasher safe, comes in a choice of colors and BPA free. Order from Amazon.com for $7.99.

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Easy Eats – Grilled Veggie Pizza

Easy Eats - Grilled Veggie Pizza

Ingredients

1 lb pizza dough, prepared ½ C Italian Vinaigrette (I used Briannas) 14 oz can diced tomatoes (or fresh), drained 1 ear corn, fresh (husk intact) 1 zucchini, chopped ½ large red onion, sliced 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped 6 oz mozzarella, chopped Olive oil Garnish: fresh basil

Directions
  1. Place zucchini, onion and garlic in a bowl with vinaigrette. Set aside. Press pizza dough down into a flat round(ish) disc on a nonstick surface, such as non stick foil. Brush top with oil. Wrap corn in a damp towel and place in microwave. Cook on high for 6 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle. Remove husk and silk. It should peel away very easily. Preheat grill to medium/high heat. Remove vegetables from bowl with a slotted spoon and place on grill, on a grill tray or basket. Place corn on the grill as well. Remove garlic after just 2 minutes on grill, as not to burn. Grill remaining vegetables 7-10 minutes, occasionally turning. Remove from grill and set aside. Cut kernels from cob and place with other vegetables. Place pizza dough directly on grill rack, oiled side down. Cook just 2-4 minutes, until nice grill marks are in place. Brush oil on the top of dough. Flip over using spatula and/or tongs. Layer ingredients on pizza, starting with the tomatoes and ending with the cheese. Once toppings are on pizza, reduce heat to medium/low and cover. Cook about 4-5 minutes until dough is firm and cheese is melted. Garnish with torn basil leaves if desired.

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Mary’s Memo – July 25th

HOME COOKING LOWERS DIABETES RISK


People who often consume meals at home are less likely to develop diabetes than those who frequently eat out, a new study finds.

Internationally, there is an increasing tendency for people to eat out, which can involve consuming fast food, for example. Concerns have been raised that such a habit can could lead to weight gain, which, in turn, is associated with an increased risk of diabetes.

Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health evaluated large prospective datasets in which U.S. health professionals, both men and women, were followed for long periods, taking note of a variety of health indicators, including self-reported information on eating habits and occurrence of diabetes. All in all, the study researchers analyzed 2.1 million years of follow-up data, they said.

The findings indicate that people who reported consuming 5 to 7 meals prepared at home during a week had a 15 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who consumed 2 such meals or fewer in a week. A smaller, but still statistically significant reduction was apparent for those who reported consuming more midday meals prepared at home.

Well-established diabetes prevention strategies include behavioral interventions aimed at increasing exercise and improving dietary habits. These findings suggest that the nutritional and lifestyle benefits of consuming meals at home could contribute to these diabetes prevention efforts, the researchers say of their study, which appears in a special issue of PLOS Medicine.
Source: Newsmax Health, 2016.

BEAT THE HEAT ENTRÉE


What I like best about Teriyaki Chicken Foil Pack, a Pillsbury recipe, is that it’s cooked outside on our gas or charcoal grill. I replaced Minute Rice with Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice because it has more food value. It doesn’t take quite as long to cook as original recipe said. I’d say my chicken tenders were more done than they needed to be. Enjoy!

TERIYAKI CHICKEN FOIL PACKETS


• 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks canned in juice, drained, juice reserved
• ¼ cup water
• 2 cups Uncle Ben Instant Brown Rice
• 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1½-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
• 3 cups fresh sugar snap peas (available at Chief in already washed and ready-to-use bag)
• ¾ cup teriyaki baste and glaze sauce
• 1 lb. 4-ounce bag chicken tenders (you need 12 tenders so each packet contains 3)

Heat gas or charcoal grill. Cut 4 18x12-inch sheets of heavy duty foil. Spray each with cooking spray. Pour reserved pineapple juice and water in 4-cup measuring cup. Add brown rice; stir and let stand about 10 minutes or until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, in large bowl, toss pineapple, bell peppers, sugar snap peas and ½ cup of the teriyaki sauce until well blended.

Place 3 chicken tenders on each foil sheet. Dividing evenly, spoon vegetables over chicken tenders. Divide rice mixture and remaining liquid evenly over chicken and vegetables. Spoon 1 tablespoon of remaining glaze over chicken and vegetables; stir gently.

Bring up 2 sides of foil so edges meet. Seal edges, making tight ½-inch fold; fold again, allowing space for heat circulation and expansion. Fold other sides to seal. Place packs over medium heat. Cover grill and cook for 12 to 14 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are crisp-cooked. Remove packs from grill. Carefully fold back foil; open one end and spoon onto serving plates. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from internet Pillsbury recipe.

ALL-IN-ONE SAUCEPAN BROWNIES


This brownie recipe was found among Katharine Hepburn’s belongings after she died. She was one of my favorite actresses so naturally, I had to try the recipe.

What I like best about it is that after butter and baking chocolate are melted together, the other ingredients are stirred together in the same saucepan before spooning into prepared pan. Note: When a recipe says to bake in a pan don't use glass.

KATHARINE HEPBURN’S BROWNIES


• 1 stick (½ cup butter)
• 2 1-oz. squares unsweetened baking chocolate
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt together butter and chocolate and take the saucepan off the heat. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat mixture well. Stir in flour, salt and walnuts. Spoon into greased and floured baking pan. Bake in preheated 325ºF oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on rack. Cut into squares and eat out of pan or serve on a serving plate. Yummy and moist! Source: Adapted from Bon Appetite recipe.

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Easy Eats – Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

Easy Eats - Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Bread

Ingredients

5 cloves garlic 1/3⅓ cup parsley 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small loaf sour dough bread 3 tablespoons butter 4 ounces deli sliced mozzarella cheese or shredded) Salt to taste

Directions
  1. Combine the garlic cloves, parsley, and olive oil in a small food processor until garlic is in small pieces. If using sliced mozzarella - cut cheese slices into 1 inch squares.

    Heat the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. When the butter melts, add garlic mixture to the butter along with a pinch of salt and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

    Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Using a sharp serrated knife, make 1 inch diagonal cuts across the loaf of bread making sure you don’t cut the bread all the way through. Use a spoon to drizzle the garlic butter into the the cuts of the bread. Take 3-4 cheese squares and put them in the cuts. Place the garlic bread on a sheet of foil; use a second piece to cover the top (it will be removed later). Allow the bread to bake for 10 minutes. Remove the top piece of foil and allow the bread to bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese melts completely. Serve warm.  Source: Marzia from Little Spice Jar

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