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Mary’s Memo #2223

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
     After starting with 48 cases of cookbooks, 24 books per carton, there are only 35 copies of “Thank You, I’m Glad You Liked It” available (could be less when you read this). They won’t be put on sale because buyers are still paying $16.00 for their copy. The cookbook can be purchased at the Bryan Area Chamber of Commerce office in Bryan or directly from me when I am working weekends at the Bryan Chief. No second printing is planned. If you’ve postponed buying a cookbook I suggest that you get it while the supply lasts. I am certainly grateful to all who bought cookbooks since November, 2004.

QUESTIONS
     Sometimes I’m asked questions that I can’t answer without further research. Such was the case with bitter gourd that I’d never heard of. Bitter gourd is a vegetable popular in Asian and Indian cooking. It resembles a cucumber. A member of the squash family, bitter gourd contains an array of vitamins
and minerals, including vitamin A, B1, B2 and C, along with iron, calcium, copper, phosphorus and potassium. Young bitter gourds are best for cooking when they’re bright green. Beneath the skin of the bitter gourd the flesh is white and contains small fibrous seeds that are removed before cooking.

SHOP TILL YOU DROP MAY BE GOOD!
     Adults in a recent study who shopped for food, clothes and other items more than once a week or even just window shopped had a much lower risk of dying than those who didn’t go to stores. This was the case even when researchers took into account poor health that may have kept them home. Daily trips had the most benefit.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health, July 2011.

THE NEW AMERICAN PLATE APPROACH TO EATING
     If counting calories and carbohydrates leaves you confused or feeling like meal planning is too much hard work, a simpler approach called “The New American Plate,” may be just the tool to help you develop a healthier diet and manage your weight. The concept was developed by the American Institute for Cancer Research to address the two main concerns of
healthy eating: food proportions and food proportion sizes.
     The New American Plate recommends meals that are no less than two-thirds vegetables, fruits, whole grains and/or beans, and no more than one-third lean animal protein. But dietitian Carly Trueger, RD, with New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, suggests an even larger percentage of fruits, vegetables and grains. “You should fill at least 75 percent of your plate with plant-based foods,” she says. Rather than attempt to radically alter your eating habits in one day, Trueger suggests making smaller changes a week at a time until your plate looks like the New American Plate.

NO BETTER TIME

     There is no better time of year to enjoy fresh fruits. Most are grown in the USA now and the closer the source, the better the quality! Not only is Minted Fruit Salad colorful but it’s a refreshing choice for hot summer meals. Serve with baked pita chips sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar if you can find them.

MINTED FRESH FRUIT SALAD
1 ripe cantaloupe, cut into bite-size chunks1 pint fresh blueberries, washed, well drained and picked over for stems1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered2 ripe red Anjou pears, cored and cut into bite-size pieces1 cup orange juice1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves for garnish      Combine prepared fruits with orange juice. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Add chopped mint just before serving. Recipe makes 10 to 12 servings.
     Adapted from recipe in Around the Table by Ellen Wright; Harvard Common Press, $27.95/hard back.

A lot of us grow our own herbs so I have everything in the summer to make daughter Mary Ann’s Herb Dip. Serve with assorted raw vegetables dippers. Use reduced-fat mayonnaise for a lower calorie version.

HERB DIP

1 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellmann’s Light)1 cup cottage cheese (I prefer Daisy brand)1 clove garlic, minced1/4 cup snipped chives2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley(1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley)1 tablespoon finely chopped dill(3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed)1 tablespoon finely chopped basil(3/4 teaspoon dried basil)Dash of Worcestershire sauceDash of bottled hot pepper sauce     Place mayonnaise, cottage cheese, garlic, chives, herbs, Worcestershire and hot sauce in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Turn into storage container. Cover and chill. Recipe makes 1-3/4 cups dip.
Source: Mary Ann Thaman via old Better Homes and Garden or Southern Living recipe. Download PDF of Memo #2223

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